App-solutely essential: 8 free apps you can’t be without in London

Luxury London Hotel’s

Let’s face it, nobody likes to be out of the loop when it comes to digital connectivity these days – and that includes when you’re travelling, whether overseas or not. And the great advantage of this is that, by be sure you travel with a smartphone, you’re able to download all those über-useful apps that focus on the location where you’ll be spending your precious short-break. And, don’t doubt it, if your destination’s London, then your app options are comprehensive, indeed – here are a collection of free apps you have to donwload if you’re coming to London any time soon…

Citymapper London App

Utterly essential for getting about the capital, this application is brilliant at making all your available and most sensible transport options appear clear as mud. It provides a whole host of different route options, as well as up-to-date details on what’s going on (for instance, Tube line delays and closed stations). Handy offline maps are also available, as are calculated taxi fares and – yes, really! – calorie-burn counts too.

Santander Cycles App

One for those who like the idea of taking to two wheels to get about, this app for official public transport body Transport for London’s (TfL) daily cycle hire scheme might well prove a life-saver. It’ll help you negotiate the business of locating the nearest docking station to find an available bike, paying for and releasing the bike and working out where your nearest docking station is when you’re done at the end of the day. Actually, it’ll even enable you to receive a cycle release code straight to your phone so you don’t have to use the terminal at the docking station – great if you’re running late or in a general hurry!

MBNA Thames Clippers App

Another popular form of transport with London visitors is the appealingly named Thames Clippers service. It’s perfect for getting up and down the river and to different parts of town, while doing a bit of sightseeing-by-water along the day (terrific if the weather’s particularly good) and this app makes it easy to purchase tickets for travel wherever you might be, ensuring you don’t waste time queueing when you arrive at your ‘Clipper’ stop. It also features live departure times.

Riverside London App

And, for when you step off a ‘Clipper’, here’s a very handy app for discovering the hotspots that litter the capital’s long stretches of embankment. Historically speaking, the Thames was the beating heart of the city, the tidal aorta of its commerce, culture and society, and this iPhone- and Android-compatible application enables you to discover all that it has to offer today, listing the likes of landmarks, venues, restaurants and pubs/ bars all the way from Lambeth Bridge to Tower Bridge.

The Montcalm App

A great example of a quality last minute hotel booking app, which surely any visitor to London ought to make part of their digital arsenal, this one gives you everything you could possibly need to find out about, book a room with and enhance your stay at any of the properties of this luxury London-located hotel brand. It enables you not just to view, edit or cancel a reservation, but also to browse photos of the hotels and their rooms and check out their amenities, restaurants and bars, as well as the opportunity to get the very latest updates on terrific deals and offers.

Natural History Museum App

A marvellous addition for any visit to this fantastic family-friendly institution in the heart of South Ken’s ‘Albertopolis’ district of attractions, this application unearths hidden treasures and helps you to navigate your way through them all – such as the always awesome Dinosaurs gallery, the Cocoon experience and the many and various temporary exhibits at the venue. Be sure to check out all the app’s features, as it’s updated regularly to make it most relevant to what’s going on at the museum at any one time.

Museum of London Streetmuseum App

Now, if app technology was invented for anything, it was surely this. Available to both iPhone and Android users, it enables you to discover what a huge number of London’s streets were like – foremost in their appearance – going back through the decades and centuries of the past. The idea being that you hold your phone’s camera up to the street around you and the clever little application, recognising the particular street, will be able to show you how it looked in the past, as well as offer up several fascinating tidbits of information. Fantastic, eh!

Street Art London App

In a way, a similar idea to the last app, this one also aims to bring alive the city around you while you’re out and about – but specifically in terms of the dynamic and vibrant street art that so colourfully illuminates many walls, bridge arches, cul-de-sacs and the like. Thanks to its many maps and guidance information, it enables you to locate and discover the nearest example of urban art wherever you are – as well as to hunt down some of the most acclaimed; for instance, many of the works Banksy’s created for London town down through the years.

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