London’s many attractions beckon even the most seasoned travellers who always have something new to explore in this fabulous city. Whether it is the city’s leafy parks, or fascinating museums, shopping at its world class markets or just sightseeing, you can never fail to spot something new to see or do in the city.
The hospitality industry all over the world has begun to use technology to improve customer experience as well as make it easier for customers who need to book accommodation on the go. Whether it is a last minute hotel booking app or a variety of other web based apps to choose from, they certainly make life much easier for travellers. Just a few of the essential apps that make a trip to London definitely more enjoyable are:
Citymapper: While most of us have Google maps on our phones nowadays to get a better grip of London’s vast and at times mind boggling transport system, Citymapper is absolutely invaluable. All you need to do is type in the address and you will get a detailed list of the approximate time it will take to reach your destination using a variety of modes from taxi’s to cycling. Another advantage of using this app is that it offers a variety of routes using the bus, Tube and overground rail network, with a rain safe option something that is certainly needed in a city that sees a fair bit of rain. It is constantly updated about traffic congestions and any route disruptions, so you always have the latest updates about traffic conditions. If you use the bus network, it can be programmed to inform you when you arrive at your destination.
Quidco: If you have used the Tube while on a trip to London, you are sure to have seen the name Quidco all over the place. It is with good reason too! It offers fabulous cashback offers of purchases from some of the biggest retailers in London. These include Next, Debenhams and Argos. All of the affiliated stores pay commissions to Quidco, which then filters down to the users of this app. All you need to do is sign up for annual membership (a nominal charge), which will then guarantee you fantastic savings in the form of cashback offers, promotional deals, voucher codes etc. A very effective way to save money while shopping in London!
Santander Cycles: Formerly officially known as Barclays Cycle Hire it has been renamed as Santander Cycles, although they are more popularly known among Londoners as ‘Boris Bikes’ the former mayor of the city. Using this app makes it easy to find the nearest bike docking station to hire a bike. Similarly once you are done with your trip and want to return your bike it will help you to find a vacant docking bay to park the bike. The only limitation at the moment is it does not offer the facility of making bike reservations.
Uber app: While there are quite a number of taxi operator services in London Uber is one of the largest to operate in the city. It has managed to create a major impact in the transport sector, especially in the cab industry, as they are cheaper to hire than traditional black cabs. For those who would prefer to use black cabs there is the Hailo app. One of the newer entrants is Maaxi, which offers users to share a cab with others.
YPlan: To know the latest events including concerts, exhibitions, theatre events etc. YPlan is the perfect application to download. It offers users an option to filter events by their type and prices and comes in handy when you have spare time in the city and are wondering what to do next. It also frequently hosts what is termed as ‘Flash Sales’, which makes it possible to get some great discounts on ticket prices.
National Trust: Whether you want to travel out of London or find any place of historic interest to explore on a trip to London, this is just the app to download. The National Trust in the United Kingdom has the responsibility of overseeing numerous places of natural beauty and historical interest in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. With hundreds of locations and properties to choose from, apart from having a scheduled calendar of the latest events, it is a very useful app to help you plan your tour in London. This includes many hidden gems which otherwise may not be spotted in tourist guides.
Mastercard ATM Hunter: At a time when you suddenly have the need for cash, private ATMs may seem like a godsend, although they charge exorbitant fees for a single transaction. Mastercard’s ATM Hunter helps you locate the closest free cash ATM, which is an effective way to avoid those expensive transaction fees at other private ATMs.
London’s Best Coffee: For those coffee lovers who would prefer not to enjoy a cuppa at any of the major coffee chains like Costa or Starbucks, this is the app to use. It offers a choice of some of the city’s top independent cafes and roasteries. It offers comprehensive information which includes ratings, special offers, tastings and even the machines used at each cafe.
OpenTable UK: It was formerly known as Toptable until it was taken over by Open Table. It is an effective restaurant reservation service that can used to make table reservations at hundreds of restaurants across the city. Users can search and select a restaurant, which will feature the available reservations at that time. Users can use filters to choose a restaurant by distance, price and rating of the establishment. Some other popular food apps available to us in London include Urbanspoon, Yelp and the relatively new paid app, Where to Eat in London 2015.