Our mobiles have become our lifelines, we would feel like we were missing a limb if we forgot or lost our phones. Today, everything is run on these little metal wonders and we can email, instant message, connect to friends every single second through social media and even document our health on them. It comes as no surprise that when you’re visiting a new city such as London, your phone becomes an essential piece of equipment as it keeps you safe, helps you get around and also watches your bank balance. This guide gives a few handy apps to download while visiting Britain’s capital city.
This may seems like a pointless app to download but when you need money and the only place you can see is a newsagents that charges you around £1.50 for the privilege of taking out your own money, then this app is going to come in very handy. This app isn’t complicated, it will just give you the location of the nearest free ATM which will save you from those ridiculous charges. The closest cashpoint may be a short walk away but this just gives you the opportunity to explore London that little bit more. This app is free to download on iPhone and on Android.
Hailing an unlicensed taxi cab is a real threat in London so many opt to flag down a black hackney cab when their orange light is glowing, however, this can really break the purse strings. Black cabs are iconic and all the taxi drivers are clued up on where they need to go as they are required to pass an extensive test so they’re guaranteed to get you to your destination, however, they’re also known for their extortionate prices, especially for long journeys. To combat this, an app has been created that combines safety and decent prices; Kabbee is a price comparison app that allows you to compare prices from over 60 taxi firms for you to get the best deal for your journey. Once you’ve picked the best price for your preplanned journey, Kabbee even allows you to book online, saving you a lot of time and hassle. Black cabs are great for short distances but for longer treks, download Kabbee. This app is free for both iPhone and Android.
Tube Map and Tubetap
The Underground is one of the best ways to get around the city as it is easy and quick, well most of the time. There are 11 lines in total and stations scattered all over the city making it one of the most used modes of transport in London. If you’re a visitor, it is important to download the free Tube Map – London Underground Routes app that not only shows you the full underground map on your mobile device, but also makes you aware of any delays on the lines. When there are delays on the tube, they can be arduous and take up a lot of your day, however, you can get a refund from the Transport for London for your journey if it was delayed by more than 15 minutes and this is where Tubetap comes in. With this app you can time your journey, simply click Tubetap at the beginning of your journey and again when you alight at your station; if the journey is over 15 minutes the app will automatically fill out the paper work for you so you can claim your refund. It seems menial but if you are a local and using the tube every day, it is something that is definitely worth doing.
Citymapper, Opentable and Yplan
These three apps are fantastic for all visitors to London. Unless you have one of the many hotel deals in London that include a meal with your stay, eating out can take a huge bite out of your budget and, with many Michelin-starred restaurants and typical British pub grub in the area, you will want to sample as much as you can. Opentable is a brilliant app that gives discounts on over 4,000 restaurants based around the UK with many of them situated in London itself. You can eat at one of the finest restaurants for a fraction of the price and you are also able to book online, avoiding all of the hassle of engaged lines and awkward conversation.
Yplan is great for those who are new to the city and are not sure where to go or what to do to really experience the London nightlife. It highlights all of the events that are going on around you and, if there is an event that you need tickets for, you can purchase them directly on Yplan, saving you so much time. It is a great way to experience London after the sun goes down and no two nights will be the same. Don’t panic about getting yourself back to your hotel after your night out because Citymapper has you covered with all the tube, bus, train, ferry and tram information you will need to get back to your hotel safely.
If you’re planning on leaving the city to explore the rest of the UK then Ticketysplit deserves a space on your mobile. This little magical app has the ability to save you up to 50% on your train fares simply by splitting up your journey; in Britain it is cheaper to buy 2 tickets than 1 so by splitting up your journey into 2 or more parts, you could save yourself a good amount of money, even if you’re staying on the same train for the entire journey. Ticketysplit allows you to do all of this from the app and in advance so you can pocket the extra few pounds for your British exploration.