11 Essential Apps for City Travel
City break on the horizon? There’s an app for that. Quite a few actually, but we’ve narrowed down the list to 11 of the best ones worth downloading before you fly. Check out our pick of the bunch…
If you’ve ever smugly wondered about how much money you’re saving on that beer in Budapest or agonised over whether you should buy that second pair of Italian shoes, then you’ll love XE Currency App. This handy little currency calculator gives you access to live exchange rates, allowing you to calculate prices on your smartphone as you go. And all for free.
Take the stress out of packing for a city break with this pocket-sized personal assistant/fashion adviser. Based on your destination, your trip duration, planned activities and the time of year you’re travelling, PackPoint will tell you exactly what you should and shouldn’t take with you on your next getaway. The app will also create a customised packing list which can be shared with friends and family if you’re travelling as a group. You’ll never forget your toothbrush again.
Spotted by Locals
Looking for insider tips about Madrid’s best street markets? Want to find out about secret jazz bars in Brussels? As its name suggests, Spotted by Locals offers up-to-date tips from the locals who eat, drink and play in Europe’s major cities. Tip – browse before you go, then save and display your favourites on an offline map for when you get there.
Zip around the city’s underground, rail and road transport like you’ve lived there all your life with CityMapper. From the palm of your hand you can check out detailed information on the most convenient public transport options for you in major cities such as London, Brussels, Berlin, Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan and Rome. All information is updated in real-time, including directions, departure times and traffic disruptions. You’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.
Avoid bank charges on your travels with Revolut, the multi-currency card and mobile app. With Revolut you can send, spend and exchange money with no hidden fees. The app’s clever technology also lets you instantly transfer money wherever you are through SMS (and even WhatsApp) using the best possible exchange rates. All you need to do is set up a Revolut account, top up your card and then use anywhere with no fees on transactions or cash withdrawals. Genius.
FLIO lets you make the most of airport down time by giving you easy access to free Wi-Fi while you wait for your flight. Once you download the app, there’s no need to fill out individual airports’ sign-up forms again. FLIO saves your details and does it all automatically, connecting you with the official free Wi-Fi of your airport and getting you online in seconds. The app also provides handy advice such as where to charge your laptop in the airport, gives tips on the quickest way to reach the city and offers suggestions on how to keep the kids entertained before take-off.
Feast your eyes on the juiciest burgers in London, the sweetest gelato in Rome and the finest latte art in Berlin. Foodspotting is a visual guide to amazing food and where to find it all over the world. Instead of reviewing restaurants, users recommend dishes, meaning you can track down the best selection of just about anything you’re craving while you’re away. Best pack some loose clothing.
Keep your hotel, flight, car rental and restaurant confirmation details neat and tidy (and where you can find them) with TripIt. Simply forward all confirmation emails to plans(at)tripit(dot)com and wait for TripIt to wave its magic wand, transforming your batch of documents into a nifty little itinerary so that all your plans are in one place. The app allows you to view your itinerary at any time and on any device — even when you’re offline.
Know before you go – brush up on your destination’s local language for free with Duolingo‘s fun tutorials in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and English. The app teaches you how to read, write, listen and speak the language of your choice through bite-sized lessons and games that award points for correct answers. You’ll be fluent in no time…
An oldie, but a goodie. Chances are you already use Instagram for snapping holiday selfies and sepia-toned sunsets but when it comes to city travel, Instagram‘s search functionality is an unsung hero. Simply input the city you’re travelling to in the search box, e.g. #igcityname, and you’re guaranteed to stumble upon all manner of cool cafés, bars, restaurants and local fashion brands captured by the city’s instagrammers. If they’ve tagged the location, even better – you’ve got maps and addresses ready to save to your phone.
What are your essential apps for city travel? Leave a comment below and share your tips, we’d love to hear from you!