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Best Travel Apps for Exploring London


How to pass for a Londoner, even if you're a tourist.

When I first got to London, I was overwhelmed. It’s one of the world’s busiest and craziest cities. There’s so much to see, do and most importantly, eat. So, where do you start?

If you find yourself in a similar situation, then start with my four favourite—and lifesaving—travel apps for London.

I am usually a huge advocate of putting your phone on flight mode and not letting social media distract you from befriending the new city. But, in case of London, WiFi is your friend and travel apps are your tour guides. Unsurprisingly, it’s really easy to connect to WiFi in London. There are loads of hotspots scattered across the city and some underground stations also have Internet connections. If you are in London just for a few days, keep that smartphone on flight mode and take full advantage of the city’s WiFi zones.

Now that you are connected, download these apps to make the most of your London trip.

Citymapper London

I don’t know what I would do without this app! Getting from point A to point B in London is made super simple. No wonder it was 2013’s App of the Year runner-up. Citymapper gives you multiple route options including a “Rain Safe” itinerary, bus only, walking, biking and there is even a route for jetpack users. Only if those were more abundant, navigating London would be a lot easier.

Time Out London

Time Out magazine has been the Londoners’ long-time guide to their own city. Luckily for us, Time Out London also has a fantastic app that’s completely free to download. Trying to figure out where to have your next meal? This app will find tons of restaurants and pubs in your vicinity. Not sure which plays to see while in London? Read reviews and browse for tickets on this app. It’s your social life in the palm of your hand.

London Official City Guide

While Time Out is great for local Londoners—and wannabe Londoners, like myself—it’s not the best if you want to play tourist. That’s why you should download VisitLondon.com’s official city guide. You can get your cultural fix with this app that’ll take you to all the free museums, galleries and other touristy sights. When you show up at The Tower of London or the Buckingham Palace, glance at your phone for a bit of a history lesson if you aren’t in the mood for a full tour.

Street Art London

Keen on checking out some Banksy while you are in London? Or maybe you are a BLU fan, like myself? Either way, this app is going to be your guide to the city’s street art. You can filter the map by artist and date or if you are a local, then you can always keep an eye on it for the new pieces that pop up.

There are always exciting things to discover in this great city of London. I stumble upon something new everyday even after having lived here for a few months. London is what you make of it, but these apps will be a good start for first-timers.  

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Published in Study Abroad Blogs
Roop Gill

After finishing her undergrad in Toronto, Roop Gill worked as journalist for a year. Giving into her wanderlust, she packed up her life in Canada and is currently doing a cross-continental MA through the Erasmus Programme that will take her from Denmark to Australia to England. She can’t understand how this happened, but she has managed to pick three of the most expensive places in the world to live as a student, but she is determined not to let that stand in her way of travelling.

Website: roopgill.com/

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