10 Essential apps for your visit to London

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The days when you needed a foldout tourist map and guidebook to navigate London are thankfully long gone – now the best travel, entertainment and shopping information is available at the touch of a button via your phone.

If you’re planning a trip to the capital, make sure you download some of these useful London apps to make the most out of your stay.

 

1. City Mapper

Google Maps is great for navigating streets by foot but when you want to take public transport, you can’t beat City Mapper. Just put in where you want to go and this handy app will work out the best route for you. It comes with live train times, shows you exactly where bus stops are, and is integrated with Uber and cycle docking stations so you can complete your journey in any number of ways. You can even watch your bus arrive in real time and find the best carriage to sit on the train.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

2. Uber

London has excellent public transport but there are times when it may let you down. If your bus is running late, you’ve missed the last train, or you just don’t want to trek through the streets to the nearest tube station in the rain, Uber will send a taxi to your exact location for rates that are much lower than standard black cabs. No need to worry if you’ve run out of cash either, as you can pay directly via the app.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

3. Dojo City Discovery

There’s always something going on in London but if you’re stuck for ideas for what to do, what to see, or what to eat, check out this app. Dojo is updated constantly with the latest that the city has to offer, divided into categories such as “around me”, “outdoor dining”, and “exhibitions”. Everything is hand-picked by locals and the app is integrated with Citymapper and Uber. You’ll never be bored in London again.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

4. Drinki

London has some of the best nightlife options in the world but when you’re new to the city, how do you know where to start? Drinki offers a hand-curated selection of the best bars in London with photos, descriptions, drinks menus, and an accurate map. Best of all you can access exclusive offers through the app including one free drink every night.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

5. OpenTable

Looking for somewhere new to eat? Or wanting to snag last-minute reservations at a popular restaurant that’s usually fully booked? OpenTable shows restaurants close to you complete with reviews, menus, and photos. You can book instantly for free via the app and get personalized recommendations for new places to eat based on your preferences.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

6. Santander Cycle

Santander Cycles – rentable bikes that you can unlock from docks scattered around the city – are a great way to explore and very affordable at only £2 for 24 hours. Cycling can also be the fastest way to get from A to B when traffic is gridlocked. The Santander Cycle app makes it easy to find the closest bike and you can send a release code to your phone to bypass the terminals.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

7. Dark Sky

We all know that the weather in the UK can be highly changeable whatever the season, so it’s useful to know in advance if you should pop an umbrella in your bag or dress in layers. Dark Sky is one of the most accurate weather apps available, delivering “hyperlocal” forecasts. You can even get it to send you an alert if it’s going to rain within the next hour.

iOS (£3.99) / Android (Free with £2.53 – £2.99 per item in-app purchases available)

 

8. DICE

If live music is your thing, you’ll definitely want to download this app which allows you to buy tickets for the latest gigs, club events, and festivals in the city. If a show you want to see is sold out, you can add yourself to the waiting list and get an automatic alert if tickets become available again. You can also return your tickets via the app for a refund if your plans change and you can’t make the event.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

9. FoodMood

The Tinder of restaurant apps, FoodMood presents you with a selection of photographed dishes from eateries close to you, which you can mark as “yum” or “yuck”. Based on your preferences you’ll then get recommendations in your local area so you can head out and eat whatever you fancy at the current moment.

iOS / Android (Free)

 

10. Hidden London

Are you interested in the history of London or visiting unusual places that aren’t on the usual tourist itinerary? Hidden London will take you on a tour of 95 of some of the most fascinating spots in the city. The app gives you a clickable map with a rundown of the locations, opening times, entry fees, and user reviews.

iOS (Free but £0.99 to remove adds and £2.99 for 78 more hidden places)