The times that we walked through London with a paper travel guide are over. Everyone has a smartphone these days and there are a range of good apps that make a paper travel guide superfluous. Saves you dragging such a heavy book along.
These are the apps that I have on my iPhone that I use regularly when I’m in London.
London Tube Map app
This is a nice, well-arranged app that immediately shows the complete map of the Underground. You can also view the Night Tube map. With a handy search function, this app quickly shows the fastest route to your destination. You must know the stations where you want to go. The app can also show the operational status of all lines in one overview. I use the Pro version of this app myself.
I personally use this app the most, since the paper Tube Map is no longer readable for me. The network has become so large that it no longer fits on such a small paper map.
TfL Oyster and Contactless app
This app is particularly useful when you travel with a Contactless bank card, Apple or Google Pay or a regular Oyster card. It is required that you register for an account. With this app you can see your route history, top up your Oyster card and more. You cannot use this app with a Visitor Oyster card.
Also read my other blog post Contactless travel in London with your bank card: Do or Don’t?
Santander Cycle Hire app
Are you going to take a bike ride with the Santander Cycles, then this app is a must. This app shows you where the nearest docking station is and you can hire a Santander Cycle. You no longer have to do that at the terminal. To register you must first create an account. Unfortunately, you cannot use the same account for this as for your Oyster app.
Also read my other blog post Go take a bike!
Station Master app
This an app for fans of the Underground. This app provides all kinds of information about all Underground stations in London. Made by Geoff Marshall known from All The Stations, the Underground expert of London. Some stations are really works of art and this app gives you tips for things to look out for. A must for the enthusiast!
This is the favorite app of the Londoners. With this app you get all the information to get from A to B, what it costs and possible alternatives of all modes of transport. The app also shows in which car you can sit best for a speedy train change. And if it rains how you can stay dry as much as possible. I have only recently started using this app, so I still have to find my way around it.
Everyone knows this app. In addition to seeing all the sights in the area, I regularly use the StreetView function. This way you can easily see whether your planned walking route is worthwhile or whether it is just a boring backlane. This app can also be used offline if you download the maps you want to use in advance.
Do you not know a certain English expression or word. Let the Google Translate app look at it through your camera and it will be translated live. Very handy.
XE Currency app
This is the app version of the well-known website XE.com, where you can convert various currencies. When you update the most recent rates in advance, you can also use the app offline.
With the Opentable app you can easily reserve a table in your favorite restaurant. I have used this app to book a table at The Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden. Very handy. Making reservations is advisable in most cases. For example, when you go to the theater and you want to be certain you’ll get a table. Tip: The app asks you if the reservation is for a special occasion. Enter an occassion and maybe the restaurant does something extra. The Ivy Market Grill gave me a delicious scone with a little candle on it, because I had indicated that it was my birthday. Very thoughtful.
Do you use another handy app? Let me know by using the contact form.