One of the joys of travelling is the idea of experiencing a totally new city for the first time. But that can be difficult if you don’t know how navigate your surroundings.
Whilst it can be fun to go for the good-old “get lost to discover more” charade, nothing helps you feel more like a local than knowing your way around.
You could opt for old-fashioned maps or you could choose to work with the latest apps that can help you move around easily.
Behold! Here are White Rabbit’s top selections for apps that you can use to navigate London.
1. Google Maps
This is an obvious first - mostly because Google didn’t leave anything to chance when creating it.
With it, you can get a couple of routes to that amazing restaurant or bar you’ve heard about. You could also tap “Explore nearby” to check out the top user-rated restaurants, bars, and entertainment spots.
Its directions are perfectly timed and the search functionality leaves nothing to be desired. It’s definitely top-notch.
The app also allows you to save it for offline use. But remember, in this state, it caches only one route.
Google Maps enables route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle (in beta), or public transportation. So whatever form of transportation you use, you are covered.
It is free for Android and iOS devices.
For your Windows Phone you can use GMaps, which integrates Google Maps.
Waze is best if you want to dodge traffic. It will help you find the fastest way to get to where you want to go. So, if you are looking to hire a car to traverse the city of London, then this is the app to use.
It uses crowd-sourced traffic information from other drivers.
You are also meant to help other drivers by reporting nearby traffic snarl-ups. And you earn points by doing this.
The app comes with a friendly map interface with icons for accidents, hazards, road closures, speed cameras, and police officers ready to nab you for your indiscretions.
Red lines are used to show how long traffic jams are extending for. In such a case, you’ll then be rerouted to an alternate path.
The search function is great. It makes use of places as well as exact addresses. It can suggest places according to your location and your previous entries.
What this app also does is that it remembers preferred routes once you use them a few times.
Unfortunately, this app doesn’t work offline.
It is free for Android, iOS and Windows Phones.
Now this is another great one.
It is an all-in-one app that shows live departure info for all possible means of transport between any two locations in the city. It carries info on trains (Tube and Underground), bus and cycle hire. It also handles info on walking routes!
And let’s not forget. The app also features cab price comparisons.
It’s literally the perfect app for you if you are going to be using public transportation during your London trip.
All you need to do is just key in where you want to go and the app will bring up a good number of ways to get there.
It has a number of handy features. Like the button called “take me home”. Select it and you will instantly get routed back to where you call home – which in this case will be the lovely apartment arranged for you by White Rabbit J
Need tube status alerts or live departure boards from train stations? The app’s got you covered. Need weather forecasts? You have that here as well.
Only some of the app’s features continue to work offline when you have no internet access.
It is free for Android, iOS and web.
This is a useful app for you if you are one of those people who loves to get acquainted with your new surroundings pretty quickly.
It will help you find that Bank, Bar, Gas Station, Hospital, Hotel, Movie Theatre, Restaurant, Supermarket, Theatre and Taxi that is nearby.
In addition to this, the app gives you the distance from where you are so that you are prepared.
It gives easy, step-by-step GPS-based directions.
It incorporates Google Maps in its functionality, including the useful 360-degree street-level view of your surroundings. This way, it is really hard to get lost.
The simplicity, speed and ease-of-use of this app makes it a must-have for any travelling warrior.
It is free on iOS and Adroid and available in almost every major language imaginable.
Well, it is tough to compete with freebie apps like Google Maps and Waze but Co-pilot comes in strong by being able to work offline. You will only have to download the heavy maps over WIFI then you’ll be good to go even without an internet connection.
Co-pilot is perfect if you don’t want to use your roaming data and don’t have access to a WIFI spot while on the go.
If you are driving, it will warn you when you are nearing the speed limit and it will also show you speed camera locations.
It will also allow you to beat the clock with real-time traffic for accurate ETAs and automated rerouting around delays and snarl-ups. You get the 12-month free ActiveTrafficTM when you purchase the app.
The app is all-encompassing. It includes cycling and walking data too.
Its search function is excellent. It brings up places and exact addresses flawlessly.
It costs £19.99 for Android, iOS and Windows Phones.