5 Essential and Free Apps for Visiting London

5 free apps for London travel

The following free apps for London travel post was submitted by Alyssa James.

One of the great things about London is that no matter how long you’ve been here you can always find something you’ve never seen before. It’s a place that’s constantly changing: pop-ups come and go, neighbourhoods gentrify, people move on and move in… There’s always something to discover!

I’m still a shiny and new Londoner having moved here 8 months ago. When I’m feeling like getting the most out of my evenings and weekends I use a few different apps to get out of my comfort zone and check out all that London has to offer. Here is a selection of five great apps that can help make any trip to the Big Smoke unforgettable.

London Street Art App

London Street Art app

London is famous for its vibrant street art, which has become an attraction in its own right in the last few years. The folks at Geo Street Art created this app to help people locate and share the amazing street art in London. The pieces are curated by experts around the world and features useful maps and guides that display the location of leading street art. People who use this app will also be treated to descriptions of the artwork they are viewing, as well as biographies of the artists. Searches can be made according to the artist and date, which makes it easy to track down street art by your favourite artists. 

Available for free in the Apple Store.

momondo Places

momondo places

This special city guide has just been launched by momondo and is available for the iPad. I get this app out when I’m looking for a local experience as it includes suggestions of places to eat, drink and explore recommended by locals. The really unique thing about this app is that you can sort it by how you’re feeling – Romantic, Cultural, Social and so on. My boyfriend and I found a not-so-secret speakeasy bar this way and it was very romantic!

Available for free in the Apple Store.

Square Meal

square meal app

I love food and trying new restaurants is one of my favourite things to do in London. Square Meal is an independent restaurant review website and they created this app to help people find the best places to eat and drink in the city of London. The app provides detailed reviews of restaurants and cafés around the city, helping you find the best restaurant no matter where you are or what you’re craving. Personally, I always want to be aware of where my nearest Bahn-Mi sandwich is.

Available for free in the Apple Store and Google Play.

Barclays Bikes

barclays bikes app

Affectionately known as Boris Bikes (after Boris Johnson, mayor of London), exploring London has been made even simpler with this public bike scheme. I cycle to work now and I find it’s an awesome way to see London because you can get around faster and you don’t have to spend time in the Tube getting black snot. With Barclays Bikes, you can pick them up and drop them off at docking stations around the city. The app features special routes that help you discover some of the city’s most interesting attractions. I love the Saturday markets tour – I stop at each one for a treat and stop at Rabot 1745 near Borough Market for lunch. It’s a chocolate restaurant. Everything on the menu has chocolate in it – amazing!

Available for free in the Apple Store and Google Play.

Street Museum

Street Museum app

The Museum of London is one of the city’s top attractions and it is easy to spend several days viewing the many exhibits that can be found here. Their Street Museum app is really cool because it’s interactive – you can step back in time anywhere around the city. Following a map to different locations, you point your camera at sights and landmarks. Scenes and images will appear where you can digitally unearth artefacts or watch scenes that took place in Roman London. I already enjoy exploring the free museums but this app takes it to another level by taking you outside and around the city!

Available for free in the Apple Store and Google Play.

>> See Alyssa’s other post on packing for working and studying in the Caribbean!

Meet the Author: Alyssa
Meet the Author: Alyssa
About the Author: Alyssa James is an outgoing introvert from Canada who has read The Alchemist a few too many times. She graduated university and decided to throw it all away so she could relax on a Caribbean island for a year. Now up: two years in London for life, travel and love. Check out her blog at Alyssa Writes or follow her on Twitter @aaljames!

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Robyn Fergeson says

    Great apps for our upcoming trip to London. Square Meal is a UK app and when I try to download it I am told that my Apple ID is only good in the iTunes store in the US. So how does one go about getting the app?

  2. Megan Herriott says

    I love love love Citymapper whilst I am away. I first used it in London and found that I could get around much quicker and fit more in my day.

    The App is adding on new cities all the time.

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