Having been a latecomer to the smartphone world (I reluctantly swapped my beautiful brick of an old phone for one less than a year ago!) I’m now a fully-fledged lover and devotee of the smartphone revolution.
Never is this more apparent than when I’m on the road; it is as a traveller that wonderful the smartphone and its vast number of apps really come into their own.
I’ve found this to be particularly true when I’ve been visiting cities as a tourist, where sometimes the overwhelming array of attractions and accommodation, sites and smells can be more confusing than enjoyable.
In cities, I love to get to the heart of the place, to get lost among its street and to feel the rhythmic beat of life there, but all too often this just isn’t accessible to a short term visitor.
Enter the smartphone and the app, which are making this phenomenon more and more easy for visitors.
A mad lover of this new way of travel, here are my 10 best apps for city tourists that really allow you to get the best out of your chosen destination.
This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
I’ve recently been getting really into this great new app, which is based around people sharing experiences of their favourite places across the globe.
From restaurants to travel agents, shops to hostels, I love this free app so much, because Tread is great for discovering brilliant local recommendations in a new metropolis, which is why I’ve voted it one of the best apps for city tourists.
#2 Wi-Fi Finder
I highly recommend using this brilliant free app to locate the nearest Wi-Fi spot when you are travelling in a new city.
As a travel blogger, getting internet connection (and not using up my previous data) is crucial, which is why I reckon this is one of the best apps for travellers around.
Whether it’s booking accommodation and transport, checking reviews on TripAdvisor or sharing your experiences on Tread, finding Wi-Fi when you’re away can be as necessary as it is entertaining!
The great thing about Wi-Fi Finder specifically is that you don’t have to be online to use it – just as well really!
#3 Google Translate
Formerly Wordlens, the free app now known as Google Translate is easy to use and very handy.
Accessible without internet or wireless connection, this clever app brilliantly detects words and phrases in a foreign language and then seamlessly translates them for you.
Available via a number of means you can either photograph, say or write/draw a word for immediate understanding of its meaning.
Excellent for reading menus, following signs, taking directions or completing booking forms, this app works in up to 90 world languages.
This award-winning app is exactly what you need to help you get around a new city.
We’ve all been there – stranded, lost and confused in a foreign metro station, unable to read the sings or ask anyone for help – but we needed be again.
With Citymapper you can check timetables, routes, maps and receive alerts all of which are constantly updated in real time.
With data from 29 major global cities and expanding, this wonderful app brilliantly integrates different transport modes, and even includes Uber Taxi services, to make sure you can navigate perfectly round the next city you visit.
Definitely one of the best apps for toursits out there.
HearPlanet is your audio guide to world.
Great if you’re visiting cities with lots of history, landmarks and hidden facts, this app is like a spoken word guidebook, which means you can just tune in and listen without having to take your eyes on the sights!
Featured by numerous publications including National Geographic and NY Times, HearPlanet covers over 300,000 locations and brilliantly allows you to customize information dependent on your interests.
It even allows you to create postcards based on your location and sends these to friends and family via SMS, email or facebook.
#6 WorldMate Travel Plans & Flight Tracker
This great all-in-one app allows you to manage your flight, accommodation, rental car and restaurant bookings all in one handy location.
Certainly one of the best apps for city tourists, WorldMate Travel Plans & Flight Tracker takes all the stress out of planning a city break and lets you just enjoy it.
Sending you automated reminders (such as flight alerts) and mapping your itinerary (as well as allowing you to share it with friends) this great app brings together everything you might need to enjoy a wonderful time in your chosen city.
#7 Museums Mobile
Another free app that is fantastic for city tourists is Museums Mobile, which brilliantly locates hundreds of museums and galleries around the world.
But that’s not all, this great app also features information about current exhibitions as well as user reviews.
Available in 3 languages, this is a must for art lovers or history buffs because it also has up to date info about a ton of cultural events happening in a load of cities around the world. Mark your favourites, leave a review and join the discussion with like-minded travellers and locals.
Amount is a traditional currency converter app with some super added bonuses!
Not only does it allow you work out how much you’re spending when travelling in different cities around the world, but Amount also allows you to convert other things too.
From clothing sizes to electric currents and distances, Amount features over 30 different unit conversions helping travellers out in all sorts of ways.
This is certainly one of the best apps for travelling in cities due to its versatility and mathematical assistance! A great help for the less numerical-minded like myself!
You really can’t go wrong with this old classic, which is a no brainer if you want the latest and most plentiful reviews of destinations and attractions in cities around the world!
From restaurants to hotels, attractions to tours, TripAdvisor has it all and, with many companies now making their booking information available through the site, it’s even easier to enjoy the best a city has to offer with this well-known app.
With over 5000 self-guided tours in over 470 cites around the world, GPSmyCity is the perfect app for budget travellers looking to save on tour guide costs.
These wonderful and professional walking tours cover the best of each city featured, from well-known landmarks to off the beaten path local secrets via several different tours.
Infact, each one of the apps contains between 3-13 different self-guided walking tours for a single city, allowing visitors to explore, on foot, the best of the city at their own pace.
Accessible without roaming or data plans, simply download the city guide of your choice from GPSmyCity and receive a step-by-step, easy to follow walking tours of the city of your choice.
No need for you to look quite so like a tourist with a big map unfolded in front of your face (!), with GPSmyCity you can wander the heart and experience the beat of the life in your chosen city without getting lost!
So those are my 10 best apps for city tourists.
Have you used any of them?
What was your experience?
Are there any others you would like to add to the list?
Let me know, and share the love!