Paris is definitely on my bucket list of European destinations I'd like to visit one day. I've long harbored hopes of wandering the city's well preserved streets, basking in its beautiful architecture, and exploring Paris' always flourishing and fashionable modernity. Millions of tourists visit the city every year to take in sights, but you can improve your chances of experiencing a more unique City of Lights experience illuminated by the following few choice travel apps...
Getting Around & Accommodations
Left: Paris Metro - Right: Hotels in Paris & Disneyland
Paris Metro - Windows Phone
The Paris Metro has a lot of weight to bear being the second busiest metro service in Europe. Thankfully with 303 stations and 16 lines spread across Paris, it's great for both locals and tourists alike. Metro Paris Subway (available for all smartphones) helps users beeline from the Sacre Coeur to the Arc de Triomphe with confidence, as a trip planner that doesn’t require a data connection.
$1.00 - Also available for iOS / Android
Hotels in Paris & Disneyland - Android
Whether it’s a luxury 5 star hotel room to match the equally stylish Champs-Elysees or a quaint dwelling in the charming Palais-Bourbon Arrondissement, Hotels in Paris & Disneyland will accommodate. 'Hotels' assists budget-minded travelers, making it possible to browse, then find and book a hotel/hostel that has the best location and criteria that meets the user's needs.
Free - Also available for iOS
Maps & Shopping Guide
Left: Paris Offline Map & Guide - Right: Keys to the Fleas
Paris Offline Map & Guide - Windows Phone
Nothing is worse than incurring an insane amount of roaming data fees while trying to experience a stress-free vacation. That’s where Paris Offline Guide & Map can be a lifesaver. The app offers Windows Phone users a locally stored map of Paris in its entirety which you can pinch to zoom for a closer look; the app's extensive search feature's restaurants, tourist sites, bathrooms, subway stations, emergency related locations and just about anything else the typical traveler abroad might need.
$4.50 - Equivalent for iOS / Android
Keys to the Fleas - iOS
A trip to Paris is expensive enough as it is, so why not find a hidden gem to take home from one of Paris’ many infamous flea markets? This design-oriented app is comprised of a lifetime's experience of bargain hunting, as put together by author, Claudia Strassler. She shares the best of Paris’ markets and brocante, along with their locations and photos (super helpful when you don't speak the language). She also details where to find bargains and how to ship all the good stuff back home.
Left: Louvre Audio Guide - Right: Tripbox Paris
Louvre Audio Guide - iOS
A Paris vacation isn’t complete unless there’s a trip to the Louvre Museum. The official Louvre Audio Guide app integrates a simple yet informative audio tour guide for any visitor walking through the museum's collection. Included: a map of the museum, search features for current exhibits, and links to specialized tours such as the ‘Masterpieces’ tour which takes you to highlighted pieces like the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo.
$2.00 - Also available for Android
Tripbox Paris - Android
With so much to see and do in Paris, how does one fit it all into one vacation? Tripbox Paris is one viable solution, serving travelers as a faithful companion in discovering Paris’ many sites, restaurants, activities, shopping centers, and nightlife attractions all in one app. Having trouble finding somewhere in person? Just use the augmented reality feature and use your smartphone like a pair of goggles with visual aides pointing to whatever you may be looking for.
Free - Also available for iOS
Wine & Dine
Left: Paris Pastry Shops - Right: Paris Bargain Eats
Paris Pastry Shops - iOS
Travelers with a sweet tooth might want to consider taking Paris Pastry Shops along for the ride. Writer, blogger, and pastry David Lebovitz sampled a wide range of what Paris has to offer and picked his favorite bakeries, pastry, chocolate, ice cream, and candy shops. Each entry includes photos, a brief blurb from the author, and information such as phone number, closest metro station, website, and business hours.
Paris Bargain Eats - iOS
Budget-minded travelers seeking an affordable, yet memorable meal while visiting gay Paris might be advised to download this dining app. The developers did all the leg work and list reasonably priced restaurants that maintain a high amount of quality and flavor. I particularly think the built in Euro - Dollar convertor a small, but helpful addition for tourists.
Nightlife & Travel Necessities
Left: iNight Paris - Right: SpeakEasy French
iNight Paris - iOS
Seeking a little night life while in Paris? iNight Paris is a concise and perfect directory to find everything from bars, restaurants, night clubs, or fast food to pharmacies, gas stations, and florists.
SpeakEasy French - iOS
Is your French a little lacking? Perhaps it may be wise to invest in the SpeakEasy French phrasebook app, especially in a proud nation where speaking French first is appreciated (Parisians are extremely helpful, but especially so when tourists at least first attempt to use French before English).. Catered specifically to those who speak English, SpeakEasy helps with pronunciation, allowing to slow down the audio to better comprehend how to say the phrases. The app doesn’t require a data connection, and includes 800 essential travel phrases which will come in handy in many common travel situations.
$4.00 (On sale now for $2.00) - Also available for Android / Windows Phone
(Image credits: Gregory Han; Presselite / Free Travel & Tourist Guide; EverTech / The Paris Apartment; Musee du Louvre / TripBox; Secrets of Paris / Kit-Yin Snyder; NightStudio / Pocketglow Inc.)