The Best of Travel Guide Apps:
London Edition

The Best of Travel Guide Apps:
London Edition

Jason Rodway
Jun 19, 2013

Amongst global destinations, London ranks amongst the top of the pops. Every year 27 million visitors make way to London for its rich history, culture, cuisine, music, art, fashion and design scene. From the city's 240 museums, its rich history spanning to Roman times, vibrant street art, and fine dining scene, there's all too much to experience without a guide. Here's a selection of the best mobile apps to load to enrich your visit to the city first known as Londinium...

Getting Around and Accommodations

Left: London Transport Live - Right:

There are many ways to get around the 600 square mile metropolis, including the famous Tube or on a double decker bus. The London Transport Live app simplifies travel across the city, routing journeys via the London Transit. Users can refer to the app to check on which lines are running on time to avoid delays. Of course, one of London's famous black taxi cabs are available throughout the city to call upon too. Free - Also available for Windows Phone

The popular hotel search site is available for all three smartphone platforms, allowing users to look up top lodging candidates based on location, reviews, prices, and ratings. Once agreeable lodgings are found, simply book a room for the duration of a stay right from the app. Free - iOS / Android / Windows Phone

City Maps and Shopping Guide 

Left: Tripomatic - Right: London Luxury Quarter

Organizing a vacation itinerary in advance is one of the best ways to maximize a trip while reducing the chances of things going awry. Tripomatic is an all-in-one organizer where travelers can assign different destinations each day, piecing together a personalized travel itinerary, with the app offering a reliable offline map with the addition of an informative city guide (note: the offline map requires a $3 in-app purchase). Free - Also available for Android

PocketGuide: Travel Guide for London - iOS
Looking for a tour guide led experience without the actual herded tour group misery? PocketGuide's series of city specific audio tours serves up offline maps, GPS tracking, and the option to share 3D video of travel moments with friends. The app is free while on network with the option to download an offline copy to avoid high roaming charges. Free - Also available for Android

If your ideal holiday consists of perusing the wares at high-end boutiques, the London Luxury Quarter can prove a useful guide for shopping one of the most fashionable cities on the planet. LLQ's main feature is its search function, providing details and recommendations based upon the availability of luxury brands such as Coach, Chanel, Burberry, or Mr. Hare. In the instance you may find yourself strolling down Bond Street, the Burlington Arcade, or the Lanes of Mayfair, the app will notify which luxury shopping and dining experiences are nearby. Free

Tourist Attractions 

When the Romans first began building what was then called Londinium by the River Thames, it was a much smaller settlement stretching only 350 acres. History buffs longing for a different time period will love how Streetmuseum brings Londinium back to our time with an augmented reality feature which superimposes the past over the present. Witness the Temple of Mithras or the amphitheater screened over modern buildings. Streetmuseum offers the addition of a fascinating read with all of its virtual imagery, walking users through Londonium's development from 49 AD to the London today like your very own virtual historian. Free

Visit Stratford

Visit Stratford - Android
We recommend you take a stroll through Stratford, a very Victorian (and very quaint) section of London, popular for its good food, attractions, shops, and hotels. This free app guide offers information about Stratford's notable local shops, eateries, events, and hotels, all presented in a very easy to navigate and efficient interface without the need for a constant connection. Free - Also available for iOS

Wine and Dine 

Left: London's Best Coffee - Right: Hardens Restaurant Guide

Britain's weather is legendary for its indecisiveness, so visitors may find themselves in need of a respite from an unexpected grey day of rain.  London's Best Coffee will help cold and lethargic travelers find the closest cup of brew to warm up from a list of 150 independent coffee shops and stalls using geotagging. Each listing is complete with photos, reviews, brew method, menu, contact info, and location. $3 - Also available for iOS

Harden's Restaurant Guide is a trusted guide made famous for their brutal honesty regarding Britain's restaurants and pubs. In app form all of their information and opinions are compiled into an interface where users can digest reviews, menus, prices, photos and recommendations to find the perfect British dining experience. Unlike a magazine or ebook, the app is consistently updated with the latest in restaurant reviews. $10

Nightlife and Traveling Necessities 

Left: London Pub Crawls - Right: Flight+

A trip to Britain would be incomplete without popping into an authentic public house to absorb some local color. London Pub Crawls narrows down over 7,000 establishments down to 160 recommendations, helping direct a truly English evening. Read up on each pub's notable qualities, browse photos, and plan a night ahead before a pint or two clouds better judgement. $6 - Also available for iOS

Flight+ - iOS
Keeping flight information ahead of time is as important while traveling as a pre-planned itinerary once you've landed. What more convenient place to keep flight information than on the smartphone? Flight+ keeps track of flight arrivals, boarding gates, and the flight status. On top of being a flight tracker with sleek menus and layout, Flight+ has a world clock, alongside weather and airport maps which are incredibly handy for navigating a new airport. $4

Other Honorable Mentions:

(Images: Gregory Han; as linked above)

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