I lived in London for two years, and went from someone who didn’t know the difference between the tube and the overground, to someone who could navigate brunch, a gig, and three birthday dinners in one day. Still kinda not sure about the difference between the tube and the overground, though. Don’t even get me started on National Rail. Anyway, here are a few good apps you highkey need on your phone if you’re living in London.
It’s literally no exaggeration to say Citymapper has saved my life on multiple occasions. Being new to London, drunk and lost could have found me in some pretty terrible situations if it weren’t for the ease of using Citymapper. If you live in London, there’s literally no other app that compares. It’ll tell you the minute details of how to get to your destination, and pop up with fun quirks along the way, too. Seriously, when you want to know which bus to catch and where to change and what end of the tube to get on, Google Maps just doesn’t cut it.
If you’re looking for things to do in London, I’m kind of obsessed with Dojo. It has a really lovely interface and makes finding cool bars, restaurants and things to do super easy. I also really love reading their descriptions of events and places – they have a genuinely hilarious tone of voice, so it’s always entertaining to read about what’s going on in London. The app’s chock full of places to eat and drink, but also has area guides events, and even divides into categories like “date night” and “late nights”.
This one is handy all around the world, but especially in London where there’s so much live music competing to get inside your ear canals at any one time. You just let the app know what bands you like by connecting to iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, LastFM or whatever you’re using to listen to music, and it updates you when your faves are in town. There have been so many cheap gigs for bands I’ve found because of this app.
Sometimes the best part of living in London is getting out of London. With its five airports and close proximity to Europe, I’d say there’s probably no better place in the world to live if you love spontaneous travel. Seriously, is there a better place? If so, I wanna go there. Anyway, to find the cheapest flights you can’t go past Skyscanner. If you don’t care where you go, you can even search “Everywhere” to find cheap flights for a weekend break. I’ve picked my next travel destination purely with this function in the app, and it’s resulted in some great spontaneous adventures.
Lastly, this one’s worth a mention if you’re new to London, although I never used it much. The gods of everything happening in London, TimeOut is a free magazine (you get it on Tuesday mornings at tube stations) and they also have an app. Because they have such a huge readership, just know that everything you see on TimeOut is going to be overrun with everyone in London who has the exact same idea as you. If a “secret” restaurant, cafe, or bar is in TimeOut, it’s no longer secret, at all.
Any other suggestions for apps you need in London, Europe, or just life in general? Lemme know. And if you’re hunting for travel inspo or just want a stalk, check out my Instagram.