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-   -   Best Apps for USA Family Traveling To London (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/u-k-ireland/1897570-best-apps-usa-family-traveling-london.html)

jsnydcsa Mar 7, 18 2:23 pm

Best Apps for USA Family Traveling To London
 
Though Mrs. and I travel from USA to LHR for work, those are mostly short trips without much sightseeing at all. Now, we're going with two kids (age 6 and 8) and planning on doing some touring around. Any LHR/tourism related apps anyone would suggest? Will have the usual Maps, wx, airline, flight tracking apps, but nothing tourism (or more specifically LHR-tourism) related stuff and would appreciate any suggestions.

Tx!

Ldnn1 Mar 7, 18 5:09 pm

No idea about tourism apps, but for getting around make sure you have Citymapper. It's the best of the lot and covers all modes of transport.

If you like theatre, download Today Tix - it has daily 'rush' tickets released at 10am UK time which can be pretty good.

TWA884 Mar 7, 18 10:48 pm

I like the Michelin Travel app, basically, it it the Green Guide on your phone. (iOS, Play Google)

garykung Mar 7, 18 11:40 pm

What you need depends on where you go for tourism.

lhrsfo Mar 8, 18 4:18 am

Absolutely agree that Citymapper is a must for all London based transport. Uber as well, obviously. I use BusLondon quite a bit as, although Citymapper shares the same feed, it gives a few more options if you know how to use it. Beyond that, I would guess the London equivalents of whatever apps you regularly use at home.

Do be aware that some of these apps suck in quite a lot of data which can be expensive if roaming. A local SIM really helps with this, and makes calling restaurants etc. much easier.

WorldLux Mar 8, 18 7:10 am

Not sure if the bug still occurs but I noticed a while back that offline maps had trouble with routes involving buses.

The TFL app may be interesting if you plan to use Oystercards (rather than contactless). It doesn't do much aside from managing Oystercards.

I'm not a massive fans of tourist apps. They tend to be out of date rather quickly. There are plenty of websites that provide info on exhibitions, events, etc.

flatlander Mar 10, 18 4:21 am

Download the PDF Tube and London Connections maps from the TFL website and save them to your phone. You'll be wanting to refer to them underground.

Above ground, Google Maps works well.

Several of the major museums, such as the British Museum, have their own apps with maps of the interior.

Other than that, I suggest consulting web search and websites rather than using apps; the information is more specific and up to date.

I assume you'll have a generous data allowance on your device; if not, get a local SIM. United Kingdom | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia has a comprehensive list and the topic has been discussed in several threads in this forum.

xooz Mar 10, 18 11:53 am

Any experiences with offline map applications? I have tried to download enough of Google maps offline to use in London but that doesn't seem to drill down as deep as I had hoped. Tried Here We Go which actually had a better downloaded map but i didn't like the interface as well. Any others?

BOSOGG Mar 10, 18 12:21 pm



Google Trips app.

or, at the risk of being old fashioned...
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide London


:D! Mar 10, 18 2:16 pm


Originally Posted by xooz (Post 29508085)
Any experiences with offline map applications? I have tried to download enough of Google maps offline to use in London but that doesn't seem to drill down as deep as I had hoped. Tried Here We Go which actually had a better downloaded map but i didn't like the interface as well. Any others?

I use Galileo but it takes a bit of getting used to

LindaTerrill Mar 11, 18 6:19 am

The Walking Tour app is pretty basic, but it will give you routing and key sights (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, etc.) along the route.

dddc Mar 18, 18 6:18 pm

Forget Uber. Try the Carrot Cabs app for normally cheaper and fixed fee taxi rides. Or Minicabit for a list of quotes from various cab companies.

On the Thames Clipper, the commuter riverboat service, they have an app you can download and hear the story of the river as you pass by. A cheaper option, and more comfortable than some of the tourist boats.

lcylocal Mar 20, 18 9:52 am


Originally Posted by dddc (Post 29540343)
Forget Uber. Try the Carrot Cabs app for normally cheaper and fixed fee taxi rides. Or Minicabit for a list of quotes from various cab companies.

On the Thames Clipper, the commuter riverboat service, they have an app you can download and hear the story of the river as you pass by. A cheaper option, and more comfortable than some of the tourist boats.

Without getting into the rights and wrongs of Uber, it is probably the most popular app in the city for minicabs. Carrot cars is east London/Canary Wharf based so likely to be more useful in that area than others. Mytaxi seems to have cornered the market for black taxis.

Thames Clipper offers a discount for buying tickets through the app compared to paper tickets.

None of the LHR apps are that good but there is an app for the airport which has a useful directory/map feature and an app for Heathrow Express, however tickets can just be saved to Apple wallet without the app.

If you wanted to use it the Santander Cycle Hire app is much easier to use than hiring from the screens on the docking stations.

jsnydcsa Apr 9, 18 12:50 pm

We're back. Good time. +1 for a family member's suggestion to go to Bath and the Cotswolds. Excellent. The kids loved all the history of Bath. Not an "app" but still...

A London-based family member swore by Uber. But, I was perfectly happy with myTaxi (saw an ad for it somewhere and downloaded it on the spot for our first ride). The kids got a kick out of riding in London cabs. But, nearly all (7+ rides) of my drivers didn't seem fully familiar with how it worked - esp. that they were being paid via the app.

Same family member got us a Tube/train map that was excellent (and worked offline). Was extremely helpful in helping us use Tube and trains. Top tip. I long ago learned that - as a tourist - you should stay well out of the way of the commuters moving along. Or else, follow them b/c they know where to go. More than once I saw tourists stop dead in their tracks to look at a map, app, etc. and nearly get run over by the surging commuters. The tube/train app was great b/c we could sit and plan out where we were going and what to do before plunging down into the station.

+1 for Oyster cards. Definitely.


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