Travel apps are the new guidebooks, but choosing which to download for your next trip can be daunting. That’s why we’ve gathered the top travel apps to gets you feeling at home in a new city in no time. Happy travels!

Visiting a new destination is thrilling, but finding your way around an unfamiliar city can be a daunting task. You want to discover a city’s hidden pleasures but, of course, you want to avoid substandard meals or hours of wandering in circles.

Lonely Planet Guides

A staple of the travelling scene for over 40 years, it was only a matter of time until the Lonely Planet got in on the app game. While not offering much off the beaten track, the insights provided by Lonely Planet Guides are pretty solid.

The app comes with a simple, clean UI to enable easy navigation as you traverse new streets, while the audio phrase-books can give you the confidence to start engaging with locals like a pro.

Lonely Planet has always been a firm favourite in the traveller’s itinerary. That’s thanks in large part to the reliable recommendations. With the essential tips in this app, you can ditch the guidebooks without losing the knowledge.

Using smartphone apps with 4G to find tourist destinations

Sidekix

OK, so there’s a thousand apps out there promising to show you the top hidden spots in any given city. Most of these apps probably have a few hidden gems too but, for a consistently reliable exploration tool, Sidekix has to our first choice.

With curated listings specially chosen by locals, the app gives you a personalised insight into new cities.

The real gem of Sidekix, however, lies in its interest-based routeing. The app doesn’t just give you directions to reach your destination, it selects routes based on what you can see and do on the way, so every step offers the opportunity for discovery.

Hotel guests tracking their route in a new city using smartphone data

Spotted by Locals

Spotted by Locals does exactly what it says on the tin – recommending the best local hangouts to check out in a new area.

The app is pretty versatile, allowing you to choose local venues based on your interests and even specify further. Looking for food? Choose from a huge range of cuisines across hundreds of cities. After some entertainment? Spotted by Locals comes with a whole host of categories to ensure you find just what you’re looking for.

With regular updates on all the latest shows, events and haunts, Spotted by Locals could well be your new favourite travel companion.

Using guest smartphone with mobile data to find tourist spots

Sit or Squat

We’ve all been there. You’re exploring a new area when nature calls, but you don’t know where to go without causing an international incident. Step forward Sit or Squat, the toilet-finding app that rates latrines based on such vital attributes as their cleanliness and accessibility.

Of course, Sit or Squat probably won’t help you discover the secret spots of a new city, it probably won’t help you find your new favourite hangout and it definitely won’t lead to any incredible photo opportunities. What it will do, however, is help you find a clean public restroom, and that can be just as important, especially if you’re regretting that seafood dish the night before.

The app allows you to add new locations and spread the word about the best restrooms in town, although why anyone would want to read toilet reviews on holiday is another matter altogether.

A toilet finding app to discover new locations while travelling with free data

EatWith

How do you tap into the vibe of a new city? Some people will tell you it’s by talking to the locals. Others will say it’s all about getting acquainted with the local cuisine. Well, EatWith takes both of those and combines them to give you a dining experience you’ll never forget.

EatWith has created a community of dedicated foodies and uber-sociable home chefs to give you the real taste of a new city. Just download the app, check out the menus in your area and book a seat.

The app comes with an added advantage – every meal is eaten around a communal table with other strangers, allowing you to meet new and interesting people from all walks of life while chowing down on delicious local cuisine. Bon appetit!

Finding food in a new city with free data roaming and travel apps

Trippy

Like a lot of great ideas, Trippy’s appeal lies in its simplicity. Download the app, ask a question to the community regarding a new place or an upcoming trip and make decisions based on the feedback.

Not only does Trippy provide a platform to learn about great events and experiences, it allows you to contribute your own responses. This gives you the opportunity to develop your reputation as a tastemaker while giving visitors to your area a real local experience.

Because the app works on a rating system, you can see which responses have the highest number of ‘Likes’, and begin to build your trip around this advice.

Discover and track new places with unlimited free data abroad

Dark Sky

Every now and then, travelling requires you to relinquish control and accept whatever comes your way. One thing definitely beyond your control when exploring a new city is the weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t coordinate your day around what you know.

Step forward Dark Sky, the most accurate hyper-local weather report app around. With to-the-minute forecasts, you can traverse a new city and know exactly what the weather will be like at all times.

With stunning, detailed maps and real-time updates, Dark Sky could mean the difference between a day of unspoilt exploration or a miserable sodden slog.

View weather patterns in real time using free mobile data abroad

HearPlanet

Think about the first time you explored a new location – what senses come to mind? Well, HearPlanet is here to give you an aural-jolt to the senses. As the world’s largest audio guide, you can explore hundreds of thousands of locations with the aid of a personal tour guide.

For such a remarkably simple concept, HearPlanet is insanely handy. Not only can you choose from a range of great tours with filters to find exactly what you’re looking for, you can add your own, personalised tour for others to enjoy later.

For an added bonus, give HearPlanet a try in your native city. You never know what you might find out.

Find the best personal walking tours with free hotel smartphone

Citymapper

One of the hardest parts of getting to grips with a new city is the transport. What might seem like a logical network to locals can look like a baffling maze to the uninitiated.

That’s why Citymapper, the app for all things transport-based, is so useful. It’s the ultimate tool for navigating confusing routes, giving you details on every possible mode of transport in your new city while helping manoeuvre the often bewildering intricacies of foreign transport networks.

What separates Citymapper from the array of other travel apps out there is its common sense approach. The app provides regular updates to ensure all routeing info is relevant while providing the simplest, cheapest and most direct routes.

Using a city mapping app while exploring a new city with 4G data roaming

ChefsFeed

Looking for the best culinary offerings in a new city can be a challenging experience. You want an authentic experience, but not necessarily one that involves unfortunate mistranslations and dodgy dishes.

ChefsFeed takes the guesswork out of finding the best restaurants by asking top chefs for their recommendations. The easy to navigate UI lets you read reviews from the best in the business, while the chef profiles allow you to see videos and stories on every aspect of the industry.

Picture Yelp or TripAdvisor, but with all the reviews done by industry specialists. Say goodbye to sub-par pasta, rubbish roasts and mediocre meze. Say hello to delicious dishes from some of the world’s top chefs!

Find incredible food by top chefs with luxury hotel smartphones

So there you have it; just a few of the best apps to make the most of your next city trip. Of course, when you’re in a new country, it can be difficult to get mobile data without incurring significant charges. With a Genie phone, you can stay connected all day long, wherever you are, and it won’t cost a thing.

Ben Graham

Author Ben Graham

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