London is a massive city, and for those new to the City, it can be a little overwhelming. But with the right applications downloaded onto your iPhone or Android device, your trip can be made a lot more comfortable.
Apps are a great additional for exploring a city and can make sure that you don’t get lost. They can assist you in finding the most popular tourist spots to visit, or help when you travel on the tube – something that most non-Londoners have difficulty with (and even some Londoners if we’re being honest).
Fortunately, most of the useful apps are free when you visit London, and although some are paid, they can still be worth downloading. Here are some mobile apps available for iPhone and Android that you’ll need to download on your next visit to the UK’s capital.
12 Awesome London Apps for the Tube, Travel and General Tourism
London is well known for its public transport, but there are various different ways to get around the city.
This includes the tube, the train, London buses, black cabs, cycling routes and more. We’re going to run through all of the must haves for the average person when visiting London.
Three Apps for getting the Tube around London
Londons public transport is amazing and varied, with the Tube being the best way to travel through the city for most people. Here’s a few of the best apps to download if you plan on getting the Tube in London.
The first app that you should download when visiting London is the Tube Map app. This is an interactive map that allows users to quickly learn the Tube maps of London without getting overwhelmed.
It’s an award-winning navigation application to the London Underground, and the app shows the arrival times, prices on different routes as well as live departures from each tube station too.
You can also use this app to check for delays and closures of certain lines. One of the best things about Tube Maps is that it can be used offline.
Offline maps means you don’t need to worry about phone signal (something that’s few and far between on certain tube lines (looking at you, Jubilee line).
If you want to download the official app for those wanting to access London via Tubes, you need to download TfL Go.
It’s worth downloading as the map includes a tube map, as well as live bus and trains times to all stations too. It also features the quietest hours to travel if you want to avoid rush hour.
This is a useful app to download if you plan to walk/bike around London on your trip too. You can download the app on iOS or Android to help you find the easiest route around London.
London Tube Live App
This is an official London Underground map that has sections for each train line with live arrivals, and it’s really useful for keeping up with live times.
Though it doesn’t have much more information than the two previously mentioned apps, it gives a unique view of the iconic tube map that many users prefer.
It’s available on both iOS and Android devices, and it’s worth downloading this award winning navigation app when exploring London.
Best London Travel Apps – Bus, Train and Rideshares
London Bus Live Countdown
The bus is one of the most convenient transport methods when you’re travelling in London. And if you plan to travel by bus, the London Bus Live Countdown app works well when showing the entire route for buses.
It also shows the arrivals and departures of all the buses across London, as well as well as the delays and cancellation details if there’s any issues.
The London Bus app also has an online travel planner that can give you information about where and how to go.
You can easily put your bus names into the favourites section within the app too if you plan on making the same journey more than once.
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers
Though river transport isn’t as well known in London as other major cities, London does have a large river running through it, making boat the best option in certain circumstances.
Uber Boats by the Thames Clippers service is a river transport system that runs exclusively on the Thames. You can use their mobile phone app to make a booking, and there’s also a website that you can use to find the stops and plan your route.
The app lets the user book tickets, but you can also view departure schedules using the app too. It’s worth making this part of your trip to London, as travelling across the river Thames will allow you to see London in a different light.
Not a common app used across other cities, Virtuo has become more popular over the past year or so. Virtuo basically helps you to rent your car easier, so you can both rent your car out and rent cars from others too.
It is the most popular phone-less rental vehicle service in the UK – it allows people to rent a luxury car in London without having to pick up keys, as you can unlock the car from the convenience of their smartphones.
Because Virtuo’s apps are essentially digital keys for the vehicle, you can easily pick up your car with just the phone. It’s a handy app to download, with the only downside being a high charge for any additional mileage that you do.
Uber is the most popular ride sharing app in London, and it’s an essential download if you can’t access public transport. Though not as useful when you’re in Central London, it becomes increasingly important when you go outside of Zone 1 and Zone 2.
There’s not much to say about Uber – it’s a great app that’s essential for route planning. You can also check out some alternative taxi apps for London if you want to get a black cab whilst you’re visiting the city.
AccessAble for Disabilities
As with most major cities, London is trying to become more accessible for those with disabilities. AccessAble is an ideal mobile app to download if you plan to travel around London with someone in a wheelchair, or even those that may struggle with stairs.
This mobile app will provide you all of the precise information needed when it comes to accessibility, and its workforce is trained surveyors that actually evaluate the area. It’s a must download for those that want to visit an accessible London.
Citymapper London app
If you plan on visiting London attractions on your bicycle, Citymapper is the best app for cycling when it comes to identifying London routes.
The Citymapper app has the most data when it comes to cycle paths, which is really important when it comes to a route planner. The city is becoming more and more cycle friendly in a plan to combat high pollution.
Citymapper is more than just a cycling app, and it has information on a lot more than just cycle routes. Though, it’s the best journey planner if you need the ability to navigate London overground on your bicycle – you may also want to download Santander Cycles too.
The Santander cycles app will allow you to rent bicycles short term in London, which can be much quicker than walking.
All you need is the bike release code and you’ll be able to rent the bike, and return it to another Santander cycles stop later in the day.
3 additional must have apps for London tourism
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum App is an excellent resource for visiting many of the finest museums in the city. There are both free and paid versions of the app, but the free app is definitely worth downloading if you want to explore the NHM.
The app provides a guide which walks you through your journey around the National History Museum, and it gives you a map of each section of the Museum. There are also some free tour options you can use within the app too.
The app has a lot of information about many London landmarks and features, and you’ll find a ton of information in this section that’s devoted not just to the Natural History Museum but all of the museums around London.
When you explore London, this is undoubtedly one of the best London apps to download if you want to make the most of your time in the capital.
London isn’t London without a visit to the theatre, and if you plan to take in a show then Stagedoor is the best app for booking theatre tickets in London.
You can buy tickets directly via the app – it’s a mix of musicals and plays, and though many of them are well known at big venues in the West End, there are some hidden gems in amongst them too.
It’s an excellent app to download if you want to watch the Lion King or the Book of Mormon on your London trip .
London Architecture Guide
London is one of the best places in the world for sightseeing, but few people really know the history of the City. If you’re interested in the history of London’s buildings, then the London Architecture Guide app is worth downloading.
Within the app you’ll find features of contemporary and historical buildings which you can then explore you can view buildings according to periods, style and architecture – there are also essays about British architectural history within the app too.
You’ll find commentary from some of the most well known and famous architect critics in the app too, so it’s worth downloading if London history is interesting to you.
We’ve tried to include all of the best apps in the UK when it comes to getting the tube, travel and tourism in general. These apps can help to make your visit a little easier.
Downloading the right travel apps when you’re in London is essential, and hopefully this guide will make your trip through London that little bit easier.