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  • Writer's pictureWill von Behr, MA

13 Essential Apps for Travellers Visiting London in 2023


London, oh what a dazzling maze of history and culture it is! And boy, can it be overwhelming, right? But don't sweat. I've got the digital toolkit that will turn you from tourist to local in no time. Here are my absolute go-to apps - the real deal in 2023 - that help me nail every London visit. Whether you're weaving through that massive public transport web, seeking out secret spots, or snagging those theatre tickets at the eleventh hour, these apps are your London survival kit.

map showing a pin in London

Our 13 Best Apps for London in 2023

In no particular order...


Keep reading for more info on these top London apps.


Navigating London with Ease

Navigating a bustling city like London can be daunting, especially for first-time visitors. But with the right apps at your disposal, you’ll be able to explore London like a pro. In this section, we’ll introduce you to the top apps for getting around London, including public transportation, bike rentals, and walking directions. With these apps in your arsenal, you’ll be able to confidently navigate the city and make the most of your time in London.

Let’s dive into the details of each app and see how they can enhance your London experience!


1. Citymapper London App

screenshots of citymapper app

Citymapper London App, also known as the Citymapper app, is the ultimate navigation tool for exploring London. It offers an integrated travel experience by combining multiple transportation options, live timings, and route suggestions. This must-have app for visiting London also includes the London bus app feature.

  • Saves journeys for offline use

  • Displays transport options with live timing between any two locations in the city

  • Estimates the time needed for different transport methods

  • Calculates the calories burned when walking

It also provides real-time departures and disruptions and advises the best carriage to choose on the tube for quick exit at the destination. Available for both Android and iOS, Citymapper’s offline maps make navigating London a breeze, even without an internet connection.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


2. Santander Cycles App

screenshots of Santander Cycles app


Cycling is a fantastic way to explore London, and the Santander Cycles App makes it easy to:

  • Rent bikes and plan your cycling journey

  • Receive release codes directly to your phone for expedited bike hire

  • View real-time cycle and docking space availability

  • Review recent activity, hires, and charges

  • Plot routes

  • Save preferred docking locations

By using the Santander Cycles App, you’ll be able to swiftly locate nearby docking stations with available bikes and spaces, ensuring a seamless cycling experience in London.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


3. TfL Oyster App

screenshots of tfl oyster app

Managing your Oyster card and using London’s public transportation system is a breeze with the TfL Oyster App. This essential app lets you:

  • Top up your pay as you go credit

  • Purchase adult rate Travelcards

  • View your journey history and cost

  • Check your pay as you go balance

With the TfL Oyster App in hand, you’ll be able to easily move around London, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience while exploring the city’s countless attractions.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


4. Google Maps

screenshots of google maps app

When it comes to walking and public transportation directions in London, Google Maps is a reliable ally. This popular app provides directions, real-time traffic updates, and other location-based details to help you easily explore the city. With features like toll prices, mall and airport directories, eco-friendly routes, and real-time traffic conditions, Google Maps ensures you have all the information you need to navigate London confidently.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


Exploring London's Attractions

London is a city packed with world-famous attractions, but it’s also home to many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. In this section, we’ll introduce you to the best apps for exploring London’s attractions, events, and itinerary planning. These apps will help you uncover the city’s must-see sights and lesser-known treasures, ensuring a truly unforgettable experience.


These travel apps offer comprehensive information on attractions, events, and itinerary planning, making it easy for you to plan your trip and discover the city’s most exciting offerings.


5. Urbs Travel App

Screenshots of Urbs app

Our Urbs Travel App is a personalized travel guide offering curated recommendations for attractions, events, and experiences in London. With the Urbs Travel App, you’ll receive tailored suggestions based on your interests and preferences, ensuring you make the most of your time in the city. It offers:

  • Original Audio Content: The app includes a library of over 700 engaging audio descriptions written by cultural experts and narrated by professional voice-over artists.

  • Local Recommendations: Discover over 1,500 restaurants, bars, and shops recommended by local writers.

  • Customizable Routes: Users can create their own city routes based on their preferences, either from scratch or by modifying curated routes to suit interests, schedule, and budget.

  • Ticket Booking: The app allows users to find out which locations require tickets and book attractions and activities in advance to avoid queues.

  • Curated Information: The app provides curated and specific information about important points of interest in a city.

  • Self-Guided Audio Tours: Urbs offers immersive self-guided audio tours, offering a rich travel experience.

  • GPS Guided Tours: The tours and guides provided by Urbs are GPS enabled, ensuring easy navigation.

From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, Urbs will help you uncover the best that London has to offer.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


6. Tiqets App

Screenshots of Tiqets app

Say goodbye to long lines at cultural landmarks with Tiqets, the app that opens doors to culture. With instant ticket delivery and Skip the Line options, you'll never miss out on your dream London destinations.

The app is your trusted guide, offering a comprehensive list of London's must-see attractions and hidden gems. From planning your itinerary to flexible booking options, Tiqets ensures your London trip is hassle-free and enriching. With Tiqets in your pocket, you'll feel more prepared and connected to the vibrant culture of London.



7. Visit London App

screenshots of visit london app

The Visit London App is your ultimate companion for planning your trip to London. It offers:

  • Insider tips

  • Must-see sights

  • Free activities

  • Information on accommodation, tickets, and offers

This comprehensive app empowers you to make the most of your London experience, ensuring you have everything you need at your fingertips.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned London explorer, the Visit London App is essential for discovering the city’s top attractions.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


8. London Pass App

Screenshots of London Pass App

The London Pass App offers the following features:

  • Access to over 80 attractions

  • Fast track entry

  • Exclusive deals and discounts

  • Easy planning of visits to London’s top attractions

  • Skip lines

  • Special discounts on a variety of experiences

With this app, you can make the most of your time in London and enjoy a seamless sightseeing experience.

From world-famous landmarks to hidden gems, the London Pass App is your key to unlocking the best of London.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


London Dining and Nightlife

London’s dining and nightlife scene is diverse and vibrant, offering something for everyone. In this section, we’ll introduce the best apps for finding the top dining and nightlife options in London, including restaurant reservations, pub recommendations, and coffee shop suggestions. With these apps in hand, you’ll be able to indulge in the city’s culinary delights and enjoy its lively nightlife.


These London apps offer a range of features, such as restaurant reservations, pub recommendations, and coffee shop suggestions, making it easy for you to discover the best dining and nightlife options in London.


9. OpenTable

screenshots of opentable app

OpenTable is a popular dining app for London visitors, allowing you to book restaurants, browse menus, and read reviews with ease. With a network of over 52,000 restaurants worldwide and a loyalty program that rewards users with points for free meals, OpenTable makes finding and reserving a table in London a breeze.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner or a casual lunch, OpenTable has you covered.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


10. The Pub Finder

Screenshots of Pub Finder app

Locate and rate the best pubs in London with The Pub Finder app, which features local and visitor recommendations. This app provides a comprehensive map of all pubs in London, with submissions made by both locals and visitors. Users can rate pubs they’ve visited, contributing to an overall score that helps you find the perfect spot for a pint.

With The Pub Finder in hand, discovering London’s best pubs has never been easier.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


London Theater and Entertainment

London’s theatre scene is world-renowned, offering an incredible array of performances and experiences. In this section, we’ll introduce you to the best apps for experiencing London’s theatre and entertainment, including show recommendations, discounted tickets, and exclusive access to performances. With these apps, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant theatre scene and enjoy unforgettable shows.

To make the most of your London theatre experience, we recommend the Stagedoor and TodayTix apps. These apps offer show recommendations, discounted tickets, and exclusive access to performances, ensuring you’ll be able to experience London’s theatre scene to the fullest.

11. Stagedoor

Screenshots of stagedoor app

Stagedoor is an app designed for theatre enthusiasts, helping you discover hidden theatre gems, read reviews, and book tickets with ease. Focusing on lesser-known venues and newly-released shows, Stagedoor organizes plays according to different criteria, such as reviews, most acclaimed, near you, and more. With the ability to follow other users and critics, you can gain valuable insight into a production before booking your tickets.

Stagedoor is the perfect way to uncover London’s thriving theatre scene. With its comprehensive selection of shows and venues, you can easily find the perfect show for you.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


12. TodayTix

Screenshots of TodayTix app

Finding affordable theatre tickets in London is a breeze with TodayTix, an app that offers exclusive deals, last minute offers, and a wide selection of shows. Available for Android and iOS, TodayTix provides users access to discounted theatre tickets and deals, ensuring you can experience the best of London’s theatre scene without breaking the bank. With the convenience to purchase tickets in-app, you’ll never miss out on the excitement of live performances.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.


London Weather

London’s weather can be unpredictable, which is why it’s essential to stay prepared with an accurate and reliable weather app. This section introduces you to the Met Office Weather app, a trusted source for hourly and daily weather forecasts, warnings, and estimated rainfall in London.

With this app, you can plan your activities and ensure you’re always dressed for the weather.


13. Met Office Weather

Screenshots of Met Office app

The Met Office Weather app is an essential tool for staying updated on London’s weather conditions. Providing hourly and daily weather forecasts, warnings, and estimated rainfall, this app ensures you have the most accurate and up-to-date information at your fingertips.

With the Met Office Weather app, you can confidently plan your London adventures, knowing you’ll be prepared for whatever the weather has in store.


Download from Google Play or Apple App store.



Summary

In conclusion, these apps will help you make the most of your London experience, from navigating the city and discovering hidden gems to finding the best dining and entertainment options. With the right apps at your fingertips, you’ll be well-equipped to explore and enjoy everything London has to offer. So, why wait? Start planning your unforgettable London adventure today!


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best London Underground map as an app?

For the best London Underground map app, Tube Map - London Underground is the obvious choice. It’s easy to use and works both on and offline. It includes the official TfL iconic Harry Beck London Underground map design as well as additional map views for the TfL Night Tube and Rail Network.



What is the best app for navigating London's public transportation system?

If you’re looking for the best app to help you navigate London’s public transportation system, the Citymapper London App is an excellent choice. It provides an integrated travel experience with multiple transportation options, live timings, and route suggestions.


Which app is recommended for finding the best pubs in London?

With its comprehensive search options and impressive rating system, the Pub Finder app is your best bet for finding top-notch pubs in London.

It’s easy to use, with a simple interface that makes it easy to find the perfect pub for any occasion. It also offers detailed reviews and ratings from other users, so you can be sure you’re getting the best experience.

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There may be affiliate links on this page! That just means if you click on a link, find a ticket you like and buy it, we might make some cash. Don’t worry, you won’t pay any extra – sometimes you might even get a tasty discount. It’s a win for us and a win for you too!

Download the app
and start exploring

So, what are you waiting for? Download the Urbs app today and bring your travel dreams to life.

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