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London apps you need to have on your phone

10th June 2019

Man in a suit on his phone

Living in London can sometimes feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of apps that make the hustle and bustle of the city more manageable. From apps that help you find your way on public transport, to ones that tell you the best places that you can eat, read on to discover which ones you should be downloading.

Citymapper

London underground

If you’re working in London, especially in a lawyer job, you’re likely to have to travel around the city for meetings. Even those who have lived in London for years still need some assistance in direction every now and again, this is when the Citymapper app comes in handy. After downloading the app, you’ll have easy access to London routes including walking, tube, bus, rail, taxi and cycle. The app will highlight the easiest route, the time it will take, plus it’ll highlight any diversions. Never miss a meeting, or be late for work, with the Citymapper app, it’s popular for locals and tourists alike.

We spoke to Helena from Helena Alyssa – a food, travel and lifestyle blog – to reveal her favourite apps to use in London, she says: “I couldn't go a day without Citymapper! Also, for somebody who doesn't know London Citymapper is the best you can get. You can never get lost and it shows you the quickest routes for getting around as well as maps and the costs, it comes in so handy!”

Helena is not the only one who regularly uses Citymapper to navigate around the capital as food, lifestyle and travel blogger Erin, from Island Bell, agrees: “Citymapper is my go-to for navigating around London, and giving me all the travel options available to me.”

Nez

Buying your lunch every day at local cafés is a quick and easy way to fuel yourself plus, with many professional jobs, you’ll find you continue to work during your lunch break. However, when you’re paying for food every day, the cost can add up high after time, which is why having an app that provides you with money-off is perfect. The Nez app helps people discover food offers and discounts close to their location in London.

Helena Alyssa continues: “I love Nez, it tells you the best food deals for lunch in the area you're in and there's always something different on it every day! You can also collect points to get freebies like free coffees and food. If you sign up to Nez online you can get your first 125 points for free.”

Not My Style

Shopping through a clothing rail

In London, you are surrounded by an abundance of clothing shops, from big brands to little boutiques. If you’re a conscious consumer, it may be difficult to choose somewhere that follows your values, but the Not My Style app makes it easy. Essentially, the app tells shoppers how much high-street stores share information on their social responsibility. They use twenty-two key indicators, including whether the store discloses their actions against child labour and working conditions. Once the app has gathered the information, it rates the store with one of three labels; ‘shop’, ’think’ and ‘stop’, helping you decide on your shopping decision.

Erin from Island Bell says: “I recommend Not My Style, it gives you a map of the shops around you, and rates them on how transparent the brands are about the men and women who make your clothes.” If you’re living in London and are concerned about the impact of your shopping habits, then this app is perfect for you to download now.

Best Coffee

Woman on her phone in a coffee shop

One thing London doesn’t lack is cafés, so much so that it can be hard to decide where to go for your next coffee-fix. However, an app that may make your decision easier is the Best Coffee Guide, whose creators want to make sure you never need to drink a bad coffee again. The creators of Best Coffee Guide have tried and tested cafés across the globe, and you can access their reviews and ratings on each for free by downloading the app. The Best Coffee Guide is another great recommendation by Erin from Island Bell, who says: “it does exactly what it says on the tin – it finds the best coffee shops!”

Santander Cycles

Otherwise known as Boris Bikes, the Santander Cycles app allows you to hire a bike and travel around the city with ease. The app isn’t a compulsory part of the scheme; however, it allows the process to be a lot swifter by informing you with docking station information, live bike and space availability, an interactive map and the ability to see recent journeys and charges. This is a great app if you want to knock exercise off your to-do list whilst heading to work – and you’ll spot many other cyclists travelling to and from work.

OpenTable

People gathered around for a dinner party

Sometimes it can be hard to find last minute reservations in a busy place such as London, which is exactly why the OpenTable app is so useful. You’ll be able to book a table from hundreds of restaurants on the app, plus you’ll earn rewards every time you book and dine. Discover restaurants based on your preferences; date and time, location, and cuisine. You can even invite guests to RSVP from the app, making a last-minute dinner arrangement after work much simpler.  

Deliveroo

It’s no surprise that Deliveroo makes the list, as sometimes there is nothing better than enjoying a tasty, well-cooked meal from the comfort of your own home. In London, there are plenty of different types of cuisine and restaurants to choose from that will cook you a delicious meal and pass it on to be delivered straight to your door. It’s the perfect app to have installed ready for the rainy days when you don’t feel like cooking.

Natural History Museum

Dinosaur bones natural history museum

If you’re wondering what to do on the weekend, then download the Natural History Museum app and head to South Kensington. Learn something new from the 80 million specimens across the museum’s different exhibitions. The app takes you on a guided tour and talks you through facts and discoveries, as narrated by Sir David Attenborough. It will also keep you up to date with the latest events and exhibitions.

Whether you have recently secured a legal job in London or you have lived in the city all of your life, there are plenty of apps that will be useful for you. For quick reference, here are our favourites:

  • Citymapper
  • Nez
  • Not My Style
  • Best Coffee
  • Santander Cycles
  • OpenTable
  • Deliveroo
  • Natural History Museum