Best Apps For London

Best Apps For London  is an non-commercial blog aimed to provide you with the best apps that can be used while visiting London. The content is based on first-hand experience and product testing. The end goal is to make your smartphone/tablet a great travel companion within London.

10 Apps You Need When Visiting London - Hand Luggage Only - Travel, Food &  Photography Blog

Best Apps For London

1.) Heathrow Express
10 Essential Apps That You Need When You Visit London! (6)

The first step to any trip to London is actually getting from When arriving at London Heathrow Airport, you have a few options to get to Central London. the fastest and most convenient has got to be by Heathrow Express.

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It only takes 15 minutes to arrive in Central London (at Paddington Station) and they leave EVERY fifteen minutes.

One thing I like most about the Heathrow Express free app is that I can quickly buy my ticket while I am waiting to alight from the plane. Its connivance is its major selling point and my ticket gets downloaded straight to my iPhone (and Android devices).

2.) YPlan
10 Essential Apps That You Need When You Visit London! (7)

Ok, hands down… this free app allows you to organise your night at very short notice.

Stuck for things to do when you arrive?

Want to find something really different or unique.

YPlan curates a list of everything that is going on around you (within a distance you set) so you can make the most of your time here! It also lets you book directly through the app, so it’s super easy and fast.

3.) London’s Best Coffee
10 Essential Apps That You Need When You Visit London! (8)

So this is a paid-for app (£1.49), but I really love the concept.

We are blessed with many coffee houses in London and we obviously have lots of big brands named coffee houses too.

What I like most about this app is that it showcases some of the more independent coffee houses and stalls that showcase the best coffee in London! It’s a perfect way to explore those secret coffee houses of London.

4.) Hype!
10 Essential Apps That You Need When You Visit London! (5)

As I mentioned, London has loads of different things going on that stretch across the whole of our city. The city itself is very proud of its diverse London neighbourhoods from Shoreditch, Soho, Camden, South Bank, Notting Hill, to name a few.

What I like most about the free app from Hype! is that it allows you to discover and locate some of the most happening and trendiest places across our wonderful city.

With the option to give Hype! a shout directly through the app if you need any other help. Evening drinking cocktails underground…. sorted!

5.) London Official Events Guide: What’s On?:
10 Essential Apps That You Need When You Visit London! (4)

This app is very handy for planning your itinerary before you arrive in London and for even while you’re in London.

It works offline too and even provides reviews on restaurants, bars and cafes! It’s powered by the official Visit London team so it’s definitely worth having on your phone when you visit.

6.) Citymapper
The Top 12 FREE Travel Apps You Should Have! (12)

Talked about this before and mentioning it again as it’s a must-have app in London when it comes to planning your travel!

It helps you route how to get to your destination in the most convenient (or the fastest) way possible.

7.) Tube map
The Top 12 FREE Travel Apps You Should Have! (8)

This is basically the tube map on your phone and it’s particularly great as it works offline and can also help you plan your journey on the tube.

It’s not a particularly revolutionary one (like say the Citymapper app) but it’s definitely an essential app to have when in London.

8.) London Bus
The Top 12 FREE Travel Apps You Should Have! (9)

Chances are that you will need to use the bus at some point when in London.

And, so should you!

London buses can be quite convenient to use and not to mention a great way to catch the main sights cheaply especially if you take the bus route 4 or 88 – do remember to sit upstairs though.

The only downside with London buses is that some bus stops never tell you when you expect your next bus.

This all means you could just be sat there absolutely clueless. This app fills that knowledge gap by telling you when the next buses will arrive, where they’re going to and what stop to catch them from.

It’s so handy for visitors to London and Londoners alike!

9.) Vouchercloud
10 Essential Apps That You Need When You Visit London! (2)

London is expensive, there’s just no point beating around the bush on that one, however, one of the savviest ways to save money and still do as much stuff as you want is to check out this app which offers you vouchers on a lot of things; most importantly, on restaurants.

It’s easy to eat out as much as you’d like and still stay within budget with this app so it’s definitely a must-have when you’re visiting London.

10.) Onavo
10 Essential Apps That You Need When You Visit London! (1)

While not strictly a London based app and hence why it’s not included in the main list, this app helps you save money on your data roaming costs by compressing the information before it is received on your phone and hence keeping your costs low.

Of course, there are increasingly more free WiFi hotspots in London (which is fantastic) but when you need to use your mobile data; this is a pretty handy app to have!

uk mobile apps

  1. Citymapper
    Moving around a new city is always challenging. Whether you’re a recently-arrived expat or simply visiting for the weekend, knowing which bus to catch or when the last metro runs can be difficult. Thankfully, there are a whole host of transport apps on the market to help out.

Commuters walking from a tram in Manchester, UK
Citymapper is a public transit app that operates in some of the largest cities in the UK, including London, Manchester, and Glasgow. The app lets you plan your route using all modes of transport, from walking and cycling to trams and carshares. You can also keep track of your activity on your personal account, including money saved and distance traveled.

Other must-have UK public transport apps:
National Rail – UK-wide train information and tickets
TfL – London transport and travel information


  1. BBC iPlayer
    Looking for ways to integrate yourself into British culture? What better way to do it than by catching up with all the latest news, sports, and TV shows? Not only will this help you practice your English (or Welsh… or Scottish Gaelic), it will also give you an insight into what makes the Brits tick.

BBC iPlayer is a streaming and catch-up service from the BBC that’s also available online. The app has a range of TV shows, from the latest BBC news and current affairs to live sports and kid’s shows. You’ll also be able to download boxsets of new and classic comedies and dramas and watch offline; this is perfect for those commutes on public transport in the UK.

Other must-have UK TV catch-up apps:
All4 – Channel 4’s catch-up app with comedy, film, documentaries, and more
ITV Hub – watch the latest shows and vintage classics from ITV
My5 – a catch-up service from Channel 5


  1. Time Out
    Arranging your social calendar in a new city like London or Manchester can be tough. There’s often so much to see and do, it can be difficult to know what to do first! Then, of course, there are all the upcoming events. From antique fairs to LGBT film festivals, there never seems to be enough days in the week.

Time Out is an international culture and entertainment guide that started life in London back in 1968. Alongside their world-famous magazine, the app is a great way of keeping up with the latest goings-on in London, Birmingham, and more. You’ll find restaurant reviews, gig listings, and outdoor activities on this handy app.

Other must-have UK entertainment apps:
Meetup – you’ll find local friends with similar interests on this nifty social app
Keetoo – an app for flexible booking for UK attractions and experiences

    Stayed out late and missed the last tram home? Or maybe you don’t feel like braving the metro with heavy suitcases? Whatever your reason, ride-sharing apps can be an important lifeline for expats living in cities around the world.

Woman in Glasgow waiting with her dog for a ride
FREE NOW is a ride-hailing app operating in nine UK cities. It allows you to connect with drivers across the city; helping you get home safe and sound. Previously known as Hallo and myTaxi, it’s present across Europe and recently absorbed Kapten.

Other must-have UK mobility apps:
Uber – the market-leader in ride-sharing operates in several UK cities
Santander Cycles – a TfL run cycle-hire service operating across central London


  1. Too Good To Go
    We all try to live a little more sustainably these days, but it can be hard to get into good habits in a new country. For some, finding the right way to recycle can be challenging enough. However, with the right apps on your phone, you’ll find making those all-important green choices a lot easier.

Too Good To Go helps you cut down on food waste by connecting you with cafes, restaurants, and bakeries in your local area. Their community of waste warriors can pick up fresh food at a reduced rate from local outlets; food that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s a great way to grab a bargain while helping the environment.

Other must-have UK sustainability apps:
Refill – find out where to fill up your renewable water bottle in the UK
Good on You – avoid fast fashion choices with this ethical clothing app

  1. Wise
    Getting your finances in order is one of the most important things to do before moving to another country. You might be surprised at the number of unexpected costs you face after you arrive, and you don’t want to be left skint. That’s where a money transfer app comes into its own.

Wise is a global leader in quick and easy international money transfers, meaning you’ll have funds wherever you are in the UK. For that extra bit of security, you can even open a Wise multi-currency account. What’s more, you’ll get a debit Mastercard you can use across the UK.

Other must-have money transfer apps in the UK:
CurrencyFair – lets you avoid excessive bank fees and transfer with ease
World Remit – an international money-transfer app

  1. BBC Sounds
    Are you a good listener? Maybe you prefer switching on the radio to turning on the TV? Or perhaps you just like catching up with the latest episodes of your favorite podcasts? A great way to understand the UK is through your ears, and there’s no better way to listen on the go than with an app.

Man on his morning commute in London
BBC Sounds is one of the UK’s leading apps for enjoying radio, music, and podcasts. The BBC’s many national and local radio stations are a great way to keep up with local news, sports, and music. There are also celebrity podcasts and performances from your favorite bands and musicians to listen to.

Other must-have UK entertainment apps:
Ticketmaster – get tickets to see your favorite artists and much more
Disney+ – the latest arrival on the subscription on-demand video scene

  1. Starling Bank
    For many expats moving to the UK, sorting out their bank account is at the top of their to-do list when they arrive. Opening a bank account in the UK is essential in settling into your new home, from setting up home utilities to paying for groceries at the supermarket.

Starling Bank is a mobile bank that operates in the UK. Their mobile banking app offers a range of financial services, including debit cards and budgeting tools. The app will let you split any bills with your new UK friends, and if you need to deposit money, you can do so at your local UK post office.

Other must-have UK financial apps:
Moneybox – a UK-based app that helps you save and invest with ease
Yolt – budget and save on-the-go with this app from global bank, ING

  1. Rightmove
    What better way to make your life in the UK more comfortable than by finding the house of your dreams? Buying property in the UK and renting in the UK can seem daunting as a newcomer, but there are plenty of apps available to download that help make househunting that little bit easier.

Rightmove is one of the UK’s leading online property search platforms. Whether you’re buying, renting, or simply checking property prices, their app helps you get to grips with the UK’s property market. The property search features can be particularly helpful to expats who aren’t familiar with the local neighborhood services and transport links.

Other must-have UK property apps:
SpareRoom – find a flatshare wherever you’re moving to in the UK
Spotahome – this London-only app takes the stress out of finding rental properties

  1. HelloFresh
    British food might not have the best reputation around the world, but don’t let that fool you. There’s plenty of great restaurants, pubs, and cafés to explore across the country. Alternatively, why not bring those UK flavors home? Whether you’re exploring your local British grocery store or signing up for a recipe box, there are plenty of options.

HelloFresh provides innovative meal kits straight to your front door. Sign up for weekly deliveries and treat your family to some fresh and flavorsome home-cooked meals. They cover all major UK cities, although delivery is limited in more rural parts of the country.


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