The best apps for living and working in London
“I long to go through the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death and all that makes it what it is.” Bram Stoker, Dracula. If only the count had some of the best apps for living and working in London…
The buzz, the noise, the experience of London is singular and delightful. Those that love it entreat those yet to experience it to join them. Those who’ve never had the opportunity flinch away from the chaos and frenzy. There is something magical about London.
That said, it is a maze. Navigating streets and alleys, boroughs and cities, tubes and buses and pubs and museums is a challenge. There are so many options for what to do next that even the most jaded of Londoners turns to their ever reliable phone for help from time to time.
Here are the best apps for if you live and work in London. Or even if you’re an intrepid tourist first treading our streets.
Even the most knowledgeable Londoner always used to have a copy of the A-Z knocking around their house. Many probably still do. In these days of smartphones and GPS navigation the humble A-Z is now only ever really seen in the hands of desperate tourists.
Google maps is a safe go-to option for navigating around London. Of course it is. You already knew that.
Citymapper takes the Google Maps functionality and gives it a massive boost by offering multi-modal public transport options in one simple subscription bundle. Their Citymapper pass allows you to navigate the intricacies of the London transport network with one account. That’s buses, trains, tubes, bicycles, taxis and at some point electric scooters and autonomous drones (maybe?). So if you need to get from A-B then Citymapper is there for you.
We were tempted to go for one of the upstart brands desperately trying to beat Uber at their own game. There are a lot of them. They come and go. Addison Lee remains a favourite for anyone with a business account but let’s face it, there’s a reason that Uber is number one.
Whether they’ll still be operating in London in the long term is questionable but they remain the player to beat. You’d be crazy not to have their app on your phone in case you get stuck.
Personally we still have a soft spot for quickly hailing a black cab…
Driving round London is a bit of a right of passage. It’s mental if you’re not used to it, and with congestion charge zones and low emissions zones together with infamous traffic pinch points you’ll need to be on your game to get around. Again Google maps does a fairly good job, but we’ve always sworn by Waze.
Built specifically for drivers and with realtime(ish) traffic updates it’s a vital tool in your armoury should you choose to drive into London.
Parkopedia and JustPark
So, you’ve decided to drive into London. Now all you have to do is find somewhere to park. Easier said than done. Car park prices in London are some of the highest in the world. On street spaces are highly regulated and often come with inconvenient time restrictions. They’re also among the most expensive spaces in the world. So what’s the solution?
Parkopedia is an encyclopedia of parking spots. And it’s pretty conclusive. It’ll show you the locations, price and time availability of parking spaces across London and the rest of the UK. Perfect for planning your journey.
JustPark is the AirBnB of parking. They open up private parking spaces for short and long-term rentals. So if you’re heading in for a weekend or a late night stay you can often book parking much more cheaply than if you just turn up at the nearest NCP.
We first discovered Opentable in New York when we were struggling to find a table for dinner on the 4th July. Only a couple of years later it had made it across the pond and established itself as one of the essential apps for London. Not every restaurant is signed up, but a good chunk are and using Opentable means you don’t have to navigate those awful restaurant websites and hand over all your personal data to a random Pizzeria.
And of course you don’t have to speak to the restaurant – cos who has time for that!?
Of course you could follow the crowd and do the same old things around London. Or you could discover unique experiences, trips, tours and days out with Culture Trip. From pasta making courses to personalised tours round art galleries with an art expert, Culture Trip is a great place to uncover a new hidden gem.
The app is also packed with potential itineraries, lists of the top pubs to visit and tidbits of off the beaten track spots to head with friends. Updated regularly it’s a great way to uncover hidden parts of the city.
If Culture Trip isn’t turning up the goods then Fever is a great alternative – and a good option for Londoners trying to snag a table at one of those rooftop bars for a quick drink after work.
Fever also packs in all the usual experiences, from Portuguese custard tart making to outdoor excursions and guided tours. Sometimes you can even snag the hottest tickets in town through the app. Have a download and check it out.
Blue Plaque Guide
Compiled by English Heritage this online encyclopedia of the Blue Plaques of London treats you to a tour through history and a chance to visit buildings with links to famous people of the past. You can learn a bit more about each famous Londoner and walk in the footsteps of some of London’s most notable residents.
This guide contains all the official plaques erected by English Heritage – though sadly doesn’t include those put up by private organisations or councils. So that’s our list of the 9 best apps for living and working in London. Please feel free to contact us if you need a friendly, hard working mobile app development agency near London!