Exploring a new city can be fun, but it can also be confusing.
It’s often tough to find your way around an unfamiliar place, especially if it’s far from home. If you don’t have someone acting as a guide, it can also be difficult to know what the best places to visit are.
Your smartphone can help with that.
There are plenty of apps available for download that can simplify your time in a new city and make it more enjoyable, too.
Here are six of the best apps to help you get around a new city!
TripAdvisor has become one of the go-to websites for finding activities, restaurants, places to stay and transportation in places all around the world. It features reviews and ratings by users, as well as information about destinations.
The app version of the site is pretty great, too. You get the same features as the website, but in an easy-to-use app format. You can even download the content for a city before you arrive in it, so you don’t have to use data or find Wi-Fi once you get there.
The TripAdvisor app is free and available for both iOS and Android.
Spotted by Locals
If you prefer to explore a new city more locally, try this app. It provides tips only from handpicked locals, so you won’t get the typical tourist spots. It also includes maps to help you navigate to your destinations. You can also use the app offline.
The app started as a blog about Amsterdam, and has now expanded to include 67 cities around the world. You can get the app on iOS and Android. It’s free to download, but each city guide costs $3.99.
If you want to discover local events in the city you’re exploring, check out the Nearify app. It’ll let you know about comedy shows, concerts, parties and other happenings near you.
It’ll even learn from your tastes and get better at suggesting events you’ll like over time. Nearify will notify you about these events in advance, so you can plan ahead. Alternatively, you can browse through events by exploring the app’s detailed categories.
You can download Nearify for free on the Apple and Android stores.
For the social butterfly, Meetup is the perfect app to connect you with like-minded people. With this app, you can find groups of people near you who share similar interests.
You can meet with a group to learn a new language, exercise, talk about a certain topic or learn a dance. You can also create your own meetup based on what you’re interested in doing. In a new city, this could turn into meeting new local friends who you can explore the city with.
Meetup is free to download and to use to search for already created meetups. If you want to start your own groups, you’ll have to pay $9.99 per month for a basic organizer subscription or $14.99 for an unlimited subscription. It’s available on Android and iOS.
Did you know that in Spanish, there are both formal and casual versions of the word “you?” Or that in Egypt, you’d be expected to give your number to a new acquaintance? Not knowing the cultural customs of a place before you arrive can land you in some awkward situations.
That’s where CultureGPS can help. This app will teach you about cultural differences based on the national culture model of Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede. It’s set up so you can easily compare your country’s culture with another’s.
The app is free to download for iOS and Android, but you’ll have to pay around $20 to get access to its full functionality.
Google Maps is something of an all-in-one location to help you get around in a new place.
Of course, there’s a map feature. But the app can also help you find local spots. You can search for a certain type of place, such as “restaurants” or “museums.” You can also explore what’s in your immediate vicinity. You even get reviews of the places on your maps from other Google users.
If you don’t want to use your data while you’re on the go, simply download the city you’re visiting, so you can navigate in offline mode. You can download the app for free for both Android and iOS.
Thanks to our smartphones and the many available travel apps, it’s easier than ever to be independent when exploring a new space.
Download some of these apps before your next trip, and see how much easier and more enjoyable your time in the city becomes.
PIN for later
Kayla Matthews is a self-improvement writer and travel blogger whose work has appeared on Afar, Carpe Travel, MakeUseOf and The Huffington Post. To read more posts from Kayla, support her personal development blog