I was twelve when I first came to London, and I instantly fell in love with it. The fascinating architecture and the multicultural beauty of this exciting city makes for an extraordinary vibe – a vibe you feel at every second you spend there.

Apart from the amazing architecture and the one and only Buckingham Palace, art is present at literally every corner. Renowned street artists like Banksy use London as their sketchboard, a face that let lengthy sightseeing tours on foot seem like a 15-minute stroll to the next coffee shop, only you are much more tired when you return to your hotel.

So, no matter if you are a budget traveler exploring London on foot, you are on a shopping trip with your favourite girl gang, or you are here for a romantic getaway with your partner, you will be happy for anything that helps you navigating the vast urban jungle that is the capital of the UK.

Here are seven apps I found extremely useful throughout my travels.

I hope they will help you to make the most out of your next trip to London.

Kayak

KayakDubbing themselves as the number one app for travel, Kayak promises to find the best flights and hotels and to help craft your personal itinerary. I found using Kayak very easy and convenient. Time and time again, it has helped me find the perfect accommodation within my budget and I could keep track of all the things I wanted to see in London with ease. One special feature that I absolutely love are the notifications about price changes for flights you haven’t yet booked. No wonder many seasoned travellers rely on Kayak for all their adventures.

Gett

GettTo get around different cities, I often turn to Uber, but not in London. Riding a normal black cab in London definitely belongs to the   experience. So I went looking for myself and found Gett. Gett is the app that connects you to the Black Cab drivers of London. It’s free and offers the exact same features as Uber (free pick-up, real-time tracking, pay via app), only that you support London’s cultural heritage by taking the original cabs.

For my trips to London, this proved to be one of the most useful apps. Plus, I often chat to the cab drivers, and I have had some of the most funniest and interesting conversations on my journeys with them.

London Tube Live (iOS)/Tube Map London Underground (Android)

London Tube LiveIf you decide against taking a cab, you will probably end up using London’s vast Underground system. For tourists, the Tube can be very confusing at first, especially if you don’t have anything similar at home. London Tube Live for iOS or Tube Map London Underground for Android is a practical solution to make navigating through London with public transport easy and quick. The interactive departure monitor, the station finder and – my favourite feature – the station planner will help you get around without losing precious time.

Santander Cycles iOS/Android

Santander CyclesWhy not explore the streets and parks of London by bike? Cycling is a great way to get around and it lets you take in every sight, sound and detail of your surroundings. Also, it helps you staying in shape – something that really isn’t easy in London with all its restaurants, bars and cafés. Santander Cycles is one of the many free apps that lets you rent bicycles for your trips around inner London. With the app, you gain access to an easy-to-use rental system. You register with you bank card and are good to go. There are bicycle stations at many convenient locations, with your ride waiting for you.

Museum of London: Streetmuseum iOS/Android

Museum of London StreetmuseumLondon wouldn’t be what it is today without its rich history and secrets. Downloading Streetmuseum made my city walks so much more exciting and insightful than it would have been without is. This app works like a time machine. As you walk along the streets, you can select a destination from the map or use your GPS to select a specific street or corner. Then, hold up your camera and take a photo of the current street you are at. You’ll be taken to the past when the street you’re in right now looked completely different. You can also tap the information button to get more info. With Streetmuseum, I got to know London from a new and unexpected perspective. If you’re after an experience that takes you off the beaten track, this app should be the first thing you download.

London’s Best Coffee iOS/Android

Londons Best CoffeeI am a massive coffee fan, I admit it freely. When I discovered London’s Best Coffee, it came like a godsend. The app located me via GPS and gave me several suggestions where to go. The app’s mission is to let you find specialty coffees, a huge trend happening in London at the moment. Therefore, I did not get directions to the next Starbucks but to a lovely small café that served me an amazing Venezuelan blend I have never tasted before.

London on a plate iOS

London_on_a_plateLooking for a great place to eat? Look no further than “London on a plate” app. A great one for those visiting London for the first time, it will give you a list of hidden gems nearby for breakfast, lunch and dinner, coupled with unpaid reviews, great descriptions, and directions of how to get there. What’s more, it you really liked your dish and want to recreate it at home, it also has recipes from the restaurants you have visited.

Yplan iOS/Android

YPlanAnd finally, as the night falls over London, Yplan app will give you access to the top local events, which you can book last minute. No need to print tickets, or show receipts – everything can be done on your mobile. I like this app because it requires zero planning in advance, and allows me to be totally spontaneous about the plans for the evening. Plus, you can read reviews from previous attendees, invite your friends, and amerce yourself into the London night scene.   

Here are my top 7 picks. I hope you like them!