Apps don’t make the world go round but they certainly help when you’re travelling. There are dozens of great apps you can use to make your stay in London even better.
Here, we’ve drawn up the Clink Hostels list of Ten Top Apps that will really help you make the most of your stay in London.
1. Clink Social
Top of our own list has to be Clink Social! Our very own app, which will be available to our guests in September and which will become a travel essential during your stay in London.
Created as a social platform, Clink Social enables you to chat with other guests so you can share your experiences in this fantastic city. You’ll also be able to discover the best of London’s restaurants, attractions, nightlife and much more with our Staff Suggestions and Video Guides.
Clink Social will keep you up to date with all the goings on and events taking place at Clink and in ClashBar, as well as letting you know about the latest offers on trips and tours from our TravelShop.
What’s more, you’ll also have the chance to win prizes every week. The more you post and comment on the social feed and the more surveys you fill out, the more points you’ll earn. The person with the highest number of points each week wins a prize.
No matter what your London travel plans, you should download the free Clink Social app. It is available now in iStore or PlayStore.
Booking cabs can be a notoriously expensive game, with very few ways to work out which firm is cheaper than another. Kabbee is an easy-to-use app which has been devised to solve this problem and save you pounds by searching for the cheapest cab firm that’s going your way.
Once downloaded, Kabbee automatically knows your location via your phone’s GPS, you just type in your destination to get the best quotes from over 60 cab companies. You can also pre-book journeys, letting you plan your day before you’ve even left Clink!
Kabbee is not just about price. The app also gives you an estimate of the time your journey will take as well as displaying user ratings for each of the companies quoted. All of which gives you the power to choose the company that suits you and your pocket best.
3. Barclays Bikes
London’s a busy city but it’s also a bicycle friendly city, so why not let Barclays Bikes (a new initiative much-loved by the Mayor, Boris Johnson) help you explore the capital on two wheels.
Barclays Bikes is a network of publicly available bikes that are available from docking stations all around the city. The Barclays Bikes app uses your location information to help you plan your journeys using London’s extensive network of bicycle lanes and roads. It gives you route maps and traffic information as well as showing you the nearest docking stations, so you can hand back your bike at the end of each journey.
Access to Barclays Bikes cost £2.00 for 24 hours and £10 for 7 days. If you keep your individual journeys under 30 minutes each then you won’t have to pay any travel charges, meaning that you can cycle all day for just a couple of quid!
4. CityMapper (London)
Truly one of the most useful Apps for travelling around London.
It is for good reason that CityMapper has won countless awards, including the Best Overall Mobile App 2014. It is the App for navigating around the whole city, keeping you up to date on any delays, closures and disruptions to public transport.
CityMapper uses your phone’s GPS to find our location and is then able to direct you to the closest public transport. If you prefer, it can order you a taxi and tell you the price for the journey from the collection point. However, if traveling under your own steam is more your kind of thing, then let CityMapper count the calories you’ve burned whilst walking, running or cycling around this great city.
CityMapper is available for both Android and iOS.
5. MasterCard© ATM Hunter
Finding access to cash when you’re abroad can be challenge when you don’t know the location of the nearest cash machine (ATM). Whether you are in London, New York, Tokyo or Mumbai, Mastercard’s ATM Hunter provides you with the location of your nearest ATM, or, if you’re heading somewhere like the airport, it tells you the closest machine to your destination.
As a global app, the MasterCard ATM Hunter will be useful wherever you travel in the world.
London is a gourmet heaven on any budget but finding where to eat and getting the best dinner deals can be tough when you’re in an unfamiliar city, especially one as busy as London.
OpenTable is the perfect dining companion. Not only does it show you the location of approximately 80% of London’s best restaurants and enables you to make reservations, it also lets you know what price bracket the restaurant is in, what’s on offer and, when available, gives you discount codes and vouchers to help you eat for less.
Download the OpenTable app by clicking here.
Cut the price of all sorts of goods in London by using RedLaser when you’re out and about shopping. RedLaser ensures you are getting the best deal by telling you what other retailers are offering for the same product.
Just scan in the barcode of the product you’re thinking of buying and RedLaser will let you know if it is available cheaper elsewhere. Not only does RedLaser save you pounds but it saves you from having to walk from store to store in search of bargains.
Just a word of caution, whilst Red Laser is completely legal, not all shops are keen on people using it, so it’s probably best not to make it obvious when you are comparing prices.
Download RedLaser for iOS, Android or Windows Phone.
8. London Free Wi-Fi
It’s not so easy to find free Wi-Fi these days unless you let the London Free Wi-Fi app guide you to the nearest hotspot.
Costing £0.60 ($0.99), the app itself isn’t free but it’s a small price to pay for being able to access the Net for free throughout your stay in London.
We’ve fallen in love with Postify! There’s simply no better way to tell your family and friends about your trip to London.
Postify is incredibly easy to use and lets you turn your photos into real postcards, add a message and then mail them automatically back home or wherever else your friends may be.
Incredibly, Postify will send your postcard to anywhere in the world for just £1.49, which is probably cheaper than buying a card and stamp in London. Also, because we love Postify so much, we’ll give you a code to get your first Postify postcard for free if you download the app whilst staying at Clink.
The Postify app is available for Android and iOS.
10. Wikitude Places (Sony devices only)
We just had to include Wikitude Places in spite of it only being available for some Sony Android devices. Why? Because it’s an incredible example of how apps are transforming our travel experiences.
As you travel around London (and elsewhere), you just point your phone’s camera at major landmarks and Wikitude Places fills you in on all sorts of interesting facts about the place of interest, including ratings and reviews, all right there on your screen. There’s no easier way to learn about the city around you!
And there’s more! You can point Wikitude Places at local restaurants and cafés and the App will show you the Trip Advisor star rating and any recent reviews, all of which helps you choose your eatery with confidence.
Wikitude Places is available from Google Play for selected Sony devices only.
Travel has become much easier and travellers are nowadays much better informed because of the enormous range of apps to help in every situation. It’s impossible to give a list of all the good ones but if you know of any that have really helped you whilst travelling, then please let us know so we can share your find with other guests at Clink Hostels.