Travel apps to help you navigate new cities


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer


When you’re visiting a new-to-you city, how do you find the best places to eat, shop, and explore? 

Most travel guidebooks are pretty much obsolete by the time they go to print, and often they’re written for such a broad audience that they offer a lukewarm list of the best-known spots instead of fresh, exciting insider intel. 

Luckily, there are a bunch of cool travel apps designed to help travelers enjoy new places, and act as the next best thing to having a local show you around. Here at aloSIM, we’ve asked our team members to round up a few of their faves … 


Local spotters create travel guides for cities, and they’re available to purchase for a few bucks so you can even access them offline. This highly popular app helps steer visitors away from tourist traps and towards the quirkier indie places so that you can enjoy a city like locals do. There are more than 80 cities on the app so far, all frequently updated, and their spotters occasionally organize local meet-ups that travelers are welcome to join. 


With more than 400,000 pre-programmed running routes worldwide, this app offers runners immediate insight into a new destination as soon as they tie up their laces. A voice-guided tour provides route directions and points out cool landmarks along the way, and the app keeps track of your stats (or connects with Strava, if you’re already tracking your runs that way). The app is free (and ad-free) but offers a paid subscription to unlock more features. 


This free app connects you with insider intel on more than 350 cities worldwide, and tailored content in 29 cities worldwide (such as Dubai, Moscow, and Rome). The app lets you book line-skipping tickets and tours of major attractions as well as location-based tips on the best happy hours, comedy shows, and places to grab a bite to eat. Check it out at the App Store or Google Play


This app serves up food and drink recommendations from local chefs, coffee roasters, sommeliers, brewers, and other culinary types. As well as telling you the best places to grab a bite, local food events and experiences in the local area. The app also offers virtual experiences and connects users with video content from the locals making recommendations. 


When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go! While only available for iPhone, this restroom finder helps you find public restrooms for when you’re caught short in a new city. The restrooms are added by users and graded by how clean they are, so you know in advance how high to set your expectations.


The main purpose of this handy app is to locate food and drink specials nearby. This app is a useful way for travellers to find nearby bars and it’s great when you’re meeting up with a group of pals or just seeking a cheap drink or bite to eat. You can also filter featured venues to find the places that best suit your personal likes and dislikes. 


Available for Apple and Android phones, Google Translate helps you in 100+ different languages, using typed, handwritten, and verbal prompts. It even allows you to snap signs or text (like a menu) and translates directly from a picture. This app is the gold-standard for translation and will make any trip to a foreign location where you don’t speak the lingo a whole lot easier.

There are many more apps that’ll make travel easier, and if there is something specific you’re into (such as biking or yoga) there’s probably an app to help you find those activities wherever you are in the world. 

Let your phone help you discover the best of whatever city you’re in, and have a more authentic experience every time you travel.