Visiting or moving to a new city can be a daunting experience. Without a personal guide, most people will struggle to find their way around without getting lost. Even if you do have family or friends in the city, there’s no guarantee that they will get you to where you need to go. Thankfully, in the age of the iPhone, getting lost in an unfamiliar city is no longer a nightmare you need to endure. These ten innovative apps will help you successfully navigate your way around, as well as provide useful information on places to visit on your travels.
- Sooligan – This free app delivers real-time information on city locations from around the world. Sooligan does not rely on complicated, impersonal algorithms, as all the information is delivered by real people who are currently visiting or living in the city. The simple interface allows you to post any questions you have about the city you are in and they are answered by members of the Sooligan’s community.
- Waze – Based on user input, Waze provides the fastest route to any destination. The app accomplishes this by compiling user-fed data on things like traffic, road works, weather conditions and accidents. Your route is automatically updated as new data becomes available, so you don’t need to worry about constantly checking the route for changes. This is a free app, available for both the iPhone and iPad.
- Foodspotting– There are restaurant apps and then there is Foodspotting. One of the things you are likely to miss in a new city is your favorite foods. This app not only finds the style of cuisine that you want, it will recommend restaurants that serve your favorite dish, too. All dishes are user-reviewed, which means it’s not so much of a blind-taste-test. You can find this app for free through the iTunes store.
- FourSquare – This app uses a pinpoint accurate GPS system to identify your location and deliver useful information right to your iPhone. The “Top Picks” feature draws on the knowledge of those who have come before you, providing tips on nearby restaurants, churches, museums and much more. Using this free app, if you are lucky enough to receive a “check-in” alert, you can also benefit from discounts or promotions at the named location.
- Wi-Fi Finder – Relying on your iPhone to guide you can use a lot of data, so finding free Wi-Fi spots is a good idea. Wi-Fi Finder has a database containing 650,000 locations worldwide, as of February 2013. You can download locations with this free app, making it ideal for pay-as-you-go users.
- TripAdvisor – If you want reviews and recommendations for hotels, restaurants and attractions in a new city, this is the app for you. The “Near Me Now” feature is particularly useful, as is the user forum where you can ask specific travel questions about locations. The app has both online and offline versions available for free from the iTunes store.
- TripIt – Knowing where you need to go and how to get there is one thing, but organizing travel is another. TripIt is an intelligent app that allows you to plan your travel for free by synching with your calendar and having confirmation emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are done, your entire itinerary is at your fingertips.
- Wikitude – Let your surroundings tell you a story with this free app from GmbH. Simply point your camera at an interesting landmark, restaurant or just your general surroundings and Wikitude will provide you with a wealth of information. This app has won “Best Augmented Reality Browser” three years in a row, from 2009 to 2012.
- AroundMe – This app does exactly what the name suggests; gives you information on locations around you. AroundMe has an easy to use interface, which breaks locations of interest down to familiar categories for easy navigation. This free app received a six-star rating from iTune users.
- GasBuddy – Finding the best gas prices in a new city can be difficult, so the good people at GasBuddy Organizations have developed this useful, free app. Users share gas prices so that others can benefit from the savings. There is also a points reward system and there are competitions available, with the chance of winning $250 worth of gas each week. The app is easy to use and allows you to search by city, zip or postal code. However, the app is currently only available to residents of the U.S. and Canada.
With your iPhone in hand, you’ll find yourself navigating a new city like a lifelong native in no time at all. As long as you have access to a charging source, there’s no end to the roaming you can do!