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Publié le by NmNomador

The best travel apps for… Getting around a city

Want to know one of our most secret travel fears? Looking like a tourist! 

We’re not alone – so many people share this trepidation. Luckily, it’s not impossible to look like you belong. Our strategy: use a suite of savvy traveller apps, websites and tools that help us to blend into the crowd, and live like locals. 

One of the trickiest things in a new city is to quickly become an expert in the art of getting around. It’s true in some ways that once you’ve mastered one metro or subway system, you’ve mastered them all, but of course in others this couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re all quite different! 

So, below are our most-loved portable guides for sticky situations: how to get around a city – be it by train, bus, bike or taxi. How many have you been using already?  

Top spot goes to: Citymapper!
Citymapper is one of the most intuitive and all-encompassing apps for directions and maps, specifically tailored to your city.

Simply search for a landmark (you don’t even have to know the address) and Citymapper will tell you all the available transport options from your current location (or another location of your choice) to that spot: from every kind of public transport (including instructions on when and how to change lines or get off the metro and take a bus) to walking, driving, taxis and cycling (even public cycle hire!).

It also has offline public transport maps, and even a few fun ‘joke’ options hidden here and there (want to get from your apartment to the Marais via catapult perhaps?) to make your commute a little more light-hearted. At the moment, Citymapper is available for 29 different cities - and more are coming!

If all else fails – Google Maps

If Citymapper isn’t available in your city, the trusty Google Maps also gives excellent directions, and is synced up with most public transport systems around the world. So, just plug in where you need to go and it’ll help you decipher which bus, train or tram to take. 

For when the trains stop running or you have a huge suitcase - Uber

Uber is seriously taking over the world: they’re now in 67 countries! If you’re not familiar with them already, they’re essentially a private car hire service, offering higher-end options or an affordable service called UberX in some countries - guaranteed to be cheaper than the average taxi fare. 

It’s great if you don’t want to be taken for a ride (in the metaphorical sense) by your taxi-driver, or slapped with extra charges for the fact that it’s night or you have a suitcase. With Uber, you pay for the fare and that’s all! 

And, there’s never a scramble for cash or an argument over whether card is accepted at the end – your payment details are saved in the app, and your invoice will be sent via email.

For when there are no Ubers – myTaxi or Hail-O

One of our travel mottos is: always have a second – and third – option. So, if there are no Ubers where you are and the thought of ordering a taxi over the phone in a language you don’t speak is a little too much, try a taxi hailing app like myTaxi or Hail-O. We’d recommend doing a quick Google search to find out which taxi app is more widely used in the city you’re currently in, then download and you’re good to go! 

Like Uber, most apps offer the possibility of entering your payment details and being billed wirelessly, or you can select your preferred method of payment so the taxi driver knows to have his card machine handy… 

So, now that you’ve successfully found ways to blend into another city and become a local, it’s time to find somewhere to stay! Start searching for homes today, or enlist the services of our house-sitters to look after yours while you’re away. 

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