The internet is undoubtedly your best travel friend today. The next time you travel to a new city, check out these applications and websites. You will find original attractions, walking tours and tourism recommendations that guides might overlook.
These applications assume that you have already chosen your travel destination, so you are now investigating what to do once you get there.
From reputable brands that offer city guides to local experts who provide their views, there is a healthy combination for every type of traveler. Also, you don’t have to investigate in advance every time. Some of these tools will dynamically recommend items based on your current location.
1. Visit A City (Web, Android, iOS): Readymade Itineraries Up to One Week
A travel agent will prepare a route showing you where you should go, what you should see, etc. Visit A City has already prepared this, ranging from a one-day plan to seven days of sites and attractions in most tourist destinations.
Each city has several guides which cover the main tourist sites, visits and activities. For example, if you choose Barcelona, you will get a 3-day guide to the main attractions, or a 5-day guide to visit Barcelona with children, etc. The website offers surprising diversity, allowing you to choose exactly the type of trip you want.
Any route you choose will open with a map and a day-to-day schedule. You can delete or add items and buy tickets in advance. Other tabs recommend other activities and attractions. The full itinerary can be printed for free, or you can download it for offline use on the Visit A City app.
The website and app are easy to use and in a shocking way. Even if you’re someone who likes to plan your own trips, use one of the Visit A City itineraries as a starting point to make your job easier.
2. WhatsHere (Android, iOS): Map of Nearby Tourist Attractions
WhatsHere is a map-based travel guide. Search for a location or let it zoom in on your current location, and the app will recommend a myriad of tourist attractions. As simple as it sounds, there are a few features that make it even better.
To start, WhatsHere has a list of categories to narrow down the places that interest you: history, museum, tourist attraction, landmark, trail, UNESCO heritage sites, etc. Choose one or all and see them as a list. Each location has multiple tags and you can see how far it is from your current location.
Alternatively, open the Map view, where WhatsHere really shines. Each pin has a different color and icon, depending on its category. Tap it to get a pop-up window with a brief description of why it’s important and to see how far from you. You can bookmark the place, see photos of others, and even get a quick link to its Wikipedia entry.
3. Spotted By Locals (Web, Android, iOS): Non-Touristy Guides From Locals
Spotted By Locals currently has guides for only 79 cities, spread across Europe, parts of Asia and North America. But if a city you’re visiting is featured on the website, you won’t have a better guide for quirky tourism.
If you have hosted a tourist in your hometown, you know there are must-see places that every travel agent will recommend and some local secrets you would like them to see. This is what makes it special. The guides for each city are written by residents who have lived there for some time.
You will find items in a range of categories, or view them chronologically. The latter might be preferable, as you receive a recent recommendation from a local, rather than a place they visited a long time ago.
Spotted By Locals also offers mobile apps. Although the app is free, the guide for each city costs $ 3.99 to download. In return, you get maps and information offline, but you can see all of the same data for free on the website.
4. Awayn (Android, iOS): Visually Rich Guides and Free Magazine
Awayn is a design-driven app with a good mix of features to find travel inspiration. Highlights include the free Awayn digital magazine, built into the app, which covers a type of trip or region and also includes an interview.
On the main page of the app, you can search for a city, browse by country or watch “featured adventures” as recommended by the Awayn community. These proposed adventures are actually pretty cool and a good place to discover something new. I also liked the idea of traveling by country instead of a city because you might come across an activity that changes your itinerary.
If you want to browse by location, go to the map to find your current GPS coordinates. Awayn will highlight points of interest and tourist attractions in your area. The application here deserves the merit of having recommended places that you would not find in most of the other travel guides.
5. CityBook (Android, iOS): Booking.com’s Travel Guide
CityBook is the new kid in the neighborhood, a product of one of the best hotel booking sites Booking.com. Currently, it hosts city guides for London, Amsterdam and Paris only, but the number of cities will increase over time.
Depending on the time of day, CityBook will suggest activities. For example, if you check the app in the morning, you will find recommendations on breakfast. Later in the day, he will offer evening activities, shows or bars. It is a nice mix of historical and cultural places, food and drink and events.
The app is a combination of recommendations for places to visit as well as ticketing for places like museums. You can add places of interest to your “bucket list” and check them off as you go.
Get a truly local experience
One of the joys of travel is to discover how people from a different culture or lifestyle live their daily life or celebrate major events. Most hotels and tour packages offer certain activities, but they are often tourist traps and do not seem authentic.
Instead, as the Internet breaks down barriers, use an app. Whether it’s a homemade meal with a local or a party with a native, check out these cool travel apps for a truly local experience.
Source : MakeUseOf.com