Paris is on the bucket list of most world travellers. Many harbour hopes of wandering the idyllic city streets and basking in the beautiful architecture before stopping at a quaint cafe to enjoy a croissant. In these idle day dreams, Paris is a simple place, but in reality it is quite the bustling metropolis and navigating the city can be a bit of a task. Luckily, for smart phone users, there are apps for that. Here are some of our favourites...
The map on Paris2Go is available completely offline, so users do not have to worry about their data plans or any nasty roaming charges. And by tapping into the GPS of a smart phone, Paris2Go can find users anywhere in the city and display all the local businesses around them, which also includes small things like ATMs and bus stops.
However, what sets Paris2Go apart from other map apps is that it functions as quite the quality travel guide. It provides all the essential information on attractions, restaurants and other points of interest. The app developers have even gone so far as to allow for users to post ratings and comments on the various establishments. For visitors who have found some of their own personal favourite places, they can share them on social media. While map apps usually excel in being maps but falter when they try to be a travel guide, it is refreshing to see the combined effort put into Paris2Go by the developers with such detailed care. What is better is that this app is available for free for iPhone and Android devices.
Metro Paris Subway
Public transit apps are a must-have when you’re in a big, unfamiliar city. This is especially so in Paris. When it comes to getting around the city, locals and visitors alike relay on the underground subway system. Like subway systems in many cities, the subway system in Paris can be tricky if not downright confusing.
The Metro Paris Subway app taps into the GPS of a user's smart phone to locate nearby subway stations. Once the app user has found their station of choice, the app uses a colour coded map to showcase each train route around the city. Users can plot their own routes around the city or type in an address and have the app plot the route for them, telling them what trains to get on and where to get off of them. The reverse function is especially helpful to visitors who need to know how to get back to their hotel.
However, the most useful function of the Metro Paris Subway app is that it keeps real-time track of all the trains running within the city. Users know when trains will arrive and depart and if there are major delays, the app alerts them. This app is available for $0.99 for iPhone and Android devices.
The true foodie doesn't just want to know about the luxurious five star restaurants in Paris; they also want to know those lovely cafes and hidden gems as well. Le Fooding is the most popular foodie website in Paris. Now that the website has rolled out its app, it is taking the city by storm.
This app showcases all the great places to nosh in the city, from the elegant to the lowly. The app taps into the GPS of the user's smart phone and spits out the names of all the establishments near a user at the click of a button. With the augmented reality feature, users can get a detailed view of the restaurant and the area around it to help them navigate themselves there.
However, for users that are not sure what part of Paris they want to eat in, the app allows them to search restaurants based on cuisine type, rating and price. While the app allows users to hunt down their own great eats, the developers have also compiled their own personal list of great places to eat in the city. When users think they have found a decent restaurant, the app has pages for each establishment that give details about the place, including descriptions, menus and phone numbers. This app is available for free for iPhone and Android devices.
TripBox Paris functions as an ever faithful companion to travellers who are interested in discovering the many sites, restaurants, shopping and activities in the City of Lights. The app's 'Around Me' function showcases all the various attractions around a user, which can be filtered out through the various categories.
However, for users who are not sure where they want to go in Paris or what they want to do, the app allows them to sort through all the different categories, which include: Attractions, Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, Nightlife, Shows, Leisure Activities and Sports. Upon choosing a destination, app users are treated to a detailed description of it, the price of the products or of admission and how far it is from the app user's position.
This is a great app for those that do not know much about the city as it gives useful information on absolutely everything that is included in its directory. Sadly it does not allow for user ratings or reviews, but the sheer amount of information available makes this app worth it. The TripBox Paris app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android devices.
Keys To The Fleas
When it comes to shopping, Paris isn't just world-renowned for its high fashion, but for its flea markets also. The city is littered with flea markets where shoppers can sift through antiques, retro fashion and pretty much anything anyone could imagine. However, the Key to the Fleas app doesn't just detail where the flea markets are and what they generally stock. This app was designed by Claudia Strassler who uses her lifetime of bargain hunting experience to give in-depth information on the various flea markets of Paris. This includes which stalls often have the best deals on certain items and where visitors can have the best luck trying their hands at haggling. The app also has a much-needed and very informative guide on haggling. Haggling is an essential skill within the flea markets of Paris and it is practically expected, so it is best for app users to sharpen their skills.
For those who are used to navigating via landmarks rather than directions, the app hosts a whole slew of pictures of both inside the flea market and outside of it. For foreign visitors who find a magnificent purchase that is definitely not going to fit in a suit case, the app also has a helpful guide for shipping that item back home. It is available for $1.99 for iPhone and Android devices.
Is your French lacking? When visiting Paris, not having at least some grasp on the French language can be a bad decision. The French like to speak their language and some can be a bit abrasive to those who do not.
For those that need to brush up on the language then SpeakEasy French is the perfect app. This is not merely some dictionary or phrasebook to muddle through Paris with – though it does have both – this app teaches the language so that anyone can understand it. Through a series of interactive games, quizzes and readings, this app makes sure French is imprinted on the brain. The app also utilizes speaking exercises in which user's must repeat back various phrases into their phone. This assures that even the pronunciation of French phrases is perfect. For those having trouble understanding, the app allows for users to slow down the phrases so that they can be more easily understood. This app is available for $1.99 for iPhone and Android devices.