Moving to London is stressful, overwhelming and, at times, a bit crazy. The city is massive and for the first few weeks the tube map looks like an abstract art piece which meaning is far beyond your reach. There’s things to see, adventures to be had and food to be eaten, there is no time to lose!
Downloading apps and having a sneak peak on what’s available out there is a nice way to relax and mentally prepare for the big city. Here is a list of 9 Must-have apps that will make surviving London a little easier!
Getting around London
London City Mapper
City Mapper or Google Maps? There’s a never-ending debate about which is better. Both apps serve the same purpose, getting you from A to B in the quickest way possible. I often find that City Mapper is better at finding alternative travel routes, should the tube fail. The latter is also quicker at updating you on any road work or anything else that might affect your journey.
It’s worth giving both a try and picking a favorite later. London offers a large number of choices when it comes to public transport and City Mapper is a great way to learn how to maneuver them all.
A very straightforward and simple app whose purpose is to tell you how to get off and on the tube as quickly as possible. Tube Exits will tell you which cart to get on in order to be the closest possible to the exit when arriving at your destination.
A great help if you’re in a hurry and you want to get on and off quickly. It’s also an extra safety measure to keep you from roaming around the tube station alone longer than you have to.
Santander Cycle Hire
A cheap, environmentally friendly and very convenient way of getting around London. Santander Cycle Hire allows you to rent bikes from all over London for only £2 pr. 24 hour. The app provides you with a map to help find your nearest bike station, tells you how many spaces are free at any given time and can alert you when it’s time to put your bike back.
If London traffic confuses you and you’re still getting used to them driving on the wrong side of the road, don’t worry. The app is still worth downloading as cycling is a great way of getting around London’s many parks.
Food in London
Let’s be honest, if you’re British you already have this app, you’ve probably had it since birth. Most Brits have the Wetherspoons menu memorized and some of them were probably baptized there.
This is the go-to place for cheap food and alcohol for students and grown-ups alike. If you’re planning on studying anywhere in the UK, you might as well embrace it as your new second home.
The Wetherspoons app is a must because it allows you to skip the line and order food and drinks straight to your table. It also keeps tabs on all the discounts and deals available and makes it easy to keep track of everything you’ve bought that evening.
For the days you want to spoil yourself or just can’t be asked to leave the house. Deliveroo is not the only delivery service in London, but it’s often the one with the most choices and the shortest delivery time. The app allows you to keep track of your orders and your estimated delivery time on the map.
Living in London allows you to order burgers, pizza and alcohol straight to your door 24 hours a day and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. Truly, it’s a magical app of wonders!
Unidays; Student discounts
Unidays is the number one place for student discounts. Signing up is completely free and will get you 10% off or more at a number of high street stores such as Topshop, Urban Outfitters, and Miss Selfridge. The discounts also work for online shopping and you can use it on websites like ASOS and Boohoo.
Use the app to keep track of the different stores offering discounts so you don’t have to miss out on anything.
Depop is great for buying second-hand clothes, but also ideal for finding and selling stuff you might need for university or your new flat. In need of a mirror, some extra mugs or a painted portrait of national treasure Ed Sheeran?
Use the app to sell stuff you don’t need when you’ve been Marie Kondo-ing your room and start a small business from your phone. It’s easy and safe and there’s so much money to be saved.
Getting out of London
Every so often you want to get out of London and have a break from the big city. The Trainline app is a must if you want to get the train anywhere in the UK. You’ll get an overview of all the trains available, live updates on where they are and any possible delays.
The app offers some great discounts and deals for return tickets. It is also worth looking into getting a Railcard if you want to get even better discounts. It costs £30 a year for students and saves you money on train tickets as well as tube fairs.
Unless you’re lucky enough have a pal to stay with, you’re probably going to need somewhere to stay for your travels. If you don’t want to spend all your money on a hotel, but also don’t want to stay in a shady hostel, AirBnB is a great compromise.
You can find everything from entire houses to small bedrooms with shared facilities. It’s especially favourable if you’re a larger group as you can end up paying the same amount for an entire flat as you would for one small hotel room. Choose a host with great reviews and you can easily request a room from your phone.