What are the best London apps for you? That all depends!
Here’s my complete guide to all the best London apps for travelers, residents and tourists. I’ve got you covered for everything from transport to groceries to finding where to charge your phone in a pinch.
Read on to find alternatives to your old reliable apps, or discover new ones you didn’t even know existed.
Best Apps for London Travel
Here’s the top apps for London travel including public transport, trains, ride shares and taxis, cycle hire, travel planning, and more.
⭐️ My #1 Essential App for London: Apple Pay or Digital Wallet ⭐️
No need to take out your cards or worry about losing your Oyster Card.
Just install a digital wallet on your phone, plug in your card details, and pay for everything in London with a tap of your phone.
This is the #1 essential app for London I tell everyone to download and set up before you arrive.
Best Travel Apps for London: Public Transport
Note: If you want a map of just the most popular London attractions, I made one!
Simplified, real-time urban navigation integrating various transport modes. This is the best app for navigating London.
- Best for: Savvy travelers and residents.
⭐️ Google Maps
Comprehensive mapping with navigation, traffic updates, and location search.
- Best for: Tourists and locals who want to see reviews.
TFL Go is a decent journey finder to plan your route (though I still prefer Citymapper) with live bus & tube timings. Manage your Oyster Card & top up with the separate Oyster Card App.
- Best for: London commuters or tourists who don’t use a digital wallet.
Offers real-time bus data across the UK, including arrival times and route maps.
- Best for: Regular bus travelers. If you use Citymapper, you don’t need this.
Provides detailed information about London Underground stations, including layouts and facilities.
- Best for: London Underground regulars or careful travel planners with mobility issues.
An easy-to-use app offering an interactive London Underground map and route planner.
- Best for: First-time Tube users and tourists who want a general overview. Use Citymapper, too.
Helps users find the best carriage to board for an efficient exit or interchange on the tube.
- Best for: Time-efficient commuters (Citymapper will sometimes also tell you the best exit and entrance for your route).
Best Apps for London Travel: Trains & National Rail
Streamlines train and coach travel bookings across the UK and Europe, for all your quick escapes from London.
- Best for: Frequent rail travelers and fare finders.
Offers real-time train information and scheduling for UK’s National Rail network.
- Best for: Regular train commuters & UK travelers.
Simplifies booking trains, buses, and flights across Europe with easy comparisons.
- Best for: International travelers who want all the options in one app.
Specializes in splitting train tickets to find cheaper fares for the same journey.
- Best for: Savvy train fare savers.
Focuses on finding cheaper rail fares by splitting tickets over a journey.
- Best for: Budget-conscious rail travelers.
Best London Travel Apps for Rideshares & Taxis
A global ride-hailing service offering quick and convenient taxi, private car, and carpooling options.
- Best for: Travelers and Londoners who want to save money.
Focuses on black cab and premium rides, ideal for reliable, high-quality transportation.
- Best for: Business travelers and those preferring traditional taxis.
Offers a range of options including taxis, private hires, and e-scooters for flexible urban travel.
- Best for: Versatile city transport users.
Provides affordable and fast ride-hailing services, also offering scooter and bike rentals.
- Best for: Budget-conscious, eco-friendly travelers.
Apps for London Residents – Cycle Hire & Scooter Hire
Which mobility hire app is best for you will depend on your neighborhood. Generally, Santander, Lime, and Barclays have the most options in Central London.
Offers electric scooter and bike rentals, ideal for short, eco-friendly urban trips.
- Best for: Quick, sustainable commutes. Rent anywhere, return anywhere.
⭐️ Santander Cycles (formerly Barclays, aka “Boris Bikes”)
London’s public bicycle hire scheme, with docking stations across the city for easy pick-up and drop-off.
- Best for: Leisure and commuter cyclists in London.
Provides accessible electric scooter rentals in urban areas, promoting easy and fast travel.
- Best for: Eco-conscious city navigators.
Specializes in electric scooter and bike sharing for convenient and low-emission transportation.
- Best for: Environmentally-friendly, on-the-go travelers.
Best London Travel Apps for Eating & Drinking
⭐️ Open Table
A reservation platform for discovering and booking dining experiences at various restaurants.
- Best for: Anyone who wants to book a table, pretty much anywhere!
An extensive food delivery app connecting users to a variety of local and international cuisines.
- Best for: Urban dwellers, busy professionals, tired tourists.
⭐️ Uber Eats
A food delivery service offering a wide range of restaurant and takeaway options.
- Best for: Food lovers seeking convenience.
Offers easy access to menus, locations, and loyalty rewards for Pret A Manger cafes.
- Best for: Pret enthusiasts, quick-meal seekers, budget eats.
Best App for London Tickets & Events
⭐️ Today Tix
Offers easy booking for a wide range of last-minute and discounted theatre tickets.
- Best for: Theatre enthusiasts and spontaneous ticket buyers.
A comprehensive guide to London’s events, attractions, and eateries, with reviews and recommendations.
- Best for: Seeing what’s going on in London right now.
A discovery platform for finding and booking trending events, experiences, and places in major cities.
- Best for: Finding cool events, pop-ups and experiences.
Offers a straightforward way to discover and buy tickets for live music shows and cultural events.
- Best for: Concert-goers and cool cultural experiences.
Curates the best restaurants, bars, events, and experiences in London, tailored to user preferences.
- Best for: Finding the hot new restaurant, or those amazing ones that fly under the radar.
Focuses on finding affordable events and activities, catering to those on a budget.
- Best for: Budget-conscious explorers and locals.
Best London Apps for Hotels & Accommodation
There are a million ways to book hotels and stays in London. These are my favorites that have always been reliable.
⭐️ Day Use
Specializes in booking hotel rooms for short stays during the day, without overnight accommodation.
- Best for: Jet-lagged tourists, layovers, or if you need a quiet, private place to work or sleep for the day.
A global travel booking platform offering a wide range of accommodations, from hotels to vacation rentals.
- Best for: Getting the best hotel deals on an intuitive platform, plus loyalty rewards.
Connects travelers with unique local stays – usually homes and flats instead of hotels.
- Best for: Family travel in London.
London Apps for Grocery Shopping & Delivery
Here are my favorite – and most useful – grocery apps for London. Which ones are best for you will depend on what’s near you, how you shop, and if you need delivery.
Offers convenient online grocery shopping, in-store navigation, and exclusive deals for Tesco stores.
- Best for: Tesco shoppers and deal hunters.
Enables in-store scanning of items for a quicker checkout experience at Sainsbury’s.
- Best for: Efficient Sainsbury’s customers.
⭐️ Ocado & Ocado Zoom
Provides a seamless online grocery shopping experience with quick delivery options.
- Best for: Home cooks and busy professionals.
Allows for scanning items while shopping for a faster checkout at Waitrose stores.
- Best for: Time-saving Waitrose shoppers.
Facilitates self-scanning of groceries for a more efficient shopping experience at Asda.
- Best for: Asda customers seeking convenience.
Quick deliveries of essentials like toilet paper, snacks, and even ready made meals and booze.
- Best for: time-sensitive deliveries.
Best London Apps for Phone Charging While Out and About
See my complete guide to charging your phone in London here. These are my top mobile charging point apps.
⭐️ Charged Up
A network of on-the-go phone charging stations, available at various public venues.
- Best for: Mobile users in need of a quick charge.
Provides portable power bank rentals for smartphones, accessible at numerous locations.
- Best for: Travelers and busy urbanites.
Rent a mobile battery pack for the day, and return it to any Aircharge location.
- Best for: London travelers on the go.
London Public Toilet Apps
Out and about and need the loo? There’s some great apps to help you find toilets in London.
⭐️ Flush App
Find bathrooms in London and all over the world.
- Best for: world travelers.
Find public toilets in London near you.
- Best for: London travelers and locals.
To find toilets near you anywhere you are.
- Best for: frequent travelers.
Apps for London Locals – Neighborhood & Community
A messaging app that is very popular in the UK and Europe. Most community groups and Londoners use it to communicate.
- Best For: Connecting with free messaging across country codes.
Connects neighbors to share surplus food and other items, reducing waste and building community ties.
- Best for: Eco-conscious sharers and savers, plus meeting nice people near you.
Connects users with local restaurants and stores to buy surplus food at discounted prices, reducing food waste.
- Best for: Eco-conscious foodies and bargain hunters.
A neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services.
- Best for: Seeing what’s going on hyper-local to you.
Encourages walking by discovering and sharing enjoyable walking routes in and around cities.
- Best for: Walkers and nature enthusiasts; leaving the city without leaving the city.
Apps for Londoners: Medical
Provides health information, access to services, and the ability to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions.
- Best for: UK residents seeking health services and advice.
An online pharmacy service offering prescription management, delivery, and online doctor consultations.
- Best for: Getting your NHS prescriptions delivered for free.
What are Your Favorite London Apps?
What apps work best for you in London will depend on what your goals and needs are. I’ve got mine down to a streamlined 10-12 that I use daily, but it’s all trial and error!
The best travel apps for London are easy to use, streamlined, and intuitive. What are your favorites?
Let me know and I can add it to the list: jen (at) London in Real Life (dot) com.
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