11 Apps To Solve Your London Problems

By Jordan Waite Last edited 73 months ago

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Last Updated 18 June 2018

11 Apps To Solve Your London Problems

Living in London is great, but it has its problems, right?

Nothing that an app can't fix. We've found a solution to every problem — from apps that can help you find something to do, to those that can help you get there, and even those which will keep you entertained on the way.

1.  The times that you get lost...

You've lived here a while now, and you're probably quite impressed with your navigation skills. You can remember every stop of the 343 bus to New Cross and you always know which exit to take at Bank tube. But admit it — you still get lost sometimes, don't you?

If you've not already cottoned onto City Mapper, where've you been? It helps you navigate the city by just about any mode of transport possible, helping you find the fastest, cheapest and easiest route across town. Live train times, Uber integration and cycle docking station information means you'll never be caught short again. It even tells  you where to sit (or let's be honest, stand) on the tube so you can make a swift exit at your  destination. Nifty, that.

CityMapper is available on iOS free / Android free     

2. The times you're wondering if your bus will ever turn up...

Sometimes you'll find yourself waiting for a bus at a stop without one of those handy little countdown displays. Disaster, right? You'll probably be here all night, and you find yourself doubting whether the route you need even exists anymore.

Not with this app you won't.

London Bus Live Countdown plugs directly into live TfL data to give you minute by minute progress updates of your bus. You'll know exactly when it's due to turn up, and can even keep tabs on all the other services due at your stop, in case you need to change route. What's more, the pensioner waiting next to you will be dead impressed when you're able to tell them that their bus will be here in four minutes time. You do-gooder, you.

London Bus Live Countdown is available on iOS free / Android free

3. The times when your lunchtime spending is getting out of control...

Ah, lunchtime. A chance to escape the humdrum of the office and grab a bite to eat. You used to bring in a cheese sandwich and can of Coke from home, but that soon fizzled out when you discovered the delights of London's lunchtime scene. Now you're on an acai bowl a day, and the nearest you get to a cheese sandwich is a grilled halloumi pita from the Cypriot pop-up down the road. You're exotic now.

But your bank account is hurting.

Monzo helps you keep track of your extravagant spending with a handy app and a delightful coral pink card. It's a bank built from the ground up for the smashed avocado generation — gone are the days of only finding out how lax you are with your finances when you take a look at your bank statement. Instead, live notifications keep you up to date with your spending habits, and there's even a handy budgeting feature so you can try to restrict your spending.

Monzo is available on iOS free / Android free

4. The times when your inner tube nerd lets you down...

As a Londoner, you know that the tube lies sometimes. That explains the smug look on your face when you disobey the signs and take a cheeky shortcut to get to your train a little quicker (King's Cross, we're looking at you). But there are also times when your inner nerd lets you down and you find yourself wondering whether that pesky 'Way Out' sign has led you the long way round...

Wonder no more.

StationMaster equips you with a handy 3D map of every station on the network, allowing you to ditch the signs and forge your own route through the tunnels. It even features a guide on the best door to exit both the station and your train by. You'll be out of there in no time now you're privy to all the shortcuts.

StationMaster is available on iOS £3.99

5. The times when you fancy something new for lunch...

Alright, maybe you are trying to cut down on your lunchtime spending — but we're all allowed to treat ourselves now and then. Thing is, Pret is getting a little boring now, and you're looking for somewhere new to eat...

Redi is a handy little click and collect app that'll revolutionise your lunchtime. Pop it open and you'll be presented with a list of local lunch spots, sorted by distance for your convenience. You can browse their menus and place your order from the comfort of your desk (no time to waste here, folks), and it'll be ready for you the minute you swan out of the building for lunch. The handy loyalty points scheme and generous discounting helps keep the wallet happy, too: we bagged ourselves lunch for 69p this week.

Redi is available on iOS free / Android free

6. The times when you can't afford to go for a drink...

London is expensive. You love a good night out, but there's only so many times you can face waking up the next day, checking your bank account, and realising you were sinking £10 drinks all night. Thinking that perhaps it's time that you called time on your weekend drinking habit, you politely decline an invite to another raucous night out with your mates...

But what if there were free drinks?

Drinki have partnered with a whole host of London bars and nightclubs to offer you a free drink in each. It even features a handy map of participating bars, so you're free to hop between them and make the most of all the offers. What's more, the more friends you invite to the app, the more free drinks you get. You might just be on your way to the cheapest London night out you've ever had. Cheers!

Drinki is available on iOS free / Android free

7. The times when you need something to do on your commute...

As a Londoner, you're probably used to spending a lot of time on trains. But what are you meant to do when you're stuck on a delayed train, having exhausted your Spotify playlist and read the Evening Standard cover to cover? You could just sit and curse TfL for being unable to run an efficient public transport network...

Or you could try and run your own.

Mini Metro is a game of strategy that sees you run your own busy transit system by linking stations, directing trains and upgrading lines. With no two games playing alike, you'll probably get sucked in to spending many hours of your commute building the perfect commute. This is definitely one for all those who reckon they could do the whole train thing better than TfL. You think it's so easy, do you? We'll see about that.

Mini Metro is available on iOS £4.99 / Android £4.29

8. The times when TfL lets you down...

That said, we're not saying that TfL are perfect. There are, of course, times when you'll find yourself stranded without means to get home. Cancellations, delays and spotty network coverage all mean that sometimes you need to make alternative travel arrangements... unless of course, it was just your inability to read a Night Tube map (FYI, the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line does not run all hours...).

Uber has your back.

You probably have this app already, but it wouldn't be a list of top London apps without it. Now a familiar part of the London lexicon, many of us are already 'Ubering' across the city. You can request a car at the press of a button and track the location of your driver, and there's no need to carry cash either — you pay via the app. Result.

Uber is available on iOS free / Android free

9. The times when you can't be bothered to get out of bed...

As a Londoner, you really enjoy getting out and sampling the delights of the city. But there are times when you're hungover stuck in bed, and you can't really face the prospect of trekking to your favourite eatery. If only *insert venue here* delivered, we hear you cry.

Well now they do.

Quiqup promises to shop, pickup and drop pretty much anything you can think of in central London. Why drag yourself to your favourite takeaway when you can drag your favourite takeaway to you? Of course, it's not just food — you might just want to get some last minute makeup delivered before a big night out. The live courier tracking on the app means you'll be sure it'll all arrive in time.

Quiqup is available on iOS free / Android free

10. The times when you still can't get that table reservation...

London is a culinary capital, and with so many great restaurants to choose from, it's difficult to decide where to tantalise your tastebuds next. But deciding is only half the challenge — actually securing a table is the other. You've been caught short on a Friday night too many times, venturing into town to find that everyone had a reservation but you.

Now you can be the organised one.

Opentable helps you find and reserve tables at nearby restaurants, and the convenient cuisine categorisation makes it even easier to find what you're looking for. However, this is more than just a simple table booking app — there's special offers and a points system too, which you can exchange for vouchers. You'll be hard pressed to pay full price for a meal again, and you'll always have a seat too. Perfect.

Opentable is available on iOS free / Android free

11. The times when the air doesn't seem too fresh...

Some days, you find yourself wondering whether breathing the city air is doing you any good. Unfortunately, poor quality air is a major problem in London, and while there are efforts to mitigate the fumes, most would argue they do not go far enough.

Get yourself clued up.

Plume is a pollution monitor, allowing you to schedule your activities according to pollution levels. Is it the best time to go for a run? Should you go for a walk in the park with your children? Handy notifications keep you in the loop, and let you know the best time to get out and about.

Plume is available for iOS free / Android free

Are there any other London problems you've fixed with an app? Let us know in the comments...