5 top London apps you need right now

Suffering app overload?

A map, food, drinks, friends, and a lift home at the end of the night. That’s just five essential apps, and here they are.


If you think you know your way around London, it’s time to face some hard truths: London’s big, you’re little, and everyone gets lost sometimes.

Citymapper is the invincible app that finds you the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to get where you’re going, and gives fool-proof directions. Travel information’s in real time, and covers every conceivable form of London transport, up to and including bikes. It can also makes you seem like king pathfinder when you come across sad, befuddled tourists; and really, who doesn’t love that?


London’s the food capital of the entire known universe. So good luck getting fed anywhere at the last minute without a reservation: mystery meat in pitta pockets doesn’t count.

Download the Opentable app and find a restaurant table anywhere in the city, even on a Friday night. Searchable by food category, the app also has the subtle power to make you look suave, and worldly in front of starving friends. Plus it gives you money off meals, and loyalty points too: name a kebab truck that generous, if you can.


Tired of dragging a sack of gold out for a night in London? Download Drinki and get free drinks in dozens of city bars. What else do you need to know? Well, apart from the obvious, the app’s pretty handy when it’s your turn to pick somewhere for a night out. You can take all the credit too, but the more friends you introduce to Drinki, the more free drinks you get.

The motherlode of Drinki bars are in Central London for now, although tentacles are reaching south of the river to Tooting, and as far north as Stratford. So if you don’t see your local on the map yet, try somewhere new for now, the drinks are free.


When you’ve a million and one online connections and all you really want is to go grab a coffee with a friend, download the Pal app. It puts you in touch with real people, round and about your real neighbourhood, who want to do real stuff too.

What sort of stuff? That’s up to you, it can be anythin from a game of tennis to a walk in the park, putting together a poker school, catching a movie, or just having a drink after work. If someone else is up for it, Pal will find them, and let you know.

When you don’t see an activity you love, just invent one, post it and invite pals to join you. Pal can even source sociable locals to show you round London if you’re new in town and making friends is tougher than working out the Night Tube map.


London transport is great, until it isn’t: usually when you need it to be supernaturally omnipotent and get you home before you turn into a pumpkin.

If only there was an app that let you order a car anytime; pay online; and track your waiting time second by second anywhere in the city. Oh wait, there is, it’s Uber. And the only excuse for you not having this particular app now, better involve a very good story about an Antarctic research station.