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Top Free iPhone Apps for London

BY Boon Koh
Published 8 August 2010

When I last went on holiday to Belgium recently, I found myself struggling to find any useful iPhone apps for free. Most of the apps were not free, and when you are only in a place for a few days, its a waste of money to buy an iPhone app when it becomes redundant when you leave.

I then started thinking of all the visitors and tourists to London who face the same dilemma, or even people living in London who want to have a few free London-related iPhone apps. When you’re only visiting London for a few days, why pay money for expensive paid apps? Below are my picks and reviews of the top 5 highly useful free iPhone apps for a trip to London! All of them are iPhone iOS 3 and iOS4 compatible.

1) London Tube Status iPhone app
Price: FREE

This is one of my most accessed iPhone apps while in London. Simply indispensable, as it tells you which London TfL tube lines are working and which are suspended or (severely) delayed, so you can plan your journey around London accordingly without wasting time on the platform waiting for the next tube train. A simple app (it just shows tube line statuses and station closures), yet highly effective. However, less effective for tourists and travellers as it requires internet access to function, which will incur high 3G broadband roaming charges unless you find a free wi-fi hotspot in London.

2) Time Out London iPhone app
Price: FREE

As a tourist in London, there’s no shortage of touristy things to do, touristy shops to go shopping at, and touristy restaurants to get fish n chips. But if you’re yearning to explore more of London and want to do what Londoners do, apart from reading the rest of this site, you can download the Time Out London iPhone app. This iPhone application specifically for London has listings of art events, entertainment, gigs, top restaurants and cafes, bars, pubs, and clubs, and much more. While its not a complete London directory, it is a good start and you’re bound to find something in there more interesting than heading to a touristy Cafe Rouge or Angus Steak House for dinner (if you see either of those in your London travels, you have not gotten far away enough off the tourist trail).

3) London Air iPhone app
Price: FREE

This is a pretty cool app for those who worry about the air pollution in London. If you’re the kind of tourist who is considering wearing a filter mask in London, this is an essential iPhone app to have. While generally London is not very polluted compared to some other big cities in the world (e.g. Beijing or New Delhi), it is sometimes congested and parts of London might have high level of pollution in the air. This app shows the pollution level data from over 100 pollution monitoring stations across London in real time, complete with push notification. Created by King’s College London, the app is completely free.

4) London Philharmonic Orchestra iPhone app
Price: FREE

Are you a classical music fan? The London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the best in the world, and it would be a shame to miss one of their performances while in London. This app has listings of their upcoming concerts as well as information about each concert.

5) GC London iPhone app
Price: FREE

GC in this case stands for Guestlist Clubbing, and this app helps you to get on the guestlist for top clubs in London. A perfect app if you’re looking for a fun night out in London, which has a vibrant clubbing scene. However, sometimes its hard to get in to some of the better nightclubs, especially around Leicester Square on a weekend, and this app solves the problem as it lists a large range of clubs, provides information on special club nights and themes, and allows you to reserve a space on the guestlist directly from the iPhone app itself!

What did you think of the review? Do you have another iPhone application that you use for London that you think should be featured? Leave your comments and reviews below!

  • Zeus

    Would be worth adding the brilliant free app for finding indie coffee shops in London: London’s Best Coffee iPhone app


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Megan-Smith/100001186936453 Megan Smith

    Thanks for the reviews!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Megan-Smith/100001186936453 Megan Smith

    These apps are brill just tried them out

  • Julienvs

    Belgium is a country, not a city 😉
    It’s not that easy either to find free apps for everything being a tourist. Wether you’re in the UK or in Belgium. Thanks for the tips.

  • http://twitter.com/TASTOUR Food&WineExperience

    Hi Boon, Hope you’re well.  Just got an iphone.  Would love to see this list updated – have any new recommendations for the new year?  I’ll drop in and post any I fine working well :)

    Thanks for all your hard work and info on the site :)  Kelly  @tastour:twitter

  • Mark Bruce

    If you want to find out about access at venues and attractions across England’s capital then the DisabledGo London App is for you!

    Whether you’re a tourist or a Londoner the App is packed with information to over 20,000 venues. Each one has been visited and assessed in person so you can trust the information you need to plan a trip, experience London in 2012 or just enjoy the place you live.

    DisabledGo have been producing access guides for more than a decade in constant consultation with disabled people. Our mission is simple, collect the information people want and only include venues that we have assessed ourselves.