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Ten essential free phone apps for a visit to Paris
Ten essential free apps for a visit to Paris. Photo: Shutterstock

Ten essential free phone apps for a visit to Paris

The Local · 5 Nov 2015, 12:42

Published: 05 Nov 2015 12:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Nov 2015 12:42 GMT+01:00

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Before smartphones, travellers would have to lug a stack of books, maps and guides with them to be able to make sense of the City of Light on their own, but the smartphone has effectively made that extra weight a thing of the past.

Independent travellers can literally have the city in the palms of their hands with a collection of a few good apps. The Local has collected some of the best free apps for Paris on Google's Play store. 

Here are ten that will make your visit that little bit easier:

MyCityHighlight gives you local recommendations of the best tourist attractions, restaurants and shopping areas that Paris has to offer, and travellers rate them. Filter your highlights depending on your needs, with sections for families, night time, rainy days and free wifi spots. The app includes up-to-date info on events like festivals and exhibitions, as well as practical tips ranging from ATMs to public toilets.

“When traveling in Paris city, you should install and use this application. It's like a real tour guide,” user Goku Hn wrote on the Google Play store.

You can use the Visit Paris by Metro app to work out the fastest, easiest or most accessible public transportation route for you. It includes everything from Paris’s subway and streetcars to buses and its extensive RER train network. Best of all, Paris transport chiefs have just updated the Metro app to include new features including real time updates, an English-language audio tourguide for bus journeys, and even games to play while you travel. 

In his review user Mark Miller wrote: "Pretty amazing. This really saved my life on my last trip to Paris."

Paris Map Offline is exactly what its name promises, a chart of the capital that doesn’t require a data or internet connection. Its geolocation function will pinpoint your spot on the map, which updates as you move, making it quite difficult to get lost. 

Kenneth Parris said it was "pretty impressive. This app has tons of information!"

Finding a cheap pint in Paris isn't easy, but the Happy Hours Paris app is a big help. It tells you what drinks cost, how long happy hour lasts (usually several hours in France) and how far the place is from you. And if you are really traveling on a budget the app can direct you towards the absolute cheapest joints.   

User Berbard Tschaen wrote: “First it actually works and that’s important. Next the database on Paris is complete and that’s essential."

My Airport is the official app of Paris’s airport authority and has everything from flight arrival and departure time to terminal information like boarding gates. Also if you end up driving to the airport the app has a function that will remember where you parked your car. If you’ve wandered around the warren of concrete car storage at Charles de Gaulle you’ll be glad to have some help.

An anonymous user wrote: "Flight status in real-time. That's great!"

Finding a public toilet in Paris that’s nearby and isn’t only accessible to paying customers is a bit of an art. But the Nearest Toilet app gives you the addresses and user ratings of toilets that will help you answer the call of nature. Better yet, it works in other countries too, so it’ll keep working once you return home or continue your travels.

User Georges Chami wrote: "Super smart app, helps the people in need."

Use the AlloCab app to book rides not only around Paris, but in several other French cities. The app is in French but is easy to follow, allowing you to book a car with just one click and get a fixed price for your cab - regardless of traffic. You can track your driver on the map to see how close they are, and receive a text message when your car is nearly there.

"Awesome experience. Visited France recently, and had the best driver I ever had! I recommend this service to anyone!" said one user, Andrei Pervychine.

TheFork allows you to read over 3 million customer reviews of a huge variety of restaurants, making it easy to choose where to eat. You can also save on future meals, with discounts offered by many participating restaurants. It also works in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland so is particularly handy if you are planning a trip around Europe.

Marlene Franke said: "We used this app while on holiday in Paris. It is a wonderful and reliable resource."

Learn French Vocabulary Free is one of the only French language apps to be 100 percent free, and it offers lessons targeted to beginners or advanced learners, and different groups including business, dating and general travel. A listening-only mode allows you to multitask, learning vocab while driving or doing something else, plus the offline mode means you won’t rack up roaming charges.

User Mikayil Eliyev described at as "Super! Would definitely recommend to anyone, especially for beginners!"

If you're keen to avoid the usual tourist traps, Secrets de Paris reveals the lesser known highlights of the capital. You can check the distance and route to each of the 'secrets' and save your favourites in a list. The app is available in French and English and also works offline. 

User Belinda Reay said: "Useful app for generating ideas for a day off in Paris!


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