In days gone by, travellers had 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 now you 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 apps for navigating Paris on Google's Play store. Best of all – all of them are available for free!
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.
Visit Paris by Metro
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. It includes 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 Travel Guide Offline Map
This one does exactly what it says on the tin, allowing you to use a map and find your way round the capital without using up data. Also known as Monument Tracker, it's tailored to tourists with information on the must-see sights of Paris – including ones you might easily otherwise miss. You'll get alerts when near to a sight, and can follow 'topical circuits' taking you off the beaten path to discover a new side of the city.
Happy Hours Paris
Finding a cheap drink 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 to enjoy a cocktail, wine, or beer in style
User Berbard Tschaen wrote: “First it actually works and that’s important. Next the database on Paris is complete and that’s essential.”
Mister Good Beer
For beer lovers, Mister Good Beer is a good alternative, directing you straight to the cheapest pints in the vicinity. It gives you the maximum price for a beer in each bar, as well as directions and opening times, helping you avoid tourist traps.
“Best app ever for beer lovers!” wrote Ludovic Lay in a Google review.
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!”
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, making it perfect for foodies on a budget. 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
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!”
Secrets de Paris
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!
This article was first published in November 2015 and updated in August 2017.