Everyone seems to be glued to their phones these days, and we’re just as guilty as everyone else. But phones can be very useful things and there are a whole host of Edinburgh apps out there which make planning a day out, deciding where to eat or finding some exclusive deals incredibly easy. We’re rounding up a few of the best Edinburgh related apps you need to download immediately to make the most of all the brilliant things on offer in this beautiful city of ours. So, get your phone out, switch on your WiFi and get ready to do some downloading.
Transport for Edinburgh
Not the most glamorous of apps, but certainly one of the most useful. If you use Lothian Buses or the Edinburgh trams, you need this in your pocket at all times. The app has two main parts: bus tracker and m-tickets. The bus tracker helps you to plan your route and find out when the next bus is due, so there’s no more hanging around at the bus stop hoping a bus will turn up soon. The real gem, though, is the m-tickets service which allows you to purchase virtual bus and tram tickets through the app. Just activate the ticket as the bus approaches, show your phone to the bus driver and hey presto. No need to go on a mad dash to the corner shop to get the right change for the bus any more!
Although Zomato has now expanded to lots of different cities across the UK, Edinburgh was one of the first locations they launched in so the app is full of brilliant food and drink recommendations from locals. As well as the traditional user-generated reviews and photos, the Zomato app also includes snapshots of the menus in each restaurant or bar featured – perfect if you want to get an idea of what you can eat and drink before you turn up. Search by location, cuisine, occasion, or check out what’s trending and swap reviews and comments with other users.
Being a mum can be a busy and expensive business, so an app that brings you treats, discounts and other lovely offers will be a welcome addition to your phone. This “one stop shops” saves you the time and effort of searching around the internet for discounts from a variety of Edinburgh businesses, and brings them straight to your pocket instead. Get discounts on local restaurants and cafes, hair and beauty appointments, spas or hotel stays as well as free or discounted access to kid- and family-friendly activities. Although the app is geared towards mums and families in Edinburgh, you don’t have to be a mum to use it so it’s great for discovering local offers.
Feeling stressed out or worn down, but don’t have time to pop along to your favourite spa? Urban Massage is the app for you. Through the app, you can book a qualified and experienced massage therapist to turn up with all their professional equipment and give you a treatment in the comfort of your own home, office or hotel within the hour. Urban Massage have a selection of local Edinburgh massage therapists ready and waiting, so all you need to do is select the treatment you want to try, the time you want your massage and the therapist you would like. They offer a selection of different massages – from sports and deep tissue to calming and pregnancy massages – to suit everyone.
Can’t be bothered waiting for the bus? Hop in a taxi instead with the City Cabs app. The app will find your location with GPS so you can instantly order a taxi wherever you are, or you can manually enter an address if you prefer. The map will show you how far away the nearest taxi is according to your specifications (you can enter a drop-off address, type of vehicle, payment method and leave a message for the driver), and the tracker will show your taxi making its way towards you. If you don’t have any cash on you, just pay through the app with your card – getting home has never been simpler!
Edinburgh Photo Guide
Are you a keen photographer but can’t figure out the best spots to snap some stunning photos of the city? You need the Edinburgh Photo Guide app which will take you on a virtual tour of some of the best photography hotspots. There are a variety of pre-made tours (ranging from one to six hour walks) which guide you around some of the most beautiful landmarks in the city, giving you information along the way about the sites themselves, how to get there and the best camera settings to use. Once you start to work out the best routes to take, you can even create your own custom tour with your favourite landmarks on it.
If you’re planning on visiting Edinburgh Zoo any time soon, their app is great for mapping out your visit and discovering what’s on. There’s even an interactive explorer trail and a map to help you get around the zoo, making sure you don’t miss any animals on the way. But, even if you’re not heading to the zoo for a visit soon, the app is worth downloading for the webcams alone. The pandas, penguins and squirrel monkeys all have their own webcams so you can see what mischief they’re getting up to from the comfort of your own sofa.
Timeline Trip Edinburgh
Whether you’re just visiting Edinburgh for a few days or you’re a local who wants to find out more about the history of your city, Timeline Trip is a handy little app which will give you all the information you need for a self-guided tour. Travel through time using the interactive historical maps, and discover lots of interesting facts along the way. Choose the era you’d like to explore then plan out your route on the map, checking in at various notable points along the way. Be sure to click on each map pin to find out more about the locations and see historical photos to see how much it has changed (or stayed the same!) over the years.
What are your favourite Edinburgh apps?