While your trusty Lonely Planet guide is still bound to come in handy, these apps might just add a little extra je ne sais quoi to your experience during your next trip to Paris.
As well as being free, the apps that I’ve included here are available to download onto Android and iPhone smartphones.
I’ve divided the apps into five sections: getting around Paris, what’s on in Paris, language tips, Paris for foodies and free Wifi.
GETTING AROUND THE CITY:
Next stop Paris (Visit Paris by metro)
Designed by Paris transport company RATP, this app lets you type in your starting point and destination to show you the quickest route by metro or the one with the fewest changes.
It also comes with three different maps of the city (a metro map, a bus map and a map showing all of the main attractions in Paris).
If you fancy exploring Paris on two wheels, this app helps you to find your nearest Vélib’ station (France’s version of the Boris bike in London) and tells you how many parking spaces are available.
Find out more here on the official website.
Paris has now joined the list of cities where you can pre-book a cab relatively cheaply.
You can also reserve taxis in advance for a reasonable price through Le Taxi, a group of eight apps set up by the French government to support taxi drivers who aren’t driving with Uber.
Paris travel guide and offline city map
A map, city guide and concierge service all rolled into one, this app gives recommendations on where to stay, what to do and where to eat in Paris.
It also allows you to easily reserve experiences such as a Moulin Rouge show or a queue-jump ticket for the Louvre museum.
GuidePal Paris City Travel Guide
Written in a breezy, conversational style, the app is split into sections including ‘hotels’, ‘eat’, ‘see and do’ and ‘shopping’.
One of its stand-out features is its tips section, with subjects including Paris food markets, the Latin Quarter and how to avoid tourist traps.
Not only does Dojo let users browse categories such as restaurants, cocktail bars, brunch places and pâtisseries, you can also make your own lists in the app of different places that you want to visit.
And there’s even a ‘curiosities’ section for anyone wanting to get ahead of the game and discover Paris’s best-kept secret attractions.
Since its launch in November 2011, the app has been downloaded by more than 100 million users worldwide.
Complete beginners in French (or other languages) have the option of taking a short placement test to determine their level in the language or of going straight to a set of language exercises.
Users can practise lots of different skills, from speaking, writing and listening to reading and translation, and can progress quickly through the app.
PARIS FOR FOODIES:
With this app, you can filter restaurants by category – type of food, occasion or price – to find the restaurants that you’re interested in. You can also make reservations through the app.
Described by Vanity Fair as ‘the new Bible of eating well’ and by the New Yorker as the culinary equivalent of ‘what the Nouvelle Vague was to cinema’, this is clearly a must-have app if you’re into food and cooking.
The app is divided into several sections: this includes a regularly updated ‘eat list’ featuring reviews of promising restaurants and a ‘hot from the oven’ category which showcases new restaurants. You can also make reservations and place takeaway orders through the app.
If – like me – you hope that trips abroad won’t leave you with a huge bill of roaming charges, this app’s for you.
You don’t even need to be connected to WiFi to open the app – it’s an offline map of Paris dotted with icons that show where you can get free WiFi across the city, so you won’t come back to any nasty surprises when you’re unpacking your suitcases.
For Android users, there’s the alternative app Wifi à Paris. It shows your nearest WiFi hotspot as well as all of the WiFi hotspots in Paris on a map, and lets you search WiFi hotspots by location on a dropdown menu.
How about you? What are your favourite travel and France-related apps?
Bon dimanche ! 😊