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Best travel apps | Top mobile travel guides

These days there’s no need to buy a hefty guidebook before you head off on holiday. With most of us packing phones and tablets along with our passports now, we can take advantage of a world of mobile travel guides to help plan a stay - before we go and when we’re there. Here’s our selection of five of the best travel apps featuring travel guides.

Travel guide apps for your phone or tablet

Best travel apps, ipad screen

Image courtesy of AskDaveTaylor under Creative Commons licence.


Free: iPhone, iPad and Android

This super interactive app is what happens when two canny ex-Google folk focus on travel. Triposo pulls in open source destination content from across the web (from sites like Wikitravel, Wikipedia, World66 and OpenStreetMap), does some very clever stuff, and makes it relevant to each traveller using it.

There’s no need for an internet connection to use the guide. It covers thousands of destinations around the world with country and city maps and information on the popular sights, places to eat and nightlife. There’s also a currency converter, phrasebook, and details of events and the weather - which will update when you’re online and make suggestions on things to do where you are.

Stay city guides

Free: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android

Stay city guides provide detailed offline maps (so no mobile charges again) and local expert advice for food, coffee, shopping, nightlife and other entertainment in 150 cities across the globe. You can create your own personalised travel planner and add any place to your guide, whether it’s a market you’ve spotted or a friend’s house. Your guide will automatically update once you’ve got wifi again.

Best travel apps, ipad NYC

Image: Warm Sleepy under Creative Commons licence.

Lonely planet travel apps

Various prices: iPhone, iPad and Android

Aaah, Lonely Planet, a faithful friend when you’re off exploring the big wide world. The classic travel guidebook publisher offers a range of apps, including trip planning guides with suggested itineraries, highlights, cities, regions and sights; expert tips on food, history, arts, family travel; and easy booking for activities, tours and accommodation, whatever your budget.

There’s also a free Fast Talk language app which contains helpful, common phrases in Spanish, Italian, French, German and Latin American Spanish. The trusty Lonely Planet guides and phrasebooks are available as ebooks too.

Fodor’s city guides

Free: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, some guides available for Windows

Another traditional travel guide publisher, Fodor’s has adapted its quality content for the app world. You can get insider tips and recommendations for accommodation, sightseeing, shopping, eating and going out.

Search for local recommendations by destination, price range or interest, and use the interactive maps to read reviews and find places you’d like to go. You can also book hotels, restaurants, concerts and theatre tickets with Fodor’s partners, including OpenTable below. Look out for the Fodor’s Choice lists of the top things to see and do in each destination.


Free: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire, Blackberry

Booking a table for dinner when you’re away can be a bit of a hassle...with the OpenTable app you can make instantly confirmed table bookings for thousands of restaurants around the world. Search by name or distance from your current location, and see them on an interactive map. You can refine your search results by the style of food, price or real-time availability.

The app also provides menus, diner reviews and directions. OpenTable members earn Dining Rewards Points which can be redeemed at any OpenTable restaurant.

What do you think are the best travel apps? Tell us below, and if you enjoyed this post like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+.

Written by Maxine Clarke, follow her on Twitter @travellingmax, or email

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