When visiting a new city you don’t want to be wandering around lost, time wasting, or looking like a tourist with your map in your hand! Happily mobile phones (and cheaper data packages) means you can now find everything you need for your visit via some excellent Edinburgh apps. If you are visiting (or are even a local!) here are my favourites:
Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses have been consistently voted the best in the country and that is because we locals LOVE them. Single tickets are currently £1.50; day tickets £4; family day tickets £8.50 with no change given. Don’t forget to thank the driver!
- EdinBus – there is a myriad of routes, stops and options. To find your way around, the independent EdinBus app is essential, zoom in on the map to find your closest stops, click on bus numbers to see routes and see when your bus is due in real time. Simple and very effective. Available Free on Apple and Android.
- Transport for Edinburgh with Mobile Ticketing – this app comprehensively covers both the Lothian bus network and the tram route with real-time updates and route planner. The app is most useful for mobile ticketing; however, you do need to spend over £10 to buy tickets. Handy if you are here for a few days or if you don’t want to mess around with change. Download Free from Lothian Buses.
The local rail network is run by Abellio ScotRail and their app provides a route planner, the option to purchase tickets and collect from the station 10 minutes later. The app also provides updates on the status of the network. Available Free from ScotRail,
For bus travel outside of Edinburgh, try the Free SESTran’s Bus Tracker app to explore via the bus network, Traveline also works across all forms of transport across Scotland. For the Clyde and Hebridean Islands of Scotland, Calmac ferries also have an app. If you are flying here, Edinburgh Airport also has an app with live flight updates on demand.
The wonderful Euan’s Guide is a listings and review website that helps disabled people and their families know which venues are truly accessible. The Euan’s Guide app is free to download from his website. The app includes GPS to help you find the best accessible venues nearby. Essential and very cool!
Eating & Drinking
Lunchquest Edinburgh – from burger bars, to Edinburgh’s best coffee, LunchQuest is a comprehensive guide to where to eat lunch (and dinner) in Edinburgh. Read reviews and find your closest spots. Always entertaining. Download the Lunchquest app for free.
Get some fresh air (and the loo!)
- Edinburgh Outdoors – It is not all about eating & drinking, why not explore Edinburgh’s parks and gardens with the Edinburgh Outdoors. Handily it also shows you where all the public loos are! Download Free from Edinburgh Outdoors.
The Festival (of course!)
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe – plan which shows you want to see, buy tickets (and collect the physical tickets from collection points) navigate yourself around the venues, organise Fringe events with My Festival planner and check out what is half price at the Half Price Hut. Download the 2015 fringe app from the Edfringe site.
History, Literature & Tours
Looking for something a little different to do? Here are my favourite apps to guide you around:
- Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh – Are you a Rebus fan? If so, then Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh is your perfect app. Walk around Edinburgh guided by the author. Available from Apple and Android.
- Edinburgh World Heritage Guide – No visit to Edinburgh is complete without exploring the old and new towns. This guide from the Edinburgh World Heritage management team has four walking tours with maps and photos and details of many of the buildings including audio clips. Explore Calton Hill, the nooks and crannies of the Royal Mile, and Dean Village. It is a fantastic way to see behind the scenes of the city we live in. Download from Edinburgh World Heritage Trust.
- A Secret Golden Age – Interested in both history and literature? This project from UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature will guide you around five Edinburgh Literary trails, from the tale of Mary Queen of Scots, Kings and Makars, playwrights and a tour of one of my favourite places, Blackford Hill (Download from A Secret Golden Age.)
- Haunted Edinburgh – if you are looking to spot ghosts and ghouls then this is the app for you (£0.79 on Apple )
- Edinburgh Wallpaper* City Guide – while the app needs an update (The Missoni Hotel has been sold, Seadogs & The Saint are no more, the Wallpaper books are still my favourite guides mixing architecture and city life. This the Edinburgh Guide in an app form. (Download from Apple around £4)
If you have a favourite Edinburgh App not listed here, feel free to contact me and I shall add it.