As I waited at the Lufthansa gate for my flight back to Frankfurt from an incredible time in Berlin for TEDSalon, I thought of the apps and links I use when I travel. If I have a good wi-fi, it’s much easier but I can still get by with 3G and my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. In no particular order, here are my favorite apps to use that helped me and at times, my Parisian pal, Anna Livia, get around and why.
Unless otherwise noted, the apps are available for both Android and iPhone platforms. Sadly for Blackberry users, many apps are unable to get necessary permissions from Rim.
1. DeutscheBahn. (Or the local train system in your country of choice) Excellent for finding the closest train station and times to your current position. We wandered a bit on foot and used the app in combination with the iPhone map app (Anna Livia’s). Click here for the online booking tool. The app is available for both Android and iPhone users and you can click here for more info.
2. Mytaxi. When my feet tired of walking at the end of a long day at the TEDSalon Berlin or wandering around town, I could call up a taxi. Click here for more info.
I tried to get my favorite drivers but for whatever reasons, it didn’t work. That’s OK because I’ve never had a bad ride or weird driver. As a solo female traveler with minimal bags, I like to avoid weird drivers. Well, weird people in general.
Although I couldn’t get one of my fave Berlin drivers, I was able to get the closest one to my hotel. Herr Yigit is definitely one of the best drivers and managed to get around crazy construction traffic to get me to Tegel airport in great time.
3. Moovel. Still in beta in Berlin but pretty cool. Their mantra is “Urban mobility redefined.” I was able to give some input to the German reps during the TEDSalon because my app kept crashing while we were out and about. I’m looking forward to using it when it goes live across Germany as it pulls metadata from the train schedules, MyTaxi, rental bikes, Car2Go, and so on. Exciting stuff! Look it up when you’re in Berlin. Click here for more info for both Android and iPhone (sorry Blackberry, nothing for y’all).
4. Yelp. I usually use this for local restaurant reviews, whether in a pinch or during travel prep. I tend to ask about restaurants in German (or whatever language is spoken in the country I’m in) so I get a more local review vice tourist since I like to eat in neighborhood haunts. Click here for more info.
5. Virtual Tourist is a great travel portal that is a lot helpful and yet can be a bit overwhelming if you try to surf in one sitting for a city as vast as Berlin. Be warned that you can get caught up with clicking away! What’s some of the topics you can search for? Take a peek at the front page…
6. Trip Advisor is a fantastic source for new and repeat visitors to Berlin. Users love to share good and bad reviews on restaurants, hotels, shops, and other services. While the mobile version is limited in screen size, it makes up for it in scope. The smartphone app is super easy to use. Click here for more info.
7. Booking.com is one of the first places I’ll surf for good deals on lodging. It’s got a super easy search function that filters down to my preferences: wi-fi, parking, restaurant, pets. You can also compare prices between discount agencies, although I’ll usually also go to the establishment’s website to see if it has better deals. Click here for more info.
8. Airbnb.com When I traveled with family to Berlin in 2013, we lucked out with a fabulous 2-story flat in Kreuzberg. Since I wasn’t traveling with them this trip, I didn’t need a huge place and decided to take the recommendation of a good friend who travels to Berlin frequently. However, I do heartily recommend Airbnb if you’re on a budget, have several guests, and if you want some of the comforts of home, like a kitchen and laundry facilities. One of the best qualities of this site is the neighborhood guides that are available for the major cities in the world. Do check it out, if not for lodging, then at least to check out the neighborhood recommendations. Click here for more info.
9. Hotel Tonight is an Honorable Mention that was recommended by fellow travelers who travel singly, as a couple, or with family. I tested it for Berlin although I’d already gotten a hotel reservation, just to see what kinds of deals there were for the first night. There were some pretty good deals! Worth checking it out for future trips. Click here for more info.