The first time you visit New York City, don’t resort to paper maps to help you get around, but instead use your smartphone with these handy little apps to help you navigate New York. My first trip to New York, I used these apps at different points and they completely changed my viewpoint on navigating the city. Later, when I moved there, I felt like a pro thanks to these apps. Not once did I get lost through Manhattan, Brooklyn, or surrounding areas, and I traveled all alone! You can easily do the same if you have a smartphone. Here are 7 apps to help you navigate New York and avoid getting that "tourist stare" from locals.
1. KickMap NYC
Perhaps one of my favorites of all 7 apps is 24 Hour NYC Subway Map by KickMap. This app is one of the best apps to help you navigate NYC for several reasons. First, NYC Subway Map works on all subways underground without an internet connection. A connection is only needed to look up street addresses and get live transit alerts. The subway is going to be your BFF if you don’t want to spend your entire paycheck on taxi cabs. All you need is a little help learning how to use them. This app also allows you to search all local subways and type in where you need to go and it will route your subways, telling you when to switch and how. This is perfect if you’re new to the subway system. The app was rated one of the best 2012 Apple Apps for NYC in Manhattan. Cost is $2.99 (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
2. Hop Stop New York
Another great app for navigating subways is HopStop, which is a public transit app that covers everything from detailed subway, bus, train, taxi and walking routes. It includes official transit maps, nearby station finders and all schedules. It even tells you when to stop and gives tips for detours. Best of all? It’s free! (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
3. Central Park NYC Lite
This app is basically an app of nothing but Central Park. If you’ve never been to Central Park, or aren’t familiar with all of it, this app is for you. Central Park is one of the best local places to go and can change your entire New York experience. With this app, you can find everything from bathrooms to events to carriage rides to all the famous fountains. You can also learn about each part of the park, including its history, without using a boring tourist guide or map. Cost is free. (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
4. Time out New York
Okay so you don’t just need directions and subway routes, you also need something to do! Here’s the app for you. Time Out New York helps you navigate out the entertainment portion of your trip. It gives ideas of what to do and tells you how to get there. From local shows, to events in Time Square, to historic events and also concerts, restaurants, clubs, bars, new show openings, and more, this app is a must-have. It’s also free. ( iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android)
5. New York Pass- Travel Guide
This app is awesome if you’re planning a visit to New York, or even just living there. It include over 70 attractions in New York, and features a budget tool that shows you how to save money and where. You can even sync your itineraries with your iPhone Calendar automatically. It also includes automatic updates for what is happening in the city and it is free. It gives tips for navigating the city on a budget and is available without an internet connection. (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
6. NYC Way
If you could pack all your needs in an App in one single app, this just might be it. NYC Way contains more than 60 individual apps within the entire app for street vendors, tourist attractions, subways, garbage collection schedules, nightlife, restaurants, shows and more. The best part is, it’s actually free. ( iPhone, iPad, iPod)
7. CabSense NYC
So maybe you don’t want to take a subway and you actually need a cab. This app has you covered. It analyzes data from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, along with other sources, and helps you find cabs on any street corner you’re on. It tells you where and when a taxi will be near your location. Need to find out when a cab is expected near your hotel tomorrow? This app can help you with that too. Oh, and if you’re not used to hailing a cab, this app has you covered there as well. Just shake your phone and it gives off a whistle, along with a flashing light as an automatic cab hailer. Hard to beat that! (Free on Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod).
Navigating New York doesn't have to be intimidating. With these apps to help you navigate New York, you’re well on your way to feeling like a pro. You may even look forward to getting out and about more in the city with these handy apps. My advice is to download them all, especially the free ones, and see which one you like best. Do you have a favorite app for navigating NYC? Share it!