Apps to Make Paris Travel Easy and Fun!
For my very dear bestie, Eva, who with patience displayed only by saints, sets up all my devices, shows me how to use them - she even helped me secure this P'Niche blog site. For this, and ever so much more, Grazie a TE, my Eva!
We are very lucky to be able to add the safety and convenience of apps to our travels to Paris (and beyond). P'Niche personally struggles to keep up with all of the rapidly developing (albeit useful) technology, but let's take a look at some apps you might want to consider adding to your mobile device for your travel ease and comfort...
P'Niche PSA: You will want to plan ahead and download (and update) all these items before your departure. Further, you might wish to organize all of your travel apps into one folder on your portable device. In case you really wanted to have have fun labeling your travel folder, the French word for traveler is le voyageur (la voyageuse for the ladies!) Mobile carriers may have different fees or requirements to download apps, and their images/icons may vary from what you see here. Ensure you "know before you click!"
In no particular (and non-sponsored) order, P'Niche likes to use...
This handy flight companion app allows you to quickly access flight status updates and make stressful travel easier.
It also provides current news on food, beverage, and shopping specials within airports, as well as the ability to book exclusive access to lounges and parking.
If you plan to park at your departure airport of choice, this app may be the (car) key to a successful start to your voyage!
This free app allows you to load and manage all of your travel plans in one space. From flights, hotel reservations, car rental reservations, etc., you can even track your personal travel rewards and points in this one.
Now Boarding: Flight to Easy Travel Town!
Want to track ALL the countries you have ever visited? Well, this is the app for you...
This very user friendly app simply has you check off all the counties you have visited. The countries are then highlighted in orange and mapped out before your eyes. Been also tells you (globally and per continent) the percentage of the countries you have been to.
Simply stated, this app shows you where you have been - and where you have left to go.
Your Airline Carrier App
You will always want to have your preferred airline carrier app/s on your mobile device.
From special meals and fares, to bonus points, delays and/or cancellations, my Air France app even has contacted me on boarding gate changes before they post to the main info boards at the airport.
It's also helpful when you are sitting at the airport waiting to board your flight home - you can already look to book your next trip back to Paris!
I definitely needed this when the airline put my 6'6" nephew (Hi Joes!) in a middle seat on our long overseas (and overnight) flight!
This unique site allows you to see airplane layouts (with real passenger reviews) as well as a color-coded system that will identify good and bad aircraft seats.
This is a free site that can really make or break your next flight comfort experience!
Listen, flight delays and cancellations are just an unavoidable "bummer" part of travel, domestically or internationally.
This app will help to ensure and enforce your rights as a passenger when your airline carrier disrupts, delays, or outright cancels flights.
It's nice to know that someone is on our side - now, how about a little more legroom, guys?!
P'Niche is a big fan of Viator. Huge.
This app (and website) gathers info from many various tour guides, companies, unique experiences, etc. and places them all at your fingertips for ease.
You can book adventures, pay, and keep your tickets/vouchers securely located in this one easy to use (and totally fun to navigate) app.
What's on your adventure bucket list?
Confession: P'Niche is always turned around - always.
Maps.me has made travel much less intimidating. It provides offline maps provided by "Open Street Map" Data.
The best part of this is that you only need mobile data to access, not Wi-Fi.
You can preload and store maps on your device before setting out - what a dream for a directionally challenged traveler!
Google Maps seems to be a very polarizing app (many people prefer CityMapper) but P'Niche loves it. Aside from streets, sites, and landmarks, you can enter in your start point and destination and it offer various methods of transport to get you there.
For someone who used to be quite intimidated to travel solo, in fear of getting forever lost, I love the Zen feeling of "becoming the blue ball" to find my way from point A to point B.
While we are speaking of Google, for those not fluent, proficient, or even past bonjour in their French language skills, this is an app you will definitely want in your travel arsenal.
Simply type in (for example, when reading a menu) what you want - or even hover your camera over the word/s, and poof! Google Translate will give you a reasonably accurate translation. You can even listen to the pronunciation included to try it out for yourself.
Paris Travel Guide
Let's be honest, Paris travel guides are a dime a dozen, but this one has a truly unique feature that will be helpful for P'Nichers who are able to travel more regularly to Paris.
You are able to create personalized lists, such as "favorite restaurants," "favorite museums," or even "favorite streets."
This app also provides information on sites, such as Wikipedia public articles / images as well as what lodging and/or restaurants are close by. Handy!
There are métro maps and there are métro maps. This is the latter.
Of course a general métro map is provided, but this service goes a step further. Its comprehensive route planner suggests various options along with their anticipated journey times, and includes alternative modes of transportation such as ride shares. You can even save your favorite routes and keep up to the minute on any métro delays, changes, etc.
For first time Paris visitors, the RATP is the company that manages the entirety of the Parisian public transportation system. With this easy to use app, you can find public transport routes (in real time). You can also book and secure your Vélib' bicycle, book and pay for the Marcel ride hailing service, etc.
And for my Navigo pass owners (woo!), you can also load time and/or money into your Navigo pass for ease. (You still need to purchase your Navigo pass directly from a person at a teller kiosk though)...
Want to travel above ground but not by the public bus?
Even though you can book a Vélib' bike through the Bonjour RATP app noted above, sometimes you just want to go "directly to the source."
On this app, you have the ability to easily locate a Vélib' docking point, plan your desired bike route, view your personal statistics, buy a pass, or manage your account.
G7 Taxi App
Listen, you probably already have Uber downloaded in your phone. G7 is very specific to Paris, and works in exactly the same fashion. In fact, P'Niche prefers it.
You type in your starting point, your ending point, number of passengers, and they give you a time estimate on when your ride will arrive.
P'Niche PSA - you will want to download this app AND load in your credit card info before departing for Paris. Ask me how I know!
This app is for my night owls, out taking Paris in by late night adventure!
Métro closed for the night and you need to get home? Pas de problème! Heetch was designed for those needing late night transport, but not wanting to pay any increase in fare due to the late hour.
Similar to G7, just above, you will want to ensure that you have this app downloaded in advance of your trip, with your credit card information loaded and ready to go.
City Gardens Paris
In a city that boasts over 400 parks, gardens, and green spaces (that's an average of five parks within 500 meters around each Parisian), this app is truly convenient for our outdoorsy P'Nichers.
The award winning app (winner of the AppMyCity! Prize) includes not only historical information on each park and space, but critical info on opening and closing times, where playgrounds are located (if available), if a restroom in available, if Wi-Fi is available nearby, etc.
The app will also be regularly updated to include info, such as special programs or events to be held at specific parks.
This app is coming up roses! (Sorry...)
P'niche PSA: You're going to need to be able to read / understand a bit of French to get the most use out of this handy guide.
This straightforward app will list out various concerts, exhibitions, and other enjoyable cultural events that are going on in Paris during your stay. You will simply enter your travel dates and check out what interests you. You'll also be able to see what clubs, bars, and restaurants are around you - get out there and enjoy Paris!
This one is a real foodie's delight!
Written by local Parisians for local Parisians, this continuously updated guide will tell you the best openings, while maintaining up to date news and menus on the most beloved spots.
The reviews are glowing: "Paris has many restaurants and bars but only one app to know about the trendiest places. Le Fooding is about to become your best friend!" (Vanity Fair UK)
La Fourchette / The Fork
Well now that you know the cool spot you want to try, you'd best book a table! This app includes the ability to reserve a table at many restaurants (of many varying price points).
Further, La Fourchette provides offers of up to 50% off when you book through the app, making dining in the City of Light a little easier to arrange, and easier on your wallet...
L'addition (the bill) has arrived after your delicious Parisian meal. And now, you have to figure out how to split the check among your friends or family. Quel bummer, right? Nah, TriCount has you covered.
This app allows you to set up your spending and split it among your group, according to your own personalized criteria. It even syncs up to share account status, and when using the "balance" option, you can see who owes who and how much. No one wants to fight over who owes what - and now you don't have to!
Paris Guide Monument Tracker
In a moment of "Why Didn't I Think of That?!" this app provides lists of the very many monuments of Paris.
The tracker goes even further to include an abbreviated history on each.
But wait, if you call now - there's more!
The app also includes quizzes and a treasure hunt to enhance and enrich your Parisian walks, sightings, and adventures.
After many hours out exploring Paris monuments, P'Niche is always afraid of a dead battery on her portable device. With Powcize, a lot of the worry is gone.
The Powcize app enables you to find public spaces where you will be able to charge your phone or device.
It will even tell you the distance you have to reach the charging station, the types of chargers available, and the operating hours.
We've all struggled with VAT returns on our larger purchases in France, but no more! With Wevat, the troubles and hard work are all but eliminated.
All you need to do to complete a claim is to add purchase invoices from your French shopping in a single tap. You will then be able to generate a digital tax-free form and scan the barcode at Wevat supported departure points before you leave France. Next, you select your preferred currency and method to receive your refund (within 3 months). Shop on, P'Nichers!
Ok, stop giggling! We all have to go, and the need always seems to hit at the most inconvenient time... This app is our hero!
This app shows all locations of public toilets Sanisette, everywhere - from parks and gardens, and those located in the Parisian RATP transportation network.
Simply search around your position or enter a search by address. Moreover, the application can work without Internet connection.
Remember to always carry a Euro coin or two with you - it's not always free-free to pee-pee!
WhatsApp has not really caught on here in the States yet, but it's just a matter of time.
Preferred by over 2 billion international users, WhatsApp allows you to send and receives text messages / calls for free.
The ability to securely send and receive communications, no matter what device or location is a precious relief when you are out and about traveling, but still need to be in contact with friends and loved ones.
Some of the best things in life are free - and some of P'Niche's best Paris memories are the songs that bring me back in time to her medieval cobblestone streets.
This app is just the best. Hear a song you like? Simply open the app, press "listen" and Shazam will (likely) find the title and artist (and allow you to download to your music carrier service).
Again, props to my best friend who never flinches as I wave my phone around in the air grabbing songs for my "Paris Playlist!"
What do you think, P'Nicher? What is your go to travel app? Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, just what makes your travel easiest to manage and enjoy. Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!