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This article was published on February 2, 2016

Lonely Planet’s new mobile app helps you explore major cities like a pro

Lonely Planet’s new mobile app helps you explore major cities like a pro
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Packing your bags for an exciting new destination? You’ll want to load up Lonely Planet’s new free Guides app on your iOS or Android device before you go.

The all-new app bundles maps, recommendations and budget guides for several major cities around the world, and lets you download city guides for use without a data connection — handy for when you don’t yet have a local SIM card.

Guides currently covers 37 cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and Vienna in Europe, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, New York and Washington DC in North America and Beijing, Kyoto, Singapore and Seoul in Asia.

Once you download a city guide, you’ll find an overview, a currency converter and a simple budget explaining what you can look forward to based on your planned daily spend.

Each city also has a map marked with attractions, restaurants and bars, accommodation options and shopping destinations as well as performance venues and fun activities.

You can search and filter through each of these categories by price and distance from your current location. There’s also the option to save destinations to a list.

Guides helps you navigate major cities while you travel with offline maps and info
Guides helps you navigate major cities while you travel with offline maps and info

While Guides includes a wide range of options in every category, it doesn’t come with many photos or any video content. Those could help increase the appeal of places you’d want to visit, but on the plus side, it helps reduce the amount of space the app needs to take up on your phone.

Guides could also have done with an itinerary planner of some sort to help you line up activities for each day of your trip. Without that, it’s not unlike the scores of other tourism apps out there.

Still, Guides has a lot going for it — its design is highly legible, it works offline and it features information from a trusted source that’s been in the business since the 70s.

The other app I’ve relied on during my travels is from Booking.com, which offers reliable guides for many cities worldwide. However, you can’t access them unless you actually reserve a room in the city where you need information.

For the low price of free, Guides is a must-have on Android and iOS. The company says it will add more cities in the future.

➤ Guides [Android | iOS via Android Police]

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