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Around Budapest - Articles

6 handy mobile apps to help you navigate Budapest

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Petra Berende

Budapest is a booming city, which makes some printed booklets, maps, and guidebooks obsolete while they still almost new. Sure, the Chain Bridge will always be the Chain Bridge, but unless you have a few in-the-know local friends to lead the way, only frequently updated online platforms can guide you to that hip new bar or freshly launched exhibition. As apps increasingly help us navigate our daily lives, we can rely on them in Budapest for uses ranging from scanning local-transportation maps to finding the best parties happening now - here are our top picks.

BKK FUTÁR – an online journey planner

Photo: BKK

To get around Budapest in the speediest and easiest ways, utilize this simple-to-use mobile app presenting some of the most ideal itineraries in absolute real time, displaying stations around your current location along with the preferred line’s route and schedule. A journey planner certainly comes in handy when navigating the Budapest nightlife and attempting to use our alcohol-infused minds to track the next night bus that will get us back to where it all started. However, the program doesn’t work in an offline mode, so if data roaming is a concern, you might want to opt for Smart City Budapest, where a vector-based map and a timetable serve you well, in case Wi-Fi is unavailable.

BKK Futár:
Free
Download: iOS and Android

Smart City Budapest:
Free
Download: iOS and Android

MOL Bubi – the city on two wheels

Photo: MOL Bubi

Carry Budapest’s rapidly expanding bike-sharing system right in your back pocket for an easy way to pedal around town. Purchase your ticket online, manage your account balance, and use the map-search function to find the nearby docking stations hassle-free. The app is not flawless, occasionally creating some confusion with the number of available bikes at the selected stations. The rentable public bike system is a great initiative with growing popularity, and we trust the faulty features will be improved shortly for an unspoiled ride around the Magyar metropolis.

Free
Download: iOS and Android

Pocket Guide – your local expert

Photo: Pocket Guide

With your very own tour guide ready round-the-clock, you certainly won’t miss out on the must-see and must-try treats to be found around the city. From standard sightseeing to discovering insider hangouts to learning urban legends (not to mention the ever-important pub crawl), Pocket Guide walks us directly to some of the best Budapest hotspots. Having expanded to global fame from here in Hungary, this digital guide offers audio recordings that allow us to fully immerse in every attraction that we pass by. As an added feature, we can create fancy 3D footage using the photos and videos captured during our urban expedition. The download and the online guides are free, but you need to pay for any offline wanderings.

Free and offers in-App purchases
Download: iOS and Android

My Budapest City – digital omniscience

Photo: My Budapest

Budapest undoubtedly sports a whopping amount of attractions, whether sightseers seek significant monuments or a place to wine and dine, but oftentimes it can be quite a challenge to pick the right one out of the lineup. Fortunately, all of the essential info that we need – from restaurants to accommodations, from cultural hubs to nightlife spots, from rental cars to medical centers – is included in this colorful app to help us have a memorable time. When looking for a specific spot in town, My Budapest City offers several categories to narrow down the list, displaying the exact distance and the easiest way to our goal from our current location. This user-friendly mobile app is quite compact, without an unnecessarily intricate design.

Free
Download: iOS and Android

GoodGuy Taxi – a fare calculator

Photo: GoodGuy Taxi

Taking a cab ride can be frustrating when you don’t share the same language as the driver, and don’t know if you’re being taken for a ride in more ways than one. GoodGuy Taxi was kind enough to grant us this digital tool so that we can now plan our ride door-to-door, along with monitoring our route and extra charges, and get an approximate fare calculation for the journey. You can save your frequent routes along with your home or hotel address to have at the ready whenever necessary. The app has a vibrant yellow design to reflect Budapest’s recently unified cab-pricing system. If you prefer a private car, the international transportation network company Uber also offers rides in Hungary’s capital since 2014.

GoodGuy Taxi:
Free
Download: iOS and Android

Uber:
Free
Download: iOS and Android

Budapest Design Map – for trend hunters

Photo: Budapest Design Week/José Simon

While this probably won’t be the most crucial tool during your time in Budapest, it’s certainly an app that is good to have. Featuring information about some 150 Budapest design hotspots, including maps and directions, photos, and descriptions, this is a must-download for every device owned by trend-seekers. Whether you are looking for a custom-made bike, an avant-garde art gallery, or specialty design sweets, this program maps some of the coolest locales in the Hungarian capital. 

Free
Download: iOS and Android

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