At My Next Memory we are not just committed to showcase everything dreamy about a travel to France but also to make your life easy and convenient! And if there is one thing that NO GUIDEBOOK ever tells you about is how the locals do it.
So here are our little secrets, as Frenchies: here are the smartphone apps we use on a daily basis and that will make your visiting time so much easier!
Provided you get a local SIM or a 3G plan or even if you rely on local free Wifi networks, you will at some point need some guidance on where to go and what to do….all from your phone! And yes, they are available in English 🙂
The Must Have
Yes, it sounds obvious for many of you but the truth is, locals use Google Maps, not TripAdvisor.
We use Google Maps to plan our commute, go from point A to point B and to look at reviews. We pick everything from Google Maps: queuing time, opening hours, phone numbers, selecting a doctor or a bar. Simply put the name of what you are looking for in the Search bar and explore the results!
OANDA Currency Converter
Expert travelers know it, OANDA is the most simple and accurate currency converter. It’s a light app, and works offline once you have downloaded it and made one conversion in your selected currencies once. Ideal for your shopping times, from department stores to markets, make sure you always get a good deal!
Where to eat
La Fourchette – The Fork
La Fourchette not only provides you with local reviews of restaurants: it also gives you deals and up to 30% off when booking through the app ! And this is why every French person uses it!
Not only can you trust the reviews come from locals, you may as well book your next meal (up to 30 minutes ahead) with a nice discount.
Easy to look for restaurant per location or cooking style, La Fourchette is a good complement to a Google Map search!
Getting around – France
Oui is the application of the national railway company and will prove very practical if you need to look for schedules and prices of trains.
While the account creation process required to make bookings might not be convenient, you may at least want the app if you are planning several train trips within France. Use the desktop website if you want to make a booking as a guest.
Uber or equivalent
In a hurry? Don’t want the hassle of the public transport? Grab a cab! Nowadays the price war between rides applications and official taxis has come to a balance but in case you don’t manage to get a car on the street, you may want to use some car rides applications: Uber, Taxify and the G7 taxi company have good coverage everywhere in French urban areas! Simply turn on your geo-localisation and input your destination address!
Getting around – Paris
RATP – Paris transit app
RATP is the Paris transit company. They have issued two applications: the regular one for everyday users “RATP” and “Next Stop Paris” for tourists and visitors. Unfortunately everytime we try “Next Stop Paris” it crashes. Also the tourists version does not include live traffic information, which matters because really, there can be daily traffic interruption, renovation works or delays on certain lines.
So RATP is available in English and can not only provides you with Metro, Tram and Bus maps, but also gives you every Line details, Schedules, Traffic info and Itinerary planner! As a local, we use it every day in fact!
For the adventurous ones, the Paris public bicycle system has been entirely revamped in 2018 ! The app is wonderful because it is super simple: quickly locate the nearest station, the number of available bikes and whether you can buy a 1-day pass over there!