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How to make sure you don't get lost in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo & more

How to make sure you don't get lost in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo & more
Citymapper on the web, but it is primarily for iOS and Android.

By John Lechner

How to make sure you don't get lost in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo & more

The solution is simple, get the Citymapper app for your iOS or Android phone.

Let me start by saying Citymapper is the best app I have ever used. Huge claim I know, but it is.

If you are going to Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Mexico DF, Sao Paulo, Moscow, Chicago, Санкт-Петербург (St Petersburg), Toronto, Stockholm, DC-Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Montreal, Copenhagen, Berlin, Boston, Hamburg, Rome, Milan, Köln, Düsseldorf, Ruhrgebiet, Randstad, Brussels, Lyon, Paris, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisboa don't bother reading the rest of my blog, just download the app.

But let me go back a few steps first. Last year when I was planning my trip to New York City I went on a hunt to find an app that may help me navigate the huge maze that is the NYC subway network. After a requisite Google search, one app kept coming up as the number 1 - Citymapper. So I added it to my phone and kept planning my trip.

While on the subject of my phone. Every time I travel I purchase a local SIM card, in most countries around the world this is a breeze. In Europe I find Vodafone the best value and easiest, elsewhere I tend to do a little research first.
In the USA, buying a prepaid sim with data is a complete nightmare, just a few years ago it was almost impossible. These days it is only slightly easier. 
To get a prepaid SIM in the USA without data is a snap and you can buy a phone with credit for under $20. But if you want to BYO phone and have data, it is painful. I find the best is to buy a SIM card on eBay for RedPocket Mobile, you can get them delivered to Australia for under $10.
Then when I hit the ground in the USA I find free wifi, add credit and activate the phone. Its still painful because you need download network settings but you can be up and running much quicker than trying to find a SIM on the street.

 Back to Citymapper, what does it do?

How to make sure you don't get lost in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo & more 

Simply all you need to do is tell it where you want to go, you can even tell it when you need to arrive by. I was staying in Brooklyn and had a bunch of early meetings in Manhattan. Each night I would use Citymapper to work out what time to set my alarm so I wouldn't be late.

It uses GPS tracking to know where you are, so setting a start point is simple even if you are completely lost. You can also enter an address if you know where you are starting from. Your destination is able to be searched by address or name. For example, I was going to a restaurant in the West Village and honestly I had no idea where that was. Luckily I didn't need to, as all I did was type in the name of the restaurant and it came up.

Adjust the arrival time for the dinner date time of 9pm and it tells me when I need to leave Brooklyn, and gives me several options; walking 98 mins, bicycle 40 mins, taxi 11 mins (Uber from $21 or Yellow cab $17-23), subway 34 mins or bus 72 mins.

You choose your preferred mode and route and it then gives you every step. I was on a budget and had a 7 day metro pass so the subway was my preferred option. J & F train 34 mins total including walking.

How to make sure you don't get lost in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo & more

Citymapper lives tracks your location and plots the walking route to get you safely to and from the subway or bus. It then tells you which train to catch and which direction, how many stops until your transfer and so much more.

New York City can be very easy to get lost in HOWEVER if you have a data connection on your phone and know your destination this is not the case. 

Citymapper works in a bunch of major cities around the world (I wish I had of known about it when in Paris last year). It just works, there is no fuss and no getting lost. All you need is a smartphone and a data connection.

I don't work for nor do I have any affiliation with Citymapper. I wrote this blog as I had recommended the app to a bunch of friends who are travelling and wanted to share more widely. Seriously, this is the BEST APP I HAVE EVER USED.

If you love New York City like I do check out my prints from New York


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