Best New York City Travel Apps

With so much inherent buzz, so much virility and as the standout global hive of activity, it stands to reason that New York City should be on the cusp of city app supremacy. Tech-savvy visitors to The Big Apple, for one, can already download a series of enlightening podcasts from the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting entitled “Made in NY: Walking Tours of Film and Television in New York City”.

In the world of apps, the variety of choices available for The City That Never Sleeps is stupendous and, frankly, a little intimidating. Worry not, however, as we’ve happily sorted though the lot of them and separated the wheat from the chaff. With that in mind, check out the best apps for New York City tourists.


This Android app won USD $7,500.00 and the “Best Overall App” prize at the 2010 NYC Big Apps competition. Wayfinder helps neophytes (and locals) navigate the morass that is the NYC transit system. Apple users can purchase the superb NYC Subway app by PressLite for $0.99.

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CabSense NYC

CabSense processes tens of millions of GPS data points from NYC taxis to help you find the best corner to hail one. Bottom line: this is the app you want at 4:00 a.m. when you’ve had one too many and want to get back to your hotel in Midtown Manhattan asap.

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9/11 Memorial

Available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, the 9/11 Memorial app tells the story of September 11, 2001 by those who were there and serves as a vivid, solemn complement to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (set to open September 11, 2011).

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MoMA Audio on MoMA WiFi

For visitors to the incomparable Museum of Modern Art, the free MoMA Audio app for iPhone and iPad is a valuable and indispensable tool. Requires a WiFi connection (which the MoMA offers for free).

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The Scoop by The New York Times

The New York Times is the paper of record for New York City and, as such, The Scoop app is a vital tool. The definitive guide to the city includes info on restaurants, bars, cafés, day trips, museums, shops, special events et al. Free for iPhone and iPad.

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Zagat To Go

A $9.99 universal app for iPhone and iPad, Zagat To Go is a wonderful and deep resource for fans of the famous restaurant survey guide.

Katz’s pastrami – Photo credit

Art Guide New York

For a tidy $3.99, iPhone and iPad users can get the inside story on the colossal New York City art scene, courtesy of the Art Guide app.

Neue Galerie – Photo credit

50 Years at Pace

A much more specific art-centric app, 50 Years at Pace chronicles the famous gallery’s commemorative half-century exhibition which ran from September 17 to October 23, 2010. A first-rate primer for prospective cognoscenti. Free and compatible with iPhone and iPad.

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Museum Guide New York

Have the entire New York City museum world at your fingertips with the handy Museum Guide New York app. $2.99 for iPhone and iPad.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – Photo credit

Wallpaper* New York City Guide

Ever-fashionable, Wallpaper* magazine offers a branché take on New York City for the design-conscious tourist. Available for $2.99.

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Time Out New York

Time Out’s usual vigilance is on display in a fabulous free New York City guide for iPhone and iPad.

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New York City Cocktail Compass

Want to hit up a local dive for happy hour or hip hotel lounge for a pre-dinner martini? Give the New York City Cocktail Compass app a whirl.

Grand Central Terminal Oyster Bar – Photo credit

Village Voice

A venerable voice in New York for well over half a century, Village Voice’s alternative take on life in the city makes for a marvellous app.

Greenwich Village – Photo credit

Central Park Conservancy

The magnificent $1.99 app from the Central Park Conservancy is a fully interactive and intimate guide to the most famous urban park on the planet.

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Brooklyn Restaurant Scout

No city’s restaurant scene is hotter than Brooklyn’s and the Brooklyn Restaurant Scout is the ultimate app to help you decide where to eat in the foremost borough. $2.99 for iPhone and iPad.

Frankies Spuntino, Brooklyn – Photo credit

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