27.02.2015

Lesser-known transportation apps for getting around Barcelona

article_918_contents_9306_capital_big

Image | Citymapper

If you are planning on visiting Barcelona, perhaps to visit the GSMA Mobile World Congress, to take a tour around the city, (or both – why not?), you should prepare your smartphone to help you get the most out of the visit. It’s not easy find to find triple-c accommodation (comfy, central and cheap) or a good restaurant without the right applications. Moving around the city stress-free can also be challenging without the best apps to hand.

We could turn to the classics such as Google or Apple maps to get our bearings. TMB: The official transportation website for Barcelona also offers detailed, perfectly geolocated, information on how to use public transportation. The site is configured for mobile phones and, of course, there are apps. But why try to get around using Street View in such a large city it we can combine various means of transportation such as walking, bus, bicycle or taxi? To get to where we are going we can also take advantage of other useful applications.

One appealing option, available for android and iOS, is Citymapper. This London-based startup has created an app that draws the user’s ideal route best from point A to point B. After entering preferences, leaving and destination points, the app searches its database and finds the route that best matches the user’s needs.

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 21.47.10

With a presence in 17 world cities, Citymapper reached Spain in May, 2014, recommending routes in Madrid and Barcelona. In both cities the app takes the train network, the bus routes and the classic map into account, in case we need to finish the journey on foot. In Barcelona the tram system is also included, as well as the points in which we can pick up a public bicycle in order to pedal to our destination.

Another good (and free) option for our pockets is Moovit. This application is available in 45 countries and 500 cities, in addition to counting on a database of the different means of transportation in the city, it also takes contributions from its users into account.

In real time, Moovit’s 15 million worldwide users help each other to negotiate the urban jungle with ease. For example, if we go to Barcelona, Moovit will tell us which routes to avoid if we don’t want to get stuck in traffic on the way to Plaza de Catalunya. With this app, a network of allies dotted around the whole city, will help us to find the best routes in an ever-changing environment.