If I had a dollar for every ‘Top 10 Travel Apps’ list I’ve read, I would buy more travel apps. There are a seemingly endless number of useful apps on offer today, and though like many I still favour a rolled up city map in my back pocket, arming yourself with a few can enhance any city experience. Here are a bunch of free ones that I recently took for a spin in Buenos Aires. Full disclosure, some of these apps are dumb.
Since 2010 Buenos Aires has been slowly transforming into a more bicycle friendly city. There is now an extensive bike lane network, which you can explore on a free bike using EcoBici. The app shows you where the bike lanes are, and points you in the direction of the various pick up and drop off spots. Buenos Aires is as flat as a pancake with dulce de leche, so cycling around is a breeze, just watch out for bike lane invaders. Helmets don’t seem to be in fashion either so take it slow kids.
Quite often the best way to truly experience any culture, is to eat it. In Buenos Aires this absolutely holds true. No one wants to eat at Lonely Planet’s ‘Number 1 Parrilla 2007’, so grab the Restorando app and find out what’s good right now. Simple to use, and favoured by locals, this app helps you find the latest good eats with great discounts. The app is in Spanish but don’t fret, just enter in your location or food craving and browse the star rated restaurants. Hit ‘Cercanos a mi’ (close to me) to bring up restaurants in your neighbourhood. To take advantage of the discounts on offer, book your table through the app.
Che! Tune in to the local frequency and pick up on the local lingo with this fun app. Porteños like a good bit of slang as much as the next chabón and this app is full of the idiosyncrasies that give the Argentinian brand of Spanish so much of its charm. It’s ‘pucho’ not cigarillo, ‘birra’ not cerveza, and ‘boliche’ not discoteque, boludo! The app also has a fun quiz to help you learn. Question 1. Does ‘raviol’ mean a) a small pack of cocaine b) a nice ass or c) the whore that gave birth to you? Funny, useful, and a bit rude.
One for the Milongueros, Hoy Milonga tells you where and when the best Milongas are taking place every night throughout the city. Whether you are a fiend or a first timer, this app will help you find the right Milonga for you. Two tango shoe footprints next to an event tells you classes are also available. With this simple app you can Milonga till the early hours every night of the week.
Wherever you are in Buenos Aires a free wifi connection is never far away. Just enter your current location or use the map to find the closest free wifi hotspot. You’ll find free wifi in parks, plazas, the metro, museums, and other public spaces. Never get lost again, never miss a Whatsapp recorded voice message.
Mate, or ‘the national infusion’, is a curious caffeine beverage you’re bound to see a local sucking down in Buenos Aires. Some genius has now developed what must certainly be the first mate app. If you are wondering what purpose this app could serve, I couldn’t tell you. Activate the mate simulator and watch your screen fill with Yerba (leaves) and hot water. Your phone will then make the delightful slurping sound of the hot drink being sipped. Perhaps in the future all experiences will be simulated versions of the original. I doubt drinking mate will ever be one of those experiences. Perhaps the developers sum up this app best.
“MatePhone, Otra mala idea de Cyberjuegos” (MatePhone, another bad idea from Cyberjuegos)
Get it right now!
The EasyTaxi app is a quick, easy, and safe way to order and catch Taxis in Buenos Aires. Completely lost in the neighbourhood of Morón you moron? EasyTaxi will locate your address using GPS and send the closest cabbie your way. No need to call, ordering can be done with the click of a button. Upon confirmation you’ll receive the driver’s name, licence plate number and star rating. You can even track your cab in real time as it heads your way.
Argentinians love the Pope, he’s Argentinian for God’s sake! He’s also an avid football fan for God’s sake, and a champion of the poor (for God’s sake). The most popular Pope since JP2, Pope Francis is a man of the people, and like the people he loves a good selfie. Chances are you won’t run into his holiness in Buenos Aires, but this app will help trick your friends into thinking you did. Just snap a selfie with your pals, and a grinning Pope will miraculously appear in your pic.
Staying in shape while traveling is tough, and you can kiss your current shape goodbye in Buenos Aires. Steak, ice-cream, and medialunas will see to that. Used by athletes and part time joggers all over the world, Strava allows you to tackle existing routes, plan your own, and track your progress using GPS. You didn’t go on holiday to train, but Strava is a cool way to stay fit and explore this great city at a slightly faster pace. Head to the beautiful ‘Bosques de Palermo’ and tackle the Circuito El Rosedal. Distance- 1.6km Current record holder- Gerardo Pinkus with a blistering 4mins 03 seconds. Get out there and claim that title, slob!
Link to the circuit- https://www.strava.com/segments/10134196