Ok, I may as well get this out of the way at the start of this blog piece. I am an App luddite. There, it’s out in the open, I don’t feel such a fake now. It took me age to join the masses and get a smart phone and despite being in my possession for over a year, the ever expanding world of Apps has left me behind.
But still, I can’t deny that for someone coming away on holiday, particularly a weekend city break, the prospect of ditching a cumbersome tourist guide book from your carry-on luggage and condensing everything you need on to your mobile phone, is a pretty tempting proposition.
So here’s my low down on some essential technological, handy helpers to smooth your landing in Andalusia’s capital.
1. Get prepared for the weather
With luggage space a premium for most travellers, packing the right gear is definitely a priority, so knowing the weather forecast for your stay
is a must. Contrary to what you may think, it isn’t t-shirt weather 365 days a year here, winter nights are chilly and it does even rain from time to time. So install the Accuweather app before you pack the weather and you won’t get caught by unforeseen climatic eventualities.
2. Money, tickets, passport
Knowing how much dosh to take before you set off or checking the price of something in your own currency is a cinch if you’ve got a money converter app. I’m personally rubbish at maths, so an app can be a lifesaver when your brain seizes up double checking if that horse and carriage ride around the city is such a bargain after all.
3. Get your bearings
I’ve lived in Seville for more than 5 years and I still regularly get lost. In fact, around the quaint streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, losing yourself is actually part of the fun. But technology is there to step in when you really need it in the form of offline street maps apps. As an aside, I still urge you to go old school and get a map as well, you never know what unexpected delights may come from requesting directions from a kind stranger. Plus, gazing downwards at your shoes as you follow your phone isn’t conducive to taking in the stunning, Sevillian surroundings.
4. Everything you need
A great app that brings together all the information you might find from a guide book into one user friendly app is Triposo. From the usual suspects of bars and restaurants, to suggested walking routes, a potted history of the city, practicalities such as the metro map and hospital locations, the weather and even some handy phrases in Spanish, Triposo caters to almost every holidaying need. Definitely the most complete app I’ve seen for the city.
5. What´s hot and what´s not
There are so many restaurants and bars in Seville it can feel somewhat dizzying. And if you´re not from around town, it´s easy to have a disappointing experience or get ripped off. While far from fool proof, Trip Advisor will give you up-to-the-minute peer reviews of bars, restaurants, hotels and even guided tours. Just be aware that it is possible to rig the system, but if somewhere consistently gets 5 stars then you know you´re probably safe.
6. Personalise a Postcard
Make the most of that selfie stick and endless posing for photos and let the folks back home share in your fun. Bypost combines the old school – after all who sends postcards these days – with the latest app technology. Create your own unique postcards using photos from your phone and send them to your nearest and dearest.
7. Understanding Europe and the rest of the world with a converter
It’s hard to get your way around when you talk about miles and Fahrenheit and get wrong numbers in kilometers or Celsius. Make sure to download this very handy app which will be like your personal interpreter in Spain to understand people better.
So there you have it dear friends. If you´re apptastic, don´t do as I do (which is by the way get more lost than ever when I try to use a map on my phone), just do as I say and embrace those ‘appening’ advances in technology. But if your battery runs out, don’t forget to ask for the recommendation from a real, live person. They generally don’t bite.
Post written by Mary Biles, a Seville based Blogger who loves nothing more than revealing insider tips on how to really make the most of this beautiful city. Find her blog here.