Whether you’re truly tech-savvy or suffering from a mild case of computer illiteracy, you have to admit there are times when you are forced to rely on the smartness in your phone to get you out of situations where your own brain and confidence fail. When you visit or move to a new city, this is bound to happen with alarming frequency: you’re going to need the proper apps to help you on the spot. So if you’re on the brink of relocation or just discovering Barcelona, hit the App Store and start installing!
OK, this one is a no-brainer if your Spanish is not great. There will be times when you’ll be staring at the shelves in a grocery store, wondering what the difference is between this and that canned fish (just what in the world are those weird molluscs that look like baby ears?!). If only you could read the labels! SpanishDict is an easy-to-use app where you just type in whatever you’re looking for, and it’ll tell you even when you’re offline, or provide you with the option of searching online in case it fails to find a result. Now all you need to do is hope that what you had typed in wasn’t actually in Catalan.
In Spain, the text message or SMS as a species has gone extinct. People no longer ask you for your phone number, they ask you for your WhatsApp. Better come to terms with it and download the app: you don’t want to be the weirdo that pays for something that’s free and gets left out of all the legendary group chat laughs. Just make sure you pronounce Whatsapp something like “Guatsapp”.
UrbanStep is a handy little app that may save you several precious minutes of travel, especially if you’re an avid Bicing user. The city bike system is a wonderful invention, with some unavoidable flaws: popular pick-up stations get depleted super quickly, and popular drop-off stations fill up way too fast. You can use UrbanStep to find out whether your favorite station will have an available bike waiting for you, and whether the station that’s closest to your destination has a free slot where you can drop it off, by simply tapping the station on the app’s map. You can also tap on bus stops and train stations to see when the next one arrives. Maybe you’ll even have time to run into a Starbucks before your ride passes by!
Also a useful tool for navigating through the city, the app from Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona allows you to plan your route, check out the metro and bus timetables, access information about tickets and fares, and get service alerts when something out of the ordinary is happening in the city’s transport system (which is all the time). A big plus is that you can personalize your use of the app by registering and saving some info about your transport habits, like which lines you use regularly. It even has a cute Where am I? feature that’ll pinpoint your location if you’re, you know, too exhausted to look around and find a street sign.
I’m not ordering takeout. I’m not ordering takeout. I’m not… Yes, that’ll be a size XL pizza with all the queso and all the jamón you’ve got, please and thank you. We’ve all been there right? Imagine an app where all you have to do is enter your location, and it gives you a list of all the restaurants that are just out of arm’s reach and are currently delivering to your area. Alright, don’t imagine it, just open JUST EAT. It’s almost too easy, and the sheer number of kebab buffets, pizzerias and Chinese restaurants that are in Barcelona will astound you. Luckily, JUST EAT has lots of comments from other users to guide you. Try not to be a glutton, and just eat.
Just Eat isn’t the only app you can use to order food in Barcelona. Check out our Barcelona food delivery test for more!
One of Barcelona’s greatest startup successes ever, Wallapop is a virtual flea market, a very spiffy hipster app for buying and selling stuff quickly and easily. If payday is still a little too far away and you need to make some extra cash, just take a picture of whatever old stuff you want to sell, upload it and wait for someone to contact you. In case you’re looking to buy something cheap as soon as humanly possible, Wallapop is the ideal place to look, as it displays everything for sale based on how fast you can get to it. All you have to do is schedule a meeting with the seller and you’re good to go. No delivery, no packaging, no receipts, just pure second-hand joy. Don’t forget to check the pockets of that winter coat you’re about to sell though: you wouldn’t want to gift that forgotten hundred euro bill to the buyer, would you?