Welcome to the 21.century where the smart phone has replaced the Lonely Planet and Facebook Chat replaced human interaction. You no longer need a big paper map in your bag to find your way because Google Maps will give you directions from A to B and if you use the GPS function on your phone it will even show you how well you follow those directions. Foursquare will give you an idea about which places to visit and sometimes even give you discounts for a simple task such as checking in. With Instagram you share photos of your travels instantly and feed it to your other social media outlets so no one will miss the fact you are at the top of the Empire State or about to enter the Penis Museum in Reykjavík.
When I was in Stockholm a few weeks ago I was so happy to find two really useful location based apps. First was the Triposo Stockholm Travel Guide that suggests activities and sites to visit based on your location with information about price and opening hours and such. Second was the Stockholm Subway Maps Plus app that includes a really handy journey planner and a static map of the Stockholm subway system. Västtraffik has a similar app for Göteborg.
With that in mind, here are a couple of apps that might come in handy during your travels in Iceland and Reykjavík.
This app is not just handy – it’s necessary for everyone that goes out to the Icelandic wilderness without a guide. It allows you to check in where you are at which means that the GPS information will be sent and stored with the emergency authorities. So if you get lost or hurt and you can’t let anyone know, the emergency authorities know the exact GPS coordinates of where you last checked in, which helps them narrow down the search area considerably. If you are still conscious and just lost you can also use the app to call 112 but before making the call the app will automatically send your GPS coordinates to the emergency authorites.
For more information about safe travel in Iceland visit safetravel.is
Reykjavík Appy Hour
You like happy hour? You want to know where to find happy hours in Reykjavík? Then The Reykjavík Grapevine Appy Hour is the right app for you. It’s really simple and does exactly what it promises. It’s pretty straight forward, you should just download it to see how it works.
The only thing is that the Grapevine doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to updating the information on their website so I don’t know how accurate this will be a few months from now. Lets hope they do better with the app.
Honorable mention: Be Iceland
The reason Be Iceland only gets a honorable mention and not a full on recommendation is that in my opinion Be Iceland doesn’t really add anything that you can’t find already in other apps. It works well for what it is and I like the idea of a travel app that is actually made in Iceland but I don’t think they are quite there yet. However, that’s just my opinion and you can check it out for yourself to form your own.
If you are worried about roaming charges while you are in Iceland you can always look into getting an Icelandic SIM card – it’s easier and cheaper than you think.
*Disclaimer: I’m an Android user so I’m not sure how these apps function on iPhone but they work well on Android