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How to Travel a Town Like a Local

How to Travel a Town Like a Local
Plug in your headphones and walk through a city with new perspective, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

These walking tour apps help you discover and learn more about city attractions without a guide

Sahana Iyer
July 27 , 2019
04 Min Read

Walking down the streets of an unknown town can be intimidating, especially if you are alone. Not only is the novelty scary but also can get you a little lost if you are not aware of the culture and attractions. Instead of hiring guides who are so busy rapidly spewing information for a group of tourists, why don’t you download a personal one instead? With these 5 audio walking tour apps, you can travel the city on your own terms and time, while listening to interesting, niche stories often overcast by generic information. Ditch large groups for a peaceful yet eventful trip. 

 Explore cities in India through Incredible India

Incredible India

Vast and diverse, every city in India holds its own unique culture and heritage. The Ministry of Tourism’s Incredible India app unfolds each city’s features, including tourist attractions and events. With an easy  user interface, this app allows you to go through a menu and decide whether you want to select an experience according to city, genre or events. Users can choose from hundreds of cities and also try their ‘Immersive feature’ to get a 360 degree view of an attraction before you go. When you visit an attraction, you can log onto the application and read the information provided or even listen to it. My only complaint is that options for North-East cities are limited. 

 Listen to an entertaining audio tour on Voicemap

Voicemap

An extensive audio tour app, Voicemap helps a user take various walks, including heritage, art and attractions. With over 100 cities across all continents, Voicemap only provides for a limited number of places per country/ continent. The user interface though effective, looks like it was created a decade ago. On top of that, to access the audio (generally an hour long), users must pay a fee. Nevertheless, a small preview is available for the first three spots on the walk. Judging by the preview, the narration is fun, informative and interesting to a first-timer. With over 9 languages to choose from, I would say this may be worth your buck. 

 Experience the most unique audio walks on Geotourist

Geotourist

For those who like to live life on the offbeat side of things, Geotourist is a must-have. A unique compilation of walks gives you an opportunity to check out various cities in different perspectives. As a fan of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, I took a tour of Manhattan through Holden’s (the protagonist) journey. A Game of Thrones trail also lets you view locations that talk to you in first person through the audio. What a marvelous take on a walk! Despite that, you can also indulge in more typical walks such as historic or geological walks. The choices, while limited, must definitely be tried out if you find yourself in the cities mentioned on the app. My only complaint is the rather dull interface of the app.

 Listen to engaging content on Rick Steves Audio Europe

Rick Steves Audio Europe

For those who can’t resist a good podcast, Rick Steves Audio Europe is one to take on your Europe trip. A very simple and effective interface, the app lets you choose from cities in major countries of Europe. Generally a discussion or an interview with at least one more person, the app provides a more interactive and engaging discussion on the features and history of a city or an attraction. You can download these audios and listen up on an offline mode as well. For a multi-perspective take on these walks, download the app right away.

 Enjoy the music in the background of your audio tours

Piri Audio Walking Tours

Another app dedicated to Europe, Piri Audio Walking Tours gives you a narrative into each city on the list, their attractions in particular. Yes, local guides and residents have recorded the audio walk for you making it ever so personal and homely to listen to. Additionally, standing odd out of the list, these audios are backed up with beautiful background music, making it a very charming session. While this app has the best interface across this list, apart from Incredible India, the app is also not free which means every tour needs to be paid. You can also book travel, accommodation and event options straight from the app.

 

Strayboots and Detour were also reviewed but the applications have some software problem and do not let you log in. Please check up on this issue if you wish to download them.

 


1

Wow!!! Nice article. I am a foreigner in India. I love to watch the incredible India like a local. Until reading your article I don't kow how to make this possible. dermal fillers But you explained well on each point. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Zera Thomaz July 30 , 2019

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