The 10 Best Apps to Download in NYC (for Locals and Tourists)

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It goes without saying that New York is much better enjoyed when your face isn’t glued to your smartphone, but a little bit of tech can help enhance the experience, whether that’s by helping you finesse your navigational skills or by explaining the culture of this chaotic city to you. So here are the ten best apps to download in NYC that will help you make the most of your time here.

The Best NYC Navigation Apps

Citymapper Best Apps to Download in NYC


This app is like Google Map’s cuter, younger sibling. The interface is a lot more pleasing to the eye and solely focused on navigation, meaning you won’t have store and restaurant locations cluttering your screen. If you’re a Citi Bike rider, this app is a must-have as it lets you know how many bikes and docking spaces are currently available at every Citi Bike dock in the city.

Exit Strategy Best Apps to Download in NYC

Exit Strategy NYC

If you’re the impatient type, this may be the best $3.99 you’ll ever spend. Billed as the “ultimate NYC cheatsheet,” this app tells you which subway car will be the closest to the subway exit you need when you get off the train. The downside is that this app is only available on iOS.

The Best NYC Transportation Apps

Curb Best Apps to Download in NYC


If you’re still loyal to the classic NYC cab despite the plethora of other options encroaching on its territory, you might as well make hailing and paying for said cab simple by downloading the Curb app. With Curb, there’s no need to try to flag down a cab in the middle of a busy street nor fumble with payment options at the end of your ride.

NYC Ferry Best Apps to Download in NYC

NYC Ferry

The NYC ferry ticket dispenser will make you want to square up against a machine. Save yourself the aggravation and from catching a case for vandalizing city property by purchasing your tickets through the NYC ferry app. Plus you can see the ferries traveling in realtime on the map.

Citi Bike Best Apps to Download in NYC

Citi Bike

Unlock the city’s (and the country’s) largest bike share program just by downloading an app. But for Christsake, once you hop on your Citi Bike, follow the rules of the road!

The Best NYC Exploration Apps

The Nudge Best Apps to Download in NYC

The Nudge

A “planner friend in your pocket,” The Nudge texts you fun itineraries to do in NYC three times a week based on your interests and location. But if you can’t wait until the next text or want to revisit a past recommendation, download the app where they keep a “vault” of their past itineraries.

Bloomberg Connects Best Apps to Download in NYC

Bloomberg Connects

Ever find yourself wandering meaninglessly through a museum because you don’t have any idea of the significance behind what you’re seeing? Bloomberg Connects helps to turn an aimless museum experience into an informative one with its audio and visual guides to at least 17 museums and cultural institutions across NYC.


If you’re a spontaneous explorer who has ever wanted to take a walking tour at the push of a button, this app is for you. Gesso provides free and paid audio tours that play based on your location. Get in-depth tours of places such as Rockefeller Center, the East Village, Governors Island, and Chinatown on demand using my affiliate link here.

The Best NYC Lifestyle Apps


Need to pop a squat but can’t find a pot? Need a WC but there’s none that you can see? Need to take a whizz but there’s no friendly biz? Okay, okay, you get the point. Flush is a toilet locator with over 200,000 restrooms worldwide in its database. It’ll direct you to the nearest public toilet and also let you know which toilets have stalls for people with disabilities or require a key or a fee.

NYC 311

Unleash your inner Karen with a click of a button: file noise complaints, rat complaints, illegal parking violations, broken parking meters, and any other complaint you can think of through this app. But as this is New York City bureaucracy we’re dealing with, response times will vary. This app is also useful for checking alternate side parking rules, trash days, and other alerts from the city government.

How many of these apps have you already downloaded on your phone? Do you have any other nominees to this list of the best apps to download in NYC? Share them in the comments! And if you do end up downloading the Gesso app and purchasing any of its paid tours, please note that I do receive a commission at no extra cost to you if you download the app using this affiliate link.

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