7 Phone Apps to Download Before Visiting SF

San Francisco is an undeniably tech heavy city. No matter which way you turn you will be bombarded with ads for the newest on demand service available. While some of these services border on ridiculous (whose dog really needs a fitness tracker? The dog who has everything else?) there are a handful of apps that make visiting and transversing San Francisco much easier. By downloading and learning to use these apps before visiting the City, you will be making life a lot easier for yourself. (At least if you’re an iPhone or Android user).

1. Google Maps

Whether you’ve never set foot in SF before or you live here full time, it doesn’t really matter. Google Maps is the greatest and all knowing app that will get you where you need to go. Pro-tip: If you aren’t sure which direction you are facing, there is a compass feature in the bottom right hand corner of the app. Tap it twice, and voilà.

iPhone | Android

2. Lyft

If you try to hail a taxi in San Francisco you are going to end up confused, miserable, and late. Don’t even bother trying. Lyft is a great alternative, giving you the option to take a private ride directly to your destination, or share a ride with someone going in the same direction as you for a cheaper cost. Don’t worry, this is perfectly safe, and we do it all the time.

iPhone | Android

3. Routesy or MUNI Alerts

If you’ve got some time to reach your destination, and want to see the city the way the locals do (and maybe more of the local life than you were anticipating) you can take MUNI. MUNI consists of bus lines, street cars, and a semi-underground train called the light rail. Find out what is closest to you and when the next MUNI is departing using Routesy or MUNI Alerts.

iPhone | Android

4. MUNI Mobile

There are a few ways to pay for your MUNI fare, and MUNI Mobile is the most high tech one. If you don’t already have a clipper card (purchasable at any Walgreen’s) or $2.25 in exact change, you can pay for your fare using a credit card on the MUNI Mobile app.

iPhone | Android

5. Yelp

Not sure where to eat? Don’t worry, there are 3,000+ food critics in San Francisco that can tell you exactly where to go (and not go). No matter how you personally feel about Yelp, the app is a great way to guarantee yourself a delicious meal.

iPhone | Android

6. GrubHub

Tired after a long day of sightseeing? Forget going out to dinner, order yourself something delicious and have it delivered right to your AirBnB or hotel, right from your phone. GrubHub, Caviar, Postmates, and EAT24 all offer this service.

iPhone | Android

7. Songkick

Looking to find some live music? Let Songkick be your guide. The app scans your phone to see what artists you have (or scans your Spotify account if you have one) and then lets you know who is playing near by. You also have the option to filter by location, so you can see all the artists playing in the Bay Area.

iPhone | Android

8. SFClimates

You might not believe it, but San Francisco has some of the most bizarre microclimates known to the Bay Area. Just because it is 70 degrees in the Mission doesn’t mean it isn’t 55 degrees on Ocean Beach. Stay wise (and warm) with SFClimates.


What apps do you rely on when you travel? Let us know in the comments!


About the Author // Eliza Dropkin is the newest member of Vantigo. She enjoys live music, good food, and cruising around town in Jerry (the other newest member of Vantigo).

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