App Review: Budapest Local Tips *Update 8 July 2011*

‘Budapest Local Tips’ is part of the ‘Spotted by Locals’ series of travel guides for iOS.  I’m currently planning a marathon train journey to Budapest later in the year, taking in London before the TGV whisks me to Budapest via Hamburg.  I plan to make a mini film/documentary about the journey, shot and edited completely on the iPhone 4.  But back to the app …

I took up an invite to roadtest the app and leave a review of it at iTunes, which I have already done so.  My thanks to Bart van Poll for allowing me the opportunity to do so.

You start by choosing from one of four activities:

  1. Eat & Drink
  2. Art & Culture
  3. Shopping
  4. Relaxation

And then you’re able to choose one of four areas of Budapest:

  1. Central Buda
  2. Outer Buda
  3. Central Pest
  4. Outer Pest

Budapest, of course, is the capital of Hungary.  It houses just over 1.7m people, and the city serves as the principal political, cultural, industrial and transportation centre.  Budapest was built by the Celts before 1AD.  Budapest around out of two Bulgarian military frontier fortresses of Buda and Pest, situated on the two banks of the Danube.  It became the capital of Hungary in 1361.

Local map with activated pushpin

Within the app, the Full Map (with marker pins) shows the areas where your particular choice (say ‘eating and drinking’) are located, and a quick tap of that marker pin gives you concise information about that location, together with good quality colour photographs.  Having played around with the app for a few hours now, I’m finding quite a lot of interesting locations to take note of for my future visit.  The Hungarian Museum of Science and Technology boasts a fantastic collection of 20th century household appliances, computers, robots, telescopes and even a jet engine!  When you’ve read the description of the location on your phone, you can tap the ‘Map & Details’ button top-right of the screen, and the page flips to show a local street map, site location marker, plus opening times of the venue, web URL, address and phone number.  Very handy indeed.  Especially for the said Museum, which is a little out of the way and takes some hunting down!  You can also open up the location in the Google Maps app that comes with the iPhone.  You can then add your own locations with pushpins, do a local search, choose directions etc.  Even handier for the uninitiated, such as myself.

Location Detail Page

There’s a location button on the main page which shows all the local spots, local to your position.  As I’m sitting at the other side of the continent at the moment, this won’t work, but I shall make full use of it at the time of my visit.

A good number of locations are supplied with the app, and the developers say that more will be added in time as a series of free updates.

Local Map with Contact Info

I’m most impressed with the app right now.  To reiterate, it’s concise, informative and ultimately useable.  The UI is well thought-out, and the colour scheme doesn’t get on your nerves.  Right now I’m making a list of all the places I could possibly visit to fuel my desire for antiques and collectables!

Location List of the Arts & Culture Section

The app is currently priced at £2.99 and you can pick it up here:  iTunes App Link

*UPDATE 8 July 2011*

App UPDATED with even more local tips!

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