Madrid Expat Series

7 Must Have Apps for Everyone Visiting Madrid

We must address the fact that our mobile phones are the ones who accompany us at every moment of the day. Through them, we have access to what is happening in the world. We communicate with our loved ones and even entertain us in moments of boredom. However, our phones are nothing without the applications inside them. The apps are the real MVP in the world of telecommunications. There are basic apps that we should all have on our phone. And these change depending on our interests and location.

For that reason this post I want to highlight the applications that every person who goes to Madrid should have on their phone. For what? Well, to make life easier, that’s what apps are made for. The applications mentioned hereafter are available in the USA app unless otherwise specified.

1. Cabify / MyTaxi

Uber has suffered a lot to enter the Spanish territory and expand around the country. While Uber was fighting lawmakers, other platforms that serve the same purpose emerged. One of them being Cabify, one of the unicorn startups in Spain. Cabify is literally the same as Uber, only that the drivers are professional drivers, that dress up and they give you VIP treatment. The only downside is that the app fails a lot. Especially during the night, when you want to get back home after partying because many people request transportation at the same time. But if clean and air-conditioned car rides are your thing, Cabify is perfect for you.

In addition to using Cabify in Madrid, you can use the app in these other cities: Barcelona, Malaga, Seville, Alicante, and Valencia.

On the other hand, the My Taxi app is faster and in fact my favorite. Through this app, you can order a taxi. The app is the most popular. Which means that the waiting time is minimal. In this app, you can even book a taxi in advance. A very important thing to do when there is a strike in the Madrid Metro or you have to leave very early in the morning. You can also filter the type of taxi you are interested in, for example, a taxi that accepts pets or is suitable for handicap people.

2. Official Metro Madrid

The Madrid metro is TOP. If you spend a lot of time around Madrid’s city center, then the Official Metro Madrid app is a must. It is suitable for dummies and is the easiest way to navigate the subway.

 

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3. Citymapper

This app is the best! It is only available in a few cities in the world, but it is the most complete app in terms of public transport. It does not include car navigation like Google Maps, but it makes tremendous public transport combinations. Its plans your route mixing bus and metro, or whatever it takes, to save steps or time. Whatever you decide to prioritize. And my favorite part is that it gives you real-time waiting time for public transport. This way you know if you have to run out of the door, or not.

4. BlaBlaCar

If you want to get to know Spain and it does not bother you to travel by car with strangers, BlaBlaCar is sometimes the best alternative. It is a car-sharing app for long trips, for example, Madrid – Sevilla. It is much cheaper than traveling by train and even more comfortable. And if you don’t mind traveling by yourself, like me, it may be an even better option. That way you already have company. This app is often used by young professionals who study or work in a different city from where they grew up or their relatives live. They put the trips in BlaBla to earn an extra little money and get some company. Nonone gets rich by making BlaBla trips, it just helps cover gas and toll fees.

5. Google Hangouts

In Spain, it is very normal to CHARGE YOU when you call a customer service center. Taking into account the waiting times, this means that a call for example to change a flight can cost you between 6 and 12 euros. Just kidding, it’s usually around 4 euros. But still, chances are that you are calling because they are stealing money from your pocket. And you have to spend more money from to solve it.

But, there is a way to do it for free. And it’s calling the customer service number for the United States. Clearly, this will only work for you to call multinational companies. So if you have to call Orange or Vodafone, pay. Sometimes they will ask you where are you or where do you live, since this trick is also being used by locals.

That said, if you download the Google Hangouts app you can call any phone number of Puerto Rico, the United States or Canada free of charge. You only need an internet connection and to log in with a google account.

6. The Fork

Kwon in Spain as El Tenedor. This is the most popular app to make restaurant reservations. You can use it in most cities. Keep your eyes open, since sometimes restaurants have discounts if you book through the app. For example, 40% off or a dessert or appetizer for free if you spent a certain amount on main courses.

7. Just Eat* / Deliveroo / Uber Eats

The issue with food delivery in Madrid is that the restaurants are divided between apps. The variety and quality of the restaurants vary a lot between one app and another. And then, there are fast food restaurants like Domino’s or Burger King that do food deliveries but you can only order the food from their own platform.

The cost of shipping varies, some restaurants require a minimum spent and in return, they cover the delivery costs. Then there are apps that do not care about the restaurant or the order, they charge you the shipping costs no matter what.

To order food from any of these platforms it is not necessary to download the mobile application. You can do it from the web version as well.

*  Not available in USA apple store.

Did I mention any app you did not know it existed? Or on the contrary, I forgot to mention an app that deserves to be on the list? Let me know in the comments below. 👍🏽 🙃

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