Citymapper Review [2024]: Better alternative to Google Maps?

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Citymapper Review [2024]: Better alternative to Google Maps?
Commuting is a struggle shared by all. Whether it's commuting every day to work or traveling/navigating a city to arrive at your destination, almost everyone struggles with transit. Citymapper claims to help you navigate transit better and easier than other maps, but can it really? Find out now.
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Commuting from home to work is an everyday struggle for millions of people worldwide, especially those who live in a city with several transportation options. Because let's face it, modern cities have transport networks that are so complex it often seems like a maze.

Large cities often have several bus stops, trains, subways to help you get to your destination. So, how do you know which one is the fastest? The most convenient? The cheapest?

The transit app Citymapper markets itself as the solution, mapping your city so that you can take the best route to your destination. But can Citymapper do its job well? Keep reading to find out if Citymapper delivers on its promises.

Citymapper transit app logo.
Image Courtesy of Citymapper

What is Citymapper? 

Citymapper is a navigation and mapping app that displays transport options between two locations in a supported city. Citymapper can help make your commutes stress-free if you live in a large city (like London or Edinburgh) with several ways to get around. 

Since its launch in 2011, it has covered 80 cities and metropolitan areas worldwide. Citymapper uses thoughtful route planning combined with real-time data to help you navigate complex public transportation networks. 

Citymapper was founded by Azmat Yusuf, a former Google employee. According to Yusuf, his idea started when he grappled with bus commute around London. When it launched, the company had zero budget for marketing. Growth was simply pushed by the actual users who found the app useful and intuitive. 

How To Get Started With Citymapper 

Using Citymapper is easy, and just download and install the app on your device. Citymapper can be downloaded through their website, Google Play Store, and Apple store. You'll see your current location on the home page, which is marked by a blue dot. Below the map, you'll see all available transportation options in your area. 

Citymapper search journey engine.
Image Courtesy of Citymapper

On the commute section, you can save locations that you go to each day. In this section, you should save your home and office addresses. Aside from saving locations, you can also save your trips. This will help you compare which route was most successful so that you'll be able to decide faster in the future.

After choosing your destination, Citymapper will tell you the most efficient way to get there. Whether it's through bus, taxi, or train. It will also tell you how far you have to walk to catch your transportation. It also computes the total fare and even the calories you burned throughout the trip! 

Who can use Citymapper? 

Citymapper is best for people traveling to a new city or those who live in the city and need some help with transportation routes. Suppose you're someone who lives in a rural area or in a small city.

In that case, you'll be disappointed to know that Citymapper might not be available for you. 

What We Liked About Citymapper 

More Accurate City Data 

The app doesn't just use open data from city authorities. They also collect data from multiple sources and combine them to fix inaccuracies. Citymapper also has people working to adjust routes in real-time.

You'll get instant information about any delays on your arrival or departure. It will show you how long each route will take and when your next train or bus will arrive.  

It's Free 

Citymapper is free for both Android and iOs. Unlike Google and Apple Maps, which focus mainly on driving and walking trips, Citymapper encompasses everything.

Citymapper has features that track trains, ferries, trams, and almost all kinds of public transportation listed in your city. No matter where you're going, even if you're stuck in the subway system or need a comprehensive cycling route—Citymapper tells you the best route to your destination. 

Citymapper ultimate transit app banner.
Image Courtesy of Citymapper

Step by Step Instructions

Google maps might cover many more cities and display a lot more information. Still, if you simply want an app that will get you to your destination easier, Citymapper is the best choice. Citymapper is the best software to use when you're looking for directions. It will give you a comprehensive step-by-step guide to traveling from point A to B. Instructions include which entrance and exit to use. It will even alert you when you're at your current stop to avoid missing it. 

Cost options 

Citymapper gives you an estimated cost of the different transportation options available. It even includes the cost of ride-sharing services like Uber. 

Trip Stats

Perhaps the best part of using Citymapper is the trip stats it shows you for every time you travel. In fact, Citymapper is the only navigation app that shows you how many calories you'll burn and the money you'll save by choosing to walk or cycle.

They'll even show you how much carbon footprint you're decreasing when you take that walking or cycling trip!

Citymapper trip stats with calories trees and money saved.
Image Courtesy of Citymapper

Sustainability 

Using Citymapper will encourage you to contribute towards sustainability and green living. With Citymapper, you'll find commuting much more accessible, so much that you'd end up choosing the subway instead of driving. The app also encourages users to walk or cycle whenever possible. 

What We Didn't Like About Citymapper

Doesn't Work in Most Places 

Unlike Google Maps or other mapping apps, Citymapper doesn't work everywhere.

It's only available in metropolitan cities where there are several transportation options. So if you're going somewhere a bit rural or remote or perhaps you regularly travel as it's part of your job, you can't 100% expect the app to be of use to you.

If your city isn't on the list, you can vote for your city to be the next city in the app. 

Travel and transit in a big city.
Photo by Philipp Angerhofer on Unsplash

Is Citymapper Worth it?

Definitely!

Citymapper is a great travel & transit app to have as an alternative to Google or Apple maps. The only drawback we've found was that they don't work everywhere around the world, but that's a work in process.

We believe that it's fun to see how riding transit paid off with the stats Citymapper provides!

Our Rating: 4.8/5

Pros:

  • Accurate and Real-Time Navigation Options
  • Comprehensive direction guide
  • Calorie Counter
  • Sustainable 
  • Free app

Cons 

  • Doesn't cover all cities

Plan your trips with Pilot!

Apps like Citymapper are helping make cities easier to navigate around. Like the folks that create Citymapper, we at Pilot believe that travel should be convenient, fast, and affordable. Most importantly, fun!

While you should definitely use Citymapper to help you navigate around the city, why not use Pilot to help you plan your trips? 

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Pilot is a social trip planner to discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere, for free. Pilot makes it fun and easy to create and share your favorite travel moments.

Collaborate stress-free with your travel companions and have all the features you need all in one place with Pilot. It’s completely free and ready for you to try it out now!

Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Armela Escalona Blog
Written by:
Armela Escalona
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