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Posted by on Mar 15, 2011 in Apps, Featured | 8 comments

Our Favorite iPad & iPhone Apps for Travel to Ireland

Irish Travel Apps for iPads and iPhones

The Ireland.com App shown here highlights events occurring throughout Ireland and Nothern Ireland.

When my friend Betty suggested, “You should take my iPad for a few weeks. Find all the good apps and then show me how to use them,” I hid my excitement by grunting, “Are you sure?”

For the last two weeks I’ve been tapping and swiping my way across the iPad and iPhone testing over 150 apps… the ones that crashed, the ones that were copycats, the ones that had nothing to do with Irish travel, the ones that were Wikipedia in disguise, and the ones that delivered as promised.

My criteria was pretty straightforward. The apps had to work, they had to be useful for either traveling or planning travel to Ireland, and they got bonus points if they could be used without requiring a connection to the Internet. Here are the standouts:

 

THE TRAVEL GUIDES

Belfast in Your Pocket AppBelfast In Your Pocket Belfast in Your Pocket

Dublin In Your Pocket Dublin In Your Pocket

iPhone – $2.99 each

No matter which capital city you visit, In Your Pocket has created two full-service apps that don’t require an internet connection to access their core content which includes restaurants, nightlife, sightseeing, transport, maps, and plenty more. Meanwhile, when connected to the internet, users get currency conversion, weather, and location-specific details. The only thing missing is access to the publications archive of articles… I guess we’ll still need to browse the web for those.
Lonely Planet Dublin for iPhoneLonely Planet Dublin City Guide Dublin Guide - Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd

Lonely Planet Belfast City Guide Lonely Planet Belfast City Guide - Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd

iPhone – $5.99 each

Although their entire Ireland guide is only available as an e-book, Lonely Planet has put all their Dublin and Belfast info into two snazzy apps. Their collection of background info is perfect for reading on the plane, and their interactive maps pinpoint all the recommended places to eat, sleep, site see, shop, and experience the cities… just tap the pin and read more about the attraction… the most popular spots even include phone, web, transportation and email info.

Ireland.com AppIreland.com Travel

iPhone & iPad – FREE

With an emphasis on events, restaurants, pubs, and places to stay, this digital extension of IrishTimes.com focuses what’s hip and happening. The format is especially enjoyable on the iPad. Unfortunately, both versions require an internet connection to access the info which can be parsed by county.

Ireland Travel Guide iPhone AppIreland – Travel Guide

iPad & iPhone – FREE

The info in this app is straightforward and basic, but it does a nice job of incorporating maps and places nearby. It also includes a feature that lets you share your travels via email… unfortunately, it once the one feature that crashed when I tried to use it on the iPad.

 

WALKS & SPECIALTY GUIDES

Trail Kilkenny for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App StoreTrail Kilkenny

iPhone – FREE

For those taking to the trails of County Kilkenny, this app currently features 14 hikes with excellent overviews, tips, maps, points of interest (food and shopping), photos and even videos. It also allows you to add photos, text, and GPS tracking to your trip to share with friends. They’ve thought of everything and even allow the information to be downloaded to your device for access without an internet connection.

Causeway Companion - Part of Go Explore nI iphone appGoExplore Northern Ireland

iPhone – FREE

This app delivers five tours in Northern Ireland: road racing, Bushmills whiskey, Belfast and the Titanic, the Causeway Coast, and Derry/Londonderry. The well-produced video narrative at each stop are a nice touch and the fact that tours can be pre-downloaded or streamed gives users some nice options. The “Attractions” section is a bit light, but the events calendar offers a variety of suggestions, and the integration helps get user to their next stop.

iSpy Sculpture Dublin Public iPhone Art AppiSpySculpture Dublin’s Public Art

iPhone – $3.99

You never know when you might stumble upon some of Dublin’s public art. Well, unless you’ve got the iSpy Sculpture app loaded. Great photos and descriptions put 50 of the city’s most notable sculptures in the spotlight. They even include some of the clever “unofficial” names Dubliners have coined like calling the Molly Malone statue “The Tart with the Cart” or “The Trollop with the Scallops.”

Festivals Guide 2011 IE Ireland iPhone App

Festivals Guide 2011 IE

iPhone – $.99

Pick a day and see what festivals are going on in Ireland. Each listing includes a brief description and a map location. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it does include some items that a visitor might otherwise miss.

Clare Ecclesiastical iPad appClare Ecclesiastical Trails

iPad & iPhone – FREE

County Clare on Ireland’s West coast has a little bit of everything for the visitor, and this app offers insight into some of the more interesting historic, Christian sites in the region. The app divides the county into four regions, and the featured stops are a wonderful mix of known and lesser-known sites.

Dezzie's Guide to Pinting DublinDezzie’s Guide to Pinting in Dublin

iPhone – $1.99

This app took me completely by surprise by offering a lot more information than I expected. It taps Dublin’s reputation as the center of the universe for the “black stuff” and includes a full assortment of pint descriptions, tidbits, and vernacular, as well as a useful list of exceptional Dublin pubs and even more tips for exploring the city.

 

Galway Walking Tour App for iPhoneDublin Walking Tours and Map Dublin Walking Tours and Map

Galway Walking Tours and Map Galway Walking Tours and Map

Dingle Walking Tours and Map Dingle Walking Tours and Map

Waterford Walking Tours and Map Waterford Walking Tours and Map

Cork Walking Tours and Map Cork Walking Tours and Map

Dublin Literary Walking Tour Dublin Literary Walking Tours and Map

iPhone – $4.99 each

Each of these walks offer different experiences in their respective towns and cities. The information is a bit dry, but they get the job done with decent maps and walking instructions, and if you’re completely disoriented, the “Find Me” feature will get you back on course.

 

TRANSPORTATION

iTrain Live Ireland iphone appiTrainLive Ireland

iPhone – $.99

If you’re traveling by train, this simple app takes your start and end points and gives you a timetable including transfers… very handy when you simply need to know when the trains run.

CoPilot Live Ireland & UK GPS iPhone AppCoPilot Live UK & Ireland

iPhone -$32.99

Offering turn-by-turn GPS navigation in Ireland without requiring an international data plan, this app does a great job of keeping travelers on-course… or off-the-beaten-path if you choose the “shortest route” feature. Read our full review.

 

EXTRAS

Titanifacts for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App StoreTitanifacts

iPhone – $1.99

Built in the same country as the Titanic — Northern Ireland, Titanifacts looks at the history of the memorable ship and it’s tragic maiden voyage through documentary clips, photos, and trivia. The app also connects travelers with attractions connected to the Titanic in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England, and the US. You can also check out their FREE Titanic Dock iPad App.

Get the Focal Irish Translator App Get The Focal Irish Translator

iPhone – $3.99

This app will come in especially handy when you approach a public toilet and don’t know if you should go in the door marked “Mná” or “Fir.” The offline dictionary includes 13,000 words and the online list covers over 200,000 terms. Will you use when you travel? Probably not. Will you impress your friends when you send them messages with Irish words? It’s likely.

 

PODCASTS

You can bring along your favorite Ireland-related podcasts using these apps.

irish Fireside mobile iphone appIrish Fireside Podcast

iPhone – $1.99

 

Engaging Ireland iphone appThe Engaging Ireland Podcast

iPhone – $1.99

 

Hotels & Transportation

Several hotels, attractions, airports, taxi companies and the bus system have hopped on the app bandwagon. These basic apps often include contact, booking, and special offers information. It doesn’t hurt to do a quick search to see if a service you’ll be using offers an app.

 

Every effort was made to assure the information presented here was accurate when published (remember, apps are quickly updating). A portion of app sales that come from clicking these links may benefit the Irish Fireside through our iTunes Store affiliate program.

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8 Comments

  1. Great article Corey! Now if only I had an iPhone or iPad. Maybe in the future.

    Michele

  2. I love the Irish Fireside Podcast as well as The Engaging Ireland Podcast, but why would I purchase the app when I can just subscribe for free in iTunes?

    • The apps has a few features specifically for mobile users. The biggie is livestreaming (especially handy for when there’s a new episode and you can’t sync up with your computer) and bonus PDFs and backgrounds.

  3. Do you also have these apps available on the Android operating systems?

    • Some of these apps are available on Android devices. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the technology to test them out.

  4. Hi, I too have been working on Project in Galway, in the form of a digital interactive magazine. My Lite version is to get a feel for what people would like to add to the full version..

    I will add restaurants, pubs, Free activities for children and service like buses, car hire etc.

    By visiting my site http://www.ipages.ie you have 2 options 1 to view the online version or download iPad app version. Hope you enjoy, I would appreciate feedback.

    Regard Mike

  5. Can you tell me if there are any current updates to your recommendations as of today, Nov. 9 2012 ???

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