Those of you who’ve been following my weekly Blog, offering my insights into being a Spanish Student at Expanish, will know that my life has been pretty ‘lleno’ (full) over the past few months. Spanish lessons in the morning, working in the afternoons and any spare time i’ve had has been put to good use exploring the wonderful city that is Buenos Aires. I would say the most useful tool i have armed myself with since being here, is the Spanish language (all inside my head and still ever improving). The second most useful tool would be my little friend, always by my side…my iPhone. Now full to the brim with Buenos Aires related Iphone Apps.
So, if you are a traveler like me, you can´t leave home without your iPhone, iPod, iPad, or any other mobile device to keep you entertained, informed and on the go! Here are my top applications or must-haves before you leave! (of course excluding Skype and Facebook)
1. Buenos Aires – offline map (free) – A map is always your life line to a city and goes with you absolutely everywhere! No longer do you have to fuss in unfolding & folding a very large map (a clear sign you are a tourist), now all you need to press is a few buttons. The app allows you to enter in street cross-sections to quickly get you oriented, and without the need of an internet connection. Absolutely do not leave home without this one!!
2. Buenos Aires Subway Lite (free) – The second most important map you will in the port city. Yes, there may only be 6 subway lines, but you will want to know how to get from Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo (Independencia) to the Casa Rosada (Plaza de Mayo), to shopping at Alto Palermo (Bulnes) without skipping a beat!
3. miTinerario – Buenos Aires ($2.99) – For the more adventurous souls who choose to take the colectivos (buses) or those like me who struggle trying to understand the Guía T (the definitive guide of the city´s complex bus route system), this app will change your life!! Not only will it tell you which line to take, but in addition it shows you the closest and fastest option. Plus there is a map to clearly show where to board & depart. A must have!! I no longer fear the colectivo!!
4. Guía Oleo (free) – If you can´t live without your UrbanSpoon or Zagat guide – here is your new best friend! This app (as well as the website www.guiaoleo.com.ar ) allows you to select local restaurants by type, barrio (neighborhood), price, or any other option you may need. This ultimate Buenos Aires restaurant guide lets you vote, leave comments, or just the info to make reservations! Since I know you are not coming all this way to eat bad food!!
5. Noticias Argentina ($1.99) – Keep up-to date on all Argentine news! This app saves you the trouble of having to download 10 different apps from each newspaper. So you can conveniently catch up on current events, Boca and River scores, or even celebrity gossip.
6. OANDA free currency converter – Yes typically the US dollar is about 4 Argentine pesos, but this app will help you monitor exchange rates as the world economy constantly changes. It is also especially helpful while taking your weekend trips to Uruguay, Brazil, or Chile.
7. Buenos Aires Guide – Lonely Planet ($5.99) – Do you love your Lonely Planet guide but hate lugging it around?! For a small fee, you can help save the trees and maybe your back! Now all the most important information about where to go and what to see fits compactly in the palm of your hand! A win-win!
8. iOfertas (free) – If you thrive on always finding the best deals on everything eBay can offer, iOfertas is for you! Now you can find the same great deals & more through this app powered through MercadoLibre.
9. mPassport ($.99) – Although I have not needed to use this one yet (knock on wood), I would strongly advise downloading this one just in case… Whatever pain may ail arise, you can find a certified doctor through this amazing directory. Minor cuts, dentist, or hospital – they have you covered! Including a drug equivalency guide, pharmacy locations, and the most useful – medical translations! This one is definitely in case of emergency.
10. Free Wi-Fi Finder – For those of you who are inseparable from the internet – you will probably need this app to refresh your mail and apps! That´s of course when you are not using the Wi-Fi here at Expanish.
Hope these help get you started!! If you have any suggestions i have missed, let us know!