Going on a guided tour is one of the best ways to get to know a new city. But sometimes we just can’t fit it into our itinerary. Perhaps the cost doesn’t work within our budget, the timing doesn’t fit with our schedule or the tour is already full. For these reasons, guided tour apps have become a favorite tool for traveling smart phone users.
The Rama app, which is known for quirky, focused history tours such as the Guillotine in Paris, America in London and Detroit’s Skyscrapers, has re-launched with 31 unique food tours from around the world. A few I’d like to check out include Istanbul in Berlin, which explores the Turkish food scene in the German capital; Newcastle by Breakfast, which scopes out five of the best places in Newcastle for a full English breakfast; Little India Insider, a guide to South Asian eats in Jackson Heights, Queens; Dim Sum Stories, a food tour through Hong Kong; and Free Tapas in Madrid.
Local experts write all of Rama’s history and food tours and many include offline maps for easy touring in places without a dependable 3G/4G of Wi-Fi connection. Tours are available as in-app purchases ranging from free to $2.99 and each comes with a useful introduction to let you know what you can expect before purchasing and embarking on the tour. For example, the food tours provide information on how much money you can expect to spend when sampling the local fare while the history tours give a time and distance estimate.
One refreshing aspect of the Rama app – at least for this writer – is that it gives users the opportunity to connect with the tour writers. Each “About the Author” section provides details on the writer’s personal blog, background and provides his or her email address and, where applicable, Twitter handle. Imagine being able to contact your tour author with additional questions as you follow his tour! Sure, there’s room for abuse here. But I think the personalization is a nice touch.
Rama is free in the iTunes store. Download it here.