No algorithms. No fake reviews. Just the absolute favorite spots of real locals in 77 cities. Each 100% offline city guide costs a few $/€/£, with free updates forever.
1. UP TO DATE TIPS BY REAL LOCALS
We take "local" and "up to date" very seriously. Our Spotters live in the city they write about, speak the local language and write only about their favorite spots. Spotters love promoting quirky and locally owned spots and keep their tips up to date. Founders Sanne & Bart meet all Spotters in person since our launch in 2008.
Our community of Spotters (all volunteers) is amazing - there are many real life meetings. Check our website to learn more, or to join us!
2. OFFLINE, FASTER & BETTER THAN OUR WEBSITE
Our app works 100% offline. You can turn wifi & data off and enjoy a break from social media & the internet while you use our app!
On our detailed maps you can see which spots are near you and navigate there (offline). You can bookmark your favorites, and add a pin for any address to the map (like your hotel maybe?).
Whenever it's convenient for you to go online, you can choose to download updates for current spots and the latest newest discoveries in a city.
3. HELP MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
We believe cultural misunderstandings are the source of most conflicts in the world. We hope to create a little change by encouraging travelers to experience cities from a local's perspective and learn about different cultures.
We are increasingly worried about overtourism. Since 2018 we have only expanded to cities that need MORE tourism and where tourist dollars can have a strong positive impact for local entrepreneurs. We strongly encourage you to browse through our list of cities and choose a city you haven't considered yet :).
4. YES, THIS IS A PAID APP (WHY?)
Most apps make money by collecting and selling information about you. We do not - to us you are anonymous. We charge a few $/€/£ for a faster, 100% offline experience and other features our (free) website doesn't have.
By purchasing a city guide you'll make it possible for us to continue our mission and expand to new cities where we can make a difference. Thanks so much for your support!
What the travel press is saying:
• "Steers you toward hidden gems” - NY Times
• "Authentically local, on-the-ground advice” - The Guardian
• "Local tips rarely found in the guidebook" - The Times
Please contact co-founder Bart at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback at all!
Finally (yes, about time with 77 cities as of today) we added a much requested "search cities" to quickly find the city you are looking for. Also, we launched 5 cool new cities since our last update: Beirut, Cairo, Malmö, Rijeka & The Hague!
If our locals' tips have made your trip more meaningful, our locals would love it if you can leave a short review and tell us which city you visited!
Ratings and Reviews
Good idea — but not easy for me to use
My first visit to one of the cities featured in the app. What’s cool and different that I can see on my limited time here? Lots of choices — but I can’t find a way to filter by, say, restaurants or bars or shops or activities.
In addition, with no good idea of where all the neighborhoods in this city are in relation to one another and without a map view, it’s hard to know if the place listed is a short walk away or across the city.
Finally, it’s cool to have lesser-known places mentioned, but it would be even better if you could get an idea of how many people agree that a place is worth the visit. Right now reviewers can all nominate their favorites (influences unknown) so the city I’m visiting seems to have a dozen great coffee shops. Maybe it does, but there’s no qualitative way to tell.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for your feedback Steve! 1. You CAN filter by activities! Just click on the filter on top of each page. 2. You CAN check which spots are near to you and even how far away they are (every spot shows distance). There's also a map view - just click the globe! 3. Not everyone agrees but we think it's important to keep it simple and only show our Spotters' opinion. We want to treat all spots equally. A small spot far away very few people have visited (and hence "liked") could be just as cool or perhaps even cooler in our opinion :) We'd love it if you can check out points 1 & 2 and perhaps update your review if you agree you may have missed these? Reviews are extremely important for us as we have no advertising budget... Thanks, Bart van Poll - Co-founder Spotted by Locals
Perfect way to explore a city
I first heard about SpottedbyLocals when I was studying abroad in Paris in 2009. I usually like to collect recommendations from friends before visiting a new city but in this day and age with social media, people end up seeing certain places on Instagram and Facebook and then just go where they see their friends go. This works sometimes but the problem is that you end up being directed to the same place that all the other people are going to which in effect ends up being touristy. If you’re like me and want to explore a city as someone who lives there would, then this is the app for you. The app itself is nothing special. Basic map with some highlighted spots but the content and curation is what is so key. We went to at least 10 of the recommended places in Mexico City and they were all spot on. You can’t get fair assessments of where to go on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor anymore because their ranking systems have become biased towards the places that pay them. SpottedByLocals is a neutral assessment of amazing places in cities by the people who are proudest to live in them.
I wrote a review about a month ago about this app and how it didn’t work while I was on vacation. Their response team sent me back an email with a handful of excuses how it was my fault because I downloaded it wrong and asked if I would remove my review. I asked for a refund and he told me the only way I could get a refund was if I had PayPal. I received a total of SIX EMAILS from this guy asking me to remove my review. Not once did he take ownership for the app not working or gave me any other resolution other than to re-download it again (pay for it) and hope it works on my next vacation. He continually blamed me for downloading it incorrectly. By the last email this morning, it felt like harassment and I am so annoyed with this guy I could scream.
Don’t download this app unless you are fully confident in your skills to DOWNLOAD AN APP or have the extreme patience and extra time to deal write emails back and forth for over a month about a $4 product and a bad review.
Developer Response ,
We do not understand why this customer is so angry. It truly saddens us we have not been able to reach our goal to make an unhappy customer into a happy one! The customer asked for a refund and wrote they would "consider removing my review after I received a refund". We recommended trying re-installing the app - in 99.6% of the cases the issue such as described by our customer is a connection issue, resolved by a reinstallation. The App Store does not offer us (or any publisher) the option to refund directly, so we refunded via Paypal. We asked her to try our resolution (re-install) and offered free access to customer's next city trip, to which customer did not respond. We have still not heard if the resolution was successful - we think it would have been. We also asked them in a nice way if they would consider removing their review as mentioned in customer's email. Obviously, we triggered something that made our customer very angry, which we still don't understand. We are truly sorry about this - it's the last thing we wanted. What we realise in hindsight is that sending 3 emails after a customer has not replied is too much even though our only goal was to help and check if the issue was resolved and if our email has not ended up in a spam folder or so. We apologized a few times in our emails, before receiving this final angry review. We still hope our customer can forgive us for this, and we hope for a permanent peace agreement and all the very best in life for our customer! Bart van Poll - Co-founder Spotted by Locals
In-App PurchasesSee All
- Spotted by Locals
- 76.5 MB
Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- Age Rating
- Rated 12+ for the following:
- Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
- This app may use your location even when it isn't open, which can decrease battery life.
- © 2008-2018 Spotted by Locals
- In-App Purchases
- Paris city guide by locals $3.99
- Barcelona travel guide $3.99
- New York city guide by locals $3.99
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.