The ultimate city guide apps

Not sure what to do this weekend? Need a haircut? Want to know of the best businesses near you? Why not try out one of these handy business and cultural directory apps to find out?


Foursquare allows you to search for activities, restaurants or places of interest that are local to you, as well as those in most capital cities all over the world.

Foursquare is my favourite directory app, because it ‘learns’ your preferences and points to places you’ll love based on your tastes. It does this by filtering your reviews and ratings of the places to which you’ve been. It also suggests results based on the reviews of your friends. You can also search by category and by trending businesses (i.e. the ones that are being used most and receiving the most favourable reviews).

The more you use Foursquare, the smarter it gets, and if you share common interests with other people who use the app, it will also use their preferences to point you towards the businesses that best suit you.

I’ve used Foursquare locally and overseas and it has rarely steered me wrong. And I also fun it quite fun to use. You can earn badges and other rewards for your reviews or for the number of times you frequent your favourite establishments. You can even become the mayor of your favourite café. To find out more, go to

Download Foursquare






Yelp filters a range of businesses based on the best reviews from the 77 million or so given by other Yelp users. It offers results based on certain attributes, such as price, whether a place accepts credit cards or has indoor or outdoor seating, types of food served (e.g. vegetarian, seafood, steak, dessert), and, maybe most importantly, user rating.

Yelp’s software filters search results based on measures such as quality, reliability and activity, and a weekly update suggests the newest ‘hot’ businesses, as well as and other local happenings. Find out more at

Download Yelp

The Thousands

The Thousands would be my pick for the best designed and probably, coolest cultural online directory. ‘The Thousands’ refers to the postcode of your city (i.e. 3000 = Melbourne, 2000 = Sydney, and so on). If you want to discover the hippest cafés, bars, restaurants, shops or cultural spots in your town, just choose your city (or your current location), select your activity and browse the carefully curated selection of reviews.

Or you can choose the ‘Near Me’ filter function and you’ll see the best spots close by, whilst the ‘Must See’ function shows you the the best local hangouts and happenings – as chosen by The Thousands’ city-savvy editors.

The Thousands may not have the quantity of businesses that the aforementioned apps promote, what it does do is promote quality local businesses – making it a directory resource to be trusted.

The Thousands is an online magazine as well as a handy directory, so you can use it via your favourite browser, either on your phone or on your computer. To use it, go to

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.