Seattle has a number of smartphone apps that can help you get the most out of your time here—from transportation apps loved by locals for the time they can save to apps for some of our biggest attractions that will enhance your visit. Below are some of the best apps for the city.
OneBusAway: What started as a graduate project by two University of Washington students is now a great way to stay informed about when your bus will show up. Search by address, route—where you can also see a list of stops or the route map—or stop number found on bus stop signage—where you'll get a list of all the routes that use that stop—and get real-time information about busses. Available at iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store and Amazon Apps.
WSDOT App: For drivers, this app gives real-time travel times between cities around the Seattle area in addition to regional maps color-coded by traffic density—it's a great tool for deciding which bridge is faster when crossing Lake Washington, or whether Interstate 5 or Highway 99 is faster when traveling north-south through Seattle. The app also has current toll rates, ferry schedules, mountain passes information, Canadian border wait times and Amtrak Cascades information. Available at iTunes App Store and Google Play.
PayByPhone Parking: In Seattle, you can pay some street parking via this app. Look for the green and black signage—enter the location number on the sign posted on your side of the block and, once you create an account, pay for parking without using the pay stations or displaying a ticket. The app will also send text messages when it's time to buy more parking and send email receipts if you need to keep track of travel expenses. Available at iTunes App Store, Google Play and BlackBerry App World.
Space Needle: Seattle's iconic landmark has two apps. The Space Needle App has facts about the Needle, ticketing information, a panoramic photo and more. You can also put a mini Space Needle anywhere with SpaceSpots: Point your phone at the coaster-like discs and see what pops up. The Space Needle 360 app is a virtual reality app that lets you experience soaring over the city and around the Needle in a seaplane, walk around the outer edge of the Space Needle or stand at the very top and look down on the city. Available at iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store (Space Needle App only).
Woodland Park Zoo: Visiting the zoo while in town? Download the app to buy tickets, get the latest zoo news and event schedules, have a zoo map at your fingertips and get self-guided mobile tours for a variety of interests. There is also a QR Code scanner, which you can use throughout the zoo to scan codes for additional photos, videos and stories about the zoo and its animals. Available at iTunes App Store and Google Play.
STQRY: This app lets you search for attractions and landmarks or see what is near you. Find photos, videos, interesting facts and more. The app also has stories with photos that will take you on a virtual tour. Find stories on everything from current exhibits at the EMP Museum to an artwork walk in Pioneer Square. Available at iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.