6 must-have apps when you’re new in San Francisco

Moving to San Francisco? Here are the best apps that can help you transition to your new home.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

A man using his smartphone

We live in an age where technology is quite literally at our fingertips. You should use this to your advantage, especially when moving to a new city. As a new resident of the Bay Area, you can use many San Francisco apps to get you acquainted in no time.

So learn about public transport, arts, culture, attractions, food trucks, and more with a few simple downloads to your phone.

Overall, using apps can shorten your list of to-do’s, save you precious time and help you out of a jam.

Another valuable app to have when moving is the one provided to guests of Blueground apartments. It’s a feature provided to tenants to settle them into a new city, such as SF, easier.

With the app, you have the ability to enter a maintenance request, and much more.

Here are some other apps you should get your hands on.

1. Moovit

Operates on: iPhone and Android

Category: Transportation

The perfect app for navigating around San Francisco via public transportation is Moovit (Android, iPhone). It gives you access to the train, metro, bus, light rail, and ferry schedules.

The app also shows you where to rent dock-less scooters and bikes.

With Moovit getting around the city is convenient and seamless.

Sea View from Nob Hill SF


Even more, the Moovit app comes equipped with maps and real-time arrival times.

So, your trip can unfold without the worry of running late. When there are service disruptions on your metro or bus line, you’ll receive notifications.

If your trip requires different modes of transit, the app guides you towards the most optimal route.

And that route might include a combination of the metro, the bus, and walking. In these instances, Moovit has you covered with step-by-step directions.

To summarize, here is a list of benefits you’ll receive when you download the Moovit app.

  • Real-time arrivals for each mode of public transit.
  • Real-time alerts about unexpected disruptions, new construction, or delays
  • Live directions with step-by-step guidance and alerts notifying you when to get off and transfer lines, for instance.
  • Information on best bike routes to get you to a bus station, the metro, or light rail.
  • Status of rentable bike docking stations in real-time.
  • Downloadable PDF maps when you’re offline and live maps when you’re connected.

2. SFArts Express

Operates on: Android

Category: Arts and culture

The SFArts Express app gives users access to more than 1,000 San Francisco and Bay Area art events.

Above all, all information feeding into this app comes from SFArts.org. This site is the Bay Area’s most complete arts events website.

Once you download this San Francisco app to your phone, you can:

  • Look for events near your neighborhood, such as gallery viewings or museum offerings.
  • Find venues for an upcoming event on the map.
  • Access direct links to buy tickets.
  • Read through event highlights as written by expert curators and writers.
  • Bookmark events you’re interested in attending.

SFArts Express is an invaluable resource for artists, creators, musicians. And anyone else who wants to partake in San Francisco’s renowned art scene.

3. Mr. Chilly

Operates on: iPhone

Category: Weather

As a new resident of San Francisco, you may or may not be aware of the city’s micro-climates. Temperatures can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Fog may be present near your apartment, but it could be sunny near your office.

With the Mr. Chilly app, you’ll no longer have to guess. Using the app, you can view temperatures by neighborhood and look at future forecasts.

Making plans to spend the day at Golden Gate Park or dine with your friends for dinner?

Mr. Chilly can help you select the most appropriate attire to keep you comfortable all day long.

4. Off the Grid

Operates on: Android, iPhone

Category: Food

It’s no secret that San Francisco has some of the best food in the country. The culinary world in the city is well-respected, diverse, and produces great tasting cuisine.

So, if you are a foodie, this is a must-have San Francisco app.

Off the Grid lets you know when and where the next food truck gatherings are happening. Open the app on your phone, track the location and head out to enjoy endless culinary delights, cooked and served on the spot.

San Francisco apps woman purchasing a meal from a cook on a food truck

5. San Francisco City Explorer

Operates on: iPhone and Android

Category: Attractions

Ever wondered about San Francisco’s attractions and major landmarks? Do you want to learn more about the city you now call home?

The San Francisco City Explorer app (Android, iPhone) gives you access to articles and information about local places to see and visit.

Furthermore, the app includes a feature that allows you to ask specific questions. So, you can get more insight on the attractions you want to experience even before starting your personal tour.

Explore the best parts of the city at your own pace, scheduled on your own time. Some of the options get you up close and personal with the city’s rich history, art, and architecture.

By downloading the app, you receive three free tours. If you enjoy the experience, you can take more tours at a cost of $1.99 each. Proceeds on every sale support a good cause. The recipient of these proceeds is the local organization, 826 Valencia. They provide tutoring and creative writing services to youth in San Francisco.

6. Instacart

Operates on: iPhone and Android

Category: Groceries

Life can get busy.  Sometimes it’s easy to get behind on your grocery shopping. But, having the Instacart app (Android, iPhone), can get you all caught up. You can select items from one of your favorite markets and have the groceries delivered to your doorstep.

Some of the stores they partner with include; Whole Foods, Costco, Smart & Final, Safeway, Petco, CVS, and many local stores.

Here are some of Instacart’s noteworthy features:

  • Delivery in as little as one hour
  • Deals and coupons on some of your favorite products
  • Shopping lists get stored for your reference and can make future ordering easier
  • Filter by nutritional information such as gluten-free, organic, and vegan
  • Communication with your personal shopper
  • Tag items that you love for easier shopping
  • Shopping with your friends, family, and co-workers is possible
Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.