Tim Foolery

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TripAdvisor City Guides

While we were in Ireland over Thanksgiving I stumbled across a @TripAdivsor City Guide for Dublin in the Google Play Store.  I downloaded over wifi and was pretty impressed.  The City Guide can be used both on and offline – which is critical for those of us traveling who do not want to spend an arm and a leg in data fees.

The app includes all the details you’ll need to explore a new city including listings for restaurants, hotels, attractions, nightlife, shopping and tickets/tours which you can save and “star” and see all of these individually selected locations on a map.  This is a really great tool to see all the things you want to do, on the run, then pair that with restaurants in the area.  If you are online you can even use the GPS function to map your current location or get directions to one of your selected destinations.

This app doesn’t only provide a detailed listing it also provides the reviews of these destinations so you can see what fellow TripAdvisor users have said.

The City Guides also include suggested itineraries.  The Dublin guide offered 7 different walking tours including:

  • Photographer’s Walking Tour of Dublin
  • Walking Tour of Georgian Dublin
  • The Phoenix Also Rises in Dublin
  • The Best of Dublin’s Neighbourhoods
  • Dublin Highlights
  • Museums, Art and Genealogy
  • Shopping, Markets, Street Performers and Afternoon Tea
Each of these itineraries include an overview of the tour including total number of stops, distance and estimated amount of time it would take to complete the tour. We did the Photographer’s Walking Tour of Dublin, which I wrote about here.  I was quite impressed with the Dublin City Guide and this suggested itinerary.

Once we got back home, I was excited to download the Chicago Guide and see what itineraries were suggested. I couldn’t wait to turn into a tourist in my own City. Boy was I disappointed. Here are the suggested itineraries:

  • President Obama’s Neighborhood – 13 Stops & 14 kilometers. This is obviously a driving tour.
  • Millennium Park with Kids – 8 Stops & 815 meters
  • Eating and Entertaining at Navy Pier – 7 Stops, 1.2 kilometers
  • Walking Tour of Public Outdoor Art in the Loop – 11 Stops, 4.2 kilometers
  • The Museum Campus and Lakefront – 11 Stops, 1.2 kilometers
  • Shopping the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street – 10 Stops, 805 meters
  • Gangster Driving Tour – 12 Stops, 48 kilometers (this seems way too long)
  • Culture and the Cubs in Wrigleyville – 6 Stops, 1.7 kilometers
  • A Nature Lover’s Guide to Lincoln Park – 11 Stops, 3.3 kilometers 
  • A Celebration of Mexican Culture in Pilsen – 10 Stops 1.8 kilometers 
I am disappointed, but there are a few of these tours I’d actually do (bolded above).  Only two of these have been rated by other users (the first two) and each have 5 stars, but only one rating each.  
There is no tour that focuses on the amazing architecture in Chicago.  While I think a guided architecture tour through the Chicago Architecture Foundation is really the best way to learn about the built environment, I am surprised there isn’t any self guided tour through the TripAdvisor App.
Once the weather warms up I will head out and test these bolded tours and report back.

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