Win a self-guided walking tours app on iOS and Android for exploring cities on foot
Welcome to the first Discovering Belgium competition! I’m offering an excellent prize to help you explore the cities and towns of Belgium and elsewhere more effectively.
The GPSmyCity mobile app — for iOS and Android — features self-guided city walks and GPS-powered travel articles. With this app, you can turn your smartphone or tablet into your very own personal travel guide.
Each walk or article comes with a detailed travel route plotted on an offline map to lead you through the city. The guided tours are written by knowledgeable local guides who can show you local attractions, cultural sights, museums, markets, cafÃ©s, bars, restaurants, etc., as well as share with you in-depth insights. It’s an excellent way to see a city on foot, at your own pace and at a fraction of the cost you would normally pay for a guided tour.
The GPSmyCity app is extremely comprehensive, currently covering over 6,500 self-guided walks in 1,000+ cities around the world.
Plenty of tours in Belgium
Obviously I was keen to discover which Belgian cities and towns are covered in GPSmyCity. I was pleased to find that no fewer than 15 are listed: Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Diksmuide, Dinant, Durbuy, Ghent, Leuven, LiÃ¨ge, Lier, Mechelen, Namur, Tongeren, Tournai and Ypres.
For each city there are multiple city walks. For example, there are seven city walks in Bruges:
- Museums and Galleries I (9 sights)
- Museums and Galleries II (13 sights)
- Places of Worship (7 sights)
- Famous Bars (6 sights)
- Cultural Tour (7 sights)
- City Orientation Walk (12 sights)
- Architecture Tour (8 sights)
Antwerp’s walks include a Kids Entertainment walk and a Nightlife tour. One walk around Brussels will take you to no fewer than SIX Chocolate Shops!
Testing it in Leuven
Keen to put GPSmyCity to the test, I tried it out in Leuven. There were six city walks listed on the app that I could choose from. However, I wanted to put one of the app’s other functionalities to the test. This is the Custom Walk. This is a clever feature that enables you to pick just those sights that you want to visit in a city.
I therefore selected the map of Leuven to see all the sights listed from all the six tours. Then I picked 14 that I wanted to re-visit or that were new to me. The app constructed a customized walking route for me. And off I went! Here’s a screenshot of the route:
I found the app very easy to use. Despite trying it out in the rain, and wielding an umbrella, I could operate it (just) with one hand, although zooming in and out was a little tricky at first. It gave me turn-by-turn directions that were perfectly clear. Here are a couple of screenshot examples:
It’s also possible – and easy – to change your route as you go along, by simply choosing another location and press “Get Route”.
At all of the sights I could read a short but informative text. The content doesn’t go into detail, but I thought the level of information provided was generally just right. Personally I am not keen on reading pages of detailed information from my smartphone while standing on a street corner. I would say the content gives you a good introduction or summary of the main points of a sight of interest. Here are a couple of examples:
Free — or paid?
The GPSmyCity app is free to download and you can access all articles for free. However, to get the “full GPSmyCity experience”, and the best out of the app, including a customized offline map and GPS directions to guide you around the city to all places mentioned in the article, you pay a small upgrade fee of $1.99 (1.69 EUR) per article.
If you were to use the app a lot, this could get quite expensive. So the developers have now introduced a subscription option. It means you can always have the full GPSmyCity experience with you on your phone or tablet, wherever you are, to access at any time.
You can buy an annual subscription for $18.99/year (16.13 EUR) for full access to all walking tours and travel articles covering 1,000+ cities.
And it’s this subscription that ten lucky Discovering Belgium readers can win!
How to enter?
It’s very easy. First you have to make sure you are subscribed to Discovering Belgium. If not, quickly complete the “Follow Blog by Email” box to the right. Then, in the Comments section below, answer the following question in fewer than 50 words:
“What Does Belgium Mean to You?”
Your answer can be funny, inspiring, truthful, positive or negative (or a mix). You can answer the question whether you’re a life-long resident of Belgium, or have never stepped foot in the country. Perhaps you live here and know the country pretty well? Perhaps you only know of Belgium through this blog? If so, write about what you have discovered about the country.
Submit your entry by the end of Sunday November 18th 2018.