How to Build a City Guide App?

Written by Mehak Gupta
4 mins, 30 secs Read
Updated On November 16, 2023

Traveling has now been easier than ever. Tourists used to (still now in many parts) rely on tour guides to show them the sites. These guides charge money per hour to show you the places. Sometimes, they scam the visitors by over-charging them. But now, organizations have launched Guide Apps to ease the visiting process as much as possible. This app is just like a tour guide. The difference is that it doesn’t take the money from your wallet. But for it to become successful, you have to build it the right way.

Wondering how to make a City Guide App? Well, for this, you will have to make some decisions and let the team of developers know about it. These are about the features, information, and facts. 

Want to know more? Here are the details of everything you need to know before you set out on the journey to give the city its app.

How to Build a City Guide App

Building an app for a city tour guide requires some upfront decisions. They are indeed crucial as the success of the app depends on them. Mainly, the decisions are about the features.

What are they? Let’s review the typical feature set of a city guide app.

GPS Tracking

The app meant to be a city guide should facilitate the visitors in finding famous tourist spots.

Out-of-city or foreign tourists do not know the routes. So, the first thing you should do when you begin the development of the Guide App is to incorporate the GPS / geolocation functionality.

Generally, it is done with the integration of Google Maps. Due to this, tourists will also be able to see other tourist attractions on the route you selected. This will make the tour super easy.

Push notifications are also a useful feature that goes well with GPS. Whenever you are in a taxi or on foot, the notification will inform you in advance. How? Because it says “you have reached” or “almost reached” the selected location.

Multi-Language Options

The communication barrier is a big problem English-speaking travelers face. Whenever they visit those countries that have more non-English speakers, it causes difficulties. 

To avoid this, you should incorporate multiple languages into the city guide. Add the local language, and other popular languages like French, Spanish, etc. This will definitely help the tourists.

Offline Access

Places that attract thousands of tourists often have internet problems. Therefore, you should also develop an app that works without an internet connection. This will save visitors from a lot of trouble.

Transport Facility details

The App should also have a feature just like Uber and also information about the local transportation system. In this, there will be details about bus routes, taxi fares, etc.


The wishlist feature works like a planner. Using it, tourists can add the places they would love to visit, so they don’t forget about any of them. They can include tourist attractions, restaurants, coffee shops, and much more.

Emergency Information

A City Guide App should also include an “Emergency” section. It should list the phone numbers of Police, fire stations, hospitals, and other departments that deal with emergencies.

Additional Features (Optional)

Want to make your guide app super helpful? Then go for extra features.

You can include the “Share” option that is integrated with the social media apps. Tourists want their loved ones to see where they are now. This will also work as a free promotion of your app.

In addition to this, you can also add a “Review” option. You can allow tourists to review sites, restaurants, taxi drivers, etc.

But know one thing. The more features or options you are going to add, the more it will cost you to develop the app.

How Much Will It Cost To Build a City Guide App?

Building a city guide application requires a lot of money, time, and dedication from a team of experts. It will take a Project manager, an experienced team of app developers, and  UX/UI designers. Besides their rates, there are other expenses too.

After calculating all of them, we get an approximate cost of between $15,000 to $50,000. This price range mainly depends on two factors:

  • The salary you are paying to your team
  • The features you are adding

However, if done right, the application revenue will soon cover the development budget and bring profits.

How to Earn Money Via City Guide App

You can start earning from the City Guide application straight away if you do the following:

Collaboration with the Government

You can talk with the government or city administration authorities about your plans. They love to fund such projects and support startups that boost tourism in the area.

In addition, there are lots of events happening at the government level. The administration will love to add it to the Guide App to attract more people. The government will pay you to feature their events in your application.

Via Listing Fees

Listing restaurants or coffee shops on the spp is a great monetization method for such an application. How? You can charge the listing fee from the restaurant or coffee shop owners. They will be happy too as you are giving them a platform to promote their businesses and attract more customers. 

But there is more to it. Modern city guide applications feature local businesses too. If a tourist has to shop, he can just look where he can find the local malls or gift shops. You can charge a listing fee from these businesses as well.

By Adding Premium Features

Adding a premium feature is another way of earning money. Some exclusive features like audio mapping can be added under the Premium section.

Make sure you don’t add the basic things like GPS or transportation in this. Otherwise, many people won’t even bother to download your application.

Final Words

So, how to build a city guide app?

The making of an App about a city guide is not so simple. You first must have funding between 15,000$ to 50,000$, a team of experts, and well-described requirements for your future app. These are about the features like GPS, multi-language issues, offline access, and transportation. Also, you can add additional features and innovations that typical city guide apps don’t have. They will increase development costs but contribute to your app’s future success.
We are Owlab, a software product development company. Founded in Ukraine, we have now spread our roots to open a new center in Estonia. We provide our services in app development and help our customers succeed in the digital world. Our expertise is in fintech, Blockchain, chatbot development, and much more. Right now, we are available to take on some more projects and deliver outstanding software.

Author: Mehak Gupta