Check Busy Times for Nearby Businesses

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Want to check how busy your favorite restaurant is before you head out? Google Maps makes it easy to see whether a business is currently busy and when it is busiest and least busy. Here’s how to see how busy a place is on Google Maps.

Why You’ll Love This Tip:

  • Find out how busy nearby stores and restaurants are before leaving home.
  • Discover the best times to visit your favorite stores and restaurants.

How to See How Busy a Place Is on Google

System Requirements

This tip works in the Google Maps app on iPhones running iOS 16 or later. Find out how to update to the latest version of iOS.

Checking how busy a business is before leaving your home could save you time and trouble (or even a trip if you decide to stay home instead). How does Google know how busy a place is? According to Google, it gathers anonymous data from users who have opted into Location History to determine how many people are gathering at a particular location at any given time. If you don't want Google using your location, you can disable Location Services for the app. However, without Location Services, you will not be able to navigate using Google Maps. For more iPhone travel tips and tricks, check out our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Now, here’s how to see busy times on Google Maps:

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  1. Open Google Maps.

    iphone home screen search results displaying google maps app with a red box around it
  2. Enter a destination in the search bar.

    iphone google maps with a red box around search bar
  3. Scroll down to the reviews. Under the reviews, you should see a section labeled Popular times.

    iphone google maps destination result with a red box around popular times section
  4. In the graph, you can see a series of blue bars that indicate how busy the location is at a particular time.

    iphone google maps destination result with a red box around a graph displaying popular times
  5. The pink bar is the current time and shows how busy it is relative to the blue bars.

    iphone google maps destination result with a red box around pink bar and a description reading, "Live 5 PM: Not too busy."
  6. Tap any of the blue bars to see whether or not the location is busy during that time. You’ll see a description like, Usually not too busy or Usually as busy as it gets.

    iphone google maps destination result with a red box around blue bars and a description reading, "1 PM: Usually not too busy."
  7. You can tap the day of the week to see a different day.

    iphone google maps destination result with a red box around the day of the week in the popular times section
  8. Scroll through the days, select the one you want to see times for, and tap Done.

    iphone google maps destination result, displaying popular times with a small window open to select the day of the week, and a red box around the done button
  9. Alternatively, you can swipe left and right to see different days of the week.

    iphone google maps destination result displaying popular times for this location with red arrow pointing left and right on the graph, indicating to swipe left and right

That’s how you can see how busy a place is on Google Maps! Unfortunately, Apple Maps lacks this functionality, but hopefully, it will be added in a future iOS update. Next, check out our write-up on Apple Maps vs. Google Maps

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Author Details

Rhett Intriago's picture

Author Details

Rhett Intriago

Rhett Intriago is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, offering his expertise in all things iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. He enjoys writing on topics related to maintaining privacy in a digital world, as well as iPhone security. He’s been a tech enthusiast all his life, with experiences ranging from jailbreaking his iPhone to building his own gaming PC.

Despite his disdain for the beach, Rhett is based in Florida. In his free time, he enjoys playing the latest games, spoiling his cats, or discovering new places with his wife, Kyla.