Just moved to Belgium? Make your new life as an expat easier by downloading these top 10 must-have apps in Belgium onto your phone.
Whether you’re an American in Antwerp or a Brazilian in Brussels, knowing how to go about your everyday life in your new home can be challenging. However, it helps if you have the right apps on your phone. From knowing how to get around the local public transit system in Ghent to finding the best takeaway pizza in Charleroi, apps can make your life a lot more manageable. To help you download with confidence, here are the top 10 must-have apps in Belgium.
When it comes to learning the local language, there are few countries in the world quite like Belgium. Depending on where you move to, you could be faced with French, Dutch, or even German in your everyday life. Therefore, it is even more important to have a solid grasp of the local lingo to help you settle into your new home.
Babbel is a language learning app that can help you brush up your French, Dutch, and German, along with a range of other languages. Its easy-to-follow courses are created by professionals, so you know you’re in good hands as soon as you open the app. You can also learn at your own pace and practice in between when you’re out and about.
Other must-have Belgian language apps:
- Duolingo – choose your language and learn with Duo the owl
- Tandem – chat with native speakers in Belgium and beyond
Finding the right home for you and your family in a brand new country can be tough, even for the most seasoned expat. In a country like Belgium, you not only have the language barrier to contend with, but you also need to navigate a completely different housing market. But you shouldn’t let that stop you from finding the home of your dreams because Immoweb can help make it a reality. You’ll find a range of properties to rent or buy across the country on this easy-to-use app. Whether you’re looking for a family townhouse in Ghent or a studio apartment in central Brussels, you’ll be able to search through thousands of listings to find your new home.
Other must-have Belgian housing apps:
- Spotahome – find rooms and apartments to rent across Belgium
- Airbnb – search short-term rental properties on the global app
Do you know when the first train to Bruges leaves in the morning? How about which metro train will take you and your family to the ever-popular Mini Europe? As an expat, getting your head around the ins and outs of the local transit system can be tricky – but it doesn’t have to be with the right app on your phone.
Citymapper is one such app that will help you move around Belgium just like a local. Operating across the country, the app helps you get from A to B with ease; whether you’re taking the bus, train, or simply hopping on your bike. You can even keep track of your journey stats and compare them with other users in your city.
Other must-have Belgian public transport apps:
- STIB-MIVB – the official app of the public transit operator in Brussels
- SNCB – plan your commute with Belgium’s national train operator
Think of Belgium and you’ll often be met with images of beer, chocolate, waffles, and, of course, the ever-popular moules-frites. For a small country, Belgium certainly packs a flavorsome punch. As an expat, you’ll probably be tempted to try some and recreate some of these delicacies at home; whether you buy groceries from the local supermarket or seek the help of a convenient app such as HelloFresh. This meal kit delivery app lets you pick from a wide range of innovative, colorful recipes. The fresh ingredients are then delivered straight to your door at a time that suits you. From vegetarian classics to modern twists on family favorites, you’ll find something for everyone on this handy app.
Other must-have Belgian food apps:
- Takeaway.com – fast food delivered straight to your door
- Deliveroo – enjoy your favorite restaurants at home
Modern life can seem like a never-ending memory test when it comes to the number of usernames and passwords we all have these days. Whether you’re signing into your social media accounts, accessing government portals, or checking your utility bills online, remembering all that information can be tough. Thankfully, there’s an app for that if you live in Belgium. itsme is an app that acts as your digital ID. Instead of having a long list of usernames and passwords, you’ll be able to log-in simply and securely using your phone. Fortunately, some of Belgium’s biggest companies are also accessible through the app, including retail bank KBC, health insurer Partena, and telecoms provider Proximus.
Other must-have Belgian admin apps:
- Google Translate – translate documents, signs, and more
- Doccle – all your official correspondence straight to your phone
6. Free tap water Belgium
The health benefits of drinking water are plentiful. From clearer skin to a better metabolism, staying hydrated can help in all sorts of ways. But water bottles are problematic for the environment, and knowing where to find free water in a new country can be challenging. But not if you have the right app downloaded onto your phone.
Free tap water Belgium is an app that does exactly what you might expect – helps connect you to sources of free tap water across the country. And this includes some restaurants, too. Traditionally, free tap water is not on the menu at most Belgian eateries, but an environmentally-minded campaign looks to change that. For now, the app helps you find cafés and restaurants that have signed up to the scheme.
Other must-have Belgian sustainability apps:
- Too Good To Go – save delicious treats in your neighborhood from the trash
- For Good – measure and improve your ecological footprint
Belgium has some great places to visit, including the picture-perfect Bruges and the modern port city of Antwerp. But the country is also conveniently located near some of Europe’s best destinations. World-famous cities like Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Berlin are only a train ride away, and Belgium is a great base to explore the continent. Omio is a travel app that will help you find tickets and information for your next trip. It lists a variety of international transport options, including trains, planes, and buses. The app will also alert you to any discounts on your favorite routes, meaning you’ll never miss out on great ticket deals.
Other must-have Belgian travel apps:
- Skyscanner – check flights to a number of international destinations
- Rentalcars.com – find rental cars across Belgium and beyond
8. Hello bank!
Setting up a bank account is probably high up on the to-do list of many expats moving to Belgium. Not only will having a local bank account make you feel more settled in your new home, but it will also make your everyday life that little bit easier. From buying groceries to setting up your utilities, you might be surprised just how convenient life becomes. Hello bank! is a Belgian mobile bank that lets you set up an account in minutes. Powered by the banking giant BNP Paribas, the app offers a range of banking options, including current accounts, credit cards, and even mortgages. You’ll also find the latest mobile payment options, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, at your fingertips.
Other must-have Belgian banking apps:
- N26 – international mobile bank operating across Europe
- TransferWise – make international money transfers from your phone
Want to help the environment by leaving your car at home but don’t feel like traveling on a busy tram or metro train during rush hour? Thankfully, these days there are more options than ever when it comes to greener travel in Belgium. While some expats prefer to cycle, others might be tempted to try something a little different by jumping on an electric scooter.
Lime is an electric scooter sharing platform that operates in Brussels. On the app, you’ll be able to locate your nearest dockless electric scooter in the city, hop on board, and ride to your next destination. The scooters are modern and easy-to-use, offering a great alternative for local residents making short journeys around the city center.
Other must-have Belgian mobility apps:
- Uber – a global ride-sharing app that operates in Brussels
- Velo – an easy-to-use app for Antwerp’s bike-sharing scheme
What better way to explore your new home than by getting out and about and discovering the best Belgium has to offer? Whether you want to pamper yourself at a local spa or try your hand at some city activities you’ve never considered before, you might be surprised at what’s on offer. And, of course, there’s an app that helps you get more from your new life in Belgium. Groupon helps you explore your surroundings by offering amazing discounts and deals on a number of activities, days out, and more. By downloading the app, you’ll get notified of the latest deals, ensuring you and your family don’t miss out on the things you love. From family days out to red-letter days and discounts at some of Belgium’s best restaurants, you’ll find it all on Groupon.