Make your new life in Switzerland just that little bit easier with our helpful guide to the top 10 must-have Swiss apps to download onto your phone.
Whether you’re getting to grips with Geneva or settling down in St Gallen, everyday life in Switzerland can be a challenge for new arrivals. However, luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to make the transition run smoother, including making sure that you have the right Swiss apps downloaded onto your smartphone.
From finding out which tram takes you to the train station to getting the best local pizza delivered straight to your door, having the right apps on your phone can make all the difference. To ensure you download with confidence, here’s our list of the top 10 must-have Swiss apps.
1. Just Eat
For a small country, Switzerland certainly punches above its weight when it comes to food and drink. Nestled between France, Italy, and Germany, the Swiss know a thing or two about good food. But while your first thoughts of Swiss cuisine will likely be related to melted cheese, there’s actually a whole lot more deliciousness out there than first meets the eye. Some expats will enjoy their first taste of Swiss food at one of the country’s many great restaurants. Others, meanwhile, will prefer checking out their local supermarkets and creating magic in their own kitchens. Whatever your preference, though, there’s an app for it.
For those wanting to enjoy the comforts of home eating without having to hit the kitchen, the Just Eat app is the perfect solution. This is one of the leading food delivery platforms in Switzerland and offers a wide range of the best Swiss take-out options available. Whether you’re after a fast-food feast from your nearest burger bar or a hearty meal from your favorite neighborhood restaurant, you’ll find it on this easy-to-use app. It will certainly help take the stress out of your next mealtime, too.
Other must-have Swiss food delivery apps:
- HelloFresh – enjoy restaurant-quality meals that you can make at home
- Smood – have groceries and meals delivered straight to your door
Whether you’re a seasoned expat, enjoying a quick break in Switzerland, or simply passing through, moving around a new country can be a challenge. Knowing which tram will take you back to your new home, or how to get to your local airport can be tricky, especially if you don’t speak one of the local languages. However, there are a number of ways that you can help prepare yourself for every eventuality when it comes to public transportation in Switzerland. And as you might have guessed, one of them can be downloaded onto your very own phone.
There are a number of transport apps out there, but your first download should be the SBB app. Created by the Swiss national train operator, SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen) – also known as CFF (Chemins de fer fédéraux suisses) and FFS (Ferrovie federali svizzere) – the app has everything you need for getting around the compact country. You can check train times, buy tickets, and store your own favorite journeys for future convenience at the touch of a button. The SBB app is also available in English, making it ideal for expats living in Switzerland.
Other must-have Swiss transport apps:
- ViaMichelin – provides the latest route and travel information, making it a must for drivers
- Citymapper – this popular transit app covers all modes of transport throughout Switzerland
A great way to feel at home in a new country is to brush up on the local language. However, in Switzerland, even knowing which language to learn can be tricky because the country has not one, but four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. And while English is fairly widely-spoken, you’ll need a handle on at least one of these languages if you want to understand the little things at your local supermarket or your latest tax bill. So whether you’re staying long-term or for just a few months, it’s a good idea to get a hold of the local languages.
Babbel is a great way to practice those language skills from the comfort of your own phone. Its easy-to-follow courses are designed by professionals, so you know you’re in good hands as soon as you hit download. If you’re only looking to focus on the language most commonly spoken in your canton, then Babbel has you covered. It offers French, German, and Italian courses that you can follow at your own pace. And, if you’re feeling optimistic, you could even learn all three at once. Whatever you decide, though, you’ll be amazed at just how quickly your language skills improve.
Other must-have Swiss language apps:
- Google Translate – translate words, signs, and letters with this must-have app
- Duolingo – let Duo the owl walk you through learning French, German, and Italian
For a small country, Switzerland certainly packs a lot inside its borders. From the breathtaking peaks and sweeping valleys of the mountainous to the pristine lakes and picture-perfect streams that dot the landscape, there’s so much out there to explore. But with all this choice, knowing where to go in Switzerland can be challenging; especially when you consider that the country boasts more than 60,000km of trails. However, if you’re an expat, there are ways you can make all this exploration that little bit easier.
SwitzerlandMobility is an app that helps you get more out of your new home all year round. An ideal resource for those who enjoy the great outdoors, the app has easily-accessible information on the country’s network of trails, paths, and mountain passes. It also boasts insight on over 4,500 points of interest along the way, from lookout points to overnight accommodation. Needless to say, if you’re planning to get out and enjoy Switzerland’s many outdoor pursuits, then don’t leave home without downloading SwitzerlandMobility.
Other must-have Swiss out-and-about apps:
- iSki Switzerland – discover everything you need to know before hitting the ski slopes
- The Fork – treat yourself to the best Swiss restaurants with this app
5. Play Suisse
As an expat, you’ll soon realize just how important it is to integrate yourself into the local Swiss culture. However, with a country as linguistically diverse as Switzerland, it can seem challenging to outsiders. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, one of the best ways to understand the Swiss – and brush up on those all-important language skills – is to catch up with the local TV offerings. Whether you’re watching breaking news and current affairs, popular soaps and dramas, or the latest Swiss blockbusters, it can be a great cultural resource.
As well as simply switching on your television, there are also apps that can get you started with Swiss TV. For instance, Play Suisse is the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG)’s streaming app, which gives you access to all the best programming from Switzerland’s most popular channels. You’ll be able to catch-up on the latest episodes, watch boxsets of your new favorite Swiss dramas, and much more. Programs on Play Suisse can also be subtitled into the local language of your choice, although you won’t find much English so be prepared to learn while you view.
Other must-have Swiss entertainment apps:
- Meetup – explore Switzerland, make new friends, and start new hobbies
- Disney+ – keep up to date with your favorite Disney shows and movies
As an expat, knowing how to live sustainably in Switzerland can be challenging. Whether it’s knowing how to properly recycle your household waste or finding your nearest car-sharing scheme, it can be tricky. However, if you know where to start, adopting the right habits can be easier than you think. An easy first step can be simply knowing which apps to download onto your phone. After all, you use your phone all the time, so why not let it help you make those all-important green choices in your everyday life?
If you’re looking for green-minded apps, then Too Good To Go is a delicious place to start. This easy-to-use app helps you cut down on food waste in your local community by connecting you with local cafés, restaurants, bakeries, and more. The app helps you find great-tasting, fresh bargains that would otherwise be thrown away. Whether you’re living in Basel, Bern, or elsewhere, join Too Good To Go‘s digital community of “waste warriors” and you’ll soon find out just how delicious saving the planet can be.
Other must-have Swiss sustainability apps:
- Ecosia – plant a tree every time you use this environmentally-friendly search engine
- Happy Cow – find vegan and vegetarian restaurants across Switzerland
If you’re moving to Switzerland, one of the first things you’ll need to set up is a local bank account. Not only will opening a Swiss bank account make everyday life that little bit easier, but it’ll also make you feel more settled in your new home. Whether it’s buying groceries at your local Swiss supermarket or treating a loved one to a slap-up meal at one of the best restaurants in Zurich, you’ll be surprised at just how convenient life becomes. But things can be even more straightforward if you open up a Swiss mobile bank account.
Opening a mobile bank account can be a great alternative to traditional banking, particularly for expats. To start your mobile banking journey, simply download the N26 app and you’ll be able to apply for an account in a matter of minutes from your own phone. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have access to the bank’s range of financial services, including current accounts, mobile payment options, and more. The N26 app can also give you an insight into your spending and saving habits, helping you to better manage your money while living in Switzerland.
Other must-have Swiss money apps:
- Wise – transfer money beyond the Swiss borders quickly and efficiently
- WorldRemit – make international bank transfers and more
Looking to live sustainably in Switzerland? One of the healthiest ways to do this is by leaving the car at home and indulging in a little green mobility. Thankfully, it’s easy to move around Switzerland without a car. Whether you’re going to work in Geneva or supermarket shopping in Bern, you have plenty of options. For starters, there’s the excellent Swiss public transport system, which crisscrosses the country with trains, trams, and more. However, there are also a few apps that make it possible to get around on two wheels.
If you’re living and working in Switzerland and keen to cycle, then be sure to download the PubliBike app. The app comes from Switzerland’s largest bike rental network, which is operated by SSB, the Swiss public train operator, and has bikes throughout the country. The app is easy-to-use and gives you access to hundreds of bikes and e-bikes across Switzerland. Whether you’re sightseeing, commuting, or simply catching up with friends, the PubliBike app gives you plenty of options to make green and healthy transport choices.
Other must-have Swiss mobility apps:
- Uber – discover ride-sharing options in Zurich, Basel, Lausanne, and Geneva
- Lime – hop on an e-scooter in Zurich or Basel
9. Comparis Property
As an expat arriving in Switzerland, knowing how to find your next home can be challenging. Indeed, for many new arrivals in towns and cities they’ve never explored before, even knowing which neighborhoods to be hunting in can be a daunting prospect. However, luckily, there are now plenty of ways you can make househunting in Switzerland that little bit easier. One of these ways is to download the right apps onto your phone.
Launched by one of Switzerland’s leading comparison sites, Comparis.ch, the Comparis Property app opens the door to the Swiss property market. The app brings together listings from a number of websites into one easy-to-use app. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly mountainside retreat or a chic studio in Basel’s hippest neighborhood, you’ll find it listed on the handy app. You can also compare properties, check previous prices, and receive push-notifications for new listings straight to your phone.
Other must-have Swiss housing apps:
- Airbnb – book a short stay with the leading accommodation app
- Homegate – search for houses, apartments, and more with this leading Swiss property app
For a small country, Switzerland certainly offers a lot of beautiful places to visit. From the pristine bustle of Zurich to the laidback lakeside living in Lugano, there’s something for everyone. But for expats looking to explore further afield, some of the world’s great cities are easily accessible by train. Whether you’re heading to Munich or Monte Carlo, Bologna or Bratislava, you’re well-placed to explore, explore, and explore some more.
To get those traveling juices flowing, then why not download Omio. This handy travel app can help you find all the ticket and journey information you could ever need for your European adventures. You can compare a variety of international travel options, including planes, trains, buses, and more. You can also sign up for price alerts to ensure that you’re notified if there are any great discounts on your favorite routes. You’ll never miss out on your next adventure with Omio.