From finding the best TV shows to getting around the city and more, these top 10 must-have apps in Germany will make your life run smoother.
Whether you’re a barista in Berlin or a financier in Frankfurt, knowing how to get the most out of your life in Germany can be challenging. However, the first step to integrating into your new home can be found on your very own phone. That’s right, downloading the right apps can make all the difference when you’re living the expat life.
From knowing how to navigate Munich’s public transport system to getting the best pizza in Hamburg delivered straight to your door, the right apps can make a whole world of difference. So to ensure that you can download with confidence, here’s our roundup of the top 10 must-have apps every expat should have in Germany.
1. ARD Mediathek
Looking for an easy way to integrate into your new home country? As an expat, there are few better ways to start your introduction to local life than checking out the German TV channels. Whether you’re into sports, news, and documentaries, or even the latest dramas, this can be an excellent way to find out what makes the Germans tick. It’s also a great – and entertaining – way to brush up on your German language skills.
To get you started, download the ARD Mediathek app. ARD is one of Germany’s largest public broadcasters, and on the app, you’ll find a large library of great shows to choose from. From the dramatic goings-on of Sturm der Liebe to the latest episode of Tatort, you’ll be able to keep up with everything going on in your new home. The vast majority of programming is in German, so keep up with those lessons on the side!
Other must-have German entertainment apps:
- Zattoo – no-contract streaming platform with channels, series, and more
- Disney+ – your favorite Disney movies and series in one simple place
2. DB Navigator
Germany is a big country. Whether you’re a recently-arrived expat or simply enjoying a German vacation, moving around the country can be challenging. Knowing which bus to catch in Cologne, or when the last metro in Munich runs back to your neighborhood can be tricky. This is especially true if you’re not confident with your German skills. However, as always there’s an app that can help get you from A to B without going round the houses.
To get you on the right track, download the DB Navigator app when you arrive in Germany. Created by national train operator Deutsche Bahn, the app gives you all your German transport options in one, English-speaking place. The app lets you find trains, buy tickets, check platform numbers, and even find out how busy your carriage is going to be. It also offers bus, S-Bahn, and U-Bahn information across the country. Wherever you’re going in Germany, get there easily with the DB Navigator app.
Other must-have German transport apps:
- Citymapper – journey planning across Germany’s biggest cities
- BVG – tickets, and information in Berlin and Brandenburg
3. Too Good To Go
If you’re an expat, it can be tough knowing how to make your new life that little bit greener. But living sustainably in Germany doesn’t have to be challenging. In fact, adopting some green habits can be as easy as simply downloading the right apps. Whether you want to leave the car at home, check in on your green energy savings, or make the right fashion choices, it can all be done from the comfort of your own phone.
If you want to make living sustainably an even tastier proposition, download the Too Good To Go app. This easy-to-use platform helps you cut down on food waste in your local community. You’ll be able to connect with local cafes, restaurants, and bakeries to help save some of that delicious food that is simply too good to go (into the garbage). Download the app today and join To Good To Go‘s growing digital community of “waste warriors.”
Other must-have German sustainability apps:
- Ecosia – save the planet and plant a tree with every online search
- Good on You – make the best ethical choices for your wardrobe
One of the first things you’ll need to do when relocating to Germany is open a local bank account. It might sound like an unnecessary piece of admin, but having a local account makes life a lot easier in your new home. Not only will it make it easier to set up important payments like electricity and home internet bills, but you’ll also find it more convenient when shopping for those all-important everyday essentials. It’ll also make it easier to buy the second round of beers for your new friends in Germany.
As you may expect, Germany has a whole host of banking options. However, an increasing number of expats are turning to the country’s many convenient mobile banking apps to start their banking journey. If this sounds tempting, why not download the N26 app today? You’ll be able to apply for an account in minutes, getting access to the bank’s range of financial products. This includes current accounts, mobile payments, and more. The N26 app even offers simple insights into your spending habits, helping you make your money go further in Germany.
Other must-have German financial apps:
- Wise – international money transfers from your phone
- World Remit – make cross-border transfers to 150+ countries
As an expat, knowing what’s going on in your chosen home country can be difficult. You’ll soon find that most local news websites are, understandably, in German. While Google translate can help you get to grips with the basics, sometimes it pays to be able to access news and views about your new home in English. Not only will you get a better understanding of what’s going on in Germany, but you’ll also gain a much clearer insight into the people and priorities of your new home.
For Germany-based expats, one of the most popular sources of news and information can be found on the DW app. From German public broadcaster Deutsche Well, the app offers content in 30-languages. You’ll be able to access all the latest news from Germany and beyond on the app, through news reports, studio interviews, audio clips, and much more. Get an insight into German through your phone with the DW app.
Other must-have German information apps:
- Wetter.de – see the latest weather forecasts from across Germany
While German food might not attract the plaudits of French cuisine or have the flair of Spanish cooking, there’s one thing it certainly doesn’t lack. Flavor. The country boasts some of Europe’s heartiest foods and as an expat, there are few better ways to explore the country than letting your tastebuds wander through Germany’s delicious food. Some expats will want to branch out alone and tackle their local supermarket, while others will prefer a memorable night at the favorite local German restaurant. However, there is another, app-based option for expats in Germany.
With the HelloFresh app, you’ll be able to choose from a number of colorful, innovative recipes from Germany and elsewhere. These recipes are then delivered as meal kits straight to your front door – ready for you to create the magic in your own kitchen. Whether you’re looking for fresh, family-friendly meals or something a little more cosmopolitan to impress that special someone, you’ll find the right recipe on the HelloFresh app.
Other must-have German food apps:
- Lieferando.de – order take out from your favorite local spots
As any expat will tell you, learning the local language is a great way to make you feel at home. Not only will you be able to read all those official-looking documents sliding into your mailbox, but you’ll also be able to understand what’s being said around you. Whether you’re shopping on your local high street or working out at the gym, it’s important to have a basic grasp of the local language if nothing else. In Germany, this means brushing up on your German and there are plenty of ways you can start learning today.
Babbel is a language learning app that can help you brush up on your German on the go. Its easy-to-follow courses are designed by language professionals, so you know you are in good hands as soon as you download the app. You can learn German at your own pace at a time that suits you, while also checking out their other great language courses, too. Just think, with a little Babbel practice every day, you’ll be speaking German before you know it!
Other must-have German language apps:
- Google Translate – translate on the go with Google’s revolutionary app
- Duolingo – learn German in bitesize chunks with Duo the owl.
Don’t feel like squeezing onto the S-Bahn for your afternoon commute? Or maybe you want to do your part for the environment by leaving your car at home? Thankfully, Germany has plenty of options for any green-minded residents looking to explore the city. While many locals take to their own bikes, an increasing number of cities also have bike-sharing programs should you want to mix things up. However, you might also be tempted to try something a little different and use an electric scooter instead.
Lime is an electric scooter-sharing platform that operates across several German cities. Using their easy-to-use app, you’ll be able to find your nearest dock-less e-scooter in the neighborhood. The scooters are light, modern, and simple to ride, offering residents a great alternative for getting around the city. If you’re thinking about switching up your commute, download the Lime app and hop on board.
Other must-have German mobility apps:
- nextbike – bike-sharing platform operating throughout Germany
- Share Now – car-sharing across many German cities
If you’re new in Germany, knowing how to find your next home can be surprisingly challenging. Even the most well-versed expats amongst us will still struggle to get to grips with the German housing market and which neighborhoods they should be looking at. However, don’t be put off by the idea of starting fresh, because these days you’re never far away from some local expertise. In fact, the right house-hunting apps can be downloaded straight onto your phone.
One of the leading housing portals operating throughout Germany is Immoscout24. Using their app, you’ll be able to access listings for thousands of potential new homes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a city center studio in Stuttgart or a beautiful Bavarian chalet, you’ll soon find what you’re after. The app allows you to search homes, arrange viewings, and receive new listing alerts straight to your phone.
Other must-have German housing apps:
- Airbnb – find short and long-term rentals throughout the country
When it comes to living in Europe, there are few countries that offer the same breadth of travel possibilities as Germany. From the breathtaking German Alps in the south to the fairy tale castles scattered throughout and the traditional seaside resorts of the northern coast, there is something for everything. For expats, another perk of Germany is its location in central Europe. Some of the world’s truly great destinations are only a train ride away. Whether it’s the multicultural capitals of Amsterdam and Paris or the resort towns on the shores of Hungary’s Lake Balaton, you have it all.
To get your inspiration spiked, Omio is a travel app that can help make your travel dreams a reality. You’ll be able to find all the ticket and journey information you could ever need for your next adventure. You’ll be able to compare various travel options, including planes, trains, and buses. This means you’ll be able to choose the right tickets for you and the planet. Sign up for price alerts with Omio and never miss discounts on your favorite routes again!