House & Home

Top must-have apps in Germany

From finding the best TV shows to getting around the city, these top must-have apps in Germany will make your life run smoother.

Apps Germany
writer

Updated 15-5-2024

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.

To ensure you navigate your new environments with confidence, here’s our roundup of the top must-have apps every expat should have in Germany:

GASAG

Looking for green energy for your home? Check out GASAG, a leading energy supplier with over 175 years of experience. Calculate your tariff online for sustainable power and more. Choose GASAG for a greener home.

Getting around: the best German transport apps

Whether you’re catching a bus in Cologne or the metro in Munich, navigating transportation in Germany 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 in without wandering around in circles.

DB Navigator

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.

DB trains waiting at platform

Citymapper

A popular transport planner for urban areas across Europe and beyond, Citymapper can help you navigate your way around Germany’s biggest cities. You can use it to buy your tickets for buses, trains, metro, and trams.

BVG

Berlin’s official local transport authority, BVG provides navigation information, tickets, and traffic news for Germany’s capital.

Keep yourself entertained

As an expat, there are few better ways to start your introduction to local life than checking out German TV. Whether you’re into sports, news, or the latest dramas, this can be an excellent way to unwind while brushing up on your German language skills.

ARD Mediathek

ARD Mediathek is a great option for accessing German TV. One of Germany’s largest public broadcasters, it boasts a large library of shows to choose from. With daily news, movies, series, and live shows all in one place, it is easy to use and free of charge.

Remote pointing to TV with sports

DAZN

An online subscription-based sports streaming service, DAZN is a sports fan’s paradise. Offering live and on-demand matches and events, you can take your matches with you on your smart devices and never miss a goal. It is also a great option to get into German sports.

Zattoo

A German no-contract streaming platform, Zattoo offers over 140 channels. Allowing you to stream your shows and movies on your smart devices, all you need is an internet connection to access a reservoir of German entertainment.

Disney+

Are you a Disney fan? Access your favorite animated films and TV shows in Germany with Disney+. A subscription-based service, you can use it to access entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, and more.

Apps that keep your German life green

If you’re an expat, it can be tough knowing how to live sustainably in Germany. But making your new life that little bit greener doesn’t need to be challenging. In fact, adopting some green habits in Germany can be as easy as simply downloading the right apps. Whether you want to leave the car at home or make the right fashion choices, it can all be done from the comfort of your own phone.

Too Good To Go

If you want to make living sustainably an even tastier proposition, download the Too Good To Go app. This user-friendly 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 before it is disposed of. It’s also useful for keeping some money in your pocket, as the food is sold at a discount price.

Rows of baked goods in bakery

Ecosia

A search engine based in Berlin, Ecosia enables you to surf the web sustainably. With the profit generated from online searches, Ecosia invests in planting trees around the world. It is free to download as an extension to your browser.

Good on You

Good on You helps you make the best ethical choice for your German wardrobe. Providing ratings based on sustainability, the app uses expert research to help you understand how ‘green’ fashion brands really are.

Handling your finances

One of the first things you’ll need to do when moving 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.

N26 mobile bank on phone

To start their banking journey, an increasing number of expats (and locals) in Germany are turning to the country’s many convenient mobile banking apps. Here are our top-picks if you want to save a trip to the bank.

N26

If this sounds tempting, download the N26 app. You’ll be able to apply for an account in minutes and gain access to the bank’s range of financial products. This includes current accounts, mobile payments, and more. The app even offers simple insights into your spending habits, helping you make your money go further in Germany.

Taxfix

Taxfix enables you to file your German income tax quickly and safely from your smartphone. With an user-friendly interface, it takes users under half an hour to file their tax returns, on average.

Wise

Want to make international money transfers from your phone? Look no further than Wise. Operating in 175 countries and across 50 currencies, you can easily send your money to and from Germany.

CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair is a world-leading peer-to-peer international money transfer service. If you need to transfer funds to or from Austria, it’s worth trying out their app, which is available for Android and iOS. They offer secure transfers at competitive rates, meaning you’ll save money and have peace of mind.

News and current affairs

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 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.

Smiling woman browsing German apps in street

DW

For Germany-based expats, one of the most popular sources of news and information can be found on on DW. From German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the app offers content in 30 languages. It enables you to access all the latest news from Germany and beyond, through news reports, studio interviews, audio clips, and more.

Wetter.de

German weather can oftentimes be unpredictable. To stay on top of it all, download Wetter.de. With weather forecasts and updates from across Germany, you’ll never get caught in the rain.

Eating and food delivery

As an expat, there are few better ways to explore the country than sinking your teeth into German food. Some expats will want to branch out alone and tackle their local supermarket, while others will prefer a memorable night at their favorite local German restaurant. However, there are also app-based options for expats keen to explore German cuisine.

Lieferando

With Lieferando, you’ll be able to order delicious food from all kinds of restaurants and cafés in the local area. You can use the app to search for your favorite cuisine – be it German or otherwise – and pick it up or have it delivered once it’s ready. With over 29,000 restaurants using Lieferando, you’ll never get hungry.

HelloFresh

A Berlin-based company, HelloFresh delivers ingredients for healthy, filling meals directly to your front door. The app promotes a balanced diet and saves you going to the supermarket.

Learning the German language

Learning the German 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 making friends with the locals, it’s important to have a basic grasp of the local language.

Man browsing German apps

Babbel

Babbel is a language-learning app that can help you brush up on your German on the go. Its accessible courses are designed by language professionals, so you know you are in good hands. You can learn German at your own pace at a time that suits you, while also checking out their other great language courses, too. With a little Babbel practice every day, you’ll be speaking German before you know it!

Google Translate

You can translate the German language with ease thanks to Google Translate. Their camera feature also enables you to translate texts by simply holding up your camera, saving you the hassle of typing long phrases.

Duolingo

Known for its bright green owl mascot, Duolingo will help you learn German in bitesize chunks. A free app, it is full of exercises to test your listening, speaking, and reading skills.

Apps for your mobility needs

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 German cities also have bike-sharing programs. You might also be tempted to try out an electric scooter instead.

Lime e-scooters in Berlin

Lime

Lime is an electric scooter-sharing platform that operates across several German cities. With their app, you’ll be able to find your nearest dockless e-scooter, wherever you are in Germany. The scooters are light, modern, and simple to ride, offering residents a great alternative for getting around the city.

nextbike

If you prefer a traditional bicycle to a scooter, check out the nextbike app. A bike-sharing platform, you can rent up to four bikes with one account from over 60 German cities.

Share Now

Do you have a German driver’s license but no car? Share Now has your solution. With their app, you can rent a car across Germany’s many cities. Simply upload your license, wait for it to be approved, and hop behind the wheel.

Finding housing in Germany

If you’re new in Germany, knowing how to find your next home can be surprisingly challenging. Even the most well-versed expats still struggle to get to grips with the German housing market and which neighborhoods they should be looking at. Nevertheless, don’t let that put you off from renting or buying a house in Germany. You just need the right house-hunting apps to point you in the right direction.

Row of traditional German houses

Immoscout24

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.

Airbnb

If you’re looking to rent, you can always turn to Airbnb. With plenty of short and long-term rentals to choose from throughout Germany, you’re bound to find a place in no time.

Travel and holiday planning

When it comes to living in Europe, few countries offer the same breadth of travel possibilities as Germany. From the breathtaking German Alps in the south to the fairy-tale castles scattered throughout the country, there is something for everyone.

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.

Rheinstein Castle in Germany

Omio

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’ll need for your next adventure. It also enables you to compare various travel options, including planes, trains, and buses, allowing you to save some extra money. With price alerts available, you’ll never miss out on discounts for your favorite routes.

Rentalcars.com

Whether you’re in Germany or beyond, Rentalcars will help you find a rental vehicle to navigate your holiday. With their app, you can see the wide range of car brands they offer and easily book your car of choice.

Skyscanner

Looking to fly to your next holiday destination? The Skyscanner app is your go-to for planning your flights. Putting airlines and flight times side-by-side, you can find a journey that works best for you.