Have you recently arrived in France? Make life easier in your new home by downloading these top 10 must-have French apps.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student in St. Etienne or a working parent in Perpignan, everyday life in a new country can be challenging. However, if you’re living in France, downloading the right French apps onto your phone in France can make things a whole lot easier.
From knowing how to navigate the local transit system to ordering the best local takeout from your phone, apps can make expat life much easier. To ensure you download with confidence, here’s our list of the top 10 must-have apps in France.
Looking for a quick and easy way to accelerate your French learning while integrating yourself into the local culture? Well, what better way to do so than by catching up with all the latest French news, sports, and TV shows. Not only will you hit the ground running when it comes to learning the lingo, but you’ll also get a unique insight into the way your new home country thinks.
The France.tv app is a streaming and catch-up service from France Télévisions, the French public broadcaster. The app carries a range of TV shows, from the latest current affairs to French dramas and international series. Most of the shows are in French, but some will be in their original version. You can watch at home or save your favorite shows for your daily commute on public transport.
Other must-have French entertainment apps:
- Radio France – listen to your favorite French shows, music, and more
- Disney+ – the latest releases and family favorites are available on Disney’s streaming service
If you’re not quite ready to sit down and tune into the latest French TV dramas, you might need to fine-tune those all-important French language skills. For some expats, the prospect of learning French can be daunting. But it shouldn’t be. These days, there are plenty of language learning options and an app can be a great way to complement your busy lifestyle so you can learn at a time that suits you.
Babbel is a language learning app that can help you get to grips with French in a simple, manageable manner. It has a range of French courses that have been designed by professionals to ensure you get the most out of the app. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a train in Toulouse or taking a quick breather in Brittany, you can always find time to learn with Babbel.
Other must-have French language apps:
- Duolingo – learn French and other languages easily with Duo the owl
- Tandem – chat with local French-speakers to improve your skills
Finding your way around a new city is always challenging. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned expat or simply visiting for a long weekend, knowing which train to catch or when the last tram leaves can be tough. Luckily, these days there are plenty of apps that can help you find your way from A to B without any hiccups.
Citymapper is a public transit app operating in Paris, Lyon, and just across the border in Monaco. It allows you to plan your route using all possible modes of transport, from walking and cycling to metro trains and carshares. The app will also keep track of all your personal transit activity, letting you see how much money you save and how far you’ve traveled.
Other must-have French transport apps:
- SNCF – French national railway operator’s app for tickets and information
- RATP – everything you need to know about travel in Paris from the state-owned operator
If you’ve just arrived in France, one of the first things you’ll need to do is set up a French bank account. Not only will this make your everyday life that little bit easier, but you’ll also feel more settled without having to worry about overseas transaction fees. Whether you’re treating your family to a meal out or have a relaxing glass of wine with colleagues on a sun-drenched terrace, having a bank account can make your life in France run smoothly.
N26 is a mobile bank operating in France that lets you apply for an account in minutes from your own phone. The app offers a range of banking options, including a free current account, credit cards, instant payments, and more. You’ll also find the latest mobile payment options included in the app, including Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Other must-have French financial apps:
- bunq – mobile bank letting you pay, move money, and save easily
- TransferWise – transfer money internationally with ease from your phone
As an expat exploring a new country, making greener life choices might not be at the top of your to-do list. However, just because everything is new and in a different language doesn’t mean you need to compromise on your green credentials. From recycling properly to shopping organically, there are plenty of options for living environmentally-friendly in France.
When it comes to exploring your new home, the Tookki app can help. Operating in Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseilles, and Paris, the app helps you connect to those sustainability-minded enterprises in your local neighborhood. From vegan cafés to slow fashion boutiques, you’ll be able to ensure your money goes green as well as picking up some new eco-friendly hobbies.
Other must-have French sustainability apps:
- Too Good To Go – cut down on food waste by snapping up cheap and delicious local treats
- Good on you – the latest eco-friendly clothing trends in the capital of world fashion
Whether you’re fresh off the boat or simply looking for somewhere new to call home, finding a flatshare in France can be tricky. Not only do you have the language barrier to contend with, but you also don’t know how the local housing market works. However, modern technology is on hand to help out, and with the right app, you can get access to hundreds of potential new homes.
Whoomies is a flat-sharing app with a difference. Instead of the standard flat-hunting experience, it specializes in matching potential flatmates together in the home of their dreams. The app has rooms and flats across France, meaning all you have to do is sign up and search for your new home. You can filter by your specific needs, which helps to ensure that you have a more efficient search.
Other must-have French housing apps:
- Spotahome – search and visit rental properties online
- Airbnb – short and long-term rents across France and beyond
When it comes to international cuisines, there are very few that get people excited quite like French food. From humble neighborhood bistros to world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurants, France has it all. But, how about bringing all those French recipes into your kitchen? Whether this means exploring your local French supermarket or signing up for recipe box deliveries, you have plenty of options.
HelloFresh delivers meal-kit boxes directly to your front door, combining fresh ingredients with innovative recipe ideas. You can choose from a wide menu of dinner ideas that cater to various tastes and dietary needs. Boxes can be delivered anywhere on the French mainland, meaning you could be closer than you think to creating restaurant-worthy meals in your kitchen.
Other must-have French food apps:
- The Fork – discover and book tables at the best French restaurants
- Deliveroo – your favorite restaurant food delivered straight to your door
8. Time Out
If there’s one thing you won’t be short of in France, it’s things to do. Whether it’s checking out an exhibition in Paris, going wine tasting in Burgundy, or taking a cookery class in Lyon, there’s something for everyone. However, keeping up-to-date with everything going on can be challenging, especially as an expat who wants to experience it all.
Thankfully, the Time Out app can help. As part of the global culture and entertainment guide, the app is a great way of keeping track of what’s hot in France and the capital. You can find reviews of the latest restaurants, gig listings, and all those quirky events that make Paris such a fun place to live.
Other must-have French socializing apps:
- Ticketmaster – get tickets for the latest shows across France and beyond
- MeetUp – meet new friends and try new experiences with this popular social app
Want to do your bit for the environment by leaving your car at home? Recent years have seen many French cities undergo something of a green mobility revolution, with walking and cycling booming as locals look beyond four wheels. And while these are both great options for you and the planet, you might also want to consider commuting by scooter.
That’s right, with Lime you can get around the city while riding a state-of-the-art electric scooter. Operating in Paris and Lyon, Lime is an e-scooter sharing platform. The app lets you locate your nearest dockless scooter, meaning you can simply jump on board and head off to your next destination. It’s a great alternative for short journeys around the city center.
Other must-have French mobility apps:
- Vélib’ Métropole – a bike-share app in Paris that offers e-bikes and regular rides
- Kapten – a ride-sharing app operating in Paris, Lyon, and Cannes
When it comes to international tourists, France is the most-visited country in the world. And it’s easy to see why. From the elegance of Paris to the crisp Alpine ski-resorts, there’s something for everyone in France. But that’s not all. If you’re an expat living in France, you’re also well-placed to explore the rest of Europe. Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, and Milan are all just a short train ride away.
To help you get more out of Europe, the Omio travel app allows you to buy tickets for your next trip. It lists a whole host of transport options, including planes, trains, and coaches. You’ll get alerts about price changes and be able to quickly and conveniently compare options. Wherever you’re planning to explore in Europe, Omio can help get you there.