New to the Netherlands? Make your life easier in your new home country by downloading these top must-have apps in the Netherlands.
As an expat living in the Netherlands, understanding the ins and outs of everyday life can be a challenge. Luckily, though, there are numerous mobile apps that can help you settle into your new Dutch life with ease. Whether you’re eating out in Eindhoven or house-hunting in Haarlem, there’s an app for everything.
To help get you started, check out these top must-have apps in the Netherlands:
- Getting around: top apps for public transport
- Weather apps
- Learning the Dutch language
- Money-management apps
- Eating and food delivery
- Sustainability apps for your Dutch lifestyle
- Finding a home
- Mobility apps
- Handling your finances
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Getting around: top apps for public transport
Which bus goes to Amsterdam Zuid? When does the last train to Groningen leave? These types of questions are commonplace for expats who are getting used to moving around their new home. And if your main mode of transport is usually two wheels, it can be tricky to suddenly be faced with Dutch public transit.
9292 is the leading public transit app in the Netherlands. Operating throughout the country, the app lets you plan your journey whether you’re taking a train, bus, tram, or even ferry. It also allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest travel news and disruptions, check ticket prices, and discover all your Dutch transit options.
For all things trains in the Netherlands, download NS. Run by the Dutch national rail company, you can receive the latest transport information and buy your tickets from the comfort of this app. Their journey planner also takes into account buses, trams, and ferries, helping you get from A to B with greater ease.
Expats arriving in the Netherlands will soon realize that the locals love talking about the weather – there’s a reason for that. Dutch weather is predictably unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to check for any passing rain showers before you head out. This is particularly important if you’re planning to cycle.
Buienradar (which literally means ‘shower radar’) is a handy app that lets you know when the next rain shower is coming – and how heavy it’s going to be. You can find out the forecast for the next hour or check the radar for a wider view of what’s going on in the skies. Thanks to this handy app, you’ll never have to arrive soaked to the skin again.
A global leader in weather forecasting apps, download Accuweather to stay updated with the latest weather changes. Offering forecasts for every town in the Netherlands, you can be sure to prepare for whatever weather is coming your way. The app is also handy if you plan to travel around the country or across borders, as it covers weather from across the globe.
The Weeronline app provides weather forecasts in Dutch. Offering forecasts in the Netherlands as well as globally, this app is a great option if you are looking to learn Dutch and improve your vocabulary.
These days, the number of passwords and usernames we all have to remember can feel overwhelming. From logging into your social media accounts to accessing important government forms and information, it can quickly get confusing. But with these simple apps to log in to all official government websites, you can have all your vital data within reach.
DigiD is essential for keeping track of your Dutch admin. Short for digital identification, the app is linked to your citizen number (BSN) and allows you to access a wide range of Dutch organizations in seconds; from the Dutch tax authorities and local government services to pension funds and health insurance companies. It takes a while to set up, however, it is well worth it in the long run.
Berichtenbox is your go-to for Dutch government correspondence. For keeping track of your tax returns and passport extensions, as well as storage of important information like your income and registration with your municipality, this easy-to-use app has it all.
If you’re struggling to understand your Dutch admin, Google Translate can help you out. You can paste short phrases or large chunks of information into their app and translate your Dutch emails, documents, and more. With their camera feature, you can translate Dutch to your language of choice simply by holding your camera up to the text – a handy tool if to translate street signs when you’re out and about.
Learning the Dutch language
For many expats arriving in the Netherlands, the prospect of learning the local language can be daunting. But picking up the Dutch language is not only a great way to feel integrated into your new home – it also has a lot of everyday benefits. Whether you’re reading your latest utility bill, navigating the metro, or simply buying the essentials, knowing some Dutch is essential.
Babbel is a language learning app that can help you get to grips with Dutch in an easy, manageable way. Its range of online and in-app Dutch courses can help take your language skills to the next level and beyond. What’s more, courses are prepared by professionals so you know you’ll get the right tuition on the app wherever you are.
Known for its bright green owl, Duolingo will have you learning Dutch in no time. This free app is made up of bite-sized lessons on a variety of topics to test your listening, reading, and speaking skills. With engaging exercises and a colorful cast of mascots guiding you through exercises, this app is a fun and effective way to kickstart your Dutch language journey.
If you think conversation is the best way to learn a language, look no further than Tandem. With its chat and video features, this app connects you to Dutch speakers to improve your language skills. It also has built-in features for your language partner to correct your mistakes and help you improve your grasp of the language.
We’ve all been there. You’re at a busy restaurant after eating some Dutch food with friends and it’s time to pay the check. Only there’s a group of you and painstakingly going through every item will add another hour or so to the evening. Thankfully, there are apps that make splitting checks and paying back friends a whole lot easier.
Tikkie is one of the most popular apps in the Netherlands and makes payment requests and bank transfers a whole lot easier. You can send payment requests via WhatsApp and send money to your friends with the touch of a button. You don’t need to download Tikkie to receive a payment request but you’ll soon find it makes socializing with friends in the Netherlands a whole lot easier.
Looking to make international bank transfers? Download Wise. With this app, you can send money across 175 countries and 50 currencies. This is especially useful for moving money between countries after setting up a bank account in the Netherlands.
Transfer your money with ease with CurrencyFair. With this app, you can open an account to hold over 20 currencies at once and avoid excessive bank fees when transferring your money overseas. Additionally, you can also keep track of exchange rates and receive alerts for any noteworthy changes.
Eating and food delivery
From typical Dutch eateries in Amsterdam to show-stopping menus in Rotterdam, there are plenty of great restaurants in the Netherlands. But if you’re more of the hands-on type, you might prefer to bring the freshness of Dutch cooking into your own kitchen; whether you explore the local supermarkets or sign up for a recipe box.
If you’re keen to explore recipe boxes, HelloFresh lets you choose from a wide array of innovative, colorful recipes that are delivered straight to your front door. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply looking for something quick and easy to put together, you’ll find it all on the app. It certainly helps take the stress out of creating fresh, nutritious meals for you and your family.
Looking for tailor-made meal kits delivered to your door? Green Chef has you sorted. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or low-carb, simply list your dietary requirements on the app and start prepping healthy, nutritious meals. With a team of dieticians on hand, new recipes are added every week to spice up your daily routine.
If you don’t feel like cooking dinner, download Thuisbezorgd. With plenty of local restaurants using this app, you can get your favorite food delivered right to your door. You can also follow your courier on the app so you know exactly where your food is heading until it reaches you.
Don’t feel like heading out to the supermarket? With the help of Picnic, you can order your groceries online from across the Netherlands. Offering low prices, fresh products, and free delivery to your door, it is the perfect app to use if you have a busy schedule but need to buy your everyday essentials.
Sustainability apps for your Dutch lifestyle
When moving to a new country, improving your green credentials might not top your to-do list. In fact, understanding the Dutch recycling scheme can be challenging enough. But, if you want to be sustainable in the Netherlands, there are plenty of handy apps that can help.
Too Good To Go
Too Good To Go is a sustainability app that helps you cut down on food waste in your community. By connecting you with local cafés, restaurants, and bakeries, the app ensures that leftover food doesn’t go to waste. From delicious baked goods to fresh sushi, you’ll find some surprising bargains here while doing your bit for the environment.
With Questionmark, you can make greener decisions when it comes to grocery shopping. A free app, simply scan the barcode on supermarket products and see how they perform in terms of animal welfare, the environment, and human rights. Covering over 50,000 products from the Netherlands’ high street supermarkets, this app will help make key adjustments for a more ethically sustainable lifestyle.
If you’re vegan and looking for restaurants in the area, HappyCow can help you out. A database for vegan and vegetarian restaurants across the Netherlands, you use their map feature to find the best eateries closest to you. You can also read and leave reviews if you are impressed with your latest vegan find.
Finding a home
When you move to a foreign country, it can be hard to know where to look for local houses and apartments to rent or buy. This is where housing apps can make all the difference in helping expats to understand the Dutch property market. They can give you an idea of pricing, availability, and even which neighborhoods are growing in popularity.
Funda is one of the leading housing sites when it comes to finding a new home in the Netherlands. With their app, you can filter your search by city, neighborhood, budget, and more. You’ll also be able to explore each listing by viewing photos and maps, as well as receive push notifications on your phone so you’re aware of any market changes.
Another leading accommodation app, Kamernet can help you find an apartment, a room, or roommates across the Netherlands. You can use their filters to narrow down your search, however you must then pay a subscription fee to respond to your favorite accommodation.
Airbnb can help you find short and long-term rentals across the Netherlands and beyond. With plenty of private rooms, apartments, and houses available on their app, you’re bound to find accommodation to your liking in no time.
As its name suggests, Marktplaats is an online marketplace where you can discover rooms, houses, and more. With their app, you can quickly view accommodation in your area of choice and request a viewing.
The Netherlands is known around the world for the quality of its cycling infrastructure. In fact, Dutch cycling infrastructure crisscrosses the entire country with safe and accessible cycle paths, which makes traveling by bike the preferred choice for many expats. Occasionally, however, you may need more than two wheels, which is why you may want to download a car-sharing or taxi app.
SnappCar is a popular Dutch car-sharing platform that operates in cities across the country. The app connects users to cars in their local neighborhood which they can rent in minutes. And because you can choose electric cars, you won’t need to feel too guilty about leaving your bike at home, either.
Travel anywhere in the Netherlands with sneleentaxi. With this app, you can calculate your taxi journey and see how much it will cost you before setting foot into the vehicle. Offering vehicles which produce reduced emissions and rides at affordable prices, travel hassle-free around the country with this handy app.
A leading ride-sharing app, Uber operates in the Netherlands’ major cities. Simply put in your destination, choose your vehicle of choice, review your total price, and a driver will pick you up in no time.
Handling your finances
For many new arrivals to the Netherlands, opening a Dutch bank account is one of the first things on their to-do list. Having a Dutch bank account can make your life a whole lot easier; from buying groceries to setting up payments for your Dutch utilities at home. Thankfully, the process of opening a mobile bank account in the Netherlands is easier than you might expect.
N26 is a mobile bank operating in the Netherlands that lets you apply for an account in minutes. 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, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
bunq is at the cutting edge of mobile banking in the Netherlands. Not only is the app in English, but it’s also quick and easy to use. You’ll be able to make bank transfers, pay in-store, and set up automatic payments using your Dutch bank account number. It’s also easy to get started and you’ll be able to open an account in minutes.
A leading Dutch retail bank, the ING app is easy-to-use and great for keeping track of your finances. You can use it to open a bank account when you arrive in the Netherlands – whether that be a regular account, a student account, or a business account. Once that’s done, you can transfer money and view your transactions from the comfort of your phone.