New to the Netherlands? Make your life easier in your new home country by downloading these top 10 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 10 must-have apps in the Netherlands.
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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 the wonders of 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.
Other must-have Dutch public transport apps:
- OV-chipkaart – Dutch national public transit payment card
- NS – Dutch national rail company for tickets and information
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 showers 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.
Other must-have Dutch weather apps:
- Accuweather – a global leader in weather forecasting apps
- Weeronline – improve your Dutch while you check the weather
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 what if there was one simple app to log in to all official government websites and some other important ones, too?
Well, DigID is just that. 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.
Other must-have Dutch administration apps:
- Berichtenbox – have all your government correspondence collected in one easy-to-use app
- Google Translate – understand what you’re reading and brush up on your Dutch
For many expats arriving in the Netherlands, the prospect of learning the local language can be daunting. But picking up Dutch 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 shopping for groceries, 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.
Other must-have Dutch language apps:
- Duolingo – learn languages easily with Duo the owl
- Tandem – chat with Dutch-speakers to improve your skills
We’ve all been there. We’re at a busy restaurant 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, modern technology means that there’s now an app that makes splitting checks and paying back friends a 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.
Other must-have Dutch money management apps:
- TransferWise – make payments and transfers internationally at the touch of a button
- CurrencyFair – avoid excessive bank fees and transfer with ease
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 the latter, 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.
Other must-have Dutch food apps:
- Thuisbezorgd – order home delivery from a local takeout
- Picnic – order groceries from the Netherlands’ online supermarket
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. 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.
Other must-have Dutch housing apps:
- Kamernet – find roommates and rooms across the Netherlands
- Marktplaats – discover rooms, houses, and more on this Dutch buying and selling app
8. Too Good To Go
When moving to a new country, improving your green credentials might not top your to-do list. In fact, understanding the local recycling scheme can be challenging enough. But, if you want to live more sustainably in the Netherlands, there are plenty of handy apps that can help.
Too Good To Go, for instance, is a sustainability app that helps you cut down on the food waste in your community. By connecting you with local cafes, restaurants, and bakeries, the app ensures that left-over food doesn’t go to waste. From delicious baked goods to fresh sushi, you’ll find some surprising bargains on here while doing your bit for the environment.
Other must-have Dutch sustainability apps:
- Questionmark – make greener decisions when it comes to grocery shopping
- HappyCow – find your local vegan or vegetarian restaurant
The Netherlands is known around the world for the quality of its cycling infrastructure. In fact, the entire country is crisscrossed with safe and accessible cycle paths which make 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 app.
Car2Go is a popular Dutch car-sharing platform that only operates in Amsterdam but connects users to cars in their local neighborhood which they can rent by the minute. And because the entire fleet of Car2Go vehicles in the city is electric, you won’t need to feel too guilty about leaving your bike at home, either.
Other must-have Dutch mobility apps:
- Sneleentaxi – travel anywhere in the Netherlands with this taxi app
- Uber – leading ride-sharing app operating in major Dutch cities
For many new arrivals to the Netherlands, opening a 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 at your local supermarket to setting up payments for your utilities at home. Thankfully, the process of opening a mobile bank account in the country is easier than you might expect.
bunq is at the cutting edge of mobile banking in the Netherlands. Not only is the colorful 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.