Life of an expat can be a bit challenging. But with a good support system it can be pretty awesome!! Here is a list of top Must Have Apps For Expats in the Netherlands that can help you survive your initial days in a new country.
This app is essential for getting through the baffling Dutch bureaucracy. DigiD is an online identification that links to your BSN (social security) number and is used by almost every governmental body. You’ll need it if you are filling out your taxes, applying for residency, or applying for any benefits. Having this app will make your life here so much easier!
Buienradar is pretty much a requirement in your Dutch life. It sends you a notification if it’s going to rain or snow, which is every five minutes in the Netherlands. Buienradar is really useful, especially if you’re about to head out somewhere and it tells you that you’re going to get wet. It also shows you a graph of how much rainfall there is going to be. It’s basically your most accurate weather partner who can show you detailed weather information.
This app is another must have in Dutch. You go out for some drinks with your new Dutch friends, rather than buying rounds at the bar, they will probably “send you a Tikkie” the following day.
This is an online payment app that allows you to send payment requests via WhatsApp or other messaging services. Once accepted, the money is transferred instantaneously between your bank accounts, making it super handy to streamline those IOUs.
NS is the Dutch train network, so this app is ideal for train information. Just as good as 9292 when it comes to public transport schedules, but the NS app also lets you access your train tickets on your phone. You can then use your phone to scan in through the gates and catch your train.
You don’t have to worry about buying the train ticket at the station, you don’t have to pay the surcharge for the disposable ticket, and it’s a lot harder to lose the ticket because it’s on your phone. Sometimes the tickets even come at a discount!
When looking for opening a bank account, we recommend bunq due to the fact that their app is in English, you can open an account before your BSN arrives, and their bank is perfect for Dutchies or internationals.
That means you don’t have to make managing your money any more confusing because you don’t understand what it says. So not only does it save time, but it also prevents some silly mistakes and gives you peace of mind when it comes to managing your finances.
The 9292 app is great as it has all public transport information in one place; it’s like your little travel companion. No need for opening multiple apps in a frantic attempt to try to find out when your next train is. With 9292, you can check times for trains, trams, the metro, and buses. You can also get up-to-date information on delays, cancellations, and weather disruption.
It’s really easy to use, which is always a bonus. You can also personalise it and save your preferences, making the synchronisation of your travel information easier than ever.
This app is great if you have a car. It will save you from getting a lot of speeding tickets. when you are driving in different countries (especially if you are doing a cross-border journey), it’s probable that things don’t go your way and might end up in trouble.
Flitsmeister tells you the current speed limit and also lets you know if there is a speed camera up ahead. This way there is absolutely no excuses for speeding (even slightly) and you can drive safely, easily, and save yourself money from those silly fines for not paying attention! Set for Dutch and Belgian roads, the app is a huge help. It informs you of traffic updates from A to B, speed cameras, speed traps, road reconstruction, incidents, closed roads and if you’re nearing emergency vehicles. Not bad, eh?
Google Translate allows you to copy and paste Dutch sentences and translate them into English (and other languages). You can also screenshot something on your phone, upload it to the app and it will translate it all for you. You can also hover over your chosen text or take a photo and it will translate it all. This is so helpful if you’re out shopping or when you receive an important letter in the post. Just take a picture of it and you’re away!
All these apps will prove to be super helpful to you in the Netherlands. Make the best out of them.