So you recently moved or are considering a move to The Netherlands. But what are useful apps for your everyday life here?
Your Dutch Bank’s Online App
A large proportion of banking in the Netherlands is done online. Although you can go into a branch (if you find an open one) the easiest way is to make payments is online. You can just make transfers but through your bank’s app you have access to iDeal, an online payment system whereby you can pay many businesses both inside and out of The Netherlands. iDeal makes payments simple for online shopping or paying bills. So long as you have the banking app on your phone you make a payment by iDeal by selecting your bank then confirming to send the money by entering your 5 digit PIN.
iDeal only works when you are paying businesses but there are many times when you also need to arrange a payment to a private account or receive funds from someone. These transactions can early be arranged through an app called Tikkie. This was created by the ABN Amro but works with all Dutch online banks. With Tikkie you send the person who owes money a link (usually via WhatsApp). They click and follow the instructions to transfer the funds without either of you actually exchanging bank details. You only actually need the app if someone needs to pay you. If you have your banking app then you can pay the other person without actually downloading tikkie.
Your DigiD is your personal online identity in The Netherlands. You can use DigiD for a variety of governmental or administrative procedures including the following:
- Submitting a tax return online
- Claiming unemployment benefit
- Submitting claims from your health insurer
- Reporting your bike stolen
- Applying for child benefit
- Authorising someone to act on your behalf, eg a driving school
You can apply for a DigiD as soon as you have your Dutch tax number and an address it can be sent to. Some people use the DigiD on another device like a laptop. But having the app on a phone makes things easier for attaching receipts or other supporting documents as and when these are needed.
Buienradar is a Dutch weather app that mainly warns you when it is going to rain. In a country of cyclists and changing weather this is very useful information. There are different ways to access the information. You either view a real time weather map with moving clouds and rain (buienradar), or a graph showing the expected time of rain or breaks and the intensity (Buienalarm). It’s very usual to plan your cycle ride home during the predicted dry patches.
On the website you can also check the current situation regarding other potential irritants including pollen count, mosquitos, UV levels and pollution from barbecues.
Google Maps (or your phone’s equivalent)
Google maps works extremely well In The Netherlands.
There is a separate app and website for public transport routes (www.9292ov.nl) but all the public transport connections pull through to google along with accurate walking or cycling routes. Google also stays in touch with many of the constant roadworks or traffic- flow “improvements” on Dutch streets in order for you to avoid affected areas.
Many new arrivals in The Netherlands have few friends or acquaintances here. Whilst networking is possible through Facebook or dating sites, one website and app with a strong presence especially in Amsterdam is meetup. There are meetup groups covering a wide range of interests and activities with some groups more active than others. Certain groups are more international, whilst others have many Dutch members. You can join as many groups and events as you like. If you are not able to find a group that suits you then you could also create your own by paying meetup a small annual fee.
Too Good To Go
If you have just arrived in the Netherlands and don’t have full cooking facilities then Too Good To Go is a great way to eat at reduced cost. Check my experiences when I tried Too Good To Go as a vegan. https://amsterdamschat.com/2019/07/17/too-good-to-go/
Fitness App – e.g. OneFit, ClassPass or gym app
If you have a fitness membership here in The Netherlands then it most likely has an app to go with it in order for you to book or check into classes. Check my previous post regarding what fitness memberships are popular in Amsterdam to see which one best suits you. https://amsterdamschat.com/2019/08/17/which-gym-membership-works-for-new-arrivals/
There are of course many other apps you may find useful whilst living in The Netherlands. These are just some suggestions to help make life easier!