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Getting used to city-life abroad can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the culture, language, and the people. But we live in a digital age of convenience and have at our fingertips a whole host of resources designed to make things easier.

The Google Play Store hosts upwards of 100 apps for expats aimed at helping you make the most of your time in Düsseldorf, Germany. So which are the most accessible and useful apps for expats?

We’ve chosen 6 must-have apps for expats for you to keep in your digital backpack.

 

Rheinbahn – Navigator App

Essential for anyone living or traveling in Düsseldorf, the Rheinbahn App is tailor-made to help you navigate the city and a go-to app for locals and expats alike. If you’re traveling the whole of Germany, you can also check out the country-wide app.

Rheinbahn allows you to purchase tickets for buses and trains and also provides up to the minute timetable information. Simply switch on your GPS then enter a route and let the app do the rest. There’s also use a manual option so you can enter stops, addresses, or places of interest.

Nifty features include an integrated map of the city, construction delays and traffic reports, a monitor function that uses real-time data to predict punctuality, and, of course, the all-important option to buy ‘HandyTickets’.

An integrated VRR system opens the ticket on your device screen so you can climb on-board, scan your device, and sit back and enjoy the ride. If you travel the same route regularly you could even save money with a subscription plan.

Get it on Google Play / App Store

TIP: If you need help cancelling a “bahn ticket” you can make use of aboalarm’s services – they provide you the entire cancellation letter filled out and can even send it to Rheinbahn for you.

 

Check24 – Comparison App

Described as Germany’s ‘best comparison app’, Check24 is a free and useful one-stop-shop for managing all your deals, bookings, contracts, and purchases in one handy place.

You can compare and make savings on insurance, electricity and gas, credit cards, DSL and mobile, car rentals (also check out Free2Move for this), hotels, flights, holiday bookings, electronics, household goods, and professional service providers.

Keep your finances in view, with instant access to account balances. Security is a priority so you’ve got no worries about the app storing your details.

Google Play / App Store

 

TorFX – Money Transfer App

Sticking to the subject of money management, even after you’ve settled in Düsseldorf, you might find that you still need to move money to or from your home country. 

While you could use your bank to make these transfers, you’d probably have to pay transfer fees. Your transfer would also be made at an uncompetitive exchange rate, and you’d have all the hassle of arranging it. 

If you want to make simple, straightforward currency transfers on-the-go, download the TorFX app. 

TorFX is a multi-award-winning provider of currency transfer services, and with their app, you can check live exchange rates, set rate alerts, and make fast, free transfers in a couple of taps. 

 If you’ve got a currency transfer coming up and want to find out how much you could save, get started with a quick quote

If you’d like to find out more about TorFX, get in touch with me, Natalie Collins, at Natalie.collins@torfx.com or +44 (0)1736 335740.

Similarly, there are other money transfer websites that you can also consider as well (we compare them all on the blog)!

 

German Listening – Language App

Any expat who struggles with the local dialect is sure to be familiar with apps like Google Translate.

German Listening is an app designed to reduce the culture shock of being in a foreign city, surrounded by a foreign language. With earphones on, you can constantly immerse yourself in the German language and improve your confidence.

The more you listen to the news, stories, and common phrases in German, the more comfortable you’ll become with hearing the language spoken and with speaking the language yourself.

Listening German requires a basic grasp of the language, so if you’re starting from scratch take a look at the more generic Duolingo, Rosetta Stone or Babbel instead.

 

Nextdoor – Social Networking App

Establishing new friend circles and integrating into a new neighborhood can be a struggle. The struggle takes new dimensions when you’re in a new country as well.

Nextdoor is a free, private social networking app that connects you with your neighbors and keeps you abreast of events in your local community.

Whether you want to meet new people, look for local services or even find a trustworthy babysitter, Nextdoor is a great way to connect and stay up to date in your local area.

Google Play / App Store

 

Free2Move – Transport Sharing App

Beyond the bus and train options of Rheinbahn, the Free2Move app offers even more ways to explore Düsseldorf. Use the app to find a local car, scooter, and bike-sharing providers, or vehicle rentals and taxi services.

The scope of Free2Move is what makes the app so useful. Instead of using multiple apps to compare transport options in your area you can check them all in one place and get the best possible deal in the process.

Set filters to find the vehicle that fits your needs, whether that’s an electric bicycle, a scooter or a comfortable sedan, Free2Move has you covered.

Google Play / App Store

 

NINA – National and Local Alerts App

Provided by the Federal Office of Civil Protection, NINA is an emergency information app designed to keep you abreast of urgent local and national news, covering both Düsseldorf and Germany generally.

While national emergencies are happily a rare occurrence, it pays to keep this app handy, if only for peace of mind.

Perhaps most useful is the weather warning feature which can alert you before the event of any disruptive or dangerous weather. This includes flood information and includes tips on how to protect yourself from possible dangers.

Google Play / App Store

 

Other Apps to Consider:

Once you have these essentials, why not take a look at other apps available. Groupon and Lieferando will get you the best deals in the city for food and drink. ImmobilienScout24 will help you find your first apartment. Meetup.com will introduce you to new friends. Ebay Kleinanzeigen will help you furnish your new apartment in second-hand style. Deutsche Bahn and FlixBus have you covered for train and bus times, and FreeNow or UBER will help you grab a taxi to get around the city.

With such a wealth of support available, there’s really no longer a reason to feel adrift in Düsseldorf, Germany.

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