Updated May 7, 2016
Smartphones can be a tremendous tool in navigating life in Europe. Here are some apps that we and contributing readers have found helpful. If you have any awesome apps you would like to share, please let us know in the comments.
AFN Europe – Android and Apple – Get AFN schedules, news and weather.
MüllAlarm – Android and Apple – Have the trash schedule for your town right on your phone! The iPhone version seems to have more capability than the Android version right now.
Visit Europe – Apple – Audio guide/walking tours of big cities
Skype – Android and Apple – Make calls over wifi.
Viber – Android and Apple – Similar service to Skype.
KakaoTalk – Android and Apple – Make calls or text with other users. Low speed internet still works well.
WhatsApp – Android and Apple – Use data and wifi to call phones. This app is very popular in Germany, so chances are that your friends are already using this.
Convert – Apple – Easily convert from Metric to English units.
Currency Converter – Android and Apple – A helpful tool, especially with big purchases.
Metric Conversion – Android and Apple – Calculator for converting units.
Groupon – Android and Apple – Find travel, dining and fun deals for cities in Germany and the Netherlands.
VarageSale – Android and Apple – Join the local “GK/Schinnen/JFC For Sale/Wanted, Germany” group
Social Deal – Android – Very similar to Groupon. This is a Dutch website with complimentary app.
Fast Talk – Apple – Learn important phrases in common languages.
Google Translate – Android and Apple – Translate just like you would on the website. No internet connection needed.
DB Navigator – Android and Apple – Buy tickets or look at current rail schedules on German trains. You can save itineraries for reference while you’re out and about.
NS Reisplanner – Android and Apple – Plan your trip and check for rail work on Dutch trains. Unfortunately, you must have an internet connection to run this app, but most NS trains have free Wi-Fi.
SNCB/NMBS – Android and Apple – Plan your trip and check timetables for Belgian trains. Certain features are available offline.
Veolia – Android and Apple – Dutch bus information at your fingertips.
9292 – Android and Apple – Another Dutch transportation coordination app. This one contains all Dutch transportation systems.
Travel and Traffic
Komoot – Android and Apple – Use your phone as a GPS for your bike. This app give you your first offline maps for free. They contain the bike trail network and will give you voice directions as your ride.
Esso Fuel Finder – Android and Apple – Find Esso gas stations no matter where you are. Great for road trips.
Flitsmeister – Android and Apple – This app tells you where all traffic cameras are in the Netherlands.
NavFree – Android and Apple (Benelux and Germany) – Data free GPS for your phone.
Parkopedia – Android and Apple – Find parking options by searching a city or using GPS. Parking price, address and sometimes even real-time capacity are listed.
ADAC – Android and Apple – The German version of AAA has a bunch of apps to help you out. It’s probably all in German, but check it out. You might find some helpful things here that you can’t find anywhere else.