“The Dutchies have apps for almost everything, you will probably find a good app for all your needs”
Essential apps for locals
Continuing with my last post, now I will give some tips of apps for locals in the Netherlands. If you live here, or are just curious about the apps the locals use here, stick around, because I will provide a good overview.
The Dutchies have apps for almost everything. From essentials to futilities, you will probably find a good app for all your needs.
Let’s start with food. For the most important essential, you will find many different apps in the Netherlands. If you have read my last post, you will find out more information about the most used food delivery apps in the country. But, besides ordering food, some locals also opt for ordering their groceries online. You order via app and get your groceries at your door. Ideal during corona times.
PicNic, a dutch start up, offers online services only and promise a fast delivery. The company was founded by four Dutch men in 2015, and in 2019 was named the fastest growing startup in the country. They delivery your groceries within a day, and claim to be the cheapest in the market, because they save money in renting and maintaining expensive locations and shortening processes. Gorillas, a German start-up, was founded in May 2020, during the pandemic, and promises your order at your door in 10 minutes. Ideal for home emergencies, but not available in all the city areas yet.
The Albert Heijn is the most famous supermarket in the Netherlands – read my blog about supermarkets here, also offers an app where you can not only order groceries, but also have access to all the weekly promotions and also personalized ones.
Another interesting app to have is the Reclamefolder. There you can find a collective of promotion folders from different supermarkets and other stores as well.
As I mentioned in my previous blogpost, the locals use 9292, Google Maps and the NS App to check the public transportation routs and schedules. Furthermore, if you live in the Netherlands, it is really useful to have the OV-chipkart app, the app for the public transport card, in hand. There you can check your balance, annual subscriptions, and history travel. You can also top up you card balance with the app and report a loss, or when you forget to check out.
Uber, Taxi, and ViaVan
It is not so easy to find taxis around the city center, they are normally easier to be fetched close to the Centraal Station. Just like other countries, Uber is more convenient and cheaper than Taxis.
ViaVan is a low-cost version of Uber, often used by students. This app gives you the option of sharing the car with other users. If there is another user going on a similar route as you, they will put you in the same ride. Not the best option for those who are in a hurry, since this feature adds more stops to your travel, making it longer to get at you final destination. Another down side of ViaVan is that they have less drivers throughout the city, what results in taking a bit longer to find a car for you. Also, with ViaVan, you have to select a location for loading and unloading, once they do not pick you up and leave you at your door.
If you just arrived in the country, or moved to a new neighborhood, it might be the case that you are looking forward to meeting new friends or even a love.
For love, if you check my last blogpost out, you will see that dating apps are widely used in the Netherlands, by locals and expats. There I gave some tips of the most commonly used ones. Some of them, such as Bumble, offer a feature to meet friends or to make new work-related connections, similar to LinkedIn (also a widely used platform in the Netherlands). Inner Circle, another dating app, is also a good option for meeting new people. It is used by locals because the platform creates a community where you have access to other people’s profile, just like Facebook. They also organize parties and other events, where you can “accidentally” meet single people. Talking about Facebook, in the app you can find different groups for specific interests that might bring you closer to people that has the same interests as you.
If you come as a couple, I can imagine it becomes harder to make new friends. But I have a great tip for you. This brand new app, called Party of 4, offers a platform to couples meet up. Just like a regular app, at Party of 4, you can “match” with other couples that have a similar profile, share similar interests and lifestyle. The app is for platonic friendship only, and your profile is shared between you, your partner and your kid(s) – if you have them. It is perfect to connect with other cool couples, and you can choose specific interests, and select if you are looking for couples with or without kids, location and so on.
As I said in the beginning, the Dutchies have an app for everything. During winter for instance, with the app IJsmeester, you can check if and which canals are frozen and read the comments of other users about the quality of the ice to skate. Other apps to check the weather are Buienalarm and Buienradar, I explained a bit more about them in my last blog post.
Government related apps
In the Netherlands, all your information is monitored by the government. With only your BSN number (your citizen number), they have access to your entire life. Every time you have to login in any of the government websites, or even your health insurance, you need to login on your DiGiD account first. This is your digital ID. Having the app makes your life much easier.
The Berichtenbox (Mail box) app is the app where you can receive all your official messages from the government. Instead of receiving them by post, if you enable the app, you will receive them digitally. In addition to being good for the environment, it also optimizes a lot of your time.
PostNL is the Dutch postal company. With their app, you can track your packages, look up a zip code or address, and also find out which collection points or postboxes are closest to you.
Tikkie is an essential app to have you live in the Netherlands. It is an easy and practical way of transferring money to others. For instance, if you go to a restaurant with a friend, you can pay the entire bill and then send him or her a Tikkie with the amount they need to pay you back. They will receive a link and with only a click they can make the transaction. Very common thing you will hear here: “send me a Tikkie!”
MarketPlaats is the online market where you can find used, but also new products, everything you can imagine. Normally with a better price than at the store, the app can be compared to the “Mercadolivre” in South America. Because you contact the owners directly, you can give a bid for the product you wish and see if it is accepted by the seller. The right place to find great deals! But do not forget to add your distance ratio, because if you do not, they will look for the product in the whole country and sometimes connect you to sellers that are too far away.
This app is one of my favorites. There you can find great deals for live concerts, parties, festivals and other events. You know when you buy tickets for an event, but last minute find out that you will not be able to attend? Or when you want to go to an event, but the tickets are sold out? This platform gives the best of both worlds. There, you can sell the tickets you are not going to use anymore, and/or buy tickets that are sold out on the official websites! Life saver.
A good way to keep posted about everything that is happening in the country, is by having newspaper apps. In my opinion, it is important to get information from different sources, so you always look at the news with different point of views. With today’s technology, even if you do not speak Ducth, you can easily translate the news on your phone.
NOS is the app of the Dutch public broadcast, and largest news organization of the Netherlands. For the Brazilians, the NOS is where the country’s “Jornal Nacional” is exhibited everyday. The foundation also gives information about important events and national holidays.
This is considered the best news website, due to its quality and reliability. There you can also find a “goed news” section, where you will find only positive articles!
- De Telegraaf
The oldest Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf is very traditional and in addition to the daily news, also offers an online shop where you can buy products or tickets for events.
- Het Parool
Today one of the most known newspapers, specially in Amsterdam, Het Parool – or the Parole in English, was founded during the WWII, as a resistance newspaper. They are also famous for their interesting opinion articles.
Other interesting – and reliable – Dutch newspapers are: RTL Nieuws, Ad.nl, Trouw, and the Volkskrant. You can find Dutch news in English at Dutchnews.nl, but this is not as traditional as the ones I mentioned previously.
I hope this blog is useful and it makes your life easier in the Netherlands, especially if you just moved here. As an expat, I know the challenges of moving to a new country and I believe tips like this are really helpful.
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