Amsterdam through British eyes

Essential apps to download when you’re in Amsterdam


As a blogger, foodie, a person who likes to explore, and someone who likes to have information constantly at the tip of my fingertips, I have managed to find some great little apps to download when you’re in Amsterdam that I use all the time.

Of course, there are the obvious ones (Google maps anyone? I am a terrible navigator) but there are probably some in here that you haven’t heard of too.

For visitors and expats

Foursquare: I live, eat, sleep and breathe this app. If I am looking for somewhere great for dinner that I haven’t been to before, or for drinks I head to Foursquare. You’ll find reviews and ratings for places in your area, or you can search through the whole of Amsterdam. My favourite function is being able to save tips, and save places on your own lists. You can follow me on Foursquare here.

2days: I like this app a lot because it tells me about events coming up for the next two days. You can also check out what’s happening at the weekend. It will give you some information about it, and you can book your tickets through the app if the event isn’t free. My only criticism is that it could have so many more events, so I use a combination of the app, Facebook and another blog called Your Little Black Book to find out what is going on and where.

Buienradar: This little gem will help you to avoid getting completely soaked (though probably not if it’s set to rain for 8 hours straight). They have a web version but I like the app better as you can access it without having to type in the web address (the height of laziness). Basically it tells you exactly which direction the rain is going in, and there’s a little graph which shows you the amount of rainfall. It’s also in Dutch, but I think it’s fairly sef explanatory. You can also set up alerts for different weather so your phone can tell you it’s about to rain.

Schiphol Amsterdam Airport app: Find out your gate, check your flights, navigate to and from Schiphol, and use it to access a map of Schiphol. You can also find a list of things that are on special offer at the airport, reserve them or find out where you can buy them. One of my favourite functions is that you can ‘follow’ your flight (whether it’s an arrival or a departure) so if there are any updates you’ll find out quickly.

Wifi Mapper: This month, I accidentally got a rather large phone bill because I left roaming on when I was in the UK and GPRS (like an idiot), so now I will be completely reliant on finding wifi using this app. All you do is open the app and it will find the nearest free wifi to you, and also tells you if you need a password or not. Bonus points, it also includes Foursquare reviews underneath it and many of these reviews will include the wifi password so you don’t even need to go in and buy a drink and ask someone for it. Also, if you find a place where it sais the wifi is free and it isn’t you can flag it up.

GVB: Get real-time updates on public transport. If you’re a visitor to Amsterdam this app is great combined with the Buienradar app. Then you know exactly when to run for your tram if it’s raining. I use it when I can’t be bothered to cycle to the centre or when the weather sucks and need to know when the next tram or metro into the city is. You can also plan your journey, check for when you might need to take a detour, and contact customer service through the app.

Meetup: Whether you’re a traveller or expat looking to make new friends, this app is brilliant. Type in your location and search for a group with similar interests to you. Sign up for the event, turn up, and meet new people. Simple!

Uber: I hate using taxis but when I do need one I use Uber because it’s cheap and easy. I used Uber black for my first ride, as I was transporting a load of boxes from one end of the city to another, and I was really impressed with my driver who helped me to carry my flatpacked boxes into my building. Plus, I can give you a free ride (only if you are a new customer though). Download the app and use the coupon code ashleyh1748.*

Airbnb: I love airbnb for two reasons. If you’re an expat just moving to Amsterdam and you need some accommodation while you look for a place, then you’ll be able to find something to tide you over that isn’t super expensive (the cheapest I think I found was about 25 euro per night for a month, and is a much cheaper alternative to hotels and serviced apartments) and if you’re visiting it’s perfect to have a home base where you can use the kitchen for breakfast. If you have never signed up to Airbnb before I can give you 22 euro to put towards your accommodation. Simply sign up to airbnb here and the credit will appear in your account.*

One for expats

Spotta: I have often found it so frustrating that there isn’t a price comparison website for the supermarkets here. Seriously Dutch people? You are supposed to be thrifty. Anyway. This app sort of does it. Basically it rounds up all of the latest magazines detailing the offers from all of the supermarkets and stores that issues them so you can browse through the latest discounts in shops like Albert Heijn, Lidl and Etos. There are a whole bunch of them, and you can favourite your stores you like, which will show up under your favourites so you can filter out the shops you’re not interested in.You can find magazines for places nearby as well. Hooray! It’s all in Dutch though, but it’s fairly easy to navigate even if you only know a few words

Do you have any favourite apps to download in Amsterdam that you think I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments

Items with * next to it means I get some referral credit for your signup, but because you’re also getting a good deal I hope you don’t mind 🙂




    Good call on Buienradar – I use it almost every day. Never heard of 2days before, but I will be sure to check it out. I use two others you might like – 9292 for transit and Thuisbezorgd for food delivery!

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