Top apps for expats living in Germany

To help you navigate living in a new country, we’ve sought out the best free apps that will make your life in Germany a little easier.


4 minute read
Updated on 28 Apr 2023

Apps are some of the best tools to help yourself get acquainted with Germany. With the right apps installed, you’ll have no trouble staying on top of German news, navigating around German public transport, knowing what the weather will be like and more. To help you do that, we sought out the best and most popular free apps in Germany that will make your life easier.

The best apps for learning German

A language barrier can be the greatest challenge you can encounter in Germany. So, the best apps to learn and translate German should be a part of your phone arsenal. Here’s our choice for the best German language apps:

  • Deepl translator: We all know the confusion that Google Translate can create if you use it for anything more than simple words or phrases. With DeepL you’ll have access to translations that are grammatically correct. Translations from German to English are more accurate and nuanced, preserving much of the intent from the original text.

  • Duolingo: If there’s one app that will have you speaking German in no-time, it’s Duolingo. With it, you won't worry about forgetting your German lessons, because the Duolingo owl will remind you about your lessons every day.

  • ARD Mediathek: By downloading the ARD Mediathek app, you’ll have access to a catalogue of German multimedia, allowing you to experience German classics as well becoming more acquainted with German pronunciation.

The best German news app

One of the first things that will help you become acquainted with a foreign country is the news. Germany has an incredible amount of news outlets you could choose from! With the apps we've found you'll be able to stay informed on the go.

  • Die Zeit: Known for its long and detailed articles on politics, economics, science, Die Zeit's great if you've decent knowledge in German.

  • Deutsche Welle: Deutsche Welle is a public state-owned international news broadcaster. Alongside radio and television, they also have a very nice app and news website, which translates the most important news in English.

  • Local news: Keeping an eye on local news sources helps you know what’s going on in your city. These news outlets can also keep you informed as far as local events, concerts and other interesting happenings that you would miss out on otherwise!

The best weather apps in Germany

Wird es Kaiserwetter oder Hundewetter? Shorts and sunshine or will it be raining cats and dogs? A good weather app will tell you exactly that!

  • Warnwetter: This app not only gives you the weather forecast but also warns you whenever it's about to rain, snow or any other hazardous weather conditions.

  • Carrotweather: If you want your weather report with a splash of dark humour and sarcasm, then Carrotweather is the app for you! It has an ‘AI’ that tells you a new joke every day, as well as a colourful weather overview where survivors fight off zombies in the background.

The best apps to get around in Germany

For the best apps to get around in Germany we have a mix of apps that complement each other well. Everyone knows about google maps, so I’m not going to emphasis its capabilities here. Instead, we’ll take a look at 3 apps that help me get around no matter where I go!

  • DB Navigator: Deutsche Bahn Navigator is an app that will help you find the route and timing of pretty much any train in Germany! Very useful if you’re using the train for your commute or to visit cities further out. It also allows you to purchase tickets. Alongside this app, we recommend you downloading your local public transport app, which give you information on public transportation in your area.

  • Waze: If you travel by car or bike and need excellent GPS and directions, then Waze is the app for you. On Waze you can see the map, traffic, road conditions and maintenance.

  • Pokemon Go: Yep, you read that right! Catching Pokemon is fun, and it’ll have you explore your neighbourhood on foot or by bike to catch more critters. At the same time, the game will have you visit noteworthy landmarks and businesses, helping you get to know your area in the process.

The best apps for food in Germany

Let’s be honest, we don’t always want to cook after a long day at work. So what are your options? Germany cities usually have a multicultural array of grocery and dining options, but with these apps, you have them at your fingertips.

  • Lieferando: Lieferando is simple, you take a look at all the local restaurants in the area, make an order and they deliver it to your place! There’s usually a small delivery fee, but that beats having to go out for food yourself.

  • Too Good to Go: Supermarkets, bakers and restaurants usually have more stuff than they can sell. It’s no surprise that food is getting thrown away every day. But along comes Too Good to Go! Check out this app every day to reserve boxes at local restaurants and supermarkets that participate. You pay in advance to reserve a box, and then pick it up at the indicated time. A box contains a variety of items that are perfectly good, but can’t be sold for any reason from their due date to fruit or vegetables having an odd shape. In short: less waste and affordable food for you!

The best apps to manage your finances in Germany

  • Banking: As we describe in our article about banking in Germany, you’ll do well to house your finances with a Germany proof bank. Whether you go with our recommendation and open an account with online bank N26 or work with another bank entirely, make sure you download the app(s) they might have available, to keep track of your finances on the go and maybe help you with your budgeting along the way.

  • Payback: Payback is a german app that claims to be your personal shopping assistant. Instead of carrying around cards, coupons, Payback saves all of that in their handy app, alongside discounts for the shops you visit regularly. Additionally, you score points for shopping at member stores (many supermarkets take part in it, so no need to go out of the way) which you can then turn in for products, vouchers and discounts at a variety of (online) stores.

  • Post & DHL: With the free Post & DHL app you have access to the most important postal and parcel services. from purchasing letter or parcel stamps to tracking trackable mail and packages, you can see it all on your phone or tablet.

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