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  • Writer's pictureWill von Behr, MA

13 Essential Apps for Travellers Visiting Amsterdam in 2023

The allure of Amsterdam lies not just in its picturesque canals and historic charm but also in its pulsating energy that blends tradition with modernity. As 2023 unfolds, travellers are increasingly looking for digital tools to enhance their explorations. The right apps can be game-changers, turning ordinary trips into extraordinary adventures. In this guide, I'll unveil a curated list of apps that have been my trusty companions in Amsterdam. They've helped me traverse the city's maze-like streets, discover culinary delights, and even strike up conversations with locals. Here are the top apps for Amsterdam that every modern traveller should arm themselves with.

Map showing Amstedam with a pin in

Our 13 Best Apps for Amsterdam

3. NS

4. Uber

1. 9292

Screenshots of the 9292 app

With its intricate network of canals, trams, and bikes, Amsterdam can be a maze for the uninitiated traveller. On my recent trip to the Dutch capital, the 9292 app became my go-to Amsterdam travel app for navigating the city's public transport system. This app seamlessly combines all current train, bus, tram, metro, and even ferry timetables of all public transport companies in the Netherlands. I remember planning a day trip involving multiple transport modes - from trams to ferries. With 9292, I was able to chart out the entire journey, ensuring I didn't miss a beat. One particularly quirky experience was when I used the app's "Playlist for this trip" feature. It curated a playlist based on my travel time, making my journey melodious! The app also offers e-tickets for various transport services, making it an essential app for Amsterdam visitors. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a frequent traveller, 9292 ensures you move around Amsterdam like a local.

Download 9292 on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

2. GVB Travel

screenshots of the GVB app

Amsterdam's charm lies not just in its picturesque canals and historic buildings, but also in its efficient public transport system. The GVB Travel app became indispensable to my daily routine on my last visit. This app is designed specifically for travelling by tram, (night) bus, metro, and ferry in Amsterdam and even extends its services to the rest of the Netherlands. I was particularly impressed by its up-to-date travel information covering the GVB network and all public transport companies in the country. One day, I decided to explore beyond Amsterdam's city centre. Using the app's trip planner, I set out on a journey that combined a tram ride, a ferry crossing, and a short metro trip. The app's crowd indicator also gave me a heads-up on how busy each service was expected to be, allowing me to travel comfortably. And for those moments when I felt a bit adventurous, the bicycle transport option was a delightful addition. The GVB Travel app truly encapsulates the essence of Amsterdam's transport spirit, making it an essential app for Amsterdam visitors.

Download GVB Travel on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

3. NS

Screenshots of the NS app

The Netherlands, known for its punctuality and efficiency, boasts a railway system that's no exception. The NS app became my trusted guide on my travels throughout Amsterdam and beyond. As the official planning application for the Dutch Railways, it offers real-time journey planning, ensuring travellers are always in sync with train schedules. I vividly remember a day when I decided to venture out to the picturesque town of Haarlem. The NS app provided the departing train timetable and updated me with planned work or disruptions. One feature I found particularly handy was the station-specific information, which detailed facilities and shops. It was a lifesaver when I had a bit of time to spare and wanted to grab a quick Dutch treat before my journey. For anyone travelling in and around Amsterdam, the NS app is a must-have, making it a top pick as an essential app for Amsterdam visitors.

Download NS on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

4. Uber

Screenshots of the Uber app Amsterdam.

Amsterdam's cobblestone streets and winding canals are a sight to behold, but sometimes, you just need a quick and efficient way to get from point A to B. Enter Uber. On my last trip to Amsterdam, I found myself running late for a canal cruise booking. With the Uber app at my fingertips, I quickly hailed a ride, and within minutes, I was en route to my destination. The app's interface is intuitive, allowing for easy pick-up and drop-off location selection, and the real-time tracking ensures you always know when your ride will arrive. One evening, after a delightful dinner in the Jordaan district, I was unsure about the best way back to my accommodation. Uber came to the rescue, offering a ride and a pleasant conversation with a local driver who shared some hidden gems I should visit. For those moments when you need a reliable and comfortable ride in the city, Uber stands out as a top Amsterdam travel app.

Download Uber on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

5. Schiphol Amsterdam Airport

Screenshots of Schiphol app

Air travel can be a mix of excitement and stress, but with the Schiphol Amsterdam Airport app, the scales tip heavily towards the former. As the official app for one of Europe's busiest airports, it serves as an essential guide for a stress-free journey. From real-time flight status updates to detailed itineraries for your trip, this app has got you covered. On my last visit, I had a tight connection at Schiphol. The app's interactive map helped me easily navigate the vast airport, ensuring I made it to my gate on time. I also appreciated the parking spot reservation feature, which allowed me to secure a spot right from the app, eliminating any last-minute hassles. And for those unexpected layovers or extended waits, the station-specific information detailing facilities and shops ensures you're never bored. The Schiphol Amsterdam Airport app is an indispensable travel companion for anyone flying in or out of Amsterdam.

Download Schiphol Amsterdam Airport on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

6. Donkey Republic

Cycling is synonymous with Amsterdam, and what better way to immerse yourself in the city's culture than by hopping on a bike? Donkey Republic offers a seamless bike-sharing experience, allowing travellers to explore Amsterdam at their own pace. I was keen on experiencing the city like a local on my recent visit. With the Donkey Republic app, I had access to hundreds of bikes across the city. The app's user-friendly interface allows easy pick-up and drop-off at virtual points, ensuring maximum flexibility. I remember cycling through the iconic Vondelpark, feeling the breeze and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. The app also offers various rental options, from pay-as-you-go to monthly memberships, catering to every traveller's needs. And for those unexpected moments, like when I had a flat tire, the app directed me to the nearest available bike. For a genuine Amsterdam experience, Donkey Republic is undoubtedly one of the best apps for Amsterdam.

Download Donkey Republic on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

7. Urbs Travel

Screenshots of Urbs' Amsterdam content

Exploring Amsterdam, I'm often reminded of why I founded Urbs Travel. The city, with its intertwining canals, historic landmarks, and bustling squares, deserves to be experienced with depth and authenticity. With Urbs, I aimed to create a travel companion that offers just that. The app, designed for 13 European cities, including Amsterdam, provides custom walking tours that highlight both the famed attractions and the lesser-known corners. Every time I use it in Amsterdam, I'm taken on a journey through the city's rich tapestry, from the echoing halls of the Rijksmuseum to the quaint cafes of the Jordaan district. The audio guides, penned by local experts and brought to life by professional voice artists, add layers of stories and insights that standard guidebooks often miss. And the ability to customize routes or explore offline? That's the freedom I always wanted travellers to have. Using Urbs in Amsterdam isn't just about sightseeing; it's about reconnecting with the very essence of why I embarked on this journey to redefine city exploration.

Download Urbs Travel on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

8. Rijksmuseum

Screenshots of Rijksmuseum app

When in Amsterdam, a visit to the Rijksmuseum is a must, and their official app is the perfect companion to enhance the experience. As an art lover, I've always been drawn to the vast collection of the Rijksmuseum, and with the app, I felt like I had a personal curator guiding me. The app offers free multimedia tours, allowing visitors to discover more and easily navigate the museum. I was particularly impressed by the interactive floor plans and directions, which effortlessly guided me from one masterpiece to another. The 3D audio introductions and animations added depth to each artwork, revealing unique details and stories. One feature I found invaluable was the ability to create my own route, selecting artworks that piqued my interest. And for those who prefer a curated experience, the app offers routes based on themes, like love or nature. The app also provides practical information, from purchasing tickets to availing discounts in the gift shop. For anyone visiting the Rijksmuseum, this app is an essential tool to truly appreciate the art and history it houses.

Download Rijksmuseum on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

9. TheFork

Screenshots of TheFork app's Amsterdam content

Amsterdam's culinary scene is as diverse as its canals are picturesque. To truly savour the city's gastronomic delights, TheFork has been my trusty sidekick. This app is a gateway to a plethora of dining options, from cosy canal-side cafes to upscale Michelin-starred restaurants. On a chilly Amsterdam evening, I found myself craving some traditional Dutch comfort food. A quick search on TheFork led me to a charming eatery in the heart of the city, offering a delectable 'stamppot' (a Dutch mashed potato dish). The app's user-friendly interface, complete with genuine reviews and ratings, ensured I made an informed choice. What's more, the exclusive discounts and loyalty points (Yums) offered by the app made the dining experience even more rewarding. Whether you're a foodie on the hunt for the next best dish or someone looking for a romantic dinner spot, TheFork is an essential app for Amsterdam visitors.

Download TheFork on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

10. Thuisbezorgd

Screenshots of the Thuisbezorgd app

When hunger strikes in Amsterdam, Thuisbezorgd (the Dutch JustEat) is the app you'll want by your side. As the Netherlands' leading food delivery platform, it connects you to a vast array of restaurants and cuisines right at your fingertips. The choices are endless from traditional Dutch 'bitterballen' to spicy Indonesian 'rendang'. On one of my trips, after a long day of exploring the city, I found myself craving some authentic Thai food. With Thuisbezorgd, I could browse a list of top-rated Thai restaurants, view their menus, and place an order—all within minutes. The app's interface is intuitive, making it easy to filter by cuisine, price, or rating. Plus, the real-time order tracking ensures you know exactly when your meal will arrive. For a hassle-free dining experience in the comfort of your accommodation or by the scenic canals, Thuisbezorgd is the go-to Amsterdam travel app.

Download Thuisbezorgd on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

11. Google Translate

Screenshot of Google Translate Dutch

Navigating a foreign city can sometimes present language barriers, but communication in Amsterdam becomes a breeze with Google Translate. This app is a lifesaver for travellers, offering translations between up to 133 languages. On my last trip to Amsterdam, I found myself in a quaint bookstore, captivated by a Dutch novel. With Google Translate's instant camera translation feature, I was able to translate the book's blurb on the spot, just by pointing my camera at the text. The app also supports offline translations, which came in handy when I was exploring the city's outskirts without a stable internet connection. For more interactive experiences, the app's conversation mode allows for real-time bilingual translations, making interactions with locals smooth and enjoyable. Whether you're ordering food, asking for directions, or simply trying to understand a sign, Google Translate is an essential app for Amsterdam visitors, ensuring you never get lost in translation.

Download Google Translate on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

12. Duolingo

Screenshots of Duolingo's Dutch content

Amsterdam is a city where most locals speak English, but there's something truly enriching about picking up a few Dutch phrases to enhance your travel experience. Enter Duolingo, the world’s most-downloaded education app, which makes learning Dutch both fun and effective. On my trips to Amsterdam, I've often used Duolingo during my downtime, practising quick, bite-sized lessons that range from basic greetings to more complex sentences. The app's game-like lessons, designed by language experts, ensure that you're not just memorizing words but truly understanding them. I remember striking up a conversation with a local barista, and while my Dutch was far from fluent, the smile on her face, when I ordered my coffee in her native tongue, was priceless. Whether you're preparing for your trip or already wandering the canal-lined streets of Amsterdam, Duolingo is the best app for Amsterdam, ensuring you connect deeper with the city and its people.

Download Duolingo - Language Lessons on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

13. Buienalarm

Buienalarm app screenshots

Amsterdam's weather can be quite unpredictable, with sudden rain showers catching many off guard. Enter Buienalarm, a must-have app for anyone visiting the Dutch capital. This app is designed to give you real-time rain forecasts, ensuring you're never caught in an unexpected downpour. On my recent trip, as I was about to embark on a canal cruise, Buienalarm alerted me of an impending shower. Thanks to the app's precise predictions, I was able to delay my boat ride by just 15 minutes and enjoyed a rain-free experience. The app's animated radar map visually represents rain patterns for the next two hours, accurate to 5-minute intervals. Additionally, Buienalarm provides an extended 14-day weather forecast, helping you plan your Amsterdam adventures better. With its user-friendly interface and timely alerts, Buienalarm stands out as one of the best apps for Amsterdam, ensuring you stay dry and make the most of your trip.

Download Buienalarm on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Navigating Amsterdam's bustling streets and serene canals is a journey of discovery. To make the most of every moment in this enchanting city, having the right tools at your fingertips is crucial. The apps we've highlighted simplify logistics and enrich your experiences, making them some of the best apps for Amsterdam. Whether you're deciphering Dutch phrases, seeking out the finest local eateries, or just trying to stay dry from an unexpected rain shower, these are the essential apps for Amsterdam visitors. As you embark on your next adventure in the Dutch capital, let these Amsterdam travel apps guide you to renowned and hidden treasures.


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