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10 essential apps that make life in Zurich easier for international residents

Parul Chhaparia
Parul Chhaparia - [email protected] • 10 Nov, 2022 Updated Thu 10 Nov 2022 12:42 CEST
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The 10 apps that make life in Zurich easier easier for foreigners. Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Whether it's getting to grips with public transport, learning about the city or finding parking or swimming spots, these 10 essential apps will help foreign residents navigate life in Zurich.

Are you new in Zurich and still in the phase of figuring out what and how, when, and where? Or have you been living here for a while but still find it challenging to navigate through the Zurich network, places, and locations? The good news is that there are lots of smartphone apps that could aid you in your daily life in Switzerland's biggest city.

We've put together a guide to some of the most useful apps to help you make the most of Zurich. 

SBB:

Public transport in Switzerland is world-famous. However, you can quickly lose yourself in the labyrinth of its complex network. The SBB app is a lifesaver in managing your public transport travel. It should be your first app to download after you land in Switzerland. The app has everything from showing the timetable with each connection to buying tickets and informing about the delay or disruptions in connection. Once you register, the app is more like a personal travel guide to take you anywhere in Switzerland. 

Download: iOS/Android

Babbel: 

So, you're trying to pick up the local language? Wonderful. Learning more than one language? Even better. Babbel, one of the top-rated language apps, is an easy way to learn German, Italian, Spanish, or any other language you like. The app focuses on contextual and conversational learning. It offers easy-to-follow courses, which are useful in daily life interactions. The app is, however, not free. You can register and learn the first lessons of its courses for a fee. For the rest, you need to pay a small fee.

Download: iOS/Android

READ ALSO: 15 ways to swear like a Swiss German

Zurich City Guide App:

This app is a practical travel companion for Zurich. The app has many handy features such as creating a list of your favorite places, finding the best restaurants, fountains with drinking water, public parks, and toilets. Available in four languages – German, English, Italian and French, the app allows you to read the latest news, book a city tour, and purchase the Zurich card for transportation.

Download: iOS/Android

A tram in Zurich.

A tram in Zurich. Photo by Fernando Meloni on Unsplash

BUXZH App:

Are you interested in literature? This might be the perfect app for you. As your digital city tour guide, the app lets you discover Zurich a little differently. There are 13 themed tours in the app, crafted by 11 authors with their insider tips . Powered by multimedia, virtual and augmented reality and GPS, using the app is an experience in itself. However, there are two limitations with this app. Firstly, it’s in German. So, if you do not know the language, it may be of no use, and secondly, it’s only available on iOS.

Download: iOS 

Homegate:

Whether you are buying a house, or want to rent, Homegate – Switzerland’s largest real estate portal is your first go-to place. The app allows you to search, save and even connect with the real estate agent, or the owner of the property. With various search criteria like location, type of house, and parking or without parking, the app is almost like a real estate agent in your pocket.

Download: iOS/Android

READ ALSO: The hidden costs of buying a home in Switzerland

Badimeter

If you love swimming, this is the app for you. The app provides you with all the information about the swimming pools in Zurich. Besides locations, you would get to know the opening and closing hours, water temperature, and whether it is an indoor pool or outdoor.

Download: iOS

READ ALSO: Reader question - Do people really swim to work in Zurich?

Localcities:

This app is a polymath when it comes to providing information about Swiss municipalities. Whether you are looking for events, contacts, clubs and associations, or the latest news in a particular municipality in Switzerland, this handy application has the details. You register and can create your personalised profile for the things of your interest. The app also has a directory of all the necessary contacts of your community.

Download: iOS/Android

TooGoodToGo:

In what started as a movement to control food waste and sustainability, Too Good To Go has become a super delicious green choice by many. The local cafes, restaurants, and bakeries make surprise bags with their food surplus, which would otherwise be thrown away, at a very nominal price. The app helps you, as a user, to locate this bag in your nearby areas. You can order and pick it up at the given time. And voilà, you have a delicious, inexpensive meal and your small contribution to the sustainable world.

Download: iOS/Android

Lots of vegetables.

Want to save money on food? You can try a leftover food app. Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Just Eat:

Craving Chinese noodles or Italian pasta? Don’t feel like cooking or stepping out to a restaurant? The online food delivery service provider Justeat could be the most accessible cure for your cravings. The app has an extensive network of a wide variety of restaurants. Once you download and provide your location, it gives you a list of the restaurants you can order from. You can choose and pay. The only step then between your meal and you is the food delivery.

Download: iOS/Android

TWINT Parking:

This is a super app for managing your parking payments. You don’t need to carry a pocket full of coins to pay every time you take your car out. The TWINT app allows a quick and convenient payment option at various locations in Switzerland. You only need to scan the QR code on the parking meter (besides, of course, keeping money in this digital wallet). You can also buy parking tickets directly on the app.

Download: iOS/Android

EXTRA TIP: Check out other apps like meetup for connecting and meeting new people, Bumble for dating or making friends, as well as MeteoSwiss-App for weather forecasts. And don't forget to download The Local's app!

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Parul Chhaparia 2022/11/10 12:42

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