Top Apps for Travelling in Holland

Today, travel apps are big business in Europe and with the increasingly availability of cross-border roaming services (particularly in the West of the continent), using ‘on the go’ services to save time and money is easier than it’s ever been.Remember when a backpack and boots were all that a shoestring traveller needed, when half the journey was finding your way amidst a sea of foreign-speaking natives and indecipherable signage? Remember when you had to check a map for the location of your hotel, or ask a local for the best connection to your next stop off? No? Then you’re probably already using apps regularly and are totally aware of the benefits of coming to the ‘dark side’ of modern travel: ATMs on request; booking services at your fingertips; free travel guides to boot; Couch surfing; compasses; tube maps, and much, much more.

For the burgeoning cyber traveller in Holland there are now a number of ‘must have’ applications available. Offering a variety of services, from quick pizza delivery in downtown Amsterdam, to essential services support and financial aid, there is a whole cascade of new opportunities for the tech-savvy traveller here. This article will take a look at some of the hottest apps for travelling in Holland, detail just what it is each one does and why they’ve caused such a stir on the circuit. 

Language Apps

Language apps are amongst the most popular services available. For people travelling to Holland, where particularly in the capital a real hodgepodge of cultural traditions has led to a lingual diversity to match London or New York, having a reliable phrase translator, dictionary or vocabulary bank is one sure way to break down some of the most serious boundaries to integration. Not only will this help you navigate your way around town and deal with emergency situations more efficiently, but you can be sure that the Dutch – both urban and rural - will be extremely pleased with your gallant efforts to at least try to understand some of the languages of Holland and speak peoples' native tongue.

While many language apps have started charging for full services, it is still possible to get a decent system for free. Babbel, AccelaStudy and a number of other companies offer free options, while there are plenty of premium subscriptions available from most marketplace stores. For translation and dictionary services, as ever Google reigns supreme, and it’s a good idea to hotlink a ‘Dutch to English’ translation set up so you can access it on the go.

Location Apps

Navigation is perhaps the supreme deal breaker in any worthwhile Holland vacation. The tight-knight streets of the country’s metropolitan centres can often present a real challenge for first time visitors searching for a hotel tucked away in some urban enclave, or a museum defiantly hiding amidst the Flemish architecture. But there is now a real myriad of location apps that go above and beyond the services afforded by a simple GPS map or phone based tracking system, and they’re here to help in getting around.

MetrO is an app that offers subway and public transport information for almost 400 cities in both Europe and elsewhere, while the Rail Europe app has proved a chart-topper for backpackers on the Inter-Rail circuit moving in and out of the Low Countries and around Holland itself. 

Guide Apps

While many people still cling nostalgically to the beloved pages of their weathered guide book, with all the energy and variety presented by Holland today, there’s really no substitute for getting all the information at the click of a mouse or the flick of a finger. There has been a real surge in the popularity of pocket e-guide books, and there are now even easily accessible networks of locally-sourced information that can help visitors get to the truly ‘off the beaten track’ hot spots – the ones usually reserved for that much-coveted ‘locals only’ category.

 

Spotted by Locals has continued its rise in the mobile apps sphere, and can be downloaded totally free of charge. It’s perfect for those visiting one of Holland’s major cities who are tired of the same old tourist routine and desperate for some insider know how.

Other Apps 

Free WiFi Finder is one of the most popular apps on the travel circuit today. It does exactly what it says on the tin and can work in offline mode. Word Lens is another favourite, and can help panicky tourists lost in the labyrinth of quirky Dutch customs get to grip with it all by translating signs or restaurant bills totally off the cuff.

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