Now days, almost everyone has a smartphone and so almost every business has a smartphone app. There are a number of free smartphone apps I’ve discovered since moving here that make life a lot easier and I hope they make yours easier as well! All of these apps are available in English.
SBB CFF FFS is Switzerland’s train company and you can do a lot with their SBB Mobile app. I often use it to find directions to a specific address from my current location. This app is great because not only does it give you directions and timetables, but it also links to the local public transit system. So, if I start outside of the city and need to take the train into Geneva and then transfer to the TPG to reach an address in the city, the SBB app gives me walking directions to the nearest train station, directions on which train and transfers to take, and directions on the TPG. Another great thing about this app is that you can create a free account on the SBB website and link your account to a credit card. Then, you can buy train and public transit tickets through the mobile app.
The TPG is the Geneva area public transit system. This app is great for finding nearby TPG stops and looking up directions. It can also tell you when the next bus or tram will arrive and will show you in real-time which stop the bus is currently at. The app is available in English even if the website isn’t.
This app is available for Android and iPhone and has a lot of great features. I use it most frequently when I’m out grocery shopping or need to know what a sign says. Two of the best features are its voice input and text-to-speech modes. With these modes, someone can speak French into the app and it can translate that to English for you or vise versa.
There are tons of unit converter apps available for free on the iPhone and Android app stores. I don’t have a recommendation for a specific one that you should get because they are all pretty similar. Just choose one with good ratings and/or reviews for your particular phone. I use my unit converter all the time when cooking since all of my recipes call for ounces, cups, pounds, and fahrenheit rather than metric units. I also use it all the time for converting meters and kilometers to feet and miles.
There are a number of currency converters available for free and they are extremely useful for expats and for travelling. I use my converter all the time to check the exchange rate between US dollars, Swiss Francs, and Euros. My currency converter has also come in handy when travelling other places like Sweden and London. You may have one you already know and I trust, I like the one from Credit Suisse which is available in English from the US and Swiss iPhone app stores.
The Swiss Events app is from MySwitzerland.com, Switzerland’s official tourist website. It lists all the events and festivals going on in all of Switzerland. You can find the top events for the current week or for the year. You can search by category and by location, and you can find last-minute events. This app is great if you’re looking for something to do on the weekend.
The Family Trips app is also from MySwitzerland.com and is geared toward families, but there’s plenty for couples without children. What I like best about this app is that you choose the category of trip you want to take (relaxation, urban, education, nature, active, or adventure), then choose the weather conditions (sunny or rainy/cloudy), then the age ranges you are targeting (6 and under, 6 and older, 10 and older, or 14 and older), and finally you choose the activity duration (half day or full day). After you make your selections, the app tells you how many activities it found in all of switzerland. You can map out the activities and search for ones nearby.
Swiss Hike and Switzerland Mobility
Swiss Hike is another app from MySwitzerland.com. The app is only available in English on the iPhone right now and has 32 hikes in Switzerland. This app is great if you’re visiting a city in Switzerland and would like an easy hike. If you’re more serious about hiking, you should consider the Switzerland Mobility app. The Mobility app has all of Switzerland’s national, regional, and local routes. The downside to this app is that is uses your GPS the entire time.
Switzerland Mobility website: http://wanderland.myswitzerland.com/en/free-switzerlandmobility-app.html
Swiss Snow is yet another MySwitzerland.com app. This app will give you the snow report year round in all of Switzerland’s ski areas. You can sort by amount of snow, alphabetically, nearby locations, weather, or price of the ski area.
MySwitzerland.com has a number of city guide apps available for free. Each guide includes a map of the city, self-guided walking tours, and excursions in the city. Apps are available for
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