The essential smartphone apps you need for living in France

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
The essential smartphone apps you need for living in France
This illustration photograph taken in Paris on July 13, 2021, shows the 'Doctolib' application button on the screen of a smartphone. (Photo by Olivier MORIN / AFP)

These days there are apps for everything from transport to finding the best places to eat out. And there are some that are designed specifically for life in France. Here are 12 of the best.


Apps are designed to make life easier, and for those living in a foreign country anything that can help you run things more smoothly is worth its weight in gold. 

That's why we asked our readers to tell us what their essential apps for life in France were, and many of the same ones kept cropping up.


These covered a variety of subjects from transport and weather, to jobs, food, and entertainment. 

Many of you suggested language learning apps and we'd like to point you to an article dedicated to that subject here

Here's our list of twelve of the best apps.

Meteo France

If you're someone who likes to keep an eye on the weather around France, the Meteo France app could prove essential for your life here, according to our readers. The app provides a ten-day forecast for France and around the world so you can follow the weather in your home country too. 

It's also handy for finding out when there are weather warnings in place in your area. 

READ ALSO: The best smartphone apps for learning French

We'd also like to give an honorable mention to the Meteo Consult Marine app, recommended by readers who live in coastal areas of France.

"It gives tide times, wind speeds and direction, sea state etc for any coastal location in France, essential for sailing," said Chris Burdess.

And finally is you want to follow the French government guidelines and keep your heating below 19C this winter, but your boiler doesn't have a thermostat, the app Room Temperature tells you how warm your room is right now.


SNCF Connect

Want to take a train in France? This is the app to use. You'll be able to get up to date information, including traffic alerts, for your journey. You can also book tickets on the app.

Other recommended transport apps included the French capital's transport operator RATP's app - Bonjour RATP - is handy for finding out how to get around Paris and the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France. 

You can also use it to find out the time of the next RER, Metro, bus and night buses, trams and airport lines.

Another option for those in the Paris region is the "Ile de France mobilites" app. It functions similarly to Bonjour RATP, and you can even buy tickets on the app.


If you're looking for a GP or any other kind of doctor or hospital near you and want to make an appointment, this is a great place to go. It's free and very easy to use: you just type in what you're looking for and where you live, and it comes up with choice of doctors closest to you. You'll receive appointment reminders by text and maps of how to get there.

The app will also allow you to hold onto forms, such as prescriptions.


Ameli is the website of the CPAM (Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie) which is the organization dealing with state covered healthcare in France. Many readers listed this app, where you can find anything relating to your French healthcare admin. Ameli keeps track of all your personal health information, including your refunds and is a handy app to have at hand.


Finding someone to do odd jobs can be tricky, especially if you're new to an area and struggle with the language. Help is at hand with Yoojo (formerly called Youpijobs) where you'll be able to find a person to do a whole range of jobs from gardening to cleaning to looking after your dog.


"All the work is guaranteed, I can use the app to help translate and message my workers, I can use their review system to make sure I hire great people, and they don't get paid until after the work is completed," one enthusiastic reader explained. "I have been using it for a year, and it has been a lifeline to get things done here in France, especially for an Expat".  


The CAF is the organization that deals with family state benefits and the app proves useful for families as it gathers all the admin relating to family benefits, but also housing benefits and some social benefits, and also features all the latest updates and information.

Another app recommended by several readers which comes in handy for personal admin is the government-run Impots.gouv app which allows you to access your personal tax information quickly and easily. You can also use it for paying your taxes when the time comes. 


La Fourchette

If you want to eat out where other French people do, La Fourchette (or The Fork) lists a huge selection of restaurants (around 40,000) in all of France's main cities, with ratings, comments, photos and lots of special offers.

The app is easy to use, and, as one reader pointed out, if you're not confident about booking a table over the phone, you can do it here without having to speak a word of French.


If you want an alternative to Uber Eats, you might consider using Deliveroo in France. 

It functions in the same way - you can order your food on the app, either to pick up or to have it delivered. Sometimes the prices are even more affordable than Uber Eats. Also, if you cannot find the restaurant you are looking for on Uber Eats, it might be on Deliveroo instead.


This app will help you find the cheapest pints near you, and definitely comes in handy if you find yourself wanting to grab a drink in an expensive part of a French city. On the map, you can set your maximum price, and it will help you find the bars nearby that are in your price range.

You can also set the location to specific cities in France. 


You'll need to understand French to use this cooking app, but if you do, you'll find thousands of recipe ideas here which you search by typing in ingredients, types of dishes and there are a host of videos to help you cook. It's a favourite with French people. 


Another reader favourite. If you like going to cinema, this is the app to use. Allocine features the film listings and times of all the cinemas in France and a range of other useful information about anything related to films.

The Local 

And of course - if you have not already downloaded The Local's app, now is the time to do so. You can stay up to date on all of The Local's stories and content, all in the palm of your hand.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
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[email protected] 2019/03/14 18:54
Have to add one ... and do not be offended ... WTForecast, not France specifically.

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