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17 essential phone apps to make your life in Denmark easier

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
17 essential phone apps to make your life in Denmark easier
Which Danish apps can't you live without? File photo: .Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

From commuting to grocery shopping, mobile apps have made many of our daily tasks simpler. Here are some of the best apps to have on your phone if you live in Denmark.

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Though some might not always fulfil their purpose, apps are essentially designed to make daily life easier and for those living in a foreign country any type of help, however big or small, is worth its weight in gold.

So, in no particular order, here are 17 apps that might prove essential for life in Denmark.

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MitID

You can't get very far in Denmark without MitID -- lamentably so for many people who have had problems setting up the digital identification app since it replaced the older NemID system last year.

MitID is generally essential for access to public services, online banking and shopping online. In other words, you need it to access government service platforms like sundhed.dk (health), borger.dk (citizen services), e-Boks (secure digital post) and skat.dk (tax).

As well as this, all banks ask for MitID when logging on to their online banking services and you will need the digital ID to approve payments made to Danish online stores if you are using a Danish bank card.

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID

MobilePay 

MobilePay links your phone number to your bank account and is the only payment app broadly used in Denmark. The likes of Apple Pay and PayPal only really get a look in when making purchases from abroad.

MobilePay can be used to pay for things in (most) stores, physical or online. It is also used to send money to friends. After a shared meal or round of drinks, Danes typically pull out their phones and pay back whoever picked up the check. It's also great for buying stuff at fleamarkets or market stalls anywhere in the country. 

This year MobilePay could become even more convenient with plans for a new platform compatible with similar services in Norway, Sweden and Finland. 

Logging in with MitID. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

DMI

The weather in Denmark is not particularly predictable so a good weather app is quite useful when making plans for most types of activity.

The weather forecast app developed by the Danish Meteorological Institute, DMI, has several features that prepackaged weather apps on Apple or Android phones don't. These include more accurate location, severe weather warnings and hour-by-hour projections of how hard the wind is blowing. I use the latter of these functions a lot more than I care to admit.           

Filmstriben

Netflix, HBO Nordic and other streaming platforms are hugely popular in Denmark but did you know that with Filmstriben, you can freely stream and watch films as if borrowing them from the library?

You will need to register with your local library (using the aforementioned MitID and your Danish personal registration or CPR number), which can be done via the Filmstriben app. You then use these credentials to log in to Filmstriben and rent a film for 48 hours. The film is returned automatically, so no need to worry about late fees.

There's a huge range of films available including documentaries, international films and kids' films.

Rejseplanen

Going somewhere? You'll need Rejseplanen to figure out when the next bus, train, Metro or Light Rail is leaving.

The travel planning app will break down your chosen journey and departure time from door to door, giving you the best options and telling you how long your journey will take, where you need to change trains or buses and so on.

It also displays ticketing options and can redirect you to other apps such as DSB or DOT (see below) if you need to buy a ticket, or tell you how much the journey will cost on your Rejsekort.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about new public transport prices in Denmark

DSB

If you are taking a train between cities, the DSB app (DSB is Denmark's national rail operator) is the app you will need to buy your ticket. It can also perform Rejseplanen's job as a journey planner and does this perfectly adequately for trips which primarily involve taking a train.

Like Rejseplanen, you can search a journey between specific addresses (not just cities or post codes), giving you an accurate time by which to leave the house. You can buy a ticket which covers travel zones, so if you need to take a bus to the railway station, for example, and the Metro to get to your final destination, the ticket in your DSB app can cover this.

DOT (or other local transport company)

For shorter journeys on local transport, you'll need the local transport operator's app. In Copenhagen and Zealand, this is DOT. In other parts of Denmark you'll need: Midttrafik (Central Jutland including Aarhus), NT (North Jutland), Fynbus (Odense and Funen), Sydtrafik (South Jutland).

These apps allow you to buy tickets for local journeys and you can also use them as a planner. Beware though: You can't wing it and think you can buy your ticket once you’ve boarded the bus or metro and you can’t start downloading it from the DOT (or other regional company) app after you’ve entered the mode of transport. If the ticket inspectors find this out, you’ll be fined heftily.

If you buy the ticket in time but your phone battery runs out, you’ll also be fined but you can appeal to have the fine withdrawn.

READ ALSO: 26 sure-fire ways to truly offend a Dane

MinSundhed

MinSundhed gives you access to your records in the public health system. You can access notes from past visits to your doctor or the hospital as well as vaccination records.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, MinSundhed also served as a record of prior coronavirus infection and testing and could be used to document vaccination status before the Coronapas (Covid health passport) app was developed.

The Coronapas app is now obsolete, but MinSundhed retains its broad value as a record of your healthcare in Denmark. You can still see your Covid records in the MinSundhed app should you wish to, or if you need them for any reason.

If you have dependent children, you can also access their records using your MinSundhed login.

MinSundhed became even more essential during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

GoMore

This is the most popular ride sharing app in Denmark and can be used to find lifts across the country or to create lifts if you are driving yourself and want to share the cost.

Some drivers will make stops on the way to pick up passengers if they have a free spot in their car, so it's possible to travel from smaller towns even though it might be a bit more difficult to find a lift at the time you are looking for. If you are travelling between Copenhagen and Aarhus or Odense, it's generally easy to find a lift.

Lifts are often cheaper than rail or bus tickets and can be more convenient. For example, if you find someone who is driving from Copenhagen to Aarhus via the Sjællands Odde ferry, you will have a shorter and more relaxing journey (including being able to stretch your legs on the ferry) compared to taking the train.

You can see how many other passengers have already signed up for the available lifts in the app, showing you who else will be in the vehicle. You can also view the driver's user profile and reviews.

Additionally, GoMore can be used to rent a vehicle and even to lease one which you can then put back on the app for other users to rent, making it an option if you want to recover some of the costs of car ownership. Note you'll need to switch between the ride sharing and rental interfaces of the app.

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EasyPark (if you have a car)

If you park in the multi storey at a Danish shopping mall or at a municipal car park there's a good chance you'll still see people trying to figure out how to use the ticket machine, despite it being 2023.

You can skip this by downloading the EasyPark app (an alternative equivalent is ParkOne). These work using GPS or you can enter a four-digit code provided at the car park's signage. Turn the dial to set your parking time and away you go. If you end up staying longer than you expected, you can go into the app and extend your parking without having to return to the car.

PostNord

Denmark's main postal company PostNord gets a lot of stick but its app is definitely one of its better features.

The PostNord app is excellent for tracking parcels and you can verify your identity in the app when you pick up a package. It can also be used to pre-pay for domestic or international postage.

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DRTV

If you enjoy public service broadcasting then you won't want to miss out on the DRTV app, through which you can watch and stream the vast majority of national broadcaster DR's output including live broadcasts, kids' TV and news updates alongside DR drama and documentaries.

The app can suffer from a lack of user-friendliness -- for example, it does not allow you to adjust the volume on certain casting devices like Chromecast, meaning you have to change the volume on the TV set. This aside, DR television is essential content for life in Denmark.

It is partly accessible from outside of Denmark: For example, we used it to watch the Queen's traditional New Year speech while visiting family in the UK last year.

E-Boks

A popular meme account last year demonstrated the fear a notification from E-Boks can inspire in foreigners, given that messages in the secure digital mail service come in pdf form and can therefore be hard to understand if you're new to Denmark and don't have an option to switch the letter to English.

Despite this, having access to E-Boks on your phone can come in very handy, given it's the primary platform on which you receive secure digital emails from your bank as well as from various public services, including the tax agency.

That way you can quickly check your E-Boks when you receive an email and take a weight off your mind when you see that what just landed in your in-tray was a regular bank statement and not something altogether more stress-inducing.

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Betalingsservice

If you want to quickly set up monthly payments -- for example kindergarten fees, your rent or phone contract -- this can be done quickly and efficiently using the Betalingsservice app, which you will need your MitID to access. The app allows you to initiate a direct debit without having to go through your online bank, using fewer steps.

It also gives you an overview of the active payments you currently have on your current account and which payments are pending in the current month.

Reshopper

With no Danish edition of eBay, there’s not a single platform which dominates the market when it comes to finding second-hand items or selling on things to a new home, but Reshopper is an excellent option for picking up childrens' items as well as some home wares.

If you’re looking for a baby jogger, jumpsuit (flyverdragt) or Peppa Pig toys, the Reshopper app includes listings by a good number of private sellers and can be sorted by location, meaning it’s often possible to find what you need locally. Some sellers offer postage and in some cases you might need to collect the item in person. If you’re lucky, the seller can drop off the item.

Sellers can choose whether to offer shipping and have payment processed through the app, in other cases payment is arranged between the buyer and seller. A messaging function allows arrangements to be made.

There are “Mom” and “Home” sections on the app, but it’s for baby and kids’ wares that Reshopper really comes into its own.

Other good apps for second-hand bargain hunters include DBA and Trendsales.

READ ALSO: Four websites and apps for buying and selling second hand in Denmark

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Donkey Republic

Need a bike in a hurry? You can use the Donkey Republic app in Copenhagen to see where the company's nearest short-term rental bicycle is and use the app to unlock it. Cycle to wherever you need to be, lock the bike again and make the payment through the app, which you link to your bank card.

I was once on the way across Copenhagen to take part in the city's annual half marathon when I realised the buses weren't running (because of the half marathon, so it really shouldn't have come as a surprise). A spontaneous Donkey Republic rental got me to the start on time and served as a vigorous warmup before the run.

Donkey Republic bikes can get you out of a bind. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

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Sundhedskortet

Ever misplaced your yellow public health insurance card or sygesikringskort? This app could save you a lot of frantic searching just before you head out to your doctor's appointment.

Log in using MitID to see a digital version of your yellow health card displayed on the app. Also very useful if you have dependent children: their card will also be displayed, meaning you won't have to drop by another parent's work to pick it up if you forgot to switch it between wallets that morning.

Though convenient, having the Sundhedskortet app does not mean you should throw away the physical version. Some places may be intermittently unable to scan the app.

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Comments (1)

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Abraham Yaheh 2023/11/25 00:32
Good Job – as always! The Local us a brilliant idea and useful especially for expatriates. Blessings! 🙏🌺🙏

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