Hong Kong is a popular destination for most tourists worldwide. With travel opening up slowly and quarantine measures being relaxed gradually, it's looking like a great time to travel to the streets of Hong Kong again. With this in mind, here are 5 must-have apps when you travel to Hong Kong.
The Mass Transit Railway, simply known as the MTR is the ultimate way to navigate around the city. There are 98 stations and ten different lines bringing you to almost every nook and corner of the city. Trust me, it will be more than enough to get you around the city.
The MTR Mobile app has everything you need – the system map, the ability to search from one station to another, the ticket prices, and nearby exit information. The most important feature of the app is that it provides users with real-time information if there’s any mishap or an important thing that passengers should know, such as a delay or an incident, or just a reminder.
The app even has a live tracking feature for the Tuen Ma Line; you can actually see the arrival time of your train if you are taking either the route to Tuen Mun or Wu Kai Sha. The feature is not available for other lines yet.
The app also has an inbuilt function to help you go to your precise location through the MTR by using Google Maps.
Make sure you get the ubiquitous Octopus card, a contactless card that helps you pay for your trips with a simple tap (with a "doo" sound). You can add a minimum value of HK$50 and a maximum of HK$3000. To add value, you can top up the card's value at the MTR stations at the Add Value Machines or at the customer service centers, as well as convenient stores such as 7-Eleven or Circle-K (they're literally everywhere, so don't worry about not being able to find a store.)
There are four different types of Octopus cards available – adult, child, elderly, and personalized Octopus cards which are for students. The full fare is charged for adults, half for children, and just HK$2 for the elderly across the whole MTR system (except for going to the airport).
This app is very similar to Google Maps but offers more accuracy and precise timing as well as the ticket price (for some journeys). But the major advantage of using Moovit over Google Maps is the precise location, arrival timings for bus or train stops, and shorter routes.
Google Maps sometimes cannot recognize certain buildings or their precise names. And because of that, I started looking for alternatives. Moovit solved the issue by allowing me to key in specific building names.
This is especially handy when you're going to stores that are inside narrow buildings in shopping areas like Mong Kok or Sham Shui Po. They are even useful for finding musallas/musollahs for you to pray in, in case you know the address but don't know how to get there.
This app is useful when you want to take a quick ride through Hong Kong with a taxi service. After the advent of ride-hailing apps like Uber, Hong Kong’s taxi drivers faced a challenge - which was "how do we sustain the taxi industry when such competitors are in place?" so, they simply came up with their own app.
This is a good option if you are coming from the airport or if you want to get a quick ride (from Point A to Point B) anywhere around the city. Uber is also a good alternative, but it is pretty expensive compared to HKTaxi.
Kowloon Motor Bus / Long Win Bus app is for those who want a relaxing ride around the city. If you are the type of person who doesn't like walking around or interchanging through stations or walking long distances then this is the option. This is also the cheaper option when compared with the other transportation options.
This app has pretty much all the bus routes in the Kowloon region and shows the arrival times in real time. You can check out the route either in Moovit or Google Maps and then follow up in the bus app.
There's a similar app for the Hong Kong island side called Citybus NWFB. You can download that too.
This app is especially useful if you are thinking of flying to Hong Kong. It shows everything from arrivals, to departure timings, and most importantly, it offers details such as gate numbers and baggage claim counter numbers.
I hope these recommendations help you to get around the city with ease. I have used all these apps myself or I know friends that use them. So I hope you have a good time coming to Hong Kong.