The Best Smartphone Apps for Hong Kong

Our top picks for iPhone and Android apps to make life in Hong Kong easier. Including a taxi translator, MTR and bus routes apps, apps to monitor air quality and weather, apps for food delivery, grocery shopping, restaurant booking, beauty booking, meeting new friends and more.

14 Jul 2017 — By Catherine Stewart / Essential HK
iphone

From navigating Hong Kong’s various modes of transportation, monitoring the weather and air quality to ordering takeaway food and groceries, these apps are as useful as they are easy to use. Whether you live in Hong Kong or are just here for the weekend,  we think you’ll find them a huge help.  As an added bonus, most are free and are available in both English and Standard (sometimes also simplified) Chinese.

Eating Out

Chope

We all know HK is a city that loves to dine out, and Chope is the easy way to browse through 100s of restaurants, sort them by location or cuisine, check out the prices and menus and then instantly book your table. Even better, there are regular discounts and deals to be found too.

Open Rice

This huge online community of self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ share their honest opinions on the restaurants and food around the city. These reviews are not sponsored by the restaurants.

Love to eat out? Us too! Check out our food and drink guides here.

Food Delivery

Get all your favourite foods without having to leave your home or office, by using the Foodpanda or Deliveroo apps. Although similar concepts they each cover a different selection of restaurants so it’s worth exploring both to see which app you like best and which covers your favourite eateries.

Activities & Entertainment

The Entertainer

The Entertainer have thousands of buy one-get-one-free offers on restaurants, spas, tourist attractions, hotels and more. You can try out one offer for free, and after that you pay an annual subscription.

Headout

Explore activities, attractions and tours with Headout, browse to find inspiration and get discounted rates on things such as Aqua Luna tours, Disney tickets or the Sky 100 viewing deck in the ICC. Great for ticking off things on your Hong Kong bucket list and for entertaining out-of-town visitors.

Klook

Similar to Headout, Klook gives you discounts on all manner of activities and attractions around Hong Kong.

HK Movie

View screening times, buy tickets from over 40 cinemas (with its one-of-a-kind, real-time seating plan), browse reviews and share comments on this handy movie app.

iDiscover Hong Kong City Walks

Get under the skin of some of Hong Kong’s most rapidly changing districts by delving into these fascinating city walks.   The app is free to download and the walks cost $15 HKD each.

Spa & Beauty Booking

BloomMe

Want to squeeze a mani pedi in between meetings? A last minute blow dry before a dinner date? Or just try somewhere different for a facial or massage. BloomMe is a beauty booking app that shows you spas nearest to your location, and gives you review feedback from other users. You can check availability and instantly confirm appointments, and there are lots of special discounts and offers too.

HKHUB Discount: Use the code HKHUB to get $100 off your first booking through BloomMe!

Getting Stuff Done

OKSir

OKSir is a convenient way to find, book and pay for a whole range services. All the vendors have been vetted and OKSir offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re dissatisfied with a service. This app covers a wide range of services from housekeeping and home repairs through to healthcare and beauty services. It’s also useful for small businesses as you can book professional services to free up your time.

GoGet

GoGet (formerly Whatsapp based service SpotHelp) can help you get more stuff done by connecting you with helpers called ‘GoGetters’. The GoGetters can shop for you, deliver items around HK, or act as a helping hand in virtually any task. Key in your task and the app will give you a price and connect you with a ‘GoGetter’.

Skipmenu

This nifty app helps you skip through automated hotline menus in seconds, see all the menu options on your screen, quickly tap through them and get connected directly to customer support. The app reads over 800 hotlines in Hong Kong.

Social Networking

Meetup

Use Meetup to connect with like-minded people and make new friends. Find an established ‘meetup’ with people that share your interests, or be bold and organise your own group. There’s an active meetup community in Hong Kong and it’s a great way to build your social network.

VINA

Like a dating app, but for female friendships rather than romance, this app matches women that are open to making new friends. Perfect if you’ve just landed in Hong Kong and need to establish a new social life here.

Transport

Citymapper

Never be lost in Hong Kong again! Simply tell it where you want to go and it will figure out your whole journey on public transport and give you a street map for any walking that needs to be done too. Highly recommended!

HKTaxi

This is a simple and effective taxi hailing app, and with around 30,000 taxis registered there’s a good chance there’s one near you. Just enter your pickup point and contact number and a nearby driver will call you to arrange the ride. We’ve been using this app for a while and it works extremely well, a must-have.

Hong Kong Taxi Translator

Hong Kong Taxi Translator has thousands of places in Hong Kong, translated from English into standard Chinese characters and displayed on a large “taxi card” that a driver can read at a glance.

GoGoVan

This convenient app gives you the flexibility of not needing to plan ahead and locates your nearest driver and van by GPS at any time. Just set your route and requirements and the app will show you which driver is closest to you and ready to move your stuff. So easy.

MTR Mobile

MTR Mobile helps riders plan their journey, as well as to identify locations of all sorts of useful facilities – barrier free exits, lifts, toilets, shops, emergency call buttons, exits near popular destinations, and more.

Traffic Hong Kong

Traffic Hong Kong allows users to select from a list of traffic cameras (sorted by district) to check on traffic conditions in dozens of busy trouble spots throughout Hong Kong, Kowloon, the New Territories, and Lantau before hitting the road.

HKeTransport

HKeTransport gives users a myriad of options for travelling between any two addresses in Hong Kong. However, personally we find that Citymapper covers most of these bases for us and is simpler to use.

Uber Hong Kong

Well known ride sharing service Uber operates in Hong Kong and although it isn’t licensed by the Hong Kong government, Uber shows no signs of giving up on the city anytime soon.

Shopping

honestbee

honestbee’s shopping concierge app and website allows you to browse products from 28 different Hong Kong stores, from supermarkets such as Fusion and USelect (one of our favourite budget stores) to speciality food retailers such as Feather & Bone and Fresh Grower. A concierge ‘bee’ collects your goodies for you and they guarantee same day delivery on Hong Kong Island for a small fee.

Find lots of online food and drink retailers in this roundup here.

Groupon

Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in Hong Kong – with up to 70% off normal retail price.

The Great Outdoors

TrailWatch

This app allows hikers to plan and track their adventures on Hong Kong’s many breathtaking trails. Users can also record any incidents that they see while out hiking or even walking round the city such as vandalism and then share this on the TrailWatch website and the associated Facebook page.

New to hiking in Hong Kong? Be inspired by our Top 10 Hong Kong Hikes here.

My Observatory

The Hong Kong Observatory manages this comprehensive weather app, which is updated throughout the day with data from monitoring stations around Hong Kong, gives a 9-day forecast and will keep you up-to-date with Hong Kong’s frequent weather warnings!

Air Pollution

Hong Kong Air Pollution

This app displays the current air quality in Hong Kong using a variety of different air pollution indexes from around the world. The pollutant information from multiple reporting stations around Hong Kong is run through the air pollution indexes of other countries to produce a more accurate picture of the current air quality.

HK AQHI

Direct from the Environmental Protection Department, get the latest information from government pollution monitoring stations around Hong Kong. This is the same data as used in the Hong Kong Air app mentioned above, the only advantage of the government app is that they forecast pollution levels for the next day.

Worried about pollution? Find our tips on coping with pollution here.

And Finally

Octopus

Download the Octopus app and you can connect up to 20 cards to track transactions and keep them topped up. You can also shop online (though it’s a pretty limited selection of stores), and transfer money directly to other app users. You must purchase a card reader to access these services.


 


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