What is an Octopus Card used for in Hong Kong?

The Octopus Card, it’s a phenomenon in Hong Kong. Almost every resident of Hong Kong has one or even several, and when you visit Hong Kong you really can’t do without it. Discover the convenience of traveling in Hong Kong with the Octopus Card. This smart card provides effortless access to the extensive public transportation system and makes payments at shops and eateries easy. Enjoy seamless mobility in this bustling city with the convenient Octopus Card.

What is the Octopus Card?

The Octopus Card is an electronic chip card with a certain balance on it. You can top up this balance, and you can pay with it. Where can you use this card? Well almost everywhere. You mainly use it for public transport. The MTR, buses, the Hong Kong tram and the Star Ferry, you can pay for all of these with the Octopus Card. Read all about the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) here.

But that’s not all. With the Octopus Card, you can also pay at supermarkets, fast food restaurants, 7-Elevens, cinemas, shops, and much more. All you have to do is hold the card to the card reader, and the amount you need to pay will be deducted. This is incredibly convenient for travelers who are unsure how much balance to top up their card with. If you’re worried about having leftover money after traveling on public transport, there’s nothing lost; you can simply use the remaining balance to pay for your groceries!

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Different kinds of the Octopus Card

There are different Octopus cards. For tourists, there are actually two good options:

  • Sold Tourist Octopus Card: this octopus card is purchased and costs 39 HKD. When you leave Hong Kong, it is a nice souvenir of this impressive city.
  • On-Loan Octopus Card: you do not buy this card, but borrow it for a maximum period of 90 days, which includes 50 HKD in deposit.

Upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport, you can purchase an Octopus card directly at the airport. We highly recommend this so that you can immediately use the MTR to get to the city center. The balance on the Octopus card is also very easy to top up. This can be done at many places, including at every MTR station and at 7-Eleven, a supermarket that you can find at many stations and locations.

During our stay in Hong Kong, we made extensive use of the Octopus Card. Initially, we mainly used it for public transportation, but over time, like the residents of Hong Kong, we started using this handy card for all sorts of things. If you plan to stay in Hong Kong for a longer period of time or if you are going to study there like we did, consider applying for a personalized Octopus Card. Both of us eventually applied for a Student Octopus Card through our university, which gave us discounts on public transportation.