Thanks to the technology, now we don’t have to carry maps and notebooks around whilst travelling to Malaysia as we have a useful mix of international and local apps to cater to our wanderlust spirit. Discover these must-have Malaysia travel apps for when you travel to this tropical country.
Planning Your Trip to Malaysia
1. Sygic Travel App for Itineraries
Forget a paper schedule planner or using the notes app to list of your intended itinerary on your phone – all thanks to Sygic Travel app, named the best travel itinerary app! Insert your destination and you can start planning on what to do and where to go during your trip.
PROS: If you really have no idea, this trip itinerary app has several guides for Malaysia such as visiting Kuching and Sarawak Cultural Village in the Borneo part of Malaysia. The app also states the number of hours required to complete the attractions, short descriptions of what each place offers, visitors’ reviews, tours’ availability, an official website, opening hours and a map.
Aside from that you can also check the weather (although the weather in Malaysia stays almost the same), book hotel rooms, as well as rent a car through the app. The best part is you can also share your itinerary with your friends and they can also edit it!
CONS: Users are required to upgrade to the premium version for RM60 for worldwide offline maps, the access to Fodor’s Guides, and offline walking guidance.
2. Packpoint for Packing
If you’re someone who always forgets to pack something then this travel checklist app is for you!
PROS: Insert your trip information and the packing list will be put together automatically! Once you’ve packed it you can cross it off the list, and there is also an edit option to add or delete items (though only available in the premium version of Packpoint app).
CONS: You can only share your packing list with your travel buddies through a website link (your packing list gets its own page). Unless you upgrade to premium version at RM17, you can’t customize the packing list.
3. Malaysia Trip Planner for Main Attractions in Malaysia
Released by Tourism Malaysia, this is the most popular app in Malaysia as it has been specifically designed for showcasing handpicked Malaysian tourism attractions.
PROS: This trip planning app lists the most attractive places to visit across the country that Malaysians are most proud of. it also shows events and cultural festivals happening in Malaysia, along with the dates and locations.
CONS: The app is somewhat outdated and lists only major attractions, skipping over the off-beaten-path stops that you might want to check during a longer trip. Furthermore, it’s only available on the iPhone.
4. Foursquare for Reviewed Places
This app, used by more than 55 million people, needs no introduction.
PROS: This is my favourite city guide because of great suggestion and search capabilities, as well as visitors’ reviews. It has it all: a list of things to do in Malaysia, places to eat, price ranges and even suggested dishes.
You can also track where you’ve been in the past, and bookmark places you want to visit next. It is one of the best travel guide apps in existence and we couldn’t imagine a day without it!
CONS: You have to create an account to access this app.
5. Maps.me for Detailed Offline Map
If you’re fan of jungle trekking or exploring isolated places, but don’t have internet, then this app might be just for you.
PROS: we recommend that you download the detailed map of Malaysia as many tourists who travel to Malaysia don’t have access to mobile data and so are unable to explore local spots. Maps.me also provides you with inclusive routes that allow travellers to discover hidden gems.
CONS: It might cause the battery in your smartphone to run out quickly as the app uses your location even when it’s not in use.
Transportation in Malaysia
6. Grab Malaysia for Taxis and Private Cars
Although there are many forms of public transport in Malaysia you may still want to take a cab or a personal car as for example, you may be running late to a meeting and travelling to your nearest LRT is going to waste time. Grab is a hailing service that was founded in Malaysia in 2012; and after gaining popularity, the company expanded to neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and more.
In Malaysia, Grab currently operates in major cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Putrajaya just to name a few. With it you will also be able schedule their rides in advance, a great feature for planning buffs on a trip.
PROS: It is indeed one of the most useful apps in Malaysia. With the largest pool of drivers across the Southeast Asia, this app will help you find a taxi, private car or a motorbike – just about any private vehicle within a few clicks.
One of Grab’s biggest advantages is the fixed ride price – so you don’t need to worry about unexpected traffic jam and resulting in a higher fare. Grab also has a fixed rate for airport transfers, no matter where you are in the city! And if you want to save money, you can choose to share your ride with others.
Another compelling feature of Grab is the cash payment option.
CONS: The map sometimes isn’t very accurate so you might you need to give the driver clear instructions on the built-in messaging system.
7. Uber for Private Cars
Another app that needs no introduction. Use it to get a ride to less accessible locations in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and even Ipoh. With Uber you will also be able to schedule rides in advance – a feature many travellers have used to arrange their rides to the KLIA airport.
PROS: Recently, Uber added a cash payment option to their app, so you no longer have to pay by card, and they also introduced a bookmarking feature for your frequent destinations (no need to type your hotel name over and over again!).
Furthermore, Uber is known for being meticulous when hiring drivers, and thorough car screening procedures to ensure the safety for future passengers. And compared to Grab, you can pin your location on the map instead of typing it.
CONS: Sometimes they can over-charge you during the low availability hours, so compare with Grab during the peak hours.
Update: Uber ceased their service in Malaysia after being acquired by Grab in 2018
8. CatchThatBus for Bus Tickets
If you need a bus ticket to go to another city from Kuala Lumpur, you will find this CatchThatBus app very useful. Book a ticket in advance and travel safely.
PROS: This app offers easy online intercity bus ticket booking service for just about any city in Malaysia as well as Singapore.
CONS: The app still needs fine-tuning; for example, ads keep on popping up on your screen even when you’re doing the payment process.
9. KL Transit for KL City Train Information
In Malaysia, trains are the cheapest form of public transport and can travel from other districts such as Petaling Jaya, Subang or Batu Caves from the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
PROS: Download this app to see train departure times so you can plan ahead. You’ll get instant info on when the next train is arriving and you can set the time on the map to remind you 15 minutes before the next departure time.
CONS: Sometimes the app doesn’t sync with the actual timing
10. Malaysia Airlines for Plane Tickets
The app is created by the country’s largest airline Malaysia Airlines that offers flights to countries around the world.
PROS: Search for the best deals on Malaysia Airlines flights, book tickets, check-in for upcoming flights, get status updates of your app and even book hotels via its partner Booking. This app will also come in handy when you prefer to skip that queue for check-in at the counter.
CONS: The latest update has a login problem on Enrich (Malaysia Airlines loyalty programme) account. Also, it’s considered a mid-range airline so budget travelers should be looking into AirAsia instead.
11. AirAsia for Plane Tickets
AirAsia Malaysia is one of the cheapest airlines in Asia and flies to over 120 destinations. In the app, you can view the lowest flight fares and cheap vacation deals.
PROS: What I really love about this app is you’ll get extra 40% off when you book a hotel with your flight, and occasionally they offer discounted flights only for those booking via the app! AirAsia app also allows you to check your travel itinerary and receive instant updates on your flights. A must-have if you want to backpack Malaysia!
CONS: None for now.
Foods in Malaysia
12. PlateCulture for Local Home-Cooked Food
PROS: Plateculture was designed for tourists who are searching for a new cultural experience and an opportunity to taste REAL Malaysian food. There are more than 100 chefs throughout Malaysia available with local foods like Malay, Chinese, Peranakan and Indian. Plateculture app is very easy to use as it provides with a list of local chefs in your area, their reviews along with prices and menus. To make reservations, all you have to do is book your date and choose a type of cuisine.
CON: None for now
13. Offpeak for Restaurant Discounts
Find out the best deals at restaurants when visiting Malaysia with Offpeak app.
PROS: You can get great deals up to 50% off if you book through this app. The best part is you can book without paying in advance.
CONS: You cannot book for instant redeeming. And don’t miss the 15 minutes redemption window – if you arrive too late, the coupon won’t be valid anymore.
Reviews of Malaysian Attractions
14. Tripadvisor for Hotels and Restaurants
I’m so sure you’ve came across Tripadvisor app before in your life.
PROS: It provides the best reviews from travellers. You can discover places to stay and eat, things to do, read genuine and compare price of airlines and hotels from more than 200 booking site,reviews from travellers. The best part is you can save your travel ideas with your friends, and ask questions on the forum.
CONS: None for now.
Apps for Islamic Travel
15. Muslim Pro for Qibla and Prayer Times
The most popular Muslim travel app, downloaded one million times in total, with Quran, local praying times and direction. Muslim Pro is a must-have app especially if you’re visiting a country where Muslims are the minority.
PROS: Quran is available in over 40 languages, and the app will show you all mosques and halal restaurants near you and give you directions to the selected place.
CONS: If you want to get rid of the ads or customize your Quran themes, it will set you back at RM34.
Did you find these Malaysia travel apps helpful?
Let us know which apps you did find useful for your holiday in Malaysia. Or what have been your favourite Malaysia travel apps that saved your life?
Looking for Muslim friendly accommodation? Check out these 5 Muslim friendly hotels in KL for every budget. Also, check out 8 easy jungle treks in Malaysia if you’re a fan of stunning views and exhilarating walks.