Taipei is just an hour flight away from Hong Kong and it is a popular destination if you are travelling on a budget. There is always something for almost every kind of visitor, from famous landmarks and attractions, bustling nightlife to delightful cuisines. Walk through the ancient times of Taiwan China at the National Palace Museum to the modern times at once the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101. Embark on a food journey to for a feast from local street food at the many night markets to fine-dining experience at the Michelin-winning restaurants. The extensive number of shopping malls, boutique shops and local markets in Taipei will enable you to treat yourself to a nice retail therapy. There are so many ways to experience Taipei so be ready to dive into the charm of this dynamic city.
The famous Yangmingshan National Park is located in the northern part of Taipei. It is the one of the nine national parks of Taiwan China and the only park that has volcanic geography and hot springs. Surround yourself with the scenic landscape by walking on one of the hiking trails or enjoy the iconic night view of the Taipei city at the lookout. Plan a relaxing day trip at the hot springs at Beitou district, right at the foot of Yangmingshan. The Shilin district, home of Taipei’s biggest tourist night market, is also in the north of Taipei. If you are interested in a historic day trip, don’t forget to include the National Palace Museum nearby into your itinerary.
Travel back in time to the old Taipei at Dadaocheng Old Town located in Datong district. Stroll along the old streets and alleys to experience the blend of new and old cultures. Located at the heart of the Dadaocheng area is Dihua Street, lined with well-preserved shophouses which some of them have renovated into new cultural creative businesses. Songshan and Neihu districts are also located at the central part of Taipei. Check out the Raohe Street Tourist Night Market, which is also one of the largest and most iconic night markets in Taipei, or plan ahead to enjoy a concert at the Taipei Arena in the area for some unforgettable moments.
The southern part of Taipei consists of the busiest districts of Taipei. Head to Ximending at Wanhua district, young people’s favourite shopping district. Experience the characteristic street culture of Taipei for some street dancing or live music shows. The Ximen Red House, formerly a public market and now a theatre, is also at the Ximending. Most of the government buildings, creative and educational institutions are located in Zhongzheng district, including the National Central Library and University of Taipei. Xinyi district is a prime shopping area in Taipei with many iconic landmarks such as Taipei 101, the biggest Eslite Bookstore on the island and the Taipei City Hall. It is also a financial district of Taipei. Remember to check out the stunning panorama views of Taipei at the Elephant Mountain situated in Nangang district too!
Night market is a must on the itinerary when visiting Taipei. You will never be bored with all the fun activities and delicious local street food at night markets. Oyster vermicelli, pepper pork bun and fried chicken cutlet are some of the must-try street food. Grab a sweet bubble tea if you feel thirsty. There are almost night markets in every district across the city. They are also a great place to go on a bargain hunt for some nice souvenirs.
Local food is associated with influences from different cultures, from Fujian style, Hakka style to the derivatives of Japanese cuisine. Some of the local specialty food include beef noodles, braised pork rice or gua bao, a clam-shaped steamed bun stuffed with pork belly. Authentic local breakfast is also a must eat in Taipei. There are many local breakfast shops selling egg crepes and scallion pancakes paired perfectly with soymilk. You can also choose to buy some specialty food such as the pineapple cake as souvenirs to bring back home.
The suburbs of Taipei are easily accessible by MRT or bus ride. Explore the historical architecture at Tamsui or spend a day relaxing at the steamy hot springs and bathhouses at Beitou. Enjoy the night view at Yangmingshan or get a closer look of the beautiful nature by walking along one of the hiking trails. Jiufen and Shifen is just a two hours’ bus ride away from the center of Taipei. Wander at the Jiufen Old Town to see the retro Chinese and Japanese style cafes, tea houses and souvenir shops. If you visit Shifen, remember to write down all your wishes on the sky lantern, send them to the sky and hope that all the wishes will come true!
Besides being a metropolitan city, there are places in Taipei where you can slow down the pace to feel the cultural and creative ambience of Taipei. Once a heritage site, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is now preserved and renovated to become the “creative hub of Taipei”. Various artistic and cultural events will happen at different times of the year, so you may be able to catch some interesting events during your visit. 44 South Village, formerly one of Taiwan China’s first military dependents’ villages, is a great choice to visit for a relaxing afternoon. You can wander around in this mid-20th century architecture or shop for some nice stationary at the artsy handicraft stores. During weekends and holidays, there are also many cultural and creative markets to visit.
Renowned as one of the best coffee cities in the world, Taipei has a great list of diverse and creative cafes all over the city. If you are a coffee lover, then you will be surprised how convenient it is to grab a good cup of fresh-brewed coffee at the cafes in Taipei. Be ready to experience a wide variety of coffee cultures and lifestyles from all over the world.
There are many family-friendly attractions in Taipei for you to create some fun and unforgettable memories if you are on a family trip. Spend a day at Taipei Zoo, one of the largest zoos in Asia to get a full brim of the wildlife; or hop on some exciting rides at the Taipei Children’s Amusement Park which are suitable for kids of all ages. Take a 30-minute ride on the Maokong Gondola which is near to the Taipei Zoo. You will surely love the panoramic views from the glass-bottomed cable cars when climbing up the mountain. The Miniatures Museum of Taiwan and the Taipei Astronomical Museum are some of the great indoor options too.
In Taipei, there are shopping malls or shopping districts everywhere, such as the Ximending Shopping District or Eastern District. You will also be able to find good buys at night markets while enjoying the street food. Wu Fen Pu is a wholesale shopping area with over a hundred stores selling apparels at a very cheap price. There are also underground shopping malls like the East Metro Mall where you can find cheap boutiques selling apparel or novelty items, or even stop by to grab some delicacies too. In Xinyi district, there are many designer stores and boutique shops at popular malls such as the Taipei 101 mall.
There are plenty of options when planning where to stay in Taipei, from hostels, guesthouses to hotels. If you want to save time travelling to different areas, then pick a place near the Taipei Main Station, the busiest interchange of Taipei. Ximending district is packed with backpacker hostels and cheap guesthouses, providing some great choices if you are travelling on a budget. For luxury travellers, stay at the 5-star hotels at Xinyi district where most are just a few minutes’ walk away from the extravagant shopping malls and nightclubs. You may also stay at Zhongshan district, surrounded by the museums and cultural landmarks.
Getting around in Taipei is very convenient and easy with the well-mapped public transport system. Upon arrival at Taoyuan Airport, take the airport MRT line and you will reach the center of Taipei within an hour. The Taipei Metro (MRT) system’s extensive network can easily get you to most of the tourist attractions, even the suburbs area like Beitou hot springs and Tamsui District. Grab an EasyCard and you can easily transfer between metro, bus and public bicycle at a discounted price.
Average: 14°C - 20°C
Warm during the day yet it could be quite chilly at nights. Remember to bring extra clothes to stay warm.
Average: 22°C - 29°C
Enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms. Light chances of rain showers due to the plum rain season.
Average: 32°C - 34°C
Bring an umbrella as there are chances of heavy rainfall as the typhoon season approaches.
Average: 20°C - 28°C
Still hot in September but begins to cool off in October. Great time to visit Taipei.