Why Visit Taipei?
Taipei is one of the most exciting cities to visit in Asia! From bustling night markets to tranquil temples, Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, has an eclectic mix of experiences that we absolutely loved during our visit!
We’re excited to share our top picks and tips in this blog, to help you make the most of your Taipei adventure.
Watch this video for a Sneak Peek into Taipei:
20 Best Things To See in Taipei
1. Check out Taipei 101 Observatory!
Arguably the #1 activity in Taipei! The Taipei 101 Observatory.
Taipei 101, once the world’s tallest building (standing at 508 meters), is a landmark that defines Taipei’s skyline. This architectural marvel, reminiscent of a giant bamboo stalk, symbolizes technological advancement and traditional Asian design.
The highlight is the observatory, located on the 89th to 91st floors. It offers breathtaking 360-degree views of Taipei and its surroundings.
The best time to visit the observatory is right before sunset. However, booking in advance is required!
2. Have Fun at Ximending District
Ximending is Taipei’s youth culture hub, filled with colorful shops, street art, and pop-up performances. It’s a great place to feel the city’s pulse and maybe pick up some quirky souvenirs.
At night, the area transforms into a lively spectacle, with street performers and a young crowd soaking up the energetic atmosphere. Ximending is not just a shopping district; it’s a cultural experience, embodying the youthful spirit and contemporary pulse of Taipei.
There are many things to see at Ximending!
3. Explore Dihua Old Street
Within walking distance from Ximending, continue your visit of Taipei at Dihua Old Street. This is one of our favorite places to visit in Taipei!
Dihua Street is a charming testament to the city’s rich past. This street, known for its well-preserved Qing Dynasty architecture, has a nostalgic atmosphere, offering a stark contrast to Taipei’s modernity.
It’s famous for its traditional Chinese medicine shops, tea houses, fabric markets, and a variety of stores selling Taiwanese crafts and snacks. Strolling down this street feels like a journey through time, where every shop and alleyway tells a story of Taipei’s cultural and commercial history.
Dihua Old Street is one of the best things to see in Taipei! Make sure to check it out.
4. Visit the National Taiwan Museum, the Oldest Museum in Taipei
Also within walking distance from Ximending, you can reach the beautiful National Taiwan Museum.
The National Taiwan Museum is the oldest museum in Taiwan. It offers a window into the rich heritage and natural history of the island.
Housed in an elegant, colonial-era building, the museum presents a fascinating mix of exhibitions that encompass Taiwan’s biology, ethnology, and geology.
5. Enjoy a walk through the 228 Peace Memorial Park
Right in front of the Taiwan National Museum, you can enjoy a tranquil stroll at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei.
The park was established to honor the victims of the 228 Incident of 1947, a tragic event that marked the beginning of a long period of martial law in Taiwan. The park features lush greenery, peaceful walkways, and reflective water features, providing a serene escape from the city’s hustle.
We especially liked the nice Pagoda surrounded by water!
6. Witness History at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
After visiting the park, you can continue on foot to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, one of the best things to see in Taipei!
The Memorial Hall in Taipei stands as a tribute to Chiang Kai-Shek, the former President of the Republic of China. This majestic landmark, set within a vast, beautifully landscaped park, features a striking white facade with a blue-tiled octagonal roof, symbolizing the sky.
The hall itself is a marvel of traditional Chinese architecture, and it’s surrounded by elegant gardens, tranquil ponds, and walkways.
Inside, a large statue of Chiang Kai-Shek dominates the main chamber. Don’t miss the change of guards every hour.
A visit to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall offers not only a glimpse into Taiwan’s history but also a chance to appreciate its commitment to preserving cultural heritage.
7. Wander at Rongjing Gorgeous Time
At about another 10-minute walk from Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, discover the latest attraction in Taipei: the charming Rongjing Gorgeous Time.
Originally serving as the Official Dormitories of Taihoku Prison during the Qing Dynasty, this area witnessed significant events, from housing political prisoners during Japanese rule to becoming a community hub for immigrants and public servants.
Today this place has been transformed and is full of Japanese bars and restaurants! It does feel like we were in Japan while visiting this place.
It’s even possible to rent a kimono. This is possible in one of the first houses when you arrive at Rongjin from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
8. Travel Back in Time at Bopiliao Old Street
After our visit to Rongjin Gorgeous Time, we took a short taxi ride to the stunning Bopiliao Old Street.
This well-preserved street dates back to the Qing Dynasty and offers a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich past.
As you stroll along Bopiliao, you are transported back in time with its traditional architecture, including Qing-period buildings, Japanese colonial houses, and restored shops.
The street has become a cultural hotspot, hosting various art exhibitions, cultural events, and educational programs. It’s a must-visit when you are traveling to Taipei.
9. Visit Longshan Temple at night, one of the best things to see in Taipei
Near Bopiliao continue your visit of Taipei at our favorite temple: Longshan Temple. A peaceful retreat amidst the city’s hustle. The temple’s architecture and the devotion of worshippers were truly moving.
Dating back to the 18th century, this temple is an exquisite example of traditional Taiwanese architecture, with intricate carvings, stunning lanterns, and beautifully crafted dragon pillars. The best is to visit the temple at night!
The temple not only serves as a religious site but also as a cultural hub, where one can witness traditional rituals, festivals, and a vibrant display of faith and community spirit.
The entrance is free.
10. Eat at Huaxi Street Night Market (“Snake Alley”)
Huaxi Street Night Market, often referred to as Taipei’s “Snake Alley,” is one of the city’s most intriguing night markets.
If by now, you finished your visit of Longshan Temple at night, you must be ready for dinner! Simply cross the street, and you will arrive at Huaxi Street Night Market.
This market is famous for its exotic offerings, including snake-based delicacies, traditional Chinese medicine shops, and an array of seafood.
A visit here offers a sensory adventure, complete with delicious street food, interesting souvenirs, and a peek into the more unusual aspects of traditional Taiwanese culture.
11. Enjoy the Artistic Vibes at Huashan 1914 Creative Park
The next day, start with a visit to Huashan 1914 Creative Park, a dynamic cultural and arts space in Taipei. It’s a flourishing hub for creativity and artistic expression.
Originally a wine factory, this historic complex has been brilliantly transformed into a lively arts center. The park features a blend of industrial architecture and contemporary art, housing galleries, theaters, and unique art installations.
As we went there on a Saturday, the place was jam-packed! But still fun.
The array of quirky cafes and craft shops add to its charm, making Huashan 1914 Creative Park a must-visit for those seeking inspiration, entertainment, and a taste of Taipei’s modern artistic scene.
12. Check out Fujin Street, Taipei’s Hipster Area
If you have limited time in Taipei, you can probably skip that part… However, if you are staying there for a week or more, you can explore Fujin Street, a much lesser touristy place in Taipei.
Originally a quiet residential area, Fujin Street in Taipei has transformed over the years into a vibrant hub for local artists and entrepreneurs.
The street exudes a relaxed, bohemian vibe, with tree-lined paths and a mix of old and new architecture. Today, Fujin Street is probably the most hipster area of Taipei!
13. Enjoy some of the Best Seafood at Addiction Aquatic Development
If you craving for some of the best seafood in Taipei, don’t hesitate and head right away to Addiction Aquatic Development!
Addiction Aquatic Development in Taipei is a seafood lover’s paradise, offering a unique and upscale market experience.
This modern, warehouse-style space combines a live seafood market, sushi and sashimi bars, a gourmet supermarket, and seafood-themed eateries, all under one roof. Renowned for its fresh and high-quality seafood, you can indulge in a range of dining experiences, from grabbing a quick sushi plate to enjoying a full, luxurious seafood meal.
For us, it’s a must when in Taipei!
14. Exploring the National Palace Museum
After finishing your meal at Addiction Aquatic Development, head to one of the best Museums in Taiwan: The National Palace Museum (not to be confused with the National Taiwan Museum, as described earlier in this post).
This museum houses an extensive collection of Chinese imperial artifacts. We were captivated by the intricate jade carvings and ancient scrolls. Allocate a few hours here; it’s worth it!
15. Enjoy Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market in Taipei is a vibrant Taiwanese street food and culture, renowned as one of the largest and most famous night markets in the city.
This bustling market comes alive as the sun sets, with countless stalls and eateries lining the streets, offering an endless array of Taiwanese snacks, from classic bubble tea and stinky tofu to mouthwatering fried chicken and oyster omelets.
Beyond the food, Shilin also boasts a variety of shops selling clothes, accessories, and souvenirs, making it a perfect spot for late-night shopping.
16. Raohe, another Night Market Worth Visiting in Taipei!
Raohe is one of Taipei’s oldest night markets and a must-visit for foodies. We loved the pepper pork buns and the variety of seafood on offer.
This bustling 600-meter-long street is a culinary haven, lined with a myriad of stalls and vendors serving up classic local favorites.
The lively atmosphere, with the aroma of delicious food filling the air and the buzz of excited visitors, makes for a truly vibrant and sensory experience.
A visit to Raohe Street Night Market is one of the best things to see in Taipei
17. Hike Elephant Mountain for Some of the Best Views in Taipei
For panoramic city views, we trekked up Elephant Mountain. The trail can be steep, but the breathtaking view of Taipei, especially as the sun sets behind Taipei 101, is a rewarding experience.
Elephant Mountain offers one of the best vantage points for breathtaking views of Taipei, particularly its iconic Taipei 101. This popular hiking spot features a relatively easy trail, which leads to a series of viewing platforms.
The hike, taking about 15-20 minutes, is a bit steep but well worth the effort, especially at sunset. At that time, this place fills up with a crowd of photographers and nature lovers.
Checking the view at Elephant Mountain is one of the unmissable things to do in Taipei!
18. Walking/Cycling Along the Riverside
Taipei boasts well-maintained and extensive riverside paths, particularly along the Tamsui River, offering a peaceful retreat from the urban bustle.
These paths are ideal for leisurely bike rides or tranquil walks, with stunning views of the city skyline, lush greenery, and the gently flowing river. The routes are dotted with parks, cafes, and art installations, enhancing the experience.
Near Ximending, you can even go to Dadaocheng Wharf Container Market at night, located by the river. It’s full of container-style eateries and bars! A really cool atmosphere.
19. Check out Miramar Ferris Wheel for another Great Viewpoint of Taipei
The Miramar Ferris Wheel, a prominent feature of the Miramar Entertainment Park in Taipei, offers an enchanting experience with panoramic views of the city.
Standing at an impressive height, this giant wheel lights up at night in a dazzling display of colors easily recognizable in the city’s skyline.
As you go up the wheel, the bustling cityscape of Taipei unfolds beneath you, offering stunning vistas that stretch all the way to the mountains in the distance. Riding the Miramar Ferris Wheel, especially in the evening when the city lights sparkle like jewels, is one of the best things to do in Taipei!
20. Experience New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Taipei!
Experiencing New Year’s Eve in Taipei, with one of the most impressive fireworks in the world at Taipei 101, is an unforgettable experience. We were lucky enough to experience it in 2023. One our of most memorable fireworks ever!
At midnights thousands or people gather around Taipei 101 to watch the show. The fireworks come out directly from the Tower, giving it an extra vertical perspective.
Best Day Trips From Taipei
1. Soothing Relaxation at Beitou Hot Springs
Seeking tranquility, we headed to Beitou. The thermal valley and its hot springs are a heavenly retreat. We recommend visiting one of the many public baths or booking a private room for a more intimate experience.
Beitou is nestled in a lush, mountainous area and is famous for its natural thermal springs. The water, rich in minerals, is believed to have healing properties, offering a soothing respite for both body and mind.
The area also features the Beitou Hot Spring Museum, where you can learn about the history of hot springs in Taiwan, and the nearby Thermal Valley, known for its steaming, jade-colored waters.
2. Tea Tasting in Maokong
Taking the gondola to Maokong was a highlight. The area’s tea houses offer exquisite Taiwanese tea, and the views over the rolling hills are serene.
Maokong is perched in the hills on the outskirts of Taipei and it’s accessible via a scenic gondola ride. Maokong is famous for tea enthusiasts. The area is dotted with traditional teahouses, where you can savor locally grown oolong tea while enjoying the tranquil mountain scenery.
Walking along the winding paths, you can visit small tea plantations and learn about the intricate process of tea making.
3. Day Trip to Jiufen Old Street
Jiufen is one of the most popular day trips from Taipei. Although we decided to spend the night there (which we actually recommend in order to avoid the crowd during the day), it can easily be visited during a day trip from Taipei.
Jiufen is one of the most charming old towns in Taiwan with narrow lanes full of lanterns and traditional tea houses. The views of the mountains and sea are spectacular, making it a perfect day trip from Taipei.
4. Pingxi Line
The Pingxi Railway Line, offers a unique and scenic journey through the lush, mountainous landscapes of New Taipei City.
This historic train line, known for its slow-paced and leisurely rides, takes you through charming rural areas and small towns, each with its own character and attractions.
Key stops along the Pingxi Line include Jingtong, an old mining town where you can enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere and bamboo wishing poles; Pingxi, famous for its annual Sky Lantern Festival and quaint streets; and Shifen, known for the Shifen Waterfall, one of Taiwan’s most beautiful waterfalls, and the Shifen Old Street where visitors release sky lanterns into the sky.
Each stop on the Pingxi Line offers a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, making it a great day trip from Taipei
5. Explore Nature’s Wonder at Yehliu Geopark
We ended our trip with a day visit to Yehliu Geopark. The unique geological formations, like the famous “Queen’s Head,” are a fascinating sight.
A day trip to Yehliu Geopark, located on the northern coast of Taiwan, is an extraordinary escape into a landscape of natural wonder. Renowned for its unique geological formations, the park is home to a variety of unique rock structures, including the iconic “Queen’s Head,” a rock formation resembling a human head.
The coastal views add to the dramatic and picturesque setting, making it a photographer’s paradise.
Best Places to Go Shopping in Taipei
Taipei is also a true paradise if you love shopping from global brands to local designers, and Japanese-influenced culture.
We listed the 5 essential neighborhoods for a crazy shopping spree in Taipei.
1. Ximending: the trendiest neighborhood in Taipei
We already talked about Ximending above in our article. There is no better place to shop in Taipei than in Ximending. Here you will find pretty much anything.
Start your journey with the Wan Nian Commercial Building and Shinjuku Plaza. Are you looking to get a tattoo? So go to Tattoo Street!
And the many pedestrian streets in Ximending are lined up with countless shops.
2. Xiinyi District and Taipei 101
If you go to Taipei, you’re definitely going to take a look at the famous Taipei 101. It is located in the Xinyi district, another area super famous for shopping!
There are malls like ATT 4 FUN and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi that offer everything from designer labels to gadgets. F
3. Japan in Taipei: Shopping dive in Zhongshan
Zhongshan is a bit like a trip to Tokyo without leaving Taipei. There are special areas dedicated to Japanese culture, such as Tiao Tong Shopping District.
It’s a great place to find Japanese designer clothes and culinary delights.
And there is SPOT – Taipei Film House. You’ll hardly believe it was a former American consulate! This is a significant cultural institution in Taipei, contributing to the promotion of film culture, artistic expression, and the development of the local film industry.
4. Gongguan: A paradise for students and good deals
If you’re the thrifty type, Gongguan is for you. The area is popular with students from local universities such as National Taiwan University.
It’s also a great place for budget shopping, especially at the Gongguan Night Market.
5. Jian Guo: The floral and mineral escape
The Jian Guo flower market and jade market are the perfect combo for a weekend. Between the scents of local flowers and the shine of jade jewelry, this place is unique!
Best Places to Stay in Taipei?
Taipei’s accommodation options are as diverse as the city itself.
From the luxury hotels in Xinyi District to the quaint and cozy inns in the historic Wanhua District, there’s a perfect spot for everyone. As for us, we decided to stay in Ximending, at the center of the action!
Here are our top 3 hotel recommendations in Taipei:
1. CitizenM Taipei North Gate (Mid-Range)
CitizenM Taipei North Gate is a contemporary, boutique-style hotel located right by Ximending and near Taipei Main Station. It’s really convenient. Plus the modern design and innovative approach to hospitality is perfect!
2. Hotel W (Luxury)
The W Hotel in Taipei is a luxury hotel with a chic, contemporary design and vibrant atmosphere. Located in the bustling Xinyi District, it has a direct view on the Taipei 101!
The hotel features stylish rooms with cutting-edge design, upscale dining options, and a renowned rooftop bar offering panoramic views of the city.
3. CityInn Hotel Plus – Ximending Branch (low budget)
This hotel is valued for its convenient location near Ximeninding, it’s affordable clean and has excellent reviews. It’s situated opposite a shopping mall, offering easy access to dining and shopping options.
How to Get Around in Taipei?
Getting around Taipei is convenient and efficient, thanks to its well-developed public transportation system and other modes of transport.
1. Taipei Metro (MRT)
The MRT is the backbone of Taipei’s public transportation. Covering the city with five color-coded lines, it connects major attractions and neighborhoods.
The metro operates from 6:00 am to midnight, making it a reliable option for both early and late activities. Fares range from NT$20 to NT$60, depending on the distance.
All announcements and signage are available in both Chinese and English.
Complementing the MRT, Taipei’s extensive bus network reaches areas that are less accessible by the metro. Buses are a cost-effective option, with most fares set at just NT$15. To be honest, we used the bus 90% of the time, simply check the itinerary on Google Maps. It’s super easy.
The hop-on-hop-off Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour is another great choice to visit Taipei, offering a convenient way to major attractions.
Yellow taxis are abundant throughout Taipei. They are a more expensive option, but still affordable by international standards. Uber is also available in Taipei and offers a convenient and familiar option for getting around, especially if you prefer a service with an app-based interface.
For a more active and scenic mode of transport, consider using YouBike, Taipei’s bike-sharing service. Stations are located near MRT stations and tourist spots, making it easy to pick up and drop off bikes across the city.
Another option is to walk. Many attractions are close to each other, and walking (although a bit more tiring) will make you see more of the city…
5. Transportation Cards & Passes
To simplify payment and potentially save on fares, consider getting an EasyCard or a Taipei Pass. The EasyCard is a contactless payment card used for public transportation and in participating shops.
It offers a 20% discount on single rides over regular tokens. The Taipei Pass provides unlimited rides on the MRT and city buses for a set number of days.
6. Join a Tour GroupKlook.com
Best Food to Try in Taipei
Taipei is full of amazing dishes and snacks! Here we listed our favorite ones during our trip to the city:
- Danzai Noodle: A snack-sized dish with braised minced pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, and cilantro, often served with wheat or rice flour noodles.
- Baby Eel Noodles: A Tainan-origin dish using fresh water Field Eel, paired with pre-fried Yi-mien noodles, available in dry and wet preparations.
- Hot Pot: A communal meal experience with a variety of broth options and ingredients like thinly sliced meats, seafood, and vegetables.
- Dumpling: the famous Xiao Long Bao from Din Tai Fung. Unmissable when in Taipei
- Grilled Squid: A savory street food item marinated in garlic and soy sauce before being grilled, often found at night markets.
- Scallion Pancakes: A popular street snack made from a batter of flour, oil, and sliced onions, fried to golden perfection. Yum! We love this one!
- Taiwanese Oyster Omelet: A combination of eggs, oysters, and vegetables, creating a savory omelet that’s a staple in Taiwanese night markets.
- Stinky Tofu: A fermented tofu dish known for its pungent aroma, often deep-fried and served with pickled cabbage and hot sauce. It tastes better than it smells! Trust us…
- Pineapple Cakes: A popular pastry with a flaky crust and pineapple jam filling, widely available in bakeries across Taipei.
- Bubble Tea & Jelly Drinks: Originating from Taiwan, these drinks feature tapioca balls or jelly in a variety of tea flavors.
Best Time to Visit Taipei
The best time to visit Taipei largely depends on your preferences for weather and activities, as well as your tolerance for crowds and heat. Generally Spring and Autumn are the best seasons to visit Taipei due to its cooler weather.
Summers in Taipei are hot and humid, with average temperatures between 27°C to 30°C, peaking in July. This season experiences significant rainfall, so waterproof clothing is essential.
Winters are the driest but coolest, with average temperatures around 16°C to 18°C. e Chinese New Year sometimes falls in late January or early February, which can be a festive yet busy time to visit.
Wrapping Up Our Trip to Taipei
Our trip to Taipei was an incredible blend of cultural discovery, culinary delight, and urban exploration.
Every corner of this city has a story, and we feel like we’ve just scratched the surface.
Taipei is not just a city; it’s a feeling, an experience that stays with you. We left with full hearts and a promise to ourselves to return. If you’re planning a trip to Taipei, get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
- 20 BEST THINGS TO DO IN XIMENDING, TAIPEI
- GUIDE TO VISIT TAIPEI 101
- DISCOVER THE CHARMS OF DIHUA STREET IN TAIPEI
- GUIDE TO LONGSHAN TEMPLE IN TAIPEI
- VISITING THE BEAUTIFUL BOPILIAO OLD STREET IN TAPEI
- GUIDE TO HUAXI STREET NIGHT MARKET
- VISITING CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL
- VISITING 228 MEMORIAL PARK IN TAIPEI
- DISCOVER FUJIN STREET – TAIPEI’S HIPSTER AREA
- SHILIN NIGHT MARKET IN TAIPEI + 10 BEST FOOD STALLS
- FULL TRAVEL GUIDE TO TAROKO GORGE