Is living in Taipei part of your plan as a digital nomad? You’re in luck! Taipei is my favorite city in Asia and I spent many months here on different occasions and at different times of my life. In this Taipei digital nomad guide, I will give you an insight on how I lived in Taipei including what I spent during my stint there.
???? Reader Mail: Hi Trisha! I just transitioned to remote work this year and I would like to take this opportunity to see the world and live in different places. First, thank you so much for all your content about being a digital nomad – it is really helping me with my transition.
I am going to Asia and my first stop is Taipei since there is a direct flight from Seattle. I’ve seen many Taiwan articles in your blog and I can see that you loved your time there. I was wondering if you can give me tips on being a Taipei digital nomad and/or if you can connect me to your friends there?
I appreciate your blog and I hope to meet you so I can buy you coffee. I really love your content!
– Wesley, Seattle, USA
Thanks for reading the blog and you are right – I love Taipei! I’ve cultivated many friendships there and I keep coming back because it’s affordable and a fun city to be in.
First thing’s first: you can have a comfortable month-to-month in Taipei with US$1,500. Eating out is cheap, there are so many things to do, and the Internet never fails! I found being a digital nomad in Taipei so easy and fun, especially if you are in your 30s.
In this Taipei digital nomad guide, I will tell you about all my experiences in my favorite city in Asia. I hope you decide to push through! Good luck!
???????? Taipei digital nomad at a glance
- Country: Taiwan
- Population: 2,700,000 people
- Currency: The currency in Taiwan is called the New Taiwan dollar (NTD). US$1 = NT$30.
- Weather: Taipei has 4 seasons but expect it to be more tropical weather with long months of rain and humidity during the summer.
- Internet Speed: The average Internet speed in Taipei is 24 Mbps.
- Power plug: Taiwan uses Type A (two flat parallel pins) and types B (two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin)
- Best neighborhood to live in: I always favor Xinyi but for digital nomads, you can check out Da’an and Nangang.
- Digital Nomad Insurance: I use SafetyWing and I only pay US$40 per month for travel insurance.
⁉️ Why live in Taipei?
The number one reason why I chose to be a Taipei digital nomad is that it is very affordable. Sure, rent can be more than US$1,000 but for the rest of the things that you need while living in Taipei, the costs are at a minimum. You can even have food for less than US$5!
Taipei has an upbeat young community so if you are a digital nomad in your 30s, you will surely meet like-minded individuals who are also working remotely. I’ve made so many Taiwanese friends in Taipei through Couchsurfing and we’re still friends up until today!
There are also many things to do in Taipei and most of them, you don’t even need to pay for. Taipei is a good base when exploring Taiwan as it has an efficient transport system. Taiwan is also a small country so if you are going to live here for 3 months, you will surely know Taiwan in and out.
Personally, what I loved the most about living in Taipei is the many choices of affordable eats. Taiwan prioritizes good dining and food is a big part of their culture so you’ll never run out of options. I feel like this is important to say because there are some cities in the world where I was not impressed with the restaurant scene.
???? Cost of living in Taipei
The currency in Taiwan is called the New Taiwan dollar (NTD). To translate that into US dollars, US$1 = NT$30. To have a better idea of the cost of living in Taipei, see the table below:
As observed in the table above, everything in Taipei is cheap except for rent. With the boom of digital nomads and expats looking into moving to Asia, rent has increased through the years but when I lived there between 2016-2018, I was still able to find housing for less than US$1,000, which is out of the Taipei center.
I have to be honest – even if grocery shopping in Taipei is super cheap, I did not cook in my apartment in Taipei. I probably only cooked once when my Taiwanese friends wanted to try a dish in my country but for the rest of my stay there, I always ate out.
Street food is less than US$5 and whenever I want to splurge on a weekend, I go on high-end tasting menus in the best restaurants in Taipei (and in the world) for US$130 (a 9-course meal).
If you like cooking and would like to save some bucks while living in Taipei as a digital nomad, supermarkets are your go-to. For only US$5, you can get 1 lb of boneless chicken breast. A kilo of vegetables (i.e. potatoes) ranges from US$3 – US$6 and a dozen eggs costs US$3.
Other things that I spent include cleaning help (US$13 per hour), haircut (US$25), massages (US$90), and a monthly gym membership of US$49.
Depending on your lifestyle, it is safe to say that you can live in Taipei for US$2,000 per month (if you are renting in the city center). If you choose other neighborhoods in Taipei, you can lessen your living expenses to US$1,200 per month.
Please bear in mind that I was a single woman when I was living in Taipei so as usual, things are always more expensive when you are living on your own. If you are sharing this with a partner and a family member, then that’s a different story but the exact same pricing range as above.
You might also like:
- The ultimate solo travel guide to Taipei
- Where to stay in Taipei: cheap to luxury accommodations
- 24 hours in Taipei: a realistic layover itinerary
- What to do in Taipei for 5 days: detailed itinerary
???? Living in Taipei as a digital nomad: the complete guide
Best months to live in Taipei
I would say that March & April and October & November are the best months to live in Taipei, especially if you only plan to stay here for one month. The rainy season is from November to March and you honestly don’t want to be in Taipei during these months – it will be hard to get around!
July and August are high seasons so you’d like to avoid that too because this is the time when prices are higher and long-term rent is harder to find. If you’d like to know what happens in Taipei month by month, read my article on the best time to visit Taipei.
Internet speed in Taipei
I never had problems with the Internet in Taipei. The connection is fast everywhere in the city so this was NEVER an issue for me as a Taipei digital nomad. The monthly Internet bill in my apartment was less than US$25 and some landlords will already include this bill in your rent.
The average Internet speed in Taipei is 24 Mbps, enough for me to do my work which is heavy on uploading and editing photos/videos. When I am uploading on Youtube, a 30-minute video is published within 10 minutes. The speeds are really great in Taipei and you don’t have to worry about work productivity.
Taipei sim card
If you will be living in Taipei for more than 30 days, I would highly encourage you to get a sim card. The best carrier in Taiwan is Chunghwa. They have better coverage in the whole country, especially if you are going to do hikes in remote and mountain areas.
T-Star is widely used by people who are living in Taipei City since it’s cheaper but I still prefer Chunghwa over T-Star. A weekly unlimited plan costs US$14 and I sometimes don’t even use all of this data plan since I work at home or in cafes.
Below are more prepaid plans for Chunghwa:
- 3 days unlimited plan: US$10
- 5, 7, and 10 days unlimited plan: US$17
- 15 days unlimited plan: US$23
- 30 days unlimited plan: US$33
There are Chunghwa kiosks in both Terminals 1 and 2 of Taipei International Airport so you can purchase a sim card right away upon arrival in Taipei.
Co-working spaces in Taipei
???? No. 119號, Section 1, Chongqing S Rd, Zhongzheng
???? from US$133 per month
???? +886 2 2382 0283
I’ve been so fond of The Hive because of their monthly community events. I am particularly drawn to the glass wall format of this co-working space: light is really important to me when looking for a coworking space!
It’s not as loud as other coworking spaces (except when there are events, of course). If you need to take a call without distractions, they have phone booths that you can use for a guaranteed quiet meeting with your clients.
I paid US$133 for a shared space but if you want your own office desk, the cost is around US$233 per month. Add another hundred dollars and you’ll get a private office at The Hive.
???? No.1, Yumen St, Zhongshan
???? from US$3 per hour
???? +886 2 2586 9363
I discovered Hun when an expat friend invited me for a yoga session at Hun’s terrace. I didn’t have any idea that it was a co-working space (I really thought it was just a yoga studio) and this place surprised me! It’s like a digital nomad building!
I like working at my apartment in Taipei so the first plan I tried at Hun was the US$3 per hour dedicated desk space. Unlike any other co-working spaces in Taipei, Hun stays open up to 9:00 PM so this is where I go when I have to take calls from North America at night.
???? 105, Taiwan, Taipei City, Songshan
???? from US$180 per month
???? +886 2 2719 8622
FutureWard has two branches in Taipei: one in Songshan (address above) and another one in Da’an, which is a digital nomad neighborhood. I’ve tried both but Songshan is much closer to where I worked. Although I must say I love the vibe of the people at the Da’an branch!
My favorite thing about FutureWard is that you can record clear audio by renting their quiet recording rooms. This is something I’ve never seen in any coworking space in the world. This is a great space for digital nomads who have their own podcasts!
???? 106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an
???? from US$380 per month
???? +886 2 2741 4242
Another hot coworking space in the Da’an neighborhood, I love Connect because of the young professionals that come here every day. There is so much to learn from these people and this is the only reason why I go to coworking spaces. I usually work at home but this is the place to connect when I choose to work outside.
Although I would always prefer standing tables, the good thing about Connect is that they have ergonomic chairs that give you comfort in your work. I’ve had back problems ever since I became a digital nomad so these chairs are a treat for me!
Taipei cafes for digital nomads
Wherever I am traveling and finding cafes to work in, I always feel observe the culture first.
In some countries, people don’t really go to work in a cafe to sit and work but in Taipei cafes, you will see many young professionals on their computers so I somehow did not feel out of place.
There are many Taipei cafes that have plugs, good food, and a comfortable table for working. When staying in Taipei cafes for more than 4 hours, make sure you order enough (at least 1 big meal and 2 drinks).
Below are my favorite cafes in Taipei where I always sit and work:
Yaboo Cafe (Da’an)
???? No. 26, Lane 41, Yongkang St, Da’an District
This is a cafe that is kind of a coworking space. There are big shared tables in a library format and all of the tables have sockets nearby – you don’t have to worry about moving to another table when your laptop runs out of battery.
They have a great coffee selection (from cold brew to tea) and the food is mostly sweet bread but there are savory plates, too!
Fika Fika Cafe (Zhongshan)
???? No. 33, Yitong St, Zhongshan
???? +886 2 2507 0633
Fika Fika Cafe is one of the smallest Taipei cafes but what I love about this is the outdoor area, the best area to work in when it’s not raining in Taipei. The coffee is really great and many young Taiwanese hang out here for a daily dose of their frappe.
Students also come here for group study so you will often see the large tables with a group of students in uniform. Although it is always full, I had no trouble with noise as everyone was doing their own thing.
Elsewhere Cafe (Zhongzheng)
???? No. 5號, Section 3, Chongqing S Rd, Zhongzheng
???? +886 2 3393 2018
Elsewhere Cafe has a great set-up: all the big wooden tables are in the middle of the room surrounded by bookshelves with hundreds of books on display. You can borrow the books while you are in the cafe but most importantly, since it has a library set-up, working here has been conducive for me.
Triangle Garden Cafe (Datong)
???? 103, Taiwan, Taipei City, Datong
???? +886 2 2556 1773
Triangle Garden Cafe reminds me of my time in Tbilisi, Georgia where there are different seating areas with unique sets of vintage tables and chairs. The working spaces are comfortable and this cafe has created a following among the young digital nomads of Datong because of the great working ambiance and their fantastic selection of food.
Expat and digital nomad communities in Taipei
Taipei is not only a digital nomad hub. There are also many expats and foreigners living here full-time. As a solo female traveler, I did not have a hard time meeting people in Taipei.
At first, I used Couchsurfing (CS) heavily to connect with other travelers. I felt like it was the proper channel to find like-minded individuals like me who is constantly hopping the globe. I honestly did connect with one person on CS and after that, this person connected me to all of his Taiwanese friends and I was able to be part of a community.
I also have a very close friend from home who is Taiwanese-Filipino. Her husband and she moved to Taipei so when I came, I knew someone instantly. Since they are a Taiwanese and American couple, their groups of peers are also very diverse so through them, I was able to meet other people living in Taipei.
For sure, if you don’t know anyone, the best way to connect is through existing groups on Facebook. Here are some groups that I recommend:
- Taipei Expats
- Foreigners in Taipei, Taiwan
- Taiwan Everything Group
- Expats in Taiwan
- Taipei Social Meet Up
- Taipei Parents
- Foreigners in Taiwan
Helpful apps to use in Taipei
Every country has their own app and in this section, I will share with you all the apps that will be helpful for traveling or living in Taipei:
- Fun Now: an app for booking restaurants, spa appointments, salon, food delivery, attraction tickets, and many more!
- Go Taipei Metro: for navigating the Taipei rail with ease. There are many train lines in Taipei and this is the best app to master them.
- Google maps: for navigation and finding your way from point A to B
- KKday: Kkday is a travel agency that is widely used not just in Taiwan but all over Southeast Asia.
- Line: this is Asia’s Whatsapp so if you live here, you must have this messaging app!
- Pleco: the best English to Chinese translation app used by expats
- Taiwan Guide With Me: use this app to customize your own trips within Taiwan. It uses filters to give you the best results so you can always plan your travels using this app.
- Taiwan Weather: the most accurate weather app that will tell you real-time weather anywhere in Taiwan
- Tour Taiwan: an app to find the best restaurants, things to do, and attractions in Taiwan.
- Travel Taipei: here, you will find all the latest events and festivals happening in the capital.
- YouBike: Taiwan is a bicycle/motorcycle country so this app will help you find the best monthly and weekly rentals for bicycles and motorbikes.
- Uber: best taxi app in Taipei
Finding housing in Taipei
While you can find housing online before moving to Taipei, it’s still best for you to check out places when you are already there. First, identify the neighborhood that you want to live in.
Personally, I feel like Da’an and Datong are great neighborhoods for digital nomads. Nangang is another up-and-coming neighborhood to check out where rent prices are relatively lower than in Taipei City center.
You can find housing in these neighborhoods for less than US$1,000 but please note that some apartments or condominiums in Taipei are really small. My best advice is to find a space that will fit your budget and don’t work at home while in Taipei. Add a co-working space to your monthly budget to ensure productivity and comfort.
Below are some websites that you can check out when looking for monthly rentals in Taipei:
- 591.com.tw: great for finding apartments in Taipei below US$1,000
- Craigslist Taipei: find long or short term rent and even condos for sale
- MyRoomAbroad.com: a great website for single people who are looking for a room below US$800. This is not just used in Taipei but all major cities in Asia.
- Taipei Apartment Rental Network: a website where you can find much more listings than any other websites
- Tealit: a great website not just for finding housing but also for finding local job boards in Taiwan
Taiwan digital nomad visa
At the moment, Taiwan does not offer a digital nomad visa but all visitors from all over the world are entitled to a 90-day stay, which makes it very convenient for digital nomads. You can exit every 90 days and come back without a problem. This is one of the easiest ways to renew your tourist visa in Taiwan.
If you plan to live in Taiwan for more than 3 months, you are required to apply for an ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) which you will have to do in your home country. This is unnecessary unless you are going to live in Taiwan permanently. The process is very tedious and super expensive.
Another option is to apply for a Taiwan Entrepreneur Visa. This is an easier option than the ARC. All you have to do is to prove that you have US$70,000 in the bank and can support yourself while living in Taiwan.
I always enter Taiwan with a normal tourist visa and I never had a problem going in and out. Please note that not all nationalities get 90 days visa when entering Taiwan so better check before you leave. Some citizens are only given 14 days (i.e. Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines).
✈️ Ready for your trip to Taipei? This blog thrives on reader questions so feel free to ask questions about living in Taipei or Taipei digital nomad lifestyle by using the comment box below. You can also sign up for 1-on-1 coaching with me if you need more help!