Planning to travel to Taipei Taiwan? This is my favorite country in Asia and I come here a lot because of the unique food choices! Here are my experiences in Taipei, including hitchhiking all over Taiwan. Yes, this is one of the safest countries in Asia!
📬 Reader mail: Hello Trisha! Thank you for all your content about solo travel. As a woman who love to travel, your blog serves as my bible to go out in the world!
By the way, I first followed you 10 years ago when you were doing your study abroad program in Italy. A friend passed your blog to me and I got instantly hooked!
I am leaving Canada for the first time – I don’t know if you heard what’s happening here these days but anyway…
I would like to ask for some advice on solo travel to Taipei Taiwan. I saw your Instagram stories in Taiwan and it looked like you had a lot of fun there.
I am looking forward to hearing more from you. I am really excited for this trip and I hope you can help!
-Charlene Bronstein, Canada
Thank you so much for reading the blog! You are right – Taipei is one of my favorite countries in Asia! I always visit here and it is super safe. I actually made a lot of Taiwanese friends through Couchsurfing. I really feel safe to travel to Taipei Taiwan solo.
I got super excited when I received your mail so I got into writing the post right away! I will be back in Asia this year (after 4 years of living in Mexico) to visit friends and family. If we have the same travel schedule, I would like for you to join me in Taipei.
If not, I hope this Taipei travel guide will still help you plan your trip. Good luck and let me know if you have more questions!
☕ Support this blog’s honest and transparent journalism. Help us add value to what we are sharing. Keep P.S. I’m On My Way free for all by donating to our coffee fund.
🇹🇼 Taipei travel at a glance
- Currency: The currency in Taiwan is called the new Taiwan dollar (NT$). US$1 = NT$30. I will explain what you can buy with this amount later but to tell you the truth, Taiwan is an affordable country to travel to!
- Power plug: Taiwan uses Type A (two flat parallel pins) and types B (two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin)
- Visa: Americans, Canadians, Australians, British, and most European citizens don’t need a visa to enter Taiwan if you are only visiting for less than 90 days. You will automatically get 90 days upon entry to Taipei and this cannot be extended.
- Language: The language in Taiwan is Mandarin. Most young people can speak English including people who work in the tourism industry but many establishments have staff who can’t communicate in English well. But don’t worry, you will go by! The Taiwanese are very warm people and they will try their best to respond to you, even if their English is incomplete.
- Transportation: Taiwan is a small country with buses, trains, and domestic flights. The train is my favorite mode of transport (I once did it from Taipei all the way to the south of Dulan). I will put all your transportation options in the getting around section of this article.
- Wifi/Internet in Taipei: Taipei is first-world and modern when it comes to Internet speed. You will never have to worry about Internet connection when in Taipei.
- Taiwan sim card: T-Star is a good network provider in Taiwan, especially for those who are staying in Taiwan for long periods of time. A 1-week unlimited plan costs US$14. Chunghwa Telecom is recommended to those who will go to remote areas of Taiwan but if you are just visiting Taipei, buy T-Star upon arrival at the airport.
- Suggested travel duration: Honestly, 3-5 days in Taipei is already a good number of days. You will be able to cover all the best things to do in Taipei within this time frame.
Is Taipei worth visiting?
ABSOLUTELY! Personally, I love to travel to Taipei regularly because of the food. Taiwan has many dishes that you won’t find in any other Asian country.
I need to put more emphasis on this since I love traveling for food. Later on, I will share with you all the Taipei restaurants and street food stands that I discovered on every trip!
If you are not a fan of food, there are many interesting things to do in Taipei. Remember that Taipei is a big city with rich and diverse cultures – whatever type of traveler you are, you will always find something for you when you visit Taipei.
I know most of my stuff on this blog is about solo travel but if you are traveling with friends or family, this Taipei travel guide will also be helpful!
Is it safe to travel to Taipei Taiwan?
DEFINITELY! Taipei is one of the cities in the world with a low crime rate. My parents let me travel to Taiwan very young (18) and I never heard any bad news from friends and family before visiting.
Because of my Asian heritage, I am definitely more comfortable being in this country as they don’t look at me differently.
My American friends who live in Taipei also don’t get a lot of attention from being a foreigner. Taiwan is used to tourists and foreign visitors so you will enjoy your visit without worrying about getting attention.
Still, like anywhere else, be mindful about your belongings as petty theft still happens in Taiwan. I travel with a lot of camera gear and I never felt worried about carrying them around or taking pictures in public. This, I won’t do in places like Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
You might also like:
- Where to stay in Taipei: luxury to affordable accommodations
- What I’ve seen and done in Taiwan for 14 days
- 20 top destinations to visit in Asia
✈️ Planning your vacation in Taipei
Best time to visit Taipei Taiwan
July to August is summer in Taiwan, which also marks the high season. At this time of the year, Taipei is hot and can reach temperatures up to 30°C (86°F). This is the best time to visit nearby beaches like Shalun Beach, Baishawan Beach, Wanli, Fulong, and Wai Ao.
Expect the beach areas to be crowded during these months because Taipei is really hot in July and August. However, the temperatures cool down in the evenings and the city is more alive at night during the summer. There are many parties here even during mid-week!
The best time to visit Taipei for me is during the low season, from November to March. The weather is way cooler and you’ll enjoy walking (or cycling) around Taipei without sweating and feeling sticky. During these months, temperatures are mild (around 13-18°C or 55-64°F).
March, April, October, and November are shoulder seasons. This is Spring time in Taipei and you can experience great weather (19°C / 66°F). Prices are also lower than usual.
To have an idea about events, celebrations, and holidays in Taipei, I listed them below (month by month):
- January: Lunar New Year Festival, Lantern Festival, and strawberry season
- February: Lohas Cherry Blossom Festival and Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
- March: Tour de Taiwan, Zhuzihu Calla Lily, and Hydrangea Festival
- April: Urban Nomad Film Fest, Creative Expo Taiwan, Baosheng Cultural Festival, and Treasure Hill Light Festival
- May: Ki Kou Festival, Taipei Traditional Market Festival, and Xia-Hai City God Cultural Festival
- June: International Dragon Boat Championships & Festival and Taipei Film Festival
- July: Taipei Arts Festival, Taipei Water Festival, Taipei Arts Festival, and Valentine’s Day (Chinese calendar)
- August: Taipei International Fine Wine Expo, Taipei Music Academic Festival, and Toucheng Ghost Grappling Competition
- September: Mid-Autumn Festival
- October: LGBTQ Pride parade and Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival
- November: Taipei Jazz Festival
- December: Christmas celebrations and holidays
What to pack for Taipei
If you’re visiting during the high seasons of summer (July to August, up to 30°C/86°F), it is going to be hot and humid so make sure to pack the following:
- Swimsuits, if you plan to visit the beaches of Taipei
- Linen pants are great for chilly summer evenings
- Sturdy and fashionable sandals which you can wear in casual dinners and outdoor adventures as well
- Shorts!!! Lots of it. You won’t probably need pants when you visit Taipei during the summer
- Bring a hat to protect you from the scorching heat
- Pack a foldable raincoat since it can still rain at the beginning of July
November to March is cool but can get really cold at night (13-18°C or 55-64°F) so make sure to bring a jacket. Winter in Taipei is not really that cold, especially if you are used to the harsh winters of Europe and North America.
As for the shoulder seasons of March, April, October, and November, make sure to pack Spring clothing. The people of Taipei are very fashionable so be creative and toss some city clothing in your suitcase.
The city of Taipei is paved so suitcases can easily roll (even the big ones)! There is a locker station in the Taipei International Airport should you need to leave your suitcase while going around the city.
Travel to Taipei from the US, Canada, Europe, etc
The airport that serves Taipei is Taoyuan International Airport. Thankfully, it is very easy to go to Taipei from North America. Almost all major cities in the US and Canada have direct flights to Taiwan.
Below are some route suggestions from the USA and Canada. The airline that operates these direct flights is Eva Air.
- Chicago: 14h 40m
- Los Angeles, CA: 13h 20m
- New York City, NY: 15h 50m
- San Francisco, CA: 12h 40m (aside from Eva Air, United Airlines and China Airlines also have direct flights from SFO
- Seattle, WA: 12h
- Toronto, Canada: 15h via Air Canada
- Vancouver, Canada: 11h 40 min via Air Canada
From Europe, the best route is via Amsterdam and London. The airline that operates this route is China Airlines and right now, the rates are less than US$1,200.
There are no direct flights from Madrid and you will have to stop in another Asian country like Hong Kong (via Cathay Pacific). Flights from Madrid to Taipei can also fly through Dubai (via Emirates). Eva Air flies from Paris to Taipei direct for 13 hours.
Australian travelers can easily fly direct through Taipei but those who are flying from Adelaide has a 1.5 hours layover in Melbourne. See more info below:
- Adelaide: via Qantas with a layover in Melbourne (12h)
- Melbourne: via China Airlines and Qantas (9h, non-stop)
- Perth: via Scoot or Singapore Airlines with a layover in Singapore (14h)
- Sydney: via Qantas and China Airlines (10h, non-stop)
Taiwan entry requirements
Taiwan started easing border controls and entry requirements on June 15, 2022. As of today, Taiwan is increasing its foreign visitors limit to make up for the loss during COVID-19. In order to travel to Taipei Taiwan, you must have a negative PCR test valid for 48 hours.
Taiwan still wears masks but Asian countries have always had the practice of wearing masks even before COVID. Since travel entry requirements always change, I will update this post as soon as I hear from the ministry of tourism of Taiwan.
🧳 A friendly reminder: Do not travel to Taipei Taiwan without insurance that covers COVID-19! As a digital nomad and remote worker, I only pay US$40 for my travel insurance. Check out SafetyWing and see what travel insurance plans will work for you!
Arrival in Taipei
How to get to Taipei center from Taipei International Airport
The cheapest way to get to Taipei from the airport is by bus. The ride is 1 hour and the fare price is from US$3- US$6. Kuo-Kuang Bus leaves every 20 minutes while Citi Air Bus departs hourly. You can search for routes and reserve your Taipei Airport bus tickets at Taiwan Bus.
The second cheapest option is by train and it only takes 35 minutes. This is my preferred transportation from the airport to the center because the trains in Taipei are very comfortable!
The train departs every 20 minutes and costs US$5 via Taoyuan Metro. You don’t have to buy tickets in advance – you can purchase them as soon as you land.
The taxi from Taipei Airport starts at US$55 and the ride is the same duration as the train. This mode of transport will take you door-to-door to your hotel.
Lastly, you can rent a car at Taipei Airport for US$35 per day. This is ideal if you want to drive the whole country from Taiwan. Driving in Taiwan is super safe and the road layout is very friendly to foreigners. Some even do a bike trip in the whole country!
Taipei map: understanding the layout
Taipei has a land area of 271.8 km². Getting around Taipei is easy because of its very modern transportation system. There are bus and train lines for all neighborhoods in Taipei.
As a first-timer, I am sure you will stay in the city center but just in case, these are the neighborhoods in Taipei that you should know about.
You can click on the links to see their exact location from the airport or tourist attraction.
- Beitou: Taipei’s northernmost neighborhood, best neighborhood for outdoor adventures
- Dadaocheng: Taipei’s oldest neighborhood, best for old architecture in Taiwan
- Da’an: green spaces and big parks
- Songshan: a commercial district and popular with tourists because it’s close to the airport. I stay here all the time and this is probably my most favorite in all the Taiwan neighborhoods
- Tamsui: mountains and rivers
- Xinyi Commercial District: shopping area and business district in Taipei
💰 Taipei travel cost
Luckily, there are many free things to do in Taipei (will discuss that later) but for now, let’s talk about your Taipei travel budget. The currency in Taiwan is called the new Taiwan dollar (NT$). US$1 = NT$30.
To understand this conversion, below are some of the basic prices in USD:
- Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district: US$6
- Combo meal in fast food restaurant: US$4.50
- 1 cocktail drink in a downtown club: US$15
- 1 beer in neighborhood pub (500ml or 1pt.): US$6
- Cappuccino in a specialty coffee shop: US$5
- 1 package of Marlboro cigarettes: US$4
💵 Taiwan currency 101: The Taiwanese dollar notes are in 100, 500, and 1,000 NT$ (US$3 US$17, and US$32), while the coins are in amounts of 1, 5, 10, and 50 NT$ (US$0.003, US$0.17, and US$2).
A hostel in Taipei (center) starts at US$12 per night for a bed in a dorm. These are very clean (but really small) and are the best accommodation option for solo travelers. I always use Hostelworld when booking my hostels in Taipei. You will only pay 12% to confirm your reservation!
There are many boutique hotels in Taipei for as low as US$35. Both Airbnb and Vrbo in Taipei are popular accommodation booking platforms. There are more than 300 properties in Taipei and the price is the same as staying in a hotel. Most apartments in Taipei that I stayed in are small but very comfortable.
Food in Taipei is very cheap. Taipei has a big street food culture and some of these street food carts have Michelin stars. Although there are many good restaurants in Taipei, you should highly focus on traditional Taiwanese street food because they are one of a kind – I honestly have not seen anything similar in the world!
You can definitely eat in Taipei for less than US$3 per meal. Continue browsing on this article because I will be sharing my crazy food map in Taipei that is categorized by area and dishes!
As for things to do, expect to pay for activities starting at US$15 (depending on the activity/tour, of course). The good thing is I am going to share with you some free things to do in Taipei in this article so keep reading because you’ll love all these activities!
If I am not visiting Taipei on assignment, I usually use Viator or GetYourGuide to book activities in Taipei.
ATMs, USD exchange, etc
Money exchange in Taipei
Taiwan does not accept US dollars so the best way to exchange USD is upon arrival at the airport. However, in the many times that I traveled to Taipei, I discovered some banks and money exchange houses in the city center that offer better rates. Below are the best banks for money exchange in Taipei:
- Taipei Fubon Bank
- Taiwan Business Bank
- Taiwan Cooperative Bank
All these are major banks in Taipei and you can find at least one branch in every neighborhood. As for money exchange houses, please see below:
- Breeze: department store in Taipei with over 8 branches
- Pacific Sogo: this is a department store but they will take your USD or NTD. They have many branches all over Taipei
- Shin Kong Mitsukoshi: another department store in Taipei with 5 branches all over the city
- Taipei 101: the customer service booth at Taipei 101 also accepts currency exchange. This is the most popular tourist attraction in Taiwan so you’ll probably visit this at one point!
I use both my Bank of America and Wise card when traveling to Taipei. At Taiwan Cooperative Bank, I did not get charged a withdrawal fee as opposed to other banks that will charge at least US$4 per transaction.
However, note that the withdrawal fees in Taiwan will depend on your bank from home. There is no guarantee that you won’t get charged for every ATM withdrawal.
Fubon Bank did charge me a 1% withdrawal fee. Refer to the list of banks above to see what will work best with your ATM/bank from home.
Credit cards are widely accepted in most restaurants and establishments in Taiwan. However, you still need cash for street food and other small-scale businesses.
The most accepted credit card in Taiwan is Visa and Mastercard. You can use it everywhere without a problem. I tried to use my Amex card (just to see where it works) and it did work in many establishments as well, but not all.
Tipping in Taipei
Tipping is not expected in Taipei but is always highly appreciated. Some locals won’t really understand what a tip is and won’t accept. When tipping, say “xie xie” (she she) which means “thank you” and they will understand that the tip is meant for them.
🛏️ Taipei hotels and accommodations
Before booking your Taipei hotels and accommodations, familiarize yourself with the areas first. In the first part of this article, I gave you a brief background of all the Taipei neighborhoods on a larger scale.
But on a smaller scale, let’s look at all the places where it is accessible to tourists. I am sure you all want to have a local experience in Taipei and stay in less-touristy places but always take into consideration how far you will be from the important landmarks and tours.
I would recommend staying in Xinyi and Zhongshan neighborhoods which are the big city center of Taipei. Shilin and Da’an areas are close to all the tourist spots while Ximending is the new neighborhood trend for pop culture.
Hotels in Beitou neighborhood are more expensive than those of the city because Beitou has great luxury hotels and resorts with mountain views.
Best hotels in Taipei
- Taipei Garden Hotel (Ximending): premier double room for US$95
- The Grand Hotel (Zhongshan): deluxe twin room for US$145. This hotel has a pool
- The Howard Plaza Hotel (Da’an): superior double room starts at US$102
- Hotel Eclat (Da’an): grand deluxe King room for US$112
- Hotel Royal (Beitou): deluxe room with free breakfast for US$202
- The Landis (Zhongshan): superior double room for US$132
- Regent Taipei (Zhongshan): deluxe King room for US$195
- The Gaia Hotel (Beitou): luxury hotel room for US$332
Top-rated hostels in Taipei
Please note that the prices below do not include private rooms but only a hostel bed in a shared dorm. Hostels in Taipei usually have 4, 6, 8, and 12 beds in a dorm.
- Meander Hostel (Ximending): from US$20
- Star Hostel (Taipei Main Station): from US$25
- NK Hostel (Taipei Main Station): from US$30
- Dan Hostel: from US$26
- Taipei 109 Hostel: from US$25
- Star Hostel Taipei East: from US$29
- Taiwan Youth Hostel: from US$33
- Corner Hostel and Cafe: from US$35
- Taipei Discover Hostel: from US$24
- Old Door Hostel and Bar: from US$28
🏙️ Things to do in Taipei
Taipei must visit
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-shek was a military leader in China during the Nanjing decade. This Memorial Hall has 89 steps at the entrance, which was Chiang’s age when he died.
The courtyard of this Memorial Hall is really beautiful with neoclassic style and blue-roofed halls. The Memorial Hall is open daily from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM while the Memorial Park is open until 12 midnight.
Dihua Street is a historical site located in Datong District. Walk around and learn about Chinese medicine, buy fabrics, shop for Chinese tea, and many more! This is currently a hangout for young Taiwanese people as cafes, restaurants, antique shops, and art galleries have opened here.
It is best time to come here for the Lunar New Year Bazaar as you will see a lot of local life. This is Taiwan’s favorite holiday shopping center (during the season) so expect big crowds.
This Buddhist temple is Taipei’s most-visited religious site. 6:00 AM, 8:00 AM, and 5:00 PM are worship times so try to visit at these hours to see (and participate) in chanting. They allow visitors even if there are tourists around but this place can get packed!
This temple is open from 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM every day of the week. After going around the temple, you can go to the markets nearby (west of the temple) such as Guangzhou Night Market and Huaxi Night Market where you can try Taipei’s famous snake soup.
🚉 Getting there tips: Feeling adventurous? You can take the train to Longshan Temple. It is just one block from Wanhua Station in Taipei. If you’re taking the MRT, go for the blue line. The station’s name is the same as the temple.
National Palace Museum
See the finest Chinese art collections from multiple dynasties at the National Palace Museum. Here, you will learn about the rich culture of Taiwan and see paintings, ceramics, really old books, and many other things from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
The National Palace Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The entrance fee is NT$350 (US$12). Admission is free for students (17 and below) and senior citizens.
This is usually part of the Taipei City visit tour and you can book a combo tour here for US$52.
Taipei 101 is part of the Taipei must visit attractions because it is very iconic to the city. It is the 5th tallest building in the world (101 stories) and has great views of the city. It is also known as the financial center of Taipei.
The observation decks are on the 88th and 89th floors. There is an outdoor deck on the 91st floor that is open when the weather permits. They will tell you if it’s possible to access it when you buy the tickets at the reception.
The first 5 floors are malls and shopping centers while the food court is located o the basement. For spectacular views of Taipei 101 (that’s not inside the building), hike Elephant Mountain or have drinks at Zhang Men, a popular place for craft beers.
Taipei tourist attractions
Museums in Taipei
Museum-lovers, there are over 50 museums in Taipei to visit. Each museum has different displays, exhibitions, and galleries for you to see during your visit. I won’t include all the Taipei museums in this post but here are the top ones you shouldn’t skip:
- Ama Museum: a heritage house where you can learn about Taiwan’s comfort women
- Beitou Hot Spring Museum: a replica of the Shizuokaken Idouyama bathhouses in Japan
- Miniatures Museum of Taiwan: mini doll houses, palaces, chalets, castles, etc. This is my favorite in Taipei!
- National Human Rights Museum: a former jail/prison for political prisoners
- National 2-28 Museum: a space that commemorates the February 28 incident in Taiwan
Religious temples in Taipei
Buddhism came to Taiwan during the Dutch colonization (1624-1663). Although the Dutch were against it, it continued to grow in the provinces of Taiwan. The top Buddhist and Taoist temples to visit in Taipei are:
- Bao’an Temple: best temple to see traditional Chinese art and performance arts. The folk arts festival takes place here from April to June
- Guandu Temple: Taipei’s oldest temple built on the side of the mountain
- Qingshan Temple: wood and stone artwork, pottery, and mosaic
- Tianhou Temple: Japanese and Chinese worship practices
- Yinshan Temple: constructed by Hakka immigrants
Historial sites in Taipei
Taiwan is not China and they have its own cultures, customs, and history. In order to understand the evolution of Taiwan, below are some historical sites to visit:
- Kishuan Forest of Literature: a small lodge built in 1917 where you will learn about Taiwan’s literature
- Lin Antai Historic House: Taipei’s oldest residential building that has 30 rooms
- Oxford College: the first Western University in Taipei and is the best place to get to know the education system of Taiwan.
- Presidential Office Building: Taiwanese presidents housing since 1949
- Zhongshan Hall: this is where the Japanese surrendered in 1945. Chiang Kai-shek also made many public speeches in this hall
Taipei has many night markets and this is my favorite spot to have cheap and good food. Aside from food, these markets also sell souvenirs, antique stuff, and many other things that you can take home as a remembrance of your trip.
Below are the markets I always visit when in Taipei:
- Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop: handmade lamps and paper lanterns
- Jianguo Weekend Holiday Jade Market: jade, pearls, copper, bonsai. They also have a weekend flower market where you’ll find extraordinary bonsai plants
- Dongmen Market: a fruit and vegetable market where locals go
- Shilin Night Market: the largest and most popular night market in Taiwan
- Tonghua Night Market: the liveliest night market in Taipei and is a local favorite
- Yongle Market: this is a fabric market, for silk, cotton, animal prints, bold colors, etc
- Wufenpu: street fashion market where you can buy clothing and accessories
Taipei food tour (walking)
👉🏽 Check prices
You will visit 10 different street food stalls and restaurants in this Taipei food tour. A Taiwanese local guide will walk you around the local spots where you can try world-renowned Taiwanese dishes that you probably didn’t hear of before.
This walking food tour highly focuses on the busy Zhongzheng neighborhood and you’ll also get to visit Dongmen Market. The eating and walking will last for 3 hours and starts at US$44 per person.
Explore Taipei on a private car charter
👉🏽 Check prices
For those who are traveling in bigger groups and want the comfort of a private car charter, you can hire one for your group for US$55 but the price varies per group size.
The car charter will take you to places that you are only interested in and you can give the driver your points of interest to see how the day is going to work. This usually lasts for 8 hours.
Feel free to check the itineraries and things to do that I have on this list so you can customize your own. Otherwise, you can get in touch with me and we can plan your Taipei itinerary together.
Shilin Market walking tour
👉🏽 Check prices
If you can only choose one market to visit in Taipei, Shilin Night Market is the biggest and most lively market in all of Taiwan! This tour will last 2 hours and the guide will take you to shopping spots, specialty street food, and souvenir shopping.
Best of Taipei tour
👉🏽 Check prices
This is ideal for those who don’t want to think about coming up with an itinerary for your Taipei tour. For only US$48, you will get a 3-hour tour of the city covering important landmarks, markets, and everything you need to see while in the city.
Day trips from Taipei
Taroko National Park
👉🏽 Check prices
Taroko is the largest national park in Taiwan which is 3 hours away from Taipei. It is close to Hualien so you may want to check out this city as well.
Since I visited Hualien separately, I did not do this day trip from Taipei. I rented a motorbike when I was already in Hualien instead.
There are many things to do in Taroko like hiking. The most popular hikes are the Shakadang trail, the Yanzihkou Trail (Swallow Grotto), Tianxiang Scenic Area, Cihmu Bridge, Tunnel of 9 Turns Trail, Eternal Spring Shrine, and the Chishingtan Scenic Area.
This is a full-day trip from Taipei (12 hours approx) and starts at US$100 for an all-inclusive tour.
Jiufen, Yehliu Geopark, and Shifen
👉🏽 Check prices
Located in the northern part of Taiwan, the Jiufen, Yehliu, and Shifen are one of the best day trips from Taipei. If you can only do one day trip for your trip to Taipei, this is the one to choose as I feel like this is the most important.
These three places are less than an hour from Taipei so it’s very easy to combine them as a day trip. This tour lasts for 9 hours and costs US$35 per person.
Jinguashi, Jiufen, and Pingxi
👉🏽 Check prices
This tour starts at Jinguashi 13 Ruins which used to be a gold smelter plant during the Japanese occupation. Then you will visit Shifen Old Street, an old railroad town.
In this town, there is a tradition to write your wishes on a flying lantern and release it afterward. They believe that sending these lanterns to the heavens will make your wish come true.
Just a few minutes’ walk from Old Street is the spectacular Shifen Waterfall, another most visited site in Taipei.
Hike Quixing Mountain
👉🏽 Check prices
Quixing Mountain is one of Taiwan’s highest peaks. This day trip from Taiwan is best for those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of city life. This is a relatively moderate hike and all levels are welcome.
The highlight of this day trip is the views of the 7-star summit and of course, the two peaks of the Quixing Mountains. The tour lasts for 8 hours and costs US$85.
🍲 Taipei Restaurants
If you’re reading this blog for a while now, you will know how much I love exploring food. From my career as a food journalist in Hong Kong, I was sent on assignments to Taipei and have discovered many restaurants and street food stalls that you should go to.
Of course, you won’t be able to visit them all but below are my favorite Taipei restaurants by category:
Best Taiwanese restaurants
- Shuang Yue Food: glutinous oil rice and signature chicken soup
- Wulao Xinsheng Store: best place for hot pot
- Cheng Wei Zhen: best noodles
- Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice: braised pork rice is a traditional Taiwanese dish and this is one of the best places to have it!
- 22:02 Hotpot Lohas: another great option for hot pot
- Ji Xian Guo Wu: best shabu shabu
In Chinese, Hakka means “guest families” and is a subgroup of people of Han Chinese. They have their own culture and their cuisine is very popular throughout Taiwan. This is a type of Taiwanese food that you shouldn’t miss!
- Bulao Hakka Traditional Mochi
- May Snow Hakka Food
- Blossom Restaurant
In Taipei, aboriginal cuisine means indigenous food and they are very unique! Bamboo-tube rice, roasted boar, and millet liquor are some of the most popular dishes that you won’t see in any other country in Asia.
Below is a list of good places to try aboriginal cuisine. As these restaurants don’t have English names, I added the location below:
- 木珍園小吃店: No. 33-5號, Yangming Creek Walkway, Beitou
- 泰源幽谷 獼米快餐車: No. 98, Xining N Rd, Datong
- 愛哈拉酒食屋: No. 1, Section 5, Civic Blvd, Songshan
Asian restaurants in Taipei
Historically, Taiwan used to be under Japanese rule so you can expect many Japanese restaurants that are good when you are in Taipei. Below are some of my recommendations:
- Da-Wan Yakiniku: best Japanese bbq
- Gugugulu Hot Pot: best Korean hotpot
- Thaï.J 台北店: best Thai restaurant in Taipei
- PhoFun 樂越: best Vietnamese restaurant in Taipei
American food in Taipei
Taipei also has a few American restaurants for picky eaters who want to taste food from home. Below are some of my recommendations for American food that I’ve tried in Taipei:
- 歐華酒店-地中海牛排館: best steak restaurant in Taipei
- Stan and Cat: best American burgers in Taipei
- Gumgum Beer and Weeks: best American pub food
- Smith & Wollensky: serves all types of American food
- AK12: American light snacks
- Le Blanc: best fine dining
Taiwan has deeply rooted cultures when it comes to food but many people also enjoy the availability of Western cuisines like Italian, Spanish, French, etc. Below are my recommendations:
- Bagel Bagel Cafe Bar: English tea and coffee shop
- Milano Pizzeria: best Italian pizza
- Le Ruban Pâtisserie: best French restaurant
- Waiting Bistro: best Spanish restaurant
- Teotihuacán: best Mexican restaurant
World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
I’ve been following (and eating) in the list of the 50 World’s Best Restaurants for every city I visit. Taipei has many of them but since this is a fine dining experience, you need to reserve in these Taipei restaurants at least a month before your trip.
- Adachi: umaki and sushi
- Din Tai Fung: best xiao long bao joint
- Impromptu: experimental cuisine by Paul Lee
- Le Palais: Chinese cuisine
- Logy: Asian food
- Mume: Taiwanese and Nordic fusion
- Raw: Taiwanese fine dining
- Shoun Ryugin: Taiwanese kaiseki
- Sushi Amamoto: best Japanese omakase
- Taïrroir: nature-inspired Taiwanese food
- Yage: Cantonese food
🍸 Taipei Nightlife
As a young traveler, I really loved visiting Taipei because of its vibrant nightlife. I’ve met so many friends traveling solo here and they always have this culture of going out for drinks even on a weekday.
The bars in Taipei are hip, modern, and very young. Taipei is also a city that doesn’t sleep and you will enjoy the nightlife better if you know some locals to hang out with.
I can definitely introduce you to some friends in Taipei – just get in touch with me! Here are the best bars in Taipei that I recommend.
Best craft beer in Taipei
- 58 Bar: try more than 100 varieties of craft beer here
- Crafted: best for tasting Taiwanese brews
- Driftwood: a tiki bar in Ximending
- Funky Fresh Bar: located in Shilin Night Market
- Zhang Men: you can see views of Taipei 101 from here
Taipei bars to check out
- 333: fancy hotel bar designed by Ray Chen
- Another Brick: best Belgian bar
- Frank: upscale rooftop bar
- Prost Bar: best bar by the river
- SpeakEasy Bar: Irish bar in Taipei
- Woobar: located inside the W hotel
Best clubs in Taipei
- 1001 Nights Hookah Bar Lounge: best club for dancing
- Triangle: best for young people, always flocked by Taiwanese students
- Wave Club: all-you-can-drink bar included in the door charge
World’s 50 Best Bars list
The World’s 50 Best doesn’t only do the best restaurants in the world but they also rank the best bars! Here are the fancy bars that made it to the list:
- Aha Saloon: best retro bar
- Bar Mood: best cocktails
- Bar Otani: Japanese speakeasy
- Closet: creative cocktails
- Draft Land: cocktails on tap
- Hideout: dive bar
- Indulge Experimental Bistro: tea and liqueur mixology
- Inge’s Bar: best terrace bar in Taipei
- R&D Cocktail Club: custom-made cocktails
- Staff Only Club: members-only bar
✨ Taipei travel tips
Purchase an EasyCard
EasyCard is the best way to go around Taipei with the metro/MRT and busses. The trains in Taipei are efficient, clean, safe, and affordable. A one-way ride with an EasyCard costs US$0.70 while the one-way bus fare is US$0.50.
You can avail for a daily, weekly, or monthly pass depending on how many days you will stay in Taipei.
Rent a bicycle with YouBike
Taiwan is definitely a bicycle country and their YouBike system is free for the first 30 minutes! After that, you will have to pay US$0.17 per hour.
To use the YouBike, all you have to do is to register your EasyCard with a local phone number, which absolutely means you have to get a sim card when you travel to Taipei Taiwan.
If you read the sim card section of this article, the best mobile provider that I always use in Taiwan is T-star (for bigger and better coverage all over the country).
There is luggage storage at the Taipei airport
Hotels will always have luggage storage but I prefer to store my stuff at the airport to avoid traveling around buses and trains with it. Below are the locations of the lockers in Taipei:
- Taoyuan Airport (Taipei International Airport): located in terminals 1 and 2 and is open 24/7 (from US$7 – US$17)
- HSR station lockers: open from 5:00 AM to midnight (from US$1 for every 3 hours)
- Train stations: all 100 train stations in Taipei have lockers open from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM (from US$1 – US$2.50)
- Lalalocker: a new locker app in Asia where you can find all storage stations near you
Visit Taipei during the Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year is Taipei’s Chinese New Year and is the most colorful event of the year. There will be dragon parades, and parties and the city will be very active.
At this time of the year, expats and foreigners who live in Taipei go on vacation but many tourists travel to Taipei Taiwan for this historical and once-a-year event.
This usually starts at the end of January (23-ish) and lasts for a week. January is also a good time to visit Taipei because of the cool weather.
Get into a volunteering program
For those who want to stay in Taipei for an indefinite time, you can apply for volunteer work in exchange for food, accommodation, and a daily allowance.
This is best for solo travelers who want to get to know the culture, stay with a local family, work in a local community, etc. I use Worldpackers to get opportunities like this. You can use my code PSIMONMYWAY10 for a 10% discount for a 1-year membership.
Uber does not work in Taipei
Uber used to work in Taipei until the Asian taxi app Grab bought them. Grab operates in many major cities, especially in Southeast Asia.
In Taipei, they even have the Grab Bike where you can order a motorcycle ride. Make sure to download the Grab app before you land – it will help you a lot during your trip!
Layover in Taipei: can you go out?
Many flights from the US, Canada, and Europe have layovers in Taipei for more than 20 hours. Instead of staying in the airport, you can explore the city by signing up for a layover Taipei tour for only US$62.
Depending on your nationality, immigration in Taipei will allow you to go out if your citizenship/passport is visa-free to enter Taipei. Just let them know that you have a 24-hour layover in Taipei and they will stamp your passport.
✈️ Ready for your trip to Taipei? This blog thrives on reader questions so feel free to ask questions about Taipei travel by using the comment box below. You can also sign up for 1-on-1 coaching with me if you need more help!
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