Planning a trip to Taipei anytime soon? Here is the list of the things you can consider to do in Taipei.
Taipei 101 has placed an international spotlight on Taipei in the eyes of the world with this magnificent building which was once the world’s tallest building. Designed like a bamboo with eight sections of eight floors, the bamboo represents growth and the eights represent double prosperity. Embrace the 360 degrees view of the city by taking the fastest elevator to 89th floor. Taipei 101 also has the world’s biggest wind damper that you can openly view at to stabilize itself during earthquakes and typhoons. For Starbucks lovers, visit the highest Starbucks in the world for a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Taipei at Taipei 101 Mall.
Long Shan Temple
This temple is located at the oldest district of Taipei known as Bangka. Similarly designed to a Chinese palace, this place is one of the most revered places in Taiwan. Regardless of rich or poor, people from various places come here to pray to the goddess for their well-being and protection. Pay close attention to the intricate hand carved pillars, ceilings and rooftops as it is rated as Grade 2 historic building and it symbolizes a slice of Taiwan’s history.
Known as Shibuya of Taipei, this place is filled with youngsters and it will give you a feeling of being back to school. Don’t worry if you are old because they won’t discriminate you.This energetic and bustling place is filled with shops, cafes, restaurants. For shoppers, you can also find clothing, scarves, bags, phone cases and accessories here that are cheaper than other places and they are usually locally made.
National Palace Museum
This museum features the largest collection of ancient Chinese artworks and artefacts in the world. Most of these treasures were once owned by Chinese Emperors. If you do not have enough time, just check out the famous Jadeite Cabbage, a Chinese cabbage that was carved from a piece of jadeite.
The Grand Hotel
There were always rumours that there was a secret passageway that connects from The Grand Hotel to Presidential Office Building and the hotel has recently confirmed them. This secret passageway was built for evacuations during emergencies and this is the only high-end hotel in the world that features such a design.
Eslite Bookstore’s Dunnan Branch
Taipei is a city that never sleeps so you get to experience, eat and shop throughout 24 hours. One of the favourite activity to during the night is to visit Eslite Bookstore, the world’s first bookstore to open for 24 hours and 7 days a week. Besides a large selection of Chinese, Japanese and English books, the place also promotes artistic things and you can buy products created by local designers and artists here.
Beitou Hotspring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum was originally built in 1913 which was during Japanese occupation in Taiwan. Initially, it was built as a Beitou Public Bathhouse, the largest bathhouse found in East Asia during that time. The museum is housed in Victorian-style building that was built using wooden weatherboards and red bricks. The museum is separated into 2 floors. The first floor features the public bath that is no longer in use along with introductions of the hot spring, the history of the hot spring, the facilities in the hotspring, bathing space and Beitou stones. The second floor features six different types of exhibition area including the history of Beitou, Taiwanese Hollywood, lookout balcony, multimedia room, exhibition area B and Tatami floor recreational area. Beitou Hot Spring Museum opens at 9 AM to 5 PM from Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on Monday and national holidays. The admission is free of charge.
Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market is often considered as one of the largest and most popular night markets that you can find in Taipei City. Shilin Night Market encompasses of 2 different sections. The first section is housed in a formerly old Shilin Market where you can find many food vendors, restaurants and shops selling all different types of items. There is a total of 539 stalls at the food court and the second floor also serves as a parking lot for about 400 cars. Similar to other night markets in Taiwan, operators at Shilin Night Market started operating around 4 PM in the afternoon and some of them even operated over midnight and close around 1 or 2 AM. The famous food that you have to try at this night market are fried chicken steak, small sausage in large sausage, fried buns, peanut candy, oyster omelette, tempura, lemon aiyu jelly, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, bubble tea, stinky tofu and oyster vermicelli.
Raohe Street Night Market
This is a must go to night market besides Shilin Night Market. It is located near Shonshan Railway Station and may be a little further from downtown but the trip down will be worth it. It is suggested that you go to Raohe Street Night Market with an empty stomach so you can stuff yourself with a wide variety of street food such as one-of-a-kind stinky tofu, pig’s blood cake covered by peanut butter and egg omelette with oysters.
Chang Kai Sek Memorial hall
Chiang Kai Sek Memorial hall is a national monument and a popular tourist attraction built in memory of Chiang Kai Shek, the former president of China. The monument is located at Zhongzheng District, Taipei. The construction of the memorial hall was decided in April 1975 when the whole nation mourned the passing of the former president and the funeral committees decided to build the memorial hall to commemorate the memory of Chiang Kai Shek and it was finally completed on 31st of October 1976. The monument was then officially opened to the public on 5th of April that year. Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall opening hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM daily. The admission is free of charge.
Presidential Office Building Taiwan is the office for the president of China. The office building is located in Zhongzheng District of Taipei and it is designed by a Japanese architect Uheji Nagano when Taiwan was still under the Japanese occupation from 1895 to 1945. The construction started in June 1912 and it was completed in March 1919 and the construction costs 2.8 million Yen.
Maokong is a quiet and quaint village that is located at the top of the mountain and has fantastic views of Taipei City. Maokong is known to be one of the most scenic spots to drink local and quality tea in Taipei. Tea aficionados will definitely enjoy Maokong for its wide choices of teahouses with high-quality selection of different types of tea. You can also enjoy the breath-taking view of Taipei at Maokong even if you are not into tea. Maokong is accessible by taking a Maokong Gondola scenic cable car from Taipei Zoo MRT Station. It costs New Taiwan Dollar 50 for each way and each adult is able to bring up to 2 children that will ride for free.
Miramar Ferries Wheel
Miramar Ferris Wheel is located on the roof of Miramar Entertainment Park, a shopping mall located in the Dazhi area in the Zhongshan District of Taipei. The Ferris wheel is 70 metres tall and it is the second tallest Ferris wheel in Taiwan after the 88 metres Sky Wheel at Janfusun Fancyworld. The opening hours of Miramar Entertainment Park is 11 AM to 10 PM daily.
Qixing Mountain is a mountain that is located on Datun Volcano Group and it is the highest mountain in Taipei. The name of the mountain literally translates as Seven Star Mountain in English. Qixing Mountain is located in the center of the Yangmingshan National Park and it is 1120 metres above the sea level. Visitors are able to hike to the top of the mountain by following the trails available.
Shilin Official Residence
Shilin Official Residence is the former residence of the late Chiang Kai Shek, the former president of China. The building is located at Zhongshan North Road in the Shilin District of Taipei. The residence home is said to house some of the famous people over the years and the list includes President of United States Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and the Governor of California Ronald Reagan. Shilin Official Residence is open at 9.30 AM to 4.40PM from Tuesday to Sunday. The admission fee is New Taiwan Dollar 100 per person and audio tours are also available with a deposit of New Taiwan Dollar 3000 or by leaving your ID at the front desk. Visitors who are interested in Chinese and Taiwanese history are highly encouraged to visit this place.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall was built to commemorate the national founding father of China known as Sun Yat Sen who was famous for his unparalleled morality and revolutionary contacts. The building is located in Xinyi District of Taipei and it was completed on 16th of May 1972. The opening hours for Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall is from 9 AM to 6 PM daily. The admission is free for the exhibitions but you may have to purchase tickets for certain special exhibitions. The tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter in the Memorial Hall.
Songshan Culture and Creative Park
Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is a multifunctional park that is located in Xinyi District of Taipei. The park was created with the objective to establish itself as a public platform to develop creative and cultural industry, to cultivate creativity, culture and have cross industry exchanges, to set trends and develop innovative experiments, to provide arts and cultural education while encouraging the public to be involved and to spotlight the creative and cultural industry in Taiwan. Songshan Cultural and Creative Park opening hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM daily. The admission is free of charge but you may have to purchase tickets for certain performances and exhibitions that are held inside the park.
Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch
Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch is a library that is located at the Beitou Park. The building was built using eco-friendly materials and it has been certified as the first Green Building in Taiwan. The opening hours are 8.30 AM to 9 PM from Tuesday to Saturday and 9 AM to 5 PM from Sunday to Monday. The library will be closed during every first Thursday of the month. The admission is free of charge.
Taipei Zoo or Muzha Zoo is a public zoo that is located in Wenshan District of Taipei. It is also famous for its conservation, education, research and recreation of the animals. It is known to be the largest zoo in Asia. The zoo features different animals from Taiwan, Asian tropical rainforest, the desert, Australia and Africa. Domestic animals can also be seen in the Children Zoo and displays of over 12000 different types of birds and 130 different species can be seen in the aviary. Taipei Zoo opening hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM daily and you are not allowed to purchase tickets after 4 PM. The admission fee is New Taiwan Dollar 60 and there are also special discounts for school students with student ID, for groups of more than 30 people, for preschool children and handicapped people with certification.
The Red House
Red House Theater is a historic theatre that is located in Ximending, one of the most popular areas in Taipei. It is also known as Ximen Red House, Red Play House or Red Theater. The theater was built in 1908 by a Japanese Architect called Kondo Juro during the Japanese occupation in Taiwan. It was originally a public market and then it was converted into a theater in 1945. Red House Theater opening hours are from 11 AM to 9.30 PM daily. The admission is free of charge.
XiangShan is a hiking trail that is located close to Taipei 101 and Xinyi Shopping Complex. The hiking trail is made so that visitors can hike up to the top of Elephant Mountain to see the best view of Taipei City. The best time to hike up this trail is late afternoon when you can catch the sunset view of the city and the nighttime view of the city. The total hiking time takes around 15 to 20 minutes to reach the top.
XingTian Temple is one of the popular temples located in Zhongshan District of Taipei. The temple is also known as Hsing Tian Kong or Xingtian Gong. It is built in 1967 and devoted to Guan Yu, a patron God for businessmen. Guan Yu was one of the famous general that lived during the Three Kingdoms Period. He was a man who valued loyalty and righteous above all of the other things. He is also commonly worshipped as the God of War. XingTian Temple is open from 5 AM to 11PM daily. The admission is free of charge.
Xinyi Shopping District
Xinyi Shopping District is known as the Manhattan of Taipei and it is one of the newest trend setting commercial district. The area is filled with upscale shopping malls, Eslite bookstore, cinemas and plenty of restaurants that serve international cuisines. The other famous landmarks in Xinyi Shopping District are City Hall, Taipei World Trade Center and Taipei 101. The department stores here carry world class and luxury brand names. Xinyi Shopping District opening hours are from 11 AM to 9.30 PM daily.
Yangmingshan National Park is a national park located between Taipei City and New Taipei City. Yangmingshan National Park is renowned for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, sulphur deposits, hiking trails, fumaroles and venomous snakes. The park also includes the tallest dormant volcano in Taiwan known as the Seven Star Mountain. The national park was completed on 16th of September 1985. The Visitor Center is open 8.30 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Friday. It is also important to note that all visitor centers will be closed on the last Monday of each month.
Tired of walking around? Give yourself a well-deserved rest with this good and affordable massage found in all Taipei City hospitals, underground shopping streets inside MRT stations and also corners designated for them. Most of the masseuses are blind but they received proper training and you will also be doing a good deed by supporting people with weak eyesight problems.
You cannot leave Taipei without trying this bowl of thick and soupy vermicelli noodles with braised pork intestines and/or oysters topped with coriander, minced garlic and black vinegar. It is located in Ximending and impossible to miss this place because it is a famous food stall for the locals. You will see a lot of locals queuing outside and there is no place for you to seat so you have to stand and eat.
Yong-kang Beef Noodle
Taiwan is famous for its beef noodle soup and you can’t tell people that you have been to Taiwan if you have not tried this local dish. Yong-Kang Beef Noodle is only 10 minutes’ walk from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and they serve authentic and delicious beef noodle soup. I suggest you to go during non-peak hours to avoid experiencing long queues.
Ten Ren Tea
Similarly to the food mentioned above, Taiwan is also famous for its milk tea with pearls. You can find this famous and most adored milk tea store at the intersection of Dun Hua South Road and Zhongxiao East Road. You might have to queue but it will be worth it.
Some people claimed that when you are in Taiwan, Taiwanese style breakfast is a must have. A typical breakfast consists of rice congee with youtiao, a baked sesame flatbread or pancake with soy milk. You can find these goodies at Chiang’s Family located at MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station Exit 3, Blue Line. They are open for 24 hours but the breakfast dishes are best eaten fresh on the spot.
East District Pearls
Traditional shaved ice with different toppings was once the most liked and mainstream deserts in Taiwan before ice cream and frozen yoghurt took over. East District Pearls has been opened since 1984 and has lots of loyal customers thanks to its high-quality ingredients and handmade items. You can find this shop at MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua Station Exit 3, Blue Line.
Jiu Fen Old Street
Visit this place to see the Santorini of Taiwan. While you are here, don’t forget to try the egg pudding at Jiu Fen Bus station, handmade fish ball vermicelli, Taro Balls and dorayaki ice cream.
If you are feeling lucky, let this bird tell your fortune. It is known that Taiwanese seek out these fortune tellers for guidance and answers. This bird gained its fame after Taiwanese celebrity Jolin Tsai visited it. This bird is also said to predict success in love life, marriage, school and work. You can find this bird along with other fortune-telling birds along the underground shopping street in Long Shan Temple MRT station.