25 Things To Do In Taipei: Complete Taipei City Guide

Visit the Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Taipei Taiwan top things to see and do in Taipei

Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, with the famous Taipei 101 tower, countless restaurants and so much things to see and do. I’m not usually one to spend a long time in a big city, but I absolutely loved our 12 days in Taipei! I put together this guide to show you how much this vibrant city has to offer, how to visit Taipei on a budget and how to get around in Taipei. Let’s get started…

Taipei guide: 25 things to see and do in Taipei

1. Marvel at the 509 meter tall Taipei 101

Marvel at the 509 meter tall Taipei 101 Taiwan things to do

Taipei 101 is visible from pretty much everywhere in the city and a beautiful building from every angle. We didn’t go up, but there are several ways to visit the tower. You can go to the observation deck at the 91st floor (admission fee: 500 NT per person) or visit the Starbucks at the 35th floor. Read the Starbucks instructions below:

Instructions how to visit the Starbucks in Taipei 101 on 35th floor

2. Hike the Elephant mountain trail

Things to do in Taipei itinerary travel to Taiwan

It’s a relatively easy 15 minute hike to the top of this 183 meter high hill, but I was still very sweaty at the top because of the humidity. Nevertheless, the views over Taipei are amazing!

3. Visit the Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple Taipei Taiwan interesting to learn about Confucianism

I’ve seen a lot of temples, but really liked our visit to the Confucius Temple because of the interesting (and fun) 4D shows about the history of Confucianism and the temple itself.

4. Also visit the Dalongdong Baoan Temple

Dalongdong Baoan Temple in Taipei worth a visit

Since we were already in the area we also visited the beautifully renovated Dalongdong Baoan temple (next to the Confucius Temple).

5. Stroll along Dihua Street

Dihua Street Taipei Taiwan traditional Chinese shops colorful boutique hotels and art galleries

Lots of Chinese shops, colorful boutique hotels and artsy places to explore!

6. Visit the National Taiwan Craft Research building

National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute in Taipei visit the rooftop

We arrived too late to go to the roof top terrace but the outside was beautiful as well!

7. Feel tiny at the Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Taipei Taiwan Things To Do In Taipei Things To Do In Taiwan

The Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is huge, I felt so teeny tiny in comparison… Don’t miss the changing of the guards (on the hour from 10am to 4pm).

8. Admire the Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness (such an original name?)

Watch the Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness

The lights went on at 7pm and made for a beautiful sight! The National Concert Hall and the National Theater are also part of the Chang Kai-Shek complex and are equally impressive buildings. We visited the Chang Kai-Shek Memorial complex on a busy night and I enjoyed just sitting there and do some people watching.

9. Explore the arty farty Huashan 1914 Creative Park

the arty farty Huashan 1914 Creative Park Taipei Taiwan places to visit

Lots of cafes, fancy restaurants and exhibitions. And some very green buildings!

10. Go for a stroll in Da’an Forest Park

Da'an Forest Park Taipei lovely park for a picnicking

A lovely park! We visited on a Sunday morning and there were many Taiwanese families picnicking in the park. Too bad we forgot to bring our own brunch…

11. Watch the Dragon Boat Race

2017 Dragon Boat Festival fun to visit annual festival held at Dajia Riverside Park Taipei Taiwan

Our visit to Taipei coincided with the 2017 Dragon Boat Festival, lucky us! It was a lot of fun to visit this annual festival held at Dajia Riverside Park. The weather was great and so was the festive atmosphere.

12. Visit the National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum Taipei Taiwan how much is the entrance fee

I’m not that much of an art lover, however, I do like beautiful buildings and the National Palace Museum is certainly one that falls into this category. Even though the museum is enormous, it’s still not nearly big enough to display the entire collection of the museum (entrance fee is 250NT per person).

13. Visit the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall 25 things to do in Taipei Taiwan

The National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is another massive construction (29,464 square meters!), they don’t do small buildings in Taiwan?.

14. Watch a movie (on a rainy day)

We were in Taipei at the start of typhoon season (June – October) and went to the movies on a rainy day. I love going to the cinema and doing so in another country is even more fun because of the crazy commercials…

15. Take a day trip to Tamsui

A great day trip from Taipei is Tamsui (at the end of the red subway line). There are many things to see in this lovely suburb by the ocean. Pictured clockwise: the beautiful former British Consulate Residence, me with the general at Fort San Domingo, Hobe Fort and the pretty Customs Officers’ Residence.

Customs Officers Residence In Tamsui Little White House Tamsui What to see in Tamsui Taipei Taiwan Former British Consulate Residence Tamsui Best Day Trips From Taipei Taiwan
Tamsui Day Trip From Taipei Taiwan Hobe Fort Fort San Domingo Tamsui day trip from Taipei Taiwan

16. Take a day trip to Beitou

One of my favorite countries in the world is Japan and the suburb Beitou strongly reminder me of Japan. Not surprising since this area was developed during the Japanese rule in Taiwan. The Japanese love their hot springs and Beitou happens to be an area with thermal activity. There is lots to see and do in this little village and we spent a full day here.

Pictured clockwise: Beitou hot spring museum, the thermal valley with a mysterious steaming lake, calligraphy in the Plum Garden and Beitou public library.

Hot spring village Beitou Taipei Taiwan Beitou One Of The Best Day Trips From Taipei Taiwan
Beitou public library, Beitou hot spring museum, the authentic Japanese villa in the Plum Garden and the thermal valley with a mysterious steaming lake Beitou Taipei Great Day Trip From Taipei Taiwan Take a day trip from Taipei to Beitou

17. Take a day trip to Wulai

What to do in Taipei go to Wulai waterfall Taiwan Wulai Top Things To See And Do In Taipei Must Do Taipei Taiwan

Wulai was recommended to us by several locals and if it had not been pouring we probably would have stayed the entire day. We did not let the rain keep us from walking to the Wulai waterfall, but a longer hike (there are several in the area) did not seem like the best idea. Wulai is beautiful though, the water has an amazing blue color and the forest is super green. Probably from all the rain?.

18. Take a day trip to Maokong

Take a day trip to Maokong easy day trips from Taipei Taiwan best day trips from Taipei

We forgot to check the schedule of the gondola (a little heads up: it’s closed on Mondays) and took the bus to Maokong village instead (leaves from Taipei Zoo MRT station, 15NT). From the village we hiked to the Silver Stream Waterfall, also called the Yinhe Cave. We didn’t come across anyone during our hike!

19. Drink Taiwanese cocktails at Shangri-La’s Marco Polo bar

Taiwanese cocktails at Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Marco Polo bar Taiwanese cocktails at Shangri-La's Marco Polo bar

The Shangri-La is the tallest hotel in Taipei and their Marco Polo bar offers a grand view of the city and Taipei 101. They have an amazing selection of cocktails made with typical Taiwanese fruits such as taro and wax apple. The perfect place to have a drink!

20. Eat delicious Italian food at Shangri-La’s Marco Polo restaurant

Where to eat Italian food in Taipei Taiwan Best itialian food in Taiwan Taipei where to find
Italian dinner at Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Marco Polo restaurant things to do in Taipei

For me food is one of the most important reasons to travel and the Italian dinner at we had at the Marco Polo restaurant in the Shangri-La hotel was absolutely amazing. Each dish was beautifully presented and created with so much love and attention to detail.

From the locally sourced mozzarella (made by the only Taiwanese artisan cheese shop, the owner learned how to make the perfect cheese in Italy) to the olive oil cake (for which the recipe was handed down to the chef by his Italian grandmother), everything was delicious!

21. Eat abura soba that tastes like it does in Japan

my obsession with Abura Soba the most delicious food in the world Where to find Abura Soba in Taipei Taiwan Japanese dish Japanese food

You can read more about my obsession with Abura Soba in this post, but the short version: this is my favorite dish in the entire world! Whenever we are in big city with Japanese restaurants the first thing I do is scour the internet to see if there is one selling abura soba. In Taipei there was and it was delicious… You can find more information and the address here.

22. Eat the best dumplings ever (nope, not at Din Tai Fung)

Eat the best dumplings ever nope, not at Din Tai Fung Taipei Taiwan

Oh these dumplings… Best. Dumplings. Ever. This local shop is run by a very friendly family and quite famous in the area, every morning people would queue up to get their daily dumpling dose. We gladly joined the queue because these dumplings are simply divine. A basket of 8 dumplings costs 50NT (a lot less than at Din Tai Fung). Check out their Facebook page here.

23. Eat lots of beef noodle soup

Best beef noodles soup in Taipei Taiwan

During our stay in Taipei we sampled a lot of beef noodle, both dry and with soup. I marked our 3 favorite spots in the map. The Yong Kang Beef Noodles is mentioned in the Taiwan Lonely Planet but the other 2 are local finds…

24. Relax at the E.R.C. Cafe

Coffee cafe in Taipei Taiwan where to find a great place to have coffee in Taipei E.R.C. Cafe E.R.C. Cafe Taipei Taiwan best places to drink coffee in Taipei

This cool spot was very close to our second Airbnb apartment and served the most delicious Oreo milkshakes. We spent several relaxing afternoons there…

25. Explore Taipei by bike

Youbike public bicycle rental to get around in Taipei Taiwan very easy

To burn off all that delicious food, we used the Youbike (Taipei’s public bike rental system) a lot! A great place for cycling is the bicycle path along the river, you can go all the way to Tamsui!


Where to find all these awesome places in Taipei?

I marked all the Taipei highlights mentioned above in this map so it’s easy for you to find them. I also added the Airbnbs we stayed at and transport information (Taoyuan airport, MRT and Youbike stations).


Taipei: average daily travel budget

Here is a short breakdown of our average daily expenses in Taipei. We spent 12 days in Taipei in total and as you can see above we did a lot of sightseeing in and around the capital city.

We also ate lots of delicious food, traveled by MRT and Youbike and stayed at 2 really nice places via Airbnb. How much did we spent per day for us as a couple? Only €55 per day! In the table below you can see how we spent our money in Taipei.

Average daily travel budget Taipei Taiwan

Accommodation in Taipei

We stayed at Jemma’s place for 3 nights (€25 per night) and at David’s place for 9 nights (€17-21 per night).

Transport in Taipei

The MRT in Taipei is really cheap, even when we went all the way to Tamsui (at the end of the red line) we only paid 40NT for the ride. Besides the MRT we also used Youbikes to get around. In order to use these bikes you have to register, you can read more about the Youbike system here. Don’t forget to download the app, it’s in Chinese but you’ll still be able to use the map with all the Youbike stations.

Food in Taipei

I already wrote about the best food we had in Taipei. As you can see in the budget breakdown we spent most of our money on food, but that only makes sense in Taipei: the capital of food?.

Things to eat in Taipei Taiwan steam bun pork Taiwanese hamburger Things to eat in Taiwan beef noodles Best Beef Noodles in Taipei

Activities in Taipei

The only paid activities we did were going to the movies (270NT per person) and visiting the British Consulate Residence, Fort San Domingo and Hobe Fort in Tamsui (80NT per person for a combination ticket offering entrance to these 3 sites). The rest of the things we did were free!


That’s everything about our 12 day stay in Taipei! Do you want to read more about traveling in Taiwan? Check out my other posts here.

25 things to see and do in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan: budget information, Taipei highlights plotted on a map so it’s easy for you to find them, great Airbnb accommodation, how to get around in Taipei city and where to find delicious food. Complete guide to plan the perfect Taipei trip! 25 things to see and do in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan: budget information, Taipei highlights plotted on a map so it’s easy for you to find them, great Airbnb accommodation, how to get around in Taipei city and where to find delicious food. Complete guide to plan the perfect Taipei trip!

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6 Comments

  1. Chowing down on those dumplings is on my list Lotte. Awesome things to do. We just laid over at Novatel at the airport nearly 6 years ago when flying to Bali. The place had a mysterious, special air to it. Cannot wait to get back.

    Ryan

    • Thank you so much Ryan! Those dumplings were drool-worthy, so good yet so simple… If you get the chance to visit Taiwan, it’s absolutely worth it!

  2. Hi Lotte!
    As amazing and precise as always! What a wonderful set of pictures – like the ones of hike, those are beautiful!! Do you still do them with your iPhone or did you invest in a camera? Or maybe does your husband have a camera himself?
    Have a wonderful day!
    Ange

    • Hi Ange, thank you for following along and I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the Taipei post. I’m still only taking pictures with my iPhone 6s! My husband has an old Samsung so I mostly take the pictures;-). Enjoy your day! Lotte

      • Yep, then I can safely say that the iPhone does take very neat pictures. The ones of the mountains of the Himalaya hike were simply fantastic!
        Thank you again for giving us the ability to travel with you from your blog!

        • Thank you so much for following me along my journey:-).

          I’m very happy with the picture quality of my iPhone. But then again, it’s almost impossible not to take beautiful photos in the Himalayas, it’s absolutely gorgeous!

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