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25 Things To Do In Taipei: Complete Taipei City Guide

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Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, with the famous Taipei 101 tower, countless restaurants, night markets, beautiful temples, impressive buildings, lots of shopping opportunities, and more.

There truly are countless things to do in Taipei, and while I’m not usually one to spend a long time in a big city, I absolutely loved our 12 days in Taipei and wished we could have stayed longer!

The best things to do in Taipei

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

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What to do in Taipei

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! #Taipei #Taiwan

Plan your Taiwan trip like a pro with these tools:
💳 Pick up an EasyCard for cashless payments and to use public transport.
🚄 Book discounted tickets for Taiwan’s high-speed rail.
📱 Stay connected with a Taiwan Wifi router.
📖 Plan your journey with the Taiwan Lonely Planet.
🛏️ Find your dream accommodation on Booking.com or Agoda.
😎 Book the best tours via Klook or Get Your Guide.
🗺️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing.

Places to visit in Taipei: where to find them

I marked all the Taipei attractions and 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 things to do map

Click here for the interactive map

Things to know before traveling to Taipei

When is the best time to visit Taipei?

Spring and Autumn are great times to visit Taipei. We visited in May and while we did experience some rain, the weather was excellent on most days.

As is true for the whole of Taiwan, Taipei is hot and humid during Summer (June until August).

I personally prefer to stay away from cities when temperatures rise above 30 degrees and spend my time at a beautiful beach instead.

If you don’t mind lower temperatures, you can visit Taipei in winter as well. It doesn’t get that cold (around 10 degrees Celsius) and there are great discounts to be had on accommodation as this is low season.

Which currency is used in Taipei?

The official currency in Taiwan is the New Taiwan dollar (NT$). 

Here you can find the current exchange rates, at the time of writing €1 is approximately 34NT$ and $1 approximately 30NT$.

Notes are available in denominations of NT$100, NT$200, NT$500, NT$1000, and NT$2000. Coins exist in units of NT$1, NT$5, NT$10, NT$20, and NT$50. 

How to travel by public transport in Taipei?

The MRT network in Taipei is extensive, cheap, and easy to use. You can buy single tickets, however, the easiest way to travel by MRT in Taipei is with an EasyCard.

These electronic cards can be topped up in most convenience stores and will save you a lot of time as you don’t have to keep buying new tickets each time you travel on the subway.

Click here for the official MRT map.

Can I cycle around Taipei?

Yes, you can! It’s actually a great way to travel around the city, though for bigger distances I’d recommend using the MRT.

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.

25 awesome things to do in and around Taipei

1. Marvel at the 509 meters tall Taipei 101

View of Taipei 101 Taiwan

Taipei 101 is visible from pretty much everywhere in the city and is a beautiful building from every angle.

You can go to the observation deck on the 91st floor for marvelous birds-eye views of Taipei city (buy your online ticket here).

2. Hike the Elephant mountain trail

View from Elephant Hill Taipei

One of the best Taipei activities is hiking to the top of Elephant Mountain.

Officially called the Xiangshan hiking trail, this relatively easy 15-20 minute hike to the top of this 183-meter high hill is a must-do activity in Taipei.

While the Xiangshan trail is only a short hike, you will get sweaty. There are lots of stairs and due to the humidity, sweating is unavoidable.

Nevertheless, the views over Taipei are amazing and worth the effort!

Xiangshan is the closest MRT stop, this is the last stop on the Red Line (also the stop for Taipei 101). Leave the MRT station via Exit 2 and check Google Maps or Maps.me for directions.

It’s approximately 10 minutes to the start of the trail.

3. Admire the colorful Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple Taipei Taiwan

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

Don’t forget to check the sign with golden letters at the main hall of the temple. This sign was written by the famous Chiang Kai-shek (read more below) and states: Educate without Discrimination.

4. Visit the Dalongdong Baoan Temple

Dalongdong Baoan Temple in Taipei

The beautifully renovated Dalongdong Baoan temple is situated next to the Confucius Temple so it’s easy to make a combined visit to both temples.

The construction of this beautiful temple started in 1804 and throughout the years, many extensions were added, which resulted in the extensive complex you can visit today.

Between April and June, there are many traditional performance arts taking place, so if you happen to visit during this period it’s even more worthwhile to pay this temple a visit!

5. Stroll along Dihua Street

Dihua Street Taipei

Along this 800-meter-long shopping street, you will find lots of Chinese shops with traditional Chinese herbs and medicines, colorful boutique hotels, and artsy places to explore!

Dihua Street is located in Dadaocheng, the oldest surviving neighborhood of Taipei. Many houses were built around the 1850s and the red brick buildings and symmetric arches are beautiful to look at.

Please note Dihua Street gets very busy around Chinese New Year.

6. Visit the National Taiwan Craft Research building

National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute in Taipei

Unfortunately, we arrived too late to go to the beautiful rooftop terrace (with an organic buffet restaurant), but the outside of the National Taiwan Craft Research building is beautiful as well.

If you plan your visit better than we did (the center is open between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm every day of the week except on Mondays), you can admire not only the building itself but several exhibits as well.

There are beautifully designed Taiwanese gifts on display, such as chopsticks, jewelry, and ceramics. A nice place to spend an hour or two!

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

Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Taipei

During your travels across Taiwan, you will undoubtedly come across the name Chang Kai-Shek. Chang Kai-Shek was the leader of Taiwan for an impressive 25 years.

While Chang Kai-Shek is loved by some he’s hated by most due to the awful period known as the ‘White Terror’. During this period more than 140.000 Taiwanese were taken prisoner.

Until this day, Chang Kai-Shek remains the longest-ruling leader of Taiwan.

For important people, they tend to build important buildings, which they certainly did in Taipei. The Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is immense, I felt so teeny tiny in comparison…

Don’t miss the changing of the guards which takes places every hour on the hour from 10 am to 4 pm.

8. Admire the Liberty Square Arch

Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness Taipei

One of the best activities in Taipei is a visit to the Liberty Square Arch. The lights went on at 7 pm 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 while watching the people go about their business.

9. Explore Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park Taipei Taiwan

Another fun thing to do in Taipei is to pay a visit to Huashan 1914 Creative Park. Originally this place was a winery, which produced sake (Taiwan was under Japanese rule at the time) and ginseng wines.

After years of abandonment and decay, Huashan was saved from demolition and creative minds completely redeveloped the buildings.

There are now lots of cafes, fancy restaurants, and exhibitions. And some very green buildings as you can see in the picture above!

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

Da'an Forest Park Taipei

Da’an Forest Park is one of the best parks to visit in Taipei. We spent a Sunday morning strolling around this green spot in busy Taipei.

There is a pond, a greenhouse, many different birds, and a playground for children, making this a great place to visit as a family.

As we were walking around we came across many Taiwanese families picnicking in the park. Too bad we didn’t bring brunch…

11. Watch the Dragon Boat Race

Annual Dragon Boat Festival at Dajia Riverside Park Taipei

If you happen to be in Taipei in June, be sure to check if your visit coincides with the Dragon Boat Festival!

This annual festival held at Dajia Riverside Park is so much fun to visit! It’s a public holiday and a fun day out for many Taiwanese families. Watching the races is very exciting and the boats are beautiful.

There are also several performances, food trucks, and a friendly festive atmosphere. Highly recommended if you are in Taipei during this unique event!

12. Visit the National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum Taipei Taiwan

The National Palace Museum is definitely worth visiting. Even though the museum is enormous, it’s still not nearly big enough to display the entire collection of the museum!

The entrance fee is 350NT per person and the museum is closed on Mondays. You can join a guided tour or get an audio guide to learn more about the exhibits.

Here you can find more information about getting to the museum.

Click here to buy your ticket online.

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

National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

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

It was built to commemorate Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic of China. You can see his statue in the Large Hall.

Be sure to check out the changing of the guards as well, which takes place every hour on the hour.

14. Go to the cinema and 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;-).

There are plenty of movie theatres in Taipei, many showing new international movies. It’s a great way to spend a rainy (or just lazy) afternoon!

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, you can easily spend an entire day here!

16. Take a day trip to Beitou

One of my favorite countries in the world is Japan and the suburb Beitou strongly reminded me of Japan. This area was developed during the Japanese rule in Taiwan, therefore the similarity isn’t surprising.

The Japanese love their hot springs and Beitou happens to be an area with thermal activity. There are lots of things to see and do in this little village and we spent a full day here.

17. Take a day trip to Wulai

Several Taiwanese we spoke to recommend taking a day trip to Wulai. And had it not been pouring, we probably would have stayed the entire day as it really is a beautiful place to visit in Taiwan.

While we did not let the rain keep us from walking to the Wulai waterfall, 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

View over Taipei from Maokong

Maokong is a pretty little village on the outskirts of Taipei. The town is located on top of a mountain and is most easily accessed by gondola (buy your ticket online) or by bus.

From Maokong town you’ll have a stunning view over Taipei city.

We forgot to check the schedule of the gondola (a little heads up: it’s closed on Mondays) so we took the bus (S10) to Maokong village instead. The bus leaves from Taipei Zoo MRT station and costs 15NT per person.

From Maokong village we hiked to the Silver Stream Waterfall, also called the Yinhe Cave. It was a lovely hike through the forest and we didn’t see anyone else on the trail!

Maokong is known for the cultivation of high-quality tea and there are many teahouses in the village. If you want to get away from busy Taipei, Maokong is a great place to spend a day!

19. Drink 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 Italian food at Shangri-La’s Marco Polo restaurant

For me, food is one of the most important reasons to travel and the Italian dinner 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 (the recipe was handed down to the chef by his Italian grandmother), everything was delicious!

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

I’m absolutely obsessed with a Japanese dish called Abura Soba, you can wake me up any time for a bowl of this utter deliciousness!

Whenever we are in a 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 the location of this lovely little Japanese restaurant in my Taipei map.

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 is 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.

Dumplings are a staple at any night market in Taipei, so you’re guaranteed to come across these delicious and addictive little favor bombs during your Taipei itinerary.

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 noodles, both dry and with soup. I marked our 3 favorite spots on the map.

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

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 in Taipei

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!

Taipei travel budget

Are you wondering how much it costs to travel to Taipei? Here is a short breakdown of our average daily expenses in Taipei (read the full breakdown of our Taiwan travel budget here).

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 two really nice places via Airbnb. How much did we spend in Taipei?

Only €55 per day as a couple (€27,50 per person)! In the table below you can see how we spent our money in Taipei.

Average daily travel budget Taipei Taiwan

We stayed at Jemma’s place for 3 nights (€25 per night) and at David’s place for 9 nights (€17-21 per night). Read more about our accommodation in this post.

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.

Awesome activities in Taipei: in conclusion

As you have seen in this post there are lots of (free) Taipei tourist attractions!

The only paid activities we did were going to the movies 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 three sites).

The rest of the things we did were free! You can download the list of things to see in Taipei below.

I hope this Taipei travel guide has given you plenty of ideas about what to do in Taipei and will help you plan your trip.

Also check out my other posts about travel in Taiwan:

This post was updated in November 2022.

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Cazar

Wednesday 26th of May 2021

This is a very good article about things to do in Taipei. A suggestion that I'd like to add, is a day trip by bus to Jiufen which takes approx 45min by bus from Taipei.

Lotte

Monday 31st of May 2021

Hi Cazar,

Happy to hear you like the things to do in Taipei post:-) And thank you for your suggestion! I actually have a separate article about the best day trips from Taipei (https://www.phenomenalglobe.com/day-trips-from-taipei/) and Jiufen is #10 on the list:-).

All the best, Lotte

Chocoviv

Saturday 7th of December 2019

Definitely a great trip....

Lotte

Saturday 7th of December 2019

It is a wonderful city! Thanks:-)

Nick

Thursday 5th of December 2019

Lotte, I envy you for all the places you have seen. I love to travel myself and see things and cultures in different areas. You did an excellent job with the blog. Well organized and a lot of useful information. I read a bit, and book marked the page to come back. I planned a trip next year in May in Asia, and sure could use some info from here. I know you did a lot of work to put this together, and mostly if not all is for readers benefit. So, THANK YOU!

Lotte

Friday 6th of December 2019

Hi Nick,

Thank you for your kind words, I'm very happy to hear you like the blog and feel it's well organised, that's my goal! Where in Asia are you planning to visit? In any case, thank you for reading and have a great trip!

Lotte

Nathan

Saturday 20th of January 2018

Awesome post! It definitely looks like a cool city to check out. I am looking at moving there for a bit next year so this was very informative. I'll be sure to check out some more of your blog!

Lotte

Wednesday 24th of January 2018

Oh that's so cool! Taipei is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world:-) Have an amazing time living there and enjoy the delicious food, beautiful nature and friendly people of Taiwan.

Ange

Monday 12th of June 2017

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

Lotte

Tuesday 13th of June 2017

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