Taipei City Travel Guide | 15 Things to Explore in Taiwan’s Capital
THINGS TO SEE AND DO TAIPEI (TAIPEI TRAVEL GUIDE)
Taipei, Taiwan: Dubbed as “The Heart of Asia” – the island’s new tourism slogan – Taiwan has many surprises in store for everyone. I am personally surprised with the way they welcome tourists and visitors by having the Taiwan Lucky Land Draw wherein you can get as much as NT$ 5000 (Ph₱ 8800) worth of gifts from the Tourism Board of Taiwan.
In its capital Taipei, I saw and experienced a handful of sights and sounds that kept me saying “wow!” in every inch of the city. Without keeping you reading long, here are some of the sites I have visited on my short-but-sweet journey in Taiwan:
Read also: Taiwan Travel Guide
Experience Nightlife at Taipei Ximending District and Ximending Night Market
The Ximending Night Market is one of the more popular districts in Taipei City. This is also one of the largest night markets in the city and also the busiest because of numerous stalls and shops that surround the district. The Ximending Night Market is easily accessible through the Ximen MRT Blue (Nangang) Line and Green (Songshan) Line.
Indulge in another cup of Milk Tea at Xing Fu Tang 幸福堂
As Taiwan is known to be the birthplace of the Pearl Milk Tea, Xing Fu Tang took this leap to a whole new level, thanks to their renowned sugar boba tea milk tea. What I like about this milk tea brand is that their boba (sago pearl) is made and cooked in brown sugar, and is freshly made every hour. Their pearl milk teas are also topped with ground muscovado. I have tried their flagship beverage, the “Taiwan No. 1 Signature Brown Sugar Boba Milk” for NT$ 120 (PH₱ 212).
Run across Ximending’s Taipei Rainbow Road a.k.a. The Rainbow Six
As Taiwan is also known to be one of the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, a way to celebrate it is through the Rainbow Road found in Ximending, located in the main square of the district, at Ximen Station Exit 6.
Meet some new friends at Backpackers Hostel Ximen
Because I am a solo traveler and it is my first time in Taiwan, what better way to explore the country is to stay in a backpacker hostel and meet new friends from different parts of the world! Located just a few hundred meters from the core of Ximending District, the Backpackers Hostel Ximen is one of a kind. This small-yet-chic hostel is a close community of travelers who want to explore Taipei on the cheap.
Get around the famous Shilin Night Market
Another tick off my bucket list in Taipei is the Shilin Night Market in Shilin District, a few kilometers north of Ximending. This night market is unique as it features several thrift shops and gaming booths for everyone to enjoy. It is also a little bit less crowded than in Ximending and Raohe. The Hot Star Large Fried Chicken (see pic) is also cheaper here by NT$ 5! To get to Shilin Night Market from Ximending, (1) just take the Blue Line (Nangang) to Taipei Main Station, or (2) take the Green Line (alight at Zhongshan Station), then transfer to the Red Line (Xiangshan) and alight from Jiantan Station. Train fare is at NT$ 25 (PH₱ 44).
Explore the wonders of the Mengjia (Bangka) Longshan Temple
Built in 1738, the revered Longshan Temple is one of the holiest places of worship in Taipei. Found in Wanhua District, Taipei’s most historic neighborhood. This is the area in Taipei where you will get a glimpse of the “Old Taipei” as many historic buildings and temples are found in this area. The Longshan Temple is home to many beliefs such as Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian faiths. To get to Longshan Temple from Ximending, take the MRT Blue Line (bound for Dingpu) and alight at Longshan Temple Station. Train fare costs NT$ 20 (PH₱ 35).
Busk around the Presidential Office Building (Republic of China)
Just a few blocks away from Ximending District through the Baoqing Road, you will find the Presidential Office Building along the Chongqing South Road. This historic building was the former seat of the Governor-General of Taiwan during the Japanese occupation. Today, this is the main seat of the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and its parliament.
Relax and be at peace at Jieshou Park
Jieshou Park is found near the Presidential Office Building and the Chiang Kai Shek Square. The park features a monument dedicated to Lin Sen, the former president of the Republic of China. There is also a memorial built for the victims of the White Terror.
Honor the founding father of Taiwan at the Liberty Square Arch + Liberty Square + Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
In honor of the founding father of Taiwan, Republic of China, the Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall 中正纪念堂 was built near the heart of Taipei. It is situated within the Liberty Square and is one of the main attractions in metropolitan Taipei. It features a blue-roofed octagonal mausoleum with 89 steps of stairs, symbolizing the age of Chiang Kai-Shek at the time of his death.
See Taiwan in 360 Degrees at Taipei 101
Taiwan is not Taiwan if you have not visited the former tallest building in the world – the Taipei 101. Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010, with an official height of 508 meters (1667 feet) including its spire. It features 101 floors and it also houses the former fastest elevator system in the world, inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records. You can reach the main viewing deck on the 89th floor from the 5th floor in under 30 seconds! There are also tickets where you can avail to see the 91st outdoor deck and the 101st floor. You will also have a glimpse of the Tuned Mass Damper inside the observation deck. Regular admission tickets usually cost NT$ 600 (PH₱ 1066).
Turista Boy Tip: Purchase your tickets online (i.e. official website of Taipei 101 or on Klook) to have faster access. Tickets purchased online have an express lane and you can get your actual tickets faster.
Currently as of 2023, Taipei 101 is the 11th tallest building in the world.
Busk around the Taipei City Hall Rainbow Lane
If you find the Rainbow Road in Ximending a little bit crowded, here is a not-so-secret I would tell you. There is also a Rainbow Lane just in front of the Taipei City Hall, just a few meters away from Taipei 101. There are fewer people taking photos here and you can also have Taipei 101 as your nice background!
Have a nice vantage point at Takemura Izakaya
Since Taipei is one of the main tourist attractions in Taiwan, people are hungry to get a nice vantage point of Taipei 101. Luckily, people know the place near Takemura Izakaya just near Taipei 101 and have a good vantage point of the famous building. Just search for it on Google Maps and you are good to go. Takemura Izakaya is also near the jump-off point going to Elephant Mountain.
See Taipei’s Grandeur at the Elephant Peak
If you are looking for a panoramic view of the Taipei skyline, the trail to the Elephant Peak in Elephant Mountain is a good place to visit. Also known as the Xiangshan Mountain Trail, the mountain is approximately 183 meters (600 feet) above sea level, just the perfect height to see Taipei 101 and its surrounding buildings. The trail is about 1.5 kilometers long and will take around 30 – 45 minutes of stair walking going to the different viewpoints in the trail. The best time to go to Elephant Mountain / Xiangshan Mountain Trail is during sunrise or sunset (but it can get a little too crowded at times).
Have a food trip at the famed Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market is one of the most popular night markets in downtown Taipei. Raohe Night Market is home to several Michelin Bib Gourmand-recommended food stalls for their ingenuity in culinary arts. What I have tried in Raohe Night Market is the famous Fuzhou Pepper Buns (Hujiao Bing) for NT$ 60 (PH₱ 107) and other finger food found in Raohe.
Here are some of the food found in Raohe Night Market:
- Fuzhou Pepper Buns (Hujiao Bing) @ NT$ 60 (PH₱ 107)
- Chen Dong Pork Ribs Medical Herbs Soup + Braised Pork Rice @ NT$ 95 (PH₱ 170)
- Dong Fa Hao Oyster Vermicelli (Oh-Ah Mee Sua) @ NT$ 55 (PH₱ 100)
- Ma Shu Bao Bao (Mochi Baby) @ NT$ 60 (PH₱ 107)
- Bao Bing (Shaved Ice) @ NT$ 85 (PH₱ 150)
- Shi Boss Stinky Tofu @ NT$ 100 (PH₱ 178)
Have a good time at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)
Just a short 40-minute train ride from Taipei Main Station, you will reach the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in the town of Taoyuan. This is the main hub when getting in and out of Taiwan, and is one of the major international airports on the island nation (together with Taichung and Kaohsiung). There are two terminals on the airport complex and Terminal 1 is used mainly for Asian and short-haul flights. From Taipei Main Station, the train ride to Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 costs NT$ 150 (PH₱ 267).
Sample Itinerary when Exploring Taipei and the rest of Taiwan
This itinerary is based on a 3D2N stay in Taiwan. It is up to you to squeeze in a few more days so that you can explore the other provinces of the island nation.
|Taichung International Airport
|Check in at KGold Hotel
|Taichung Literature Museum
|Chun Shui Tang Siwei Original Store
|Miyahara Ice Cream
|Taichung Central Train Station
|Zhongshe Flower Market
|Caihongjuan Rainbow Village
|Taichung HSR (bound for Taipei – Nangang)
|Ximending District / Ximending Night Market
|Shilin Night Market
|Taipei Main Station to Ximen Station (Blue Line)
|Check in at Backpackers Hostel Ximen
|Taipei Rainbow Road
|Mengjia (Bangka) Longshan Temple
|Liberty Square Arch + Liberty Square + Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
|Taipei City Hall Rainbow Lane
|Elephant Mountain Peak
|Raohe Night Market
|Taipei to Ruifang
|Train from Ruifang to Jiufen Old Street
|Jiufen Old Street
|Train from Ruifang to Shifen Old Street
|Shifen Old Street
|Train from Ruifang to Taipei Main Station
|Train from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan International Airport (Terminal 1)
|Taoyuan International Airport (Terminal 1)
*Note that the places, prices, and information written as of publication date and time are true and are given best during my visit. Changes may occur without prior notice. If you notice any changes to the information given above, you can e-mail me here so we can dish things up!*
We’re born to travel!