Free Things to Do in Taipei

Are you planning a trip to Taipei but worried about breaking the bank? Fear not, because Taipei has plenty of free activities and attractions that won’t cost you a penny. From hiking up mountains for panoramic views to exploring local neighbourhoods and trying delicious street food, there’s something for everyone. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the best free things to do in Taipei, so you can make the most of your trip without spending a fortune.

One of the best ways to experience Taipei’s vibrant culture is by visiting its bustling night markets. You can find everything from delicious street food to cheap souvenirs, and the lively atmosphere is sure to leave a lasting impression. But did you know that many of Taipei’s night markets also offer free entertainment? From street performers to music and dance shows, you can enjoy a fun night out without spending a dime.

If you’re interested in history and culture, Taipei has plenty of temples and religious sites that are free to visit. These stunning landmarks offer a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich past and are a great way to learn more about the country’s traditions and beliefs. You can also explore museums and art galleries that offer free admission, showcasing Taiwan’s unique art and history. So pack your bags and get ready to explore Taipei without breaking the bank.

Key Takeaways

  • Taipei offers plenty of free activities and attractions for visitors.
  • Night markets offer free entertainment, including street performers and music shows.
  • Taipei’s temples, museums, and art galleries are free to visit and offer a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich history and culture.

Visiting Night Markets


If you’re looking for a quintessential Taipei experience, visiting a night market is a must. The city is famous for its bustling night markets, where you can find everything from street food to shopping. Here are a few of the most popular night markets to check out:

Shilin Night Market

As one of the largest and most famous night markets in Taipei, Shilin Night Market is a must-visit for any first-time visitor. With over 500 stalls, you’ll find a wide variety of street food, clothing, and souvenirs. Make sure to try the famous Shilin sausage, oyster omelette, and bubble tea.

Ximending Night Market

Located in the trendy Ximending district, this night market is popular with younger crowds and is known for its vibrant atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of street food, clothing, and accessories here. Don’t miss out on trying the fried chicken cutlet and stinky tofu.

Ningxia Night Market

This smaller night market is located in the Datong district and is known for its delicious street food. You’ll find a variety of Taiwanese snacks and dishes, including oyster vermicelli, squid soup, and pork belly buns. It’s a great spot to visit if you’re looking for a more low-key night market experience.

No matter which night market you choose to visit, make sure to come hungry and ready to explore. With so much delicious food and unique shopping finds, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.

Temples and Religious Sites


If you are interested in exploring Taipei’s rich cultural heritage, visiting its temples and religious sites should be on the top of your list. These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s past and present, and allow you to witness the locals’ deep devotion to their beliefs.

Longshan Temple

One of the most famous and ornate temples in Taipei is the Longshan Temple. Built in 1738, it has withstood earthquakes, fires, and wars. The temple is dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Guanyin, and is also home to other deities, including the god of war and the god of literature.

When you visit Longshan Temple, you will be greeted with the sweet smell of incense and the sound of prayers. The temple’s intricate carvings and colourful decorations are a sight to behold, and the atmosphere is peaceful and serene.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is a massive monument dedicated to the former president of Taiwan. The hall is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is home to a museum that tells the story of Chiang Kai-Shek’s life and legacy.

The memorial hall is also a popular spot for locals to practice tai chi and other traditional Chinese exercises. If you visit during the day, you can witness these exercises and even join in if you like.

Confucius Temple

The Confucius Temple is a serene oasis in the middle of bustling Taipei. The temple is dedicated to the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius and is a popular spot for students to come and pray before exams.

The temple’s architecture is stunning, with intricate carvings and beautiful gardens. If you are interested in learning more about Confucianism, the temple also has a museum that explains the philosophy and its impact on Chinese culture.

Guandu Temple

Located on the banks of the Tamsui River, the Guandu Temple is a peaceful retreat from the city. The temple is dedicated to the Taoist god of war, Guan Yu, and is a popular spot for locals to come and pray for good fortune.

The temple’s ornate decorations and beautiful gardens make it a popular spot for tourists as well. If you visit during the Lantern Festival, you can witness the temple’s stunning display of lanterns, which are lit to celebrate the end of Chinese New Year.

Visiting Taipei’s temples and religious sites is a must-do activity for anyone interested in the city’s culture and history. Whether you are interested in Buddhism, Taoism, or Confucianism, these sites offer a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich spiritual traditions.

Museums and Art Galleries


If you are an art lover or history buff, Taipei has a wealth of museums and galleries that offer free admission. Here are some of the best ones to check out:

National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum is one of Taipei’s most famous attractions, and for good reason. This museum houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art and artifacts, with over 700,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years of history. Some of the most popular exhibits include ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy, and jade carvings. Admission to the museum is usually NT$350, but on certain public holidays, such as New Year’s Day, entry is free.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

If contemporary art is more your thing, head to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. This museum showcases works by both local and international artists, with a particular focus on Taiwanese art. Some of the most interesting exhibits include installations, performance art, and multimedia works. The museum is free on Saturday evenings, and only NT$30 at other times.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park is a former winery that has been converted into a cultural centre. The park is home to a variety of galleries, shops, and cafes, as well as a cinema and performance spaces. You can easily spend a whole day exploring the park and taking in the various exhibitions and events. Best of all, admission is free!

In summary, Taipei has a wealth of museums and galleries that offer free admission, from the ancient treasures of the National Palace Museum to the cutting-edge contemporary art of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Whether you’re interested in Chinese art, painting, calligraphy, or just want to soak up some culture, there’s something for everyone in Taipei’s museums and galleries.

Local Cuisine and Street Performers


When it comes to local cuisine in Taipei, you’re in for a treat. The city is known for its delicious street food, which you can find all over the city. Some of the must-try dishes include stinky tofu, beef noodle soup, and oyster omelette. You can find these dishes at night markets like Shilin Night Market and Raohe Night Market.

If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Din Tai Fung is a popular chain that serves some of the best dumplings in the city. For seafood lovers, Addiction Aquatic Development is a must-visit. This seafood market has a variety of restaurants where you can sample fresh fish and seafood.

Aside from the food, Taipei is also home to many street performers. You can catch them in popular areas like Ximending Pedestrian District and Taipei Main Station. These performers showcase a variety of talents, including music, dance, and magic.

While you’re exploring the city, don’t forget to try some bubble tea. This popular Taiwanese drink is made with tea, milk, and tapioca pearls. You can find bubble tea shops all over Taipei, but some of the most popular chains include Chun Shui Tang and 50嵐 (50 Lan).

In summary, Taipei is a foodie’s paradise with a variety of delicious options to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for street food or a sit-down meal, you won’t be disappointed. And while you’re enjoying your meal, keep an eye out for the talented street performers who add to the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Don’t forget to try some bubble tea, too!

Exploring Local Neighbourhoods


If you want to experience the real Taipei, you need to explore its local neighbourhoods. Each district has its own unique charm and character. Here are three neighbourhoods that you should definitely check out:


Xinyi is one of the most modern neighbourhoods in Taipei, and it’s the perfect place to go if you want to experience the city’s high-end shopping and nightlife. The district is home to Taipei 101, which was once the tallest building in the world. You can take the elevator to the top for stunning views of the city. Xinyi is also home to many luxury brands, so it’s a great place to go if you want to do some high-end shopping.


If you’re interested in Taipei’s history and culture, then Datong is the neighbourhood for you. This district is home to many of Taipei’s oldest temples and historical landmarks. One of the most popular attractions in Datong is the Bopiliao Historical Block, which is a preserved street that dates back to the Qing Dynasty. Another must-see attraction in Datong is Dihua Street, which is a traditional market street that sells everything from Chinese medicine to fabrics.


Wanhua is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Taipei, and it’s a great place to go if you want to experience the city’s traditional side. The district is home to many temples and historical landmarks, including the Longshan Temple, which is one of the most famous temples in Taipei. Wanhua is also home to many street vendors and night markets, so it’s a great place to go if you want to try some of Taipei’s famous street food.

No matter which neighbourhood you choose to explore, getting around Taipei is easy thanks to the city’s efficient public transport system. You can take the MRT to any neighbourhood in the city, and there are also many buses and taxis available. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, exploring Taipei’s neighbourhoods is a great way to experience the city’s unique culture and history.

Unique Experiences


Looking for some unique experiences that won’t break the bank? Taipei has plenty of free attractions that are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Taipei Zoo

If you’re an animal lover, the Taipei Zoo is a must-visit. Located in the heart of the city, this sprawling zoo is home to over 400 different species of animals, including pandas, koalas, and penguins. The best part? Entry is completely free.

Da’an Forest Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the tranquil surroundings of Da’an Forest Park. This sprawling park is home to a number of gardens, including a rose garden and a butterfly garden, as well as a lake and several walking paths. Take the metro to Da’an Station and enjoy a peaceful afternoon in nature.

Lincoln Memorial

Located in the heart of Taipei, the Lincoln Memorial is a must-visit for history buffs. The memorial is a replica of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Take a stroll through the nearby park and enjoy the beautiful views of the city.

Whether you’re interested in pandas, gardens, or history, Taipei has plenty of unique experiences to offer. So why not pack your bags and head to Taiwan’s capital city for an unforgettable adventure?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best free attractions in Taipei?

Taipei has a lot of free attractions that you can visit without spending a penny. Some of the best ones include hiking up Thumb Mountain for panoramic views of Taipei 101, visiting Da’an Forest Park, watching the guard change at National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine, and exploring Jiufen Old Street. You can also take a half-day trip to Wulai to see an 80m waterfall and street stores.

Where can I find the most Instagrammable cafes in Taipei?

Taipei is known for its trendy and Instagrammable cafes. Some of the best ones include The Lobby of Simple Kaffa, Fika Fika Cafe, and Coffee Alley. You can also visit the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, which has a lot of unique and stylish cafes.

What are some cheap things to buy in Taiwan?

Taiwan is famous for its night markets, where you can find a lot of cheap and unique souvenirs. Some of the best things to buy include pineapple cakes, tea, local snacks, and Taiwanese-style socks. You can also visit the Ximending shopping district, which has a lot of affordable clothing and accessories.

What are some new attractions to check out in Taiwan?

Taiwan is always adding new attractions for tourists to enjoy. Some of the newest ones include the Taipei Pop Music Center, the Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, and the Taipei 101 Observatory. You can also visit the National Palace Museum, which recently underwent a major renovation.

Is it worth spending 3 days in Taipei?

Yes, it is definitely worth spending 3 days in Taipei. There are a lot of things to see and do, from visiting the iconic Taipei 101 building to exploring the night markets and trying local food. You can also take day trips to nearby attractions like Jiufen and Wulai.

How many days should I spend in Taipei to see the best sights?

To see the best sights in Taipei, it is recommended that you spend at least 4-5 days. This will give you enough time to explore the city’s top attractions, try the local food, and take day trips to nearby destinations. However, if you are short on time, you can still see a lot in just 2-3 days.

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