If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, Taipei should be on your list of places to visit. This bustling city is full of things to see and do, from exploring its rich history to indulging in its street food. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, Taipei has something to offer everyone.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Taipei is Taipei 101, a towering skyscraper that offers breathtaking views of the city. But Taipei has much more to offer than just its modern architecture. The city is steeped in history, with ancient temples and museums that offer a glimpse into Taiwan’s past. And if you’re interested in art and culture, Taipei has plenty of galleries, theatres, and cultural centres to explore.
Of course, no trip to Taipei would be complete without experiencing its famous night markets and street food. From stinky tofu to bubble tea, Taipei’s street food scene is a foodie’s paradise. And if you’re looking for outdoor activities, Taipei has plenty to offer, from hiking trails to hot springs. With its efficient public transportation system, getting around Taipei is a breeze. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure in this vibrant city.
- Taipei has a mix of modern and ancient landmarks that offer a glimpse into Taiwan’s past and present.
- The city is a foodie’s paradise, with its famous night markets and street food scene.
- Taipei has plenty of outdoor activities and an efficient public transportation system to make exploring the city easy.
Discovering Taipei 101
If you’re looking for a thrilling experience in Taipei, the Taipei 101 tower should definitely be on your list. As the tallest building in Taiwan, Taipei 101 stands at a height of 509 meters and has become an iconic symbol of the city’s economic prosperity.
One of the best ways to experience Taipei 101 is by visiting its observation decks. The tower has two observation decks: the indoor observatory on the 88th floor, and the outdoor observatory on the 91st floor. From both decks, you’ll get a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city and its surroundings.
The indoor observatory is perfect for those who want to enjoy the view in a more comfortable setting. The deck is air-conditioned, and you’ll be able to enjoy the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The outdoor observatory, on the other hand, is for those who want to feel the wind in their hair and enjoy an unobstructed view.
Another interesting feature of Taipei 101 is its mass damper. The mass damper is a large sphere that weighs 660 metric tons and is suspended from the 92nd to the 87th floor. Its purpose is to counteract the building’s sway during earthquakes and strong winds.
You can learn more about the mass damper and its function by visiting the Taipei 101 Damper Baby Exhibition Hall on the 88th floor. The exhibition hall features interactive displays and videos that explain the science behind the mass damper.
Overall, Taipei 101 is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Taipei. From its observation decks to its unique features like the mass damper, there’s plenty to discover and explore.
Exploring Taipei’s Rich History
If you’re interested in history, Taipei is a city that won’t disappoint you. With a rich cultural heritage and a fascinating past, there are plenty of historical sites to explore. Here are some of the must-visit places that will take you on a journey through Taipei’s history.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is a prominent landmark in Taipei that pays tribute to the former President of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-Shek. The hall is an impressive structure that features traditional Chinese architecture and is surrounded by a beautiful park. Inside the hall, you’ll find a museum that showcases Chiang Kai-Shek’s life and legacy.
National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum is one of the most popular museums in Taipei and houses an extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts. The museum’s collection includes ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, jade, and bronze artifacts. Some of the most famous pieces in the collection include the Jadeite Cabbage and the Meat-shaped Stone.
The Longshan Temple is one of the oldest and most famous temples in Taipei. Built in the 18th century, the temple is dedicated to Guanyin, the goddess of mercy. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the years, and today it stands as a testament to the resilience of the Taiwanese people.
Fort San Domingo
Fort San Domingo is a historic fort that was built by the Spanish in the 17th century. The fort has been used by various powers over the years, including the Dutch and the British. Today, the fort has been restored and turned into a museum that showcases the history of the fort and the people who lived there.
Whether you’re interested in the history of China, Chiang Kai-Shek, or the Republic of China, Taipei has plenty of historical sites to explore. From temples to museums to forts, there’s something for everyone.
Art and Culture in Taipei
If you are an art and culture enthusiast, Taipei is the perfect destination for you. The city is home to a plethora of museums, galleries, and cultural landmarks that showcase the rich history and traditions of Taiwan. Here are some of the must-visit places for art and culture lovers in Taipei.
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park is a cultural hub that features a variety of exhibitions, performances, and events. The park is located in a former winery and has been transformed into a creative space that showcases the best of contemporary art and culture in Taiwan. Here, you can explore art galleries, attend concerts, watch movies, and participate in workshops and seminars. The park also has a variety of restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee while taking in the vibrant atmosphere.
Red House is a historic building that has been transformed into a cultural center for the LGBTQ+ community. The building was originally built in 1908 and was used as a market before being renovated in the 1990s. Today, it is a popular destination for art and culture lovers, featuring a variety of exhibitions, performances, and events. The Red House also has a variety of shops and restaurants where you can find unique souvenirs or enjoy a meal.
The Confucius Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Chinese art, history, and culture. The temple was built in 1879 and is dedicated to the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius. It features a variety of artefacts, calligraphy, and paintings that showcase the teachings and influence of Confucius on Chinese culture. The temple also has a beautiful garden that provides a peaceful and serene atmosphere for visitors.
In conclusion, Taipei is a city that is rich in art and culture. Whether you are interested in contemporary art, LGBTQ+ culture, or Chinese history and traditions, there is something for everyone in Taipei. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the vibrant and diverse cultural landscape of Taipei.
Shopping in Taipei
If you’re looking for a shopping paradise, Taipei is the place to be. With its bustling night markets and modern malls, you’ll find everything you need and more. Here are some of the best shopping areas in Taipei.
Ximending is a trendy shopping district that is often referred to as the “Harajuku of Taipei.” It’s a great place to find the latest fashion trends, streetwear, and accessories. You’ll also find a variety of restaurants and cafes here, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Shilin is home to one of the largest night markets in Taipei, the Shilin Night Market. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of street food, clothing, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and try some of the most popular Taiwanese snacks, such as stinky tofu and bubble tea.
Eslite Bookstore is not just a bookstore, it’s a cultural hub that offers a unique shopping experience. It’s a great place to find books, magazines, and stationery, but it also has a variety of lifestyle products, such as home decor and fashion accessories. The flagship store in Xinyi District is open 24 hours a day, so you can shop anytime you want.
When it comes to shopping malls, Taipei has plenty to offer. Some of the most popular ones include Taipei 101 Mall, Breeze Center, and Miramar Entertainment Park. These malls offer a wide variety of local and international brands, as well as entertainment options, such as cinemas and arcades.
Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends or unique souvenirs, Taipei has something for everyone. Don’t forget to bring your shopping bags and get ready to shop until you drop!
Dining in Taipei
When it comes to dining in Taipei, you’re in for a treat. The city is a food lover’s paradise with a wide range of options, from street food to high-end restaurants. One of the most popular places to dine in Taipei is Din Tai Fung. This restaurant is famous for its xiaolongbao, which are steamed dumplings filled with pork and soup. They also serve a variety of other dishes, including noodles, fried rice, and vegetables. The restaurant has several locations throughout the city, so you’re never too far away from a delicious meal.
In addition to Din Tai Fung, there are many other great dining options in Taipei. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Taiwanese cuisine or something more international, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds. Some of the best places to dine in Taipei include:
- Raw: This Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its innovative cuisine and use of local ingredients. The menu changes regularly, so you never know what delicious surprises await you.
- Addiction Aquatic Development: This seafood market and restaurant is a must-visit for seafood lovers. You can choose your own seafood from the market and have it cooked to order at the restaurant.
- Shilin Night Market: This popular night market is a great place to sample a variety of Taiwanese street food. From stinky tofu to bubble tea, you’re sure to find something to tantalize your taste buds.
- Yongkang Street: This street is home to a variety of restaurants and cafes, including the original Din Tai Fung location. It’s a great place to go if you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, as there are so many options to choose from.
No matter where you choose to dine in Taipei, you’re sure to have an exciting culinary experience. So go ahead, indulge in some delicious food and discover the city’s vibrant dining scene.
Night Markets and Street Food
If you’re looking for a truly authentic Taiwanese experience, then you can’t miss out on the night markets and street food scene in Taipei. These bustling markets are a feast for the senses, with an endless array of delicious snacks, souvenirs, and entertainment. Here are some of the top night markets and street food spots you should check out during your visit to Taipei.
Ningxia Night Market
Located in the Datong District, Ningxia Night Market is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. This market is known for its seafood, with vendors selling everything from grilled squid to oyster omelettes. If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to try the stinky tofu, a pungent fermented tofu that’s a favourite among locals. You can also find plenty of sweet treats here, including bubble tea and traditional Taiwanese desserts like shaved ice and pineapple cakes.
Shilin Night Market
Perhaps the most famous night market in Taipei, Shilin Night Market is a must-visit for any foodie. This market is huge, with over 500 food stalls selling everything from fried chicken to bubble tea. Be sure to try the famous Shilin Night Market fried chicken, which is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. You can also find plenty of non-food items here, including clothing, accessories, and souvenirs.
Raohe Night Market
Located in the Songshan District, Raohe Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei. This market is known for its traditional Taiwanese snacks, including pork pepper buns, grilled squid, and mochi. Be sure to try the black pepper pork buns, which are stuffed with juicy pork and a spicy black pepper sauce. The market is also home to the iconic Ciyou Temple, which is worth a visit if you have time.
In conclusion, the night markets and street food scene in Taipei is not to be missed. With so many delicious snacks and unique souvenirs to choose from, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. Be sure to visit Ningxia Night Market, Shilin Night Market, and Raohe Night Market to get a taste of the best that Taipei has to offer.
Outdoor Activities in Taipei
If you’re looking for some outdoor adventure in Taipei, you’re in luck! There are plenty of options for hiking, exploring national parks, and taking in stunning waterfalls.
Hiking in Elephant Mountain
One of the most popular outdoor activities in Taipei is hiking up Elephant Mountain. This trail offers stunning views of Taipei 101 and the city skyline. The hike is relatively short, taking only about 20-30 minutes to reach the top. However, be prepared for stairs and steep inclines. Make sure to bring plenty of water, especially during the summer months when it can get hot and humid.
Yangmingshan National Park
If you’re looking for a more extensive hiking experience, Yangmingshan National Park is a must-visit. This park offers a variety of trails, from easy walks to more challenging hikes. One popular trail is the Seven Stars Peak trail, which takes about 4-5 hours to complete and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Taipei city. The park also features hot springs and volcanic landscapes, making it a unique outdoor experience.
For a more relaxed outdoor experience, visit Shifen Waterfall. This stunning waterfall is located in Pingxi District and is easily accessible by train from Taipei. Visitors can take a short hike to the waterfall and enjoy the picturesque scenery. You can also release sky lanterns, a popular activity in the area.
Overall, Taipei offers a variety of outdoor activities for all levels of adventurers. From hiking in national parks to taking in stunning waterfalls, there’s something for everyone. So, put on your hiking shoes, grab some water, and get ready to explore the great outdoors in Taipei!
Public Transportation in Taipei
You’ll be delighted to know that Taipei has a well-mapped public transportation system that makes it easy to get around the city. The central nervous system of Taipei’s public transit is the MRT, or Mass Rapid Transit. It’s a world-class subway system that covers much of the city center and zips you between most of the best things to do in Taipei quickly and easily.
The MRT is the most popular mode of transportation in Taipei, but there are also extensive networks of buses, taxis, and public bicycles. The subway and bus system services nearly every place a traveler might want to go while high-speed trains and local rail lines take travelers beyond the city limits.
One of the most convenient ways to use public transportation in Taipei is by using the EasyCard, a contactless smart card that allows you to pay for your fares on the MRT, buses, and even taxis. By using the card, you’ll enjoy a discount on metro or bus tickets, and a 30-minute free ride of the public bicycles. Taipei Pass is also usable to take the metro and the city buses.
If you’re arriving in Taipei by train, you’ll most likely arrive at Taipei Main Station, which is the city’s main transportation hub. From here, you can access the MRT, buses, taxis, and even high-speed trains that can take you to other parts of Taiwan.
Overall, Taipei’s public transportation system is reliable, efficient, and affordable, making it easy for you to explore the city and its surroundings without any hassle.
Travelling to Taipei is an exciting adventure, but it’s important to be prepared with some essential items before you go. Here are some travel essentials you should pack for your trip:
Capital and Currency
Taipei is the capital of Taiwan and the currency used is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). You can exchange your currency at the airport or at banks and money exchange booths throughout the city. Most establishments accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you just in case.
As with any travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Taiwan has done an excellent job at managing the pandemic, but it’s still a good idea to wear a mask in public and practice social distancing. Also, make sure to check the latest travel restrictions and requirements before you go.
Travel insurance is always a good idea when travelling abroad. It can cover medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other unexpected events. Make sure to purchase travel insurance before you leave for your trip.
Agoda is a popular website for booking hotels and accommodations in Taipei. It offers a wide range of options for every budget, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. Make sure to book your accommodations in advance to ensure availability and get the best deals.
In summary, when travelling to Taipei, make sure to bring cash, wear a mask, follow COVID-19 precautions, purchase travel insurance, and book your accommodations in advance with Agoda. With these travel essentials, you’ll be ready for an exciting and stress-free trip to Taipei.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some fun activities for families with children in Taipei?
Taipei has a plethora of activities for families with children. One of the most popular attractions is Taipei Zoo, which is home to over 400 species of animals. Another great option is the Children’s Museum, which offers interactive exhibits and hands-on learning experiences.
What are some scenic places to visit outside of Taipei city?
If you’re looking to escape the city, there are plenty of scenic places to visit just outside of Taipei. One of the most popular destinations is Yangmingshan National Park, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and hot springs. Another great option is Jiufen, a quaint mountain town known for its narrow streets, tea houses, and stunning views of the coastline.
What are the top attractions to include in a 6-day Taipei itinerary?
If you have six days to explore Taipei, there are several must-see attractions to add to your itinerary. Some of the top attractions include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, National Palace Museum, Longshan Temple, and Elephant Mountain.
What are some free things to do in Taipei?
There are plenty of free things to do in Taipei, including visiting the many night markets, exploring the city’s parks and temples, and taking a stroll through the historic district of Dadaocheng. You can also visit the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, which offers free admission on Saturdays.
What exciting events are happening in Taipei this weekend?
There are always exciting events happening in Taipei, from music festivals to food fairs. Check out the Taipei International Book Exhibition, which takes place in February and features authors from around the world. Another great option is the Taipei Lantern Festival, which takes place in February and features stunning lantern displays.
What are the most beautiful spots to visit in Taipei?
Taipei is home to many beautiful spots, including Taipei 101, which offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck. Another great option is Elephant Mountain, which offers panoramic views of the city and is a popular spot for hiking. You can also visit the Beitou Hot Springs, which are known for their healing properties and stunning natural beauty.
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