Guide to Getting Around Taipei

person in taipei city, taiwan
Theodore
Travel Writer

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This is an overview of all the ways to get around Taipei City, Taiwan. Keep reading to learn more.

I’ve lived around Taipei for more than 5 years and have frequently used all the public transportation methods. That motivated me to write this guide to help you find a good way to get around.

Taipei has Uber, but not Lyft and Grab.

Buy an EasyCard online, at any convenience store, or Taipei MRT station. Find them in vending machines or with the customer service stations inside the Metro stations.

Download Go! Taipei Metro for all your MRT needs, the YouBike 2.0 app for YouBike docking stations, and Bus+ for all information on buses. Taiwan doesn’t have any good all-in-one transportation apps.


Best Ways to get Around Taipei City (Summary)

Here are all the ways to get around Taipei City, Taiwan:

TransportationAvg. Price (One-Way)Best For
City BusNT$15; 1 segmentBudget
Car RentalVariesRoad Trips
Bicycle rentalNT$5–NT$40 per 30 minExercise
WalkingFreeCities
FerriesNT$819–NT1,700Navigating outlying islands
Taiwan Railway AdministrationNT$11–NT$836Budget inter-city travel
Taiwan High-Speed RailNT$35–NT$2,500Quickly navigating different cities
RideshareNT$120–NT$1,200 per tripComfortable city travel
Mass Rapid TransitNT$20–NT$65City travel
TaxiNT$16–NT$25 per kmTravel to specific destinations
Taiwan public transportation mediums compared.

The following sections will compare each transportation method more in-depth. I’ll talk about payment methods, prices, and other important information.

Let’s dive in.


1. Taipei MRT: Best Overall

  • How to Pay *: EasyCard, icash 2.0, HappyCash, cash, & iPass
  • Avg. Price **: NT$20–65
  • Number of Stations: 131
  • Taipei MRT Peak Times: 7:00–9:00 AM & 5:00–7:30 PM

The Taipei MRT is the best way to get around for anyone who wants to access most of Taipei’s tourist attractions and popular night markets. But it’s not ideal for reaching residential areas in Taipei.

But that’s not your problem (hopefully).

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) has 6 lines with above- and below-ground train carts. You’ll enter most stations by going underground. And they’re immaculate.

Most MRT stations will have umbrella rental stations, restrooms, water fountains, and charging stations for electronics. Many will also connect to shopping malls, which could be an excellent activity when it’s raining or too hot outside.

Buy an MRT ticket from the staff inside the customer service booths or use one of the electronic kiosks. I recommend getting a Taipei EasyCard and refilling it at kiosks or convenience stores.

Here are all the main Taipei Metro passes passengers have access to:

PassPriceBest For
One-Day PassNT$150Many Trips Within 1 Day
24-Hour PassNT$180Best For Trips To Many Stations Within 24 Hours
48-Hour PassNT$280Best For Trips To Many Stations Within 48 Hours
72-Hour PassNT$380Best For Trips To Many Stations Within 72 Hours
Taipei Fun PassNT$180–NT$2,200Unlimited Bus/MRT Rides + Entry To Some Attractions
TPASSNT$1,200/mo.Unlimited Bus, MRT, TRA, & LRT rides (in northern regions) + 30 min. YouBike usage
Taipei Metro passes compared.

Choose whatever pass best matches the time you’ll stay in Taipei. You all who are living in, studying in, or working in Taipei should opt for the Monthly Pass.

Wait. More passes exist.

Here are the different Fun Passes:

Taipei Fun Pass Type1-Day2-Day3-Day4-Day5-Day
ClassicNT$950NANANANA
ExploringNANT$650NT$850NT$1,050NA
UnlimitedNT$1,500NT$1,900NT$2,200NANA
TransportationNT$180NT$310NT$440NANT$700
Maokong GondolaNT$350NANANANA
Taipei Fun Passes compared.

And here are what each pass is best for:

Taipei Fun Pass TypeBest For
ClassicEntry into 2 attractions & doubles as EasyCard
ExploringEntry into 23 attractions
UnlimitedUnlimited MRT & bus rides + entry into 25 attractions
TransportationShuttle bus rides
Maokong GondolaTaking the Maokong Gondola
Best For uses of each Taipei Fun Pass.

There’s no reason to cover Classic and Exploring since this is a post about public transportation. I cover all attractions these passes grant free entry to in a separate post.

Unlimited will get you free entry into 25 attractions throughout Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung cities. And they’ll grant you unlimited Taipei Metro and city-wide bus rides.

Calculate the entry fees into each tourist attraction and the cost of transportation to get there. Then compare it to the Fun Passes and see whether it’ll save you money.


2. YouBike: Taipei’s Bicycle Rental Service

  • How to Pay *: EasyCard, iPass, or bank card
  • Price: Varies

YouBike is a public bicycle sharing service with more than a thousand stations throughout various cities.

Find docking stations through Google Maps or the YouBike app. They’re by metro stations, parks, and major tourist attractions most of the time.

There are 3 different types of YouBikes:

  • YouBike 1.0: basic YouBike
  • YouBike 2.0: upgraded from the 1.0 with more cushy handlebars
  • YouBike 2.0E: electric assisted bicycles that are great for old people

Here are the rates you’ll pay for rentals throughout Taiwan:

PriceDuration
NT$5 ($0.17)First 30 minutes
NT$10 ($0.34)Per 30 minutes (for the next 4 hours)
NT$20 ($0.68)Per 30 minutes (for the next 4–8 hours)
NT$40 ($1.36)Per 30 minutes (after 8 hours)
YouBike 2.0 E
NT$20Per 30 minutes (for the first 2 hours)
NT$40per 30 minutes (from the 3rd hour forward)
Misc Fees
NT$150Roadside assistance
YouBike prices compared.

You must register for using a YouBike online or at a kiosk before using it. Follow the link in the beginning of this section to a guide that’ll show you how to register.


3. Public Bus: Most Affordable

  • How to Pay *: Any smart card (e.g., EasyCard) & coins
  • Avg. Price **:
    • 1 segment: NT$15
    • 2-segment: NT$30
    • 3-segment: NT$45

Segment means traveling from one stop to the next.

Mountain buses, shuttles, recreational buses, small buses, electric buses, and driverless buses are on the way.

While it might feel like a roller-coaster on the city buses, they still offer more affordable pricing than most other transportation options. They aren’t ideal for riding during rush hour.

Most buses allow the use of contactless cards. Tap when boarding and leaving—or pay with cash.

Things change when you take an intercity bus, the cheapest route for traveling through Taiwan. Purchase tickets from any Taiwanese convenience store, in person at the station, or from ticket machines at bus stations.


4. Car Rentals: Best for Road Trips

  • Rental Price: Varies
  • Avg. Parking Cost: Up to NT$150/hr.
  • Documents Required: IDP, passport, & payment card
  • Required Age to Rent: 20

Avoid this option if you don’t have an International Driving Permit (IDP). If you don’t have your IDP, no car rental service will let you rent any vehicles.

You must visit your country’s automobile association to get started with getting your International Driving Permit. The United States, for instance, has the American Automobile Association.

If you have your IDP and are ready to rent a car in Taiwan, the island nation has a wide selection of rental agencies. Prices range between $65 and $260 (USD) per day.

Avis is one of Taiwan’s most popular car rental services and charges around NT$6,000 per day [1].


5. Scooter Rental: Best for Countryside Navigation

  • Rental Price †: Around NT$100–800 per day
  • Avg. Parking Cost **: Up to NT$20/hr.
  • Documents Required: Taiwan driver’s license, passport, & payment card
  • Required Age to Rent: 20

† This price doesn’t include gas or battery swapping costs.

These dangerous yet exhilarating and convenient motorized bikes have storefronts around most train stations and other areas throughout Taiwan’s cities. Moreover, many stores offer electric and gas options.

Another essential expense that you must consider is rain gear. Otherwise, driving in the rain, you’ll find yourself soaked.

Regarding driver’s licenses and permits, requirements depend on where you go.

Some places might require a Taiwanese Scooter License. Others will accept an International Driver’s Permit.

Some electric motorbike sharing services, for example, that require a scooter license, are GoShare and iRent. Scooter rental services that require international driver’s permits include SKRT and WeMo.

Mom-and-pop stores will vary depending on what part of Taiwan you’re visiting. For instance, the countryside will likely have more lenient requirements than a major city like Taipei.

Important tip: When renting a scooter in Taiwan, use lanes designated for motorbikes and keep your wits about you.


6. Maokong Gondola

  • How to Pay *: Cash, card, & IC cards
  • Avg. Price:
Ticket TypePrice (One-way)
1 StopNT$70
2 StopsNT$100
3 StopsNT$120
Discounted *NT$60
1-Day Fun PassNT$260

The Maokong Gondola is accessible at the base of the Taipei Zoo Brown Line MRT station and will take you to the peak of Maokong Mountain. A great place to get tea.

It’s a great alternative to hiking, taking a bus, or a taxi up the mountain. Plus, it’ll give you an excellent view of Taipei City.

However, the Gondola will close during days with bad weather. You probably shouldn’t be traveling to the mountains in that type of weather, anyway.


7. Taxi: Most Efficient Way to get Around

  • How to Pay *: Cash, card, & IC cards
  • Avg. Price **:
    • Base fare: NT$70 (first 1.25 km)
    • Rate: NT$5 (per 200 m)
    • Waiting Time: NT$5 (per 100 sec)
  • TaipeiTraffic Division, Taipei City Police Department: +886-2311-6409 or +886-2375-2100
    • Taipei Department of Transportation: +886-2-2720-8889 ext.6888
    • Taipei City Public Transportation Office: +886-2-2759-2677

Taking the taxi or an Uber is best for anyone who wants to get to outlying areas in Taipei not covered by the MRT or have a lot of stuff to carry. They’re also a great alternative to buses when it’s raining a lot.

It beats waiting at a potentially uncovered bus stop.

This public transportation costs the most, though. And could take longer than other methods during rush hour due to traffic jams.


Tips to Get Around Taipei

Follow these tips when navigating Taipei:

  • Get a Taipei public transportation card (EasyCard): It’ll remove the need for tokens & cash when entering public transportation.
  • Stand on right side of escalator; walk on left: The left side is for passing standing folks only.
  • Don’t speak loudly on public transportation: It’s considered rude.
  • Don’t eat on public transportation: It’s a fine(able) offense.
  • Don’t be late to your scheduled ride: Public transportation is punctual & won’t wait for you.

Here’s the most important tip:

Keep your head on a swivel when walking outside public transportation (e.g., on a sidewalk). Many areas in Taipei’s outskirts don’t have sidewalks or have motorbike drivers who’ll ride on sidewalks.

Ensure they don’t hit you. Also, don’t stand under air conditioners built into buildings. They have the potential to fall off due to poor construction and have killed someone. A brick fell off a building and almost hit me as well.

I recommend standing under covered areas when waiting for buses, taxis, and Ubers.


Things to do in Taipei

National Palace Museum

Daytrip

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Historical site

Taipei Zoo

Daytrip, for families

Taipei 101

Vista

Miniatures Museum of Taiwan

Museum

National Revolutionary Martyer’s Shrine

Historical site

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Historical site

Beitou Hot Spring Resort

Hot springs

Yangmingshan National Park

Hiking

Daan Forest Park

Daytrip, for families

Miramar Ferris Wheel

For families, shopping

Guanghua Digital Plaza

Shopping

Treasure Hill

Historical site

Maokong Mountain

Vista, hiking

Dihua Street

Historical site

Taipei Botanical Garden

Museum

Ximending

Shopping

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Historical site

Jianguo Flower & Jade Markets

Shopping


Taiwan Pass North (TPASS) Explained 

The Taiwan Pass (TPASS) grants unlimited use to the Taipei Metro, inner-city bus, inter-city bus, and Taiwan Railway Administration across Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, and Taoyuan Cities. You’ll also get 30 minutes of free YouBike rental use each much.

This pass costs NT$1,200 and lasts for 30 days. Making it ideal for folks in Northern Taiwan who frequently commute. Or for tourists who will commute through all of Taiwan’s northern cities frequently.

It could also prove helpful to folks who are in Taiwan for business.

No TPASS encompasses all of Taiwan, just different regions. I cover all those regions in a separate piece.


How to get to Taipei City from Taoyuan International Airport

The following sections will tell you how to get to Taipei City.


1. Taiwan High-speed Rail (HSR)

  • How to Pay *: EasyCard, icash 2.0, HappyCash, cash, & iPass
  • Avg. Price **: NT$20–65
  • Stations

You’d take the Taoyuan Metro to the Taoyuan HSR station, then take the high speed rail (HSR) to Taipei Main Station or Nangang Station. Trains for this route will start at NT$155 for a Non-Reserved Seat Adult ticket.

Prices will vary by station, car type, and Adult versus Concession versus Group Tickets.


2. Intercity Bus

  • How to Pay *: EasyCard, icash 2.0, HappyCash, cash, & iPass
  • Avg. Price **: NT$135+

Take one of the following buses from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei City:

Bus #Travel TimeFrequencyPrice (One-Way)Destination
181955 min.15–20 min.NT$135–145Taipei Main Station
196060–70 min.20–40 min.NT$145Taipei City Hall
5203NANANT$90Taipei City center
1819A70 min.NANT$135–145Taipei Main Station

I recommend taking the bus if you arrive in Taiwan very early and don’t want to wait until 5:55 AM for the first train to depart.


3. Taoyuan Metro

  • How to Pay *: EasyCard, icash 2.0, HappyCash, cash, & iPass
  • Avg. Price **: NT$140+

Taking the Taoyuan Metro to Taipei Main Station will balance time and money. It costs a bit more than buses, but it takes much less time to arrive in Taipei.

Trains will depart from the airport every 15 minutes. The first train departs at 5:55 AM; the last at the following times:

  • Terminal 1: 12:13 AM /12:28 / 12:43 / 12:58 minutes past each hour
  • Terminal 2: 12:10 AM / 12:25 / 12:40 / 12:55 minutes past each hour

You’ll see Commuter and Express trains. Express trains go directly to Taipei Main Station and take 35–38 minutes. Commuter trains will take 50 minutes and drop people off at every stop along the way.

The Express trains don’t cost more than Commuters.


4. Airplane

  • Airport: Songshan International Airport

Songshan Airport is a business airport that’s inside Taipei City, unlike Taoyuan International Airport, which is in Taoyuan City. Flights to this airport are mostly for business purposes, which makes it pricier to travel here.

And it’s mostly Taiwanese airlines (e.g., China Airlines and EVA) fly here.

Footnotes:

  • * You may have to visit service counters to pay by card or cash.
  • ** Varies by your destination, payment method, discount, & other factors.

More Guides for Taipei Visitors

Even More Guides

Where to Stay in Taipei: Best Places Compared

Indoor Things to do in Taipei

Things to do in Taipei with Kids

Taipei Nightlife: Best Bars, Nightclubs, & Attractions

13 Taipei Travel Tips to consider when visiting

Best Taipei Tours

Beitou Museum – Visitors Guide

National Taiwan Science Education Center – Visitors Guide

person standing on top of Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan City, Taiwan

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