It’s a little pricey compared to night markets for locals.
However, Shilin Night Market is somewhere you should consider exploring when visiting Taipei.
Throughout this labyrinth of vendors, you’ll find clothing, Taiwanese souvenirs, dinner, dessert, breakfast, piercing stores, and whatever else your heart desires.
Before heading there, you’ll want to read through this piece to find valuable information like:
- Shilin’s history
- What foods it’s famous for
- What’s nearby
- How to get there
|Hours||Mon.–Fri. 4 PM–12 AM; Sat. and Sun. 4–11 PM|
|Number of Stalls||539 stalls|
|Opening date||2011 (current location); 1899 (original location)|
Shilin Market location: No. 101, Jihe Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
Information and History #
Shilin Street Tourist Night Market was built in 1899, which makes it Taiwan’s oldest tourist night market. From there, local food businesses began to accumilate customers.
For over a century, Shilin survived the Japanese Empire, the KMT’s harsh era of martial lawm and through the beginning of Taiwan blossoming into a democratic nation.
As the country transitioned into the 2000s, in 2002, the Taipei City Government shut down and demolished the market due to fire hazards along with safety and sanitation concerns.
To keep their income flowing, vendors were moves into nearby temporary structures.
In 2006, Shilin Night Market began to transform. Five years later, the rennovations finished and the market returned to its former glory.
What’s There to Do Around Shilin Street Night Market? #
If you’re interested in temples, this area is home to one of Taipei’s oldest, Chicheng Temple.
Otherwise, to catch a glimpse of Taiwan’s history, you can visit Chiang Kai Shek’s residence. He was a military leader, a member of the Kuomintang (KMT), and the first official president of Taiwan.
While he has a controversial past, you can learn a lot about this figure by visiting his former home. Depending on the time of year you visit Taiwan, you can catch beautiful flowers that adorn the property.
You will find this property north of the night market.
To learn more about the Chinese Civil War, explore the nearby National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine. It’s a place dedicated to those who died during the war.
Then there’s the Taipei Grand Hotel. Whether you want to view it or stay in it, either option will give you a look at a place that hosted various popular figures like former US presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.
What Foods You Shouldn’t Miss #
You can only find many local flavors in Shilin Night Market like:
- Sheng Jian Bao at Chung Chia: Sheng Jia Bao are a raw fried bun that has vegetables and meat
- Pork Ribs at Hai Yu: some restaurants at Shilin will stew ribs in Chinese herbal medicine
- Cold Noodles at Good Friend: a Michelin-recommended restaurant that serves noodles dressed in seseme sauce that also have a hint of lemon
- Oyster Omelet: there’s no specific place that’s famous for this food, so I recommend looking around
- Sausages: this market has massive sausages; there’s no specific place to buy these
Foreigners and the Taiwanese alike will recommend trying chicken cutlets and stir-fried squid for dinner. For dessert, you’ll want to try shaved ice.
How To Get To Shilin Night Market #
When looking at a map of Taipei’s MRT, you’ll see Shilin Station—don’t depart from that station to reach Shilin Street Market. Instead, get off at Jiantan Station.
You can also take the Taipei Sightseeing Bus Blue Route (route map) and depart at the Jiantan metro station stop.
A Must-visit Destination in Taipei
Many vendors may mark up their prices because Shilin Night Market focuses on tourists, but don’t let that deter you.
You still won’t have to pay much for food. So don’t be afraid to try something new.
You’ll also have no shortage of things to do, souvenir shops to find, or places to explore when in this area.