Taipei City – A Visitors Guide

person in taipei city, taiwan
Theodore
Travel Writer

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This is a guide to traveling in Taipei City, Taiwan. Read on to learn more.

I’ve lived in Taiwan for over 5 years and visit Taipei City many times a week. I’ve seen almost every tourist attraction by now and have tried many restaurants.


Summary

  • Taipei is the best city to visit for tourists because of wide-spread English speaking.
  • The subway is the best way to get around.
  • Best souvenirs include Taipei 101 merch. & pineapple cakes.
  • Best tourist attractions include Taipei 101 & Shilin Night Market.


Taipei City, Taiwan Traveler Information

CurrencyNew Taiwan Dollar
Power Socket110V or 220V
Time ZoneGMT+8
Tipping Required?No
City-wide Wi-Fi SSIDiTaiwan

Useful Phone Numbers in Taipei City

Here’s a list of phone numbers you should keep on hand while in Taipei:

Ambulance / Fire119
Police110
Emergency Rescue112
Travel Information Hotline(02) 2717-3737

Where to Exchange Currency in Taipei City

Here are all the places to consider exchanging currency at:

  • ATMs: Best exchange rates.
  • Banks: Great exchange rate, but long wait times.
  • Currency exchange booths at Taoyuan Airport: Worst Rates.
  • Currency exchange services like Travelex.
  • Shopping Centers: Not the greatest exchange rates.
    • Pacific SOGO
    • Shin Kong Kitsubishi
    • Breeze Center
    • Taipei 101

Taipei City Districts: Best Places to Stay

Here are all the best districts in Taipei to consider as a tourist:

  • Songshan District: Tourists love this district’s vibrant night markets.
  • Xinyi District: A paradise for shoppers, it houses the iconic Taipei 101.
  • Daan District: It’s a great place to enjoy Taipei’s café culture and parks.
  • Zhongshan District: Stay here for diverse food options and Art Deco architecture.
  • Zhongzheng District: Close to Taipei Main Station.
  • Datong District: It provides a historical perspective with its old temples.
  • Wanhua District: It boasts Ximending, Taipei’s hippest shopping and entertainment area.
  • Shilin District: This district is a must for foodies with its famous night market.
  • Beitou District: Tourists visit here for hot springs and relaxing retreats.

Avoid the following districts if possible because they’re inconvenient, are industrial, or residential:

  • Wenshan District: Predominantly residential, it’s far from most tourist hotspots.
  • Nangang District: With its tech focus, it doesn’t attract many tourists.
  • Shilin District: Despite the market, parts of it are mainly residential.
  • Neihu District: It’s not a top pick for tourists due to its industrial nature.

How to get to Taipei City

How to Get to Taipei City from Songshan Airport

Here are your options for reaching Taipei from Taipei’s airport:

  • Taipei MRT: The MRT remains the best way to travel from Songshan.
    • Enter the Taipei MRT Brown Line from Songshan Airport Station.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available outside the airport.
  • Walking: Only viable if your destination is in the nearby area.
    • Check your route before you start.
  • City Bus: Grab a city bus outside the airport. Buses 262 will take you downtown.

How to Get to Taipei City from Taoyuan International Airport

Reach Taipei from Taoyuan’s airport through these methods:

  • Taoyuan Airport MRT: Most efficient option. The Airport MRT gets you to Taipei Main Station swiftly.
  • Taxi: Taxis are outside both Terminal 1 and 2.
    • Inform the driver you’re heading to Taipei city.
  • High-Speed Rail: First, catch the shuttle bus to the Taoyuan HSR station.
    • Board a train to Wenhua, Taipei Station, or Nangang.
  • City Bus: Numerous buses, like 1819, commute to Taipei. They’re stationed outside the arrivals area.

How to Get Around Taipei City

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
Taipei MetroNT$20–NT$65City travel
TaxiNT$16–NT$25 per kmTravel to specific destinations
Taiwan public transportation mediums compared.

1. Taipei Metro: Best Overall

The Taipei MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and Taipei LRT (Light Rail Transit) are key components of Taipei’s public transportation system. The MRT suits city explorers with its extensive network reaching most city areas.

The LRT best caters to travelers focusing on western Taipei, providing scenic views and less crowded rides.

Comparing the MRT and LRT:

MRT:

  • Covers a more extensive area than LRT.
  • Stations outnumber LRT ones.
  • Higher frequency services than LRT.
  • More suitable for quick commutes.

Light Rail Transit:

  • Offers scenic views of the city, unlike MRT.
  • Typically less crowded than MRT ones.
  • Preferable for a relaxed travel pace.

2. Bus: City, Intercity, Innercity, & Shuttle bus: Most Affordable

City buses in Taipei offer local routes, perfect for everyday commuters. Intercity buses connect Taipei to other Taiwanese cities, ideal for long-distance travelers. Shuttle buses provide service to specific destinations such as airports, benefiting visitors and locals alike.

Comparing the bus types:

  • City buses cater to daily commuters, offering short, frequent routes.
  • Intercity buses serve long-distance travelers, linking cities island-wide.
  • Shuttle buses target specific routes, like airport runs, making travel seamless.

Each type serves different travel needs, ensuring public transportation in Taipei is versatile and efficient.


3. Taxi & Uber: Most Comfortable

Taiwan’s taxi system delivers quick, reliable, and convenient travel around Taipei. Drivers often speak little English, favoring those with Mandarin skills. Taxis are ideal for short, urgent trips or late-night journeys.

Uber, a global ride-hailing service, operates in Taipei too. English-speaking drivers, comfort, and fare transparency make it preferable for tourists or those with no Mandarin proficiency. However, during peak hours, Uber tends to be pricier than taxis.


4. YouBike: Best for Exercise & Sightseeing

YouBike, Taipei’s public bike sharing system, offers quick, cost-effective travel. Ideal for short, spontaneous trips, it features accessible rental stations scattered city-wide. Perfect for budget-conscious explorers, fitness enthusiasts or eco-friendly travelers.

For optimal city exploration, combine YouBike with Taipei’s efficient MRT system.

Here’s the pricing:

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)
Rates for renting a YouBike in New Taipei City.

Things to Do in Taipei City

Here are a bunch of things to do within Taipei City:

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


Times to hike each path will vary. As will difficulty, the stated difficulty is based on what the average person declared each path as.

Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain)

Moderate
Length: 1.1 km
Time: 39 min
Location: Xinyi

Jiantanshan Hiking Trail

Moderate
Length: 5.0 km
Time: 1 hr 38 min
Location: Shilin

Yangminshan Trail

Hard
Length: 24.5 km
Time: Varies
Location: Yangminshan National Park

Dahu Park & Jiantan Mountain

Moderate
Length: 11.3 km
Time: 3 hrs 59 min
Location: Neihu

Jinmian Mountain Loop

Easy
Length: 1.9 km
Time: 1 hr 10 min
Location: Neihu

Xindian River Trail

Easy
Length: 9.2 km
Time: 1 hr 52 min
Location: Wanhua

Nine Five Peak

Hard
Length: 5.6 km
Time: 2 hr 25 min
Location: Xinyi

Qixing Mountain

Moderate
Length: 4.5 km
Time: 2 hr 3 min
Location: Yangminshan National Park


Best Temples in Taipei City

Check out these Buddhist and Taoist temples when in Taipei:

  • Longshan Temple: Taipei’s iconic temple, famed for its stunning architecture and history.
  • Taipei Confucius Temple: Showcases ancient Chinese philosophies through interactive exhibits.
  • Xingtian Temple: Busy hub for worshippers of Guan, known for its vibrant ceremonies.
  • Guandu Temple: A temple dedicated to the Goddess Mazu.
  • Bao’an Temple: Celebrates folk deities with its annual Baosheng Cultural Festival.
  • Qingshan Temple: Honors the deity Qingshan.
  • Qingshui Temple: Historical site with intricate sculptures, renowned for the Qingshan King Festival.

Best Food to Eat in Taipei City

Here are a bunch of restaurants I recommend trying while in Taipei:

Restaurant NameDescriptionChinese Name
Din Tai FungFamous for dumplings & other Taiwanese dishes.鼎泰豐
Snow KingUnique flavors of ice cream (e.g., wasabi).雪王冰淇淋
Fuhong Beef NoodlesSome of Taiwan’s most popular beef noodles.富宏牛肉麵
Yong He Soy MilkPopular breakfast joint.永和豆漿
L’Atelier de Joël RobuchonFrench restaurant ran by a Michelin chef.侯布雄法式餐廳
RAWMichelin-star restaurant that serves French cuisine.夏季菜單
Diamond Tony’s Italian Restaurant 101“OK” food, excellent view.隨意鳥地方101觀景餐廳
34th-floor Starbucks in Taipei 101Reservation-only Starbucks w/ great view of Taipei.星巴克

Night Markets in Taipei City

Night MarketBest Food To TryChinese Name
Dalong Night MarketNA大龍街夜市
Gongguan Night MarketTaiwanese Hamburger公館夜市
Guangzhou Street Night MarketFried marlin cakes廣州街夜市
Huaxi Street Night Market (Snake Alley)Steamed minced pork with pickles in broth華西街觀光夜市
Jingmei Night MarketTofu pudding景美夜市
Liaoning Street Night MarketBoiled squid遼寧街夜市
Nanjichang Night MarketSesame Oil Chicken南機場夜市
Ningxia Night MarketShredded Chicken on the Rice寧夏夜市
Raohe Street Night MarketBlack pepper bun & mochi饒河街觀光夜市
Shida Night MarketFried chicken師大路夜市
Shilin Night MarketGiant sausages士林夜市
Shipai Night MarketNA石牌夜市
Shuangcheng Street Night MarketNA雙成街夜市
Tonghua Street Night marketStinky tofu & tangyuan通化街夜市
Yansan Night MarketCabbage rice延三夜市
Ximending Night MarketIce cream @ the Snow KingNA
737 Night MarketSoup dumplings737夜市
Every night market in Taipei City, Taiwan.

What to Buy in Taipei & Where to Buy Souvenirs

Here are souvenirs to consider buying in Taipei:

SouvenirDescriptionWhere to Buy
Pineapple CakeA sweet, dense cake filled with tangy pineapple jam.Chia Te Bakery
JadeCarved mineral stone, symbol of purity & nobility in Taiwan.Jianguo Jade Market
Taiwanese TeaOolong tea variety, renowned for its floral and creamy taste.Any Taiwanese gift shop
Oil Paper UmbrellasTraditional umbrella, designed with painted oil paper.Huashi Street Night Market
Castella Sponge CakeEgg-rich, fluffy sponge cake with a hint of honey.Original Cake Bakery
Taipei 101 Merch.Souvenirs reflecting Taipei’s tallest skyscraper.Various gift shops inside Taipei 101.

Taipei Travel Tips

Use these tips when traveling to Taipei:

  • Purchase an EasyCard for smooth, hassle-free travel on public transport.
  • Pack a raincoat or umbrella, unpredictable rain is common in Taipei.
  • Prepare for the high humidity, hydrate often & wear breathable fabrics.
  • Bring insect repellent, especially if you plan to visit parks or mountains.
  • Consider a portable fan or cooling towel to beat the heat.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen, the Taiwanese sun can be intense.
  • Bring sturdy, comfortable shoes suitable for varied city and mountain terrains.

More Taipei Sights to See

Image sources:

  • npm.gov.tw/?l=2
  • ymsnp.gov.tw/main_en/com_tourmap_m.aspx?id=21&uid=183&pid=172
  • news.immigration.gov.tw/Column/Detail/fd230075-f091-4961-80be-dd713a15b8dc?category=5&lang=EN
  • ner.gov.tw/news/618c7d58a5b23300073be732
  • english.president.gov.tw/Page/116

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

Guide to Getting Around Taipei

Best Taipei Tours

Beitou Museum – Visitors Guide

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

About Theo

Theodore began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Theo

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