Taiwan’s Living Costs

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Taiwan’s living costs aren’t too high, depending on your lifestyle. Throughout this guide, I’ll cover everyday living expenses in Taiwan. Read on to learn more.

I’ve lived in Taiwan for over 4 years and have studied various ways to save money. To help you plan your living situation in Taiwan, I’ve compiled average prices based on my (and other folks’) experiences.

To help you get a grasp on what expenses you’ll need to budget for, I’ll cover these areas:

Let’s build a budget.

Taiwan Apartment Rent Price

Prices for apartment rentals throughout Taiwan include [1]:

Apartment TypePrice
One-bedroom apartment in the cityNT$12,000–30,000/mo.
One-bedroom apartment outside the cityNT$8,000–18,000/mo.
Three-bedroom apartment in the cityNT$30,000–80,000/mo.
Three-bedroom apartment outside the cityNT$21,000–50,000/mo.
Average Taiwan living costs for apartment rentals.

These prices will differ by city. For instance, living in downtown Taipei would cost much more than living in the countryside in Hsinchu.

I further compare the average pricing for rent in various popular Taiwan cities in a different guide. Check it out if you need help finding somewhere to live.

When staying in Taiwan, you’ll need to consider average utility prices.

How Much Are Utilities in Taiwan?

Here are the average rates for utilities in Taiwan [2, 3 (PDF link), 4]:

UtilityPrice
ElectricityNT$2.8–5 per kWh
* Broadband InternetNT$909/mo.
WaterNT$200–300/mo.
GasNT$250/mo.
Average Taiwan living costs for utilities.

* Fiber to the “X” (FTTX) internet from Chunghwa Telecom’s HiNet internet service provider. Speeds for this price are 100 Mbps downstream and 40 Mbps upstream.

I’m passionate about internet service providers (ISP).

And Taiwan’s home internet providers bug me a bit. Some ISPs in Taiwan include HiNet, SoNet, Seednet, Taiwan Mobile, and Home+.

Most internet plans I’ve found are only:

  • Asymmetric: unequal download and upload speeds
  • ADSL: asymmetric digital subscriber line
  • FTTx: fiber to the premises (X)

Fiber to the “X” DOESN’T mean you have 100% fiber optic internet. In some cases, you can, though.

Based on providers in other countries I’ve researched (e.g., Verizon Fios), true fiber internet equals symmetric speeds.

So I suspect the final mile isn’t fiber. “Final mile” being the internet connection type you use.

I don’t know whether this is true, so don’t quote me.

Based on my experience with American ISPs, they’ve had hidden fees. Taiwanese service providers make it difficult to find these hidden costs. I recommend visiting the service provider’s store and checking the prices.

When you’re getting out of your room, you’ll need to know the prices of getting around Taiwan.

Taiwan Public Transportation Costs

Here are the average costs for getting around Taiwan [5, 6]:

Transportation MethodFare
One-way Metro ticketNT$20–60
Long distance bus fareNT$15–30 (one way)
YouBike rentalNT$5–NT$40 per 30 min.
* Taiwan High Speed Rail Train TicketAt least NT$1,480 (one way)
** Taiwan Railway Association Train TicketNT$1.06–NT$2.27 per km
Taxi Start by cityNT$70–100
Taxi costNT$17.95–20 per km
*** Uber RideNT$14.5 per km
Average Taiwan living costs for public transportation.

* One-way ticket for non-reserved seats.

** Rates depend on the type of train you take.

*** These prices vary by the type of Uber you use (e.g., uberX).

Don’t take the Uber rates too seriously. The only source I could find doesn’t seem to be the most reliable information. But it’s a benchmark.

Uber rates will vary by city, time of day, and other factors.

Taiwan has several metros. Since many of you reading this article will use Taipei’s Metro, I listed the average rates for that MRT. And if you need a guide on Taipei’s subway system, read here.

Personal Vehicle Costs in Taiwan

Here are the prices of owning a personal vehicle in Taiwan:

Vehicle Type or ServicePrice
Parking lotsNT$20+/hr.
2021 Toyota Camry LNT$708,180
Car insurance, registration, and fuel tax combined (one year)NT$18,000–25,000
Car parking FeeNT$3,000–6,000/mo.
GasolineNT$119.619 per gal.
GoStation battery swappingNT$299–1,199/mo.
Average Taiwan living costs for personal transportation.

Taiwan Living Essential Costs

Here are the prices for essential living costs in Taiwan [7, 8 (HTTP PDF link]

EssentialPrice
EasyCardNT$100 (one-time)
Gym membershipNT$800–1,500/mo.
SIM cardNT$499–920/mo.
Laundry detergent (3 liters)NT$155
Garbage (Per Bag)NT$1.00–5.00
Garbage Collection Per HouseNT$3.7–4.1 per ton
Costco MembershipNT$1,350/yr.
Average Taiwan living costs for essentials.

Taiwan has an interesting trash system. If you’re familiar with America’s trash system, you pay a monthly fee, throw your crap in an outside can, and wait for someone to collect it.

Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Taichung City (one district) require you to chase after trash trucks. You MUST pack your trash in government-approved garbage bags. They don’t cost much. And you can find them at many Taiwanese shops.

It doesn’t matter what type of bags you use for recycling.

Other cities require you to pay per ton.

If you have a Costco Membership from another country, you can transfer it to Taiwan. And I recommend doing so. Taiwan’s Costco stores offer some of the best value for bulk purchases.

For instance, they sell Arm & Hammer detergent. From my experience, it gives you the best value.

And if you need help finding a prepaid SIM card in Taiwan, explore a guide I wrote.

EasyCards. They’re a cashless means to pay for various goods and services throughout Taiwan. I also wrote a guide for it.

Here’s another essential for living.

Groceries Prices in Taiwan

Here are examples of grocery costs in Taiwan:

Food ItemPrice
Average groceriesNT$3,600/mo.
Loaf of breadNT$54
Regular eggs (x12)NT$74
Rice (1 kg)NT$88
Milk (1 liter)NT$94
Fruit juice (1.5 liters)NT$100
Orange juice (0.3 liters)NT$35
OrangesNT$90
GrapesNT$200
TomatoesNT$90
BaconNT$210–230
Ready-made noodlesNT$17–22
Yellow cheese (1 kilogram)NT$656
Average cost of groceries in Taiwan.

The cheapest way to get meat and produce is from wet markets. You’ll find them everywhere in Taiwan. They have a handful of stands with locals selling various foods.

I buy everything from hypermarkets and supermarkets, though. So I can’t help you much with buying from these vendors.

It’s a personal preference. And if you’re like me, go for PX Mart, Costco, Carrefour, or A-Mart.

They don’t charge too much for food. And you can find a decent variety. Costco and Carrefour will have the most international foods, though.

At a higher price, of course.

Costs for Eating Out in Taiwan

The costs for eating out at restaurants, cafés, and street food stands include:

Meal, Beverage, or RestaurantPrice
Drink at a barNT$150+
CappuccinoNT$81
Bottled waterNT$8.00–20
Meal at McDonald’sNT$135
Mid-range restaurant meal for twoNT$800
Inexpensive restaurant meal for oneNT$45–100
Street foodNT$15–250
Average cost of eating out in Taiwan.

By street foods, I’m referring to Taiwanese night markets. Here’s a guide I wrote on what foods you should try at a number of them.

Most night markets throughout Taiwan have identical pricing. At some tourist-focused markets (like Shilin) you may see higher prices. Since the locals are targeting tourists.

I haven’t been there within the last year. So these prices may have changed.

How Much Does Healthcare Cost in Taiwan?

Here are the average costs for Taiwan’s healthcare:

Copay or MedicationCost
Hospital Visit Copay w/oNT$300–3,000
Clinic visit Copay w/o insuranceNT$500
Clinic Visit Copay w/ InsuranceNT$150
Hospital Visit Copay w/ InsuranceNT$350
Cold medicineNT$196
Average Taiwan health costs.

The amount you’ll pay for Taiwan National Health Insurance (NHI) depends on how much the government and your boss contribute to your premium.

Freelancers (self-employed folks) must pay 100% of the premium [9]. That’s NT$1,839. In many scenarios, people will pay NT$826 monthly.

In case you’re curious, here are the pros and cons of Taiwan’s healthcare system.

Personal Care Costs in Taiwan

Health and personal care prices in many places throughout Taiwan are as follows:

ItemPrice
Toothpaste (1 tube)NT$84
Men’s haircutNT$800–1,500
Laundry detergent (3 liters)NT$287
Toilet paper (4 rolls)NT$52
Box of tampons (x32)NT$279
DeodorantNT$190
Average cost for personal care and medical situations in Taiwan.

Here are entertainment costs in Taiwan:

Item or VenuePrice
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)NT$90
Domestic beerNT$20–50 per can
Night club entry feeNT$300+
Movie theater ticketNT$581
Average cost for various forms of entertainment in Taiwan.

Many of these prices were sourced from a survey of family income and expenditures in Taiwan [10]. Many of these prices are also sourced from first-hand experience in Taipei and New Taipei cities.

If you’re outside these cities, you’ll likely pay less for the various categories I listed.

FAQs: Taiwan Living Costs

Read through these commonly asked questions about Taiwan living costs. Determine how much money you’ll need when moving to the island nation.

How Much Do You Need To Live Comfortably in Taiwan?

To live comfortably in Taiwan, you’ll want an income of at least NT$30,000 ($1079) per month. This number will vary depending on what part of Taiwan you reside in.

Can Foreigners Buy Property in Taiwan?

Foreigners can only buy property in Taiwan if laws allow Taiwanese people to buy land in your home country.

How Do I Save Money on Living Expenses in Taipei?

The best way to save money on living expenses in Taipei is by cooking your own food rather than eating out every day or buying takeout.

Is Taiwan a Good Place To Retire?

Taiwan is a good place to retire. The Taiwanese government has created policies that make it easy for foreigners living in Taiwan to get social security and retirement benefits from their home country while living in Taiwan.

Is Taiwan Cashless?

For the most part, Taiwan isn’t cashless. Some businesses accept smart cards like EasyCard and iPass. Others will accept electronic payment methods like LINE Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

Conclusion

Almost everything you’ll need in Taiwan is cheaper than in many countries.

These prices can fluctuate at any time.

Only use the above tables to estimate how much you’ll need to pay when coming to—or moving to—Taiwan. Ensure you set up an emergency savings account. It’ll help protect you in case anything happens.
Explore my other Taiwan expat and travel guides.

an infographic showing how much would $1000 per month get you in taiwan
Taiwan cost of living USD. If you use this image on your site, which is fine, please cite this post: eagernomad.com/taiwan-living-cost
person standing on top of Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan City, Taiwan

About Tee

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