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 more than 5 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.
- A one-bedroom apartment in the city will cost, on average, NT$12,000–30,000/mo.
- Internet costs are usually included with rent.
- Owning a car is expensive because you’ll need to pay for fuel, insurance, & parking.
- It’s cheap to eat out, but cooking at home is still cheaper.
Taiwan Apartment Rent Price
Prices for apartment rentals throughout Taiwan include :
|One-bedroom apartment in the city||NT$12,000–30,000/mo.|
|One-bedroom apartment outside the city||NT$8,000–18,000/mo.|
|Three-bedroom apartment in the city||NT$30,000–80,000/mo.|
|Three-bedroom apartment outside the city||NT$21,000–50,000/mo.|
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?
|Electricity||NT$2.8–5 per kWh|
|* Broadband Internet||NT$909/mo.|
* 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
|One-way Metro ticket||NT$20–60|
|Long distance bus fare||NT$15–30 (one way)|
|YouBike rental||NT$5–NT$40 per 30 min.|
|* Taiwan High Speed Rail Train Ticket||At least NT$1,480 (one way)|
|** Taiwan Railway Association Train Ticket||NT$1.06–NT$2.27 per km|
|Taxi Start by city||NT$70–100|
|Taxi cost||NT$17.95–20 per km|
|*** Uber Ride||NT$14.5 per km|
* 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 Service||Price|
|2021 Toyota Camry L||NT$708,180|
|Car insurance, registration, and fuel tax combined (one year)||NT$18,000–25,000|
|Car parking Fee||NT$3,000–6,000/mo.|
|Gasoline||NT$119.619 per gal.|
|GoStation battery swapping||NT$299–1,199/mo.|
Taiwan Living Essential Costs
|Laundry detergent (3 liters)||NT$155|
|Garbage (Per Bag)||NT$1.00–5.00|
|Garbage Collection Per House||NT$3.7–4.1 per ton|
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:
|Loaf of bread||NT$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|
|Yellow cheese (1 kilogram)||NT$656|
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 Restaurant||Price|
|Drink at a bar||NT$150+|
|Meal at McDonald’s||NT$135|
|Mid-range restaurant meal for two||NT$800|
|Inexpensive restaurant meal for one||NT$45–100|
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 Medication||Cost|
|Hospital Visit Copay w/o||NT$300–3,000|
|Clinic visit Copay w/o insurance||NT$500|
|Clinic Visit Copay w/ Insurance||NT$150|
|Hospital Visit Copay w/ Insurance||NT$350|
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 . 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:
|Toothpaste (1 tube)||NT$84|
|Laundry detergent (3 liters)||NT$287|
|Toilet paper (4 rolls)||NT$52|
|Box of tampons (x32)||NT$279|
Here are entertainment costs in Taiwan:
|Item or Venue||Price|
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)||NT$90|
|Domestic beer||NT$20–50 per can|
|Night club entry fee||NT$300+|
|Movie theater ticket||NT$581|
Many of these prices were sourced from a survey of family income and expenditures in Taiwan . 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.
More Guides for Visitors
- TPASS Transportation Card Guide
- Taiwan Packing List
- Taiwan Tourist Visa Guide
- Taiwan Hot Springs: An Overview
- Taiwan Travel Costs
- Taiwan Winter Packing List
- How to Rent a Car in Taiwan