This guide will explore the costs of traveling in Taiwan. Keep reading to find estimated costs for accommodation, transportation, eating, and more.
I’ve lived in Taiwan for more than 5 years and learned much about prices. I’ve compiled estimated prices to help you prepare for a move or trip.
Once you’re done reading, you should understand the following:
- Budget breakdown for different categories
- Accommodation costs
- Cost to eat out
- Public transportation costs
- Private transportation costs
- Recreation costs
- Alcohol costs
- SIM card pricing
- Breakdown of Taiwan’s currency
Let’s plan your trip.
Budget Breakdown for Traveling to Taiwan #
The following sections will cover average Taiwan travel prices for different types of travelers.
Here’s the price of an average trip to Taiwan for 3 days:
|Category||Est. Cost per day|
None of these estimates are straightforward. Pricing will vary based on factors like:
- Visiting a tourist hotspot
- Time of year
- Attraction you visit
Want to save money? Check out the next section.
The prices for a trip to Taiwan for 3 days when budgeting may look like this:
|Category||Est. Cost per day|
Why’s the SIM card price different from the “average cost” table?
TSTAR charges NT$50 less for their SIM card. But it doesn’t offer as much coverage or speed as Chunghwa (the NT$300 card). I recommend spending the NT$50 for a Chunghwa Card.
You COULD cut out SIM cards completely. I don’t recommend that option. You’ll want a way to call police, ambulance, or similar services in emergency situations.
I’ll cover ways to pay the least in various categories throughout this guide. Keep reading to find out.
Accommodation Costs in Taiwan #
Average prices for different types of accommodation throughout Taiwan’s most popular cities are:
|Accommodation Type||City||Average Price (1 Night)|
|Bed & Breakfast||Taipei||NT$2,696|
|Internet Cafe||Taipei||NT$720 (12 hrs.)|
|Bed & Breakfast||Taichung||NT$2,324|
|Bed & Breakfast||Tainan||NT$2,014|
|Bed & Breakfast||Hualien||NT1,800|
I found price estimates for hotels on Booking.com. And these booking prices are for 2 adults and no children. It’s the most expensive option, but it offers the most amenities.
I’d love to recommend Airbnb. But the average prices I listed don’t account for security deposits, cleaning costs, and other fees. Plus, they generally have fewer amenities.
And in my experience with Airbnb in Taiwan, I’ve always needed to request someone to fix something. Whether a dead lightbulb or sink issue. Perhaps I’m just unlucky.
Why would I list internet cafés?
24-hour internet cafés appear not to care if you sleep in them. Some of them also offer unlimited ice cream and drinks. It gives you somewhere to game, read manga, watch TV, and chill without paying a lot.
Only sleep in these cafés if you’re not a light sleeper. The sounds from surrounding boxes will likely wake you up. In that case, bring earplugs and an eye mask to block out all sound and light.
Hostels are best for budgeting and meeting new people. Since Taiwan’s safe, you’re not in danger when staying at one of these.
But you’ll have to deal with dormitories. Unless you go for a private room.
I’ve never visited a bed & breakfast in Taiwan. I can’t provide any recommendations or insight based on experience. Check out other Taiwan travel blogs, Reddit and Forumosa posts, or videos for perspectives in that area.
How To Save Money on Accommodation in Taiwan
Here are some of the best ways to save money on accommodation in Taiwan:
- Get a membership at internet cafés: you’ll pay lower rates
- Sign up for house sitting: pay an annual fee & babysit people’s homes and pets
- Call the hotels: ask whether they offer any specials
- Volunteer in exchange for accommodation: check sites like WWOOF & Workaway
- Try a homestay: see whether the city you’re visiting will let you stay with a Taiwanese person
Also, try opening an incognito or private tab in your browser and browsing hotel deal websites. If you have a virtual private network (VPN) subscription, enable that as well. Many hotel websites MAY base pricing based on your location.
Disabling the website’s ability to track your cookies and location may affect your rates. Sometimes I’ve found different rates when using this “trick.” I don’t guarantee it’ll work, though.
The last tip may present a little confusion. Homestays are a type of hospitality where you’ll stay with a host family. It’s a great way to learn about Taiwanese culture and save money.
These programs don’t seem to cost much. But availability will vary.
Since you found somewhere to stay, figure out how you’ll eat.
Eating Out Costs in Taiwan #
Costs for eating at restaurants, night markets, and fast food joints are as follows:
|Restaurant or Food||Est. Price (1 Meal)|
|Big Mac À La Carte & McDonald’s||$2.48–$4.53|
|Medium Cup Of Bubble Tea||NT$85|
|Mom & Pop Restaurant||NT$75–NT$120|
|Sandwich At 7-Eleven||NT$45|
|Night Market Food||NT$15–NT$100|
How To Save Money on Eating Out in Taiwan
Save money on eating out in Taiwan by not eating out. Or by buying food at local restaurants.
However, most of the time, family-owned or small restaurants won’t have English menus. Or speak English. If you have a Taiwanese friend, bring them and see if they can order for you.
If the restaurant has menus with pictures of their food, point to the item you want. But then there’s the scenario of whether you enjoy spicy food, how big of a bowl you want, and other add-ons.
Even if you remember specific Mandarin phrases or menu items, shop owners sometimes throw curveballs.
Tourist night markets will have many English-speaking street food stall owners. But will charge more for their food. Since they target tourists.
The safest route involves buying food from convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Family Mart. Both don’t charge much. They also will microwave many food items and offer free seating.
At 7-Eleven, I’ve seen large rice curry dishes for NT$75. However, most of the time, I get sandwiches.
You’ll need a way to get to all these shops.
Public Transportation Costs in Taiwan #
Here are costs based on the type of public transportation you take for a one-way trip :
|Transportation||One-way Trip (Est.)||Best For|
|MRT||NT$20–NT$65||Quick city travel|
|YouBike Rental||* NT$5–NT$40 per 30 min||Exercise|
|City Bus||NT$15; 1 segment||Budget|
|TW High Speed Rail||NT$35–NT$2,500||Inter-city travel (speed)|
|TW Railway Association Train||NT$11–NT$836||Inter-city travel (budget)|
|Tourist Shuttle bus||** NT$350||Tourists|
|Ferry (To Outlying islands)||NT$819–NT1,700||Reaching outlying islands|
* Price starts at NT$5 per half hour. Every 4 hours of renting the price will increase. I break down the YouBike rental costs more in the guide I linked in the table.
** Unable to find concrete source.
City bus rates will increase to NT$30 for a 2-segment trip. And NT$45 for a 3-segment trip. Pay for these trips with an IC card or cash.
Taiwan High Speed Rail (TSHR) trips will vary by seat you choose and station you depart from. There are Standard, Business, and Non Reserved Seats. The third option costs the least. While Business costs the most.
Get up to a 35% discount on TSHR tickets by ordering a Reserved seat 5 days prior. Students (and Mandarin study(ers) with a student ID get 12, 25, or 50% off tickets when booking certain trains .
How To Save Money on Transportation in Taiwan
Taking city buses will save you the most on public transportation costs. But they’re slower than, for instance, subways.
Most cities don’t have subways, though. And city buses may serve as your only option.
If you’re not traveling far, consider renting a YouBike. They’re cheap and give you a means to sightsee while traveling.
Many of Taiwan’s cycling paths aren’t well-marked. You’ll see many people riding their bikes in the middle of the road.
Be careful if you take this route. Drivers will appear out of nowhere.
Inter-city buses are usually the cheapest way to travel between cities. But they’re the slowest. Since they’re susceptible to traffic jams.
Here’s what you’ll pay when avoiding public transportation.
Private Transportation Costs in Taiwan #
|Car Rental||$65–$260 per day|
|Parking Garage (Or Lot)||Cars: NT$20–NT$60/hr.|
|Taxi||NT$16–NT$25 per km|
|Uber||NT$120–NT$1,200 per trip|
|Battery Rental (For Electric Motorbikes)||NT$529–NT$1,269/mo.|
You’ll need an international driving permit to rent a car in Taiwan. And a motorbike.
However, rentals get more complicated when it comes to scooters. Most cities require you to have a Taiwan driver’s license to rent them. In some cities, they’re lenient and only require an international driving permit.
Taxis vs. Uber. Which is a better option in Taiwan?
I haven’t seen any instances where taxi drivers have scammed people. But Uber guarantees your rates and often has more comfortable vehicles.
Ubers drivers operate as taxi drivers in Taiwan . From my experience, Uber’s better than a taxi. So long as you don’t take one during peak hours.
Taxis have stable rates, but aren’t as comfortable.
Learn how much it’ll cost to entertain yourself in Taiwan.
Entertainment Costs in Taiwan #
Here’s what you’ll usually pay regarding recreation in Taiwan:
|Taipei 101 89th Floor Observatory||NT$600|
|1 Movie Theater Ticket||NT$581|
|National Palace Museum (Taipei)||NT$350|
|Taipei Fine Arts Museum||NT$30|
|Night Market Entry||Free|
|Pack Of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||NT$90|
|World Gym One-Day Pass||NT$650|
I don’t know much about night clubs. Meaning I can’t help you save money in this area. Perhaps locals can better help.
Regarding attraction entry, check your city for passes that offer discounts or free admission. Let’s use the Taipei Fun Pass as an example.
Pay NT$2,200 for a 3-day unlimited pass and get free entry to more than 26 tourist attractions throughout Taipei, Keelung, and New Taipei Cities. You’ll save A LOT by going this route.
I haven’t seen smoke shops in Taiwan. Thus, there aren’t reliable ways to save money on cigarettes. They still cost less than packs in other countries.
If you vape, Taiwan has a weird policy surrounding it. Many cities ban selling vape cartridges . Thus, you’ll have difficulty finding refills.
Do you also like to drink booze? You’ll love this next section.
Alcohol Costs in Taiwan #
Prices for drinks in Taiwan are as follows:
|Drink or Venue||Est. Price|
|Tall Boy Taiwan Beer At 7-Eleven||NT$100|
|1 Cocktail At A Bar In Taipei||NT$400|
|1 Bottle Of Mid-Range Wine||NT$350|
|1 Beer At A Local Bar||NT$180|
I’m not much of a drinker these days. And when I do drink, I’ll get cans of Long Island iced tea or beers from 7-Eleven.
In many scenarios, I see tourists strolling the streets with Taiwan beer cans they bought from a convenience store. Because it’s legal to drink in public.
Here’s a perspective from another foreigner exploring bars in Taipei:
Perhaps he can provide better insight into Taiwan’s beer pricing.
You almost have everything situated. There’s only SIM cards.
SIM Card & Portable Wi-Fi Costs in Taiwan #
Costs for prepaid SIM cards in Taiwan are as follows:
|Telecom Provider||Price||Number of Days||Calling Credit|
I use Chunghwa Telecom and have found they offer the most reliable coverage.
Taiwan offers data-only eSIM. If you’re an iPhone 14 (U.S. model) user, you should consider getting an unlocked phone to take to Taiwan. Unless you’re okay with only using data.
Most Taiwanese will use the LINE app for communication. Thus, calling and SMS credits won’t make the biggest difference.
Business travelers may have the opposite situation. Check with your employer or Taiwanese counterparts to see their communication method before traveling. So long as your company doesn’t already give you a SIM card.
Portable Wi-Fi will cost as low as NT$99 per day. I don’t recommend going this route unless you have multiple devices you want to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
If you’re traveling to a city, you’ll find free Wi-Fi everywhere. At convenience stores, supermarkets, the streets, public transportation, hotels, and more.
Taiwan’s Currency #
Taiwan uses the New Taiwan Dollar (NT$, TWD, NTD, or 元 [yuán]). This currency has banknote and metal coins variations in the following denominations:
Here’s an example of what ‘1’ in various currencies gets you:
- $1.00: NT$31
- 1.00 EUR: NT$32
- 1 GBP: NT$37
- 1 AUD: NT$20
- 1 SGD: NT$22
- 1 CAD: NT$23
- 1 PHP: NT$0.55
Debit and credit card usage at smaller businesses isn’t common. You’ll use these cards for mostly online transactions, at chain stores, or department stores.
FAQs: Travel Costs for Taiwan
Read on to find additional questions asked about Taiwan travel costs.
Do I Need to Tip in Taiwan?
Tipping is not required or encouraged in Taiwan. Some restaurants may charge a 10% “service fee,” though.
How Far Does a Dollar Go in Taiwan?
$1.00 in Taiwan can get you a few food items if you visit family-owned restaurants. It’ll also get you at least 3 small teas or coffees from convenience stores.
How Much Does a Meal Cost in Taiwan?
Meals costs in Taiwan will range from NT$15–NT$300. You’ll usually pay less when visiting local restaurants.
Taiwan isn’t expensive when eating out or getting smokes. Admission to attractions will vary. Sometimes you’ll pay nothing. And others, you’ll pay more than NT$3,000.
Only use these prices as a reference. As they can change at any time.
Check out my other guides to help you plan your Taiwan itinerary.