Taipei is the capital of Taiwan and it is a modern metropolitan city. My Taipei City Guide with the ultimate 12 things to do will help you figuring out with what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Taipei.
You will find busy shopping areas, brand new buildings, old traditional temples and little streets back from the Japanese colonial era in Taipei. The Taipei skyline is dominated by the 508 meters tall Taipei 101 skyscraper.
The Tamsui river runs thru the city and into the ocean. Taipei is also known for its vibrant street food scene and many night markets, including the sprawling Shilin Night Market.
I recommend to stay 5 days in Taipei.
Ultimate 12 things to do in Taipei
- Taipei 101
- Elephant Mountain
- Sun Yat Sen Memorial
- Taipei City Hall
- Xiangti Avenue Plaza & Xinyi Plaza
- Taipei Zoo
- Maokong Mountain & Gondola
- Tamsui Village
- Shilin Night Market
- Mengjia Longshan Temple
- Ximending Walking Street
- National Taiwan Museum and 2/28 Peace Park
Taipei 101 Skyscraper
The Taipei 101 is 508 meters tall and it was for five years the tallest building in the world. It looks spectacular from the outside by day and especially by night. Each day of the week it has a different color. Inside the Taipei 101 is a massive 730-Ton wind damper to stabilize the building and protect it from the heavy winds.
Make sure you go up to the observation deck for a great view over Taipei City.
Additionally, I highly recommend to visit the Taipei 101 once by day and at least once by night from the outside.
You can see the Tower from many places in the city, but one of the best view over the city and the Taipei 101 is from the Elephant Mountain.
Elephant Mountain Hike
Hike the Elephant Mountain must be on the top of your list when you visit Taipei. Why? Check out my Elephant Mountain Hike – Epic view of Taipei post to get more insight information and pictures.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial
Close to the Taipei 101 is the Sun Yat Sen Memorial (founder of the Republic of China) and park.
Taipei City Hall
Between the Taipei 101 and the Sun Yat Sen Memorial you will pass the City Hall and City Hall Public Square.
Xiangti Avenue Plaza & Xinyi Plaza
Next to the Taipei 101 is the Xiangti Avenue Plaza & Xinyi Plaza. On those 3 blocks you will find nice restaurants, bars, shops, cinemas or delicious ice cream stalls. There is as well a night club if you want to dance, the Wave Club.
Taipei Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Asia and it is located in the Wenshan District. It offers a large variety of animals from all over the globe. The main attraction are now the Pandas. Taiwan received them from the People’s Republic of China as a gesture of unity.
Make sure you will go early enough, as it takes you easily five or more hours to walk through the whole zoo.
Maokong & Maokong Gondola
Maokong is a mountainous area with loads of tea plantations and on top of the mountain it has a restaurant with breathtaking views. It is known as the most scenic spot in Taipei to drink tasty locally grown tea.
Ride up the mountain with the scenic cable car. The Maokong Gondola has four stations and operates between Taipei Zoo and Maokong. Some of the gondolas have a glass bottom for and even more stunning view.
Important tip: The Maokong Gondola is closed for regular maintenance every Monday. So don’t make the same mistake as I did and go on a Monday 😉
Take the metro to Tamsui Station. It is the final station of the MRT. Tamsui is a nice town outside of Taipei. Walk along the Tamsui old street and stroll along the river where you will have the view to the river which is going into the ocean. I recommend to go there in the late afternoon and evening for the sunset. After Tamsui head back direction Taipei but stop at the Shilin Night Market.
Shilin Night Market
The most known night market in Taipei is the famous Shilin night market. Take the metro to the Shilin Station and from there you can’t miss it at is a very big market and many people are wandering around.
The Shiling night market has tons of delicious street food.
Besides all the yummi Asian food, they have another specialty: the extra-large fried chicken cutlet. A must try!
Mengjia Longshan Temple
The Longshan Temple is one of the oldest and largest temple in Taiwan. Therefore, it is well-known. It was built 1738 as a gathering place for Chinese settlers and it is located in the Wanhua District. The entrance is free, as at many temples, but donations are very welcome to maintain it.
Ximending Walking Street
Stroll along the Ximending walking street, Taipei’s first pedestrian street.
Ximending is an entertainment and shopping district close to the Taipei main station. It is popular for tourists as well as locals, especially for the younger crowd. You will see street performances as dancing or singing, street food stalls, bright neon light signs, bars and restaurants.
National Taiwan Museum and 2/28 Peace Park
The National Taiwan museum is the largest and oldest museum in Taiwan. It was built 1908, when Japan ruled over Taiwan.
The 2/28 Peace Memorial Park is just next to the National Taiwan Museum and is a memorial to the victims of the incident on February 28, 1947.
What and where to eat & drink in Taipei
Street food is literally everywhere, especially at the night markets. Even if you don’t know what it is exactly, just give it a try and most probably you will like it. Dim Sum, fried dumplings, Xiao Long Bao or huge fried chicken, they have it all. Try as well the local Taiwanese honey beer, so tasty.
Street food stall at Ximending Walking Street
For only a few cents I had delicious steamed dumplings for breakfast. In a plastic bag and with a little wooden stick to eat them, that’s all you need.
Bubble Tea, also known as Pearl Milk Tea or Boba Tea, is a Taiwanese drink based on sweetened green or black tea that is often mixed with milk to make a milkshake. The specialty of this drink is, that it consists of colored tapioca balls or the popping boba.
Din Tai Fung Restaurant
Just that you know: It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every cent and now and then you have to treat yourself with something good.
Din Tai Fung is world famous for its Xiao Long Bao (steamed dumplings). The quality of the food is outstanding. They have several different kind of Xiao Long Bao, fried dumplings, dim sum and different fried rice.
The Din Tai Fung restaurant is originated in Taiwan but has now as well several branches outside of the country. I even went to the Din Tai Fung restaurant when I was in Manila and Singapore.
Carnegie’s or Brass Monkey
Up for a party night with western people? Head over to the Carnegie’s or the Brass Monkey for a good night with mainly expats or western tourist.
That’s normally not what I prefer when I am travelling, but I had a good night out there so I can still recommend it to you.
Where to stay in Taipei
Stay in the Ximending area, Ximen Metro Station, which is an entertainment and shopping district with loads of food options and clubs and pubs. I can recommend the Ximen WOW Hostel. It’s central located and has a balcony with a view to the city and bustling streets.
Wherever you are going to stay, I recommend it is close to a Metro station to transfer fast from one corner in the city to another.
Transportation in Taipei
Use the Metro in Taipei (MRT, Mass Rapid Transit) to move around in the city. It is fast and comfortable.
Another option is to use buses in the city and to/from the airport.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Taipei City Guide – Ultimate 12 things to do. Don’t be shy and leave me a comment.
- Wanna know more about whole Taiwan? My Top things to do in Taiwan – Ultimate Itinerary will help you for sure.