How To Visit Taipei, Taiwan On A Budget

Are you able to visit Taipei, Taiwan on a budget?

After all, Taiwan is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit.

In fact, millions of people travel to Taiwan each and every year.

But one thing that many people think about when they travel to Taiwan is that it is very expensive.

Many people think that they will have to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars if they ever visit this place.

However that simply isn’t true.

Sure there are expensive things in this country, but it isn’t as bad when compared to some of the other countries in the world.

It is totally possible to save money when you are going to visit this country.

With the city of Taipei being the example.

There are so many things for you to see and do in the city of Taipei where you simply don’t have to spend a lot and still have fun.

In this post, i’ll show you the best tips to use when you are wanting to travel to Taipei, Taiwan on a budget.

This will help you save a lot more money as well as making your trip a lot more enjoyable without going broke.

Taipei, Taiwan On A Budget Tips

Here are all the best tips for you to use when traveling to Taipei, Taiwan on a budget.

Finding Cheap Accomadations

airbnb in taipei

As we know, one of the most expensive parts of a travel trip is the place we stay at.

So the first thing on our list of budget tips is on how to choose your accommodations wisely.

Good thing for you is that there are a variety of cheap accommodations in the city that you can choose from.

In this list, we’ll be starting with the most basic of places to stay at and then move slowly up to the more higher end price points.

Capsule Hotel – A capsule hotel is basically a hotel that rents out small cubicles. The size of the entire cubicle can fit probably 1 person only and not much else. It’s a popular place for when you are just looking for a place to sleep and not much else.

It’s not a bad place to stay at if you don’t mind the small cramped area.

Typical Price: $10 a night.

Hostels – This is something where a lot of people might be familiar with. They are basically communal places where you stay with a lot of people. One room might have many beds for a bunch of people to sleep in or depending on which one you go to, they may offer private rooms.

Typical Price: $10-50 a night.

Airbnb – I think everybody is familiar with what an AirBnb is at this point. It is incredibly popular in Taipei as you can find a bunch of good deals on places to stay, especially if you book well in advance. You can find things like lofts, 2 bed room apartments and more. Although it is a bit pricier than some other options, it is still cheaper than a hotel.

Typical Price: $30-50 a day.

Hotel – Just like every other city in the world, there are many hotels to choose from in Taipei. Although prices tend to be near the higher price end of things, it may be something you are willing to consider.

Typical Price: $80-100+ a night.

Using Public Transport

bus in taiwan

Traveling around Taipei can be a very easy thing to do.

However before you do anything, you must first get yourself an easy card. This is basically a transportation card that will allow you access to Taipei’s public transportation system like buses and metro. It can also be used to buy things at a convenience store.

You are able to pick these cards up at most convenience stores or metro station.

So once you have your card, you can use any of the public transportation in Taipei.

And one of the best ways to get around the city or country is by using their subway system. The subway system is so advanced that you can reach many different areas in a very short amount of time.

Another option you have is by riding the bus. There are different buses that’ll go on different routes, so you might have to do some research before you ride a bus. But it is relatively cheap and comfortable to ride on.

Taxi’s are also an option if you want to use them. They are surprisingly quite affordable, although I wouldn’t use them all the time for my transportation in Taipei. But they are great to use especially if you are late for something or you missed the last subway or bus home.

For more information about traveling around in Taipei, I would suggest you to read my post on “How To Get Around Taipei“.

Finding Food To Eat

food in taipei

This is the part everybody is probably waiting for.

You’ll be happy to know that eating food in Taipei is incredibly affordable and cheap. Plus, the food is at a real high quality as well so you know you are getting some good food.

However, you do have to know where to go before you go buy your food. Mainly because, not everything is cheap in Taipei.

RESTAURANTS

Tip: Try to go where the locals eat. Avoid the restaurants that are geared towards tourists and go find some hole in the wall restaurant where locals eat. This will guarantee you save some money as foods tend to be cheaper here. The only problem is that, they probably don’t understand English so you might need a translation software or do some hand signs.

Now these places might be a bit hard to spot if you don’t know what you are looking for. Typically you can find these places by going to any residential neighborhood and finding a place that can only sit 5 to 8 people only.

STREET FOOD

Street food is another type of food you can buy for a very cheap price.

You can find street foods by going to any of the street markets here in the city. And once you are there, you’ll be able to enjoy an assortment of different and delicious tasting foods.

Some of the foods you can find are:

Taiwanese Sticky Rice Sausage – The Taiwanese have taken the basic bun-and-sausage hot dog and transformed it into a street snack like you’ve never seen before. This is basically a sausage that is made out of sticky rice that has been cut open and stuffed with another sausage.

Tian Bu La – Basically they are an assortment of fishcakes similar to that of the Japanese oden. These fish paste-based pieces come in various shapes and sizes, and are first deep-fried before being boiled in broth. Prior to being served, the fishcakes are smothered in a special brown sauce and a side of sweet chilli sauce.

Stinky Tofu – Stinky tofu is a kind of fermented tofu, which has a highly unpleasant, pungent smell, especially when it is deep fried. But if you can get past the smell, it is actually a very delicious and tasty dish that millions of people love.

Ba-Wan – Ba-wan is a Taiwanese street food, consisting of a 6–8 cm diameter disk-shaped translucent dough made of sweet potato starch filled with a savory stuffing and served with a sweet and savory sauce.

And much more!

The best thing about this is that most of the street foods you buy are only around $5 bucks or less. So you can eat quite a bit without having to break the bank.

For a full list of street food items you can buy and eat, you should check out my post “23 Delicious Taiwanese Street Food Items You Need To Try In Taiwan“.

THEMED CAFES

Aside from all of these things, there are also something unique and interesting you might like. What i’m talking about are themed cafes.

These cafes specializes in certain themes and makes the whole experience a lot enjoyable.

You can find cafes with poop themed, cat themed, dog themed, comic book themed, and much more!

Try to check them all out!

Convenience Stores

ramen in convenience store

Another place where you can find some cheap and affordable food is at convenience stores all over the country. These stores are on a whole different level than those you can find back in the States.

Plus, they don’t just stock food, but they have literally anything and everything you can ever want.

One of my favorite things to get at these stores are the Ramen bowls. You can get them for as little as $0.50 cents and they will fill you up just nicely.

So if you ever get a chance to visit the country, I highly suggest you visit the convenience stores located in the area. They are amazing!

Places To Shop At

When it comes to shopping, you can’t beat this city.

There is so many different areas where you can go shop for cheap and affordable things.

Most of these areas tend to be at some sort of street markets or those close to a university, but they offer great deals on items you’ll want.

Shilin Night Market

The Shilin Night Market in Taipei is one of the largest, most popular night markets in all of Taiwan with regard to food, and also one of the most popular points of Taipei’s night life among visitors. The maze of alleyways is filled with a variety of local, traditional, and international merchandise that attract locals and foreigners alike.

Raohe Night Market

One of the oldest night markets in Taipei, the Raohe Street Night Market is a must visit destination! The epitome of a traditional Taiwanese night market, this 600 metre path along Raohe Street in Songshan District is packed with fun and interesting night foods and snacks, quaint shops and stalls, and carnival games with prizes.

Shida Night Market

Located near the National Taiwan Normal University, this night market is famous for its fashion outfits. In fact, many of the stalls and stores here are run by young bustling entrepreneurs trying to sell their unique creations. Not only that, but you can find a lot of musicians here practicing their trade as well as a good selection of food offerings. It’s a very popular market among students.

Free or Cheap Places To Go Visit

Did you know that you can visit a bunch of different attractions for either no cost or low cost price?

It’s true!

There are literally a ton of things that you can do for either a low cost or no cost budget!

So lets see what you can see:

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous national monument, landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.

Cost: Free

Taipei 101 Building

The Traveling Asian

Taipei 101 is the tallest building in Taiwan and has many things for you to see and do. The bottom few floors act as a mall to where you can roam around and see what the shops are selling. The basement level is the food court where you can see what tasty things are there to eat.

Technically you don’t have to spend money here in this building, but if you want to buy anything or visit the observatory then you’ll have to pay.

Cost: Free if you just roam around

Visit Jiufen

Image result for jiufen

If you have ever watched the movie “Spirited Away”, then this place will look extremely familiar. That is because the movie took inspiration from this amazing place.

The maze like alleys, the red lanterns hanging around the walls, the amazing scenic views, all tell you a story about the rich culture and history of this beautiful place.

The town originally was constructed by the Japanese to mine for gold. So you’ll see a lot of things resembling Japanese traditions here.

It’s a great spot to take a breather, eat some yummy food, shop, and also take amazing pictures.

Cost: Free to roam around

Visit Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was completed in 1972 in honor of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China. Here, tourists can explore and discover the history surrounding the life of Sun Yat-sen through artifacts and exhibits.

Cost: Free

Longshan Temple

As one of the largest and oldest temples in the country, a quick people-watching trip to the Longshan Temple is a must on our list! Apart from the fact that it is free to enter, we highly recommend a visit to admire the intricate architecture, to observe local traditions, and to get a chance to take part in some daily devotions as well!

Plus there are a variety of other temples you can visit as well. Some of the popular ones include:

  • Ciyou Temple – Which was built around the time of the Qing Dynasty and is right next to the Raohe Night Market
  • Confucius Temple
  • Bao’an Temple
  • Xingtian Temple

Cost: Free

Martyr’s Shrine

One of Taipei’s top attractions, The Martyr’s Shrine, is surprisingly free of admission for all visitors! Located in Zhongshan District of Taipei, the popular landmark was created in honor of the war dead of the Republic of China. While you’re here, be sure to watch the changing of the guards, which commences once every hour.

Cost: Free

Best Places to Hike Or See Nature

Elephant Mountain

If you like gorgeous scenic views, then you might want to make your way up to the top of Elephant Mountain.

It’s a short hike about there, about 20 minutes or so with various stopping points to look at the views. However once you make it to the top, it is absolutely worth it. You get a view of the entire city of Taipei in all its glory.

It’s definitely worth the climb if you don’t want to pay the money to go up the Taipei 101 building to the observation deck.

There are also nearby restroom and facilities available if needed.

So if you are wanting to climb this mountain, I suggest you bring some water along with you as you will encounter a lot of stairs.

There is also Tonghua Night Market nearby where you can go shopping for some yummy food right after your climb back down.

Da’an Forest Park

If you want to get away from all the city life, then Da’an forest park is a great place to visit. Here you can walk around, have picnics, or simply admire the beauty of the nature around you. It is a great way to unwind and relax.

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As you can see, there are quite a bit of things for you to see and do for either a low cost or for no cost at all.

Hopefully this list was able to show you that you don’t have to spend a lot of money in Taipei just to have fun.

So next time you plan a vacation, you might consider a trip to Taiwan and enjoy all it has to offer.

Also, if you are planning to visit Taiwan anytime soon, you might also be interested in some of my other Taiwan posts.

Or you can check out my complete list of things to do in Taiwan by clicking here.

Let me know how your trip goes!