What are some of the best things to do in Taipei, Taiwan?
After all, Taiwan is an extraordinary place to visit.
It is an island filled with bustling life, tasty foods, and a culture rooted deep in history.
One place in particular which I find the most entertaining is the capital city of Taiwan which is Taipei. There is just so much things to do here.
You can literally find almost anything you want in this city. Whether you want to go shopping around for clothes, stroll through night markets eating yummy foods, visit historical museums, or even go on scenic hikes. This place has it all.
I been visiting this city almost every year since I was born. It is my second home and one of my most favorite locations ever to visit. After traveling here for so long, I decided to put together a guide on things every tourist should do when they visit this place.
Here are the 30 best things to do in Taipei Taiwan.
- Top 30 Things To Do In Taipei, Taiwan
- Visit Taipei 101
- Visit The Famous Night Markets
- Visit The Themed Cafes
- Take A Soak At Beitou Hot Springs
- National Palace Museum
- Visit Jiufen
- Taipei Zoo
- Visit The Underground Mall
- Visit Temples
- Visit Liberty Square
- Visit A Cat Village
- Take A Stroll Through Ximending
- Try Out Bubble Tea/Boba
- Visit Elephant Mountain
- Visit Pinxi Old Street
- Watch A Dragon Boat Race
- Visit The National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
- Check Out Tamsui
- Eat Some Delicious Dumplings At Din Tai Fung
- Visit Ximending
- Visit The Shifen Waterfall
- Fly Some Lanterns On Shifen Old Street
- Taipei Botanical Garden
- Visit Yangmingshan National Park
- Eat At Aquatic Addiction
- Take A Cooking Class
- Ride A Glass Floor Gondola To MaoKong
- Ride The Miramar Ferris Wheel
- See Some Cherry Blossoms
- Relax At A “Love Hotel”
Top 30 Things To Do In Taipei, Taiwan
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Taipei, Taiwan.
Visit Taipei 101
What better place to start off your trip in Taiwan than the iconic 101 building.
Taipei 101 is one of the tallest buildings in the world, and is also one of the biggest tourist spots ever in Taiwan.
The building which is called Taipei 101 is 101 stories high and is located in the bustling area of the Xinyi District. It is built to be in the shape of a bamboo stalk. This building has many different uses, with the lower 5 levels primarily being a shopping mall and the rest of the building being different offices.
However the best thing about this building is that you can buy a ticket to go to the observation deck which is located on the 89th to 91st floor of the building. As of (2019) the price of the ticket to visit the observation deck is around 600 TWD or $20 usd. You’ll take a ride on one of the fastest elevators in the world to reach the top (which lasts about 37 seconds). Then once you are at the top, you can free roam around the floor and get a fantastic 360 degree view of the city.
By the way, on your way down, you can check out the 730 ton ball that is keeping the building stabilized.
If you are a fan of Starbucks, you’ll be pleased to know that the highest Starbucks in the world is located in this building on the 35th floor.
This place is definitely worth your time to stop by and visit.
Visit The Famous Night Markets
Taiwan is famous for it’s night markets. You can not possibly visit Taiwan and not check out some of the amazing night markets this island has to offer. It’s something you just simply can’t resist.
Now if you don’t know what a night market is, it basically is a long row (or street) filled with nothing but shops. These shops will sell a variety of items featuring an assortment of food, clothing, jewelry, or anything else people might want to buy. Plus night markets are very cheap so almost everything is low priced.
My personal favorite is to come to the night markets to eat as often times they are filled with yummy restaurants just waiting to serve you food.
Now firs thing I need to tell you is that there are TONS of night markets in Taiwan. Especially in Taipei there are at least 30 night markets just in this city alone. Each one having their own differences and style.
So how do you know which one to go to?
Well the most popular night market that tourists all flock to in Taipei is called Shilin Night Market. It is considered to be the largest night market in the entire island. So if you are visiting Taiwan for the first time, I definitely suggest you visit this night market in particular.
Now if you want to visit some other famous night markets, Raohe Night Market is another popular one. It is actually one of the more older night markets around and also right beside it is a famous temple where you can go in and pray.
A famous but pretty old and beat down night market called Snake Valley still exists. However most of the good restaurants and shops are all closed now. It’s mainly filled with tourist traps that just want you to visit and spend money.
Here is a map of just some of the night markets shown on google maps.
It will definitely be one of the highlights from your trip.
For an in-depth guide on night markets, click here.
Visit The Themed Cafes
If you never been to a themed cafe then you are totally missing out. These themed cafes which are mostly found in Asia brings to life all sorts of creative and amazing ideas.
The way they work is that the entire building will be revamped with whatever theme the cafe is trying to portray. For example, if you are going to a Hello Kitty cafe, then the entire building will be decked out in pink colored Hello Kitty accessories. Even the food and drinks will look like the Hello Kitty characters. It makes you feel as it they are there with you.
It’s definitely a fun little quirk that I think many people will like to experience.
There are various different kinds of themed cafes.’Some of which include:
- Hello Kitty Cafe
- Rilakkuma Cafe
- Toilet Bowl Cafe
- Moomin Cafe
- Alpaca Cafe
- Alice is Coming Cafe
- and much much more
Take A Soak At Beitou Hot Springs
If you love hot springs, then you’ll be pleased to know that there is a beautiful hot springs spot located in Taipei around the mountainous region of Beitou. You can experience authentic thermal hot springs here.
This area has been developed into a nice resort destination that is filled with many nice resorts, inns, tea houses, parks, museums, hotels, and also public baths. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taiwan as public bath houses are available to visitors for as little as 40 TWD or a little more than the US Dollar.
Because of the immense popularity that this place gets, they even developed a train line and station to go through here to attract even more visitors from all over the world to come enjoy this beautiful place.
Do note that the area around here is filled with many different public and private bath houses. They each have their own set of rules and etiquette’s you need to follow. So be sure to check first what the rules are if you are going to come here.
And if you are wanting to visit a private bath house, try to make a reservation in advance if possible. Mainly because private bath houses are insanely popular, they can get packed fast.
National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum is one of the most famous places to visit in Taipei.. It has the largest collection of antiques in the world which spans over 8,000 years of Chinese history.
Inside the museum houses over 600,000 imperial artifacts taken from ancient China. Things like paintings, rare books, jade objects, jewelry, weapons, etc, all will take you back into time and help you get a glimpse at what life was like for them back then.
They even have guided tours here if you want somebody guiding you around telling you many interesting facts about the items. However if you’re like me and just love roaming around by yourself, then you can do that too. They even have a mobile app which you can download and use to explore around the museum.
If you love history, than this place is definitely the place for you.
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.
The Taipei Zoo is a fascinating place to visit.
Located in the Wenshan District of Taipei. The zoo is one of Taiwan’s most famous gardens, as well as being a leader in recreation, education, conservation and research. It is one of the largest zoos in Asia, with a total area of 165 hectares, of which more than 90 ha are developed
The zoo started with only 2 pandas from China and an Asian bull elephant. However as time passed by, the zoo began to greatly expand. Now it features animals from Africa, Australia, Taiwan, the desert and the tropical rain forest of Asia.
It also houses an aviary in which it houses over 12,000 birds of over 130 species, as well as a children zoo for them to come and visit domesticated animals.
If you love animals and education, than this place should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
Visit The Underground Mall
The underground mall is an interesting place for tourists to visit.
There are actually many different underground malls located under the Taipei Main Station. It is basically acting as a connection point for many other stations.
Over here at the mall you can find all sorts of cool stuff. From shopping, to yummy foods, and even an art gallery. Not only that but there is also a portion of the mall which is the longest underground book street in Taiwan featuring an assortment of books from old to new.
There is even a stage area in the mall where youngsters can go and practice all types of dance moves.
It definitely is an interesting place.
Since Taiwan is mostly a Buddhist and Taoist island, there are bound to be tons of different temples built.
Come visit these amazing temples and see how they are interestingly built and take in the culture and history and these temples may provide.
Some famous temples you might want to go to are:
- Longshan Temple – which is one of the most popular temples for people to visit. There is no set religion here as the Confucian, Buddhist and Taoists followers all worship here
- 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
Visit Liberty Square
Liberty Square is a gigantic plaza that is located in the Zhongzheng District of Taipei.
The square serves as a place where many public gatherings are hosted. For instance, many foreign dignitaries will be greeted over here by the President of Taiwan in amazing ceremonies.
The square also serves as a place where concerts and festivals can host their event. There are hundreds of events hosted here each and every year. Almost every time you visit, you’ll likely find an event happening. For instance, the Lantern Festival regularly takes place here at the square.
It also plays host to many quieter forms of public activity such as Go games, Holiday Marching Band Drills, Honor Guard Drill Shows, Taekwondo, T’ai Chi, and any many other activities.
Visit A Cat Village
Yes! That is correct! There is a village in Taiwan that is filled with tons of cats!
The town of Houtong in northern Taipei is known as the “cat village”, where the cat population here is about 200 and is roughly double that of the human population.
Millions of people from all over travel to this location to play with the cats. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taiwan.
You can feed the cats, pet the cats, play with the cats.
The town has basically transformed into a cat themed town where all the shops and restaurants will sell anything relating to cats.
It’s like a dream come true if you are a cat lover.
Take A Stroll Through Ximending
Xinmending is where all the fun and exciting things happen at.
There is just so much to do here.
It is considered to be the youthful shopping district of Taipei. You can find all sorts of amazing things to do here.
From shopping for clothes, video games, accessories, to trying out different restaurants and sipping on bubble tea. This place has it all.
Plus at night time, this place transforms into a huge street food hall where tons of places will start selling amazing and delicious food.
Definitely come check this place out.
Try Out Bubble Tea/Boba
Did you know that bubble tea (boba) started here in Taiwan?
Yes! That is correct!
Sure it might be the latest rage all over the world, but it originated from this beautiful island.
Many shops from all over will sell bubble tea of all kinds here. So take your pick. But I suggest you just go for the original milk tea with boba.
Visit 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.
Visit Pinxi Old Street
This is a pretty unique place to visit.
After all, the street is built right into a hill. You can even see rail tracks along the center of the street.
The street is filled with many shops offering street snacks and items for you to buy. A lot of these shops were created decades ago back in the 1930’s and 1940’s when the Japanese occupied this location.
Not only that, but one of the reasons people visit this location is to make a wish by releasing a sky lantern along the rail tracks.
It is definitely something fun worth checking out.
Watch A Dragon Boat Race
One of the things you might be lucky enough to witness if you are ever in Taipei around June is the Dragon Boat Festival.
This is an annual festival held at Dajia Riverside Park where you have different dragon boats racing alongside the river. It is a very fun thing to see as many locals come from all around to watch this. Plus the boats are very beautiful so taking pictures of them would turn out fantastic.
Not only that, but aside from the boat races, there are also several other things as well. You can find things like performances, food trucks, as well as a festive atmosphere.
Definitely something for you to check out.
Visit The National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Another thing that might peak your interest is the National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. It is a massive 29,464 square meter building that is beautiful to see.
This building was built to commemorate Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, who is considered to be the father of the Republic of China. Inside you’ll be able to see a large statue of him in the large hall.
Also inside, you can see the changing of the guards as well which takes place every hour on the hour. It is a fascinating experience where everybody would love.
Check Out Tamsui
Tamsui is one of the coolest places to visit if you ever visit Taipei. All you need to do to get here is to take the red MRT train to the end of the ride at Tamsui and you are here.
Here you can find countless amounts of things to see and do. There are food stalls all around, souvenir shops, arcades, entertainment, and many more all waiting for you to explore.
Plus, it is a popular place where people come to take pictures as the sunset here near the mountains and bridges make for a beautiful picture.
Eat Some Delicious Dumplings At Din Tai Fung
If you are in Taipei, one thing you have to do is to visit Din Tai Fung. It is one of the most famous dumpling shops in the country. After all, it has won a Michelin Star from the Michelin Guide, so you know the food here is good.
Here you can eat all kinds of different dumplings, from regular soup dumplings to truffle dumplings and more. It is incredibly delicious!
Ximending is one of the most popular places to visit in Taipei. It is a bustling area where you can find all sorts of shops and restaurants to browse around. Basically it is the Taiwan version of Tokyo’s Shinjuku or Osaka’s Dotonburi.
Here you’ll be able to see tons of neon lights, crowds of people out for a stroll, and tons of entertainment all around you.
It is a fantastic place to roam around and learn the culture of the country.
Visit The Shifen Waterfall
Considered to be the Niagra Falls of Taiwan, it is a waterfall that is spectacular to see in person. Although it isn’t really in Taipei per say, but it is relatively close to get to so we are going to include it in this list.
The trip takes about 2 hours till you get here, but it is well worth it. I mean where else in Taiwan can you see a waterfall as amazing as this. The loud roaring thunder of the falls, the beautiful color of the water, it is simply a sight to see.
Fly Some Lanterns On Shifen Old Street
One of the best things you can do at Shifen Old Street is to fly some lanterns. For about 100 to 200 Taiwanese dollars, you can purchase a lantern, write your message, and let it fly in the air for all the other tourists to see.
Aside from the lantern, this place is also pretty neat as there are many food shops selling some delicious foods. They also have souvenir shops where you can buy tiny gifts.
Taipei Botanical Garden
Who doesn’t like looking at gardens?
Sometimes it is good to get out of the city environment and see some nature for a change. And here at the Taipei Botanical Garden, it is home to a whole bunch of history. It is over 100 years old and is filled with over 2,000 different species of plants. It is also a huge garden standing at about 82,000 square meters wide in central downtown.
It is a short walk away from Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial so you can actually do both in the same day!
Visit Yangmingshan National Park
Yangmingshan National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks that Taiwan has to offer. It has volcanoes, hot springs, and sulfur pits and more all making this place a spectacular area to visit.
Here at this park, you can hike to the highest peak in the park which is Mount Qixing. There you can enjoy the hot springs all around, go across the beautiful Jingshan suspension bridge and much more.
You can easily spend hours on end here roaming around having so much fun. Plus one of the best sights is to see the smoke rising from the sulfur pits which makes for a nice view.
Eat At Aquatic Addiction
Wow! What can I say about this place, except that it is fantastically delicious.
It is a huge seafood store/restaurant featuring everything seafood.
The minute you walk in, you’ll be met with tons of aquariums full of crabs, lobster, and expensive fish ready for you to buy to eat. On the side of the tanks is a huge shopping area where you can buy extremely fresh seafood. You can buy either pre-packed foods or go to the bar and have them serve you the freshest of the fresh seafoods you can ever imagine.
Though keep in mind, that seating is limited for the shopping area so the majority of the time you’ll have to be eating while standing up.
On the top floor is a hot pot area where you can sit down at a table and eat some yummy seafood hot pot.
If you love seafood, than this place is definitely the place you should go to.
Take A Cooking Class
If you didn’t already know, Taiwanese foods are some of the best tasting foods in the world. Which is why learning how to make these delicious foods can be so much fun.
There are countless cooking classes all over that’ll teach you how to make some delicious and authentic Taiwanese cuisines. Each being equally as fun and amazing.
Just do a quick google search and you’ll be able to find all sorts of classes for you to take.
Ride A Glass Floor Gondola To MaoKong
At the end of the Taipei Zoo MRT line, you can go ride a Maokong Gondola. It is a 4 kilometer trip into the hills of southeast Taipei.
The gondola ride will take you over the fields of Baozhong oolong tea, where once you get to the top, you can see several traditional tea houses with views and hiking trails that are all so magnificent.
For the best views, be sure to line up in the line for the glass bottomed gondolas.
Ride The Miramar Ferris Wheel
Another popular spot in Taipei is the Ferris Wheel at Miramar Entertainment Park. It is a 70 meter tall Ferris Wheel and is the second tallest in Taiwan. During the night time, the Ferris Wheel is lit up and can be seen from so many different places in Taipei. The wheel also moves very slowly so you can enjoy all kinds of uninterrupted views over Taipei.
See Some Cherry Blossoms
Did you know that Japan isn’t the only place where you can see some Cherry Blossoms? In fact, Taipei is also a very good spot for seeing these beautiful trees.
However you aren’t able to see these trees bloom the entire year. There are certain times around late January to early March where you can see them. But not all of them will bloom around the same time, so you may have to go from spot to spot in order to find some.
Fortunately for you, the two popular spots to see some cherry blossoms in Taipei are Yanhminshan and Tian Yuan Temple. Going to these places during the specific dates will allow you to see these trees in full bloom.
Relax At A “Love Hotel”
Now I know most Love Hotels have a bad reputation for cheating and stuff, but not all of them are bad depending on your intentions. In fact, it can even be a fun and romantic experience you get to enjoy.
Usually when you go to one of these, you pick from either two choices which is the “take a break 2 hour limit” or the spend a night option.
And one popular chain that offers these services is the Wego Funtel, which is a popular chain of tasteful yet elegant love hotels in Taipei.
It is a fun experience you’ll never find in western cultures, so I would say definitely give it a try.
Hopefully my list of the best things to do in Taipei, Taiwan was able to give you a better insight on things to do.
As you can see, there is an abundance of things you can do just in Taipei alone. This city has so much to offer and will probably take you a week or longer to do everything on this list.
It’s not just this city, but the entire island has an abundance of things to do. If you want to check out what other things you can do in this island besides this city, then I suggest you check out my post about things to do in Taiwan.
Also, if you are planning to visit Taiwan anytime soon, you might also be interested in some of my other Taiwan posts.
- Taiwan – 15 amazing things for you to do in Taiwan
- Taipei – 15 awesome things do to in Taipei Taiwan
- Food – 15 delicious foods you must try when visiting Taiwan
- Taiwan – best themed cafes in Taipei, Taiwan
Or you can check out my complete list of things to do in Taiwan by clicking here.
Let me know how your trip goes!