The Essential Taipei Checklist: Things To Do, See and Eat
Taipei highlights you can’t miss!
When Taipei comes to mind, we all think of the magnificent Taipei 101, the delicious street food and bustling night markets! We’ve come up with an essential Taipei checklist for all first timer’s to the city. If you haven’t done these things, you can’t say you’ve been to Taipei.
Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass
This pass is an ESSENTIAL for any tourist to Taipei. With free admission to some of the top Taipei attractions as well as unlimited rides on the MRT, buses and some shuttle routes and even discounts on partnered shops, you can count on it to save big bucks. We’d definitely recommend getting the 3 day pass for ultimate cost savings.
The Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass is inclusive of:
|Attractions||1. Taipei 101 Observatory
2. National Palace Museum
3. Main Building of Chiang Kai-Shek Shilin Residence
4. Miramar Entertainment Park Ferris Wheel
5. Taipei Children’s Amusement Park
6. Tamsui Historical Museum
7. Tamsui to Fisherman’s Wharf roundtrip ticket
8. Gold Museum
9. Yeliu Geopark
10. Juming Museum
12. Sky Lantern Police Station Electric Sky Lantern ticket
13. National Museum of Marine Science & Technology
|Transport||Taipei MRT: Unlimited rides but not including Maokong Gondola|
|Taipei and New Taipei City Bus: Unlimited rides (excluding buses with four-digit numbers)|
|Taiwan Tourist Shuttle: Beitou-Zhuzihu route, Muzha-Pingxi route, Crown North Coast, Gold Fulong route, Dragon Palace Treasure Hunt route|
|Discounts||Free set of Match-making Cakes of Lee Cake (李亭香餅店): Redeem at Lee Cake Main Store (No. 309, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District, Taipei City) or City God Temple Branch (No. 82, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District, Taipei City)|
|Free Healthy Granola Bar: Redeem at Peacock Bistro (No. 197, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District, Taipei City)|
|Free handmade dessert of City North Coffee (小城外・珈琲時光): Redeem after order at least a drink at City North Coffee (No. 34, Minyue Street, Datong District, Taipei City)|
|10% Off for a cocktail: at City North Magic Bistro (小城外): Redeem at 2F next to No. 17, Lane 362, Minsheng West Road)|
|Discounts at these stores.|
Pick up your Unlimited Taipei Fun Pass at either Taipei Taoyuan Airport or Taipei Main station. Just flash your mobile e-voucher and you’re all set. Check out our guide on how to maximize the use on your Unlimited Fun Pass.
|Taoyuan International Airport||Opening hours: 5:30am-1:00amTerminals 1 Arrival Hall: Unite Traveler service counter (counter No. 3)Terminals 2 Arrival Hall: Unite Traveler service counter (counter No. 3)|
|Taipei Main Station||Opening hours: 9:00am-9:00pmLion Travel booth in Taipei Main Station (near North Gate No. 2 on the ground floor)|
Things To See
1. Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
The Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall is probably the most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan. Erected in the honor of the former president of the Republic of China, this octagon-shaped building is 76 metres tall and is covered with blue tiles with red accents. There are 89 steps up to the centre, which symbolizes the age President Chiang was when he passed on.
The changing of guards ceremony happens every hours from 10am to 4pm, on the hour (i.e. 10am, 11am) so don’t forget to plan your time according to this!
Address: No. 21, Zhongshan South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 6pm
Getting there: Take the MRT to Chiang kai Shek Memorial Hall Station
2. Taipei 101
Taipei 101 is one of Taiwan’s main attractions and for good reason! The views from the observatory on the 91st floor is probably one of the best you’ll find in town. Plus, taking the escalator up and arriving after a mere 37 seconds is pretty exciting as well. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Taiwan straits!
Address: No.7, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110, Taiwan
Opening hours: 9:00am-10:00pm daily | Last admission time: 9:15pm
Getting there: Take the MRT to Taipei 101/ World Trade Centre Station.
3. Yehliu Geopark
If you’re looking to escape the bustle of the city for a big, Yehliu Geopark is great for that! Home to a number of unique geological formations, stroll along the picturesque cape and see naturally carved stone statues. From the popular Queen’s Head, Sea Candles and so much more, try guessing what each formation resembles!
Opening Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm daily
Address: No 167-1, Gangdong Rd., Yeliu Village, Wanli District, New Taipei City (Yehliu Visitor Center)
Getting there: Keelung Bus (no.790): Take the express bus (bound for Jinshan or Tamsui) at Keelung station (near Keelung Railway Station), then alight at Yehliu stop, the bus comes every 10 minutes
If you plan to head to Jiufen and Shifen as well, opt for the shuttle bus from Ximen to save costs on travelling and avoid getting lost!
4. A Mei’s Teahouse at Jiufen
For fans of the movie Spirited Away, this A Mei Teahouse might look familiar to you. Many people flock to this beautiful tea house located in Jiufen for its resemblance to the Miyazaki Tea House. Request for an outdoor seat and you’ll get to sip on tea and munch on local snacks while enjoying views of Jiufen!
Apart from the Teahouse, the charming cobblestone streets of the Jiufen Old Street tucks away some of the best street snack stalls! Some of the must trys include taro balls from Lai Ah Po Yu Yuan and A Zhu Peanut ice cream roll.
There is no direct train from Taipei to Jiufen. You will need to take the rain train from Taipei Main station to Ruifang station before transferring to bus 788,827 or 1062 to arrive at Jiufen Old Street. Instead, Tripsle your shuttle bus from Ximen for a convenient and hassle free trip!
If you are heading to both Shifen and Jiufen, this is the perfect bus for you because it even makes stops at Shifen waterfall and the Shifen old street!
5. National Palace
The National Palace Museum is one of the must sees in the city. Visit this local museum and view the vast ancient Chinese art collection, featuring the three treasures “Music Stone,” “Kiyuyu Cabbage,” and “Mao Gongding”.
The Chia Yi Southern branch of the National Palace Museum is also worth a visit! This modern looking architectural exterior is home to Chinese cultural treasures like fine porcelain, Buddhist scriptures and more.
Tripsle your tickets to the National Palace Museum and you’ll get to enter both museums!
|Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum:||Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00am-5:00pm
Address: No. 888, Gugong Boulevard, Taibao City, Chiayi County
How to get there: Take bus nos. 105/106/166/168/Yellow 9 from Chiayi THSR Station Exit 2, then get off at Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum
|National Palace Museum||Opening hours: Daily 8:30am-6:30pm | Until 9:00pm every Friday and Saturday
Address: No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City
How to get there: Take MTR to Shilin MRT Station (on the red line) and Exit 1, take bus R30 and get off at National Palace Museum station
Things to do
1.Enjoy the sunset at the top of Elephant Mountain
If you’re looking for a place to catch the sunset in Taipei, we’d definitely recommend taking the hike up Elephant Mountain. This hike is easy enough even for beginners but do note it’s a lot of stair climbing. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the top!
Once you’re up there, pick an optimal spot with Taipei 101 in the background and wait for the sun to set.
Getting there: After arriving at Xiangshan station (象山), the terminus of Red Line 2, leave from Exit 2 and continue walking alongside the edge of the park. At the end of this road, take a left and follow until the entrance for Xiangshan Hiking Trail (象山登山步道)
2.Release a paper lantern at Shifen
The town of Shifen is filled with interesting traditions that make it worth the visit! One of the must dos when you arrive is to release a paper lantern into the sky. Write your dreams and wishes onto the lantern before releasing it into the skies. You can purchase one from the nearby railway track.
Also worth checking out whilst in Shifen are the waterfalls! Just a 15 minute walk away, you’ll have to cross a long wooden boardwalk and climb quite a few flights of stairs so be sure to wear comfy shoes.
Before leaving, be sure to eat fried rice stuffed chicken wing from LiouGe BBQ Stuffed Wings! This is probably the best stuffed chicken wing in Taipei in our opinion.
Tripsle your shuttle bus from Ximen for a convenient and hassle free trip!
3.Soak at a hot spring in Beitou
The Thermal Valley also known as Hell Valley is one of the most iconic landmarks in Beitou. This jade colored pool of water stays boiling at a temperature of 80-100 degree celsius.
As you approach the pool, you’ll be greeted by a sulfuric smell of eggs and the heat from the steam will leave you sweating on a hot day. The water contains radium which is said to have healing elements and these waters are used in the nearby hot springs.
The Spring City Resort Beitou is perfect for those of us who just want to do a short visit without staying the night in Beitou. Soak your worries away after a long flight in the outdoor spa and with 9 different pools to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
If you’re uncomfortable in a public hot spring, you can opt for a private room and enjoy the hot springs in complete privacy.
Tripsle your visit and it even includes a free shuttle service from Beitou and Xin Beitou MRT station!
4.Shop at Taipei’s night markets
An essential part of the Taipei night scene is the night markets! Strewn throughout the city, many flock to night markets to get their shopping done and of course, fill up on street food snacks. If you’re looking to get some shopping done, we’d definitely recommend heading to Shida Night Market for cheap and trendy apparel!
Address: Lane 39, Shida Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Nearest station: Taipower Building
Opening hours: Closed on Mondays Tue to Sun: 5pm – 10pm
If you’re looking for other places to get your shopping done, check out this list!
Things to eat
1.Fu Hang Dou Jiang You Tiao
A traditional Taiwanese breakfast is Dou Jiang (Soya Milk) and You Tiao (Dough Fritters). These Chinese donuts are fried to perfect, crunchy on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside. On a hot day, pair it with a cup of ice cold Soya Milk for the perfect breakfast.
Fu Hang Dou Jiang is one of the most popular stores in Taipei, and there are often snaking queues. Tripsle your purchase of the Fu Hang Dou Jiang’s most popular items and select your preferred pick up date and time or, if you feel like staying indoors, have it delivered to you!
Perfect for battling the summer heat in Taipei is a bowl of freshly shaved ice flakes topped with a heap full of fresh fruit and of course, a scoop of ice cream. While strolling on the busy Yong Kang Street, you’ll definitely notice Smoothie House for the queues in front.
Recommended as one of the must eat delicacies by CNN, this refreshing dessert is definitely a must try! Tripsle your Smoothie House Mango shaved ice desserts and get exclusive discounts!
Be sure to check out the different outlets and their opening hours before heading down.
You can’t say you’ve been to Taipei if you didn’t try their famous street snacks! You can find these at almost any night market in Taipei and while if you’re uncertain about which stalls to go for, just pick the one with the longest queues! Some must tries include:
Grilled Beef Cubes
Taiwanese Wild Boar Sausage
Fried Chicken Cutlet
For more food suggestions, check out these 10 outrageous food you’ll need to try on your trip to Taipei.
4.Din Tai Fung
Did you know that the FIRST ever Din Tai Fung store was actually opened in the streets of Taipei! For the uninitiated, Din Tai Fung is a Michelin starred chain store which serves world famous Xiao Long Baos (steamed soup dumplings).
This store located at Xinyi Road is a 3 storey one but still, you can expect about a 30 minute wait if you wish to dine in this outlet.
If you’re clueless about what to order, you can’t go wrong with the famous Xiao Long Baos. The Braised Beef Noodle Soup is also a must try in Taipei!
Nearest station: Dongmen Station
Address: No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening hours: Weekdays 10am to 9pm | Weekends and PH 9am to 9pm
You’ll definitely be needing a WiFi device for all those picture perfect moments in Taipei! If you’re looking for last minute souvenir items to bring home, we’d recommend picking up some Chia Te Pineapple Cakes at the Taiwan airport before you head home.