10 Reasons to Visit Taipei

1. Taipei Fine Arts Museum

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) is a prestigious cultural institution dedicated to contemporary art. Situated in the vibrant Xinyi District, the museum was established in 1983 and has since become a focal point for local and international art enthusiasts. TFAM’s collection features a diverse range of modern and contemporary artworks, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia creations. The museum frequently hosts exhibitions that showcase the works of renowned Taiwanese artists as well as international talents. Besides its impressive collection, TFAM also offers educational programs, workshops, and lectures to promote art appreciation and nurture creativity in the community. The building’s striking architectural design adds to the overall artistic experience, making it a must-visit destination for anyone with an interest in the world of contemporary art.

2. Maokong Gondola

The Maokong Gondola is an enchanting cable car system that takes visitors on a scenic journey through lush forests and picturesque landscapes. Starting from the Taipei Zoo, the gondola ascends to the Maokong area, known for its tea plantations and traditional teahouses. The ride offers breathtaking vistas of the city, surrounding mountains, and verdant valleys. Upon reaching Maokong, visitors can explore the charming teahouses, where they can savor delicious Taiwanese tea while enjoying tranquil views. The area is also a popular spot for hiking, with various trails leading to stunning viewpoints and nature walks. The Maokong Gondola provides a serene escape from the bustling city, making it a perfect day trip destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

3. Yangmingshan National Park

Yangmingshan National Park is a verdant oasis situated just a short drive from downtown Taipei. Known for its diverse landscapes, the park features lush forests, hot springs, volcanic mountains, and colorful flower fields. The park’s hiking trails cater to varying levels of difficulty, offering visitors the chance to explore its natural beauty up close. One of the most popular spots is Xiaoyoukeng, where visitors can witness volcanic activity and soak in the unique “Hell Valley” hot springs. During spring, the flower fields burst with vibrant blooms, creating a breathtaking sight. Yangmingshan’s combination of natural wonders and accessibility makes it a favorite destination for both locals and tourists seeking a refreshing escape from city life.

4. National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum (NPM) is a world-renowned cultural institution that houses an extraordinary collection of Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks. The museum’s collection dates back over 8,000 years and includes precious items such as ancient calligraphy, paintings, ceramics, jade carvings, and rare books. The NPM’s vast collection is so extensive that only a fraction can be displayed at any given time, with rotations ensuring a fresh experience for returning visitors. The architectural beauty of the museum itself, inspired by traditional Chinese palaces, adds to the overall charm of the place. A visit to the National Palace Museum offers a fascinating journey through Chinese history, art, and culture, providing profound insights into the country’s rich heritage.

5. Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung is a culinary gem that originated in Taiwan and has since gained worldwide fame for its delectable xiao long bao (soup dumplings). Established in 1958, this restaurant chain has received numerous accolades for its delicate, flavorful dumplings, attracting food enthusiasts from across the globe. The dumplings, filled with juicy meat or vegetables and surrounded by a thin, perfectly crafted skin, are a testament to the craftsmanship and culinary mastery of Din Tai Fung’s chefs. Apart from xiao long bao, the restaurant offers a diverse menu of other mouthwatering dishes, including steamed buns, noodles, and various Taiwanese delicacies. A visit to Taipei is incomplete without indulging in the savory delights of Din Tai Fung, where one can experience the epitome of Taiwanese culinary excellence.

6. National Taiwan Museum

As Taiwan’s oldest museum, the National Taiwan Museum plays a crucial role in preserving the island’s natural and cultural history. Founded in 1908 during the Japanese colonial era, the museum exhibits an extensive collection of artifacts, specimens, and historical objects that provide insights into Taiwan’s past. The exhibits cover diverse topics, including anthropology, archaeology, geology, flora, fauna, and the indigenous cultures of Taiwan. The museum’s interactive displays and educational programs engage visitors of all ages, making it an excellent destination for families and history enthusiasts. Located near Taipei Main Station, the National Taiwan Museum is easily accessible and serves as a gateway to understanding the rich heritage and biodiversity of Taiwan.

7. Taipei 101

A symbol of Taipei’s modernity and progress, Taipei 101 was once the world’s tallest building and remains an iconic landmark. Its architectural design, inspired by traditional Chinese pagodas, incorporates modern engineering marvels. Visitors can ascend to the observation deck on the 89th floor, where they can marvel at the cityscape and the distant mountains. The observatory provides a 360-degree view, allowing visitors to appreciate the city’s layout and architectural diversity. The base of Taipei 101 houses a high-end shopping mall featuring designer boutiques and international brands. Additionally, the building’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display has become a famous global spectacle, attracting thousands of spectators annually. Taipei 101’s significance as a symbol of Taiwan’s economic success and its stunning views make it an essential stop for any traveler to Taipei.

8. Beitou Hot Springs

Nestled in the northern part of Taipei, Beitou is a natural hot spring area with a rich history of Japanese influence. Visitors can experience the rejuvenating benefits of these thermal springs by soaking in public bathhouses or luxurious private resorts. The sulfuric hot springs are said to have healing properties, making it a popular destination for relaxation and wellness. The Beitou Hot Spring Museum, housed in a Japanese-era public bathhouse, offers insights into the region’s hot spring culture and its historical development. The nearby Beitou Park and the Hot Spring Valley are scenic spots where visitors can immerse themselves in the tranquil ambiance of nature. A visit to Beitou Hot Springs is an opportunity to indulge in a soothing, time-honored tradition that provides respite from the stresses of everyday life.

9. Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan Hiking Trail)

For outdoor enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts, Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan) is a must-visit destination in Taipei. Located near the city center, the Xiangshan Hiking Trail offers a rewarding hike to its peak, providing panoramic views of Taipei City and Taipei 101. The trail consists of steep steps and rugged terrain, making it a moderately challenging climb. Visitors can witness breathtaking sunrises or sunsets from the viewpoint, creating picture-perfect moments against the city’s skyline. The hike is especially popular during the evening when the city lights start to illuminate the skyline. Elephant Mountain’s accessibility and the stunning vistas it offers make it an attractive spot for both locals and tourists seeking a memorable outdoor experience within the heart of Taipei.

10. Longshan Temple

One of Taipei’s most iconic religious sites, Longshan Temple is a testament to Taiwan’s spiritual heritage and is a vibrant center of worship and cultural preservation. Established in 1738, the temple has been through various historical events and renovations, becoming a blend of architectural styles that reflects its rich history. Dedicated to Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, and other deities, Longshan Temple exudes an air of tranquility and reverence. Intricate carvings, colorful decorations, and religious ceremonies create a unique atmosphere that captivates visitors. Devotees and tourists alike visit this temple to seek blessings, observe traditional rituals, or simply bask in its spiritual ambiance. Exploring Longshan Temple offers a glimpse into Taiwan’s religious practices and the enduring significance of its cultural heritage.

About Taipei

One of the major hubs of Greater China, the city of Taipei is located on the northern tip of Taiwan Island. Taipei takes great pride in its greater regional history, as can be seen in the 5,000 year old treasures found in the spectacular National Palace Museum or the restored mansions from its Japanese era.
Taipei respects its religious roots, as can be seen in the famous Confucius Temple in 1920s Minnan style architecture, or the UNESCO Heritage Award recipient Baoan Temple where traditional performances can be enjoyed by visitors. As a nod to Taipei’s blend of nationalities and religions, a visit to the Museum of World Religions is a must. Taipei is also home to many excellent entertainment venues. An early 20th century wine factory, for example, was turned into the 1914 Creative Park where visitors get to enjoy live music performances, buzzing bars and cafes and award-winning restaurant experiences. For more retail therapy, Dihua Street offers a fascinating blend of old-world Chinese medicine shops, art studios, fabric markets and antique shops. To experience the best view of Taipei, head to the 508 meter tall Taipei 101 building, built to resemble a giant bamboo stalk.

Taipei Airport to City Center

Traveling from Taipei Airport to the city center is a straightforward and convenient process, with multiple transportation options available. The airport in Taipei is officially known as Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and is located approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the city center.

Airport MRT (Mass Rapid Transit): The Airport MRT is a popular and efficient way to travel from the airport to the city center. The MRT station is conveniently located within the airport terminals. The Express Line (purple line) takes about 35 minutes to reach Taipei Main Station, the city’s major transportation hub. The Commuter Line (blue line) makes additional stops and takes about 50 minutes to reach Taipei Main Station. Trains run frequently, with departures every 10 to 15 minutes during peak hours. The MRT is clean, comfortable, and equipped with ample space for luggage. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket vending machines in the MRT station using cash or EasyCard, a reloadable transportation card widely used in Taipei.

Airport Shuttle Bus: Airport shuttle buses are another convenient option for getting to the city center. Several bus companies operate services to various destinations within Taipei, such as Taipei Main Station, major hotels, and popular areas. The buses are well-equipped, air-conditioned, and have designated luggage space. The journey duration can vary depending on traffic conditions, but it generally takes around 60 to 90 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket counters in the airport arrival hall or directly from the bus driver.

Taxi: Taxis are readily available at designated taxi stands outside the airport terminals. Taxis in Taipei are metered, and the fare to the city center will depend on the distance and traffic conditions. The journey typically takes around 40 to 60 minutes, but it can be longer during peak traffic hours. Taxis provide door-to-door service and are suitable for those with heavy luggage or traveling in small groups.

Private Transfers and Ride-Sharing: For a more personalized and comfortable option, travelers can book private transfers or use ride-sharing services like Uber or other local ride-hailing apps. Private transfers can be arranged in advance, and drivers will meet passengers at the airport with a signboard. Ride-sharing services offer a convenient and cashless payment option through their respective apps.

Overall, Taipei Airport offers efficient and reliable transportation options to the city center. Travelers can choose the mode of transportation that best suits their preferences, budget, and schedule. Whether it’s the fast and modern Airport MRT, the convenience of shuttle buses, the door-to-door service of taxis, or the comfort of private transfers, getting to the heart of Taipei from the airport is a seamless and enjoyable experience.


    Public Transport in Taipei

    Public transport in Taipei is highly efficient, reliable, and user-friendly. The city boasts an extensive Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, covering major areas and tourist attractions. Additionally, buses and YouBikes (public bike-sharing system) provide convenient options for getting around. To buy tickets for the MRT and buses, visitors can use the EasyCard or iPass, reloadable smart cards that offer discounted fares and can be used for multiple forms of public transport. EasyCards can be purchased at MRT stations, convenience stores, and the airport. For single-journey tickets, vending machines at MRT stations accept cash and provide change.

    Shopping in Taipei

    Whether you’re looking for high-end luxury goods or budget-friendly finds, Taipei has something for everyone. Places where you can go shopping but not limited to are:

    1. Ximending

    Ximending is a vibrant and iconic shopping district in Taipei, often compared to Japan’s Harajuku and South Korea’s Myeongdong. This lively area is a favorite hangout spot for young locals and tourists alike. Its bustling streets are lined with a mix of fashion boutiques, international brands, local shops, and quirky street vendors selling everything from clothing and accessories to gadgets and novelty items. Ximending is not just about shopping; it’s also a cultural hub with theaters, art spaces, and live performances. The district’s lively atmosphere and pedestrian-friendly streets make it an exciting place to explore day or night. Ximending is also known for its wide array of dining options, from street food stalls to trendy cafes and restaurants, making it an ideal destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

    2. Wufenpu Wholesale Market

    Located in the Songshan District, Wufenpu Wholesale Market is a paradise for fashion enthusiasts seeking the latest trends at budget-friendly prices. This bustling market offers an extensive collection of wholesale clothing, including women’s and men’s apparel, accessories, and children’s wear. Retailers and individual shoppers alike can find an abundance of styles, from casual to formal wear, and the market is a treasure trove of fashion finds. Bargaining is common here, allowing customers to get even better deals on bulk purchases. Although Wufenpu primarily caters to fashion, it also has some shops selling fabrics, trimmings, and other textile-related goods. The market’s energetic ambiance and the thrill of finding stylish items at affordable prices attract both locals and visitors looking for a unique and budget-friendly shopping experience.

    3. Vieshow Cinemas

    Vieshow Cinemas is a modern shopping complex in the Xinyi District, adjacent to Taipei 101. While renowned for its state-of-the-art movie theaters, Vieshow also offers a variety of shopping and dining options. Fashion enthusiasts can explore trendy clothing boutiques and accessory stores, while tech-savvy shoppers can browse through electronic gadgets and gaming gear. The mall’s food court and gourmet restaurants cater to different tastes, providing a diverse selection of local and international cuisines. Vieshow Cinemas’ prime location and its wide range of entertainment and shopping choices make it a popular destination for both locals and tourists looking for a multifaceted experience.

    4. Wangfujing Department Store

    Wangfujing Department Store, a reputable Taiwanese chain, has multiple locations in Taipei, each offering a delightful shopping experience. This upscale department store provides a wide range of products, including luxury brands, cosmetics, fashion, accessories, and home goods. Wangfujing is known for its attentive customer service and well-curated selection of high-quality merchandise. In addition to shopping, the department store features various dining options, including restaurants and food courts that offer delicious Taiwanese and international cuisines. Wangfujing Department Store’s sophisticated ambiance and premium offerings attract discerning shoppers seeking top-notch goods and services.

    5. Shilin Night Market

    Shilin Night Market is one of Taipei’s most famous and extensive night markets, drawing large crowds of locals and tourists every evening. It offers a bustling and vibrant atmosphere with a wide array of shopping opportunities. Visitors can browse through clothing, accessories, shoes, and fashion items at various stalls. The market is also known for its affordable souvenirs, gadgets, and quirky trinkets. While shopping is a significant draw, Shilin Night Market is equally famous for its diverse food stalls, serving mouthwatering Taiwanese snacks and street food delicacies. From oyster omelets and stinky tofu to bubble tea and sweet desserts, the market is a haven for food lovers. Shilin Night Market’s combination of shopping and culinary delights creates an unforgettable experience, making it a must-visit destination for all visitors to Taipei.

    6. Breeze Nanjing

    Breeze Nanjing is a stylish shopping complex located in the bustling Nanjing East Road area. The mall caters to a trendy and fashion-conscious clientele, offering a mix of local and international clothing brands, boutiques, and accessory shops. The stores feature a range of styles, from casual and streetwear to elegant and chic designs. Besides fashion, Breeze Nanjing has a variety of beauty and cosmetic shops, showcasing the latest skincare and makeup products. The mall also boasts a gourmet food court with a range of dining options, from Taiwanese street food to international cuisines. With its contemporary design, upscale offerings, and strategic location, Breeze Nanjing has become a popular destination for fashionistas and urban explorers.

    7. Shinkong Mitsukoshi

    Shinkong Mitsukoshi is a renowned Japanese department store chain with multiple locations in Taipei. It offers a premium shopping experience, featuring high-end brands, luxury goods, cosmetics, and designer boutiques. The department store’s layout is well-organized and aesthetically pleasing, with each floor dedicated to specific product categories. In addition to fashion and beauty, Shinkong Mitsukoshi provides gourmet food halls, specialty shops, and unique gift sections. The basement levels often host vibrant food markets with international delicacies. Shinkong Mitsukoshi’s commitment to excellence, superior customer service, and the allure of luxury products attract fashion-forward and discerning shoppers.

    8. Taipei Underground Shopping Street

    Located beneath Taipei Main Station, Taipei Underground Shopping Street is a sprawling network of shopping corridors that offer a wide variety of goods. The underground shopping street is a convenient and accessible place to shop for clothing, accessories, shoes, electronics, and daily necessities. It’s especially popular among commuters and travelers, as it provides a sheltered shopping experience regardless of the weather. The shops here often offer competitive prices and occasional discounts, making it a great place for budget shopping. Taipei Underground Shopping Street provides a bustling and dynamic retail environment, creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere for shoppers of all ages.

    9. Zhongshan Metro Mall

    Zhongshan Metro Mall is an underground shopping street connected to Zhongshan Station on the MRT lines. This shopping corridor features various stores, boutiques, and small shops selling clothing, shoes, accessories, and electronic gadgets. The mall is known for its diverse offerings at affordable prices, attracting shoppers seeking budget-friendly deals. The mall also houses snack stands and eateries, providing quick bites for hungry shoppers. Zhongshan Metro Mall offers a convenient shopping experience for those traveling via the MRT or looking for accessible and affordable retail options.

    10. Miramar Entertainment Park

    Miramar Entertainment Park is a multifunctional complex in the Neihu District, featuring a shopping mall, an indoor amusement park, a cinema, and a Ferris wheel. The shopping mall offers a mix of local and international brands, boutiques, and specialty shops. It’s an excellent destination for fashion, cosmetics, electronics, and lifestyle products. The indoor amusement park, “Mira Stars,” is a fun-filled area for families and kids, featuring a variety of rides and attractions. The highlight of Miramar is the iconic Ferris wheel, offering stunning views of the city and a memorable experience. The park’s diverse offerings and family-friendly attractions make it a great place for entertainment and shopping in Taipei.

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