Taipei, the bustling capital of Taiwan, is a city that seamlessly blends tradition, modernity, and natural beauty. For those pondering things to do in Taipei, visiting the iconic Taipei 101, once the world’s tallest building, and exploring the historic Longshan Temple, a beautiful example of Taiwanese classical architecture, are top activities.
The city’s bustling night markets, such as Shilin and Raohe, offer a sensory feast and a taste of local life, with stalls selling everything from street food to quirky souvenirs. Nearby, the National Palace Museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese imperial artifacts, providing a deep dive into the country’s rich history and culture.
Beyond its urban attractions, Taipei is surrounded by lush mountains and hot springs, offering ample opportunities for hiking and relaxation. For those seeking the best places to visit in Taiwan, Taipei’s blend of vibrant street life, historical landmarks, and natural beauty makes it a captivating destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Taipei, Taiwan
1. Taipei 101
Taipei 101 was once the world’s tallest building and remains an architectural marvel in the heart of Taipei. It offers a 360-degree observation deck on the 89th floor, providing breathtaking views of the entire city and beyond. Inside, a massive damper ball that stabilizes the building against earthquakes and typhoons can also be viewed.
Travel Tip: Purchase an advance ticket to bypass the lines, and visit just before dusk to experience both day and night views of Taipei.
2. National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum houses one of the largest collections of Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks in the world, brought to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. With items spanning thousands of years of history, including calligraphy, paintings, and jade, this museum is a treasure trove of Chinese culture.
Travel Tip: Try to visit on a weekday and start from the top floor, working your way down to avoid the crowds that often start on the ground floor.
3. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
This iconic landmark of Taiwan is dedicated to the former President of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek. The massive hall is set within a park, surrounded by gardens, ponds, and walkways. The hourly changing of the guard ceremony is a must-see.
Travel Tip: Check the schedule for cultural events and performances that are often held in the square.
4. Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market is Taipei’s largest and most famous market, offering a plethora of food, clothing, and trinkets. The market is a sensory overload with its delicious smells, vibrant colors, and the bustling energy of locals and tourists alike.
Travel Tip: Go there hungry and be adventurous with your food choices—this is the perfect place to try out Taiwanese street food like stinky tofu, oyster omelets, and bubble tea.
5. Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple is one of Taipei’s oldest and most significant temples, known for its beautiful architecture and the mix of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian practices. It’s a place of worship and a gathering place for the local community.
Travel Tip: Visit during a local festival to see the temple come alive with traditional practices and ceremonies.
6. Beitou Hot Springs
Located in the Beitou District, these natural hot springs have been harnessed into public baths and private resorts where locals and tourists come to soak and relax. The area also features a Hot Spring Museum and the Beitou Geothermal Valley, showcasing the area’s volcanic activity.
Travel Tip: Bring your own swimsuit and towel, and remember to stay hydrated, especially in the hotter pools.
7. Maokong Gondola
The Maokong Gondola takes you on a scenic ride from the Taipei Zoo up to the Maokong area, known for its tea plantations. At the top, you can enjoy sweeping views of Taipei, visit a tea house, and take a walk on the trails.
Travel Tip: For a unique experience, try one of the gondolas with a crystal-clear glass floor.
Often likened to Tokyo’s Shibuya, Ximending is a bustling shopping and entertainment district that’s particularly popular with the younger crowd. It’s a great place to experience the vibrancy of modern Taipei.
Travel Tip: Look out for street performances and don’t miss trying one of the local dessert shops.
9. Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail
For the best views of Taipei, a hike up Elephant Mountain is a must. The trail is well-maintained and offers several vantage points overlooking the city, with Taipei 101 dominating the skyline.
Travel Tip: The hike is relatively short but steep, so wear comfortable shoes, and bring water—your efforts will be rewarded with stunning views, especially at sunset.
10. Dihua Street
Dihua Street is a quaint and historic street in the Dadaocheng area, known for its traditional Chinese medicine shops, tea houses, and fabric markets. It’s a great place to see the older side of Taipei.
Travel Tip: Visit during the Lunar New Year period for the festive market, where the street becomes a hub of activity selling traditional goods and snacks.
11. Taipei Zoo
As one of the largest zoos in Asia, Taipei Zoo presents a vast collection of animals from Taiwan and around the world. It’s known for its efforts in conservation and education, and it’s also the entrance to the Maokong Gondola.
Travel Tip: The zoo is expansive, so plan to spend several hours here; wear comfortable walking shoes and consider renting an electric scooter to cover more ground.
12. Huashan 1914 Creative Park
This multi-purpose creative space in a revamped wine factory offers galleries, theaters, and design shops. The park is a hub for art, culture, and creativity, with regular events and exhibitions.
Travel Tip: Check the event schedule in advance to catch film screenings, art shows, or creative markets that coincide with your visit.
13. Bopiliao Historical Block
Bopiliao Historical Block has preserved much of its Qing dynasty and Japanese colonial architecture and now serves as an educational and cultural site where visitors can learn about Taipei’s urban development.
Travel Tip: Guided tours are available and recommended to fully appreciate the history and transformation of this area.
14. Tamsui Old Street
This riverside district is known for its sunset views, street food, and a laid-back atmosphere that’s different from central Taipei. It’s also rich in history, with old merchants’ houses and colonial buildings.
Travel Tip: Try to stay until the evening to enjoy the sunset by the river and the street performance culture that Tamsui is known for.
15. Raohe Street Night Market
Raohe Street Night Market is one of Taipei’s oldest and most authentic night markets, lined with food stalls and shops offering a true taste of local life.
Travel Tip: Be sure to visit the Ciyou Temple, located at one end of the market, which is an ornate, multi-tiered temple dedicated to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu.
FAQ About Things to Do in Taipei, Taiwan
What are the must-visit places in Taipei?
Taipei is known for iconic landmarks such as Taipei 101, the bustling night markets like Shilin and Raohe, historical treasures like the National Palace Museum, and peaceful retreats such as the Beitou Hot Springs.
Can I experience traditional Taiwanese tea culture in Taipei?
Yes, you can visit Maokong, a region known for its high-quality tea. Take the Maokong Gondola for scenic views and stop at a traditional teahouse to enjoy Taiwanese tea and the tranquil surroundings.
Is there a recommended area for shopping in Taipei?
For shopping, head to the Xinyi District, which is filled with shopping malls and department stores. For more local shopping experiences, visit Dihua Street for traditional goods and handicrafts.
What outdoor activities are available in Taipei?
Taipei offers several hiking trails with stunning views, such as Elephant Mountain and Yangmingshan National Park. Biking along the Tamsui River and windsurfing at Wai’ao Beach are also popular outdoor activities.
Are there historical sites to visit in Taipei?
Certainly! Don’t miss the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Lungshan Temple, and Fort Santo Domingo. These sites offer a glimpse into Taipei’s rich history and culture.
What unique food experiences can I have in Taipei?
You must try Taipei’s street food at its night markets. Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) at Din Tai Fung, stinky tofu, beef noodle soup, and mango shaved ice are among the local delicacies.
Is there any nature within Taipei for a quick escape?
Yes, Taipei is blessed with many green spaces. You can visit the Taipei Botanical Garden, Daan Forest Park, or take a short trip to the nearby Yangmingshan National Park for hot springs and hiking.
Does Taipei have a cultural arts scene?
Absolutely! Taipei is home to thriving cultural arts. Visit the Huashan 1914 Creative Park for contemporary art and cultural events, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, or catch a performance at the National Theater and Concert Hall.