Taiwan Tourist Spots: Things to Do + Taipei Itinerary
Taiwan Travel Guide for first-time travelers

Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a vibrant city that offers a bucket-list worthy adventure. It has a lot to see and discover such as various night markets, art districts, ancient architecture, and an efficient transport system. Apart from that, the city is known for having one of the most welcoming, friendly, and accommodating locals to interact with! This is our Taiwan Travel Guide featuring Taiwan tourist spots, things to do in Taipei, and sample Taipei itinerary.

Taiwan Tourist Spots: Things to Do + Taipei Itinerary

Visa to Taiwan for Filipinos

As of this writing, Filipinos are visa-free whenever entering Taiwan. You don’t need travel certificates or an e-visa to visit this country for a maximum of 14 days. However, the duration of visa-free entry for Filipinos is up to July 31, 2020 only and might be extended again, so check out the news regularly if you are traveling after July 31.

How to get to Taipei from Manila

Taipei is accessible from Manila; Cebu Pacific has direct flights to and from Manila to Taipei. Make sure to book your ticket in advance to get the lowest possible fares. Don’t forget to pre-order a meal. I highly recommend having Cebu Pacific’s lechon paksiw. It’s good!!! Check flights now.

Cebu Pacific’s lechon paksiw

How to get to Taipei from Taoyuan Airport

There are a number of ways you can choose to go to Taipei from Taoyuan International Airport depending on your budget and preference as well as the time of your arrival as some options are not available 24 hours.

The most convenient way of getting out of the airport to Taipei is by taking the MRT. It will only take around 39 minutes to reach Taipei Main Station using the express train and 53 minutes using the commuter train. The one-way fare is NT$150. You can pay by EasyCard to use the MRT. You can purchase an EasyCard now.

Airport to Taiwan Main Station

First trip: 5:59 AM
Last trip: 10:58 PM

Taiwan Main Station to Airport

First trip: 6:07 AM
Last trip: 11:37 PM

The cheapest way to get to Taipei from the airport is by taking a bus. CitiAir bus 1960 has a stop near Taipei 101 which will cost you around NT$145. Bus 1961 which runs only until 1:00 AM and bus 1819 which runs 24 hours go to Taipei Main Station from the airport. The fare is NT$90 and NT$125 respectively. The travel time by bus is around 55 minutes. The bus leaves the airport every 15-30 minutes.

National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

Getting Around Taipei

Taipei is easy to DIY because of the networks of buses and subway trains to and from different places and attractions. Some tourist spots sit next to train stations, while others are just a couple of minutes’ walk. You won’t get lost as the names of stations are in ‘pinyin’ or English. [Rent a Pocket Wifi in Taiwan]

You can use some passes to get discounts on trips using the metro or bus. [Buy a Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour]

Taipei’s Easy Card

This makes it easy to pay for buses and metro rides. All you have to do is top it up with cash and you’re good to go. You can purchase this card in convenience stores and subway stations. With this card, you can get a discount whenever you take the bus or metro in the city. You can also use this to buy things at 7-11 or Family Mart. Get an EasyCard now.

Metro Pass Rates

Activate the card at the gate of the metro; once you do this, you can use it for an unlimited number of times.

Type of PassPrice
One Day PassNT$150
24-Hour PassNT$180
48-Hour PassNT$280
72-Hour PassNT$380

Taipei Fun Pass

This pass is valid for both metro and bus rides. Buying the cards or pass reduces your expenses and makes paying for metro and bus rides fast and convenient.

Type of PassPrice
One Day PassNT$180
1 Day Pass + Maokong GondolaNT$350
Two Day PassNT$310
Three Day PassNT$440
Five Day PassNT$700

Things to Do in Taipei: Top Tourist Spots

These are the must-visit tourist spots in Taipei that a first-timer should explore. So, whether this is your first time in Taipei or your second or thirs, these list of things to do in Taipei will surely bring you loads of fun.

Visit Taipei 101

In the years 2004 to 2010, Taipei 101 was considered the tallest building in the world. It is the most iconic structure that has a shape of a bamboo stalk and owns the world’s fastest elevator from 89th to the 91st floor. Despite losing the title of the world’s tallest building, it is still recognized as the tallest green building and has the world’s highest Starbucks coffee shop today. [Buy a Taipei 101 Priority pass ticket now]

Taipei 101
Taipei 101

See Taipei’s Amazing cityscape from Elephant Mountain

To give you the perfect view of Taipei, you can visit the Elephant Mountain or Xiangshan. The best time to go is late afternoon so that you can catch the sunset and see the metropolis lit up.

Elephant Mountain | Bigstock

Explore Taipei’s National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum houses approximately 700,000 artifacts for a span of 8000 years of Chinese history. Originally, the museum started in the Forbidden City, Beijing and was carried across China to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. Some of the most popular pieces are meat-shaped stone and cabbage-shaped jade. Buy a discounted ticket via Klook!

National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum | Bigstock

Go on a food trip at the Shilin Night Market

Taipei, specifically the Shilin Night Market, is the best place to go on a food trip. They offer streetfood and famous Asian cuisine at an affordable price. They also take pride in their Michelin-rated vendors with many locals and tourists lining up just to taste their delicacies. Noted as one of the top things to do in Taipei, going on a food trip will be best enjoyed with family and friends!

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

Explore Ximending

A district famous for shopping and eating; the best time to explore is at night when the buildings and shops are lit up.

Visit Longshan Temple

The temple not just houses historical relics, but also an active place for worshipping Chinese deities. Years back the temple was destroyed and has been rebuilt. Nevertheless, it’s grace and value never changed. So as you come to Taipei, visit the Longshan Temple to explore deep symbolism with its intricate structure.

Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple

Discover Taipei’s historical heritage at Liberty Square

The Liberty Square is the city’s public plaza serving protests, public gatherings, or special guests tour. It is where the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall sits to honor the former President of China.

Liberty Square
Liberty Square

Taipei, indeed, loves Liberty Square. In fact, you can see most locals here jogging, playing mahjong, or simply chilling out. You should never this among the top things to do in Taipei if you want to immerse more with the locals.

Visit the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

After having a stroll at Liberty Square, you can go to Chiang Kai-shek Hall and pay a visit. The building was erected to honor the memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, China’s former President. You can see in the exact place Chiang’s statue with inscriptions, “The purpose of life is to improve the general life of humanity.”

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

A visit to this place will definitely make you understand more of the city’s rich history.

Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence Park

This park became my instant favorite tourist attraction in Taipei. It’s free to explore the park unless you want to go inside Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence which was converted into a museum.

Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence Park
Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence Park
Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence Park

The park is surrounded by different types of colorful flowers. There is a rose garden that has different varieties of roses. There’s also a tulip garden which blooms during spring around late February to early March.

Rose Garden at Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence Park
Rose Garden at Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence Park

Experience Beitou Hot Springs

This destination is perfect for tourists who like and enjoy thermal hot springs. Located at Xinbeitou station, the area is filled with public and private baths to choose from. It has a very authentic and popular style of inns and resort hotels that make people stay as long as they want. So better book ahead of time to secure the availability of your reservation.

Beitou Hot Springs
Beitou Hot Springs | Bigstock

Explore Yehliu Geopark 

This park has unique rock formations that are picture-perfect; use your imagination to determine the shape of the rocks you’ll see during your visit. Entrance fee NT$80. [Buy ticket now]

Yehliu Geopark
Yehliu Geopark | Photo by Joshua Berida

Visit Garden 91 Museum

Situated on top of the Yangmingshan mountain, Garden 91 houses the sculpture and painting collections of Mr. Lin. It’s not a touristy place, so you’ll enjoy the vibe inside the museum as well as the garden with an overlooking view of Taipei City.

Garden 91 Museum
Facade of Garden 91 Museum
Garden 91 Museum
Inside Garden 91 Museum

A must-visit for travelers who love art and people who want to unwind. I had a great time visiting this place. I would love to revisit and stay longer. The entrance fee is only TWD150. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Overlooking view of Taipei City from Garden 91 Museum
Overlooking view of Taipei City from Garden 91 Museum
 Garden 91 Museum
Garden 91 Museum

Popular Day Tours from Taipei

Yangmingshan National Park

An amazing park to explore for the outdoorsy. The trails are easy to walk on because they are either paved or have wooden pathways. There are different sections for those who want to go up one or some of the peaks. There are also waterfalls and ponds with clear waters that reflect the surrounding mountains and trees.

Yangmingshan Park
Yangmingshan National Park

Inside the national park, there are fields of calla lilies. You can walk around the fields and if you fancy harvesting flowers, you can also do so for a fee.

Calla Lily at Yangmingshan National Park

Shifen

A quaint railroad town that has plenty of souvenirs and food to try; you can also send out sky lanterns. The waterfalls are a highlight of a trip to this destination which is just a walking distance from the Shifen train station. [Buy Shifen Half-Day Guided Tour Ticket]

Shifen Waterfall
Shifen Waterfall
Sky lanterns in Shifen
Sky lanterns in Shifen

Jiufen

If you’ve seen Spirited Away, you’ll recognize the lanterns and buildings right away. Explore the markets, try the food and take as many pictures as possible. If you have another night to spend in Taiwan, this is a great place to spend another night or two. There are too many people during the late afternoon and early in the evening so the best place to go if you want fewer people is early in the morning.[Buy Jiufen Shuttle Bus Ticket from Ximen]

Jiufen
Jiufen
Jiufen
Jiufen

Houli Flower Farm

𝗛𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗶 𝗙𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 𝗚𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗻 is one of the top tourist attractions in Taiwan. It is located in the city of Taichung in Central Taiwan, about 1-3 hours from Taipei. It is a must-visit destination when you are in Taiwan. You can make a day trip from Taipei or stay in Taichung and explore more of Central Taiwan. Check out our complete travel guide on how to go to Taichung Flower Garden from Taipei.

Houli Flower Farm
Houli Flower Farm

Where to Stay in Taipei

If you don’t mind sleeping in a dormitory room, then Taipei is an affordable place to visit. But, if you prefer to stay in hotels, then it might be a little expensive to explore this bustling city. If you travel in a group, I highly recommend staying in an Airbnb.

The best places to stay are either near tourist attractions or metro stations. This reduces your expenses and time spent going to and from famous destinations during your trip. Taipei Main Station, Ximending, and Xinyi District where Taipei 101 is located are recommended places to look for accommodation. My friends and I stayed in Xinyi District and we had an awesome view of Taipei 101 from our Airbnb’s rooftop pool. You can check out Airbnb listings near Taipei 101 or search below.

Airbnb near Taipe1 101
View of Taipei 101 from our Airbnb’s rooftop pool

If you prefer staying in hostels, below are highly-rated accommodations near Ximending and Taipei Main Station (click to see the rates, reviews, and availability):

The Grand Hotel Taipei

If money isn’t an issue, you can book a room at the Grand Hotel. It’s a 14-story palace-like hotel facing Keelung River. It has an overlooking view of the city as well as the Taipei 101. Check rates and availability.

The Grand Hotel Taipei
Facade of The Grand Hotel Taipei

CitizenM Hotel Taipei

If you want to stay in Ximending area, the CitizenM hotel is a good option. It’s a chic hotel with a relaxing ambiance. It’s a short walking distance to Ximending market. Check rates and availability.

CitizenM Hotel Taipei
CitizenM Hotel Taipei

SweetMe Hotspring Hotel

If you feel like staying in Beitou area, SweetMe Hotspring Hotel is something you should consider. The room I stayed in was not that huge but it has its own private hot spring bath which I enjoyed. Check rates and availability.

SweetMe Hotspring Hotel
SweetMe Hotspring Hotel
SweetMe Hotspring Hotel
Hotspring bath at SweetMe Hotspring Hotel

Where to Eat in Taipei

There are many night markets in Taipei where you can find sumptuous food. The most popular is the Shihlin Night Market. You can also go to Ximending to fill your tummy with good food. One of the best bubble tea has a shop in Ximending. You can also explore Raohe Night Market or if you stay near Taipei 101, you can go to Linjiang Street Night Market. Lots of good food there, too!

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market
Linjiang Street Night Market
Linjiang Street Night Market
Xing Futang in Ximending

Yong Kang Beef Noodle

One of the reasons why people visit other countries is because of the food, and this one you surely shouldn’t miss. Beef Noodle is the national dish of Taiwan and this family restaurant in the Da’an District is the perfect place to find this sensational dish. This will definitely give you a great taste of their local food. This restaurant has a Bib Gourmand rating by Michelin.

Address: No. 17號, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan

Beef Noodle
Beef Noodle

Golden Formosa

The Golden Formosa is a popular Taiwanese restaurant in Taipei’s Shilin District. It started in the 1960s and is included in Taipei’s Michelin Guidebook. It received a 1-star rating and it’s definitely worth a stop.

Golden Formosa
Golden Formosa

Must-try is their signature twice-cooked deep-fried pork ribs. You can also try their juicy Hainanese chicken if you are eating with a group. As for dessert, the deep-fried taro balls are must-have!

Golden Formosa's Deep-fried Pork Ribs
Golden Formosa’s Deep-fried Pork Ribs

Address: No. 101號, Tianmu East Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 – 14:30 and 17:30 – 21:30

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung is another popular Taiwanese restaurant in Taipei. it is well-known for its different varieties of xiaolongbao both savory and sweet. It started in Taipei 1972 and has now branches in more than 10 countries including USA, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. It received a Bib Gourmand rating in the Taipei edition of the Michelin Guide.

Din Tai Fung's Pork Xiaolongbao
Din Tai Fung’s Pork Xiaolongbao

Must-try dishes:

  • Pork Xiaolongbao NTD110 for 5pcs
  • Spicy Shrimp and Pork Wontons NTD180 for 8pcs
  • Chocolate Xiaolongbao NTD175 for 5pcs
Din Tai Fung's Chocolate Xiaolongbao
Din Tai Fung’s Chocolate Xiaolongbao

Bar 88 at Taipei 101

If you visit Taipei 101 Observatory, you should drop by at Bar 88, a must-try cafe in Taipei. You can order a glass of coffee or bubble tea served with cotton candy and enjoy a stunning view of the city at the same time.

Bar 88 at Taipei 101
Bar 88 at Taipei 101

CAMA Coffee Roasters

If you love coffee, I highly recommend visiting CAMA Coffee Roasters in Taipei’s Yangmingshan National Park. Aside from good coffee, you can also enjoy the relaxing ambiance of the cafe. They serve different types of coffee from around the world – Africa, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Taiwan local coffee, and more!

CAMA Coffee Roasters
CAMA Coffee Roasters

They have branches across Taiwan but this shop in Yangmingshan is a must-visit. It’s an old Japanese house converted into a cafe.

CAMA Coffee Roasters
CAMA Coffee Roasters

Shan Lan Cafe at Landis Resort Yangmingshan

Order a set meal at Shan Lan Cafe at Landis Resort Yangmingshan and enjoy an impressive view of the Yangmingshan Mountains. During spring, you can have a spectacular view of cherry blossom just outside the restaurant. It’s perfect for that IG-worthy shot.

Set meal at Shan Lan Cafe
Set meal at Shan Lan Cafe
Cherry Blossom at Landis Resort Yangmingshan

Sample Taipei Itinerary

Day 1 Taipei Itinerary

Day 2 Taipei Itinerary

Day 3 Taipei Itinerary

Day 4 Taipei Itinerary

Day 5 Taipei Itinerary

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