COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may impact your travel plans. Wherever you're going, you'll find the latest advice here.

All articles

Taipei Travel Guide: Food, History, Hiking and More

Headed for an adventure to Taipei, Taiwan? We’ve built this Taipei travel guide so you know the top things to do in Taipei including the must-sees, where to eat, drink and where to stay on your trip!

Why You Should Visit Taipei

Taipei is the capital city of the beautiful country of Taiwan. This semi-tropical island nation is formerly and wistfully known as ‘Formosa’, which is Portuguese for ‘beautiful island’. Taipei a go-to destination for its modern skyline, delicious food, and rich history. If you’re headed to this affordable metropolis, we’ve created a Taipei city guide for you. According to our data, May is the best time to book flights to Taipei, so there’s no better time to book a flight and have an unforgettable trip to Taipei.

view of Taipei and Taipei 101 with mountains in the distance
Taipei Travel Guide: Skyscanner Canada

Taipei Travel Guide: When to Travel to Taipei

Deciding when to travel to Taipei, Taiwan depends on what you’re looking for weather-wise.

While the weather tends to always be relatively warm, the summer months—June, July, August, September—have highs between 31 and 34 degrees Celsius. The cooler months—December, January, February—have highs between 19 and 21.

The wettest month in Taipei are August and September.  

Top Things to Do in Taipei

There are a ton of things to do in Taipei, whether you’re there for history, adventure, shopping or the views. Skyscanner has a great trip planner where you can find the best things to do in Taipei, but here are our picks.

National Palace Museum in Taipei by day
Taipei Travel Guide: Skyscanner Canada

1. Visit Taipei’s National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum is a fan-favourite amongst history lovers, but art lovers have also shared positive reviews, making this one of the top things to do in Taipei. Here you’ll find tidbits of Chinese art and culture, artifacts and rare items dating back thousands of years. Come here at night when the scene is particularly impressive.

It’s a must-visit for those headed to Taipei. And not only does it hold great treasures and wonders, but it’s also the home to beautiful architecture itself!

2. Take a dip in the Beitou Hot Springs

The Beitou Hot Springs is a popular attraction for travellers in Taipei. The hot springs are a huge hit with outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travellers. Located in a Taipei neighbourhood outside of the city centre, the springs make for an excellent day trip for your Taiwan vacation. There are four hot springs pools to relax in, and they are easily accessible via public transit.

Feeling a little shy? You can book yourself a private drip in the hot springs by booking a private room at the Beitou Hot Spring Resort. Rooms are around $200 a night.

3. Explore Huashan 1914 Creative Park

What was once an abandoned wine factory has now been turned into an art sanctuary, and while you’re in town you can visit and see the wonderful creation taking place!

Huashan 1914 Creative Park is home to restaurants, shops, cafés, a performance space and a cinema. A cultural hub, this space is loved by travellers from art lovers and foodies, to families and trendsetters.

Taipei has a strong youth culture and hipster scene and is also home to some of the friendliest locals, making this Taipei attraction a great way to immerse yourself into local life (and experience some impressive modern art along the way). Don’t miss this experience!

Shilin Market in Taipei is a must-do
Taipei Travel Guide: Skyscanner Canada

4. Take in the atmosphere at the Shilin Night Market

Popular with foodies and those interested in nighttime activities, the Shilin Night Market is a great place to shop and eat. Try everything here from Taipei street food staples like the Pepper Pork Bun, Fried Bee Hoon (noodles with braised pork), stinky tofu and grilled prawns. Wash your culinary delights down with a can of Taiwan Beer or cool off with a bowl of shaved ice.

Be sure to pick up a bubble tea somewhere along the way. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan, and there are so many bubble tea shops and chains around the city.

This destination is easy to access and is about a 10-minute walk from the nearest MRT station. But be warned, because this is a hugely popular place there’s always a crowd!

5. Experience history at Bopiliao Ancient Street

Turn back the clock in what used to be one of the most bustling and busy neighbourhoods and streets in Taipei. Bopiliao Ancient Street is a historic architectural hub where you can get an insight into the past of Formosa.

This block now houses a museum where you can see historical artifacts and learn about Taiwanese culture and history before the revolution. Learn about everything from traditional Chinese medicine, western influence, and the educational system.

6. Shop, dine, and drink at Taipei 101

Taipei 101 used to be the tallest building the world and is home to a mall with restaurants, shops and clubs, working offices and observatories in its 101 floors. Get a ticket to the observatory and get a chance to see a 360-degree view of Taipei from high in the sky.

This Taipei attraction is wildly popular if you are travelling with kids, as well as luxury travellers because of all the boutique shops here. There’s plenty to do at Taipei 101 to fill an afternoon and into the evening.

For dinner, head to the notorious dim sum restaurant chain Din Tai Fung in the basement of Taipei 101. There will probably be a line, but they have things organized well where guests can put their names down and you’ll get notified whenever your table is ready with a buzzer. You can explore and shop around Taipei 101 whilst you wait, and the dumplings (jiaozi and baozi) are definitely worth it!

Taipei and rest of Taiwan is an LGBTQ2-friendly destination, as this island nation just became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

view from Elephant Mountain, a top thing to do in Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei Travel Guide: Skyscanner Canada

7. Watch the sunset from Elephant Hill

For more epic views make the small trek up what’s known as ‘Elephant Hill’ or ‘Elephant Mountain’, which is popular for watching the sunset over the city. It’s a popular thing to do in Taipei with locals and tourists alike. The trek is about 500 steps to the viewpoint and 600 steps to the top. Bring some comfortable walking shoes and of course, your camera!

For Elephant Hill, take the red line on the MRT and get off at the last stop named ‘Xiangshan’. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the foot of the mountain and then about a 15-20 minute walk up to the viewpoint. Seeing that it’s a very popular thing to do consider doing this hike in the middle of the week rather than a weekend to avoid huge crowds.

Further reading: An insider’s guide to spending a weekend in Taipei.

Where to Stay in Taipei

Our Taipei travel guide has some great recommendations for where to stay on your Taipei trip. If none of these hotel options fit your travel style, use our hotel search bar at the end of this Taipei Travel Guide to get access to a ton of hotel deals for your trip and choose your perfect hotel.

bowl of spicy noodle soup in Taipei
Taipei Travel Guide: Skyscanner Canada

Hotels in Taipei

Travellers wanting to experience the traditional travel experience in Taipei, hotel and all, will be glad to know Taipei offers a number of reasonably priced hotels for almost any budget. From boutique hotels, to mid-range accommodation and backpacker hostels, there are plenty of places to stay in Taipei.

Here are a few great hotels under $120 CAD with a 4-star or more rating:

Hostels in Taipei

For travellers with more adventure at heart the desire to save a bit of money on your trip, and perhaps you ‘splurgetters‘ out there, hostels are the perfect accommodations for you.

Taipei has a ton of hostels that you can stay at for less than $30 per night. Some include:

use the MRT to get around Taipei on the cheap
Taipei Travel Guide: Skyscanner Canada

How to Get Around Taipei

Taipei is a bustling metropolis, and it has a highly efficient metro system called the MRT (see the map). You can get to a ton of places around Taipei using the MRT. Plus their MRT is air-conditioned, there’s free WiFi on board, and it’s affordable.

Places that you can’t get to via train can be accessed by public transit buses and trains. Attractions like the National Palace Museum can easily be accessed via the bus. There are also sightseeing hop on-hop off buses. You can also take a boat, ride on the gondola, rent a bicycle or simply take a taxi.

If you’re planning to explore some other cities in Taiwan, you can take the train around. It stops at a number of places, including Kaohsiung, Keelung, Pingxi and Yingge. While the train ticket machines might be a tad bit complex, many of the signs are also in English.

Enjoyed This Taipei Travel Guide?