The Ultimate Guide To Taipei

Taipei

Capital cities are a must-visit for any traveller visiting a new country, and Taipei is no exception. A major hub in East Asia, Taipei is a bustling city home to the iconic Taipei 101 Tower. But don't let this chic neon mecca fool you: heritage sites and natural havens nestle side by side to shopping districts and high-end dining.

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wabisavi

Updated a month ago

TAIPEI 101 Tower

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Taipei, China, Republic • Recommendation • 

Standing 508m tall, this iconic bamboo-shaped tower held the record of world's tallest building for 6 years (it's now 2nd after Dubai's Khalifa Tower). It's platinum-certified as the world's largest "green" building and a fine example of 𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘩𝘶𝘪 design. 📸 Taking photos with the tower as a backdrop is a must, and hunting for the best photo spots is a fun past time for many the Taipei resident (𝘐'𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘢 𝘧𝘦𝘸, 𝘴𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵 😉). The colour of the light-up changes depending on the day of the week, offering a new take at every visit. You can ride up at 60km/h all the way to the 101th floor to take in sweeping vistas of Taipei, getting an outdoor close up of the soaring spire (91F), sipping on a Starbucks coffee (35F) and even indulging on a dinner-with-vista (85F) while on the way. 𝗙𝘂𝗻 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁. the tower and the adjoining circular park work together as a sundial. But honestly, doesn't it remind you of a stack of Chinese take-out boxes? 🎫 600元 (General for 5F, 88F, 89F, 91F, discounts available) | 3000元 (SkyLine 460 for 88F, 89F, 91F, 101F) 💟 Special discounted tickets are available for booking through KLOOK. If you are a new user, you can sign up with my referral code D7VCLL to get an extra 100元 bonus 💟

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5

象山

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Taipei, China • Wishlist • 

After having your fill exploring Taipei 101, head up to Elephant Mountain to get the most iconic shot of Taipei's skyline. Though the hike to the viewpoint platforms takes less than 30 minutes, being basically a 600 steps long staircase, it can get pretty intense. But you'll find the view from the top to be well worth your effort. I recommend hiking the trail in the afternoon, and staying for the sunset and the sweeping vista of the glittering night city. Just be warned that the sky often gets cloudy in the evening, so many pros are known to 📸 hike in the wee hours of the morning in order to capture the perfect sunrise. The trail is well lit, so you will have no problems finding your way no matter which time you pick for your visit. Expect crowds and queues, and arm yourself with patience. 🎫 Free

  • 110, Taiwan, 台北市信義區象山

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3

Takemura Izakaya

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

This small unassuming Japanese-style pub has recently gained insta-celebrity, its distinctive red lantern hanging out front featuring 📸 in many beautiful night shots of Taipei 101. Its rise to stardom began when it featured in Taiwanese popular idol TV drama 𝘐𝘯 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘠𝘰𝘶. The fortunate conformation of this narrow side alley allows an unobstructed view of the tower. You will have no problems finding this "hidden" location, as every evening small groups of photographers and influencers stake out the alley in full gear. Unfortunately, not many stay after their photoshoot to enjoy a bite at Takemura Izakaya 🙈. @aaaa1982000, who has eaten here before, says it's not only very photogenic, but pretty delicious too. Be sure to give their 𝘺𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪 (grilled skewers) and 𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘳𝘪 (rice balls) a try.

  • +886 2 2720 7305
  • No. 2號, Alley 1, Lane 253, Songren Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
    110台北市信義區松仁路253巷1弄2號

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National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

國立國父紀念館

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Taipei, China • Wishlist • 

If you're in the Xinyi District and have time to spare after soaking in all the views of Taipei 101, a 15min walk will take you to National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial. This grand museum complex opened its doors in 1972, and to this day regularly hosts many architecture and art exhibitions. Here you can learn about the life of Sun Yat-Sen, the "𝘍𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯" featured on the 100元 bill. But let's not fool ourselves, we all know the main attraction here is 📸 the changing of guards ceremony (every o'clock from 9am to 5pm), an impressive display of synchronized movements and rifle techniques. The adjoining Zhongshan Park is also a great place to enjoy seasonal flowerbeds and stroll through a Chinese-scaped pond with pagoda. 📸 The wide vistas offered by the park make it easy to snap great pictures of Taipei 101 Tower. A favourite choice is capturing the reflection of the tower in the pond. 𝗙𝘂𝗻 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁. While exiled in Japan, Sun Yat-Sen went by the pseudonym Nakayama (中山). These kanji read in Chinese as 𝘡𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘯. Streets, parks and schools are dedicated to him all over the world by this name. 🎫: Free

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National Taiwan Museum

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Taipei, China, Republic • Wishlist • 

Set within the 2/28 Peace Park, the National Taiwan Museum (not to be confused with the National Palace Museum) is the oldest museum in Taiwan, dating back to the Japanese colonial days. It's a great place to learn more about the local aboriginal culture and the history of Taiwan. On top of the permanent collection, local and international exhibits are held regularly. 📷: National Taiwan Museum website

  • +886 2 2382 2566
  • No. 2號, Xiangyang Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

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3

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

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Taipei, China, Republic • Wishlist • 

Learn about the history of Taiwan at this massive memorial hall, dedicated to controversial figure Chiang Kai Shek, the leader who unified and led China and later became Taiwan's first president. 💬 Mandarin tours are available daily (English and Japanese tours must be booked in advance).

  • +886 2 2343 1100
  • 21 Zhongshan South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan

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Shilin Night Market

士林夜市

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Taipei, China, Republic • Recommendation • 

While more on the touristy side (meaning inflated prices and huge crowds), Shilin Night Market is a must-visit for any traveller wishing to meander down the paths of local cuisine. The massive spread of stalls allows you to sample through a variety of Taiwanese delicacies (including Bib Gourmand listings), while shopping for souvenirs, playing games and having your fortune read by a bird (yes, you read that one right). Covering the whole market in a single visit feels impossible, and it's easy to get lost within the snaking alleys, so I recommend preparing an action plan of the stalls you want to visit. 🔜 You can read more about my recommended stalls in a separate list 💟 Eating around Taipei 💟 where I'll also share a secret about this market that only the locals know about! (this list is available to my Followers only, so do tap that green button on my profile to become a true Taipei foodie insider 😉)

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National Palace Museum

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

If you don’t mind climbing a gazillion steps* to reach it, the National Palace Museum puts the National Taiwan Museum to shame with the sheer vastness of its collection, among which are items drawing flocks of tourists every day. But fear not, the premises themselves are huge, and even when visiting on days where the visitor counter reached over 3000, the 25 exhibit rooms did not feel crowded at all. Highlights of the permanent exhibition: 🔸 Meat-shaped stone. Just as the name suggests, this is a banded jasper mineral that enticingly resembles a juicy slab of freshly braised pork belly. The contrast between the hardness of the material and the tenderness and almost gelatinous quality of its appearance will have you questioning your own eyes. 🔸 Jadeite cabbage. This delicately chiselled piece of jade is mind-blowing finery at its fullest, from the crunch of the cabbage leaves to the details of the grasshopper sitting in its middle. ❗️The National Palace Museum has 2 branches, one in Taipei and one in Taibao (Chiayi). Its most famous exhibits regularly rotate between the 2 locations, so do check on their website before visiting, to avoid disappointment! 🎫: 350元 (discounts available, free on selected special dates) 💬: Chinese and English; Free guided tours in Chinese and English; Audio players available for rent at 150元 in 14 languages * jk, the museum is fully wheelchair accessible https://www.npm.gov.tw/en/

  • +886 2 2881 2021
  • No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

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About Taiwan, China

Don’t let its size fool you, Taiwan is home to a 23-million strong population that keep its spirited traditions and luxurious culture alive

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