Taipei is one of the most unique cities in Asia. As the capital of Taiwan, it offers an exciting mix of culture, history, and entertainment. With its lively night markets, vibrant temples, and breathtaking landscape, it’s easy to see why millions of people around the world flock to Taipei every year.
This incredible city has a unique blend of modern and traditional elements that is hard to find elsewhere.
Whether you’re looking for a great foodie experience, want to explore the countryside on foot, or want to explore some of the city’s cultural sites during your trip, Taipei’s got you.
But I totally get it — planning a 5-day itinerary in Taipei can be daunting. There are literally so many things you could consider doing!
This post is here to lend a helping hand, outlining the exact itinerary that I created for my very own trip to Taipei over my 5-day stay, plus a few other activities that I didn’t get a chance to do!
My goal is to give you suggestions on the best things to see, eat and do during your 5 days in Taipei.
Whether it’s art, culture, or food that interests you, one thing is certain–you won’t run out of things to do in Taipei.
This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!
Essential Travel Tips For Taipei
- If you plan on using the internet for Google Maps, and even random internet searches when there’s no WiFi around, I’d highly recommend picking up a Taiwan prepaid SIM card. I did Taipei without a SIM card (just used T-Mobile’s free international roaming) and while Google Maps worked fine, even basic Google searches would take ages to load. SIM card = fast internet!
- You should get a contactless IC card (EasyCard) OR a pass that provides unlimited transportation (like the Fun Pass for tourists). These will save you the hassle of needing to purchase individual tickets and with the EasyCard, it’ll even save you money as the fare is discounted when you use an EasyCard.
- Consider getting the Unlimited Fun Pass, which includes entrance to 25 popular attractions, as well as unlimited MRT and bus rides in Taipei and New Taipei City.
- For public transportation, you will probably use the bus as much as you use the train. In both instances, you’ll need to tap your transportation card upon getting ON and OFF. So in total, you’ll be tapping twice per ride.
- The MRT (subway) system is clean, timely, and super affordable, with trains running every few minutes. The bus system is a bit less reliable than the train, but still pretty good. There is good digital signage that lets you know when the next bus is arriving at your stop.
- Make sure to download Google Maps and Google Translate on your phone. That way, you can check bus/train schedules, access maps, navigate to your stops on foot, and read food menus easily.
- Upon arrival at TPE Airport, allocate at least 1 to 1.5 hours to get from the airport to Taipei. When traveling with lots of luggage or traveling with larger groups, we prefer to book a private airport transfer to get us from the airport to our hotel and vice versa.
- The weather in Taipei can be quite unpredictable, and rain is not uncommon. Make sure you pack a lightweight travel umbrella when visiting during typhoon season (from May to November).
- Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be doing a ton of walking in Taipei.
- Don’t forget to bring some cash with you while you explore the city, as some vendors (such as at night markets) don’t take credit card or EasyCard payments.
DAY 1: A Taste Of Taiwanese Culture
Pick up transportation passes
While in Taipei, you’re going to want some form of cashless transportation card.
Having to deal with a single card that you can tap on the pay machine as opposed to fumbling with messy bills and coins is a game changer, especially in a city where the general population relies so heavily on public transportation (there will likely be a line of other people behind you so you’re going to want to tap and go quickly).
- The EasyCard: These are super convenient IC cards that not only allow you to take multiple forms of public transportation with one card but also allow you to pay for things at some convenience stores and supermarkets.
- The Taipei Fun Pass: These are passes for short-term visitors who plan to use public transportation a lot and/or plan to visit various tourist attractions in a shorter time. There are 4 different kinds of fun passes to choose from. Some come with admission to Taipei’s main paid attractions, and some just come with unlimited transportation.
Not sure which to get? Check out this post here where I break down the difference between the two cards.
Get from TPE Airport to Taipei
Despite the TPE Airport sounding like it’s within Taipei, the TPE Airport is actually called Taoyuan International Airport, located in the neighboring city of Taoyuan about 30 minutes away from Taipei.
You’ll have to account for about 35 minutes to 1.5 hours of transportation time to get from the airport to Taipei proper.
Depending on what time you fly into Taipei, you’ll take the bus (4-digit bus), train (Taoyuan Airport Express), or pre-arranged private transfer.
I typically don’t mind taking the bus/train when I’m traveling lightly with my partner, but as I was traveling with my parents who are older, we opted for a comfortable, door-to-door private transfer. This is my favorite way to get around when traveling with parents, younger kids, or with lots of bulky luggage.
We booked our private transfer through Klook, and while it was my first time using Klook ever, it was a totally simple and seamless experience!
You’ll provide the transportation company with your flight info so they know what time to show up, and from there, you have a complimentary 1.5 hours of time to show up (to account for customs, baggage claims, and any flight delays).
Check In To Your Hotel
From there, you’ll either check in to your hotel or, at the very least, drop off your luggage at your hotel.
As Taiwan was just opening back up for tourism, I was able to snag a few nights at the Regent Taipei for a really affordable price. Their seemingly endless breakfast buffet was the best addition to my mornings in Taipei and I would 100% stay at this hotel again!
Here are some of my other favorite hotels in Taipei to call home base:
- Regent Taipei – A pretty centrally located hotel so you can get to various landmarks without long rides on public transportation. Don’t miss their award-winning beef noodle soup, or their amazing breakfast and dinner buffets!
- Kimpton Da An Taipei – My #2 hotel choice, super conveniently located right by the MRT Blue Line.
- Grand View Resort Beitou – luxurious hot springs hotel with private hot springs! Just 1-2 nights here will do, as it’s on the pricier side. More on this below.
- The Grand Hotel – love the iconic palace-inspired exterior.
Yongkang Beef Noodles
First and foremost is to get a proper Taiwanese meal in your belly. I mean, you came to Taiwan to eat, right?
One of the most iconic Taiwanese foods is beef noodle soup. You’ll find beef noodle soup in all corners of Taipei, but not all of them do it well.
The #1 beef noodle soup that I had in Taipei is Yongkang Beef Noodles.
Everything about this beef noodle soup was amazing. From the tender meat to the QQ (chewy) noodle texture to the rich soup — it was pure perfection! Expect a very casual environment and a long line if you’re visiting during peak dining hours.
Pro Tip: The lunch rush is real in Taipei! For shorter lines, visit around 1:30 pm to 4 pm. We visited around 1:30 pm and only had to wait 5 minutes.
From there, stroll on over to Soypresso to try a soymilk-flavored soft serve, or simply opt for a bottle of soymilk.
There is also a super popular scallion pancake stand in the area, Tian Jin Onion Pancake, so if you have space in your tummy, definitely order a few slabs to try. The scallion pancakes here are crispy, fragrant, and delicious!
Lastly, if you’re thirsty for nutrients and antioxidants and happen to pass by a fruit market, pick yourself up a bottle of freshly squeezed fruit juice!
National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Let’s start your 5 days in Taipei with some history and culture by hitting up the most famous area of Taipei, the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall!
The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a must-see when visiting Taipei. Situated in the heart of the city, this iconic memorial hall honors the legacy of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of The Republic of China.
It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Taiwan, and is definitely worth a visit if you’re spending 5 days in Taipei.
Visitors can explore different areas within the memorial hall such as an auditorium and theater, museums, gardens and courtyards. Inside, you’ll also find a bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek that stands tall at 78 feet high amidst vast marble walls lined with white jade sculptures.
The buildings here are strikingly beautiful and grand, so don’t forget your camera!
Right around the corner is Nanmen Market, featuring a cluster of vendors for regional dry goods, noodles, sauces, as well as lively dining counters.
Nanmen Market is filled with a vibrant array of sights, smells, flavors, and sounds that will leave you feeling energized and ready to explore Taiwanese culture even more. This market has been around for over two centuries and offers up all kinds of goodies from fresh produce, seafood dishes, traditional Chinese snacks, clothing items, and more.
You’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of items available here!
If you want to get a feel for the local life, I’d recommend popping in for 30 minutes or so, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of this bustling market.
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park is another really cool spot to check out during your 5 days in Taipei.
This park is located in an old sake factory and has been turned into a great place to spend a day. There are art galleries, shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater. You can easily spend a few hours here exploring all the different areas and shopping for unique, handmade souvenirs!
If you’re traveling with kids and looking for something a little more active, the park also has a rock climbing wall and an outdoor playground. You can also head to Wooderful Life Wooden Forest, where they can enjoy a play space made of logs as well as 7 hands-on experience areas.
There’s also a small museum that tells the history of the sake wine factory.
Plus, if you’re visiting on a weekend, they’ll oftentimes hold local events here. During our visit, there was a lovely holiday market set up at the entrance of the creative park.
Guanghua Digital Plaza and Syntrend
At this point, we’ve gotten a little dose of history, a little dose of arts and creativity — next up is a dose of digital goodness!
The next stop is a visit to the Guanghua Digital Plaza and the Syntrend shopping mall, located just a 6-10 minute walk from Huashan 1914 Creative Park.
These two massive buildings feature electronics stores ranging from tiny hardware shops to huge international brands.
The Syntrend Electronics Building is an expansive complex that offers up the latest gadgets, gizmos, and technology. Walk through the doors and you’ll be greeted with a wide range of stores featuring the latest and greatest in tech.
In addition to electronics, there’s also an array of underground cafes and restaurants offering you the chance to refuel and rest.
In total, there are a whopping thirteen floors to this building! With its stylish architecture and bustling atmosphere, it’s easy to lose track of time as you explore all that Syntrend has to offer.
My dad is a huge fan of electronics. Me? Not so much. But still, I found this area pretty interesting to explore! Speckled between the electronic shops are gift shops selling everything from lifestyle bags, minimalist design gifts, stuff for coffee lovers, and unique souvenirs.
If you still have the energy to visit the Guanghua Digital Plaza, head there next. Not only can you get all your tech needs taken care of, but you can also find plenty of creative souvenirs and trendy clothing stores too.
Trust me, you’ll have a good time exploring this area! Take your time wandering around the five floors and soak up the atmosphere – it’s easy to spend hours here browsing through endless gadgets and gizmos.
Visit a night market
If you want to truly experience the vibrant culture of Taipei, you should plan to spend at least two nights of your trip exploring its night markets.
Night markets in Taiwan offer visitors a unique opportunity to sample local delicacies and browse through an incredible array of merchandise. The sights, sounds, and smells of these lively outdoor bazaars are unlike anything offered in the western world!
Here travelers can find a wide selection of traditional Taiwanese snacks like bubble tea, popcorn chicken, skewered meats, grilled squid, stinky tofu, oyster omelets, and so much more!
The most famous night market in Taipei is the Shilin Night Market, but it’s far from the only one. In fact, due to its popularity over the years, this spot has become more touristy and food prices here have definitely increased.
The Shilin Night Market is still worth visiting for your first night market experience, but keep in mind you’ll find better prices elsewhere!
Other popular spots include Raohe Street Night Market (which will be visited on Day 2), Shida Night Market, Ningxia Night Market, Tonghua Street Night Market, and Ximending Shopping District.
Night markets typically open from about 4 to 5 pm and run until 11 pm to 1 am.
DAY 2: Explore Iconic Landmarks In Taipei
National Palace Museum
Note: If you’re a fan of history, do not miss the National Palace Musuem. And if you’re not a fan of history, feel free to skip this one.
The National Palace Museum is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning more about Chinese history and culture.
Even if you’re not particularly interested in that sort of thing, the museum is still a very impressive place to see.
Founded in 1925, the National Palace Museum houses one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese artifacts and artwork in the world. The museum consists of over 700,000 items in its collection–that’s an impressive amount of artifacts to see!
The National Palace Museum is most famous for its extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts. Some of the most popular exhibits at the museum include the jade collection, calligraphy gallery, painting gallery, and of course the pork belly and jade cabbage!
There’s a lot to learn at the National Palace Museum, so you could expect to spend 2 to 6 hours here, depending on how into the exhibits you are. You can buy tickets in advance here.
Visit the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
For something truly unique, check out the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan! This museum is full of intricate, hand-crafted miniature masterpieces of everyday objects and scenes made by elite miniature artists.
This fun little museum was founded by Lin Wen-jen and Lin Chin-mei, a married couple with a passion for small things.
Spend a few hours exploring the museum and marveling at the attention to detail in each miniature. If you’re lucky, you might even catch one of the staff members working on a new piece!
The museum is located in Taipei’s Zhongshan District and is open Tuesday to Sunday.
Shopping at Taipei East District
If shopping is more your thing, head straight for Taipei East District.
From unique specialty shops to luxury boutiques and international stores, there is something for all types of shopping lovers in this vibrant district.
Start by taking a stroll down Zhongxiao East Road for an unforgettable retail experience with some of the world’s most popular international brands as well as local businesses offering up their own unique wares.
But don’t just stick to Zhongxiao East Road — the side streets north of the main road are speckled with independent boutiques selling everything from Korean fashion to vintage clothing.
You’ll also find a ton of eateries and cafes in the area if you need to sit down and refuel.
Located in the heart of Taiwan’s bustling capital, the Taipei 101 skyscraper is one of the most iconic buildings in Asia. With its magnificent height and amazing architecture, it is sure to take your breath away.
Spend some of your time in Taipei exploring every inch of this majestic building! From the iconic observatory deck at the top to the expansive shopping mall below, there are plenty of amazing experiences to be had.
The building houses some of the best shopping in Taipei, with high-end stores selling everything from clothes to jewelry to electronics.
Food lovers will appreciate the fact that there is a Din Tai Fung here, known for its perfectly wrapped xiao long bao, in addition to a bunch of other food vendors in the downstairs food court. Other notable food options include Hawker Chan (the first Hawker to be awarded a Michelin star), warm taro ball desserts, and even hot pot!
Pro Tip: The Taipei Observatory is also included on the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass.
Elephant Mountain Sunset Hike
Next up is a quick hike up Elephant Mountain. Offering stunning views of the city, this sunset hike is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
The quick 0.9-mile (1.5 km) hike to the top is suitable for all levels of hikers, with easy to moderate difficulty and several rest points along the way. It should take about 20-30 minutes to get to the top, even with stops.
The trail starts from Xiangshan Station and rises up to Elephant Mountain so that you can catch the best view of Taipei 101 as the sun sets behind it. You will also be rewarded with other panoramic views during your trek, making this an unforgettable experience!
To get there: Take the metro to Xiangshan Station and take Exit 2 to leave the train station. The trailhead is a 10-minute walk away. Follow the trails near Xiangshan Park that lead up into the mountains. You’ll be tackling a lot of stairs on your way up, but the views from the terraces up top are well worth the effort.
Be sure to bring water and snacks, as well as dress accordingly for changes in temperature at night.
Raohe Night Market
After you’ve worked up an appetite from your urban hike, it’s time to gorge on street foods at the Raohe Night Market!
This vibrant, bustling night market is a favorite among locals and tourists alike and is a must-see during your 5 days in Taipei.
The sights, smells and sounds of the Raohe Night Market are simply unforgettable. With hundreds of vendors offering all kinds of delicious snacks, drinks and other treats, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Shoppers will also find clothes, jewelry and housewares available at great prices. As an added bonus, there’s plenty of live entertainment as well! From street performances to firecracker shows, Raohe has it all.
The Raohe Night Market typically opens at 5 pm and closes at 11 pm. Keep in mind that on rainy days, there tend to be fewer vendors than usual.
DAY 3 – Day Trip To Jiufen
Depending on whether you want to start your self-guided day trip off with a hike or not, Jiufen can be explored in about 3 to 6 hours and can be done as a half-day trip.
If you’d like to explore Juifen with a guided tour, this will be more of a full-day experience.
Day trip to Jiufen
No trip to Taipei is complete without a visit to the historic streets of Juifen.
Located in the New Taipei City district, just 40 minutes outside of downtown Taipei, this traditional Taiwanese hillside village offers tourists an unforgettable glimpse into the past.
Jiufen is renowned for its cobblestone streets lined with colorful shops and eateries that serve up some of Taiwan’s most beloved dishes. Wander through the alleyways of Jiufen Old Street where you can find snacks such as sweet taro balls and peanut ice cream made from locally grown ingredients.
Stop by souvenir stores for beautiful handmade pottery or buy a few trinkets to remember your experience in this charming town!
If you want to experience what a traditional tea house feels like, head to A-MEI Tea House. Albeit a bit pricey (likely due to the tourism here), it can be worth it for travelers who aren’t familiar with traditional tea-drinking ceremonies.
Other notable places to dine include A-Jou Peanut Ice Cream Roll, 賴阿婆芋圓 (Lai Ah Po Taro Balls), and Siidcha (tea house with yummy foods and a great view).
If you’re an avid hiker looking to explore the hillsides of Jiufen, one of the most popular hikes here is the 2.2-mile out-and-back Teapot Mountain Trail. This is a great hike to do either before or after exploring Jiufen Old Street!
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for gifts to bring home, Jiufen is a great place to find traditional Chinese souvenirs, as I found these items to be few and far between in Taipei.
Don’t want to deal with the logistics of getting to Jiufen via public transportation? The most convenient way to see Jiufen (plus a few other awesome attractions) is via a guided tour. This is the one I recommend the most:
- Taipei: Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Shifen, and Golden Waterfall Day Tour – a full-day tour, should get you back to Taipei by 6 pm.
I highly recommend this guided tour because it allows you to see Jiufen and Shifen both in one day. If you wanted to see both via public transportation, while doable, it would be a big pain in the butt (with lots of bus/train transferring) as the two towns are not that well connected.
Day 4: Ximen District
Try a traditional soymilk breakfast
For breakfast, I recommend either heading to Fuhang Soy Milk, Sihai Soy Milk or Yong He Soy Milk.
Taipei is a city full of unique culture and cuisine — and a few must-try items on the itinerary for any visitor is a traditional Taiwanese breakfast filled with a combo of sweet or salty soymilk, fantuan (sticky rice rolls), Chinese donuts, xiao long bao (soup dumplings), and sesame flatbreads.
These traditional yet modern breakfast staples have become increasingly popular with locals, as well as tourists who want to broaden their culinary palate.
If you’re feeling adventurous, I’d recommend having one person in your group order the salty soy milk. It’s probably unlike anything you’ve tasted before, and the more you drink it, the more delicious it gets!
My personal favorite item to get every time? The fantuan! These are sticky rice rolls in the shape of burritos that are filled with traditional fixings like aromatic meat floss and preserved vegetables, followed by some fried donut for texture.
For non-Chinese speakers, you may want to have your Google Translate ready so you can decipher the menu before getting up to the order counter! Here’s what the menu looks like at Fuhang Soy Milk:
Try some Taiwanese pastries
If you’ve chosen to visit Fuhang Soy Milk, you can pop over a few stalls to the Taiwanese bakery in the back corner of the food court, called 福記(滿福堂)餅店 (or, you can enter this into Google for their other larger nearby location: 滿福堂餅行).
This is a good place to pick up a few pastries either for your day of exploration or as souvenirs to bring home for friends/family. The pastries here are individually packaged and will last a few weeks.
My parents and I basically tried one of every pastry here and ended up purchasing three boxes filled with dozens of pastries for our relatives in Hong Kong and the USA.
They were all so flaky and light, “not too sweet” (perfect for Asian tastebuds), and inexpensive! My personal favorite is the 3Q pastry featuring a soft layer of mochi in them. Second best is the one covered in sesame seeds, featuring salted egg yolk among other stuff.
From there, you can get your coffee fix at Simple Kaffa, a high-end coffee shop where coffee is taken quite seriously. So seriously, that my poor parents (who enjoy milk in their coffee) had zero clue what to order!
Explore Dihua Street
Located in the Datong District, Dihua Street is an enchanting street that should not be missed during any Taipei itinerary. This lively shopping area is lined with traditional Chinese medicine shops, fabric stores, food vendors, and much more.
Dihua Street dates back to the late Qing Dynasty when it was an important trading port for merchants from all over China. Here visitors can explore bustling open-air markets filled with colorful spices, dried goods, and traditional snacks like sun cakes and taro balls.
For those looking for handicrafts or souvenirs to take home from their trip to Taiwan, there are plenty of stores selling items such as textiles, ceramics and tea sets.
Bopiliao Historical Block
If you’re looking to experience the heart and soul of Taipei, then there’s no better place than Bopiliao Historical Block.
This vibrant part of the city has been around since 1644 and is a living museum full of a mix of architectural styles, bustling markets, and cultural attractions.
The mixed architecture here is notable, as Taiwan was passed from one colonial power to the next, including Southern Fujianese, Chinese Qing Dynasty, Japanese, and modern Western influences.
Enjoy some delicious local cuisine at one of the many street food stalls, browse through fascinating artifacts at various museums, or shop for unique souvenirs at the bustling markets – whatever it is that you decide to do, you’ll surely have an entertaining time here!
History lovers should make it a point to pop into the Heritage and Culture Education Center, located at the southeast corner of the complex next to Laosong Elementary School. The museum has 2 levels of permanent exhibitions that are open to the public with free admission.
All three of the main attractions open at 9 am. The main alley closes at 9 pm, the buildings close at 6 pm, and the museum closes at 5 pm. All attractions are closed on Mondays.
Just a 5-minute walk from the Bopiliao Historical Block is the Lungshan Temple. This breathtaking temple has been around since 1738 and is a symbol of faith, culture and history. The intricate exterior is a sight you need to see for yourself!
Discover the beauty of Lungshan Temple with its magnificent roofs, yellow walls and amazing architecture that will take your breath away. From the elaborate carvings on the walls to the sculptures of gods, goddesses and dragons adorning every corner — you won’t want to miss out on seeing this with your own eyes.
Plus, it’s free admission and conveniently located in the Wanhua District, close to Ximending! The temple is open from 6 am to 10 pm.
The Red House
Located near Ximending Shopping District, this historical landmark is home to a vibrant art space and performance venue.
The Red House was originally built in 1908 as Taiwan’s first public market. Today, it stands as an important reminder of the country’s past and present culture. Visitors can explore the space’s eight galleries featuring art installations, live performances, films, and cultural activities.
With its lively atmosphere and unique attractions and gifts for sale, The Red House will provide an unforgettable experience that will make you want to come back trip after trip.
Shopping and Eating in Ximending
There’s no better place to explore than Ximending, my favorite district in all of Taipei! This vibrant area is the epicenter of fashion, culture, and nightlife in Taiwan’s capital city. In fact, it’s often dubbed the “Shinjuku of Taipei” or “Harajuku of Taipei”.
Just like the Shinjuku and Harajuku districts in Japan, you’ll find lots of Taipei’s youth hanging out in this area!
With its abundance of shops, cafes, and street food stalls, Ximending has something to offer every type of traveler. Get ready to have your senses overwhelmed with the sights and smells of this truly unique destination!
Take a stroll down Wuchang Street and soak up the atmosphere as you browse the eclectic range of shops selling everything from traditional handicrafts to trendy hats and fashionable clothing.
Don’t forget to sample some street food too – there are dishes for all tastes, whether it’s a steaming bowl of beef noodle soup, grilled mochi, or a sweet mango smoothie.
If you are interested in nightlife, you can make it a point to stick around until night falls to experience Taipei’s lively nightlife!
Day 5: Thermal Hot Springs
Explore the hot springs town of Beitou
For the traveler looking for something uniquely Taiwan, Beitou is an excellent day trip from nearby Taipei. Just a short metro ride away, this area is home to hot springs that have been in use since the Japanese colonial period and are said to have healing powers.
Home to one of Taiwan’s largest hot spring areas, Beitou has numerous outdoor pools perfect for soaking and enjoying the natural warmth of the thermal waters. For starters, you can check out Beitou Public Hotspring or Fuxing Hot Foot Spa, both open to the public without reservations.
Inside many of these pools, visitors can find therapeutic mud baths, giving them a truly unique experience on their journey through Taipei.
In addition to traditional pool-soaking activities, travelers can also explore cultural sites such as the Beitou Museum and soak up some history as they enjoy their time in Beitou.
While you’re in Beitou, be sure to stop by the Thermal Valley area, where you’ll find the steamiest waters you’ll ever see!
This super peaceful area features classic Japanese-style wooden structures such as small bridges crossing over crystal clear water flowing through rock formations which make for great photo opportunities.
To get there from the main road where Google Maps will take you, look for the stairs that descend into an alleyway. This is the entrance to get to the ground level.
Consider an overnight stay in Beitou
If you want a ryokan-like experience, consider an overnight stay in a hot springs hotel!
We opted to stay at Grand View Resort Beitou for two nights so we could enjoy bathing in some private hot springs tubs, but because these hotels typically cost more than your average hotel, I’d say one night is enough for the experience.
The best part (aside from the unlimited soaking you can do in the hot springs) is the fact that kaiseki-style breakfast is included with your stay!
We especially loved our stay at Grand View Resort Beitou because everything in the minibar was completely complimentary. Wow, that’s totally unheard of in the US!
You may also like: 6 Best Hotels In Beitou With Private Hot Spring Baths
Yangmingshan National Park
If you can muster up the energy to leave the healing waters of Beitou, consider taking a leisurely hike at Yangmingshan National Park.
Located in northern Taipei not too far from Beitou, this nature reserve is home to lush forests, rolling hills and stunning geological formations.
The park’s diverse flora and fauna make it an ideal spot for hiking enthusiasts who can trek across its many trails while admiring the surrounding landscape. From the park’s highest peak (Mount Qixing, aka Taiwan’s tallest dormant volcano) at 1120 meters above sea level, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the nearby river valleys and distant Yilan County.
You can start at the Lengshuikeng Visitor Center and ask for hike recommendations depending on how much time you want to spend there.
For more casual and leisurely experiences, I recommend the Xiaoyoukeng Recreation Area or the Qingtiangang Grassland area!
Pro Tip: Taipei can be really hot and humid even in the winter season, and if you’re not used to this weather, hiking may be more difficult than you’d expect. So do consider these weather conditions before opting for an aggressively hard hike!
Other Things To Do In Taipei
If there are some activities in our 5-day Taipei itinerary that you’re just not that interested in, feel free to swap them out for a few of these other Taipei activities listed below:
- Ride the Maokong Gondola
- Jianguo Jade Market (open on weekends)
- Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
- Fuhe Bridge Flea Market
- Visit Taipei Zoo
- Take a day trip to Yehliu Geo Park
- Miramar Entertainment Park Ferris Wheel
- Taipei Children’s Amusement Park
- Zhonghe Myanmar Street
Where To Eat In Taipei
Here are a few restaurants that I visited and vetted are A+ delicious! Add these to your list and make them a priority if you happen to be near them during your trip.
- Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice – Zhongzheng District
- Fuhang Soy Milk – Zhongzheng District
- Simple Kaffa (coffee shop) – Zhongzheng District
- Yongkang Beef Noodles – Da’an District
- Tian Jin Onion Pancake – Da’an District
- Snow Bro – Da’an District
- Yong He Soy Milk King – Da’an District
- Sihai Soy Milk – Datong District
- Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle – Ximending District
- 道樂商店 (Ramen) – Ximending District
- Addiction Aquatic Development – Zhongshan District
- Ching Cheng Hainan Chicken Rice – Songshan District
- Hai Di Lao Hot Pot – Songshan District
- Ding Wang Hotpot – Songshan District
Where To Stay In Taipei
The two neighborhoods I recommend staying in are Ximending (if you want to be in a bustling district close to many shopping and dining options) and Zhongzheng (right by Taipei Main Station and centrally located, so you’re never too far away from any landmark).
These two districts are actually located right next to each other, so either area will do just fine!
Just Sleep – Ximending – newly renovated in 2019; just a short 2-minute walk from MRT Ximen Station and Ximending Shopping Area.
Hotel Midtown Richardson – simple and sleek rooms located right next to MRT Ximen Station.
Via Hotel Taipei Station – sleek and minimalist hotel close to Taipei Main Station, National Taiwan Museum, and Ximending Shopping Area.
Hotel Resonance Taipei, Tapestry Collection by Hilton – conveniently located, modern hotel with king-sized beds, great for couples!
These two hotels don’t come cheap, but if you’re open to splurging during one part of your trip, let it be this part!
Taiwan Travel Insurance
This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.
I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.
True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun and not cheap.
Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!
One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.
SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, they will cover the medical expenses.
In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation (much needed if you like to go hiking / trekking in the wild), travel delay, and lost checked luggage.
Looking for more Taipei travel tips? You may also like:
- WayAway | This site compares flight ticket fares from hundreds of agencies. You’re going to get the best prices on the market, at least $10 lower than those on Skyscanner, Kayak, and Priceline.com. The best part is? The WayAway Plus membership. With the membership, you’ll get up to 10% cash back on airline tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, and other travel services.
- DEAL ALERT! Use code ‘travelswithelle’ for 10% off WayAway Plus.
- Booking.com | Honestly, this is my go-to accommodation booking site. This site has free cancellation and no prepayment required on reservations which is huge for me. It also has amazing abilities to filter accommodation options by rating and price. Honestly, it’s shaved off so many hours of endless research for me and has made booking hotels and other accommodations a breeze.
- Viator | Viator is a huge online marketplace for all things tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, ATV tours, sailing trips, walking tours, hot air ballooning, and more.
- Go City | Go City offers great value-for-the-money attraction passes in various destinations around the world. Whenever I want to play tourist in a city, I always check to see if Go City operates in that city. The money you can save with this pass is unreal (as opposed to buying admission tickets for various attractions separately).
- Bookaway | This is my go-to transportation resource when I’m traveling to lesser-known destinations and need to figure out how to get from point A to point B. Bookaway is super useful when you have absolutely no idea how to get around between cities or even between countries! Just type in your starting point and destination and it’ll show you options on how to get there by train, bus, ferry & more – as well as allow you to book your transportation right then and there!
- SafetyWing | SafetyWing is by far one of the best travel medical insurance for travelers as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those heading abroad.