Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is one of the most visited cities on the planet. With its heady mix of traditional night markets side by side with cutting edge skyscrapers, beautiful temples and great shopping, it’s easy to see why. Taiwan is at the forefront of global electronics manufacturing and information technology and as such, it is a highly modern city intermingled with vignettes of the more traditional past. There’s lots of things to do in Taipei that you’ll be busy during your entire trip.
Situated in East Asia the climate in Taipei is subtropical which means they have monsoon season but you can expect rain at any time of the year. The temperature is generally warm and pleasant. Do check out what each season brings before booking your trip. Here are the top nine things to do in Taipei!
Best Things To Do In Taipei
This super skyscraper was officially ranked the world’s tallest building from 2004 until 2010, when it was surpassed by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The structure of the building is immersed in symbolism: the number of floors – 101 – represents the renewal of time (there are also five underground floors); along the main tower, there are eight segments of eight floors, in keeping with the Chinese belief in the number eight being an auspicious number; a light beams a different color from the top of the skyscraper every evening, representing the seven colors of the spectrum and also the days of the week; and the building is also in keeping with the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui. This is the best thing to do in Taipei.
While you’re there, you can check out the spectacular view from the outdoor observatory on the 91st floor, take a ride on one of the world’s fastest elevators, and eat at the food court with its choice of fast food restaurants, gourmet restaurants and cafes.
This monument was built in 1980 in memory of the former president of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek. The monument is part of a national park area. The building itself is steeped in symbolism: the octagonal-shaped roof that tops the four white walls represents the traditional Chinese association of good fortune and wealth with the number eight; the blue and red tiles represent the flag of the Republic of China and the two sets of 89 steps leading up to the monument represent the again Chiang Kai-shek was when he died. Once you get to the top of the stairs, you’ll see why this is the best thing to see in Taipei.
This recently built temple is dedicated to Guan Yu, the patron god of businessmen. The temple is an oasis of serenity in the midst of the fast pace of city life that surrounds it. The temple is architecturally quite stunning and contains many interesting features – keep an eye out for the dragons and phoenixes.
Taipei is known for its night markets, and the Shilin Night Market is probably the biggest and the best of them all. A trip to this market is a must-see when you visit Taipei. Jam-packed with over 600 vendors and restaurants serving up all sorts of delicious foods there is also general merchandise up for grabs, karaoke bars, arcades and cinemas. You’re guaranteed to have an experience you won’t quickly forget here. No matter what kind of tastes you have, the experience that you’ll have a Shilin Night Market is something that you won’t forget. It’s also one of the best places to eat in Taipei, with many food carts along the street.
This temple was built in 1738 by settlers to Taiwan from Fujian, China. Longshan Temple is open to many beliefs including Buddhism and Taoism. Visitors come here to explore traditional Taiwanese faiths, religious art and artefacts. The temple is located in the Wanhua district, the oldest part of Taipei. Make sure to visit some of the traditional markets and night markets when you’re in this area.
To the north of Tapei is the stunning Yangmingshan National Park, considered one of the most beautiful in Asia. This national park is a natural paradise filled with valleys, waterfalls, lakes – it even is home to a dormant volcano. Visitors come here to get away from the city hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the many hiking trails, the wildlife and reconnecting with nature.
This natural hot spring is the perfect place to visit to relax and wind down during what is sure to be an action packed trip to Taipei. Located an hour outside of the bustling Taipei streets, you can get here easily via the Taipei metro system, the MRT. The springs are a natural source of Sulphur so many visit to avail of its healing properties, and many more come just to relax in the this beautiful, natural setting.
Up high on the edge of Taipei Basin, Maokong hill provides a great viewing point over Taipei. This hill is also the biggest tea growing area of Taipei and is known for the many tea houses.
This pedestrianized zone is buzzing promenade of designer shopping, entertainment centers, restaurants, bars and amusements. Ximending is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. It’s one of the best places to go shopping in Taipei.
A Few Taiwan Tidbits…
- You’ll no doubt notice the musical garbage trucks blaring out Beethoven from loudspeakers – this is the Taiwanese garbage disposal system to remind people to bring their garbage to the truck and not leave them on the ground where they might attract vermin.
- White symbolizes death and is worn at funerals.
- Taipei is a liberal and tolerant city and is home to Asia’s largest Pride parade.
- For book lovers and insomniacs, you can head to the world’s only 24-hour bookshop, the Eslite Bookstore Dunnan.
- Love your food? Then Taiwan is the place for you! They love their food so much, they even greet each other by asking “Have you eaten yet?”