Taipei is one of the most underrated cities in Asia, if not the world. It’s full bright lights and colourful buildings, mouth-watering street food, quirky themed cafes, a stunning natural landscape and is most definitely a shoppers paradise. You can spend weeks exploring and still barely make a dent in the list of fun places to visit in Taipei.
Whether you’re here for a long weekend or have an entire week to explore, here’s my curated list of the top 29 things to do in Taipei, Taiwan. So grab a bubble tea, site back and enjoy the show!
29 AMAZING Places To Visit in Taipei
I’m going to break down all the top places to visit in Taipei into various categories such as foodie places, day trips, night-time activities and of course top attractions to make it easier for you to plan your trip.
Starting off in Taipei city centre, here’s my top pick of places to visit and things to do…
Places to visit in Taipei city centre
29. Ximending shopping district
Ximending is normally top of everyone’s Taipei bucket list and is a great place to start your visit. It’s the number one shopping district in the city and is teaming with happy shoppers, street musicians and dancers, bright lights, music, street food and endless clothes and souvenir stores.
You’ll find the now-famous PRIDE pedestrian crossing right by a popular photo spot with an epic backdrop of oversized billboards similar to Times Square in New York.
Check out the endless rows of claw grab arcades, mini karaoke booths and delicious street food (including top bubble tea cafes and the famous Hot Star Chicken joint) on offer in this hip and happening part of Taipei city.
28. Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple is the most famous temple in Taipei and while it might not initially look like the most spectacular temple you’ve ever set your eyes on, it’s definitely a very special place.
It’s one of the most quiet and peaceful temples I’ve ever visited, and this stunning 300 year old building complete with intricate carvings and interesting water features actually serves as place of worship for 2 different religions – Taoism and, Buddhist – all in one place. It’s also located in one of the b best preserved historic districts in Taipei, which brings me to number 27.
27. Bopiliao Historic District
A short walk from Longshan Temple is the Bopilao Historic district. This is a beautiful area to explore on one of your first mornings in Taipei, as it’s very peaceful and will give you an insight into old Taipei and what the city used to look like back in the day.
The area was full of beautiful red brick buildings, with perfectly preserved shop fronts and colourful street art ands it’s hard to imagine while exploring this ancient street that it used to be one of the busiest commercial districts in all of Taipei.
26. Dadaocheng Historic district
In the past this was one of the main shipping ports for Taipei City, and is where large quantities of goods would be unloaded and stored in the back of houses, later for sale through market stalls out the front. Unlike Bopiloa, however, Dadaocheng is an ancient street that is still full of activity.
Government grants have preserved the overall structure of the street buildings and store fronts, and have also encouraged young and artistic entrepreneurs to set up cafes, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries on this historic street.
25. Taipei 101
You can’t visit Taipei without checking out the iconic Taipei 101, what was once one of the tallest buildings in the world and definitely one of the top places to visit in Taipei city.
The building looks spectacular from pretty. much all angles, but nothing beats taking the elevator (one of the fastest in the world) right to the 101st floor, then climbing out onto the uppermost observation deck to take in panoramic views of the city.
You can actually visit the 102nd floor, the skydeck experience, strap yourself onto the railing and walk around the top of the building on an outdoor balcony.
24. Songsan Creative Park
If you’re looking for something a little more quirky to do in Taipei, then visiting one of the city’s creative parks is a good start.
Taipei’s art parks are areas for locals to hang out at weekends and for them to get to know the work of local artists and designers. There’s often film screenings, photography exhibits and tiny boutiques selling unique gifts made bib Taiwanese designers.
23. National History Palace Museum
With a collection of over 700,000 Chinese artefacts, the National Palace Museum in Taipei is the most important museum in the country – and one of the most important in the world when it comes to Chinese history.
The Palace museum in Taipei shares its roots with the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing, and a lot of the most important pieces and collections were moved to Taipei for protection after the second world war.
22. National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine
Th changing of the guard at the National Revolutionaries Martyrs Shrine should be on everyone’s list of top things to do in Taipei. this Martyrs Shine was built to honour fallen soldiers after the Chinese Civil War.
The changing of the guard happens at the end of every hour, every hour right up until 5pm. It’s well worth looking around afterwards as the site itself is very beautiful.
Places to visit in Taipei at night
21. Shilin Night Market
Shilin night Market is the largest night market in Taipei and in my opinion one of the best night markets in all of Asia. There are hundreds of different food stalls offering everything from stinky tofu and friend squid, to flame gilled beef, dumplings, crazy long fries and mini pancakes.
It’s busy here every night of the week, and potentially even every night of the year, with thousands of people flocking here to fill up on delicious street food, soak up the atmosphere and maybe do a bit of shopping.
20. Roahe night market
Roahe nIght market is another of Taipei’s top night markets – and while smaller it should definitely be on your Taipei bucket list. There are beautiful tall, red Chinese gates at either end of the market street, which unlike Shilin really just encompasses one food-filled street rather than a whole area.
There’s a strong focus on seafood and meat dishes, so probably not suitable for any vegetarians.
19. Elephant Mountain
Another fun thing to do in Taipei at night is to climb Elephant Mountain just before sunset. Elephant mountain is by far THE top photo spot for sunset in Taipei with stunning views off the city and Taipei 101.
It’s a quick 20 minute hike up a hill that’s walking distance from Taipei 101 district and is also a fun place to look at the city just after the sun goes down.
18. Taipei 101 Shopping District
Once you’ve descended Elephant Mountain you can walk back towards the Taipei 101 district just as all the lights come one. This is one of Taipei’s top shopping districts, with streets lined with designer stores and flashing neon lights.
Whether it’s to go shopping or simply admire the skyscrapers and shopping malls all lit up after sunset, it’s a must visit area in Taipei.
17. Local bars and clubs
I don’t think the nightlife in Taipei is quite as famous as other Asian cities but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. We found some super fun bars and restaurants, including a pour your own beer place where you can have a fun night out with locals.
You also need to try the local spirits – some of which are wayyy stronger than most people can handle.
Places to visit near Taipei (day trips)
16. Beitou Hot Springs area
Taipei has to be one of the few cities in the world where you can a metro to real life hot springs! The Beitou Hot Springs Thermal area is a stunning part of the city home to a thermal stream, cloudy blue hot springs hot enough to boil an egg in and a beautifully preserved hot spring museum.
15. Maokong hills
Barely outside the city and accessible by bus and then the Maokong Gondola, is the scenic Maokong Hills – home to many expansive tea plantations, tea houses and tea factories.
Here you can see how tea is grown and produced and eat dinner in one of the cute eateries overlooking the stunning tea-filled valley.
14. Yangmingshan National Park
Another fun day trip from Taipei, but again accessible using the cities public transport system of metro and bus, is Yangmingshan National Park.
Home to a beautiful milk pond, an active volcano, hot springs and beautiful hikes for people of all fitness levels, YangmingShan is a great way to get back to nature and escape the hustle and bustle of the city on an easy day trip.
The painfully pretty hillside town of Juifen is probably one of the most popular day trips form Taipei. The lantern filled alleyways, ancient walking street and lanes full of delicious street food and tea houses make this town one of the most magical in all of Taipei.
A must visit on any trip to Taipei, especially as it’s just over an hour away and can be visited on a half day trip.
12. Shifen Waterfall
Besides Juifen, visiting Shifen Old Street and the spectacular Shifen waterfall is by far the most popular day trip from Taipei. Take the train to the old station in Shifen, where the train famously passes through then middle of the towns very narrow centre.
Here many people choose to write uplifting messages on paper lanterns before letting them fly high into the sky. you can also walk down o the beautiful Shifen waterfall – one of the most beautiful scenic spots in Taiwan.
Foodie places to visit in Taipei
11. Modern Toilet Restaurant
If you’re looking for foodie things to do in Taipei, then checking out some of Taipei’s weirdest themed cafes is the best place to start. I loved the very weird and fun Poo themed cafe and restaurant, Modern Toilet restaurant, where they serve up poo-themed food and drinks in urinals and toilet bowls.
10. Go to a tea house
Another fun foodie themed thing to do is to go tea tasting. The act of having tea ia a very specific and long process in Taiwan nd learning how to properly pour, serve and drink tea in Taipei is a fun cultural activity. It can be done in Dadaocheng or up in the Maokong tea plantations.
9. Din Tai Fung
You can’t come to Taipei at not eat at the original Din Tai Fung dumpling restaurant – now famous around the world.
There are actually two branches in Taipei and you’re guaranteed a meal to remember with mouth-watering portions of sweet and savoury dumplings and the chance to see the chefs making each and every xaolongbao dumpling from scratch.
8. Niu Then Beef Noodles
Nic Then Beef noodles is a Michelin star restaurant in Taipei famous for its award-winning beef noodle soup.
While small and cosy, and the food comes in at under 10 euro, it’s a must eat place in Taipei and fun to have a Michelin star experience in what seems like one step up from a roadside stall.
7. Alice is Coming themed-cafe
Alice is Coming is another fun themed cafe in Taipei and one of my favourites in the city. This Alice in Wonderland themed cafe serves up some amazingly colourful drinks and over the top desserts – perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. You can find a full list of themed cafes in Taipei here.
6. Bubble tea cafe
You can’t fo to Taipei and not sip on as cup of bubble tea – some of the world’s most famous tea – and one that originated here in Taiwan. Head to Xieminding and queue up for some bubble filled goodness.
5. STINKY Tofu at a market
If you’re feeling adventurous while in Taipei, there are a lot of interesting food to try out such as pig ears, chicken feet, durian ice-cream or a local favourite and seen in many tourist spots and night markets – STINKY TOFU!
4. Hueige hot pot
Eating and sharing a hot-pot dinner has become incredible popular in Taipei and there’s no shortage of amazing hot-pot places scattered around the city to enjoy a bowl of boiled beef and veggie broth. One of my favorite meals in Taiwan was at Huge hot-pot joint and I can’t recommend it enough!
For more inspiration on top places to eat in Taipei, read my Taipei food guide.
Cool Taipei hotels to check out
3. Grand Hotel Taipei
A night at the Grand Hotel Taipei is a must for any visit to Taipei. So beautiful, grand and historic is this palace-like hotel, that tour buses actually stop off here on tours of Taipei. The hotel is over 100 years old, has played host to a long list of celebrities from around the world and even has secret passage ways leading out of the hotel.
2. Quirky Sato Castle
If you enjoyed visiting Taipei’s themed cafes, then. night in one of the most popular themed hotels in Taipei is a fun idea.
Each room has a different theme – from unicorns to poker, Romeo and Juliet or even Manchester United – and the whole experience of staying in a place this quirky will make your Taipei trip a lot more memorable.
1. High tech Tango Hotel Shilin
Last but definitely not least on my list of things to do and places to visit in Taipei is to check into the crazy high-tech and newly built Tango Hotel in Shilin district. With an electric, self flushing toilet, jacuzzi bath, curtains that close with the wave of a hand, and a mirror that turns into a TV. It’s one the most high-tech hotels I’ve ever stayed in and fun place to end any trip to Taipei.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of unique things to do in Taipei, be sure to leave a comment if you have an other suggestions of fun places go visit!
Thank you to the Taipei Tourism board for inviting me to experience all these fun things tin Taipei.