Welcome to my Shilin Night Market Guide! If you visit Taipei, in northern Taiwan, you’ll definitely want to head to Shilin for a night of shopping and eating!
If you are uncomfortable with crowds, you can skip this page: Shilin Market in Taipei really gets crowded on weekends.
The Night Market Culture in Taipei
Taipei is referred to some Taiwanese from other parts of the country as “Chinatown” for its strong resemblance to mainland Chinese culture. The night market, though, is one of the most obviously Taiwanese institutions, of which there are many in Taipei.
If you visit Taipei and a Taiwanese person asks you about your visit, it is a guarantee that they will mention night markets.
The king of all the night markets is Shilin, the biggest and most varied in the city. If you go to one, make it this one.
Night markets are the perfect place to sample the unending list of Taiwanese foods, so make sure you go with an empty stomach.
Taiwanese essentials such as pearl milk tea, stinky tofu, pig’s blood cake, fried buns and the list goes on and on. All of the food will be outstandingly cheap, each dish shouldn’t exceed NT$40 or $50.
Besides the famous foods, night markets are also places for buying clothes, cheap electronics or random oddities and accessories. If you are a fashionista you might be able to find some cool digs in Shilin Night Market in Taipei, where many youngsters set up hip mom-and-pop outlets.
Shilin market in Taipei is totally packed on weekends, especially when the weather is nice. We recommend you go at this time just to get the full-in experience, but be prepared to walk extremely slowly for three hours.
Bottom line: Hit Taipei’s Shilin Night Market in the evening hours, sample any and every food you’re not afraid of, buy some souvenirs at the trinkets shops, take the MRT back at midnight or stay a few extra hours (why not?) and get a cab home.
Where is Shilin Night Market? MRT Jiantan Station
How to say it: shi lin ye shi
How much: Free entry, eating and shopping are cheap
When to go: Shops at Shilin Night Market in Taipei open in the evening around 6pm, but are open well into the night, especially if the weather stays dry. Keep in mind that the MRT stops running at midnight, even though the night market might go until 4am.