There are so many things to do in Taipei City, I don’t know which attraction I should introduce first. I guess I’ll begin by telling you about my own favorite places.
One thing I’d like to mention before I list the top sightseeing spots in Taiwan’s capital, is that the entire city itself is one major attraction. What do I mean by that? My point is that you could spend your entire trip just walking around, vagabonding the streets, without even setting foot in a museum or temple, and you would be amazed by everything you’d see.
There are tons of cool things to do in Taipei City, but walking around a neighborhood and exploring small alleys without having any specific purpose or destination is by far the best way to discover the magic of Taipei!
Things to do in Taipei City
The big Taipei tower doesn’t need a lot of introduction. It used to be the world’s tallest building, but now that title has been claimed by a skyscraper in Dubai. (or is it Shanghai?) Grab a bite at the food-court, do some shopping, get the latest issue of your favorite magazine at Page 1 Bookstore on the 4th floor, and head to the top of the 101 to get breathtaking views of Taipei.
The Dadaocheng neighborhood and Dihua Street is where you can peak into Taipei’s colorful past. This part of Datong District 大同區 is rich in history like no other parts of Taipei.
Taipei National Palace Museum
Even if you’re not into historical stuff, you’ve got to check out the ancient relics, paintings, calligraphy, and artifacts on display at Taipei’s Palace Museum. It is a world-class museum, and some people travel to Taipei for the sole purpose of visiting it.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial
Maybe in some books it’s called National Democracy Memorial, and there are talks to rename it Independence Memorial… Whatever the name, you shouldn’t miss this attraction in Taipei.
It is a vast open space surrounded by the biggest arch you’ve ever seen, the Taipei National Theatre, the National Concert Hall, and the CKS Memorial Hall – dedicated to one of the biggest dictators the world has ever known. Grab a beer, sit on the stairs of the Concert Hall and watch people practice Tai-chi.
One of the most popular things to do in Taipei City is to visit temples. I’d say that Longshan Temple is the one you should head to if you’re only gonna visit one.
If you’ve already visited the Confucius Temples in Taichung City or Kaohsiung, don’t bother. If you haven’t, then, sure, it is worth some of your time if you’re already in the area.
Baoan is right next to Confucius Temple. The vibe here is more animated, there’s action all the time. People burn incense, make offerings, burn ghost money, and ask favors to the gods.
Visit Shilin Night Market
Shilin is a monster that can eat you alive! It is the biggest night market in Taiwan. Head there to walk, shop, eat, play games, have a beer and meet locals.
Eat, eat, eat!
Think you’re going to lose some weight during your visit to Taipei? Think again my friend. Or forget about the idea. If you ask Taiwanese people what the best thing to do in Taipei is, 95% of them will tell you: “eating!” Wether you’re looking for fine dining, international cuisine, or just a cheap street snack, you won’t have to look for too long.
Like any other big developed cities of the world, Taipei has lots of options for shoppers. Need a Gucci handbag, head to the world-class shopping mall in the 101 building. Want a cheap souvenir? Try one of the many night markets scattered around the city.
Nightlife in Taipei isn’t great by western standard, but there are still plenty of bars and clubs that will keep you up ’til very late at night.
Things to do around Taipei
Cheap, convenient public transportation means you don’t have to stay in the city all the time. There are some great things to do in Taipei County such as…
- Cycle in Bali, and visit a Dutch Museum in Danshui
- Do some hiking on Yangming Mountain.
- Enjoy a hot spring in Beitou.
- Take pictures of a very tall waterfall in Wulai.
- Wonder at one of Taiwan’s most amazing museum in Sanxia.
- Watch the sunrise over the ocean at Jiufen.
- In Keelung, you can… euh… what can you do in Keelung? Head to this page to see!