20 Things To Do In Taipei

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

As the capital of Taiwan, a beautiful subtropical island in the Pacific Ocean, Taipei has some of the best natural scenery, cityscapes, cultural activities and night markets in the Asia Pacific region. Located in the northern part of Taiwan, there are so many things to do in Taipei, whether you are looking to try the many delicious snacks at night markets, learn more about Taiwanese culture and history, or simply just have a relaxing stroll through a park.

The best time of the year to visit Taipei would be either March-May or September-December before or after the summer heat. Make sure to purchase an umbrella because it frequently rains in this subtropical city. But don’t worry, rain won’t stop you from enjoying all the wonderful things to do in Taipei. 

Taipei has incredibly convenient, affordable, and clean public transportation, starting at 15 NTD for buses, 20 NTD for the MRT (Taipei metro), and up to 160 NTD for transportation from the airport (Taoyuan airport MRT), making getting around to each destination easy and inexpensive. You can also bike from place to place using You-bikes along bike lanes or scenic riverside paths.

You can use the same public transportation card, called an Easy card (which can be purchased from any 7-Eleven or Family Mart), for Youbikes, and the first 30 minutes are free. Easycards can be used on all forms of public transportation and you can add money to them at 7-Eleven, Family Mart or any MRT station. They can also be used as a debit card to buy items (like snacks for your trip) at 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Cosmed, OK Mart, Hi-Life, Starbucks, Pacific SOGO and other select stores. Here are the top things to do in Taipei.

Taipei, Taiwan

Top Tours

20 Things To Do In Taipei

1- Admire The View From Taipei 101

10 things to do in taipei taiwan
Admiring the view from Taipei 101 is one of the best things to do in Taipei to get your bearings.

Taipei 101 is the defining feature and landmark of Taipei’s skyline. 

Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world from its opening in 2004 until 2009, when the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, surpassed its height. 

Even though Taipei 101 is no longer the world’s tallest building, it is still the tallest building in Taiwan. 

You will notice that Taipei 101 was built using eight different segments- mimicking the structure of a pagoda or perhaps bamboo. 

The number’ 8′ also symbolises luck in Chinese culture. 

Standing over a half-kilometre high, the Taipei 101 Observatory on the 89th floor offers spectacular 360-degree views of Taipei. 

The base of Taipei 101 has a shopping mall featuring many brand-name designers and is also a short walk to ATT For Fun. 

Taipei 101 is at 110, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Section 5, Xinyi Rd, 7號89樓. Skip the line and book your tickets here.

2- Hike Elephant Mountain (Xiang Shan)

Near Taipei 101 is Elephant Mountain (the last stop on the red line). 

The hike to the top of the mountain is about 1.5km (less than a mile, but it’s all stairs, so make sure to bring water).

The viewing platform stands 183m (600ft) in height, giving spectacular views and photo-ops with Taipei 101 and the entire city behind it.

To get to Elephant Mountain, you exit the Xiangshan MRT station and follow the signs placed throughout the park in front of the MRT station to get to the start of the hike.

3- Relax In Daan Forest Park

Daan Forest Park is a public park near the centre of the Da’an District of Taipei, within biking distance to Taipei 101, restaurants and cafes.

Within the park are two ponds, several pavilions, strolling paths, and cultural recreational facilities such as an amphitheatre, a children’s playground, a jogging loop and a skating rink.

Daan Forest Park offers a relaxing respite from the hubbub of the city, where one can stroll under the banyan trees, watch egrets and ducks at the pond, or have a nice picnic in one of the many grassy areas. 

Daan Forest Park is at No. 1號, Section 2, Xinsheng S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106.

4- Shop At Jianguo Flower and Jade Market

Next to Daan Forest Park is the Jianguo Flower and Jade market.

The markets are underneath a highway and separated by an intersection, with the Flower Market on one side and the Jade Market opposite.

The Jade market is a great place to look for souvenirs or gifts, with a range of cultural products such as jade bracelets, figurines, teapots and tea bowls (cha wan).

Even though you may not be able to buy anything to take home, the Flower Market across the intersection is worth seeing.

The Flower Market has flowers as far as the eye can see, pretty pottery and other plant-related accessories.

The Jianguo Flower and Jade Market is open from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

Section 1, Jianguo S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106.

5- Visit Freedom Square (Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall)

things to do in new taipei city aerial view
Exploring Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is one of the things to do in Taipei, Taiwan.

Freedom Square, formerly known as Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall (the name change is due to Chiang-Kai Shek’s violent and imperialistic rule), is a national monument created to commemorate Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

It is in Zhongzheng district and is on both red and green lines (the green line can transfer here to the red line).

The monument, with its white walls and blue tile rooftop, is an impressive sight and a great spot for pictures.

The Memorial Hall is surrounded by Freedom Square, which includes a beautiful park with manicured lawns, ponds, and the National Theater and Concert Hall.

The National Theatre and National Concert Hall feature beautiful Chinese architectural features, such as its red pillars and orange tile roofs, contrasting nicely with the white walls and blue tiles of the Memorial Hall and the wall surrounding Freedom Square.   

Freedom Square is at No. 21, Zhongshan S Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, 100. Book the Taipei: Classic Landmarks Day Tour to see the main sights.

6- Wander Around Raohe Street Night Market

things to do in taipei at night baskets of tofu
Trying street food (like stinky tofu) in a street stall is one of the fun things to do in Taipei.

Taiwanese night markets began appearing in big cities near temples or other major intersections in the 1950s, led by country-side migrants looking to sell their hometown’s dishes and snacks.

As one of Taipei’s oldest night markets, Raohe was established near the extravagant Ciyou Temple (慈祐宮), located at the eastern end of the night market outside Songshan Station (green line), making Raohe the epitome of a traditional night market.

Special dishes and snacks include oyster vermicelli, spare ribs stewed in herbal soup, the famous hot pepper meat buns, duck meat, and, of course, Taiwan’s stinky tofu.

Like any night market, Raohe not only has a plethora of food to try but also a variety of drinks such as boba tea and fresh fruit smoothies, fun carnival games, little shops full of clothing, shoes, electronic device accessories, and more, making it the perfect family-friendly destination. 

Raohe Street Night Market is on Raohe St, Songshan District, Taipei City, 105.

Foodies will want to eat at Din Tai Fung Restaurant and this private food tour with 10 tastings.

7- Shop And Eat At Shilin Nightmarket 

things to do with kids in taipei on bright wooden table background, traditional snack in Taiwan.
Tasting Taiwanese food is a satisfying thing to do in Taipei. Try the flaky scallion pie pancakes.

Like the Raohe night market, the Shilin night market cannot be missed.

It’s Taipei’s largest and most famous market and has a huge variety of delicious snacks and drinks winding through Shilin’s alleyways.

In Shilin night market, you can enjoy crispy scallion pancakes, refreshing almond tea (a must-try!), or one of Shilin’s famous grilled sausages.

Besides mouth-watering dishes, Shilin night market has numerous clothing stalls featuring brands such as Nike, Adidas, and more, along with more affordable clothing options.

It’s to get to using public transportation, with the MRT Jiantan station stop (red line) a few minutes walk away. 

Shilin Nightmarket is at No. 101, Jihe Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, 111.

8- See The Volcanic Sights Of Yangming Mountain National Park (Shilin) 

Originally called “Grass Mountain” during the Qing Dynasty, Yangming Mountain National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan.

Qing Dynasty officials gave this name because, during this period, they were worried about thieves stealing sulphur from the rich sulphur deposits on the mountainside, so they would regularly set fire to the mountain, making it only possible for grass and not trees to grow.

Besides beautiful grassy plains, Yangming Mountain also has active volcanic sites such as hot-air vents, which you can visit from a safe distance.

You can see (and smell) sulphuric vents, boiling mud puddles and take photos with water buffalo while they peacefully graze.

Tour the entire mountain and visit each scenic spot with a guide by booking this tour. 

9- Visit The National Palace Museum

things to do in taipei taiwan
Visiting the National Palace Museum is one of the top things to do in Taipei for history lovers.

The National Palace Museum boasts a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 Chinese artefacts and artworks.

Many of these pieces were brought from mainland China during the Nationalist’s retreat to Taiwan after they lost to the Communists in 1949.

The museum building itself was built between March 1964 and August 1965.

The museum’s collection encompasses 8,000 years of Chinese history from the neolithic age to the modern period, making the National Palace Museum the perfect place to learn Chinese and Taiwanese history.

Two pieces of note are the Jade Cabbage and the Meat Shaped Stone.

The Jade Cabbage is an exquisitely carved piece of jade made to resemble a cabbage and is by far the most popular piece in the museum.

You can even buy replicas in the museum gift shop.

Another fan favourite is the Meat Shaped Stone, which was carved from carnelian to resemble meat as a tribute to emperor Kangxi from a Mongolian tribe (17th Century). 

The regular ticket price is 350 NTD, while for students, entry is free. Skip the line and reserve your tickets here.

No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, 111.

10- Explore Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines 

things to do in taipei airport
A close-up view of a Taiwanese aboriginal dress.

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines is a museum of ethnology, meaning that it showcases the comparative differences, such as in art, beliefs, eating utensils and clothing, between the various Aboriginal groups in Taiwan.

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines is diagonally across from the National Palace Museum, making it easy and convenient to visit this Museum and the National Palace Museum on the same day.

This museum seeks to display the vast diversity of Taiwan’s native culture through collecting research and displaying items related to Taiwan’s Aborigines to educate the public and preserve the unwritten history of Taiwan’s Aboriginal peoples.

Through teaching about the different Taiwanese Aboriginal groups, the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines hopes to promote mutual understanding and respect between the different ethnic groups living in Taiwan. 

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines is at No. 282, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, 111. Skip the line and reserve your tickets to this museum and the National Palace Museum here.

11- Ride The Maokong Gondola 

things to do in taipei during chinese new year fireworks going off in the night sky over the Taipei skyline
Checking out the city skyline (keep an eye out for fireworks during festival times) is one of the things to do in Taipei at night.

Located on the southern tip of Taipei City, right next to the Taipei Zoo, Maokong Gondola offers a relaxing ride up to the top of the mountain, providing excellent views of Taipei city.

At the top, visitors can go to tea farms or tea houses to sample the many different teas grown on the mountain.

The Maokong Gondola makes a circuit of four stations: Taipei Zoo Station, Taipei Zoo South Station, Zhinan Temple Station, and Maokong Station. 

Maokong Gondola is at Lane 38, Section 3, Zhinan Rd, Wenshan District, Taipei City, 116.

12- Wander Around Dihua Street

best things to do in taipei hand holding up a cup of bubble tea with a Taipei street blurred in the background
Trying pearl milk bubble tea is one of the things to do in Taipei, Taiwan.

Dihua street was Taipei’s main commercial and trading centre during the late Qing dynasty and is one of the oldest streets in Taiwan.

This beautiful old street is filled with shops in brick Japanese-style buildings, selling great souvenirs such as tea, Chinese herbal medicine, teapots, woven and wooden goods, fabric, lanterns, pottery, candy, dried fruits and nuts, clothing and shoes.

Food and drink carts are lining the street, so you can refresh yourself while shopping.

If you walk to Dihua Street from Beimen station (9 minutes; green line), you will first be greeted by the Taipei Xiahai City God Temple, one of the oldest temples in Taiwan.

During Lunar New Year, the temple is filled with beautiful and bright hanging lanterns.

Before Lunar New Year, you can also find numerous New Year supplies here, but just a heads up it will be very crowded.

After you buy your souvenirs, walk down to Da Dao Cheng Wharf (15 to 20 minutes) to enjoy a nice cold drink and some snacks. 

Dihua Street is at Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District, Taipei City, 103.

13- Go Bar Hopping At Da Dao Cheng (Riverside) Wharf

Located on the bank of the Tamsui River, Dadaocheng Wharf is an excellent spot for a taste of Taipei’s nightlife.

Before Japanese colonisation, the wharf served as an entrepot for trade along the river, with products being traded such as tea, cotton and silk textiles, attracting trading companies from across the world.

During Japanese colonisation, the trading capital of Taiwan moved south to Tainan, making Da Dao Cheng Wharf go into decline.

However, this wharf has been given a second life as a fun nightlife spot that cannot be missed, featuring bars and restaurants made from brightly painted storage containers, complete with seating on the top of each storage container and string lights decorating the walkway.

Visitors can also plan boat trips on the Tamsui River from the Wharf.

Da Dao Cheng is also within walking distance from Dihua Street, where you can buy all your souvenirs and gifts before getting a drink and some snacks, such as grilled meat on skewers, at the Wharf, enjoying the riverside view.   

Dadaocheng Wharf is at 103, Taipei City, Datong District, 永樂里.

14- Soak In Beitou Hot Springs

If you want to truly relax and decompress, look no further than the Beitou hot springs.

Beitou has numerous hot spring resorts based on your price range, so you can soak your stress away without breaking your budget.

Keep in mind many resorts are closed on Monday.

Beitou Hostprings is easily accessible via MRT.

First, go to Beitou station on the red line, then transfer to the two-stop pink line to get to Xin Beitou.

You can already smell the hot springs when making the transfer.

Alternatively, sign up for this tour that will take you to both hot springs and Yangming Mountain in a single-day trip.

15- Take A Day Trip To Jiufen and Yehliu Geopark 

There are also some amazing destinations to visit outside Taipei, just a two-hour bus ride away.

Jiufen and Yehliu Geopark are must-visits in northern Taiwan and can be reached via public bus from Taipei, or you can book a guide using the link below.

The Northern Coast of Taiwan is stunning, with dark green cliff sides and mountains next to the ocean.

Jiufen Old Street is a narrow alley with small food stands, tea houses, souvenir shops, and pottery stores.

Jiufen is famous for looking like the ghost village in Spirited Away, an anime film by Japanese director Miyazaki, with its red lanterns and traditional-style buildings. 

Yehliu Geopark is another beautiful sight in northern Taiwan, with its mushroom-shaped rocks eroded over thousands of years by the wind and sea.

Well-known formations named for their shapes include the Queen’s Head and Dragon’s Head.

Hike to the top of this islet and get great pictures of mainland Taiwan but be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. Here are some tours to book:

16- Visit The Taipei Fine Arts Museum 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum is in the Taipei Expo Park in Zhongshan District.

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum first opened on August 8, 1983, at the former site of the United States Taiwan Defense Command and is the first museum in Taiwan built for contemporary art exhibitions.

Make sure to check out their website to get a preview of their ever-changing exhibitions.

On the red line, you can get to this museum from the Yuanshan MRT station. 

Taipei Fine Arts Museum is at No. 181, Section 3, Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 10491.

17- Shop In XimenDing 

XimenDing is a day-to-night walking-friendly shopping area with many clothing stores, restaurants, cafes, claw machines and even knife massages.

XimenDing also has a great nightlife bar area and is the main LGBTQ+ neighbourhood in Taipei city.

XimenDing is right outside Ximen MRT station exit 1 or 6 on the green line.

You will often find Chinese yo-yo performers in one of the main square areas.

Whether you want to go shopping, have a drink at one of the gay bars, or people-watch (there are a lot of people), then XimenDing is the place for you.

18- ATT for Fun

Another popular shopping spot in Taipei city is ATT for Fun, an outdoor shopping mall with numerous restaurants and bars with outdoor seating.

ATT for Fun also has several nightclubs where you can get a taste of Taipei’s nightlife.

Right next to Taipei 101, ATT for Fun is a great place to view this magnificent monument while enjoying a meal or drink.

There are street performers and artists, so you can enjoy live music. 

19- Visit Taipei Zoo

Taipei Zoo is right next to the Maokong Gondola in Wenshan District, making it easy to do both trips in a single day.

The zoo is at the very end of the Brown MRT line.

It is the most famous zoo in Taiwan and a leader in conservation, research, education and recreation.

The Taipei Zoo is a great place to visit with children as it has a children’s petting zoo where kids can interact with animals such as alpacas, donkeys and pigs. 

Taipei Zoo is at No. 30號, Section 2, Xinguang Rd, Wenshan District, Taipei City, 116. Buy the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass to access 25 attractions, transport and discounts.

20- Follow The Jinmian Mountain Hiking Trail

fun things to do in taipei mountain trail with a motion blured hiker.
Going hiking is one of the things to do in Taipei for outdoorsy types.

Jinmian Mountain is a short hike in Taipei’s Neihu district.

The mountain stands at only 258 metres (846 ft) above sea level, and even though it is not nearly as tall as other mountains, it still gives great views of Taipei 101 and the city skyline.

The trails are clearly marked and well taken care of.

The Jinmian Mountain Trail is only about a 40-minute hike and should be doable for most, if Elephant Mountain was too hard for you, then Jinmian Mountain should be fine.

No matter where you visit, you are sure to enjoy your trip to Taipei city, Taiwan. Taipei’s richness in culture, history, and fun make it a necessary destination when travelling in Asia. 

For more things to do in Asia see:

Previous article20 Places To Visit On A Boston To Washington DC Road Trip
Next article20 Things To Do In Rhodes
cropped jessica penn 2.jpg
Jess currently lives in Taipei, Taiwan. She is from Maryland and Pennsylvania in the US, and went to college at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Chinese and minoring in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. After receiving a Fulbright award to teach English in Taitung, Taiwan (the best place in Taiwan), Jess received a Ministry of Education scholarship from the Taiwanese government to go to graduate school. Jess has a Master’s in International Studies from National Chengchi University in Taipei, with a focus on sustainable development and postcolonialism.