Taipei is an amazing destination with mountains and coastline. You will find a lot of historical monuments, religious places, parks, hot springs and many more. The weather makes it more interesting to explore.
Why should anyone visit the city?
There are lot of things to do in the city but the most interesting is the night market culture. These markets open daily or on specific days in almost every part of the city. They are wonderful and has a huge variety of things to buy from food to clothing, accessories and handmade crafts.
How does one get to the destination (airport, ferry or others)?
There are different ways to get to Taipei. The primary one is by air and the airport is Taiwan Taoyuan international airport. It welcomes flights from all over the world.
There is bus and train service that connects it to the other cities. You can also get to Taipei from Shanghai and a couple of other cities by cruise and arrive at the Keelung port.
Is the city safe? What areas are not safe?
Overall Taipei is safe for the tourists and solo travelers whereas the general precautions are important to be followed. The areas which are not safe are Wanhua district and Zhongshan district. The nearby areas of these districts also have scams and other crimes.
What’s the weather like?
The city has a subtropical climate that sometimes faces extreme heat and rainfalls. The division of the weather on months is:
March to May is the spring months the temperature remains mildly warm. June to August are the peak summer months. The weather is very hot with 34oC temperature. From September the temperature starts falling and it remains cool until February. The best time is from September to November because the weather is very pleasant, mild and perfect for outdoor activities.
What languages are spoken in the area? Is English spoken?
The official language of Taipei is Mandarin Chinese. Locals also speak some other types of Taiwanese languages and English. Tourists have no difficulty in communication because a lot of locals speak English.
What’s the local currency?
Is US Dollar widely accepted?
The official currency of the city is the Taiwanese Dollar that is accepted everywhere. You have to change the US Dollar to the official currency. It is better to exchange that on the airport after arriving and convert in your required currency while leaving the country.
What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?
There are many options to stay in the city whereas the best ones are:
- Taipei Main station is the main hub for travel and is perfect for the people who want to go in and about frequently. There are many shopping malls, cultural landmarks and museums in this area.
- Xinyi district is the most expensive and luxurious area of the city. There are 5-star hotels, resorts, nightlife places and many modern shopping areas.
- Zhongshan district is the best choice for the backpackers. This is the historical and cultural area. It is perfect for the people who want to explore the real Taipei. There are temples, museums, galleries, gardens, historical monuments and many more.
What’re your top 3 hotels (budget, moderate, luxury) and why?
- Duckstay hotel is the budget friendly hotel with free Wi-Fi, reading lights and electronic lockers. There are bunk beds and shared bathrooms. It is a good option for backpackers and those who have no issue to sleep in the dorm.
- Click hotel is the moderate budget hotel located near the Taipei main station. The rooms have mini bar, coffee and tea maker with many other amenities.
- W Taipei is a luxury hotel offering amazing panoramic views of the city. A variety of facilities include sound system, free internet, sauna, kitchen, whirlpool tubs and a lot more. The hotel has bars, restaurants, event space, business hall, gym, spa, faux beach and outdoor swimming pool.
How does one get around the city? Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs?
- The MRT – frequent, fast and affordable. Everything is written in English and Chinese.
- Taiwan Trains are very easy to use for the connecting areas of metro stations. They stop at many stations.
- Buses run in every corner of the city. You can easily get a bus. There is no need to get to a station.
- Bikes to explore and enjoy the city.
- Gondola sky ride is a type of transportation to explore the mountain areas in a very romantic way.
- Yellow taxis are available everywhere in the city. They are reasonable and can be easily hired.
Can you highlight the Top 5 MUST see sightseeing?
The top attractions of the city are
This is a wonderful hike filled with many amazing views. It leads to the viewing decks of the stunning landscape. You can watch beautiful sunrise and sunset at the mountain. Do not forget keeping snacks, drinking water and bug spray in your bag.
You can explore the history and culture of the old town. There are many monuments to see and learn about the culture of Taipei. You can also see the Ximending neighborhood for shopping and delicious food. Get relaxing massage when you become tired of roaming around.
Ximen Red House
See the entrance hall constructed in the 18th century with a variety of boutiques, restaurants and markets. It is a historical theatre in the old town. You can buy handmade souvenirs, crafts and art made of old computer motherboards.
Taipei Tianhou Temple
It is small temple dedicated to Mazu, the sea goddess. This place is worth visiting because of the well decorated colorful walls. It is adorned with vibrant and precious ornaments and amazing furniture.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
This is a massive square with amazing sights. This is also known as the liberty square. The main place to see are the memorial hall and national concert hall. The hall represents the wealth and fortune with number 8 in Chinese.
What’s the best place to take a photo?
There are a lot of places to take photos and create memories in Taipei. However, the most interesting and funny place is the Toilet Restaurant. You can collect a lot of strange photos of food in the toilet seat shaped bowls.
What about the top 3 restaurants?
Big Tea Pot Tea House
It is not just a tea house but a complete pack of entertainment. There are options of activities, attractions exploring, shopping and Taiwanese food with a variety of tea. You can take a gondola to reach it in the mountains and enjoy amazing panoramic views.
The Kitchen Table
It serves a variety of Chinese, European, Japanese and Taiwanese food. This is the best place to try different types of meals entire day from breakfast until dinner and desserts after dinner. You can have some homemade sorbet after meal.
Yongkang Beef Noodle
You can have delicious beef noodle soup that is one of the most favorite dish of Taiwan. You can try this historical dish that belongs to the Tang dynasty. The menu has many other delicious delicacies that worth trying.
What about the top 3 breakfast places?
- Yong He Soy Milk is the best place to enjoy the traditional breakfast of Taiwan. There are plenty of items in the menu so you can first go through thoroughly and then finalize the things to eat.
- Fuhang Soy Milk is another amazing place for breakfast. The best items of their huge menu are the soy milk and over baked thick bread. You can also try their delicious pancakes.
- The Shanwich Shop is famous for their sandwiches. You can try a lot of things or the big double egg sandwich if you are very hungry in the morning. Do not get surprised to see chicken nuggets and fries in the breakfast menu because Taiwanese people eat fried things in the morning.
What’s the one thing you MUST eat in the city?
You should try the freshly fried scallion pancake in Taipei. You will find it easily in many places among the huge variety of food. However, find a street stall in Ximending to try the typical one. You can select the topping you want for the pancake.
What about food markets?
There are a lot of food markets and night markets in the city where you can try a variety of traditional and international cuisines, beverages and desserts.
Tonghua Night Market
This market remains open almost all the time because it works in shifts. You can visit here anytime to get delicious food. Visit the market in the morning for the fresh food and evening for the street food.
Shida Night Market
This market is best for the budget travelers. There are many educational institutes near the market so you will find a variety of products in very reasonable prices. The stalls sell clothing, accessories, books, souvenirs, handmade goods and delicious food.
Where should one go at night? Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?
There are a lot of nightlife place throughout the city. They include restaurants, bars, clubs, karaoke and live music places. You can find the places in following districts.
- Xinyi District – commercial hub, luxury places and scenic views.
- Ximending District – old town with many cultural and traditional places.
- Eastern District – high end places, karaoke lounges and vibrant clubs.
- Zhongshan District – hipster bars, art places, museums and karaoke places.
Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend?
It is a trendy roof top bar that is located on a shopping mall. You can see some amazing panoramic views from this luxurious and futuristic place.
This is a stunning vibrant place with an outdoor pool. The guests can enjoy delicious cocktails and a dip in the pool. Food is also served with the drinks.
Can you recommend the best shopping areas? Best shopping mall?
Taipei 101 Shopping Mall is the most amazing shopping mall of the city. There are a lot of local designer brands, high end fashions lines and top labels of the world. The brands include Armani, French connections, Versace, Chanel, Dior, Montblanc and many more. There are 6 floors for the fashion brands and shopping stores, a huge food court, some luxury dining options and amazing interior. Another excellent area to find good deals is Ximending. You will also find many tattoo studios.
Do you recommend any tours outside the city? Islands? Boat Tours?
There are a variety of tours from Taipei that you can plan and enjoy.
- Jiufen and Jinguashi is perfect to enjoy the culture and history of Taiwan. It is an ancient gold mining town in the mountains. There are restaurants, food stalls and souvenir shops in the town.
- Yangmingshan National Park is best for a day trip at the hot springs. You can take a dip in the natural hot springs of the park. You can explore the volcanic rocks, sulfur crystals and relaxing green landscape.
Are Casinos allowed? Blackjack tables? If so, what’s the best Casino in town?
Gambling is illegal in Taiwan so there are no casinos or any other kind of gambling game places anywhere. However, the lotteries are run by the state and that is completely legal.
Any last advice for people visiting the city?
The population of Taipei is huge therefore most of the places are crowded especially the attractions in the dense populated neighborhoods. Be mentally prepared to deal with crowds.
When you exchange the currency to the Taiwanese currency, a receipt is given. It is necessary to keep it otherwise you will not be able to exchange the leftover Taiwanese currency to your currency. You will not be able to convert it after leaving the country.
You do not need to give extra tip in restaurants, hotels and taxis because they already add that in the bill.