Taipei is one of the cities which has beaten our expectations a lot and because we love it so, we want you to have the best experience and wrote this Taipei Guide.
The big cities in Asia we saw were normally stressful, dirty and there was a high level of air pollution.
But not Taipei.
This city is the opposite of the above mentioned facts.
The first thing we noticed was inside the MRT stations (this is Taiwan’s really sufficient subway) the noise level was really low, almost like in a library. Eating and drinking is also not allowed and fined with NT$ 1500 (about 42€).
And there is free Internet almost everywhere available even in the subway.
The traffic is not as busy as we saw in other countries and the people drive more sane and respect the law. For example it is mandatory that every passenger on a scooter wears a helmet and they do it.
And most important: the people really take care about the cleanliness of the streets and you can walk outside without a face mask which we and the locals used for example in Vietnam to protect your lunges against the high pollution caused by the vehicles.
Here are some Taipei Guide with tips and tricks we experienced and realized which you should know before you go to Taipei:
How to get from the airport to the city
At the airport there are taxis, buses and the subway available.
We can recommend the subway (MRT) because it’s cheaper than the taxi and really fast.
You need to buy an Easy Card which is a excepted payment method in Taiwan for subways and buses and even in some stores.
When you arrive at the airport there is a stall where they sell the card. It costs NT$ 400 (11€) which will have NT$ 300 as credit.
You can add credit to the card at every MRT station or at every convenience store like 7/11, Family Mart etc.
How to get around Taipei
The fastest and easiest way to get around Taipei is with the subway called MRT or the local buses. There is a good connection of public transports and you never have to wait long.
Pro Tip: Use Google Maps to get directions which public transport method you have to take and where you have to do a transfer.
Taxis are an option as well but quite expensive.
Where to stay in Taipei
Actually every central located area is nice.
We stayed in the Yuan Huan area and slept in the Starbox Hostel which we can totally recommend.
It’s really near a night market and just a shot walk to the MRT. Everything is clean, the beds are comfortable, the social area is nice and a good breakfast is included.
Where to eat
If you want to eat cheap then you should look out where the locals are eating their lunch. These places sell delicious egg rolls for about TN$ 50 (1,40€) and sometimes there is even a milk tea included.
In the evening the night markets are the places to go. There are some in every city and town and offer a huge variety of delicious food. Don’t worry almost all of these places are clean. Also the locals are going there to get their dinner.
If you consider to stay in the Yuan Huan area check out the Piaoxiang Beef Noodle Restaurant:
They sell the best beef noodle soup we ever had for TN$ 130 (3,80€).
Another option is to cook for your own. If you buy your groceries in a supermarket or on a local market (not in an convenience store) you can provide yourself with a healthy meal which doesn’t cost a lot.
What to see – Taipei Guide
Wuji Tianyuan Temple
This beautiful Taoist temple is rather unknown by a lot of tourists and you can enjoy this place almost by your own. Especially the cherry blossom in April makes this temple highly worth a visit. But even without its a nice place and you can check out the area of Tamsui afterwards.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
This place is good to see some Taiwanese royal architecture and every full hour the changing of the guards.
The Ximen District is a really modern area with stores and a lot of claw machine places. It’s nice for a walk and to stroll around.
Jiufen (daytrip from Taipei)
About two hours from Taipei is the famous Jiufen village. It’s fame comes from the anime Spirited Away. But be prepared for many tourists, even on a workday.
The Elephant Mountain is next to Taipei’s financial district and offers a beautiful view of the city and especially of the tower Taipei 101.
There are many nightmarkets located all over Taipei and these are the best way to observe local life. Our favorite one is the Ningxia Night Market.
No foodie shouldn’t miss those markets.
And there is much more to see.
But the best is to get lost in the streets and be surprised on what you will stumble upon.
Tip: Don’t travel abroad without an insurance.
If you want to know which we are using, have a look here.
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