Taiwan is a country like no other. And its sprawling capital Taipei is many visitor's first encounter with this unique island nation. One of the world's biggest cities, Taipei is home to more than 2.5 million people. As well as being the political center of the country, it's also the economic and cultural hub, making it the perfect place to immerse yourself in both Taiwan's rich history and future.
Taipei is also blessed with a stunning location, meaning there’s lots to explore both in and outside the city. Drop off your bags at a Taipei bag storage and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Taiwan’s vibrant capital.
8 Best Ways to Experience Taipei in 2023
Taipei is a city like no other. Combining influences from East and West, this cosmopolitan metropolis is an almost overwhelming sensory experience. In fact, the bustle of the city can be intimidating if you don’t know where to go and what to do. That’s why it’s often a good idea to hire a local guide. The following companies offer some of the most memorable experiences in Taipei. Treat yourself to a tour, and don’t forget to drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Taipei before you go. The lighter you travel, the more fun you’ll have on your adventures.
Best off the beaten path tour — Hola Taipei
If you like to see places most tourists never reach, this is the company for you. While they offer regular tours of the city’s main highlights, they specialize in less visited areas. They can guide you through Old Taipei, the city’s geek culture, and the hidden gems of the area. You’ll leave with a truly unique experience and a better understanding of the city. Contact them at email@example.com or 886 983 090 214.
Best cooking class — CookingFunTaiwan 暖心廚房
Taipei’s cuisine is one of the most interesting in the world, with a variety of different cultural influences all combining in the city to create something truly unique. If you fall in love with the food of Taipei, why not learn a new skill with a cooking class? The knowledgeable chef will guide you through the produce and techniques of the region to create an incredible dish that you’ll be able to enjoy long after you return home. Contact them firstname.lastname@example.org or 886227753898.
Best free walking tour — TourMeAway
If you’re visiting Taipei on a budget, no price is better than free. This company offers three different free walking tours that will cover the major tourist sites, the Longshan Temple, or Chill Taipei, for a more relaxed experience of the city. Whichever tour you choose, don’t forget to tip your guide for all the knowledge they shared with you. You can contact them at email@example.com or 886 960 032 022.
Best food tour — Taipei Eats
Taipei’s cuisine is so vast and varied that a single tour can only ever hope to scratch the surface of what the city has to offer. That’s why this specialist food tour company offers three different tours. Try traditional delicacies on the Old School tour, or see the foods that have made Taipei famous on the Iconic tour. Alternatively, the Night Market tour lets you immerse yourself in the culture of Taipei while trying some of its best food. True foodies may want to take all three tours to make sure they’re not missing out on anything. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 886 920 997 781.
Best hikes around Taipei — Taiwan Adventures
It’s hard to imagine ever getting bored of Taipei. But if you feel the need to escape the city and enjoy some more natural surroundings, Taiwan Adventures can help. They know all the best places to visit in the area, and can help you travel the mountains and valleys and see some of the quieter villages in the area. This will give you a different experience of Taiwan than you’d find if you stayed in the city. See what they have to offer by contacting them at email@example.com or 886 2 2346 5867.
Best tea tour — Life of Taiwan
Tea occupies a central place in Taiwanese culture, and in many ways has shaped the history of Taiwan, China, and all of Asia. If you want to learn more about the importance of tea culture while trying some delicious teas, this is the company to call. They offer a unique cultural experience by taking you through the mountain tea plantations outside the city and showing you the rural life of Taiwan. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 886 2 2391 0436.
Best day trips — Round Taiwan Round
This company specializes in taking visitors on day trips outside the city to see more of what this island nation has to offer. Of particular note is the trip to Jiufen, an incredible mountain village outside Taipei that feels like a glimpse of another world. They also offer tours of the nearby geopark where you can learn more about the natural history of the area. Contact them at service@roundTAIWANround.com or 886 800 078 787.
Best shore excursions — Justaiwantour Travel Services
If you’ve arrived in Taiwan by cruise ship and want to see more of the city, this is the company to call. They specialize in shore excursions from Keelung cruise ship terminal just outside the city. They can bring you from the boats to the city and back with plenty of time to make your next sailing. They also offer many tours in the surrounding region, allowing you to visit historic towns like Jiufen and Shifen. Contact them at email@example.com or 886 2 2708 5100.
A weekend in Taipei
A weekend in Taipei isn't going to do more than scratch the surface of what the city has to offer. Still, a couple of days gives you enough time to see many of the main attractions. Make things easy on yourself by dropping off your bags at a Taipei suitcase storage before you set out.
- Taipei spent some time under Japanese control, and you can see a relic of this at Jiufen. Once a mining town during the late 19th century, it's now a great place to explore. Along with the fascinating history, the town offers sea views, mountain vistas, and plenty of shops and restaurants to explore.
- Visit the National Palace Museum to see some of the most outstanding relics of Imperial China. The former rulers of mainland China moved to Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War in the twentieth century, and they brought many stunning artifacts with them. A walk around the museum is the perfect way to understand more about Taiwan's history.
- See the spiritual side of Taiwan in its gorgeous temples. Some of the temples, such as Longshan and Bao-an, date back to the eighteenth century and are recognized as World Heritage Sites. These incredible structures have to be seen to be believed.
Taipei is a fascinating place to explore, but the combination of culture shock and the size of the city can make it overwhelming at times. You can make things easier on yourself by dropping off your bags at a Taipei luggage locker. You'll feel a lot more confident exploring, knowing your things are safely looked after, waiting for you to return.
Off the beaten path in Taipei
Escaping crowds in a city like Taipei isn't easy. It's not just the tourists you have to avoid, but sometimes the locals too. Still, even in this metropolis, there are places you can go to get away from it all.
- Take a hike on one of Taiwan's many beautiful trails. Xiangshan, for instance, offers great views of the city and can be reached on the city's Metro system. Jinmianshan is a little more strenuous, but allows you to explore parts of Yangmingshan National Park just outside the city.
- Celebrate the life of the father of Taiwan at Doctor Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. Doctor Sun was the first president of Taiwan, and was also known as a medical doctor and a philosopher. The hall serves as a museum of the man's life and a cultural center that often hosts events celebrating Taiwanese heritage.
- If you've never eaten out of a toilet, Taipei gives you the chance. Modern Toilet restaurant is a bathroom-themed eating establishment where toilets act as chairs, and miniature toilets serve as bowls. It is the perfect place to get some unusual photos to show to your friends back home.
What to do alone in Taipei
Often, big and bustling cities turn out to be the best places to visit on a solo trip. This is definitely true of Taipei. The city is generally safe, and the locals are extremely friendly. Plus, traveling alone makes it easier to navigate the sometimes crowded attractions of the city. Drop off your bags at a Taipei luggage storage service and you'll have a great time exploring what the city has to offer.
- Taipei’s night markets are legendary. You can buy just about anything at the many markets the city hosts, and you’ll find some of the best food in the world. Shulin is the biggest, stretching over 12 acres. Lose yourself in the crowds and you won’t feel even a little bit alone.
- The National Taiwan Museum is a perfect place to learn more about this island nation's complicated history. There's more on offer here than just history. You'll also find great exhibitions on anthropology, natural history, and other fields of science.
- Taipei is one of the world's greatest destinations for food lovers. Embrace this side of the country with a cooking class. You'll shop for fresh ingredients at local markets and prepare a meal with instruction by a local chef. It's a great way to meet other travelers and learn a new skill.
The best souvenirs in Taipei
The many markets of Taipei make souvenir shopping an adventure all by itself. You can find almost anything at the markets, from unique food items to handicrafts to traditional Chinese medicine. For a classic Taiwanese treat, pick up some pineapple cake. Tea is also a great purchase to remind you of your trip. Or you could purchase a sky lantern from Shifen as a memento. Finally, for authentic cultural souvenirs, visit the National Cultural and Creative Gift Center. Prices may be higher than you'll find at the markets, but you'll know you're purchasing the real thing at this high-end store.