Last October 2017 I had the chance to visit Taiwan for vacation with my sister. Prior to that, I had searched the internet for resources, photos and sample itineraries to prepare for the trip. Below is a sample 4 day itinerary I put together including some directions, landmarks, train stops and tips. If you haven’t seen my Taiwan Travel photos posts, check them out here.
Some of the descriptions here are copied somewhere, I am unable to remember as I just copied and pasted them on a document and did not bother to note where I got them.
Also check my Taiwan Travel tips here.
Taipei 101 Observatory
Traditional Chinese: 台北101觀景台
Simplified Chinese: 台北101观景台
Nearest MRT Station: Taipei 101 station (Red Line 2)
Operating Hours: Daily 9am-10pm
Entrance Fee: NT$600
This Taipei landmark and tourist attraction is among the world’s highest skyscrapers. It dominates the city’s skyline and also provides shoppers with a convenient place for a spree. Inside are many of the world’s top luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, to name but two.
Taipei 101 Mall
Floors 1-5 are loaded with top international brand stores and boutiques. The 5th floor also is surrounded by several sit down restaurants with great views of the city. B1 is a large food court full of many Asian and Western choices. It’s also home to Jason’s gourmet supermarket.
Grab some lunch on the 5th floor. Pick up some snacks and drinks before you leave at Jason’s Market on B1.
Nearest MRT Station: Xiàngshān station (Red Line 2)
Entrance Fee: FREE
How to Get There: From MRT Xiangshan Station (Red Line 2), take Exit 2 where you can see a park. Walk until the end of that road, then turn left and continue walking until you reach the jump-off point – Xiangshan Hiking Trail.
The jumping-off point for the hike, Xiangshan Hiking Trail, is just a 15-minute walk from Taipei 101.
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Nearest MRT Station: Sun Yat-sen (SYS) Memorial Hall Station (Blue Line 5)
Open: Daily 9am-6pm
Entrance Fee: FREE
How to Get There: Take the Blue Line 5 to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station (S.Y.S.)
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Mall (Taipei Nanxi)
No.12 Nanjing West Rd. | Xinyi Dist., Taipei 10444, Taiwan
11:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Take the Blue Line 5 to Taipei City Hall Station (市政府). The station is located beneath HanKyu Department Store. Walk south to enter the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex towards 101. Alternatively, take the Red Line 2 to Taipei 101 and walk northeast towards the complex.
The Xinyi District is home to Bellavita, Taipei 101, the 24 hour Eslite, ATT and a host of other shopping choices. It’s a busy open spaced area that’s great for walking, eating, window shopping, or people watching.
The Japanese Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store is a central structure and location in this area. The six story, four building complex feels like an open ended mall. Among the black and red modern glass structures performers play music and perform their acts while marketers promote their latest products. There’s plenty of food and shopping from bakeries, top fashion and cosmetics to the Apple Store. The department store is also host to a large cineplex so a day of shopping and eating can be capped off with a movie.
What to buy: Among the department stores are lots of small boutique shops. There are always unique finds there.
Getting There: MRT Blue Line to Taipei City Hall Station / Exit 3
Bellavita Shopping Mall 寶麗廣塲
Take Taipei MRT-Bannan Line (捷運板南線) to MRT Taipei City Hall Station (捷運市政府站). From there, walk towards Xinyi Road (信義路) from exit no. 2 of MRT Taipei City Hall Station (捷運市政府站) to Bellavita
Arguably Taipei’s most decorative and fashionable shopping space. Even if you’re not a shopper, the mall is worth a walk through. It’s host to the finest name brand stores (Bottega Veneta, Bvlgari, Gucci, Tiffany, Tod’s) as well as a variety of international and swanky boutiques.
On the upper floors there are several options for fine dining including L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon, the first Michelin Guide listed restaurant in Taiwan. There’s a food area in the basement levels with several snack and coffee choices.
Go to the Basement Level and try the delicious ornamented pastries.
Wu Fen Pu
Wu Fen Pu contains hundreds of wholesale clothing shops, and you can literally find anything here. Try to avoid Mondays as the retailers would be busy stocking up their supplies, but Tuesdays are said to be the best time to get your hands on the latest goods.
Address: Yongji Street, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
How to get to Wu Fen Pu: Song Shan MRT Station
Raohe St. Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市
Nearest Station: Songshan (Green Line 3)
NO Entrance Fee
How to Get There: Take Green Line 3 to Songshan Station. Go to Exit 5. Cross the street to the night market’s entrance.
MUST do: Near the temple entrance, line up for a “hu jiao bing”. 胡椒餅 Black pepper pork in a baked round bread. They are baked on the inside of a hot barrel. They’re famous and worth the wait! Steamed buns and stinky tofu are popular.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Nearest MRT Station: Chiang Kai-shek (CKS) Memorial Hall (Red Line 2 or Green Line 3)
Open: Daily 9am-6pm
Entrance Fee: FREE
One of the must-see is the hourly changing of the military personnel guarding the massive statue of Chiang Kai-shek.
How to Get There: Take either Red Line 2 or Green Line 3 to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station (C.K.S.)
Taipei Main Station
No. 49, Sec. 1, Zhongxiao W. Rd. (TRA)
No. 49, Beiping W. Rd. (Metro)
Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei
Take the Red Line 2 or Blue Line 5 to Taipei Main Station (台北車站).
The station itself is a large building which houses multiple rail services as well as serving as the headquarters of the Taiwan Railways Administration. The railway platforms are located on the B2 level, while the B1 level serves as a waiting area. Ticketing services are on the first floor while the second floor contains a food court and several stores, including the shopping center (Breeze Taipei Station). The upper levels are occupied by TRA offices.
Dalongdong Bao’an Temple
Nearest MRT Station: Yuanshan Station (Red Line – 2)
Open: Daily 6:30am-10:30pm
Entrance Fee: FREE
A UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Site
How to Get There: From Yuanshan Station (Red Line 2), take Exit 2 and continue walking down Kulun Street until you reach Dalong Street. Take a right and continue walking until you reach Hami Street. Continue walking until you see the temple entrance on the right side.
National Palace Museum
Nearest MRT Station: Shilin station (Red Line – 2), then take Bus R30
Open: Daily 8:30am-6:30pm
Entrance Fee: NT$250 (NTD $150 student)
Open: Daily 9am-5pm
Entrance Fee: FREE
How to Get There: From Jiantan Station (Red Line 2), take Exit 1 going to the southbound buses. Go for Bus 267, 556, or 902.
No.139 Bei’an Road, Taipei 111, Taiwan
There is a long walkway leading up to the Shrine, and in the center building, there are two soldiers on duty and in uniform. They guard the building and the souls who have helped shape and form the country.
Tamsui – Danshui Old Street
Take the Red Line 2 to Tamsui (淡水), the northern terminus station. Upon exiting the station, turn left to reach Tamsui Old Street and the waterfront
Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf
Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭) – One of the most famous locations in Taiwan, the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf is well known for its beautiful sunsets – Lover Bridge of Tamsui, completed in 2003. At night, the bridge illuminates with a wide variety of colours. – The wharf is located in Tamsui (淡水, Danshui) north of the Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街) area nearby Shalun Beach (沙崙).
How to get there – After arriving at Tamsui Station (淡水), Red Line 2, take bus 紅26 (Red 26), 836, or 857 towards Fisherman’s Wharf (漁人碼頭).
The wharf hosts a ferry pier for ferries that operate the route along the Tamsui River. Ferries operate between the wharf and Tamsui Old Street, Bali, and Dadaocheng ferry pier (大稻埕碼頭) in Taipei City (located next to Daqiaotou MRT Station) or Zhongxiao Wharf in New Taipei City. Simply swipe an Easycard and board the boat. It’s a great way to avoid the crippling traffic of Tamsui during the afternoon rush hour, and a fun and unique way to return to Taipei.
Ferry Fare: NTD60 One way
Ferry Operating Time 11:00-20:00
Ferries operate between the wharf and Tamsui Old Street 12-15 min 60NTD One way – Every 20-30 mins
Shilin Night Market
Jiantan Station (Red Line – 2) then use Exit 1. Cross the street to the night market’s entrance
8:30 – 22:00 Fare: NTD 120 one way
You can take a cable car from Taipei Zoo up to this place, and was a pretty view up too.
How to get there: Taipei Zoo station (Brown line) Exit the station and walk to the Gondola station.
No.30, Section 2, Xinguang Road, Taipei 11656, Taiwan
Taipei Zoo station
8:30am to 5pm
Entrance Fee: NTD 60
Daan Forest Park
Taipei’s version of New York City’s Central Park, this park is 26 hectares, the size of three major league baseball fields. Take a walk around the ecological pond, enjoy a meal
Xinsheng South Road, Daan District, Taipei, Taiwan
Located at Daan Park MRT. It’s a large area of greenery. Nice eco pond area with lots of birds in natural habitat. Many rest stops. Lots of flowers and trees.
Jiannan Butterfly Trail
The trail is situated along Lane 352, Jiannan Road. As an open butterfly museum, it occupies 11.5 hectares. Located on a hill, the facility boasts an excellent view in which two major landmarks of Taipei—Taipei 101 and the Ferris Wheel of Mirimar Shopping Mall—can be seen. Visitors who plan to go by MRT are advised to take exit 1 of MRT Jiannan Road Station.
Miramar Entertainment Park (Giant Ferris Wheel on Rooftop)
11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
No.20 Jingyuesan Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei 104, Taiwan
Jiannan Road MRT
National Taiwan University
No.1 Four Section, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan
It is the location for the famous Taiwan series “METEOR GARDEN
Lots of places for a milk tea too.
How to get there: Gongguan MRT station (green line)
Longshan Temple 龍山寺
Nearest MRT Station: Longshan Temple Station (Blue Line 5)
Open: Daily, 6am-10pm
NO Entrance Fee
Ximending Youth Shopping District 西門町
Harajuku of Taipei
Nearest Station: Ximen (Blue Line 5 or Green Line 3) – Head towards Exit #6 when exiting from the MRT station
NO Entrance Fee
What to buy: clothes and accessories and freshly made street snacks
Once you get out of Ximen station, you can’t miss the 100-year-old Red House Theater.
Across the theater is the famous Ximending Shopping District. Try the famous Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodles, shop your heart out at the affordable boutiques in the area (if you’re not into night markets), and stay out ’til late in the evening so you can try all the amazing street food and tea-based drinks.
Other places to visit:
These places require at least 1 whole day each so if you still have time you can check out the places below.
Jiufen Old Street
The majority of attractions are concentrated along the cobblestone steps of Shuqi Road (豎崎路) between Jiufen Elementary School and the Jiufen police precinct. The three roads running perpendicular to Shuqi Road (Jishan St., Qiche Rd., and Qingbian Rd.) each boast a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and cafés.
From Taipei Main Station (台北車站), take the train north to Ruifang Station. After exiting the station and facing the Wellcome supermarket, take a left and walk 200 metres down Mingdeng Road. Next to the police station is a bus station (named Local Residents Plaza, 區民廣場) with routes 827 and 788 heading toward Jiufen. Please note that the bus stop next to the police station heads east toward Jiufen, and the bus stop across from the police station heads west toward Taipei. Route 825 provides weekend service only. From here, the bus trip takes roughly 15 minutes, and the fare is NT$15. It is recommended to take bus 1062 back to Taipei and enjoy some time at Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市).
If you are a fan of Hayao Miyazaki films – Spirited Away, a visit to Jiufen Old Street is a must
You can stop here first before going to Shifen in Pingxi.
From Jiufen > Ruifang
Board a Keelung bus with its final destination displaying either “基隆”or “台北”from Jiufen Old Street stop (across the road from 7-eleven convenience store) at the road bend. The bus goes downhill. Fare: NT$21 Travel time: About 15~20 mins.
Shifen Old Streets
Location: Pingxi District, New Taipei City
How to Get There: From Taipei Main Station, take a train going to Ruifang Station, then transfer to Pingxi Line.
From Taipei Main Station, take a northbound train (except Keelung-bound trains) towards Ruifang Station. Transfer to the Pingxi Line (平溪線) and purchase a One Day Ticket for the Pingxi Line, NT$52.
OPTION 1: TAKE THE BROWN LINE MRT TO MUZHA STATION. FROM THERE TAKE THE 795 BUS TO EITHER SHIFEN OLD STREET OR SHIFEN WATERFALLS. FARE: TWD45.00. 45 MINUTES TRAVEL TIME. FROM 4:50AM TO 10:40PM, EVERY 45 MINUTES.
OPTION 2: TAKE THE GREEN LINE MRT STATION TO SONGSHAN THEN TRANSFER TO THE SONGSHAN TRA LINE TO RUIFANG STATION. FROM THERE, TRANSFER FOR THE TRAIN TO SHIFEN STATION.
OPEN HOURS: 9:00AM TO 4:30PM • ENTRANCE FEE: NONE
8am to 17:00
Weekends – NTD 200
From Taipei, take the high speed rail to Taichung.
Please follow the signs to reach exit 5 (the first floor fifth exit) and take Nantou Bus to reach Qingjing Farm (approximately 2 hours).
How can independent traveler reach Qingjing Farm from Taichung?
“Qingjing Farm Travel Package 600” jointly issued by Qingjing Farm and Nantou Bus contains two-way ticket for “Taichung-Qingjing Farm” and entrance ticket for Green Green Grasslands.
With this travel package at hand, you can travel directly to Qingjing Farm from Taichung Train Station or THSR Taichung Station, and enjoy a 40% discount and 15% discount on regular days and holidays at Qingjing Guest House, respectively.