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5 Days in Taipei Itinerary: The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide

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Taipei is one of those places that truly took my breath away. From interesting history and a deep-rooted culture to beautiful architecture and delicious food, Taipei is among the top travel destinations in Asia. Here’s my ultimate Taipei itinerary for five days in Taiwan’s capital city including the best things to do in Taipei.

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Afternoon Tea in Taipei At W Taipei

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What To Know Before Visiting Taipei

 

  • Taipei has two airports: Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA) and Taoyuan International Airport (TPE); Songshan is smaller but closer to Taipei, while Taoyuan is further away from Taipei but bigger and offers more to international flights. You can book your Taoyuan airport express train ticket in advance to save time.
  • Book a 4G SIM card for Taiwan in advance and pick it up at either TSA or TPE airport.
  • The MRT (metro) in Taipei is incredibly convenient and easy to use. Simply get an Easy Card at an MRT station and use it for trains, buses, buying food at Seven Eleven and even taxis.
  • Most places don’t accept cards so be sure to bring cash with you at all times!
  • If you want to travel more comfortably, simply hire an Uber!
  • Download a translation app before your trip for easy communication and reading restaurant and cafe menus. I use Waygo, because it has a camera feature.
  • If it’s your first time in Taipei, I would recommend a minimum of 4 nights. This also allows you to do a day trip.

Taipei Weather & Best Times to Visit

It rains a lot in Taipei, so ideally, you want to travel during the driest months of the year. This is why the fall season is considered the best time to visit Taiwan and Taipei.

Summers in Taipei get extremely hot and humid and should be avoided, especially if you don’t love the heat.

 

Best Place to Stay in Taipei

 

  • Hotel East Taipei: Centrally located and footsteps from MRT Nanjing Sanming Station, this is a good, 3-star hotel. It also has a cute cafe and Japanese restaurant, plus it’s close to Raohe Night Market. (I stayed here for 4 nights)
  • W Taipei: Undoubtedly the hottest hotel in Taipei, the W offers travelers a luxurious travel experience in Taipei. It’s located in the sophisticated Xinyi business district. They also have an amazing afternoon tea experience with views of Taipei 101! (I had the SUNNY YEN afternoon tea set here)
  • Shangri-la’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel: (I stayed here for my last night in Taipei)

 

 

Afternoon Tea in Taipei At W Taipei

 

What To Do In Taipei | Taipei itinerary

Taipei is a city with a long history and pulsating culture and there are many amazing places to go in Taipei. This guide will cover must-see attractions as well as lesser-known local’s favorites and hidden gems over a 5-day period.

 

Day 1: Getting to know the city & culture

Depending on what time you get to Taipei, you’ll have more or less time on your first day to get to know your surroundings. I highly recommend taking a free walking tour of Taipei with Like It Formosa. They currently offer 3 different walking tours – all of which are completely free:

 

For dinner, I recommend heading to Raohe Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市). Before you enter the night market, check out Ciyou Temple (慈祐宮) right next to the entrance.

Must eats at Raohe Night Market include:

 

  • Pork Pepper Buns (Hújiāo Bǐng)
  • Grilled Squid
  • Pork Rib Bone Soup
  • Stinky Tofu
  • Brown Sugar Milk Tea

 

 

 

Pork Pepper Bun
Stinky Tofu

 

Taipei Travel Tip: At the end of Raohe Market, lies one of the best secret viewpoints of Taipei’s amazing skyline. You’ll see it when you exit from the night market gate. Head up to the 10th floor for amazing views of the market itself from above and the iconic Taipei 101 on the other side.

 

 

 

Day 2: Dive into Taipei’s History | Taipei itinerary

Taipei is filled with historic sites and attractions and the second day is dedicated to diving into this unique history!

 

Morning: Temples and Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial

Start your day with a visit to Longshan Temple (龍山寺), one of the most renowned temples in the whole of Taiwan. The temple was built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian as a gathering place for Chinese immigrants.

Watch locals do their prayers and try your luck with the many Jiaobei blocks (or moon blocks) to communicate with the gods. Locals ask a question to the gods and drop the blocks to the floor. Depending on the position they land in, you will receive a “YES” or “NO” answer.

 

The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is one of the best things to do in Taipei and should be on any itinerary. If you go on the Taipei Free Walking Tour Historic Route, this will be the last stop of the tour and you can explore it at your own pace.

 

 

Lunch: Noodles & Ice-Cream in Dongmen

Take a quick subway ride to Dongmen station and have lunch at Du Xiao Yue Danzi Noodle Restaurant. This famous restaurant started in the city of Tainan in 1895 but is one of Taiwan’s most popular eats today.

 

 

After lunch, I recommend checking out Zenique, a lovely tea shop that sells some of the finest tea grown in Taiwan. I was told by the staff that Oolong tea is most famous in Taiwan and comes in a variety of flavors, too. If you love tea, be sure to buy some to take home for yourself or as a gift. Do not leave the store without getting some delicious green tea or hoji tea ice-cream!

 

Afternoon/Evening: Shopping in Ximending

Head to the neighborhood of Ximending where you can shop through multiple merchants and there’s plenty to eat. Besides shopping and food, Ximending also is an interesting historic district in Taipei.

The area has been extremely hip since the Japanese era in Taiwan, when it was built as a recreation area just outside the West Gate (西門 or Xi Men) of the Taipei Old City. One of the oldest buildings in the area is Red House, which today is a center of local arts and crafts and home to Taipei’s largest LGBT district.

 

Day 3: Taipei 101 & Elephant Mountain | Taipei itinerary

The third day is all about amazing views and delicious eats!

Morning: Head to Taipei 101

No Taipei trip is complete without climbing the famous Taipei 101, the landmark of the city. Because it is among the top Taipei tourist spots, tickets are quickly sold out so be sure to book the Taipei 101 e-tickets in advance!

 

 

 

 

Lunch: Dim Sum at Din Tai Fung

After exploring the tower, head over to Din Tai Fung in the Taipei 101 Mall. Be sure to order the famous Xiaolong Bao, dumplings filled with broth.

If you are interested in more of Taipei’s and Taiwan’s history, I highly recommend taking the shuttle bus from Taipei 101 Mall to the National Palace Museum.

 

 

 

Afternoon Tea at W Taipei

After sightseeing, I highly recommend heading to the W Taipei for afternoon tea with views of the Taipei 101.

The SUNNY YEN afternoon tea set at W Taipei includes 10 kinds of sweets and savories made with local ingredients, free flow tea or coffee for two and 3 glasses of cocktails and 1 glass of mocktail.

On top of that, the afternoon tea set is served at YEN Bar on the 31st floor of W Taipei with whooping views of the iconic Taipei 101.

 

Evening: Sunset & Night Views at Elephant Mountain

What better way to help digest your food than a hike up Elephant Mountain? This was one of my favorite viewpoints of the city and a pretty easy hike. It’s best to head up Elephant Mountain just before sunset so that you’ll get there in time.

Day 4: Take a Day Trip to Jiufen | Taipei itinerary

You can take many interesting day trips from Taipei but the most popular one is definitely the lovely town of Jiufen east of the city. Getting to Jiufen is relatively easy from Taipei and you have several options. Because of the location of my hotel in Taipei, the most convenient way for me was to take a bus to Jiufen. You can take bus 1062 directly into Jiufen and the ride only takes about 50 minutes.

If you want to know what to see, do and eat in Jiufen, be sure to check out my detailed Jiufen travel guide, which also includes information on staying overnight in Jiufen if you choose to.

Day 5: Things to see before you leave

Depending on what time you are leaving Taipei, you’ll be able to squeeze a couple more places into your itinerary on your last day.

Taipei Confucius Temple & Bao’an Temple

One of my favorite areas in Taipei was the Confucius Temple and the whole Dalongdong Cultural and Historical District (大龍峒) around it. This temple was built in 1879 during the Qing era after Taipei Prefecture was established in 1875, making it one of the most important temples in Taiwan today. Be aware that the temple is closed on Mondays.

Besides the Confucius Temple, you should also check out Bao’an Temple right across the street. Originally constructed in 1742 as a wooden shrine, the Bao’an Temple is a Taiwanese folk religion temple. The temple is filled with amazing photo opportunities and really allows you to get in touch with local Taiwanese culture.

Shilin Night Market

If you’re leaving Taipei late at night or early in the morning, you might want to stop by Shilin Night Market. This market is often considered to be the largest and most famous night market in Taiwan. You can shop and eat at over 530 market stalls until midnight every day of the week.


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Linda

Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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