Taipei One Week Itinerary

Taiwan is very special to us. The love for my home country and the constant struggle to convey to people that Taiwan is not China is an ongoing, but worthwhile, battle. I spent most of my childhood in 中正區 (Zhongzheng District) in Taipei and have visited every corner of Taiwan due to my wonderful and adventurous parents. To sum up the reasons why Taiwan is different from China (aside from the complex history and politics of Communist China and Democratic Taiwan): People visit Taiwan for the traditional and authentically-preserved Tao Chinese Culture mixed with great European and Japanese influences. People visit China for the government-made facade of Chinese culture; one that was twisted by means of a 10-year oppression in education and human ethics, as well as a cultural cleansing called The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. China is like a giant Las Vegas theme park in that it was newly-created to look authentic, while Taiwan is where authenticity thrives.

If you are young at heart, 西門町 (Ximending) is a good budget area to base yourself. 松山區 (Songshan District) near 南京東路站 (Nanjing East Road Station) is also a great area to be in. We try to always avoid 大安區 (Da’an District) because it is expensive and it caters to foreigners and their preferences. But if you have the money and love luxury hotels such as the W, Da’an would be perfect. If you are unsure what to eat or are scared to communicate with a smile and gestures, there are always food court in the basement of most shopping centers in Taipei for easy ordering.

We will use Ximending as a base area for this itinerary. Our first day is always wasted because the flight from LAX – TPE usually gets in late at night around 10pm. After immigration, we purchase our bus tickets at the arrival terminal and hop on 國光客運 (kuo-kuang bus) that takes us to Taipei Main Train Station.

After checking into our hotel, we walk around Ximending and pick up some street food before forcing ourselves to bed. (the area is lively until about 1am)

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to pay more and book a hotel in Taipei that comes with breakfast. Also, please don’t tip. Tipping will destroy Taiwan’s local customs. Taipei is one of the best place in Asia for a culinary adventure. Ask your hotel where the nearest breakfast area is and just buy whatever looks good. For example in Ximending, the breakfast area is on 漢口街二段 (Hankou St Sec. 2) between 西寧南路 (Xining South Rd) and 漢中街 (Hanzhong St). From steam pork buns, pork grilled sesame buns, glutinous rice balls with stuffed meat to Chinese donut, stuffed baked-layered flatbread, green onion pancake with scrambled eggs, to any western fusion sandwiches. Prices range from $0.30USD to $3.00 USD per person to have a full stomach. There’re so many choices, I can’t even list them all here. Just go out and try them!

After breakfast we would visit the following:

  • 西門紅樓 (The Red House)
  • 板橋林家花園 (Lin Family Mansion and Garden)
  • 龍山寺 (Lungshan Temple) and surrounding
  • 台北火車站 (Taipei Main Train Station)
  • Walk to 台北當代藝術館 (MoCA Taipei)
  • Walk north along red/green metro line for surrounding shops to 雙連站 (Shuanglian station)
  • 迪化街 (Dihua Street)
  • 2/28 Peace Park
  • 國立台灣博物館 (National Taiwan Museum)

While at the Taipei Main train Station, we purchased train tickets to 瑞芳 (Ruifang) for 九份 (Jiufen) on the desired date. As the day comes to an end, you can watch Taipei comes alive roughly after 6pm and spend the remaining night back at the hotel exploring the Ximending area.

If you ran out of time the previous day and were unable to fit in anything after 2/28 peace park. You can start the day with the park onwards or continue the following:

  • 總統府 (Office of the President)
  • 台北植物園 (Taipei Botanical Garden)
  • 國立歷史博物館 (National Museum of History)
  • 國家戲劇院 (National Theater)
  • 國家音樂廳 (National Concert Hall)
  • 中正紀念堂 (National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall) and surrounding
  • Get lost on the streets around 鼎泰豐 (Ding Tai Fung – Xinyi branch)
  • 大安森林公園 (Da’an Forest Park)
  • 臺灣大學 (National Taiwan University)
  • 師大路夜市 (Shida Night Market)

You might be asking: why visit the university? Because it is beautiful inside that’s why! Look for dinner near campus around 羅斯福路 (Luosifu Rd.) or just have anything that looks delicious in the streets of Shida Night Market

Head down to Taipei Main Train Station early and hop on a train to Ruifang Station. From there take a bus towards 基隆 (Keelung) to 金瓜石 (Jinguashi) and 九份 (Jiufen.)

  • Ruifang Station and eat some 龍鳳腿 (chicken roll)
  • 新北市立黃金博物館 (Gold Ecological Park)
  • Take a bus to Jiufen and walk around the old street

After exploring the Jiufen area, hop back on the bus towards Keelung and get off at 忠一路 (Zhongyi Rd). Spend late afternoon and have dinner around the area.

  • 廟口夜市 (Miaokou Night Market)

From the night market, we took the train from Keelung Railway Station (you can also take Kuo Kuang Bus) back to Taipei.

After a hunt for delicious breakfast, head towards the Da’an district and visit the following:

  • 國父紀念館 (National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall)
  • 台北101 (Taipei 101) and surrounding
  • 象山親山步道 (Elephant Mountain Trail) Blue Trail Map Here
  • Back on MRT to 貓空纜車 (Maokong Gondola)
  • Explore the area around Maokong Station
  • back on MRT to 忠孝敦化站 (Zhongxiao Dunhua Station) and explore the area
Head north on this day and utilize the MRT and buses for the following:

  • 國立故宮博物院 (National Palace Museum), bus #R30 @ 士林站 (Shilin Station)
  • 至善園 (The Zhishan Garden)
  • 北投 (Beitou)
  • 北投溫泉親水公園 (Beitou Hot Springs Park)
  • 地熱谷 (Geothermal Valley)
  • 北投溫泉博物館 (Beitou Hot Springs Museum)
  • Relax in a private hot spring for 90 minutes such as Villa 32
  • 士林夜市 (Shilin Night Market)

Spend the rest of the evening and have dinner in Shilin Night Market.

On this day, you can choose between A: 淡水/八里 (Tamsui/Bali) or B: 陽明山國家公園 (The Yangmingshan National Park). Or you can add another day and do both! It’s an active day, Yangmingshan for leisure hiking or Tamsui/Bali for leisure biking.

A: 淡水/八里 (Tamsui/Bali):

Take the MRT to Tamsui and explore the following via foot, bus, and ferry.

  • 淡水老街 (Tamsui Old Street and waterfront)
  • 紅毛城 (Fort San Domingo)
  • 淡水漁人碼頭 (Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf)
  • Take a ferry to 八里渡船頭 (Bali Ferry Pier)
  • Rent a bicycle for Bali
  • 八里左岸公園 (Bali Left Bank Park)
  • 挖仔尾自然保護區 (Watziwei Nature Conservation Area)
  • 淡水夜市 (Tamsui Night Market)

Have dinner back at the Tamsui Night Market by the MRT station.

B: 陽明山國家公園 (The Yangmingshan National Park):

Click here for a bus that’s best suited to your needs. Once you’ve arrived, spend some time and wander around the main visitor center and the surrounding area. Pick a hiking trail that best suits your needs. We recommend the 七星主峰 → 東峰步道 (Xiaoguanyin trailhead → Miaopu trailhead) with combinations of other trail paths here and to visit the following:

  • 小觀音登山口 (Xiaoguanyin trailhead)
  • 小油坑遊客服務站 (Xiaoyoukeng visitor center)
  • 七星主峰 (Mt. Qixing main peak)
  • 七星東峰 (Mt. Qixing east peak)
  • 七星公園 (Qixing Park)
  • 七星山苗圃登山口 (Miaopu trailhead)

We took a bus back to Jiantan Station at night for dinner which is where Shilin Night Market is located.

Say goodbye to Taipei and be prepare to miss all the wonderful food you tried. Vow to yourself to come back and visit the rest of this beautiful country.

Taipei 101 Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain

23 responses

  • This is a fantastic list of things to do! Could you kindly elaborate a bit about how to get to 北投?Is there a bus you could take from the main station?

    • Hi Kevin. 北投 area is easy to get to via MRT. Take the Red line to 北投 Station then hop on the monorail shuttle to 新北投. All the major attractions are within walking distance from the 新北投 Station. Enjoy~

  • Hi! I will be heading to Taiwan for the first time during end Aug and i would realllly like to catch the Baseball match. Is it really as unpopular as stated on the internet?

    • Thank you for reading our blog~ Unpopular? I’d argue that baseball may be the most popular national sports in Taiwan. A 7-Eleven Lions game in Tainan is a must if you love baseball. The atmosphere, the drums, the coordinated cheers… you’d party for hours.

  • I have read your ideas above for a week in Taiwan but I would prefer to spend just a couple of days in the city then get out around the rest of the country. Any ideas?

    • I will do a more in depth Taiwan guide in the future. I added more areas of interest in respond to Cecy’s comment below asides from the ones I mentioned in our emails. Thank you again for reading our blog.

    • Hello and thank you for reading our blog. There are many options:

      North East to Eastern Coastline… YiLan down to HuaLien and TaiTung.

      Southern tip of KenTing and islands (XiaoLiuQiu, PengHu, KinMen.)

      All major Western cities from Taipei, TaiChung, ChiaYi, TaiNan, KaoHsiung and add in some close by nature.

      Hand pick nature and add in a close by city. Like Alishan and ChiaYi, Sun Moon Lake and TaiChung/NanTou, Siraya and TaiNan, KenTing and PingTung…

      Research all the food you want to eat and base where to go on that. Hakka cuisine, Aboriginal, Special food from specific locations… Bamboo Rice tube… Rice cake bowls… Eat your way through Taiwan.

      Those are just some options,
      Have fun and enjoy your trip~

  • Hi! My friends and I are travelling to Taiwan between end of may to the start of june, is it still possible to catch a baseball match then? And if it is, do you have any tips on how we may purchase the tickets? Unfortunately we don’t speak mandarin, so we’re at abit of a loss. Thanks!

    • Hello Reyy, Thank you for reading our blog. The schedule is here:

      Between the icons for the team is where they will be playing. You could copy and paste the traditional Mandarin name into google to find out what it is.

      You can purchase tickets at the stadium or 7-11s. I would just pick up the tickets at the stadium.

      Have fun!

  • Hi Frank. Nice blog post for exploring Taipei! I’ll be heading to Taipei in July and staying near Ximending.
    Would like to know if there is a bus/public transport back to the airport from Ximending? if not, would you recommend taking a taxi or hotel shuttle back? what is a reasonable hotel shuttle charge to airport?


    • Hello JoJo,

      You can take the MRT from Ximending to Taipei Train Station. From there, locate the Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A and hop on the Kuo-Kuang Bus back to the Airport in Taoyuan. Which is the same company bus and route you take to get to Ximending when you arrive.

  • Hi Frank and Nicole, I’m wondering if y’all know any of private hot spring for couples together with accommodation. I found a few but it is out of my budget. Looking for SGD250 below

  • Hi Frank and Nicole, I’ll be in Taiwan for 4 weeks and I’d love to spend my beach time for a week maybe? I’m wondering if you know any good and cheap beaches? I had a look at so many of them and can’t really decide where to go! Some of them look good but seem to be over my budget… T-T Thank you in advance. :)

  • Hi Frank and Nicole, what time does the Kuo-Kuang Bus starts in the morning? I need to catch an early flight at 7.40am from Taoyuan. Is it better to stay around Ximen Ting area or near Taipei main station?

  • Thanks for your blog. I will be in Taiwan For 8 days early February..solo traveler who loves to walk and eat very spicy food..if I want to visit one other city or town for a few days besides Taipei what would you suggest?

  • Your itinerary is really helpful; thanks! If I’m planning on spending a day at Taroko Gorge, would you recommend staying/spending the day prior in Hualien? This will be my first time to Taiwan and I was planning on exploring only the areas that you’ve listed (except in 7 full days). I’m just curious what you think of Hualien outside of the Gorge. Thanks again!

    • Sorry for such a late reply. We were extremely busy traveling, working and attending master programs at the same time. We haven’t been keeping up with the blog for quite some time. I hope your visit was great, and you get to eat some delicious 竹筒飯 in Hualian. We camped inside Taroko when we were there. But Hualien is definitely a great city for an overnight.

  • Hi Frank, which hotel we’re stay during the trip? any recommendation if i wish to following the route… thanks in advance

  • Hi Frank and nicole, I am wondering if you would recommend shi fen? I will be staying at xi men ding area. Are there public transportation to Shifen? Is shi fen near jiu fen?

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