21 FUN things to do in TaipeiWelcome to our guide to 20 FUN things to do in Taipei. In this guide we’ll take you through everything unique and fun that this city has to offer that isn’t in most touristy guides, from waterfalls and volcano hikes to drinking the original bubble tea of Taiwan and even penis shaped waffles in Taipei’s many night markets.

There is a way more to Taipei than just Taipei 101.

Taipei is as cosmopolitan as Tokyo, London and NYC.

Keep scrolling and you will find out more about this amazing and busy city.  I have a summary for you with the 20 Fun Things to Do in Taipei.

Check also our guide to 3 Best Hostels in Taipei, Taiwan. We also wrote a big guide on Taiwan Itinerary with all best hostels in the country.

Just Browse through our list , and pick up your favorite.

At the end of the article, we include carefully selected accommodations, from hostels to hotels and apartments.

This list gives you access to fun things to do in Taipei at night and during the day. Things to do for couples, for solo travelers and friends looking to have a good time.

So are you ready?

Here we are, let’s start with some action …

Good to know: In this guide, there are FREE activities to do and activities you need a ticket for. We share 2 ways to book certain tours. These are:

Let’s start this trip with an early morning lunch and the best place to try Taiwan’s national dish.

1. Niu Dian Beef Noodles

Beef noodles are a must try dish in Taiwan, and there is nowhere better to get your first fix of the stuff than Niu Dian Beef Noodles.

The restaurant uses a mix of local and international ingredients with the beef being imported from Australia and the bone marrow which takes 16 hours to cook sourced locally, all making for a mouth watering new spin on the nations favorite comfort food.

The noodles are so delicious Niu Dian has even earned a coveted spot as a Michelin’s guide restaurant.

As the beef melts in your mouth, you’ll be calculating how many more times you can eat here before the end of your trip.

The answer should definitely be more than once.

Tip: Get there for opening time at 11am for an early lunch, this place is very popular with the locals and often gets crowded later in the day.

Niu Dian Beef Noodles, 20 Fun Things To Do in Taipei, Taiwan

2. Drink a Beer at the Northern Tip of Taiwan

As with the other natural settings on this list, you’ll be asking yourself “Am I really still in Taipei?”

Well, you are and you aren’t…

New Taipei City, is its own city that surrounds Taipei, but the transport links between the two blur the lines and allow for easy access to all of New Taipei’s attractions, like this one, the Shimen Cave, historically this was the northern gate of Taiwan and it is the perfect spot for a selfie with the pacific ocean.

Explore the unique rock formations before taking the trail to the top of the free standing cave arch, then grab yourself a Taiwan beer and chill out on the beach for a few hours.

How to get there: The Shimen Cave can be easily reached from Taipei Main Station by taking the MRT to Tamsui Station and then a bus toward Keelung stopping at the Shimen Cave Bus Stop.

3. Ride the Maokong Gondola to Taiwan Tea Heaven

The Taiwanese love tea, you can’t walk a few steps down the street in Taipei without spotting a dozen people holding there favorite brand of Bubble Tea.

Before the Bubbles were added the old stuff was just as addictive.

The traditional style of making tea still lives on in the mountains of southern Taipei and you can take a gondola there all the way to tea heaven.

Maokong is famous for it’s tea culture, historically this mountain top community provided the island with a big percentage of its tea.

Nowadays, the tea plantations are gone but not the tea houses which still serve locals and tourists the old fashioned black and green tea in an idyllic setting with a beautiful view of Taipei as an added bonus.

How to get there: The gondola can be easily reached by taking the Wenshan Line to Taipei Zoo station and a round trip ticket on the gondola is reasonably priced at NT$240 or around $8 US.

You can take a Half-Day Tea Culture Night Discovery Tour.

Book Half-Day Tea Culture Night Tour here

4. Watch a Film Inside the Old US Embassy Turned Cinema

What to do when a country decides to vacate their embassy?

Hmm… Why not transform it into an indie cinema house.

That’s what the Taipei city government did anyway.

This building was once the home to the US Embassy in Taipei but was left abandoned after the United States switched it’s recognition from the ROC to the Peoples Republic of China on the mainland.

Thankfully the Taipei city government found a good use for it, transforming the grandeur of the one time embassy into a cinema for the locals.

The Taipei Film House, is a movie theater in Zhongshan District, stays true to the unique setting, you wont find any Hollywood blockbusters playing here, only cool Asian indie films.

You can get a ticket for less than NT$300. That is less than $10 US.

Warning:  Films are not subtitled in English so if you don’t speak Mandarin then… Go anyway, it’s worth it just for the experience itself.

If you are lucky, you could watch Spirited away before heading to Jiufen. Here you have the trailer of Spirited away:

5. Jiufen Old Street and Taro Balls

Making your way up the steep concrete staircases of Jiufen is a challenge in itself, but all worth it when you find this mountain lookout carved into the mountainside and sit down for some juicy taro balls.

Jiuifen is very touristy village near Taipei, but if you know where to go it’s worth fighting through the maze of small streets and selfie sticks.

Most tourists from Asia are drawn to Jiufen for the resemblance to the setting in Spirited Away, a famed Japanese Anime film.

But we’re here for the taro balls.

A Gan Yi Taro Balls restaurant sits balancing on the mountainside, as you tuck into the bowl of glutinous treats sat at the counter and scanning your eyes over the fantasy like mountain town below is hard to believe that the building can stay standing, seemingly balancing on the edge of infinity.

Don’t order more than one bowl of taro balls, these things are filling and too much at once isn’t a wise idea.

To enjoy this particular meal, I recommend you take a Day tour To Jiufen. Once there, look for Gan Yi Taro Balls restaurant.

Book Day Tour To Jiufen here

Try Taro Balls in Jiufen

6. Visit Taipei’s Most Epic Temple

If your visiting Taipei during cherry blossom season in February and March, this is the place to go to get your Sakura high.

But don’t worry if your planning a summer in Taipei or a chilly winter (It does actually get cold sometimes in Taiwan) Wuji Tianyuan Temple is stunning year round.

It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You don’t want to miss this amazing place!

Despite looking a thousand years old, this is one of the more modern temples in the city, only being completed in the 1990’s, the main pagoda the “Temple of Heaven” is five stories tall and is open to the public, climb up to the top floor and get a panorama of the temples beautiful surroundings.

There is not much English information on display here as the temple has yet to become one of the more touristic sites in the city, go and see it before it becomes too crowded.

Wuji Tianyuan Temple

7. Eat Pig Blood Cake and Penis Shaped Waffles at Taipei’s Night Markets

Pigs blood cake, penis shaped waffles, chicken feet, stinky tofu and fish skin. Sounds delicious, right?

…right? It is!

Taipei’s street food is the best in the world and the city hosts numerous night markets all serving up these only in Taiwan snacks in abundance.

If your stomach can’t take Taipei’s more unusual cuisine no worries, these night markets have cheese stuffed fried chicken, oyster and egg omelettes, sausages on a stick and a lot more that won’t make you run for the nearest McDonald’s.

Taipei has many night markets around the city. Some of the best are:

  • Tonghua,
  • Shilin,
  • Ningxia
  • Snake Alley

Go back home after eating all of Taiwan’s most unusual, sometimes down right crazy but always delicious street food.

Also, you can take a special Night Ningxia Market Food Tour, where you will enjoy Taiwanese cuisine such as fried yam balls or rice or pork leg rice, taro balls or oyster pancakes.

Book Night Ningxia Market Food Tour here

Night market in Taiwan

8. Go Back in Time at the Bopiliao Historical Block

Taipei looked a lot different a hundred years ago, this small street is one of the few in Taiwan that stays true to the architecture of the Qing Dynasty of the late 1800’s.

If not for the odd selfie stick around to bring you back to reality you could easily forget which century your in.

This block is the best place in the city to take in the history of Taipei, pop your head into one of the many old buildings and find out something new about the cities past.

Exploring this historic block is a lot more fun than being stuck inside one of the cities many museums.

You can feel what it was really like back in the day and all for the great price of FREE.

Tip: The site is located near Longshan Temple, a Taiwanese holy place with 300 years of history.  So you can do both attractions in the same afternoon.

Take a walking tour of Longshan Temple and Bopiliao you will not regret it.

Book Longshan Temple and Bopiliao here

Taipei's historical block

9. Take Your Pick of Unusual Museums

Museums? I thought you just said museums were no fun?

Well… These museums are a bit different.

Reading through the list of unusual museums in Taipei and picking which one of these bizarre places to go is actually a really hard choice.

You could choose from:

  • The Insect Science Museum
  • The Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum
  • A museum dedicated to the process of making fish balls
  • The museum for fire safety
  • A museum for all about drinking water
  • Even an entire museum just for the history of the Taiwan stock market

You could learn something life changing or more likely just have another cool story to take back home with you.

Either way, it’s worth budgeting a few hours exploring at least one or two of these out there museums.

If you’re still not convinced by the above, you can take a trip into the history of Taiwan and China, with a Tour of the National Palace Museum and the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines.

Book the Tour of the National Palace Museum and Aborigines Museum here

10. Bike Around Taipei

Taipei is very cycle friendly, the city has one of the largest public bike share programs introduced in 2009 called YouBike, throughout the city you’ll catch plenty of tourists and locals hopping on these orange bikes and making there way around the city.

You can sign up in minutes online here – https://taipei.youbike.com.tw/home/ or at one of the many bike kiosks around the city. This may be one of the most fun things to do in Taipei, Taiwan.

You can decide to do it yourself and go on your own adventure, perhaps take a tour and hit all of Taipei’s biggest attractions in one go, all while giving your legs a decent workout.

If you decide to bike around Taipei, bring some water, Taiwan is a tropical island after all and you’ll be working up quite a sweat.

If you prefer to join a tour, you can choose 4-Hour Morning City Cycling Tour to visit the most popular places in Taipei and listen to fun information about the culture and history of the city.

Book the City Cycling Tour here

Taipei Bike, 20 Fun Things To Do in Taipei, Taiwan

11. Take a stroll in Taipei’s Hell Valley

The Thermal Valley is another of the fun things to do in Taipei.

It is located next to the Yangmingshan National Park in the Beitou District, Taipei, Taiwan.

It is an epic place not only for its landscape, but for its particular smell.

When you smell rotten eggs, you’ll know your at the right place.

The locals call this place Hell Valley for a reason. The thermal steam that covers you on your walk around the area can be a bit overwhelming, especially the smell, so make sure you come prepared.

Bring a face mask with you if you really hate the stink of rotten eggs.

After you’ve cleansed your skin with the steam of hell, got those Instagram pics and your sense of smell has hopefully returned, walk the short distance to the nearby Beitou Hot Springs and alternate between the hot and cold natural baths.

Remember to bring your bathing suit! This isn’t a Japanese style hot spring.

How to get there: Take the MRT to Xinbeitou Station, Hell Valley and the hot springs are a short walk from the station.

Book the Yangmingshan National Park here

12. Drink Cocktails at a Hidden Cocktail Bar

You’ll feel like a spy as you walk through the normal looking restaurant to the backdoor and ring the bell. Once the door opens and you step inside, you’ll be in Taipei’s worst kept secret, Ounce.

Ounce has no official menu, just tell the bartender your favorite drink and they’ll give you a fresh take on it.

Taipei is awash with nightlife from the nightclubs OMNI and Box Nightclub to the dive bars Carnegie’s and Roxy Vibe but Ounce is an experience not to be missed.

Drinks are priced at between NT$350 to NT$500 or about $11 to $16 US.

Cocktail Bar, 20 Fun Things To Do in Taipei, Taiwan

13. Pub Crawl Taipei

If you are not in the mood for cocktails and espionage, then how about a night of drunken escapades around Taipei?

A pub crawl hits up pubs and clubs, if your traveling to Taipei alone, this is a good option to meet new people and have a blast.

14. Shifen Waterfall

As you watch the falls cascade down into the emerald lagoon, you’ll ask yourself again “Am I really still in Taipei?”

Well again, you are and you aren’t, Shifen Waterfall is another stunning natural site located in New Taipei City, in the Pingxi district.

The waterfall is 20 meters high and 40 meters wide making it one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country, while there are many natural wonders outside the capital within Taipei this one can’t be rivaled.

This place has grown in popularity recently and can be a tourist trap, but seeing these falls up close is still worth it.

It makes for some great pictures too.

Take a Tour to Pingxi, including visits to Shifen Waterfall, and discover the best of Taiwanese culture and fantastic nature

Book the Tour to Pingxi and Shifen Waterfall here

Shifen Waterfall, 20 Fun Things To Do in Taipei, Taiwan

15. Come Face to Face with the Surreal at Ju Ming Museum

Another one of those rare museum recommendations on this list.

Even if art museums aren’t your thing, this one is worth at least an hour of your time.

It is is one of the fun things that most visitors to Taipei don’t know about it. But we do!

Ju Ming was a sculptor originally from Taiwan, after achieving fame in his home country he made it big in America, his works are exhibited in museums all over the world.

In this museum to his work, you’ll find life size surreal and eccentric characters inside and scattered around the grounds from his sculpture of Albert Einstein to Taiwanese soldiers, giant dancing stone monsters and even a life size navy ship complete with crew.

Ticket price is only NT$100, around $3 US.

16. Taste Taiwan’s Original Bubble Tea at Chun Shui Tang

There is a fierce debate in Taiwan, who was the first to invent bubble tea?

Whether it started at Chun Shui Tang or not doesn’t really matter, especially when the tea is this good, and the tea is really good.

This bubble tea shop isn’t just any other chain store set up on the side of the street. Chun Shui Tang is one of the few shops to stake the claim as the inventor of bubble tea, bubble tea fans across the world might just have this place to thank for the global craze.

Try the classic original pearl milk tea with some dim sum and leave bloated and satisfied.

There are 15 locations of Chun Shui Tang across Taipei and New Taipei to choose from, view them all here https://chunshuitang.com.tw/location.php?loc=1&sel=5

…and check out the menu before you go – https://chunshuitang.com.tw/#/classicproducts

Taste bubble tea while in Taiwan

17. Taipei Night Tour – including Din Tai Fung Dinner!

This is the tour to see the best of Taipei at night.

Sometimes you just want to go on a tour, see all the major touristy sites and tick them all off your list in one go, this tour is the best for doing just that.

The tour price includes an English speaking guide and dinner at Din Tai Fung, the best damn steam buns Taiwan and the entire world have to offer.

Stops on the tour include the ancient Longshan Temple, the Huaxi Street night market and Taipei 101.

Book your Taipei Tour here

Din Tai Fung restaurant, Taipei

18. Attend a Local Music Show at Red Room Taipei

Red Room is a performing arts venue for musicians and artists and encourages audiences to participate in the show itself.

Red Room is a great place to meet creative people in Taipei and get involved in the music and art scene of the city.

Check out Red Room’s upcoming events here – https://redroomtaipei.com/events/

19. Hang out in a Village of Cats

One for all the cat lovers out there.

This place is located in Ruifang District, New Taipei, and its biggest attraction are cats.

Yes! A gang of cats took over this small mining village and have now made  their own.

In a previous life Houtong Village made hundreds of thousands of tons of coal a year now it’s only purpose is to be the home of over a hundred free roaming felines.

Set aside some some money and buy some pretty awesome cat related goods from the local vendors.

Village of Cats, 20 Fun Things To Do in Taipei, Taiwan

20. Hike to the Summit of the Largest Volcano in Taiwan

To finish off your trip to Taipei why not hike above it?

Okay, so this fun thing to do in Taipei features snakes… venomous snakes, bites are rare though and if you make sure to stay on the trails you’ll be alright.

Have I convinced you yet?

No? Maybe?

If you are okay with the thought of snakes slivering around somewhere near you, then read on and you can complete the most difficult and most rewarding fun thing to do on this list.

Qixing Mountain also known as Seven Star Mountain, it’s seven individual summits is the largest dormant volcano on the island and the most impressive hike in Taipei.

If your fit you’ll be able to reach the summit of Qixing in about three hours but if you’ve been eating too many bowls of those Niu Dian Beef Noodles or one too many pig blood cakes, you’ll need a bit longer but should still be able to reach the summit in around five hours.

Tip: Make sure you start your hike early in the day as the sun begins to set in Taipei at around 6pm.

Qixing Mountain, Taiwan

List of the must do things to do in Taipei

See, there are many things to do in Taipei, here you have the must do  things while in Taipei:

  1. Ride the Maokong Gondola to Taiwan Tea Heaven
  2. Jiufen Old Street and Taro Balls
  3. Visit Taipei’s Most Epic Temple: Wuji Tianyuan Temple
  4. Eat Pig Blood Cake and Penis Shaped Waffles at Taipei’s Night Markets
  5. Go Back in Time at the Bopiliao Historical Block
  6. Bike Around Taipei
  7. Take a stroll in Taipei’s Hell Valley
  8. Shifen Waterfall

Is there anything super unique and awesome we missed?

Let us know in the comments !

We put also all the best things to do in Taipei on a map. That way, it will be easy for you to navigate through the city.

Where to stay in Taipei

Staying on a budget? Then opt-in for the best hostels in Taipei:

    1. Ximen Wow Hostel
    2. Meander Taipei Hostel
    3. Star Hostel Taipei Main Station

1. Ximen Wow Hostel

Ximen Wow Hostel is 2 minutes away from  Ximen MRT station.

You can get to the best places in Taipei in seconds. It’s great location makes it unique, as it is right in the heart of the Ximen District.

Also, the Ximending Shopping Center is just around the corner, as well as food stalls and shopping stores.

Services you can use at Ximen Wow Hostel:

  • Free and super fast WiFi
  • Terrace and balcony to have a drink and smoke (great panorama too!)
  • Simple kitchen to use
  • Washing machine
  • Free breakfast

Another great thing we love about Ximen Wow Hostel are the comfortable bed capsules and their affordable price.

Book Ximen Wow Hostel here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Ximen Wow Hostel, 20 fun things to do in Taipei, Taiwan

2. Meander Taipei Hostel

Meander Taipei Hostel is one of the most beautiful design hostels in Taipei, without a doubt.

Its elegant style is ideal to rest comfortably, they also have very affordable prices.

Hostel highlights:

  • Clean and modern rooms
  • Free and fast WiFi
  • Terrace
  • Large and useful kitchen
  • Huge common area
  • Dart and other games to play
  • Huge blackboard with things to do in Taipei and tours to see

And if you’re more bored and just want to have fun, there are darts, board games, and puzzles available in the game room.

Important to know: There are two Meander Hostels in Taipei. The one we recommend is Meander Hostel Ximen.

Book Meander Hostel Ximen Taipei here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Meander Taipei Hostel, 20 fun things to do in Taipei, Taiwan

3. Star Hostel Taipei Main Station

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station is truly the star hostel. Their service and facilities are awesome and great quality.

Its design is incredible and the rooms are clean and cozy, as are the beds.

Hostel services:

  • Breakfast
  • Kitchen
  • Activities for travelers
Book Star Hostel Taipei Main Station here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Star Hostel Main Station, 20 fun things to do in Taipei, Taiwan

FAQs

What are the most important places to visit in Taipei?

In Taipei there are many important places, but if I have to say THE most important places and things to do. So write down the following places:

  1. Taipei 101 Observatory
  2. National Palace Museum
  3. Drink Taiwanese Tea
  4. Yangmingshan National Park and enjoy a thermal bath
  5. Shilin Night Market
  6. Visit the commercial area of Ximending – the trendiest place o be!

For some of the places it is very useful if buy your ticket beforehand. That way, you will avoid queues. The most visited places are:

What are fun things to do in Taipei city?

We’ve already mentioned a listing about many fun things to do in Taipei city.

Of course, that list covers also some places nearby Taipei. If you want  to focus only on the fun things to do in the city, I would recommend the following:

  • Walk the old street of Danshui
  • Ride the Maokong Gondola
  • Try food in Shilin Night Market
  • Bike around Taipei
  • Visit some local craft beer bar

What are fun things to do in Taipei at night?

Most of the fun things to do in Taipei, you can also do also at night.

There are many offers of bars, restaurants and markets.

These are some of the things you can include:

  • Eat weird food in Taipei Night Markets
  • Dining at Din Tai Fung
  • Watch the sunset from Elephant mountain
  • Enjoy a pub crawl

What are some unique things to do in Taipei?

In Taipei everything is unique and special. The richness of its culture, gastronomy and landscapes are truly fun for travelers like us.

But if I have to choose between all the attractions I have mentioned throughout this guide, I would tell you that the most unique things about Taipei are:

  • Visit the Temple of Heaven
  • Stay a night in Jiufen – and hike the Tea pot mountain
  • Try as many Bubble Tea flavors as possible

Any questions?

I wanted to make this guide as useful and informative as possible.

And yet you may have still questions left. Please leave a comment and “bother” me. I would love to help you.

In fact, your question will help all our fellow travellers too.

So, please do not be shy and drop us a line the comment below. I reply all the comments.

Summary: Fun Things to do in Taipei

Why on earth are you still here? By now, you should have got plenty of ideas.

More genuine info:

More guides to Fun Things to do in Asia:

 

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20 Fun things Taipei.

 

Hostel Packing List

It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.

The most important things to pack are: Read the full packing list here. Download Hostel Packing List