10 Best Things To Do in Taiwan in 2023!

When it comes to Taiwan, I’ve been traveling and living in this beautiful country for a few years. Be it exploring the enchanting city or hiking through the mountains, I’ve done it all.

Taiwan is a place full of wonders, and the number of things you can do here is practically endless. I’ve done my best to compile the 10 best things to do in Taiwan in 2023 just for you!

>> If this is your first time in Taiwan, then consider my 3 day Taipei itinerary guide to help you navigate your way through Taipei. <<

Best things to do in Taiwan, stroll around Chiang Kai Shek
Taking walks in Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall to escape the bustling city

Taipei Travel Essentials : 

1. Buy yourself a prepaid SIM Card – Having an internet connection during your visit to Taiwan, is an important thing to have. Not only can you easily find directions, research stuff online, and translate what you need to say in Mandarin.

You can get your Taiwan SIM card here when you arrive at the airport. Pick it up right at the counter where you exit the immigration section, there should be a sign for you to see. 

2. Buy an EasyCard – EasyCard is the way to go! Taipei is a bustling city and everyday people use this as their daily transport card to commute. If you haven’t already, get yourself an EasyCard and pick it up when you arrive at the airport! It also works for any other public transportation!

3. Maximize your trip with Taipei Transport Fun Pass – If you’re planning to travel everywhere using MRTs and buses, opt for unlimited travel suited to your needs.

4. Download these useful Taipei Travel Apps – A must-have is the Bus+ app which lets you search and view real-time schedules of all public transportation in Taiwan!

5. Bring an Umbrella – I’ve learned the hard way of not bringing my umbrella everywhere I go. If you aren’t aware, Taipei has 4 seasons but most of the time rains do happen so better come prepared!

6. Rent at Luggage Storages! – The number of services that Taiwan provides is amazing! Having these self-check-in luggage storage stationed in almost every station makes life a lot easier! If you happen to arrive earlier at your accommodation, the check-in time is not until 3 p.m. Then you can simply put your luggage in these storages and roam the city without the need to carry those big suitcases.

7. Download Uber & FoodPanda – If you ever need a pickup from your location then you can rely on Uber to have a reliable form of transport. It also offers food delivery called Uber Eats. As for FoodPanda it only offers food delivery service, but they always provide excellent services! Make sure to download both of these apps to make your trip to Taipei hassle-free.

8. Download the Free Pleco App –  Here in Taiwan, they use traditional Chinese instead of Simplified Chinese which Mainland China uses! What’s good about Pleco is how it gives the user total control of what you are searching for! It has every service that you need in a translation app like a search tool, handwriting function, and a camera.

If you have Google Translate then it works as well but remember to download the traditional Chinese library.

>> Consider my guide to the Top 10 Nature Spots Near Taipei if you are looking for new places to visit. <<

shilin night market taiwan
One of the most famous night markets in Taipei

How to get to around Taiwan?

If it is your first time coming to Taiwan, you’ll likely arrive at Taoyuan Airport. From there getting to Taipei City is easy, you can take the Airport MRT from the airport.

Once you’ve exited the immigration area, look for the sign that has “MRT” on it. It will take you to Taipei Main Station, and from there you can check the map to continue your way to your accommodation!

If you are traveling with a lot of people and luggage then opt for a private car that will take you directly from the airport to Taipei.

>> For all your Taiwan trips, you are likely to use the MRT and buses. I recommend getting your EasyCard right away at the airport to make your trip more enjoyable. <<

taipei mrt
MRT is Taipei’s best public transport

By High Speed Rail(HSR) – This bullet train is Taiwan’s fastest form of transportation. You can go anywhere along the east side of the island from Taipei to Kaohsiung. The seats on the train are limited so book your discounted HSR tickets early to save yourself a seat.

By MRT (Subway) – It is a reliable public transport that is available in Taipei which can take you anywhere around the city. It is also relatively cheap with ​​NT$ 18 per ride and it comes every 5 minutes. To save time, you can tap inside using the Easy Card.

By Bus – The bus in Taiwan is very convenient! The Bus+ app is a must have, you can view almost every Bus that is operational in Taiwan.

Most bus stops in Taipei will have display signs that tell you when the next bus will arrive. And don’t forget to raise your hand if you want to hop in for the driver to know.

By Uber – Be sure to have an Uber app installed as they can come in handy. Most of the time you would just need to wait around 5 to 10 minutes until pick up. 

By Traditional Taxis – You can easily find them parked beside the road. They are a great option if you want a quick ride to your destination! Just let the driver know where is the location preferably on Google Maps and they will take you there.

Top 10 Things To Do in Taiwan

I have compiled this list of 10 top things to do and I have included the famous attractions that you should visit in Taiwan.

1. Immerse Yourself in Taiwan’s Night Markets

night view of keelung night market in taipei
Keelung Night Market with it’s beautiful lanterns

Night markets in Taiwan are unlike those in any other country, such as Japan or Malaysia. Here, you can sample various foods that locals love to eat. Almost every local visits these markets at least once a week, that’s how popular the culture is here in Taiwan!

These markets also feature fun games like those found at carnivals, like bottle hoops. If you’re looking for souvenirs from your trip to Taiwan, here they sell cute locally-made gifts and clothes.

I’ve enjoyed visiting these markets, and each night market offers a unique experience. I highly recommend visiting Raohe Night Market for its delicious food choices!

What’s more, the vibrant atmosphere of Taiwan’s night markets is something special. As you stroll through the bustling lanes, the juicy aroma of food being cooked. The chatter of both locals and tourists creates an unforgivable ambiance.

2. Explore and Be Amazed in Taipei 101

night view of taipei from the top of taipei 101
My first time seeing this view was priceless

Take the elevator to the 89th floor of Taipei 101 and witness the amazing view of Taipei City from the top. You can also admire the iconic skyscraper from the ground floor, a view I continue to appreciate even after all these years. You can get your tickets here hassle free!

Inside the building, there’s a department store where you can buy souvenirs like pineapple cakes. You can also try the famous Taiwanese Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung.

When I first ascended to the observatory of Taipei 101, I was awestruck by the sheer size of Taipei City. How the lights would illuminate the night, creating a beautiful nighttime view.

Taipei 101 intricate architectural design and engineering marvels, such as its tuned mass damper, are a testament to Taiwan’s capabilities. Its notable features include a high-speed elevator that takes you seconds to the top and a giant 660-ton wind damper situated in the middle. 

3. Check Out the Taitung Balloon Festival

taitung balloon festival in taiwan
You can see many cute balloon shapes and sit on the grassy hill

Taiwan hosts an annual festival called the International Balloon Festival. Here, you can witness giant hot air balloons with various shapes, often depicting cute animals or Disney characters. This festival takes place during the summer, from 6/30 to 8/28. While you’re there, consider visiting the beautiful Dulan Forest as well.

Many visitors take photos with these hot air balloons as a backdrop. The festival attracts people from Japan and Korea, and even locals seize the opportunity to sit on the grassy hill and relax under the warm sun.

Unfortunately, the High-Speed Rail won’t take you there, but a viable option is taking the Taiwan Railways (TRA) or a Tourist Bus.

4. Explore the Beautiful Taroko National Park

taroko national park in taiwan
The beautiful Taroko National Park will make your jaws drop

Taiwan is home to nine national parks, all of them offering amazing destinations to explore. In my opinion, the best of the bunch is Taroko. The natural landscape here, with marble cliffs reaching for the sky and lush forests, is unparalleled.

Taroko National Park is a sanctuary of natural beauty and tranquility. The pristine rivers, dramatic gorges, and breathtaking hiking trails offer an escape from everyday life. It’s a place where you can reconnect with nature and appreciate the awe-inspiring landscape.

Locals love to travel here on motorcycles, renting them in Hualien and riding to the national park from the city.

If you’re looking for a closer option to Taipei, you can read my article on the Top 10 Taipei Nature Spots.

Inside the park, you’ll encounter towering cliffs that make you feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Avatar. Words alone can’t convey the feeling of being in this place. Because it’s quite far to get there, you can rent a guided tour here which will pick you up from the hotel to witness Taroko’s beauty.

5. Visit the Old Streets

sanxia old street in taiwan
Sanxia old street is a great place to walk and admire the buildings

Taiwan takes great pride in its culture, and nearly every night market you visit will have a temple nearby. Well, old streets are like day-time counterparts to night markets.

There are various old streets scattered around Taiwan, like Sanxia Old Street with its red bricked buildings and Yingge Old Street, a pottery paradise.

The traditional buildings here are carefully preserved and maintained. If you’re interested in visiting one, I recommend going to Jiufen Old Street. Here, you’ll find various foods like sweets and traditional treats like Taro Balls (芋圓). Read here to learn more about Jiufen Old Street!

Taiwan’s old streets are not just historic relics; they’re living museums of the past. As you wander through these charming streets, each corner reveals stories of Taiwan’s rich history and the resilience of its people.

6. Ride the Best MRT System

crowded mrt station in taipei
Everyday people commute using the MRT and I’m no exception

When I say Taiwan has the best MRT system, I’m not exaggerating. Its seamless operation and cleanliness are amazing services for residents and travelers alike.

I’ve never had to wait for more than 10 minutes for the next train to arrive, even during the bustling peak hours. It’s a testament to the efficiency and punctuality that Taiwanese are known for.

You’ve probably heard about how clean and efficient Japan’s subway system is, and Taiwan’s MRT system is not far off. The interiors are spotless, with no signs of litter because you can’t eat or drink inside the MRT!

You might think that’s not a big deal, but Taiwanese people are known for their punctuality. Whenever I made plans with my Taiwanese friends, they would show up on time or even a bit early.

7. Witness the Magical Pingxi Lantern Festival

the magical pingxi sky lanterns festival in taiwan
It looks like straight out of the Tangled movie

Have you ever wanted to write your wish on a lantern and release it into the sky? How magical would that be? Well, in Taiwan you can do just that! There’s a national festival for launching lanterns together on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year.

At night, you can watch these beautiful sky lanterns rise into the dark sky, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. It’s one of my favorite festivals to attend here in Taiwan!

But you can experience it anytime you want by visiting Pingxi Old Street. This place is known for launching sky lanterns during both daytime and nighttime. You can also savor the traditional old street with amazing local cuisines like Peanut Roll Ice Cream (花生冰淇淋).

As you release your lantern into the night sky, you’ll see that it is accompanied by other’s lanterns as well. It’s a magical experience that showcases the beauty of a single lantern united with others to create this spectacle.

8. Relax and Unwind in Taiwan’s Hot Springs

beitou public hot springs
The best place to relax after a long day is hot springs

What’s the best way to unwind after a long day exploring Taiwan? The answer is hot springs. Relax your body and mind in these serene places that exude tranquility.

Many places offer hot springs, but I recommend visiting Beitou Public Hot Spring. It is relatively affordable, with prices starting at around 40 NTD ($1.30 USD) per person, making it an accessible choice for anyone looking to soak in the hot spring.

As you immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters, you’ll feel the stresses of everyday life melt away. It’s a chance to pamper yourself, recharge your spirit, and embrace the therapeutic benefits of these natural wonders.

9. Enjoy the Best Sashimi in Kenting

sashimi in kenting taiwan
Enjoy various fresh sashimi straight to your table

If you thought Japan was the only place to get freshly caught fish served right to your table, think again! Here in Kenting, they have just what you need.

Savor the fresh sashimi, which I tried with some friends, and it tasted incredibly fresh. We ordered a variety of sashimi, including tuna and salmon, and all of them exceeded our expectations!

Many restaurants in Kenting offer sashimi, but locals keep coming back to one called 阿興生魚片分店. You can get 20 slices of sashimi for only 100 NTD, making it a perfect restaurant for anyone looking for freshly made sashimi!

But don’t worry there are a lot of other options like Qiu’s Sashimi which is a famous restaurant that serves high-quality sashimi!

10. Experience Taiwan’s High-Speed Rail

high speed rail taiwan
High-Speed Rail, the most reliable train that you can get in Taiwan

The High-Speed Rail, or 高鐵, has been operating since 2007, and you can reach Kaohsiung from Taipei in as little as 1 hour and 45 minutes.

If you’re planning to travel to the south, the HSR is the perfect option, as regular trains might take you 3-5 hours to reach your destination.

The first time I rode the High-Speed Rail, the experience was exceptional. What impressed me the most was the consistency in timeliness. I never had to wait for more than 2 minutes for the next train to arrive, even during the bustling peak hours.

The majority of the journey was remarkably stable, allowing me to relax and enjoy my meals inside the train. The HSR even offers charming miniatures of their trains as souvenirs, these cute figurines are worth the purchase!

The High-Speed Rail is a reliable and comfortable mode of transportation for anyone to have an immersive Taiwan experience. If you’re lucky, you might even catch glimpses of Taiwan’s scenery as you whiz by at high speed. You can get your 20% off tickets here!


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