Top 10 Taipei Nature Spots You Must Visit 2023

aerial view of shifen waterfall in taiwan taipei nature spot
Shifen waterfall, the widest waterfall in Taiwan!

Most people would assume that Taipei doesn’t have many places where you can see beautiful nature. From it’s towering skyscrapers like the iconic Taipei 101 and compact city structures made it feel like a concrete wonderland.

However, being the most populated city in Taiwan, there exist many breathtaking natural spots waiting to be explored. If you’re a nature enthusiast looking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, keep reading!

Having spent years exploring Taipei’s hidden spots. I’m excited to share my top 10 Taipei nature spots that should be on your itinerary when visiting this vibrant city.

As for how to get there, don’t worry because they are quite accessible. I will be sharing the transportation that I used to arrive in these places. Without further ado, let’s begin!

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

tamsui old street
The beautiful riverside of Tamsui

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 here and pick it up when you arrive at the airport! It also works for any other public transportation!

3. Get yourself a Taipei Fun Pass to see all the Taipei must-see sights at a discount. 

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.

Dihua old street
The bustling district of Dihua Old Street

>> Consider my guide Top 7 Old Streets in Taipei if you are looking for new places to visit. <<

How To Get Around Taipei?

The Taipei MRT (subway) is a reliable public transport that can take you anywhere around the city. It is also relatively cheap and has significantly less waiting time, it operates daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.

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. Traditional taxis also work as they will be on stand-by on the roads.

Top 10 Taipei Nature Spots:

1. Witness the Beautiful Yangmingshan National Park

qingtiangang at yangmingshan nationa park taiwan
This picture I took during my travel to Qingtiangang in Yangmingshan.

This is the most famous and easy-to-access national park. It is within a short drive from Taipei and is home to stunning mountain peaks and hiking trails.

It also features a variety of trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels. My favorite is Qingtiangang, it is a fenced walkway where you can see the hills on both sides. If you’re lucky, you can even see heard of cows rummaging on the green grass.

I recommend coming from February through March as it is the time when most of the flowers bloom. There are many spots to view these flowers, one of them is Yangming Park (陽明公園).

If you are looking for a more personalized experience, consider this tour to fully immerse yourself in this beautiful national park.

How to get there? Take the S15 bus from MRT Jiantan station, a 45-minute ride to Qingtiangang.

2. See Unique Rocks Formations at Yehliu Geopark

yehliu geopark in taiwan with unique rock formations
See unique rock formations in Yehliu Geopark

If you love the sea and can’t stop mesmerized by the waves crashing to the rocks (I’m guilty of this). Then this is the perfect spot for you!

Yehliu Geopark is on the northern coast of Taiwan and is known for its unique rock formations. The park is home to the famous “Queen’s Head” rock formation, as well as other stunning natural wonders.

Another fun activity you can do is birdwatching, with over 60 species of birds residing in the area. You can also enjoy a scenic coastal walk and take in the breathtaking views.

How to get there? You can take the 1815 bus from Taipei City Hall – a 1-hour ride to Yeliu station.

3. Relax and Unwind at Beitou Hot Springs

beitou public hot springs
Take a bath at Beitou Hot Spring.

Winter is the season of hot springs, but you can still visit this place even when it is 35 degrees Celsius outside. The moment you enter it has a Japanese vibe to it which I enjoyed!

Beitou Hot Springs is a popular destination for those looking to relax and unwind. The hot springs are surrounded by lush greenery and offer a peaceful escape from the city.

You can enjoy a dip in the hot springs or a relaxing spa treatment. There are even Japanese hotels around making it a unique cultural experience.

How to get there? Take the MRT to Beitou station then change lines to Xinbeitou. Then walk to the entrance of Beitou Public Hot Spring.

4. Travel to Shifen Waterfall and Experience The Nature

aerial view of shifen waterfall in taiwan
Aerial footage of Shifen waterfall and old street.

This is the widest waterfall in Taiwan! When I first saw it, it took me by surprise how wide and beautiful it is accompanied by the lush green nature.

The waterfall is located in Pingxi and you can hike to the waterfall or view it from a nearby bridge.

Don’t forget to visit Shifen Old Street which is a few minutes walk away. It is home to several charming shops and street food vendors, you can even strike a photo with its iconic Pingxi branch line.

How to get there? Take the Taiwan Railways (TRA) from your nearest station to Ruifang station. Then change to the Pingxi branch line departing to Shifen Station.

5. Go For a Hike at Keelung Mountain

keelung mountain taiwan with jiufen at the back
Top view from Keelung Mountain with Jiufen in the background.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Jiufen, the so-called Spirited Away district. A short walk from there you can visit the majestic Keelung Mountain.

The hike itself was quite easy as there were staircases on the mountain. It was a great experience, hiking through the trail while being able to see Jiufen from afar.

Tip: I recommend waiting until nighttime – you can get a phenomenal picture with Jiufen’s lights beginning to pop in the background.

How to get there? Take the 965 bus from Banqiao or Xiamen to Geding bus station, then walk to reach the entrance of the mountain trail.

6. Experience The Beauty of Wulai

beautiful wulai old street with old streets
Take a tour around Wulai old street and waterfall

Wulai is located in the south of Taipei, If you want a different vibe than Shifen then this is the place to visit! The old street here is worth visiting as you’ll encounter old buildings that have been preserved to have the traditional Taiwan look!

Another waterfall that you shouldn’t miss is the Wulai waterfall! There’s a cable car which will take you to the top of the mountain and you can see the beautiful scenery as well as the waterfall.

Wulai is a great spot for a day trip, with plenty of opportunities for relaxation and exploration. A perfect place for anyone looking to relax and walk around the old buildings and you might even have the chance to interact with the residents here.

How to get there? You can take the bus 849 from Taipei Main Station to Wulai bus stop.

7. Take a Tour Of Maokong

aerial view of maokong district taipei
My drone view of Maokong and it’s tea farms

Perched above Taipei in the hills of Wenshan District, Maokong (貓空) is a haven for tea lovers and soul seekers alike. They were a huge producer of Oolong tea and Tieguanyin (鐵觀音), these tea leaves are popular combinations with Bubble Tea Stores (飲料店) in Taiwan. 

Most people would start their day by going to Taipei Zoo in the morning. Then ride the Maokong Gondola where you will find yourself surrounded by luscious greenery while you make your way to the top. They even have these special Transparent Gondolas where you can view the bottom of it, perfect for photos! You can get your tickets here!

At the top, treat yourself to some fine tea. Freshly made by the locals while enjoying the breathtaking view of Taipei City from afar. A trip to Maokong is ideal for anyone looking for a nice escape from the city.

How to get there? Take the MRT to Taipei Zoo station, then go to the Making Gondola station. Ride the full trip until you reach the top.

8. See the Coastline of Bitoujiao

taiwan's coastline in bitoujiao trail
Gorgeous view of Bitoujiao with its paved road!

Taiwan’s coastlines are breathtaking. Here in Bitoujiao, you don’t need to hike for a long time to see beautiful green mountains and sparkling blue waters. 

The trail itself starts and ends at the same spot, so essentially people come here to enjoy the sea view. You can find a map situated at the entrance where it shows the whole trail and there will be signs throughout your hike to make sure you don’t get lost!

There’s a popular cafe situated in the middle called Tingtao Cafe. It was a former marine base, repurposed as a modern cafe that sells coffee, tea, and desserts. There are beautiful stairs there which I think are very Instagram-worthy!

How to get there? Take the Taiwan Railways (TRA) to Keelung Station then change to Bus 791 from Keelung Station to Bitoujiao bus station.

9. Go For a Quick Hike at Elephant Mountain

night view of taipei city from elephant mountain
Beautiful Taipei view you can get from Elephant Mountain

Elephant Mountain or Xiangshan is a popular hiking spot because it is very easy to access. Within a walk distance from the nearest MRT station which has the same name, Xiangshan station.

Even though there are stairs, the hike is quite steep because it is built on an incline. So be prepared to take short breaths as you can get exhausted pretty fast. People would hike until they reach the famous Six Boulders Observation Deck. Here you can take a picture with Taipei 101 as the background.

 If you continue up there are still some spots but I think here is the best to see the city from a bird’s eye view. Remember to bring mosquito repellant as it can be quite a mess up there. 

How to get there? Take the MRT from your nearest station to Xiangshan MRT station and go to Exit 2.

10. Walk Around the Green Laomei Reef

laomei green coral reef in taiwan
Beautiful algae-covered reef in Laomei.

Situated in the northern part of Taiwan, you can witness these amazing glowing green coral reefs. These phenomena are caused by green algae covering the entire reef creating the most phenomenal landscape. It only happens during spring, every April and May, so be sure to plan!

If you didn’t have the chance to see the green reefs, don’t fret! The beach is also a great place to get your feet wet and enjoy the sound of crashing waves. Here at Laomei Beach, you can spend ample time taking photos and relaxing to your heart’s content.

And while you’re at it, why not visit the northernmost point of Taiwan? There you can find a trail that leads to Fugui Lighthouse. Then you can say in confidence you’ve explored northern Taipei like I did!

How to get there? Take the MRT to Tamsui station then take the 863 bus to Mingde Village 1 bus stop.

huashan 1914 creative park taiwan
A nearer option is Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei

Conclusion: Are these Taipei nature spots worth a visit?

If it is your first time in Taiwan then visiting at least one of them is a must for you to experience Taiwan as a whole. Yangmingshan would be a perfect choice, as it is very easy to navigate through with trails built for easy travel.

I believe they are all worth a visit. I only listed 10 of them because these are the most popular nature spots that I think you must visit in Taipei. You can of course – choose whichever place that suits your preference and have a good time there. 

>> I hope that this guide can help you decide which nature spots you should visit next in Taipei. <<

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