Top 7 Taipei Old Streets That You Must Visit 2023

jiufen old street taiwan
Beautiful lights popping in Jiufen Old Street

There are many Old Streets in Taipei and everyone keeps on visiting them for a good reason.

Each of them is different from one another and you should know which one you should visit on your next trip.

For you to find the best Old Street to fit in your Taipei travel, I have compiled this list of the top 7 Taipei Old Streets and how to get there from Taipei.

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

What is “Old Street” in Taiwan?

sanxia old street taiwan with crowded people
The crowded streets of Sanxia Old Street

Alright, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Taipei Old Streets, think of it as a night market but it starts early in the morning.

Except for the number of food choices, lots of street vendors, and night ambiance – Old Streets offers a historical approach to Taiwan’s culture and a more relaxed setting.

In these Taipei Old Streets, you can find preserved historical buildings that hold certain beliefs, unique themed cafes, local snacks, and gift shops. There are many different districts in Taipei with diverse historical resemblances which is thus reflected on each of the old streets.

Take, for example, Tamsui Old Street a riverside street filled with seafood products like fried squids, and preserved eggs. Jiufen Old Street on the other hand is built on top of old mining houses on the hills creating this characteristic of uneven streets.

I have said before that Taipei old streets start early in the morning and some might even get crowded at times. While almost no businesses will remain open after the sun is down.

The best time to visit these old streets depends on the district, but most people arrive just before the afternoon lunch to avoid the peak crowd lining up in their favorite restaurants.

sanxia old street zhangfu bridge
Take a walk in Zhangfu Bridge Sanxia

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. <<

yingge old street roof
Sunset bringing some colors to the buildings in Yingge

Top 7 Taipei Old Streets

Alright, now let’s get to the fun part. After you know what is Old Street and a bit of background on when you should visit. Here are the top 7 old streets in Taipei that you should visit!

1. Jiufen Old Street

jiufen old street taiwan
Beautiful night lights at A-Mei Teahouse

I’m sure you have heard of this magical place that looks quite similar to the village in Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular movie. Even so, it was never confirmed whether Jiufen Old Street is the inspiration or has any connection to the movie. 

Jiufen Old Street (九份老街) is a reality for those who have watched the movie, as here you will find red lanterns hanging all over the road and the buildings giving off the same vibe as the village in the movie.

Inside this narrow alleyway, you’ll find food vendors, cute souvenir shops, and tea houses. It is a crowded shopping street where locals and visitors enjoy coming every week.

I have visited this old street not only once because there are lots of things you can do here. The streets themselves are a sight to see, you can take your time walking around and go into shops that interest you.

Jiufen Old Street taiwan
The entrance to the enchanting Jiufen Old Street

While you’re here, be sure to take a picture or sip the amazing tea at A-Mei Teahouse. This scenic tea house has been the most photographed place in Jiufen thanks to its unique design. It is perched on top of a hill and it can be quite hard to navigate as it is just a little off the main street.

If you have the chance to go inside, you can admire the beautiful view of Jiufen’s surroundings and Keelung Mountain.

How to get there? Take your nearest MRT station to Ximen Station, you can take the bus 965 which will take you directly to Jiufen Old Street. The bus itself comes every 30 minutes so you won’t need to worry about being left out. You can also book a straightforward charter from Taipei to Jiufen.

>> Most people would combine their Jiufen trip to either Shifen or Yehliu to make the most of their visit. I recommend checking out this day tour to customize your trip to Jiufen. <<

2. Dihua Old Street

Dihua old street
The bustling streets of Dihua Old Street

One of the biggest and oldest Old Street in Taipei is Dihua Old Street (迪化老街). It is a few blocks away from the famous Dadaocheng riverside – where you will find many old buildings that are intact and without any reconstruction. Perfect for those looking to dive into Taiwan’s culture and experience the city’s untouched old street. 

Dihua Old Street is very different from any other Old Street mainly because it has less intervention by the tourism government. So here you can get the feel of Taiwan’s traditional market.

It was even Taipei’s original commercial center where it sells many Chinese medicines. But today, it is bustling with new shops selling Taiwanese-made goods and you can find many local foods that attract locals every day. 

Dihua Old Street is a deep cultural spot for families in Taiwan so don’t think that because it is old doesn’t mean it won’t be crowded with people. When I was walking around this big street, I found myself lost in its alleyways as the streets were jumbled together. I recommend sticking to the main street and going where most people went as it can get pretty confusing here to go.

How to get there? Take your nearest MRT and go to Beimen Station. After you arrive go to exit 2 and walk for around 5 minutes, you should be able to see the entrance to Dihua Old Street.

3. Shifen Old Street

Shifen Old Street
Set off your own lanterns to the sky in Shifen

Shifen Old Street (十分老街) is a popular old street because this is where you can set off your very own lanterns into the sky. Here you can find local snacks, souvenir shops, and lantern shops for you to explore. I recommend trying out their Peanut Roll Ice Cream (花生冰淇淋) for a light snack throughout your adventure. 

The Pingxi Railway Train is a popular train that people take pictures of because of its vibrant color that resembles red lanterns. If you are like me and adore trains then this is a place you must visit.

Shifen Old Street is an amazing place for anyone looking to explore the country’s popular lanterns and take a tour around the train village. Most people would continue their trip to Shifen Waterfall which you can walk to for less than an hour and it is the widest waterfall in Taiwan. 

shifen waterfall
Taiwan’s widest waterfall

There you can get a panoramic view of the wide waterfall and walk your way through its small street full of local delights. It can get crowded during weekends so be sure to arrive earlier in the morning to avoid peak hours in the train to get there.

>> The Lantern Festival is usually held in the first or second week of February after Chinese New Year. You can still set off your own lanterns in Shifen Old Street anytime. If you want an immersive experience then consider getting a personalized guide to this lantern paradise. <<

How to get there? Take the TRA (Taiwan Railways) train from your nearest station then depart to Ruifang Train Station, You need to change to another train which is the Pingxi Railway Line to take you to Shifen Old Street. You can use your EasyCard to use the Local train (TRA) without needing any reservations.

4. Tamsui Old Street

tamsui old street
Walk around the riverside of Tamsui

If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the scenic riverside view, then Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街) is the perfect place for you.

A few minutes walk away from Tamsui Station you can find many delicious foods and historical sites for you to visit. It is one of Taiwan’s well-known old streets and almost every day will be crowded with people from various backgrounds enjoying a relaxing walk.

Some local delights that you can find here are iron eggs, fried squid, fried fish crackers, and my favorite oily bean curd (Ah Gei). There are also many beautiful coffee shops and restaurants located by the riverbank that don’t fail to attract visitors daily. 

tamsui old street
Buy some delicious food for dinner

Nearby attractions that you should consider visiting are Fort Santo Domingo (a historical site portraying Taiwan’s history) and Fisherman’s Wharf (a popular destination among couples as it is one of the most romantic places to go at night).

>> Tip: You can enjoy a cruise ride (day/night) from Dadaocheng to Tamsui Old Street. It is a great way to view this beautiful riverside view of Tamsui Old Street and you can also have the chance to witness some fireworks. <<

How to get there? You can either take the cruise ride or an MRT from your nearest station to Tamsui MRT Station, then walk a few minutes until you reach Tamsui Old Street.

5. Sanxia Old Street and Yingge Old Street

sanixa old street Taiwan
Red bricked buildings in Sanxia Old Street

Why do I include both of them as one? It’s because they are practically neighbors as they are located nearby to each other.

In Sanxia Old Street (三峽老街) you’ll find beautiful red brick arched corridors spanning from the beginning to the end of the street. It is the best place if you are looking to see what preserved commercial districts in Taiwan’s earliest period looked like. 

Inside these red-brick buildings, you’ll find numerous food stalls, ice cream shops, and souvenir shops. You should get their ever-popular Ox Horn Bread (三峽牛角) which looks like a croissant.

The most famous store that sells them fresh every day is (三峽牛角), they offer various flavors from coffee to even matcha. If it’s your first time then I recommend getting the (金菠蘿牛角) which is their number 1 product!

yingge old street taiwan
Beautiful sunset in Yingge Old Street

Yingge Old Street (鶯歌老街) is known for being Taiwan’s greatest producer of ceramics and pottery. You will find all sorts of porcelain artworks in the streets and head over to Yingge Ceramics Museum to find an extensive collection spanning 200 years of Taiwan’s ceramic history.

If you are on the lookout for a new tea cup or looking to buy one as a souvenir for your trip, you can find local stores selling high-quality tea wares.

A fun activity that you should try is making your very own tea cups! I recommend taking a class at The Shu’s Pottery as they are known to be experts in providing high-quality pottery-making classes and have numerous positive reviews online.

It can get pretty filled quickly so sign up for the class in advance to save yourself a seat.

yingge pottery making
Make your very own pottery here

How to get there? You can take the MRT from your nearest MRT station and take the Bannan Line (blue line) to Yongning Station Exit 1. From there you need to walk to the bus stop (in front of MOS Burger) to take the 916 bus which will take another 20 minutes to arrive at Sanxia Old Street Station. There you need to change to bus 702 which will take you to Yingge Old Street. 

6. Jinbaoli Old Street

jinbaoli old street
Local’s favorite district to shop in Jinbaoli

Another Old Street that you should consider visiting is Jinbaoli Old Street (金包里老街) or Jinshan Old Street. Not a lot of people seem to know about Old Street, it is a decent-sized area that is popular with the locals. Their specialty is duck meat, where you will find many food stalls offering duck-related meals. 

You can also find many local treats and snacks packed in plastic, perfect for some light snacks. It is your typical old street but with a wide range of goods to buy like clothes and toys. There are a few temples in this Old Street, the biggest one is called Jinbaoli Cihu Temple (金包里慈護宮) where people often come to pray.

How to get there? You can take the bus 1815 from Taipei City Hall and alight at the Taipei City Jinshan District Office after that walk a few minutes and you will arrive at Jinbaoli Old Street.

7. Pingxi Old Street

Shifen Old Street
Take a stroll around the calm neighborhood

One station away from the lantern paradise Shifen Old Street is Pingxi Old Street (平溪老街). After arriving at Pingxi Station, you can walk down the narrow streets in this small village to arrive there.

It is a great spot that you should visit and what makes it different from Shifen Old Street is here you can explore this vast village and see traditional houses remain untouched.

There are many delicious foods here, the ones I recommend are some Taiwanese Sausages (大腸包小腸). They offer many flavors from spicy, kimchi to wasabi, if it’s your first time then you can try their original flavor.

Another activity that you can do is take pictures together with the iconic railway tracks, which many tourists love to do.

Tip: Combine your trip to both Shifen and Pingxi with this immersive personalized experience in this lantern paradise. <<

How to get there? Take the TRA (Taiwan Railways) train from your nearest station then depart to Ruifang Train Station, You need to change to another train which is the Pingxi Railway Line to take you to Pingxi Old Street. You can use your EasyCard to use the Local train (TRA) without needing any reservations.

yingge old street night taiwan
Nightview in Yingge Old Street

Conclusion: Are these Old Streets 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. Jiufen Old Street would be a perfect choice, as it is very easy to navigate through with an existing bus 965 which can take you there directly. 

Sanxia Old Street offers a different vibe but also an amazing experience for you to have the chance to see Taiwan’s preserved red brick buildings and try the famous Ox Horn Bread (三峽牛角).

I believe they are all worth a visit. There are many other Old Streets in Taipei other than the one I mentioned.

I only listed 7 of them because these are the most popular places that I think you must visit in Taipei. You can of course choose whichever Old Street suits your preference and have a good time there. 

I hope that this guide can help you decide which Old Street you should visit next in Taipei.

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