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Updated March 2024

Whether this is your first time in Asia or your second, this first-timer’s Taipei travel guide will show you all that there is to discover. Taipei is a sprawling city and with so much to see and do, you could get lost down the lantern-stringed streets for hours.

The First Timer's Guide to Taipei

Taipei was not the kind of city I had expected for Asia. It was my first time visiting Taipei so I was excited to explore it on my own. It was organized yet there were whizzing motorcycles, it was cosmopolitan yet felt tropical. There was the kind of upscale dining you’d expect, but for every 5 star restaurant there was a food cart to match. You could experience both sides of the spectrum and truly enjoy both. Taipei is a city for those who love food and who love to explore endless streets. A trip to Taipei is the experience for those looking to be surprised by somewhere that is too often overlooked.

The First Timer's Guide to Taipei

There are so many things to do in Taipei, so take a look at where to say in Taipei and use this travel guide to help plan your trip!

Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in Taipei:

  1. CHECK inn, for the best centrally-located hotel
  2. W Taipei, for the best elevated hotel

For more Taipei planning resources, don’t miss why I fell in love with Taipei and my guide to the top things to do!

The First-Timer’s Taipei Travel Guide


What to Know Before Visiting Taipei

The First Timer's Guide to Taipei

Getting to Taipei

Taipei has a great international airport that is easily reached with many direct flights. Landing in Taoyuan International Airport, you can take the shuttle bus (U-bus) to the Taoyuan High Speed Rail station to access Taipei Main Station. Pre-arranged transfers with a hotel is also advised.

Getting Around Taipei

Once in the city of Taipei, the MRT (metro) is easy to use. Be sure to get an Easy Card at a Seven Eleven to use for easy entry into train stations.

Uber is very affordable and practical for getting around Taipei. Avoid rush hour as traffic can be painfully slow.

Currency and Money

The Easy Card is your best friend as you can use it for trains, busses, buying food at Seven Eleven and even taxis. This is like their local credit card.

Cash is king here and though most nice restaurants and cafes will accept credit card, cash is still needed for many places.

Language

I’d suggest a translating app to assist while traveling in Taiwan. English is widely spoken in Taipei but a few phrases in the local language always helps.

How Long

I would recommend a minimum of 4 nights if you plan to do a day trip at least once. The city is big, with plenty to do and eat.

If you’re not to sure what to expect in Taiwan, take a look at this post on why I fell in love with the city.

Weather and When to Visit

Through looking at the different seasons, I believe the best time to visit Taipei is during the fall. It is cool weather and the least amount of rain.

The summers in Taipei can be hot and humid, so I’d avoid the peak of summer if you don’t love the heat.


Where to Stay in Taipei

CHECK inn (Where I Stayed)

Centrally located and footsteps from the MRT, this is a good, well-priced option. It is a young hotel and features a good cafe for breakfast and coffee as well. Book the best rates here.

W Taipei

For those looking for a luxe experience, this design-forward hotel is the spot. Well located and beautiful, it’s an upscale stay. Book the best rates here.


Where to Eat in Taipei

Addiction Aquatic Center

Easily some of the best sushi I have ever had, this place is a must. A cash-only sushi bar inside a fish market that is stunning and a great night out in Taipei.

Din Tai Fung

This is a classic and almost on everyone’s list when in Taipei. Dim sum and soup dumplings are a must on a visit to Taipei. Pro-tip: Put your name on the list and head to the top of Taipei 101 before settling for lunch or dinner.

Choose me Cafe & Restaurant

Solid cafe for coffee and small plates.

Restaurant Pinecone

Inventive dishes in a beautiful space, like Japanese-fried chicken over spaghetti.

Aura Pizzeria

Come here for your pizza cravings.

Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodles

The place (with lines) which serves some incredible Taiwanese noodles and food.

Yongkang Beef Noodles

An iconic dish from Taiwan, beef noodle soup is a staple during a trip.

Tamed Fox

Beautiful space with a brunch menu.

Ice Monster

A must try is Taiwanese shaved ice and this place serves some of the best.


What to Do in Taipei

If you’re looking for a guided day tour, take a look at these options:

*Bon Traveler was welcomed as a guest of Taiwan Tourism Bureau. As always, all opinions are own.


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The First Timer's Guide to Taipei

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

I use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

I use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

I use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Rental Car

Self-driving is the best way to explore most destinations. I use Discover Cars for our rental cars, select full coverage insurance, and opt for a reputable company like Alamo, Hertz, or Sixt.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

I use Priority Pass to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

4 Comments

  1. This is great thank you so much! I’m hoping to go there in the spring and will definitely go to some of the places you recommend. it looks amazing!

  2. Thank you so much for this! I am studying abroad in Taipei this summer and I am so excited to explore the places you mentioned. Your pictures also look AMAZING. May I ask what camera you used to take these?

    • Jessica Wright Reply

      Ah thank you! They are all taken on a Sony A7ii. I have a full post on my camera gear if you want to see the list!

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