Arriving in Taipei
You will most likely land at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
The best (fastest, cheapest) way into the city is to take the metro. Taipei has one of the easiest metro systems in the world.
Day 1 - Essentials
Arrive in Taipei and check into your hotel.
Take the metro to the Taipei 101/World Trade Center Station (red line). Walk through the small park area and head directly into the tower. There are many shops, but if you can, try and take the elevator up to the Starbucks to get an amazing view of the city.
Tuned Mass Damper
A 660 metric tons tuned mass damper, located between the 87th and 91st floors, stabilizes the tower against movements caused by high winds. The damper can reduce up to 40 percent of the tower's movements. Take the elevator to any of those floors and see it for yourself.
Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is famous for soup dumplings and is located on the ground floor of Taipei 101. Watch the chefs preparing the dumplings in their bamboo steam baskets while you wait for your amazing meal.
Rahoe Night Market
Once it starts to get dark out, head to Rahoe night market. Shop around for local souvineers and oddities, or grab a late night snack. Durian or stinky tofu is available if you dare, or try the more ubiquitous pepper pork bun. Charred and crispy on the outside, filled with peppery char siew on the inside.
#nightmarkets #shopping #nightbazaar #localcrafts #foodmarket
Day 2 - Temples & Markets
Enjoy a local breakfast near your hotel and sample some delicious Taiwanesse coffee or soy milk.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
The monument was erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. It’s surrounded by a beautiful garden and koi pond, as well as the National Theater and National Concert Hall, which are also worth seeing just for the architecture.
#memorial #theaters #park
Again, take the metro about 20 minutes to this beautiful temple with an extraordinary history. It was built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian as a gathering place for Chinese settlers. It survived a bombing raid during WW2.
#ww2history #historicbuildings #templegrounds
Do not miss the incredible detailed carvings on the walls and ceilings of the second and third floors. This strange and beautiful Taoist temple will leave you wanting to see even more of the cities many urban shrines and temples.
Peruse Jianguo Jade and Flower Markets
It's time to head back to the Jianguo Jade and Flower Markets. Every weekend, a large jade market is set up under the Jianguo Road Overpass starting at Zhongxiao East Road. Nearby you will find the flower market and adjascent, the jade market. Shop the oddities and beauties of these local markets. You won't find these in many guide books!
#localmarkets #flowers #jade #artisancrafts #artsdistrict
Da'an District and Yongkang Street
Eat your way along Yongkang Street while you're in the Da'an District - it's the perfect way to end the evening. A more "trendy" area of town, from quaint food stalls to gourmet restaurants, the assortment of venues that lines the famous Yongkang Street makes it the perfect destination for foodies of all budgets. There is also very often live music in the area.
#trendy #popularattractions #michelinrated #streetfood #livemusic #musicinthecity #music
Day 3 - Soaking in the City
Glass-Floor Gondola to Maokong
Take the metro to the last station at Maokong and hop on the gondola. There are 2 lines. One for the regular gondola, and one for the "crystal" or glass floor gondola. The ride offers beautiful views of the sub-tropical city and the valley. Once you've made it to the top of the hill, wander around and stop at one of the many tea houses along the winding road.
#teahouse #gondola #tea #teafarms #jungle
The Grand Hotel
It’s a functioning hotel but also a perfect example of Chinese Classical architecture. This absolutely stunning hotel might be a bit out of the way, but it's absolutely worth it to see the architecture and the lobby. It's rumoured that there are specialty tours of the secret passages in the hotel if you know who to ask.
#hotel #luxurioushotels #pool
The area around the Grand Hotel has many delicious options for hot pot. Your best bet will be to ask the hotel concierge what they recommend and head over. There are so many good options, you wouldn't be wrong to just head West and have a look around at each of them and see what catches your eye.
Once you've had your fill of hot pot, take the metro once again to Elephant Mountain. It's a very well known and marked hike up the side of a small mountain with stunning city views along the way. Taipei 101 looks especially majestic from these angles. This hike may seem simple, but it is no joke. There are quite a few stairs, but the views are well worth it.
#hikes #urbanhiking #skylineviews #cityviews
Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market is a night market in Shilin District, Taipei, Taiwan, and is often considered to be the largest and most famous night market in Taiwan. Check out all the delicious street food after your big afternoon hike.