Taipei might be renowned for its record-breaking skyscrapers, bustling night markets and delicious food, but the city is also perfectly located for tourists to explore less well known delights in and around Taiwan’s capital. If you take a trip to Taipei, you will discover incredible food, fantastic walks and hikes in the surrounding mountains and, of course, world-class temples.
If you take a direct flight to Taipei, you will fly into Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), about 25 miles from Taipei City.
Taipei City enjoys a subtropical climate and the most popular season to visit is during the autumn, from September to November, when temperatures are pleasantly warm and rainfall is at a minimum. Winter is also dry, but temperatures can drop to around 10°C. The summer, from June – August, is hot and humid, with rains from June to October. If you are looking for great deals on hotels and cheap flights to Taipei City, June, September and October are the best months to visit.
Despite its troubled past, Taipei is a city that beautifully represents Taiwanese culture: an intoxicating blend of Chinese values with a dash of Japanese, Southeast Asian and American influences. The city’s heritage is evident throughout the city: the architecture is a fusion of Japanese mansions, Taoist temples and gravity-defying contemporary structures that sit in harmony within the city’s skyline. Taipei 101 may have lost its position as the world’s tallest building, but it is worth a visit. Lovers of architecture can take in the details of this spectacular structure, while shoppers can enjoy the plentiful shops and restaurants. Whatever you enjoy doing, take a trip up to the observation decks where you will be rewarded with stunning views. Here, you can get your bearings and view the delights of Taipei from nearly 500 metres in the air, before going down and taking a closer look. A trip to the National Palace Museum is a must if you want to gain a better understanding of Taiwanese history and culture. Inside the beautiful building, you can see exquisite Chinese artefacts, brought to Taipei during the Sino-Japanese wars. Exhibitions rotate regularly as, due to the precious nature of the pieces, limited numbers of collections are exhibited at one time, to prevent wear.
Eating out in Taipei is so cheap, and so central to the city’s culture, that many studios and apartments don’t even have kitchens. As with many Asian cities, you will not be short of opportunities for a snack or a meal, no matter the time of day or night. Snack on delicious fried dumplings or cruller (akin to a doughnut) dipped in hot, frothy soya milk. Enjoy the must-have noodle soup, or indulge in bubble tea, Taipei’s take on afternoon tea: cold, white tea with tapioca balls and steamed shrimp balls (to dunk, of course). Traditional Taiwanese food includes gua bao - pork rolls served with pickled veg and sprinkled with coriander and peanut crumble, or chicken or squid cooked in a unique combination of Chinese spices, ginger and basil. You can find such dishes from street vendors, or dine in a restaurant where you can enjoy them at your leisure.
Taking in some nature may not be the first things that come to mind when considering visiting a city, but Taipei is full of surprises! Why not visit the Maokong Highlands, a haven for tea enthusiasts, with its spectacular tea shops and stalls set to a stunning backdrop? The Highlands are accessible via a cable car, which gives unrivalled views of tea plantations and the city. Take a trip at night and witness the magical sight of Taipei City lit up in all its glory. The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Park is many things to many people. Early in the morning, you can witness the tranquil sight of Taipei City’s residents and tourists practicing the ancient art of Tai Chi. During the day, it is filled with people seeking respite from the busy city – playing, walking and picnicking, or taking pictures. Come the evening, theatre and concert-goers flood to the park, which is home to Taipei’s National Concert Hall and National Theatre. Whatever time of day, it is worth taking a trip to this park just to see the magnificent Hall, which displays classic Chinese architecture and is considered one of Taipei City’s most famous monuments.
From Shilin Night Market, to high-end malls, you will find almost everything you can imagine in Taipei. Shilin Market is a heaving, bustling mass of people, lights, smells and sounds. Here you can try national dishes from the plethora of street stalls, search for bargains, or stock up on souvenirs. Be prepared to haggle and bear in mind that, as the market is popular with locals and tourist alike, it gets extremely busy. Of course, if you need a rest, you can always stop for a fortifying cup of tea and a massage on the way. Ximending is another good district to buy designer apparel and souvenirs. Ximending is popular with students and has a young, upbeat vibe. There are often street entertainers, so if you see people gathering in the streets, be sure to stop and take a look. With so much to see and do in and around Taipei City, your only problem will be choosing what to see and do before leaving this vibrant, charming metropolis to return home. If you are planning your dream holiday, Travangelo can help you to find cheap flights to Taipei City.