Top 20 Instagram-Worthy Attractions and Activities in Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei is a blend of Chinese Japanese and even American cultures, giving birth to an alluring individual breathtaking city. This vibrant capital offers an experience to anyone who visits it—with a complex history and culture reflected in the fusion of modern and traditional architecture, temples, art, and gardens. There are plenty of things to do, see and experience, and here are some of the best recommendations.
*There’s a map at the end of this list, you can download it as it features all the places mentioned.
1.Koo Chen-fu Memorial Social Sciences Library
Koo Chen-fu Memorial Social Sciences Library is a splendidly crafted space for all the nature-loving-design-fans bookworms out there. The building looks like a giant glass box, ornamented here and there by tall, oddly shaped columns resembling a tree canopy. The glass allows light to constantly drop-in, illuminating the space with dancing sun rays during the day, and large round ceiling lights by night. Although geometric, the design has an organic feel to it, the structure reminiscent of lotus stems and blossoms. As for the bookshelves, they are curved, creating a wandering feeling as you browse through. There are also big desks where you can enjoy the serenity and cleanliness of this library - or snap away a picture or two
Rainbow Flag crossing in the Ximending District is a six-color rainbow with the word "Taipei" written at Exit 6 of the MRT station. It is in the middle of the most diverse and business-centric hub in the West District of Taipei City, so it attracts many tourists and visitors from all over the world to take pretty instagrammable pictures. This attraction symbolizes Taiwan's gender equality and equal rights, as Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019.
3. Treasure Hill Artist Village
The Treasure Hill Artist Village is located in Taipei Gongguan district right next to the Xindian River. It was essentially an illegal settlement created by Kuomintang military veterans in the 1940s. Crowded houses and narrow pathways composed of many steep stairways lead you to this location upperparts. There, you'll find plenty of artwork scattered around the walls, beautiful decorations, hip cafes, and a mix of old and new houses. Most of the homes were transformed into hostels or artist residencies as this place has always hosted various local and international artists, from filmmakers, choreographers to painters and other inventors. The village is basically one giant art gallery with the artwork alternating throughout the year. The developers want it to become an art hub in Taipei, allowing each artist to reach their full creative potential in an all-accepting space perfect for cross-cultural exchange.
4. Elephant Mountain
Xiangshan Trail, or Elephant Mountain, known for its breathtaking views overlooking Taipei City, is the best place to take pictures of Taiwan's capital and marvel in its beauty. The hike to reach the top of Elephant Mountain is not as difficult as other hiking spots in Taipei. It is, however, quite steep and has many steps. It only takes about 20 minutes to climb to the signature boulder where most Taipei 101's building pictures are taken as it looks splendid from the vantage point of these rocks. The perfect time for this hike is at dusk when the city takes on golden hues, and the buildings glisten and shine, basking on the last sunrays of the day. Several side trails apart from the Six Rocks are also accessible, and they unveil other beautiful sceneries along the edge of the mountain.
5. 228 Peace Memorial Park
228 Peace Memorial Park is a historical site located in the heart of the city of Taipei. It is very different than the general landscape in this city. The park is surrounded by intimidating skyscrapers and adorned by beautiful blossoming trees, crystal clear ponds, green arches decorating the pathways, and various exotic birds, fish, and squirrels. This is a well-maintained historical park, which is also the oldest park in Taipei.
Opening time: Open daily, 24 hours
The art scene in Taiwan is vibrant and very diverse. There is an array of impressive museums, art galleries, and non-profit spaces, ideal for any artist to showcase their art and spectators to admire it. Even if you’re not really into art, you will enjoy roaming around these exhibitions as a good majority of interactive installations bound to spark your curiosity. Most spaces have English explanations, and the staff also speak English, so it is very tourist-friendly. For a concise and tailored list of these art spaces, check out this article: TOP 9 ART SPACES IN TAIPEI, TAIWAN.
7.u-mkt Shintomicho Cultural Market
U-mkt was initially built during the Japanese occupation and served as a sort of food market. Its intricate horseshoe-shaped design was to ensure proper ventilation of the market itself. The Taipei government later renovated the structure. The space is now used as a studio and exhibition space, comprising kitchen labs, forums, co-working spaces, offices, studios, cafés, galleries, and permanent exhibitions. U-mkt also perfectly merges old and new Taipei as remnants of Japanese-era structures are still present: an old gate, a safe, and a wooden building that used to serve as the market's administrator's office and dormitory in 1935.
Opening time: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am till 6 pm. Closed on Monday.
8.Banqiao First Stadium
The Banqiao First Stadium follows the Rainbow craze trend everyone fell for. The stadium is painted with colorful rainbow colors attracting many tourists wanting to take instagrammable pictures. Even though the colors are not as bright as you would expect them to be, the faded-out feel shows the impact of time on these steps and gives it an additional history giving photos a unique style and story behind them. If photos aren't your thing but you still want to enjoy the sight, you can simply enjoy a run around the stadium, as well as billiard rooms, and basketball courts. Do note that Banqiao First Stadium is located in New Tapei, which should take you about 25 minutes from Taipei center by train.
9.Bopiliao Historic Block
Bopiliao Historic District is the ideal street to visit if you want to see Taipei's traditional side. This road is remarkably well-preserved with traditional shops dating back to the Qing period (1644 to 1912) and houses built during the Japanese colonial era (1895 to 1945). The buildings have stood the test of time and have witnessed the growth of the Mengjia area in the Wanhua District over the years and are an essential part of Taipei's historic urban landscape story. Scattered throughout the streets, shops sell spirit money (offerings common in Chinese ancestral worship), Chinese medicine, herbs, and Buddhist accessories, adding to this area's historical and cultural charms. The district is a walking distance from Longshan Temple and the Huaxi Street Night Market.
10.The Grand Hotel Taipei
The Grand Hotel Taipei is one of Taipei City’s most famous landmarks. Established in 1952 - almost 70 years ago - it is a 12-story palace with imperial red Chinese-style columns, golden roofs, and impressive classic depictions of sceneries on its walls, reflecting the beauty and serenity of Chinese art. Each of its first eight floors represents a different Chinese dynasty: the murals and decor differ, and each refers to a particular dynastic style. The hotel also has a secret underground passageway, which was used for fast evacuation by politicians and significant historical figures that stayed throughout its earlier years. This passageway is now opened to the public through guided visits limited to 45 visitors per time slot with 6-time slots per day for a cost of NT$100 per person.
Dihua Street is one of Taipei's oldest streets, lined with historical buildings, tea rooms, and cafes. There are also various shops to pick from selling things from medicinal tea, spices, dried food, temple icons, incense, bamboo, wooden ornaments, and traditional fabrics. The streets emanate an artistic and cultural ora, merging historic architecture to art galleries and traditional craft shops.
12.TAIPEI EXPO PARK
Taipei Expo Park is an impressive colorful area with a garden maze, rose garden, art sculptures, interesting architecture, and exhibition areas. A visit can take you hours if you want to see all the blooming beauty in the exhibit. The facility comprises three park areas; Yuanshan, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and Xinsheng, and several other venues ready to host various events in the former Flora Expo’s pavilions. The Expo Hall is shaped like a cocoon and is also known as the “Butterfly Hall.” The Rose Garden is full of beautiful blooming roses of different colors, and Lin Ai-Tai Historic House is a two-hundred-year-old house that you can visit, free of charge, to see how people used to live back in the day.
The Maokong Gondola ride will take you to the top of the Maokong area. On your way, you will go up and down four mountains across four different stoping stations: Taipei Zoo Station, Taipei Zoo South Station, Zhinan Temple Station, and Maokong Station. This ride offers some of Taipei city's best views and only takes around 12 minutes straight to the top. However, it is recommended to at least checkout Zhinan Temple station as it is home to a lovely temple and some interesting trails. Try to visit early in the morning or at sunset for optimal viewing conditions. The Maokong area is ideal for hiking, sightseeing, and drinking tea - as it used to be one of Taipei's most significant tea growing areas.
14.Yao Yue teahouse
If you get the chance to ride the Maokong Gondola (#13 on this list), make sure to get off at the last stop and head out to the YaoYue teahouse. This is one of the most popular teahouses in the area, sitting atop a traditional mountainside terrace with a breathtaking view of gorgeous Maokong tea hills. It's open 24 hours a day, every day, and has many seating areas scattered around hidden terraces descending to the valley below the main teahouse building. There, you can test out a variety of tea, brew it yourself, soak up in the sun, and enjoy the view.
15.Four Four South Village
Four Four South Village is a landmark military village serving as a testimony of Taiwan's military past. This village was created shortly after the Chinese Civil War as a residential area to the Nationalist military and their families. It is 5 minutes away from Taipei 101 and is a designated historic site and community park and is also home to a quirky art café called Goof Cho's that's also cool to visit. During the weekend, the place transforms into a farmer's market selling handicrafts and food. This is an interesting place to see if you were planning on checking out Taipei 101, but shouldn't be considered as a must-see, but rather, as a calm space tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
16.Taipei Botanical Gardens
The Taipei Botanical Garden is a gorgeous Zen area located in the heart of the city. Immediately upon walking in, you are drawn into lush colors and beautiful aromas, making you forget about the city's business around you. The area covers roughly 8 hectares inhabited by 2,000 species of flora, both native and foreign, and a variety of birds, butterflies, and dragonflies roaming around it. Apart from being a vast green zone, the garden also serves as a community hub, hosting frequent exhibitions, guided tours, and workshops. The park is divided into different areas, each with a particular concept behind it: Lotus Pond, Literature Garden, and a Chinese Zodiac Garden.
Opening time: Every day from 5:30 am till 10 pm.
The majority of Coffee Shops in Taipei are remarkable. Taiwanese baristas are internationally renowned as some of the most skilled in artisanal brewing skills and pretty latte arts. There are thousands of Taipei coffee shops, and each has a unique identity, several specialty drinks, and captivating interior décor. Even though Taiwan is the land of tea plantations, the locals are obsessed with coffee. Make sure to check this post out for more specific recommendations: 14 Delicious and Instagramable Café in Taipei, Taiwan.
18. Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is the ideal spot for an afternoon well spent with family and friends. It used to be a Liqueur and Tobacco factory called the “ Sōtokufu Tobacco Monopoly Bureau ” during the Japanese Colonization era. Now the Taipei government turned it into a beautiful cultural Park. Several of its sections include floral gardens, museums, cafes, a learning center, art galleries and exhibitions, a library, a theatre, conference rooms, and many workshops. Different artists also exhibit their art there, from in-school architecture and fashion design students to solo-exhibitions of famous painters. The atmosphere is very hip and exciting, it’s a nice place to take pictures, and best of all, most of its attractions are free.
Opening time: Every day from 9 am till 6 pm.
19.Longshan Temple + Bangka Qingshan Temple
龍山寺 + 青山王
There are many temples in Taipei that you can visit without any problem; just remember to always ask for permission to take pictures since these are a place of worship. The most famous temple is the Longshan one, due to its representation of many Taoist deities. It is almost 300 years old and home to Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian faiths. Perhaps one thing that makes it so popular is also its association with love and matchmaking: many singles flock to the temple to pray to the deities in the hopes that their true love will marry them and stay with them forever. Some also take a piece of string to place on the wrist of their loved one as tradition had it that this should bind them together forever. If you decide to pay a visit to it, look out for its pretty artificial waterfall. Do note that this is a pretty famous and touristic temple, one that is lesser-known and not a host to such big crowds is Bangka Qingshan Temple, where you can enjoy the same atmosphere in a calmer ambiance.
20.UNIQUE EXPERIENCES POST
There are countless things to do in Taipei. In the above points, I’ve summed up what I believe are the most beautiful sightseeing ones. If you are looking for incredibly memorable, unique, and fun experiences, check out this post too: 12 Unique Experiences in Taipei, Taiwan, as it will be sure to quench any exploring urges you might still have.