Whether you're a first-time visitor or a frequent flier, there are many things to see and to do in Taipei. From ziplining atop the world's tallest building to tasting local Taiwanese food at Shilin Night Market, it's worth spending time exploring this lesser-known Asian gem.
One of the coolest hangouts in the city is Huashan 1914 Creative Park, once a camphor distillery and wine factory. This arts district is home to boutique shops, art galleries and restaurants.
Keelung is wedged between New Taipei City’s verdant hills and is home to one of Taiwan’s 100 small peaks, Mount Keelung. This extinct volcano is a fantastic place to hike and boasts panoramic views from the top.
The peak’s summit can be reached by hiking through the Jiangziliao Mountain Trail. The trail is easy to follow and you can expect pleasant scenery, rich flora and fauna, and a wide-ranging view from the top.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during the typhoon and plum rain seasons, you can take advantage of the natural beauty of the area. In addition, there are many historic coastal forts and outposts throughout Keelung, including the impressive Baimiweng Fort (Baimiweng Pao Tai ).
Jiufen is an ancient town in Taiwan, known for its narrow alleyways packed with tea houses and street-food stalls. It is often compared to the setting of the classic animated movie Spirited Away, and has an air of enchantment that makes it a must-visit for any trip to Taipei.
It was a gold mining town during the Japanese era but, despite its decline, its retro-Chinese architecture and beautiful view of the ocean kept it popular. Filmmakers were also drawn to it, and it was featured in two famous films: City of Sadness (1998) about the political turmoil of 1940’s Taiwan and Spirited Away (2000) which won an Oscar for best animated feature.
Bopiliao Old Street
One of the oldest and most historical streets in Taipei, Bopiliao Old Street is a collection of preserved buildings dating back to the Qing Dynasty. It features shops, food options, museums, cafes and various art exhibitions.
The area was once an important military base in the Qing Dynasty. It also has a large collection of brick buildings that stand out from other buildings in the city.
The Heritage and Culture Education Center on the far end of Bopiliao Old Street is a great place to learn more about Taiwan’s history. The building contains a carefully preserved Chinese medicine shop and grade school that is augmented with historical photographs and interactive learning tools.
A unique spit of land, carved by wind and sea erosion, Yehliu Geopark is a collection of fascinating natural rock formations. The long chimney-like hoodoo rocks are one of the park's most famous features, but there are also mushroom rocks, honeycomb weathering patterns, conical rocks and sea caves.
The path winds past a number of these bizarre rock formations, including the Queen's Head. This boulder, which is said to resemble Queen Elizabeth I of England or Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, has undergone continuous weathering and erosion, changing its shape over time.
Yehliu Ocean World
Get up close and personal with the marine animals of Taiwan at Yehliu Ocean World. This aquarium is a popular tourist attraction that is located just 30 minutes from Taipei City.
This aquarium features a variety of animal shows and attractions, including dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as high dive stunts. In addition, visitors can also enjoy a stroll through the 100-meter long transparent underwater tunnel.
Tamsui Customs House Museum
Located in historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, Tamsui Customs House Museum is the State's second-largest general museum. Its original portion was built in 1898 as a U.S. Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade.
The museum manages eight public attractions, including Fort San Domingo, Hobe Fort, and the Customs Officers' Residence. You can visit them all with one ticket!
Fort San Domingo
The first military fort in the continent, Fort San Domingo is one of the most important historic sites in the Colonial Zone. It has fireproof red brick, 1.9 meter thick walls and arched doorways.
Visitors can tour the main fort, former British consul’s residence and south gate. It also has nine cannons on the outside, many of which are historical.
There are a variety of activities to do here, including taking photos, learning about history and even loading and shooting a cannon. A NT$80 entrance fee gets you into all the buildings in the area.