Must-Visit Attractions in Taipei

Make sure you watch the changing of the guard when you visit the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan
Make sure you watch the changing of the guard when you visit the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan | © Kaedeenari / Alamy
Ciaran McEneaney

Taipei 101 and night markets are attractions that come to mind when you mention Taiwan’s capital city. But there’s so much more to this vibrant city than the former tallest building in the world. From arty hubs to steaming craters, here’s our guide to where to go in Taipei.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Memorial, Building, Park

march 31, 2018. Taipei, Taiwan. Tourists in front of the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial with the national concert and theater halls in the background in t
© Dan Hanscom / Alamy
The 1970s monument to Taiwan’s former military and political leader Chiang Kai-shek is set in a quiet central city park on the east side of Memorial Hall Square. Most tourists come to see the changing of the guard in the main hall, where there is a large statue of Chiang Kai-shek. The ceremony happens on the hour from 9am to 5pm.

Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Memorial, Park

The Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Guangzhou, China.
© YAY Media AS / Alamy
Dr Sun Yat-sen was the former leader of the KMT party and the first president of the Republic of China. The park surrounding the memorial hall is a nice place to relax in the afternoon, while the hall itself houses some of Sun Yat-sen’s personal items, as well as exhibitions about his life and the revolution he led in 1911.

Elephant Mountain

Hiking Trail

Panoramic view of Taipei City in taiwan
© Jui-Chi Chan / Alamy
This is by far and away the best Taipei tourist spot from which to get a bird’s eye view of the city and the Taipei 101 skyscraper in particular. It’s a short and not too taxing hike to the top, which is a perfect location for taking a few snapshots of the city skyline. The peak, Xiangshan in Chinese, is 183m (600ft) high and has a 1.5km (1mi) hiking trail through the trees and ferns.

Bopiliao Old Street


Taipei, Taiwan - May 1, 2018 : Bopiliao Historical Block old street
© sanga park / Alamy
This historical street, once part of a shipping centre during the Qing Dynasty, has been restored to its former glory. At the Heritage and Culture Education Center of Taipei City, now a museum, you can wander through reconstructed buildings, including a Chinese medicine shop and a school, complete with historical photographs.

Grand Hotel


Grand Hotel Tapei
Courtesy of Grand Hotel / Expedia
The most famous hotel in Taiwan has hosted many foreign dignitaries, including Nelson Mandela and several former US presidents, although Eisenhower was the only one to visit Taiwan while he was in office. It’s a wonderful building with an historic feel. Even tourists who are not staying at the hotel come to enjoy afternoon tea and take photos of the impressive structure.

Martyrs' Shrine


National Revolutionary Martyrs Shrine in Taipei
© Martyrs' Shrine
Just short walk from the Grand Hotel is the Martyrs’ Shrine. It’s a memorial to more than 390,000 war dead, including those who died in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and the Chinese Civil War (1927-1949). You can also watch the changing of the guard here.

Shilin Night Market

Market, Bubble Tea Shop, Street Food

A woman grills king oyster mushrooms for a queue of customers at a food stall in Shi Lin Night Market, Taipei, Taiwan
© Hugh Mitton / Alamy
You can’t visit Taipei without taking a trip to a night market, and Shilin is the most famous of the lot. Its brightly-lit stalls offer everything from local street food and sweets to cheap clothing and kitchenware. There is a market hall with food stalls in the basement and the rest of the stalls cover a triangular area, with the Ming Chuan University Taipei Campus on one side and Bailing Senior High School on the other.

National Palace Museum


National Palace Museum in Taipei_RR7FE8
© Leonid Andronov / Alamy
Home to the world’s largest collection of Chinese Imperial artefacts, the National Palace Museum is impressive with its permanent and visiting exhibitions. This is one of the only Taipei attractions where you can find rare Chinese ceramics, jade carvings and paintings dating back hundreds of years.

Danshui Old Street

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

Taipei, Taiwan: Tamsui old street - a city district in the outskirts of Taipei is a popular spot for tourists and a great shopping destination
© Frederik Morbe / Alamy

A wonderful street in the old fishing village of Danshui (which is now more of a town), Danshui Old Street ticks all the boxes for quaintness, food and souvenirs. One end of the street opens on to a wharf which is one of the nicest Taipei tourist spots to take in the sunset.

Fort San Domingo


TAIPEI, TAIWAN - JULY 05: This is Fort Sand Domingo a traditional Spanish fort and historical landmark in the coastal Tamsui area on July 05, 2017 in
© Stockinasia / Alamy
Originally built in wood by the Spanish in 1628 and then rebuilt by the Dutch in 1644, Fort San Domingo is a relic of Taiwan’s colonial past. The Dutch were known as red-haired people by the Han people at the time they built the fort, which was fittingly nicknamed Fort Red Hair. The Qing Dynasty made repairs to the fort and it was leased to the British, who used it as an unofficial embassy on and off until 1972. It has been open to the public since 1980.

Hobe Fort


Hobe Fort, aka Huwei Fort, at Tamsui, taipei_2BKGP4D
© Jui-Chi Chan / Alamy
Not too far from Fort San Domingo lies Hobe Fort. This solid military structure, finished in 1888, was never used in a war, but it is nevertheless an impressive building and has stood the test of time very well.

Lover's Bridge


Lover Bridge of Tamsui in New Taipei City, Taiwan at sunset
© ALAMTX / Alamy
Also in Danshui, you’ll find the Lover’s Bridge by Fisherman’s Wharf. The bridge, opened on Valentine’s Day 2003, is a nice place to take some photos and enjoy a spot of lunch in one of the many local seafood restaurants.

Longshan Temple

Buddhist Temple, Shrine

Corridor inside Longshan Temple, in the Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan.
© Jon Bilous / Alamy
Arguably the most famous temple in Taiwan, Longshan Temple has been either completely or partially destroyed by several earthquakes, fires, and a few wars, including World War II, when it was damaged by bombs. Each time, the building has been lovingly restored by the local community, although historic artefacts have been lost. The original temple was constructed in 1738 by settlers from Fujian, China, but was rebuilt between 1919 and 1924.

National Taiwan Museum and 228 Memorial Park

Building, Memorial, Museum, Park

Taipei, Taiwan - May 2, 2018 : National Taiwan Museum at 228 Peace Memorial Park
© Stockinasia / Alamy
The National Taiwan Museum is two separate buildings: the main wing is located in 228 Memorial Park, while the second building is across the street in a former bank. Both buildings are filled with interesting exhibits on the natural history of Taiwan and its indigenous tribes. When you’re finished here, you can take a walk through the park.

The Presidential Palace


Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan
© Jui-Chi Chan / Alamy
The Presidential Palace, now known as the Presidential Office Building, was built between 1912 and 1919, during the Japanese colonial period, and is an impressive feat of architecture. It houses the day-to-day working office of the president but you can tour parts of it, including exhibitions on democracy in Taiwan.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Bookstore, Park, Winery

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - JULY 15: This is Huashan 1914 Creative Park which is a park dedicated to art and design exhibitions it is also a popular landmark on
© Stockinasia / Alamy
Set in a former winery that opened under Japanese rule, this creative park is now home to a variety of shops, cafes, restaurants, and exhibition halls. Here, you’ll also find a lot of local craft and artworks for sale, such as wood sculptures and paintings. Writers, theatre producers and film directors have used the park to showcase their talents.

Miramar Ferris Wheel

Park, Building

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - DECEMBER 25: City view of Taipei buildings with the Miramar shopping mall in the distance on December 25, 2016 in Taipei
© Stockinasia / Alamy
The Miramar Ferris Wheel, which is 70m (230ft) tall, offers a wonderful view of the city. It’s on the roof of the Miramar Entertainment Park, giving an extra boost to the vista. The park itself contains a department store and an IMAX theatre with a massive screen.

Yangmingshan National Park


Rural landscape of Yangmingshan national park in Taiwan
© Stockinasia / Alamy
If you ask people in Taipei where to go for fresh air and dramatic scenery, they’re bound to recommend Yangmingshan, just outside the city. It’s a wonderful day trip. The park has plenty of hiking trails and there are even some fumaroles where you can see steam rising from vents in the ground.

Taipei 101


skyline of taipei city with 101 tower
© Jui-Chi Chan / Alamy
We couldn’t name the top attractions and leave out Taipei 101. It held the title of the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2009, and it’s still the tallest in Taiwan, at 509m (1,670ft) with an observation deck at 449m (1,473ft). A trip to the top is well worthwhile.

Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence

Memorial, Building

Taipei, JAN 3: Beautiful landscape inside the Chiang Kai-Shek Shilin Residence on JAN 3, 2020 at Taipei, Taiwan
© Chon Kit Leong / Alamy
The former president’s official residence is set within beautiful botanical gardens and is now open to the public, after years of restoration work. The building is full of interesting items that once belonged to both Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Mei-ling, who was known as Madame Chiang.
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