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Taipei is a city awash with high-end malls and designer label stores, but even so, it’s a city that still has a lot to offer the budget conscious traveler. From incredibly cheap dining options to historical attractions that are free to visit, enjoying a trip to Taipei without breaking the bank takes very little effort.
The local travel card is called an EasyCard, and with it, tourists can make use of the city’s incredible network of public transport. Fares paid with an EasyCard are slightly cheaper than those paid for with cash, and it saves a lot of time too. Travelers can also use their cards to pay for YouBike hire and as a charge card in convenience stores. Some taxi providers will also accept them and offer a discount for using one instead of cash.
Often the advice is to stock the fridge and eat in but dining out in Taipei is so cheap that sometimes it’s more budget-friendly to hit the local buffet. The city is full of fine-dining restaurants, but it’s the buffets, noodle stands, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants that offer the financially savvy traveler some serious eats for less than the price of beer.
A few drinks in a nice bar can wreak havoc on the best-laid sightseeing plans, and that’s nothing to do with the morning after feeling. Taipei’s bars are plentiful, but they are also a little pricey for those on a budget. The cheapest way to enjoy a few beers is in the local convenience store. The 7/11s and FamilyMarts dotted throughout the city often have seating areas and sometimes a bathroom too.
There are a number of telecom providers in Taiwan and getting a sim card to fit any phone is quite the simple task. And the best way to keep track of your spending is to buy a pay-as-you-go sim. They offer pretty good deals with many also including free data in the package, but this isn’t really required.
Forget spending money in a local coffee shop to get the Wi-Fi password because Taipei offers this service for free throughout the city. All visitors must do is register online for a free account, search for a local hotspot and connect to the internet. So for the budget-conscious traveler, there’s simply no need to ever pay for internet access while here.
Taipei is full of incredible attractions such as Taipei 101 and its many museums, but visiting these sights costs money. A great alternative would be to visit the many free attractions the city has to offer such as its beautiful temples, Daan Forest Park, and both Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat-sen Memorial Halls.