Get lost in a night market
Experiencing the vibrancy of a Taiwanese night market is a must for any traveler. The Tonghua Night Market, also known as the Linjiang Street Night Market, is famous for its abundance of street food. The market is best enjoyed on an empty stomach, as street vendors offer a tempting range of snacks from fresh fruit drinks and fried dumplings, to more adventurous options like fried chicken feet and stinky tofu. Along the crowded neon-lit streets, visitors can also find good deals on clothes, shoes, souvenirs and even foot massages. More courageous travelers may even wish to try out their bartering skills.
Stroll through Daan Forest Park
Located near the center of Daan District and occupying 64 acres, Daan Forest Park is the largest green space in Taipei. With two ponds, pavilions and beautiful strolling paths, the park is the perfect getaway for anyone needing a break from the hustle and bustle of Taipei city. Visitors can enjoy free shows at the amphitheater during holidays or enjoy the various exercise areas, such as the playground and skating rink.
Eat your way along Yongkang Street
From quaint food stalls and cafes to gourmet restaurants, the assortment of venues that lines the famous Yongkang Street makes it the perfect destination for foodies of all budgets. The area is home to the world-renowned Din Tai Fung Dumpling House and Yong Kang Beef Noodle, both of which are known for serving mouth-watering Taiwanese cuisine. Visitors can head to Yongkang Street for a delicious lunch or dinner, wander through niche boutiques, or simply relax with a coffee or tea in one of the street’s trendy cafes. Yongkang Street is located within view of the Taipei 101 and can be accessed from the Dongmen metro station.
Shop for jade and smell the flowers
Jianguo Holiday Jade Market is the perfect place for visitors wanting to take home a special piece of Taiwan. Hundreds of vendors fill the marketplace, hawking colorful trinkets, jewelry, charms and teapots. As a bonus, the jade market is next to the Jianguo Holiday Flower Market, where shoppers can find fresh plants and flowers or simply stroll through and enjoy the beautiful colors and scents. The flower market spans over half a kilometer and features 200 stalls. Both the jade and flower markets are open every weekend and holiday and can be reached from the Daan metro station.
Indulge in up-scale shopping
For large departments stores and shopping malls, head over to Zhongxiao East Road. Divided into eastern and western sections, Zhongxiao Road is a major boulevard that brings together five city districts. Main landmarks along this road include Shandao Temple, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Taipei’s North Gate. High-end fashion options can be found at one of the many shopping malls in this area, including SOGO Pacific, Breeze Center and the underground East Metro Mall. Alternatively, visitors looking to escape the rush of the main thoroughfare can wander through the winding side streets of the Zhongxiao Dunhua shopping area and discover fashionable boutiques and quiet cafes.
Explore Taipei’s most prestigious University
With scenic parks and botanical gardens, the prestigious National Taiwan University is a beautiful campus. Founded in 1928 during the Japanese rule, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in many disciplines and is considered one of the best universities in the country. Visitors can enjoy the abundant green space, grab lunch at one of the many restaurants or find a cafe and curl up with a book. The campus is also home to several museums, including an insectarium with species over 100 years old and the Museum of Anthropology, which features collections of cultural artifacts from the Taiwan Indigenous People.
Head over to the Taipei Grand Mosque
Covering an area of over 2,700 square meters, the Taipei Grand Mosque is Taiwan’s most famous Islamic building. Built in the 1960s, the mosque is home to the Chinese Muslim Association headquarters and also hosts a variety of Islamic courses, including a class in Arabic language. Upon entering the prayer hall, visitors will notice the huge green-domed roof rising overhead. Persian rugs, chandeliers and arches also decorate the interior. The mosque was designed by famous architect Yang Cho-cheng, who designed other well-known buildings in Taipei.
Enjoy live music
After a day filled with shopping and haggling in Taipei’s markets, head over to Sappho Live for some live music. Sappho Live features a variety of music from blues and jazz, to swing and funk. The bar also serves a mix of Western and Asian cuisine, including Chinese dumplings, pasta dishes and the ever-popular Sappho burger. Sappho Live is the perfect place to grab a cocktail and chill.
Learn the art of tea-making at Wistaria Tea House
Named for the wisteria vines planted in its courtyard, the Wistaria Tea House has seen many transformations over the years. It was originally built in the early 1920s to house navy officers and later became the home of David Chow, who used it as a meeting place for guests to discuss politics, art and philosophy. Today, the Japanese-style house is a historical site where visitors can enjoy tea and take in the building’s serene atmosphere. Though the teahouse staff will expertly prepare the tea, guests can also request to try their hand at tea preparation instead.
Dive into history
Visitors wishing to step back in time can visit two historic homes found in Daan District. The first is the Fanglan Mansion, a brick and wooden structure built in 1806 which belonged to the Chen family who emigrated from mainland China. Though much of the mansion has collapsed over the years, decorative details on the roof can still be seen. The second historic home is Yifang Mansion, built in 1876 to serve as the Chen family’s third home. Both homes are located near the Gongguan metro station.