Full of intriguing spots for visitors to explore, Taipei is more than just a central business district in Taiwan, and is the embodiment of art and nature. Read our guide to the must-see sights in Taipei.
Tamsui Old Street
There are three culinary treasures on Tamsui Old Street – iron-hard preserved egg, oily bean curd, and fried fish crackers. Situated adjacent to the port of Keelung, this street has no shortage of varieties of fish balls that go down very well with locals. Stuffed with vermicelli made from bean starch and complemented by sweet chili sauce, the oily bean curd is an exclusive street food in Tamsui. The iron-hard preserved egg is stewed until the egg whites seep with strong aroma of brine. From delicate boutiques and antique stores to folk art shops, the buzzing street is filled with nostalgic flavor.
Section 1, Zhongzheng Rd, Tamsui District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
It has been said that a popular small food stall selling roasted boar sausage is hidden in Wulai Street. In fact, it is not difficult to find the food it serves, as you find sausages all around the area. But one stall is packed with a long line of faithful customers craving the delicacies. The stores in Wulai Street feature native products from the indigenous people, with standardized signboards clearly and neatly hanging over the façades. The charm of Wulai Street lies in its characteristic local food. Apart from boar sausages, guests can savor authentic yet traditional Taiwanese snacks ranging from hot spring eggs, peach rice, bamboo rice, to nest fern.
Wulai Street, Wulai District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Opposite the Ceramics Museum, the two-hectare area that makes up the art zone in San-Ying was forged with 1,200 colorful windmills on the green field. The open-air gallery park merges the idea of land art on the waterfront to build a cozy and aesthetic atmosphere for city dwellers. Strolling along the space, visitors will find huge installations, including plates and spoons from the Land of Giants placed in the spot that is imbued with artistic ambience. Workshops are held on a regular basis where visitors can learn to make clay art and handcrafted items.
San-Ying Waterfront, Huanhe Road, Yingge Township, Taipei, Taiwan
Shilin Night Market
Market, Bubble Tea Shop, Street Food, $$$
Food Plaza in Shilin Night Market
| Food Plaza in Shilin Night Market ©mana_wu/Flickr
Savor the popular favorites of Taiwanese snacks at Shilin Night Market. Stretching along alleyways, the food at Shilin is distinctive with its local delicacies and flavors. From tempura, bubble tea and stinky tofu, to fried chicken steak, this boisterous spot showcases local Taiwanese culture in a bustling environment. Made with sticky potato starch that binds the fried eggs and oysters together, and slicked with savory chili sauce and lime juice, the quintessential oyster omelet is the must-try street dish at Shilin. Apart from enjoying traditional cuisine, guests can pay a visit to local merchandise stores nearby for souvenirs.
National Taiwan Museum
National Taiwan Museum | National Taiwan Museum © billlushana1/FLickr
This inspiring museum
showcases not only antique exchequers in narrow aisles and vintage copper cash, but also rare dinosaur fossil and special animal specimens. Walking along the exhibition hall you’ll find golden and silver ingots in treasure chests and gold bullion excavated from rare spots. The historical room outlines the development of banks in Taiwan, and reproduces the façade of the vintage land bank with literature revealing the bank statements and official account books from its early years. As a spot worth visiting for collectors, the museum uncovers fruitful information about banking in Taiwan.
Wuji Tianyuan Temple
Tianyuan Temple | Tianyuan Temple © soujirou/Flickr
Feast your eyes on the pink oriental cherries blossoming with an inviting aroma at Tianyuan Temple during mid-March every year. During this time there is an event that attracts myriad visitors from every corner of the world flocking to savor the views. Surrounded by the mountainous hills of Datun Mountain and the magnificent Taiwan Strait, Tianyuan Temple features a breathtaking scenery together with the extravagantly furnished ‘Tien-Yuan’ tower of divinity. If you are not able to visit the temple in March, you are encouraged to visit the Jen-Yuan altar to worship the gods and walk along the paths around the temple to indulge in tranquillity and peace.
Shimen Wedding Plaza
Shimen Wedding Plaza | Shimen Wedding Plaza © Harry Huang/Flickr
As the first wedding plaza in Taiwan, Shimen is distinctive because of its Mediterranean-inspired architecture with white corridors and bell towers. Opened in 2008, this plaza features the endless sea as the backdrop that produces dreamlike photographs. With blue skies and crystal-clear waters serving as a foil, the natural landscape adds a sense of extravaganza to the construction, as if you were in Greece. Reminiscent of the romantic and leisurely environment in Southern Europe, this tranquil place is tailor-made for families and couples.
Xizhi Star Bridge
Taipei Star Bridge | Taipei Star Bridge © Andy Enero/Flickr
Characterized by its special microphone-shape supports, Xizhi Star Bridge stretches across Keelung River and is now the landmark of Xizhi. Designed specifically for cyclists and pedestrians, this bridge offers a stunning night scene along the coast. There are prism-shaped skyscrapers and neon lights flashing in turn. The spot changes its color every second, constructing a romantic ambience. It also gets visitors’ eyes hooked while they enjoy strolling along the river bank.
Taipei 101 | Taipei 101 © Jeambo/Flickr
As one of the most notable skyscrapers in Xinyi District, Taipei 101
features an outdoor open-air observation. Like the Empire State Building in New York and Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, Taipei 101 is the city’s landmark. Standing on the 449-meter-high super tall sightseeing deck, guests will be captivated by the booming nightscape amid clouds and mist with a breeze blowing gently. Every year, a New Year firework extravaganza takes place at Taipei 101, with spectacular and stunning fireworks lighting up around the high-rise tower.
Laomei Green Reef
Laomei Green Reef | Laomei Green Reef © jennifer-kecl/Flickr
Located in the Shimen District of Taipei is Laomei Green Reef. This is the only spot featuring verdant reefs in irregular shapes with ditches in between formed by wave-cut volcanic lava that resemble a huge stretch of emerald seaweed. A peculiar place, the coastal landscape of the grove nourishing algae flourish in April and May every year. To marvel at these dazzling natural landscape, make sure to check out when the tide is out so as to savor the view.