Taiwan’s capital is a city full of fascinating attractions both modern and historical. And while a three-day break is nowhere near enough time to see it all, here are some of the must-dos on a short trip to Taipei.
The changing of the guard takes place every hour on the hour from 9am to 5pm, but the best time is first thing in the morning when most tour groups are still eating their breakfast. Make sure to get into the hall early so you can get a prime spot at the front of the crowd and enjoy the spectacle of guards throwing rifles through the air.
Once the tallest building in the world, no trip to Taipei would be complete without a ride to the top in the building’s incredibly fast elevators. Once there, you can take in the view of Taipei and check out the huge golden-colored mass damper that helps the building stay upright in earthquakes.
Just a short walk from 101, tourists can visit the memorial hall dedicated to the father of Taiwan, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. This hall houses artifacts from his personal and political life and is surrounded by a nice quiet park complete with ponds and bridges.
Tonghua night market is one of the most famous markets near the city center. Here, tourists can try some of Taipei’s most famous street foods such as stinky tofu, green onion pancakes, and fried chicken. For a late-night snack before bed, this place is a must.
Once a major port and fishing village, Danshui is now a popular tourist destination. The town is serviced by the MRT line so it’s pretty easy to get to. There are lots of things to see and do, such as the old custom’s house and the former British consular residence, while the town’s old street and promenade has plenty of shops and restaurants. Expect this to take at least half a day if not more.
On the way back from Danshui, the MRT stops at Shilin, where the island’s most famous night market is located. Much like Tonghua, you’ll find plenty of great street food, but at Shilin, there are also a lot of stores and stalls selling cheap clothing, shoes, and gifts.
Yangmingshan National Park
Located just outside the city and accessible by MRT and then a local bus, Yangmingshan National Park is where tourists flock to visit the area’s many fumaroles and enjoy the scenery. Spend a morning or an entire day at the park, and when finished you can enjoy a hot spring at one of the many hot spring resorts or at Beitou public baths.
Remarkably, this is one of the most visited museums in the world, with thousands flocking to see the many exhibitions on display. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of imperial Chinese artifacts and provides an interesting insight into ancient life.
The night view at Elephant Mountain
This small mountain located not far from Taipei 101 is an easy enough hike and a prime spot for taking photos of the cityscape. It’s quite beautiful during the day, but it’s breathtaking at night. Remember to bring a tripod for those perfect night shots.