There’s so much to love about Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan — from the modern streets and efficient metro system to heritage temples, lively night markets, and delicious food. If you’re here on a short vacation or as a layover, you can use this suggested one day itinerary in Taipei City to explore the best parts of the city.
P.S. Don’t forget to read our First-Timer’s Guide to Taiwan.
One Day Itinerary in Taipei
Here’s the summary of the itinerary:
|8AM – 9AM||Breakfast|
|9AM – 10AM||Walking tour:|
– Ximen Rainbow Crossing
– Red House Theather
– Presidential Office Building
– Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
|10AM – 10:30AM||Lungshan Temple|
|11AM – 12:30PM||Lunch at Din Tai Fung|
|1PM – 3:30PM||Taipei 101|
|4PM – 5PM||Elephant Mountain|
|5:30PM onwards||Shilin Night Market|
Here are more details about this one day itinerary.
Start the day with a traditional Taiwanese breakfast.
From what I notice a lot of restaurants in Taipei open at 9AM or later, but there are breakfast eateries and bakeries where you can grab local breakfast staple.
Some of the Taiwanese breakfast food you should try are congee and egg, bread and soy milk, Taiwanese egg crepe and sticky rice roll, and noodles.
A lot of these eateries have a menu written in Mandarin Chinese, but there are pictures to help you choose. I recommend looking up an eatery in Google Maps before you go so you’ll have an idea on what to order.
Another place you can have breakfast is the 7-11 convenience store. No shaming, please! The 7-11 stores in Taipei City are different from what you’re probably familiar with. Its located everywhere and they offer delicious yet budget-friendly rice meals, bread, and coffee.
Start your tour in Taipei City at Ximending District (or Ximen for short). Just outside Exit 6 of Ximen Metro Station, you will find a rainbow crossing with TAIPEI painted on it. This is a good place to take souvenir photos.
We were lucky that there weren’t many people around so we could take individual shots — but otherwise it is usually crowded and there are occasional cars passing by this road.
Across the rainbow crossing, you will find the Red House Theater. This was an important art & cultural center during the Japanese era. Today, the theater serves as an artisinal shop that sells items from local artists. In the afternoon, you can see stalls set up outside the theater and at night it transforms into a party area.
From the Red House Theater, walk towards the Presidential Office Building. This is a Renaissance-Baroque building that served as a governor’s mansion during the Japanese period. Today, it’s used as the office for the president of Taiwan. There is really nothing much to do here — just take photos of the outside building and then go.
The next stop is Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. This is a national monument erected in honor or Chiang Kai Shek, the founder of Republic of China (Taiwan). The hall is located in Liberty Square, with ample grounds and beautiful architecture. At the entrance of the park, you will see the Gate of Integrity. Inside you will find three buildings: National Concert Hall, National Theater, and the Main Hall. The Main Hall is the one at the center. You need to climb up the 89 steps to see the bronze statue of Chiang Kai Shek.
From Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, walk to the MRT and then ride the train to Longshan Temple Station. From there it’s just walking distance to Lungshan Temple.
Lungshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the Taipei City. It was established in 1738 by settlers from Fujian Province in China. It’s a religious temple that is home to Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, as well as other Buddhist and Taoist deities. You can take pictures of the exterior of the temple and walk inside the courtyard to observe people praying. Remember to be respectful and quiet as much as possible.
From Longshan Temple Station, ride the train to Taipei 101 Station.
Taipei 101 is an iconic skyscraper in Taipei City. It used to be the tallest building in the world, until its world record was surpassed by Burj Khalifa in Dubai. You can spend a few hours here.
First, have lunch at Din Tai Fung located at the ground floor of Taipei 101. Din Tai Fung is a Michelin-starred restaurant famous for their xiaolongbao (steamed buns). They also have other items in their menu like fried rice and noodles. I like the food here and it’s reasonably priced as well.
After lunch, climb up the 89th floor of the building to get to the Taipei 101 Observatory. This offers a 360-view of the surrounding metropolis. There is also a rooftop on the next floor which you can visit.
On hazy days, fog covers up the view from above. So if you visit on a rainy or hazy weather, it might not be worth going up the observatory.
After the observatory, you can go down the 35th floor and enjoy coffee at Starbucks. This Starbucks is the highest branch in the world. Prior 1-day reservation is required and there is a smart-casual dress code. If you still have enough time, you can also explore the shopping mall and surrounding areas in the Xinyi District.
After your visit at Taipei 101, you can either walk to the jump-off point to the Elephant Mountain or ride the MRT station to Xiangshan Station.
Elephant Mountain (locally known as Xiangshan) is a popular spot for sunset viewing. You will need to trek for about 20-30 minutes to reach its viewdeck, where you can see the Taipei 101 building and the rest of the city skyline. The trek is established and is mostly walking stairs, so it’s tiring. Make sure that you’re wearing good shoes and bringing a bottle of water.
At night, head to a night market. There are a handful of night markets in Taipei City. Shilin Night Market is one of the best and it has wide choices of street food and local dishes. It also has budget souvenirs for take home.
Other night markets you might want to consider are Raohe Night Market, the largest night market in Taipei and Ximending Night Market, a colorful night market in Ximending District with food and shopping stalls.
Food tripping is the perfect way to end this one day itinerary in Taipei City.
Here are some important tips when exploring Taipei City.
- It is easy to explore Taipei because it has an efficient transport system. There are also sufficient signs written in English so you won’t get lost. To commute, it’s best to buy a multi-day pass or Easy Card for use on trains and buses.
- There are free walking tours around Taipei City you can join.
- It’s easier and cheaper to book tickets to Taipei 101 in advance. You can purchase one via Klook.
Where to Stay in Taipei City
Here are some recommended stays:
Taipei Main Station:
I booked a room via Airbnb in Ximending, about 3 minutes walk to Ximending Night Market and Ximen Station.
There are so many things to see in Taipei City, but if you only have one day this is a good itinerary to use. If you have more days to spend, make sure to visit other landmarks such as the National Palace Museum.
If you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comment section below!
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