When it comes to travel destinations in Asia, Taiwan has slowly been gaining popularity for its delicious local cuisine, budget-friendly activities and a wide variety of beautiful places to see. After personally exploring both the city and outskirts of Taiwan, I can see why this tiny island is being visited by big crowds. For those going to Taiwan for the first time, a visit to Taipei is a must! It has the modern energy of a city capital while still proudly showing off its rich history and scenic landscape. Whether your itinerary includes a full day of shopping or relaxing nature trails, Taipei has got it all in close proximity. Its public transportation system is extensive and convenient, so we suggest staying near a train or bus station for you to easily explore different areas. Luckily for you, it will only take a few days to experience the best attractions in this small city. In this article, we share with you our favorite districts and where to stay in Taipei. We also give you tips on the best Taipei hotels. We hope this helps you plan your ideal Taipei vacation!
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Where to Stay in Taipei
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Best Places to Stay in Taipei
1. Zhongzheng, for its central location
Right at the heart of Taipei city is Zhongzheng district, which many consider to be the best place for people visiting for the first time mainly because of its location. It is where you’ll find Taipei Main Station and the city’s main bus terminal, making it the easiest place to travel to and from. Because of this, there is a huge variety of cheap to mid-range accommodations for those travelling on a budget. If that wasn’t attractive enough, another reason to appreciate this area is its proximity to the city’s tourist attractions like the famous Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Taipei Botanical Garden to name a few.
Things to do in Zhongzheng:
- Learn about Taipei’s history by visit their must-see cultural attractions – Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, National Palace Museum and Presidential Building
- Admire eight hectares of nature at the Taipei Botanical Garden
- Explore the retro-chic Huashan 1914 Creative Park for live-music performances, stylish restaurants, quaint cafes and cool pop-up shops
- Go on a food trip at the local favorite, NanJiChang Night Market
Where to stay in Zhongzheng: Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel
End a long day of exploring the vibrant streets of Taipei with instant luxury and comfort at the Sheraton Grand. Apart from the cozy and classic interiors of their rooms, guests can also enjoy the 5-star amenities like a tranquil spa facility, well-equipped fitness gym, an outdoor pool with city views and 9 different restaurants. It is also conveniently located beside the Shantao Temple MRT station and just a 500-meter walk away from the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
2. Wanhua, for a perfect mix of city and culture
A personal favorite of mine when visiting Taipei is the Wanhua district. It is the perfect mix of entertainment and history, depending on where you stay in the area. The northern part of Wanhua is home to the popular Ximending, an area that is always bustling with foreigners and locals alike because of its energetic streets lined with clothing shops, authentic Taiwanese food, night markets and fun bars. You’ll surely feel the city life underneath all those neon lights and big billboards. Southern Wanhua, on the other hand, is the opposite, characterized by history and traditional culture. Here you’ll come across historical buildings like the Longshan Temple and Taiwan’s first teahouse and playhouse, the Red House Theater.
Although Wanhua is the oldest district in Taipei, it has evolved to become a go-to spot for the youth, artistic locals and the LGBT community. Over-all, Wanhua is an ideal location to experience the essence of Taipei.
Things to do in Wanhua:
- Explore the pulsating streets of Ximending for shopping and food
- Experience Chef Hung’s famous beef noodle bowls
- Visit must-see historic sites like the century-old Longshan Temple and the Bopiliao Historic Block
- Admire Taipei’s love for the LGBT community and visit landmarks that were important to their plight like the 228 Peace Memorial Park and the Red House Theater, the first playhouse in Taiwan and the LGBT’s unofficial district
- Shop in the night markets like Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night Market, Wanhua Night Market
- Experience Taipei’s fun night life and local craft beers at The 58 Bar
Where to stay in Wanhua: Westgate Hotel
Westgate Hotel is our top pick if you choose to stay in the Wanhua area. Its rooms are designed with modern and artistic pieces that perfectly complement the area’s stylish vibe. On top of amenities expected of a top-quality hotel, Westgate also offers 24-hour assistance, laundry service and limousine and airport shuttle options. In terms of location, the Ximen MRT Station is just a minute walk way.
3. Xinyi, for luxury shopping
If you’ve come to Taipei in search for high-end fashion finds, then there’s no better place for you to stay than in Xinyi. It is the city’s financial district and the seat of national government, but it is most known for its luxury shopping. Also called the “Manhattan of Taipei”, upper-class locals often hang out in this because of the Xinyi Shopping District where you’ll find upscale malls, department stores and retail shops.
In the midst of its modern urban landscape, sleek high-rise buildings and lush green trees, there stands the majestic Taipei 101. Once the tallest building from 2004 to 2010, its unique architecture and iconic tower symbolizes Taipei’s entry into the global stage of progressive cities. After exploring its many floors of entertainment, dining and shopping, you can easily explore other areas as the building directly connects you to the subway, bus or taxi.
For more affordable shopping, we suggest taking a 20-min train ride to the neighboring Songshan district where you’ll find Taipei’s most famous markets, the Raohe Night Market.
Things to do in Xinyi:
- Go crazy at the Tenjinbashi-suji shopping street, Osaka’s longest shopping arcade
- Enjoy panoramic views of Taipei from the observatory of Taipei 1010, the city’s tallest building
- Learn more about Dr. Sun and his contribution to Taipei by visiting the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
- Reserve a full day for shopping at the Xinyi Shopping District
- Try the famous xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung
- Have a fun night at the Miramar Entertainment Park and ride the iconic Miramar Ferris Wheel
- Change it up and go on a nature trip with hike at the Elephant Mountain
- Relax and enjoy a private yacht ride along the Tamsui River
Where to stay in Xinyi: W Taipei
Taking luxury to a whole different level, staying at the W Taipei makes for an ultimate vacation. From the tasteful wall art to the chic furniture to the floor-to-ceiling window views of Taipei 101, everything about the guest room is majestic. The 5-star treatment continues at the WET® outdoor pool, AWAY® Spa, FIT® Gym and the modish Woobar. Its in-house restaurants, YEN and The Kitchen Table are renowned for their delicious cuisines and regular celebrity sightings. If you’re too tired to head out, stay in and order through their 24-hour room dining service. A 10-minute walk will lead you to Taipei 101, while the MRT City Hall Station takes around 2 minutes.
4. Datong, for affordable living
For all your travellers on a budget, you may want to consider staying in the Datong district. You’ll have no problem finding affordable accommodations and restaurants, without sacrificing all the fun things Taipei has to offer. Within the district are the Confucius Temple and the Bao-an Temple, not as popular but definitely worth seeing. End the night at the Ningxia Night Market where you can enjoy some local delicacies. After exploring these spots, a visit to other popular destinations will take you just a few minutes by train.
Things to do in Datong:
- Visit the beautifully humble Confucius Temple, modelled after China’s original
- Appreciate Taipei’s art evolution at the Museum of Contemporary Art
- Go on a food tour around Ningxia Night Market and try mouth-watering local dishes
Where to stay in Datong: Palais de Chine Hotel
The Palais de Chine Hotel is one of the only luxury hotels in the otherwise simple and price-conscious hotel scene in Datong. Upon entering the lobby, you are automatically greeted with interiors inspired by an elegant affair of Asian minimalism and European art. This east-meets-west theme is seen throughout the hotel, like restaurants offering French and Chinese cuisine and other facilities like Le Salon and the Library. Guests will also enjoy its convenient location, being just a few minutes away from the Taipei Bus Station, Taipei Main Station and some tourist attractions.
5. Zhongshan, for a family-friendly itinerary
Particularly for those travelling with their families, we recommend staying in Zhongshan. Before the rise of modern and sophisticated hotels in Xinyi, Zhongshan was originally the core of Taipei’s hotel industry. Although tourist presence has significantly decreased over the years, it still remains to have the biggest variety of luxury hotels, to be enjoyed in a calmer part of the city. Popular destinations in the area include parks, museums, interesting historic landmarks and the serene sights of the Keelung River. The less chaotic urban environment and a fun bunch of wholesome activities make it an ideal place for families to stay.
Things to do in Zhongshan:
- Enjoy an afternoon at the Taipei Expo Park, filled with gardens and museums for the whole family to enjoy
- Visit the Taipei Story House, a historic mansion with an exhibit on Taiwan’s tea history
- Go to the National Revolutionary Martyr’s Shrine and experience the changing of guards
- Take a walk in the Dajia Riverside Park and enjoy views of the Keelung River
Where to stay in Zhongshan: The Westin Zhongshan Guzhen
Among the many posh hotels in Zhongshan, we recommend checking out The Westin for its first-class service and beautiful aesthetics all throughout. Although it was just newly opened last September 2019, online reviews and ratings boast off the excellent service, delicious dining, contemporary furnishing and spectacular room views of Taipei city and the Pearl River Delta. What I like about it as well is the hotel’s Kids Club and its proximity to the Lihe Lighting Expo Center and Star Alliance Global Brand Lighting Center (experience centers with fireworks, theme parks and cool universe exhibits) – both great features if you’re travelling as a family.
6. Northern Taipei (Beitou & Tamsui), for a nature trip within the city
Compared to previous areas in this list, Beitou and Tamsui are relatively far from the city center. Although it is technically just 30 minutes away via the MRT’s red line, the entirely different atmosphere would make you think otherwise. Located in the northern parts of Taipei, they are devoid of the high-rises and busy streets of typical Taipei. Instead, their landscapes are filled with mountains, rivers and occasional cherry blossoms if you come at the right time of the year. These two districts are commonly visited together when planning a daytrip to the outskirts.
Beitou is most known for its Yangmingshan National Park and Hot Springs Valley, ultimate places for a leisurely hike or a relaxing swim. Tamsui is visited for its seaside location and fun food selection. The Tamsui Waterfront and Old Street are lined with endless options of street food that you can enjoy with beautiful views of the bay. These are perfect places for nature lovers and foodies looking for a fresh break from the city.
Things to do in Northern Taipei:
- Spend a whole day in Universal Studio in Sakurajima Island
- Explore beautiful Beitou with a tour around the Yangmingshan National Park, the famous hot springs and thermal valley
- Hop from stall to stall at Tamsui Old Street and enjoy your food with a picnic at Tamsui Waterfront
- Take a ferry ride from Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf and awe over the beautiful blues of the water
- Visit the Tamsui Historical Museum and learn more about their seaside culture
- Appreciate the beautiful architecture of the well-preserved Xinbeitou Historic Station
Where to stay in Northern Taipei: Grand View Resort Beitou Hotel
The Grand View Resort Beitou Hotel is the epitome of an ultimate nature resort. Its stunning timber-framed interiors enclose an oasis flowing with spa services, outdoor pools and hot springs throughout the resort. Its Zen-styled rooms are decked with modern amenities, a private Jacuzzi and a balcony peacefully overlooking the resort’s greens and blues. There are also 3 restaurants within the resort, serving different kinds of cuisines. If you ever decide to leave this beautiful home away from home, all it takes is a two-minute walk to the nearest bus stop and a 10-minute drive to the train station.
We hope that our guide on where to stay in Taipei & the best Taipei hotels has helped you! Please share it with your friends and family. Do also check out our other Taipei reads below!
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