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Central Taiwan’s largest city, Taichung, is one of the country’s most compelling places to visit. For those who love art, history, culture, street food, quirky sights, and Instagram-worthy hot spots, Taichung has much to offer.
If you’ve already read my list of unique things to do in Taichung, you may be wondering how to put it all together for your visit. That’s why I’ve compiled this Taichung itinerary for one, two, or three days. It’s important to plan your visit well because the city is quite spread out! You can also fine tune your plans with my Taichung visitor’s guide.
Keep in mind that “Taichung City” now refers to what used to be a whole county, called “Taichung County”. Taichung city and county were combined in 2010. So “Taichung city” now covers a huge area from the west coast all the way to Taroko Gorge National Park in the east of Taiwan.
Most of the things in this Taichung itinerary will be in the city center of Taichung. For more remote parts of Taichung, you’ll want to see my list of the best day trips from Taichung!
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How Many Days to Spend in Taichung
It’s possible to visit Taichung as a day trip from Taipei. You could stick to my day 1 itinerary below, but it would be less rushed if you spend the night. You can ride the HSR to get there fastest (find discounted tickets here), but note that the Taichung HSR station is outside of the city center, so you need to add a little time to take a local train or taxi once you arrive.
Most visitors spend 1 or 2 nights in Taichung. With one full day, you can see the main attractions in the city center, visit Rainbow Village, Gaomei Wetland, or Zhongshe Flower Market, in the afternoon, and check out a night market in the evening.
If you have more time on your trip and are able to spend a third day in taichung, I encourage you to get out of the city center are and explore some more remote Taichung attractions. I’ll give several ideas for that below.
Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll understand why Taichung is one of the best places to visit in Taiwan, and certainly deserves a spot on your Taiwan itinerary! For more general information about traveling in Taiwan, see my blog about travel in Taiwan.
Best Taichung Day Tours
If you decide to sign up for any of the Klook tours or activities I recommend below, make sure to use my referral link to sign up for Klook first and get TWD100 off your booking. I personally use Klook all the time and highly recommend it!
Gaomei Wetland, Rainbow Village, and Miyahara: The most popular Taichung tour out there.
If you’re interested in history and culture, try this Taichung Downtown Tour with DIY Sun Cake making.
For DIY touring, consider renting a scooter in Taichung. A Taiwanese license or IDP is needed.
More Taichung Itinerary Essentials
– Taichung is about 2 hours from Taipei by regular bus/train, or one hour on the High Speed Rail. Book your HSR ticket online to get a discount or take advantage of this 2-for-1 HSR ticket deal. You can also take a shuttle bus directly from Taoyuan airport to Taichung.
– The Taichung MRT started running in 2021, but there is only 1 line. It goes from the HSR station to Fengchia Night Market, but it doesn’t go to Taichung station or the city center area yet. Taichung buses are free for rides under 10 km. You still need to swipe on (look for 上 on the sign) or off (下) with an EasyCard. Learn how to use EasyCard in Taiwan here.
– Also consider getting around Taichung by YouBike. To sign up for YouBike, you’ll need a local phone number and your passport number.
– If you visit Taichung during Chinese New Year in Taiwan, you may find that many shops, attractions, and restaurants are closed on from New Year’s Eve to Day 2 of the New Year.
Taichung Itinerary 1 Day
If you’ve only got one day in Taichung, it’s still possible to take in some of the best this city has to offer. Below I’ll squeeze what I believe to be the city’s best sights into a Taichung 1 day itinerary.
This Taichung one day itinerary is a little rushed, I must admit, so feel free to cut out some of the stops if necessary. But I’d rather give you too many ideas than not enough!
Morning time involves a lot of walking, so I would totally recommend hopping on a YouBike if you can!
Start your day with a stroll through Taichung Cultural Heritage Park (opens 6 a.m., free), a Japanese-era sake distillery located on the southwest side of the Taichung Railway Station.
The distillery has been converted into an arts & culture village, with lots of colorful artworks on display and craft markets on weekends. There are lots of Instagram-worthy photo ops, such as a lane with a canopy of colorful lanterns.
Next, head to Natural Way Six Arts Cultural Center (13 minute walk, opens at 9:30 a.m., free), a former Japanese martial arts center. The wooden buildings here are really photogenic and peaceful. Perfect background for a photo shoot!
Now it’s time to make a pilgrimage to Chun Shui Tang (6 minute walk), the supposed birthplace of bubble tea (boba or pearl milk tea). Heads up, their signature original bubble teas are huge! You can even learn how to make your own bubble tea there.
Once you’ve refreshed your thirst, make your way to Painted Animation Lane (10 minute walk, 24-hours, free). A quirky sight, indeed, but don’t expect too much more than a short alley with cartoons painted on the sides!
Still, it’s a must if you love anime, and there’s even a Totoro Bus Stop here if you don’t make it to the more famous one (see day 2 below!)
After that, follow the Liuchuan Riverside Walk along the canal to Taichung Second Market (15-minute walk), a traditional market in a cool historical building with an internal courtyard. I would personally recommend Yang Mama Lishi (楊媽媽立食), which specializes in sushi, cold sesame noodles, and fish skin stew.
You can also find many other Taiwanese street food classics there.
If you’ve somehow got extra time/energy at this point, walk off your lunch at enormous Taichung Park (12-minute walk), or head back towards Taichung Train Station to have dessert at Miyahara Ice Cream (10-minute walk). Heads up, though; this ice cream shop (and restaurant and cake & souvenir shop) is EXTREMELY popular and there is always a long line.
If you really have your heart set on getting one of their ridiculously oversized ice creams, just join the line, or consider going right when they open at 10 a.m!
But even if you don’t want to bother with the ice cream, it’s still worth taking a look inside the shop; it’s quirky as hell; most people describe it as straight out of Harry Potter!
Your next stop is an absolute must-visit in Taichung: Rainbow Village (note that Rainbow Village closed in summer of 2022 due to being vandalized, but reopened in June of 2023. Some of the original murals are gone, though.
To get there, hop in a taxi (around NTD300) or take bus #27 (one hour) from the north side of Taichung Railway Station (the side you are on already). Get off at Gancheng Village 6 stop (千城六村站), one stop after Lin Tung University (嶺東科技大學).
Rainbow Village is a small collection of buildings that was once part of a military dependent’s village built to house soldiers from China. One soldier didn’t want to leave, so he painted every surface of his home with bright colors.
His idea worked, so his house still stands! People call him Rainbow Grandpa, and he turned 100 years old in 2023! Rainbow Village is a little remote from other attractions, but you can’t leave it off your Taichung itinerary.
After visiting Rainbow Village, if you’ve still got time and energy before dinner, head to Luce Memorial Chapel (路思義教堂), an iconic Taichung building located on the campus of Tunghai University (東海大學).
You can get there in about an hour by walking from Rainbow Village to Ling Tung University (Yongchun S Rd) bus stop and hopping on bus #48 towards Gancheng Station. If you don’t mind spending the cash, simply hop in a cab.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to have a dinner feast at Taichung’s most famous night market, Feng-Chia Night Market. The market is huge and its easy to get lost, so make sure you see my map and guide to Feng-Chia Night Market.
If you decide to skip Luce Memorial Chapel, you can take bus #74 from Rainbow Village (Lingdong S. Rd.) bus stop to Chao Ma Bus station then walk the remaining 20 minutes, or walk eight minutes from Chao Ma to Henan Taiwan Blvd. Intersection and take bus 33, 63, or 358 to Feng Chia University (Fuxing Rd.) stop.
You can also get to Fengchia Night Market by riding the new Taichung MRT green line to Wenxin Yinghua Station and walking about 15 minutes.
For night market lovers, also check out my guide to the other night markets in Taichung!
Taichung 2 Days Itinerary
If you’ve got 2 days in Taichung, then follow my Taichung 1 day tour above on your first day, and continue below for your day 2 in Taichung.
Your second day in Taichung shall be devoted to a collection of worthwhile attractions in the southern end of the city. While these aren’t the traditional “must-sees” of Taichung’s city center, they may appeal even more to certain types of travelers.
This second day in Taichung isn’t quite as busy as the first, so you may have time in the late afternoon to see anything that you missed on Day 1.
Take Ubus #50 (45 minutes) to the 921 Earthquake Museum (NTD50, opens 9 a.m., free before 10 a.m. on Wednesdays, closed Mondays, see official site). Cross the street from the north side of the train station to find the bus stop.
The 921 Earthquake Museum is a vivid reminder of the immense damage that was done to the region in earthquake of September 21, 1999, the largest and deadliest in Taiwan’s history.
The museum occupies a former junior high school that was right on the earthquake’s fault line and was completely damaged by it. Everything was left right in place, so you can see caved in classrooms, distorted track and field lines, and even try an earthquake simulation experience.
After spending an hour or two at the museum, walk to Guangfu New Village (10 minutes) from the front entrance of the 921 museum (not the back one where you were dropped off by the bus).
Guangfu New Village (光復新村) is a former military dependent’s village, just like Rainbow Village. But compared to Rainbow Village, it is larger and has more things to see. Here you can find several blocks of semi-dilapidated buildings that have been converted into art galleries, cute cafés, and restaurants.
You may find the village very quiet and empty if you come too early/on a weekday morning, but afternoons and especially weekend afternoons have the most going on. This is also a great spot to have lunch before you continue on to the next stop.
From Guangfu New Village, walk to Kengkou Village (Guangfu New Village) 坑口里(光復新村) bus stop and take bus 50 or 151 to Wufeng Post Office (霧峰郵局) stop to reach Wufeng Lin Family Garden (霧峰林家宮保第園區).
Wufeng Lin Family Garden is a beautifully preserved traditional mansion, occupying two large compounds, with a garden nearby (“Lai-Yuan of Wufeng’s Lin Family” on GoogleMaps).
Next, if you have the interest/desire, catch bus #50 from the same bus stop to Caohu (草湖) stop to take a look at Dali Art Plaza, an art-focused department store and plaza. This stop will mainly appeal to anyone who likes art and/or shopping.
Depending on how quickly you moved today, you may or may not have time to spare once you get back to the Taichung City Center. If you do, hit any stops that you missed on Day 1.
Consider visiting Taichung Park for sunset. Then I recommend finishing this day at Yizhong Street Night Market, which is just north of the park.
Taichung Itinerary 3 days
If you have a third day in Taichung, then it’s definitely time to get out of the city center. here I’ve compiled over 20 possibilities for day trips from Taichung.
The following are some of the most popular ones:
– Zhongshe Flower Market: A very popular collection of flower displays open year round. It’s just north of the city center and you can get there in about 1 hour by bus.
– Sun Moon Lake One of the most popular attractions in Central Taiwan, along with the mountain resort of Alishan. See my guide to Sun Moon Lake for all the details. As a day trip, it might be best to join one of these tours.
– Xitou Monster Village: yet another quirky sight, a Japanese monster themed village up in the hills of Central Taiwan. See my complete guide to Xitou Monster Village here.
– Guguan: One of the most famous hot springs in Taiwan
Where to Stay in Taichung
Norden Ruder Hostel (see on Agoda / Booking / TripAdvisor) is a great new, highly rated hostel conveniently located right across from the Taichung’s main train station. You wouldn’t believe the views from the 12th floor windows!
For a boutique hotel with a slide right into the lobby, stay at RedDot (see on Agoda / see prices / read reviews).
Inhouse Hotel Grand (see on Agoda / Booking / TripAdvisor) is anothe decent mid-range choice.
Also don’t miss my detailed guide to where to stay in Taipei for before/after your Taichung visit.
Well, I hope you found all the information you need for planning your Taichung itinerary. If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!