An Insider’s Taipei Itinerary: 4 Days

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If you’ve got a trip booked to Taipei, Taiwan, and now you’re wondering how to plan your visit to the capital, you’ve come to the right place. Below I’ll provide multiple options for planning a Taipei 4 day itinerary that is perfect for you, based on my experience living in Taipei for over 10 years.

Even if you are only visiting Taipei on your trip, you can experience some of the best of Taiwan in the greater Taipei area, so this can also serve as your Taiwan 4 day itinerary. If you haven’t already booked your trip, here are my recommendations for the best month to visit Taipei.

 

Taipei Essentials

– Check Klook to find great discounts on tickets, transportation, and more in Taipei. Sign up with this link to get NT$100 off your first activity booking!

– See my articles on Taipei in 2 days, Taipei in 3 days, 5 days in Taiwan, Taipei with kids, and 40 Taipei day trip ideas.

– The Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass can save you money. Read my guide to Taipei Fun Passes to find out how. If you don’t get the pass, simply pick up an EasyCard to board public transportation in major cities.

– Pick up the latest copy of Lonely Planet Taiwan or Lonely Planet Taipei (Singapore readers: order here and here)

– Order a portable WiFi device for pickup at the airport

– Arrange a private vehicle from the airport to your hotel (cheaper than taxi) or rent a car at the airport, or in the city with economical/regular/premium choices

– The Taipei Double Decker bus is a fun way to get around the main sights

– Explore the city on a motorbike tour, regular city tour, or customized private tour.

Taipei in 4 Days: Where to Stay

If you’re only spending 4 days in Taiwan, it is easiest to choose a hotel in Taipei for your whole stay and just do  day trips from the city. Like any metropolis, there are an overwhelming number of hotel choices in Taipei.

It’s tough to narrow it down, so I’ve done the homework for you and provided a list of choices that are centrally located, very close to MRT stations or transportation hubs, and have the highest ratings & best reviews from travelers. Find my complete list of recommendations in my detailed Taipei accommodation guide. Here’s a quick summary of some of the best choices:

 

Eastern district, Taipei
Eastern District, the most fashionable area to stay in Taipei

 

My Taipei Hotel Recommendations

Luxury
The W Taipei (read reviews / see prices) is undoubtedly Taipei’s hippest choice, and my wife and I  love going there for a drink at their poolside bar or for the awesome weekend lunch buffet. Palais de Chine (read reviews / see prices) houses Taipei’s only Michelin 3-star restaurant, while Humble House (read reviews / see prices) and Okura Prestige (read reviews / see prices) are other great family-friendly choices with rooftop pools.

Mid-Range
Taipei Main Station Homestay/Star Hotel (read reviews / see prices) and Taipei H Imperial (read reviews / see prices) are two highly reviewed mid-range choices near Taipei Main Station, while Amando Inn (read reviews / see prices) in Ximending offers quiet, homey rooms.

Hostels
The most stylish and conveniently located hostels where you get the most bang for your buck are Old Door Hostel near Taipei Main Station (read reviews / see prices), Next Stop Tapei in Ximending (read reviews / see prices), or Star Hostel Taipei East in Eastern District (read reviews / see prices).

 

How to Plan Your Taipei 4 Day Itinerary

If you are doing Taipei in 4 days, then I would suggest spending two or three of your days in the city, and making one or two day-trips from the city.

If you’re more of a city person and really want to spend all four days exploring Taipei, then you can find more than enough ideas to fill your four days in Taipei in my list of 50 things to do in Taipei, including some off-the-beaten-track ideas.

 

Taipei Itinerary Day 1

Start by checking some major Taipei attractions off your list. Longshan Temple, Taipei’s most famous and important temple, is a good place to start. Try to make it between 6 and 7 a.m. or 8 and 9 a.m., when the whole temple comes alive with a daily Buddhist chanting ceremony.

If you are especially interested in temples, then consult my detailed guide to the top 30 temples in Taipei, where you can see a video I shot of the chanting ceremony.

 

Longshan Temple morning chanting ceremony
Morning chanting ceremony at Longshan Temple

 

Take a peek at Herb Alley next to the temple, and enjoy a typical Taiwanese breakfast at Yonghe Four Seas Soy Milk King (永和四海豆漿大王—萬華店) nearby.

Next, take the MRT or hop on the Taipei double decker sightseeing bus to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei’s most iconic historical structure, dedicated to the former dictator. You’ll only need about 30-60 minutes here to admire the imposing blue and white structure in a huge square, flanked by the classical Chinese-style National Theater and National Concert Hall.

Next, retrace your path to Ximending, Taipei’s coolest neighborhood, where things begin opening up around 11 a.m.

Visit historic Red Theater, with its weekend craft market and collection of LGBT bar patios, admire street art on graffiti lane, or eat in Modern Toilet, a very “special” themed restaurant.

See more details in my article on 25 awesome and weird things to do in Ximending and my food guide to Ximending.

 

Modern Toilet restaurant, Ximending
Ice cream anyone?

 

Consider taking a rest in a café or at your hotel after lunch, and then catch the MRT to Taipei 101, Taipei’s most famous landmark. You can take in epic, 360-degree views from the Taipei 101 Observation Deck on the 89th-91st floors and see the enormous 720-ton stabilizer ball which keeps 101 from falling in a major earthquake.

Make sure to book your tickets online first. As a warning, the queue can be quite long, but fortunately you can skip the lines with this Taipei 101 priority pass. The Taipei 101 Observation Deck is also included on the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass, saving you 600NTD.

 

Visiting Taipei during Chinese New Year? Find out what will be open or closed in my detailed guide to Taipei during Lunar New Year.

 

Taipei City viewed from Elephant Mountain
The postcard view of Taipei from Elephant Mountain

 

If you prefer to hike for a view, head to Elephant Mountain beside Taipei 101, but be prepared to contend with crowds for the best selfies spots. The trails continue to thee other crowd-free mountains with equally great views.

To complete your day, visit one of the famed Taipei night markets, where crowds flock after dusk to sample Michelin-rated street foods. Tonghua Night Market is walking distance from Taipei 101, but there are many other great ones to choose from as well. For more information, see my article on Taipei’s top 15 night markets, where you’ll find the famous specialties at each one.

 

Want to get off the beaten track in Taipei? See my article on the Museum of World Religions and my food guide to Little Myanmar in New Taipei City.

 

Taipei Itinerary Day 2

On day two, it’s time to uncover more of Taipei’s local culture. Start your day bright and early  at the National Palace Museum (it opens at 8:30 a.m.), widely regarded as the most important museum in the Chinese-speaking world. Around 3000 of the museum’s staggering 700,000 artifacts are on display at any given time. Take the R30 bus from Shilin MRT to get there.

Next, head up the MRT red line to Beitou Hot Spring (transfer at Beitou MRT station to Xinbeitou on the two-stop pink line). This is Taipei’s own hot spring village, developed during the Japanese colonial times. Here you can see (or soak in) historic Japanese bathhouses, see the steam rising from Hell Valley, and have a lunch of hot spring noodles. Even if you’re not visiting Taipei in winter, it’s still good fun to visit.

Try here for a luxury soaking experience (nude), get your own private bathhouse, or head to Spring City Spa (great online deal here) for outdoor soaking with bathing suits, perfect for kids.

See all the hot spring options and things to do in Beiotu in my complete article on Beitou Hot Spring. Beitou is also the starting point of the Beitou-Zhuzihu Touristy Shuttle Bus, one of the best ways to explore Yangmingshan (the volcanic massif beside Taipei, and one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in spring). Unlimited shuttle bus rides are included on the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass.

 

Plum Garden, Beitou hot spring
Historic Japanese architecture in Beitou

 

In the late afternoon, continue along the red line to the terminal stop, Danshui. Exit the station and walk along the riverside promenade, lined with food stalls and shops. Hop on a river ferry (you can swipe your EasyCard or Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass) to Fisherman’s Wharf, famous for beautiful sunsets from Lover’s Bridge.

On the way back to the city center, stop at Shilin Night Market, Taipei’s biggest, or dine at Din Tai Fung, Taipei’s most famous restaurant. Skip the lines at Din Tai Fung by pre-ordering, or visit Din Tai Feng as a part of this Taipei night tour.

 

Hey, food lovers! There are some really amazing food courses in Taipei, covering many types of food and diets. You may want to squeeze one of these excellent food courses in Taipei into your itinerary!

 

Taipei Itinerary Day 3

If you decided to spend a third day in the city instead of making a day trip, then here are some ideas to fill your day.

In the morning, catch the MRT to the Taipei Zoo station and hop on the Maokong Gondola. Make sure to get in the line for “Crystal Cabins” if you want a glass-bottom car! Get off at the third stop, Zhinan Temple, to check out an impressive temple with great city views, then continue on to the final stop, Maokong.

Here’s a good deal that combines Maokong gondola tickets with rides on the Taipei double-decker sightseeing bus. A return ride on the gondola is also included on the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass.

 

Maokong gongola, Taipei
Riding the Maokong Gondola with Taipei 101 in the distance

 

The Maokong area is known for its oolong tea production (see more information in my introduction to tea in Taiwan), and teahouses where you can kick back over a pot of tea with a view. If you just want a quick sample, grab a cup to go or a tea-flavored ice cream from one of the shops near the gondola station.

Heading back to the city center, have a picnic lunch at Da An Park or Huashan 1914 Creative Arts Park. Other ideas for the afternoon include exploring historic Dadaocheng neighborhood and Dihua Street on foot, the Jianguo Weekend Jade and Flower Market, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, or Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.

For a very local dinner, try one of the city’s quick fry restaurants, featuring cheap local fare (heavy on the seafood) stir fried and washed down with Taiwan Beer. Some great choies are Pin Xian (品鱻), Ba Xian Grill (八仙炭烤), and 打咔生猛活海鮮.

After dinner, if craft beer is your thing, try Driftwood, Craft Beer Taproom (啜飲室 大安), or Mikkeller Taipei. For fancy cocktails, try finding the “hidden” speakeasy bars Ounce, Alchemy, or movie theater-themed Hankou 60.

 

Taipei Itinerary Day 4: Taipei Day Trip Ideas

With four days in Taipei, you should use one or two of them to make day trips around Northern Taiwan. There are so many possibilities for day trips in the greater Taipei area that I have compiled 40 of them here! Can you see why Taipei is such an awesome city to live in, and so many expats end up getting stuck here?

The possibilities are practically endless, but some of the most popular day trips from Taipei include Yehliu Geopark, Keelung night market, Jiufen Old Street, Shifen Waterfall, Jiaoxi Hot Spring, Wulai hot spring, and these great beaches for summer in Taiwan.

If you you want to see as much as possible on your single day-trip from Taipei, it is easy to combine a few or many of these spots into one day trip. This is made much easier by some very reasonably priced shuttle bus tours that I think are a great deal and save you a lot of time and hassle. These include the following:

 

– This popular Jiufen and Shifen shuttle bus tour from Ximending, Taipei

– This one that includes Jiufen, Shifen, Yehliu, and Taiwanese pastry making

– This similar option that includes Jiufen, Shifen, and Keelung Night Market

 

Yehliu Taiwan
Rock formations at Yehliu Geopark

 

Miaokou Night Market in Keelung (aka Keelung night market)
Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market, my favorite night market in all of Taiwan

 

Jiufen, a great day trip from Taipei
Jiufen Old Street, probably the most popular day trip from Taipei

 

Shifen Waterfall Taiwan
Impressive Shifen Waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Taiwan

 

It’s even feasible to make a day trip to Taichung in central Taiwan, where you can see Rainbow Village, among many other attractions.

For planning the rest of your Taiwan trip, see my detailed guides to Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake, and Alishan.

 

Well, that sums up my Taipei 4 day itinerary suggestions. I hope you found some useful information in here, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!

 

I never travel without a guidebook! I recommend these (to see on Amazon Singapore, click here!)

 

 

Looking for the perfect Taipei itinerary? Here's how to do Taipei in 4 days. This Taipei 4 day itinerary is written by someone who has been living in Taiwan for 10 years, and can be a part of your Taiwan itinerary #taipei #taipeiitinerary #taiwan #taipeiitinerary4days #taipeiin4days #taipeifourdays #taipeifourdayitinerary #taiwanitinerary

 

6 thoughts on “An Insider’s Taipei Itinerary: 4 Days”

  1. Hi. I have purchased a taipei unlimited fun pass. Is it possible if i use a free shuttleto go to jiufen, shifen and yehliu? So that i dont have to purchase another tour for that trip from klook.

    Reply
    • Hi there, you can visit all of those places for free using your Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass and riding the shuttle buses. However, it is a different shuttle bus line to reach each of those spots. You can take the North Coast shuttle from Danshui MRT to reach Yehliu. You can take the Gold Fulong shuttle bus from Ruifang to reach Jiufen. And you can take the Muzha-Pingxi shuttle from Muzha MRT to reach Shifen. So basically, these shuttles all depart from totally different places far apart from each other, and it would be impossible to do all three in one day. If you want to do all three of these attractions in one day, you may want to consider buying a Klook tour that goes to all three. If you really prefer to use you Unlimited Fun Pass, I would suggest this
      1. Start from Muzha MRT. Take the shuttle to Shifen.
      2. After Shifen, take the Pingxi small train from Shifen to Ruifang (you’ll need to pay for this part, but not much)
      3. From Ruifang, take the Gold Shuttle Bus to Jiufen, and the same one to come back to Ruifang.
      4. From Ruifang, take a local bus to Keelung, then transfer to another local bus to Yehliu (you may need to pay for these, because I think Keelung buses are not covered by the Unlimited Fun Pass, but should can still try)
      5. After you see Yehliu, you can use your unlimited Fun Pass and take the North Coast shuttle from Yehliu to Danshui MRT, or you can take the local bus from Yehliu back to Keelung then Keelung to Taipei.
      It’s kind of a long day, but you could do it, and this would be the best way to see all three attractions mostly using your unlimited fun pass.
      Please also see my articles on “Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass” and “Getting to Jiufen and Shifen” for more details!
      Nick

      Reply
  2. Hi,
    Thank you for the amazing posts on Taipei travel planning! We are planning a one week visit there to do some recon as we’re interested in moving there for a few years with our two toddlers. I’m primarily using your site to plan where to stay and what to do. Question about the hot springs, do you know if you can extend your stay for the private Gaia experience for longer than the allotted 90 min?

    Thanks again!
    Cindy

    Reply
    • Hi Cindy,
      Sounds like a great idea! I’m sorry that I don’t know what their rules are for extending a hot spring experience, but I can only guess that they would want you to pay the same fee for another 90 minutes. If your lucky, the might to like an extra 30 for 1/3 of the price, but don’t be surprised if they can’t; sometimes places in Taiwan set these things then the clerks aren’t able to change them. Generally, though, we always find that this is enough time…Some only do 60 but that’s a bit rushed. Would you be taking the kids this time? If so, you might want to give them a call first, because some places might charge for them, and I’ve been to at least one hot spring place in Beitou that didn’t allow kids. Feel free to ask if you have any kid-related questions as your possible move approaches!
      -Nick

      Reply

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