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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. I’ll also include ideas for the best day trips out of the city.
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:
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.
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 poop-themed restaurant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (first picture below), Keelung night market (second picture below), Jiufen Old Street (third picture below), and Shifen Waterfall (fourth picture below).
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
If you prefer to do things on your own, you may also want to seriously consider getting a Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass. Besides giving you unlimited bus and MRT rides in Taipei and New Taipei City and entry to 16 major sights, you also get unlimited rides on these five tourist shuttle buses (scroll to the bottom to see the routes), which provide access to dozens of attractions in the greater Taipei area, include the popular day trip spots I mentioned above. There’s also a transport-only pass if you don’t care about the attraction passes.
If you determine that these passes aren’t worth it for you, then you can just do like most locals do and get around by swiping an EasyCard on all regular trains, buses, and the MRT.
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!
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