Dear reader: This article contains links to products and services that I may be compensated for, at no extra cost to you.
Jiufen (Jioufen) is one of the most popular day trips from Taipei and one of the top things to do in Taiwan. To learn more about why everyone loves this charming little mountaintop village so much, see my detailed guide to Jiufen Old Street.
Getting to Jiufen is very easy, but there are quite a few different ways to do it. It also makes sense to combine Jiufen with a visit to nearby Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park, sights on the Pingxi small train such as Shifen, famous for Shifen Waterfall and sky lanterns, or even Keelung and Yehliu further away. See my detailed guide to the best Taipei day trips to find out how to make these arrangements.
Below I’ll tell you every detail you need to know on how to get to Jiufen, Jinguashi, and Shifen from Taipei City.
1. Shuttle Bus Tours from Taipei to Jiufen and Shifen
Total time needed: Half day or full day tour
Total price: NTD490+ (return trip)
There are some really great, cheap shuttle bus tours available that allow you to easily see Jiufen, Shifen, and other places in one day without worrying about all the transportation information.
The ride includes three stops: Jiufen, Shifen Old Town, which is famous as a place to release sky lanterns, and Shifen Waterfall, the widest waterfall in Taiwan.
Yet another choice to consider is this Yehliu, Jiufen, and Shifen Day Trip with Taiwanese pastry making.
All of the above are more like tours than simply a shuttle bus, meaning you’ll have a set amount of time at each stop. But when you get there, you will be free to go off and explore on your own; you won’t have to walk around with a tour guide.
For what you get, I think these are great deals, and they save you a lot of time compared to doing it all on your own.
2. Tourist shuttle buses to Jiufen and Shifen
To make things a little more complicated, Taipei also has five Tourist Shuttle Bus routes. These are government-run shuttle buses, unlike the private shuttle bus tours discussed in #1 above. You can see the five routes at the bottom of this page.
Visitors who purchase a Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass or Taipei Fun Transport Pass can ride these five shuttle buses for free. The Unlimited Fun Pass includes entrance to 16 major attractions, unlimited Taipei and New Taipei City buses and MRT rides, and the five tourist shuttles. The Taipei Fun Transport Pass is for the transportation only, not the 16 attractions. Read by guide to using Taipei Fun Passes to find out if either of these passes are really worth the money for you.
If you plan to do some traveling and sightseeing in Taipei, then these passes can save you money. If you decide to get one of these passes, then you can use them to get to Jiufen or Shifen, but the two towns are on different bus routes, so you’ll have to pass through Ruifang, a small city in New Taipei City that is a transportation hub, to get between them. Ruifang is 35-60 minutes from Taipei by regular train or about one hour by regular bus.
To get to Jiufen or Jinguashi, you can take the Gold Fulong Shuttle bus (#856) from Ruifang train station. This means you’ll still need to pay to get from Taipei to Ruifang (NTD 49-76). The bus stops at the same spot as all the other buses to Jiufen (see picture and details in section 3 below)
After visiting Jiufen and Jinguashi, you can ride this shuttle bus further to some other cool spots, including Bitoujiao, Longdong, and Fulong Beach, or you can return to Ruifang. Read more about all these places in my Taipei day trips article.
However, this shuttle DOES NOT go to Shifen. If you wanted to visit Shifen as well on the same day, you’d have to take the same shuttle back to Ruifang, then take the Pingxi train to reach Shifen. For the Pingxi train, you can pay for a single ride, swipe an EasyCard, or buy an all-day Pinxi train line pass (NTD80) if you plan to make a couple stops.
For Shifen only, besides taking the Pingxi train from Ruifang, there is another way to get there using a different tourist shuttle bus from Taipei. The Muzha-Pingxi Shuttle Bus (#795) travels from Muzha MRT station in Taipei to Jingtong, Pingxi, Shifen Old Street, and Shifen Waterfall.
So if you want to visit Jiufen and Shifen in one day, which shuttle bus should you take? I think it depends on where you are coming from in Taipei. If going to Muzha MRT is more convenient, then maybe you can take the Muzha-Pingxi shuttle bus first, ride it to Shifen Old Street and/or Shifen Waterfall. From there, take the Pingxi train to Ruifang, and transfer to the Gold Fulong Shuttle bus to Jiufen (or any regular bus to Jiufen, also included with your pass).
If you want to depart from Taipei Main Station, first take the train to Ruifang, shuttle or regular bus to Jiufen and back, then Pingxi train to Shifen. At the end, you can return to Taipei by going back to Ruifang, or take the other shuttle bus to Muzha MRT.
So who should use these shuttle buses? Well, if you’ve decided to get the Unlimited Fun Pass anyway, then it only makes sense to use these shuttle buses for visiting Jiufen and/or Shifen. But your pass also gives you free rides on all buses in Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung, so you can hop any local bus to Jiufen or Shifen if it comes first! But it’s important to note that Unlimited Fun Passes DON’T include buses with 4-digit numbers. For example, you can’t use your pass to board the 1062 bus to Jiufen, but there are several others with 3-digits that you can use (see below).
The only downside is that the shuttle buses don’t go to all the stops on the Pingxi line, but you can always just hop on the Pingxi train if you need to. For example, to travel from Shifen to Ruifang or any of the stops between, the Pingxi train is your only option.
If you don’t plan to get a Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass, then you can still ride these shuttle buses, but you’ll have to swipe an EasyCard just like normal buses, and rides cost NTD 15-90, depending on how far you go.
3. Taking the Train to Jiufen
Total time needed: 1 to 1.5 hours
Total price: NTD69 to 96 each way
If you’re planning on traveling to Jiufen during rush hour, then taking the train to get out of Taipei then a bus for the final leg to Jiufen may be a good idea. You may also choose this option if you are staying somewhere in Taipei closer to one of the train stations.
This option involves taking a train from Taipei Main (or Banqiao, Wanhua, Songshan, or Nangang stations) to Ruifang, a town in eastern New Taipei City.
The train takes 30-60 minutes (NTD49 to 76) depending on which type of train your catch. There are more than 30 per day, so you can pretty much just show up anytime and catch the next one, but you can also find the current times on the Taiwan railway site.
Disembarking at Ruifang, simply cross the street in front of the train station and walk about 200 meters to the left (east) on Mingdeng Rd. to the bus stop just past the Ruifang Police Station (“警局瑞芳分局勤指中心” on GoogleMaps). Make sure to get the bus on the police station side; the bus stop across the street from the police station is for buses from Ruifang to Taipei
Catch bus 827, 788, 825, 965, or 1062 (NTD15-20) for the final 10 to 15-minute ride from Ruifang to Jiufen. The buses usually say Jiufen/Jinguashi in English on the front.
There are two stops you can get off at in Jiufen. The first is the Jiufen police station (九份派出所), where you’ll find the small Jiufen Visitor’s Center and a staircase that leads directly up to Amei Teahouse (Jiufen’s most famous attraction). Note that bus 1062 (the Taipei to Jiufen bus) doesn’t stop here, but all the others do.
The more popular stop to get off is two stops later, Jiufen Old Street (九分老街), and just about everyone will get off here. After you get off the bus, follow the road uphill about 85 meters to find the entrance to the old street beside 7-Eleven.
This method of getting to Jiufen has more variables in terms of price and time, and note that the train from Taipei to Ruifang (or pretty much anywhere) can be REALLY packed on weekends. On weekdays, you can often get a seat on the train without reserving one.
If you’re determined to get a seat on the train, a smart thing to do is to get on at Banqiao or Wanhua, before the train reaches Taipei Main Station, but of course that takes longer and still won’t guarantee you a seat, just a better chance. If you really, really care about getting a seat, you can even reserve one on some trains, but personally I wouldn’t bother for such a short ride. They never sell out.
You can pay for the train and bus rides with an EasyCard. Make sure to swipe when you enter and exit the train station, and when you get on and again when you get off the bus.
For returning from Jiufen to Ruifang, note that the bus stop is in a different location. From the entrance to the Old Street, don’t go downhill to where you got off the bus when you arrived. Instead, walk about 100 meters further uphill along the main road for the Jiufen to Ruifang & Taipei bus stop (see picture of bus stop in the #3 section below).
Get off the bus at Ruifang Train Station (瑞芳火車站), and walk 200 meters in the same direction the bus was heading to reach Ruifang train station.
Taipei to Ruifang train times
Trains from Taipei to Ruifang leave throughout the day, from around 5:15 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. They come every 15-45 minutes, with the morning generally having more frequent departures.
Check the current departure times for your date of travel on the Taiwan Railway website.
You can swipe your EasyCard when you board and get off these trains, so there’s no need to buy a ticket.
4. Taking the Bus to Jiufen
Total time needed: 1 hour and 15 minutes (longer during rush hour)
Total price: NTD90 to 101
Probably the most convenient option for traveling to Jiufen on your own is to take the bus from Taipei to Jiufen. Once you get on, you’re guaranteed a seat, and it’s smooth sailing directly to Jiufen. There are two possible bus choices from Taipei to Jiufen: 1062 and the newer 965.
The most popular is bus from Taipei to Jiufen is bus 1062, operated by the Keelung bus company, traveling directly from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station to Jiufen, continuing to the terminal stop, Quanji Temple at Jinguashi (see more on Jinguashi in section #5 below), before returning on the same route.
To find the bus stop for Jiufen, simply go out exit 2 of Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT, turning left when you reach the top of the escalators, and walk about 50 meters south on Fuxing South Road (復興南路), the road which has the MRT line running above the street. You will most likely see a long line of people waiting for the Jiufen bus. The exact address of the bus stop is No. 180, Sect. 1, Fuxing South Rd. (復興南路1段180號).
The only downside to this bus is that the line can be really long at peak hours (late morning and all afternoon). You might have to wait for one or two to pass before you can get on. If the line is really long when you arrive, you can always take a taxi to Jiufen (see #4 below).
When I took this bus recently, I arrived at 7:30 a.m., and there were only five people in line. But when I got to Jiufen around 8:45, most of the shops weren’t open yet (they mostly open around 10). This was fine, though, as I went directly to Amei tea house (opens at 8:30 a.m.). I had the famous teashop almost entirely to myself, but in the daytime it can be so crowded you can’t even get in (you can always solve that problem buy ordering your tea set online at least one day in advance).
Also note, the ride to Jiufen can take longer during rush hour, and there’s no toilet on the bus.
A second, lesser-known choice for taking a bus from Taipei to Jiufen is bus #965. You can board this bus at Fuzhong MRT exit 1, Banqiao MRT exit 2, Wanhua Railway Station, Ximen MRT exit 2, and Beimen MRT exit 2, at the far end of the bus stop coming from the MRT (near Taipei Main Station). The fare from Banqiao or Taipei to Jiufen is NTD90.
This bus runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (weekdays) and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (weekends), coming every 30-40 minutes (peak hours) and 40-60 minutes (off-peak hours). Since fewer people know about this bus, the lines may be shorter at peak times.
The easiest way to pay for any bus to Jiufen is with an EasyCard; just make sure you have enough money loaded onto it before your trip. You can also pay by exact cash. Remember to swipe when getting on and again when you get off.
Taipei to Jiufen bus times
Buses run every 10-15 minutes during peak hours and 30-60 minutes during off peak hours. Here are all the departure times (Mandarin only). The first bus departs at 6:55 a.m. (weekdays) and 7:10 a.m. (weekends), and the last one departs at 9:20 pm. (weekdays) and 8:55 p.m. (weekends).
Taking the bus from Jiufen to Taipei
As described in the previous section, to take the bus from Jiufen back to Ruifang or Taipei, walk 75 meters uphill from the entrance to the Jiufen Old Street to find the well-marked bus stop (picture above). Buses 1062 or 965 go all the way back to Taipei (965 goes all the way to Ximen and Banqiao as well) and have signs on the front in English.
Once reaching Taipei City, if you’re bored of sitting on the bus, you can get off at Songshan MRT station instead of riding all the way back to Zhongxiao Fuxing.
5. Taking a Taxi from Taipei to Jiufen
Total time needed: around 45 minutes
Total price: $1000-1200 per vehicle or 300-400 per person (for larger taxis that fit more people, you may get a seat for as low as 200 per person as we once did).
Taipei taxi drivers are smart and know that some people will get bored of waiting in that long line for the bus to Jiufen at Zhongxiao Fuxing, especially at peak times. They will stand around and try to pool people together for a ride.
I’ve done this with my friends before, and it’s not a terrible deal if you just want to skip the line and get to Jiufen quickly. You can try to barter with them a little, but they aren’t likely to go down much.
6. Getting from Taipei to Jinguashi
All the Jiufen buses from Taipei and Ruifang continue another 10 minutes to Jinguashi (金瓜石), site of the Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park. It’s a much less crowded attraction than Jiufen, and like Jiufen it features impressive views of the coast (the views at Jinguashi are even better, I would say).
Jinguashi is also the starting point of a great hike to Teapot Mountain (pictured above), which takes 1-2 hours. Another really cool attraction at Jinguashi is the Golden Waterfall.
Make sure to get off at Jinguashi Gold Ecological Museum (金瓜石黃金博物館) stop for the entrance to the Gold Ecological Park; most buses actually continue for two more little stops before they turn around.
7. Getting from Taipei to Shifen or Jiufen to Shifen
Shifen, a small town on the Pingxi train line, is another extremely popular day trip from Taipei, and since it is relatively close to Jiufen, it makes sense to do both on one day.
The Pingxi railway is an 8-stop small gauge train line that begins at Ruifang on the main east coast line, then veers inland, providing access to tiny countryside villages, stunning waterfalls, and some incredible hikes.
Every stop on the line offers something special (for example the cat village at Houtong, a great off-the-beaten-track waterfall hike at Sandiaoling, and the thrilling Pingxi Crags hike at Pingxi station), but Shifen is probably the most popular one.
Shifen station features a narrow, atmospheric train arrival area packed with shops and food stalls. They are so close to the tracks that the train practically touches some of them when it pulls in (be careful not to get hit by the train!) Visitors love setting off sky lanterns with wishes written on them right from the train tracks.
From Shifen station, it’s a 15-minute walk to the awe-inspiring Shifen Waterfall, the widest waterfall in Taiwan.
How to Get to Shifen from Taipei
To get to Shifen, simply take any train from Taipei to Ruifang (30 min to 1 hour, NTD 49-76), as described in section #2 above. At Ruifang, you’ll arrive at either platform 1 or 2, and you’ll have to cross underground to platform #3, where the Pingxi train sets off.
The train from Ruifang to Shifen takes 12 minutes and costs NTD15. It only departs about once per hour; you may want to take a train from Taipei that has a good connection time so don’t have to wait a long time while transferring at Ruifang.
How to Get to Shifen from Jiufen
If you’ve read this whole article up to here, then it should already be clear how to travel from Jiufen to Shifen. Simply hop on any bus from Jiufen to Ruifang (827, 788, 825, 965, or 1062), which takes 10-15 minutes.
Get off at Ruifang train station stop (瑞芳火車站), walk 200 meters in the same direction your bus was heading to reach the train station, then swipe in win your EasyCard and head to platform 3 for the train to Shifen.
For more information on your visit to Jiufen, don’t miss my complete guide to Jiufen and Jinguashi.
I never travel without a guidebook! I recommend these: