Where to Stay in Kaohsiung in 2024 (by area & budget)

Dear reader: This article contains links to products and services that I may be compensated for, at no extra cost to you.

Kaohsiung is the largest city in Southern Taiwan. It is known for its street art, impressive temples, and port city vibes. It can also be a base for trips to Xiaoliuqiu Island and the beaches of Kenting National Park.

Make sure to budget at least 2-3 days of your trip in Kaohsiung. Overall, you’ll find that hostels and hotels in Kaohsiung are better value than hotels in Taipei. But which one should you choose?

In this article, I’ll introduce my six favorite areas to stay in Kaohsiung city. For each of them, I’ll give my recommended hostels and hotels in every budget, based on staying in the city many times and feedback from travelers in my Taiwan Travel Planning group.

I’ll also introduce a few other places to stay in Greater Kaohsiung, keeping in mind that “Kaohsiung city” covers a huge area, ever since it was amalgamated with Kaohsiung county.

Also see my similar guide to where to stay in Taipei, where to stay in Kenting National Park, plus my personal favorite things to do in Kaoshiung and Kaohsiung travel guide.

Best Areas to Stay in Kaohsiung

  1. Kaohsiung Station area (for convenience)
  2. Pier 2 & Yancheng (for attractions at port access)
  3. Downtown (for luxury hotels and shopping)
  4. Love River & Central Park (for central location)
  5. Zuoying (for HSR station and Lotus Pond)
  6. Outside the City Center (for beaches, islands, hot springs, theme parks, temple stays)

Best Hotels around Kaohsiung Station

The inside of Kaohsiung Train Station
Kaohsiung Main Station

For sheer convenience, it makes sense to stay near Kaohsiung train station in the city center, especially if you are arriving by TRC (regular) train. This area has the city’s highest concentration of hostels and budget hotels.

Kaohsiung Station is also a stop on the KMRT Red Line. It is five stations south of Zuoying HSR Station and one station north of Formosa Boulevard, where the red and orange lines intersect. Formosa Boulevard Station has the Dome of Light art installation, a famous attractions in the city.

Besides convenient access to public transportation, Kaohsiung station area is close to attractions like Liuhe Night Market (see my Kaohsiung night market guide), Central Park, Houyi Shopping District, Sanfeng traditional market, and Sanfeng Temple.

A large glass sculpture called Dome of Light in a Kaohsiung MRT station
Dome of Light in Formosa Boulevard station

Best Hostels

There are several excellent hostels in the neighborhood between Kaohsiung station and Formosa Boulevard MRT.

All of them have dorms and private/family room options. None of them are “party” hostels – generally speaking, hostels in Taiwan are not super social.

A large hot tub in a hostel
Onsen at Single Inn Kaohsiung

Ahiruyah Guesthouse (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is the best-rated hostel around Kaohsiung station. It is very clean, cozy, nicely designed, and has friendly staff. There’s laundry and a kitchen but no breakfast served.

Single Inn Kaohsiung (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) scores points for its Japanese-style onsen (hot spring bath). This is the only hostel with onsen that I know of in Taiwan. Private rooms are very small and walls are thin, so you may hear noise from other rooms. Breakfast is very basic. It’s the closest one to Kaohsiung station.

Two others worth considering are Trip GG Hostel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) for its nice view from the social room and Let’s Hostel (see on Booking / Agoda), both closer to Formosa Boulevard than to Kaohsiung Station.

Budget & Mid-Range Hotels

For a low budget hotel, Royal Group Hotel Xiong Zhong Branch (see on Booking / Agoda) is excellent value, with new facilities, free laundry, 24-hour snacks, and buffet breakfast. English may be limited.

The exterior of a hotel shot at night, with bright lobby at the bottom and dark room windows above
Kindness Hotel Kaohsiung Main Station

Kindness Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is a more-than-decent option just across the street from the south side of the station. This is the hotel I most commonly recommend to travelers in my Facebook group. Despite being on the main road, it’s very quiet. It has friendly staff, laundry, and free coffee, tea, and ice cream. Another branch is here northeast of the station.

For a few hundred more New Taiwan dollars, Airline Inn (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) has hipper design, a good breakfast buffet, Japanese-style bum-washing toilets, and even scales if you need to weigh your luggage.

Two beds in a hotel room with a picture of a baseball diamond on the wall above
A baseball-themed hotel in Kaohsiung

Also in the upper mid-range, Just Sleep (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is a reliable boutique hotel with branches all over Taiwan, while Papo’a Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) has large rooms, lots of plants, and is super close to the station. Heads up that there was some construction going on around it last time I was in the area.

For families, Fish Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) has a small children’s playroom and aquatic theme, while Watermark Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) has large family suites.

Baseball fans can try La Hotel-Baseball Theme Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor).

Luxury Hotels

The best luxury hotels in Kaohsiung are concentrated downtown (see below).

If you want to stay somewhere with a hint of luxury but close to Kaohsiung station, try Hotel Dua (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) or Joho Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor).

Pier 2 & Yancheng District

Kaohsiung Music Center lit up with purple lights at night
Kaohsiung Music Center in Yancheng district

While Kaohsiung station area is the most convenient, my personal favorite area to stay in Kaohsiung is around Pier 2 Art Center in Yangchengpu (Yangcheng district). I find it quieter and closer to many of my favorite attractions in Kaohsiung.

It only takes about five minutes to get reach Yanchengpu station on the Orange Line from Formosa Boulevard station. The new Kaohsiung Light Rail also runs along the harbor.

A giant robot and mural at Pier 2 Art Center
Pier 2 Art Center

Pier 2 Art Center has the city’s best collection of public artworks and many shops and small museums occupying old harbor warehouses. It’s a great place to stroll, especially at night when the artworks and buildings are lit up.

This is also a great base for ferries to Cijin Island, hiking on Shoushan (watch for monkeys!), the British Consulate at Takow, Hamasan Railway Cultural Park, Kaohsiung Music Center, Kaohsiung Museum of History, 228 Park, and Siziwan Beach.

Best Hostels

Looking up a row of hostel capsules with a ladder on each one to the bunk above and a curtain covering the lower bunk
Super private capsules at KLA B&B

I had a very good stay at KLA B&B (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) near Yanchengpu Station. Search 塩晶棧 to find it on GoogleMaps. The capsule-style dorms were large, comfortable, and very private. I barely noticed I was sharing the room with others. It’s connected to a DIY laundry shop. They also have private rooms. The dorms only seem to available on Agoda the last time I checked.

For proximity to the harbor, you can’t get any closer than KW2 Hostel (see on Booking / Agoda). These are actually small double rooms not dorms, but bathrooms are shared. The more expensive ones have windows facing the harbor.

Budget and Mid-Range Hotels

A hotel rooftop with some chairs and tables and view of a harbor and 85 Sky Tower in downtown Kaoshiung
City and harbor view from rooftop of City Suites hotel

Hotel Yam Lagom (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is my most recommended mid-range hotel in Yangcheng district. Rooms are clean, modern, and higher up rooms have small balconies with city or port views. It’s in a very quiet neighborhood not far from Pier 2. The same company runs Little Inn by Lagom nearby.

City Suites – Kaohsiung Chenai (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is super close to Pier 2. Some rooms have balconies with great views of the harbor and Kaohsiung Music Center – especially impressive at night. Another location is here just down the street.

For families, Legend Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) has quirky/colorful artwork and themed family rooms, free popcorn, and is not far from the MRT station.

Luxury Hotels

As I mentioned above, Kaohsiung’s best luxury hotels are downtown. But if you want to be in Yangcheng district, I recommend Fullon Hotel Kaohsiung (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor).

It’s not as fancy as the downtown options, but it does have a gym, pool (summer only), and indoor onsen. City and habor views from the rooms are excellent. Fullon is a chain of luxury hotels across Taiwan.

Downtown Kaohsiung

A view of Kaohsiung 85 Sky Tower from below
85 Sky Tower in downtown Kaohsiung

Downtown Kaohsiung is where you’ll find 85 Sky Tower (the city’s most iconic landmark and tallest building in Taiwan before Taipei 101 was built) and other skyscrapers. (Read about other famous landmarks in Taiwan here).

This area is best for shopping, especially the cluster of department stores around Sanduo Shopping District MRT, and is has by far the best luxury hotels in the city.

Local night markets like Lingya, Singjhong, and Jhongsiao are within walking distance. The neighborhood has quick access to Kaohsiung Airport by the KMRT Red Line, as well as Dream Mall (with its iconic Ferris wheel) and SKM Park, a kid-friendly mall and theme park.

Best Hostels

While budget travelers are less likely to choose downtown, that shouldn’t stop you if you want to stay there (save money on accommodation, spend more on shopping!)

Flyinn Hostel (see on Booking / Agoda), D’well Hostel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor), and Backpacker 41 (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) are three good hostel choices downtown.

Budget and Mid-Range Hotels

Hotel COZZI Zhongshan Kaohsiung (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) belongs to a chain of excellent, family-friendly hotels all over Taiwan. This one is located in the heart of the downtown shopping district at Sanduo Shopping District.

The rooms here are large and cozy (as the name suggests!) with nice bath tubs and amazing city views, thanks to its location on the 25 to 30th floors. Breakfast is excellent, too.

Luxury Hotels

A hotel room viewed from its door, with a white bed and a bath tub by the window
Resort in the sky at TAI Urban Resort

Downtown Kaohsiung has the best selection of luxury hotels in the city. My top recommendation is TAI Urban Resort (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor), which I’ve selected as one of the top-3 luxury hotels in Taiwan.

This brand new hotel (opened 2022) has zen-like room designs, an infinity pool with epic view of 85 Sky Tower (see the cover image of this article), a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and fine art decorations.

Exterior of the base of a tall building with Intercontinental hotel sign at the bottom, at night
Intercontinental Kaohsiung

Intercontinental Kaohsiung (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is another very new (2021) and excellent luxury accommodation choice downtown. It occupies 16 floors of Farglory THE ONE skyscraper, 5th tallest in the country and second only to 85 Sky Tower in Kaohsiung.

This is considered the best business-luxury hotel in the city, with excellent dining options, indoor pool, and focus on sustainability.

A buffet spread with large window behind with view of Kaohsiung harbor
Harbor view from Silks Club

Silks Club Kaohsiung (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is yet another excellent business-luxury hotel downtown. It belongs to Taiwan’s Silks Group (which manages famous properties like Silks Place in Taroko Gorge).

Rooms are very large and have fun extras like an ozone machine, mini bar, and BOSS mini link portable speakers. The hotel also has a branch of Ukai-tei, an ultra luxurious Japanese  teppanyaki restaurant.

Love River & Central Park

A river with trees and walking paths on the right side and buildings fronting the river bank on the opposite side
Walking path by the Love River

Central Park is just a couple MRT stations south of Kaohsiung Station while the Love River (愛河) separates central Kaohsiung city from Yancheng district before it reaches Kaohsiung harbor.

The neighborhood between the park and Love River is pretty much right in the middle of the above three neighborhoods I introduced (Kaohsiung Station, Yangcheng, and downtown), so it’s a convenient base for getting to all three of them.

Central Park is a huge green space in the city center, while Glory Pier, Love River, and Pier 2 are all great for strolling, especially at night.

Best Hostels

Uno Backpackers Inn (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is the best hostel in the area. It’s a pretty standard hostel with a great location just across the street from the park.

Drinks, snacks, and laundry are available for purchase and there’s a good city view from the rooftop.

Budget and Mid-Range Hotels

A children's car driving track in a hotel children's playroom
Children’s playroom at Harbour 10 Hotel

Harbor 10 (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is an excellent mid-range hotel facing the Love River just before it reaches Kaohsiung harbor. Cheaper rooms have a city view while more expensive ones are on the river side.

This one is good for families, with a large playroom with cars they can drive. But one downside is that it is a 15-minute walk from Central Park MRT or Yanchengpu MRT, so families may want to come and go by taxi.

Kindness Hotel Glory Pier (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is another branch of this reliable chain. This one is also about 15 minutes’ walk from Central Park MRT, but it is very close to Glory Pier and the Kaohsiung Light Rail. There’s free coffee and ice cream.

Luxury Hotels

Hotel Indigo Kaohsiung Central Park (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is the area’s best upscale hotel.

Run by the Intercontinental group, it has a rooftop bar, friendly staff, uniquely designed and colorful rooms, and bath tubs with great views. It’s right next to Central Park and the MRT station.

Best Hotels in Zuoying

A bridge leading to a Dragon and Tiger statue with their mouths open and two tall pagodas behind them at night with lights
Dragon and Tiger Pagodas on Lotus Pond

Zuoying is a district of Kaohsiung city north of the city center. Travelers know it best as the location of Kaohsiung’s High Speed Rail station. Arriving here by HSR, you’ll have the option to connect to the TRA train (Xin Zuoying Station) or ride the KMRT Red Line to the city center.

Zuoying is a transportation hub. Besides the HSR station, buses depart from here to Fo Guang Shan Monastery, E-Da theme park, Donggang (for Xiaoliuqiu island), and the Kenting Express shuttle bus to Kenting National Park.

Food stalls and a red octopus statue at Ruifeng Night Market
Ruifeng Night Market is the best night market in Kaohsiung

Lotus Pond, one of Kaohsiung’s most famous attractions, is also in Zuoying. It is especially cool at night when all the temples and statues are lit up. Ruifeng Night Market in Zuoying is the best night market in the city, even though most tourists go to Liuhe Night Market in the city center.

Last but not least, history nerds will enjoy exploring the collection of historic relics in Fongshan Old City and old military barracks/Japanese era homes southwest and northwest of Lotus Pond, respectively.

Still, accommodation options in Zuoying are limited, so you won’t find as much variety and choices as the city center.

Best Hostels

There are not many hostels in Zuoying district. EatzzZ Hotels (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is close to Ruifeng Night Market but not very close to Lotus Pond or the HSR station.

Guotai Hostel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is close to Lotus Pond and the military barracks.

Budget and Mid-Range Hotels

Inside a guesthouse housed in a Japanese wooden house in Zuoying, Kaohsiung
A Touch of Zen Guesthouse in Zuoying

If you want to stay close to the HSR station, options are surprisingly limited. Sun Motel (see on Booking / Agoda) is a typical Taiwanese motel with Jacuzzis in the rooms.

Hotel R14 (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) and Royal Group Hotel Minghua Branch (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) are good mid-range options close to Ruifeng Night Market and Kaohsiung Arena MRT station.

There are also surprisingly few hotels around Lotus Lake. Garden Villa (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is the best choice. It is close to the lake, Ecological District MRT, and 20-minutes’ walk from Zuoying HSR station. It even has a small pool.

For an off-the-beaten-track cultural experience, you can stay in a Japanese-era house originally built for a rear admiral in the Japanese Navy at A Touch of Zen (see on Booking / Agoda). It’s in a whole neighborhood of such houses, some restored and some in beautiful states of decay. The only issue is that it’s a little out of the way.

Best Hotels outside Kaohsiung City Center

Ever since Kaohsiung city and Kaohsiung county amalgamated in 2010, Kaohsiung “city” is now an expansive region stretching from the coast all the way up to Yushan, Taiwan’s tallest mountain in the Central Mountain Range.

The colorful exterior of a hotel in Qijin, with palm trees along the street in front of it
In Young Hotel on Cijin Island

For an island stay right in Kaohsiung’s harbor, spend a night at In Young Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) on Cijin Island. While most people visit the island as a half-day trip (it’s only a 10-minute ferry ride), spending the night allows you to enjoy some beach time before/after all the day trippers leave. Don’t miss Cijin Sunset Bar.

Many people use Kaohsiung as a jumping point to Xiaoliqiu island (technically in Pingtung county, not Kaohsiung). It’s the best place to snorkel with giant seat turtles in Taiwan.

You can do Xiaoliuqiu as a day trip from Kaohsiung, but staying overnight is best. I highly recommend Ocean Dream 夢海 (see on Booking / Agoda). It’s walking distance from the ferry when you arrive and rooms overlook the harbor – we even saw sea turtles swimming from our room!

Two kids looking over the side of their balcony hotel and Ocean Dream hotel in Xiaoliuqiu
My kids spotting sea turtles from our balcony at Ocean Dream on Xiaoliuqiu

Kaohsiung is also the starting point for weekend trips to the beaches of Kenting. See my Kenting National Park guide for my hotel recommendations there.

Northeast of the city center, Kaohsiung Grand Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is Kaohsiung’s version of Yuanshan Grand Hotel in Taipei.

It’s a classical Chinese structure where you can rent a qipao (traditional Chinese clothing) and take photos by the pool or on the shore of Chengching Lake (see other places to rent a qipao in Taiwan).

A classic Chinese style hotel with red columns and a car parked on the driveway in front
Grand Hotel Kaohsiung

Furthest northeast, E-Da is the largest theme park in Kaohsiung and one of the best amusement parks in Taiwan. E-Da Skylark (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) and E-Day Royal (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) are two options for staying there.

Many travelers like to spend the night at Fo Guang Shan, the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. See my Fo Guang Shan guide to find out how. Heads up that most travelers visit the newer Buddha Memorial Museum, which has the huge Buddha, but the accommodation is in the older monastery area 15 minutes away on foot.

For a hot spring experience in Kaohsiung, you’ll need to head to Baolai in the mountains. Grand Orchid Villa (see on Booking / TripAdvisor) is the best hot spring resort there. Although the rooms and facilities are dated, the surroundings are lovely. Here are some other hot springs I love in Taiwan.

Leave a Comment