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Best things to do in Taipei

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Where in the world: Asia  /  Taiwan  /  Taipei
Things to do in Taipei allow you to go from exploring a distinct mixture of different Asian cultures to sampling gourmet delicacies of the local cuisine, all within the same trip. Find the world's most comprehensive collection of Chinese artifacts and artworks at National Palace Museum, covering all historical periods starting from the Neolithic times. Dedicated to the country's former authoritarian president, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall impresses visitors with its Neoclassical architectural features. Nature lovers can find a moment of peace within the premises of Taipei Botanical Garden, home to over 1,500 plant species.

Taipei is best known for its Shopping Malls, Gift & Specialty Shops, and History Museums.

Top 15 things to do in Taipei

1. National Palace Museum, Shilin

Home to an unsurpassed collection of Chinese artifacts and artworks, National Palace Museum preserves nearly 10,000 years of Chinese history with some items dating back to Neolithic times. Most of its 700,000 pieces--including ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, religious sculptures, jade carvings, weapons, and Qing and Ming dynasty furniture--were collected by Chinese emperors themselves. Officially founded in the Forbidden City in 1925, the museum was moved to its present building in 1965 and then expanded on several occasions due to the sheer size of the collection. Do not miss the most popular exhibits: a skillfully carved piece of jade shaped like a cabbage with two grasshoppers hiding in its leaves, a meat-shaped stone, and a bronze bell specially made for King Li of Zhou.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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2. Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Zhongzheng District

Surrounded by landscaped gardens and manicured walkways, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is dedicated to the country's former president and military leader. Better known as Jiang Zhongzheng in China, Chiang Kai-shek ruled China from Taiwan during the most of the "white terror" period from 1949 to 1987. A flight of 88 stairs--one for each year of Chiang's life--leads to the entrance of the white marble neo-classical palace. See a model of presidential office with a life-sized mannequin of Chiang and his two Cadillacs. The grandiose seated statue of the authoritarian leader in the main hall is always guarded by two soldiers, whose motionless postures make them look like statues coming alive every hour with the changing of the guard ceremony.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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3. Taipei 101, Xinyi District

An engineering wander constructed to defy cyclones and earthquakes, Taipei 101 held the honor as the tallest building in the world for six years until 2009. The architectural features and elements of the 509 m (1,700 ft) tall tower are fueled with symbolism. Notice how its design resembles an elongated pagoda or a bamboo stick--recalling growth. The number of levels (101) indicates striving for more than perfection, and the number of segments consisting of the same number of floors (eight) stands for good fortune and prosperity. However, its most popular element is the damper that defied the strongest typhoon in history (2015). The skyscraper houses a huge shopping mall on its first five floors, along with restaurants, clubs, and two observation decks on 89th and 91st floors.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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4. Lungshan Temple, Wanhua

Known by locals as a "meeting place of the gods," Lungshan Temple serves as one of the oldest and most famous temples in Taiwan. Han settlers from Fujian established the temple in 1738, dedicating it to Kuan-in, the Mother of Mercy, which is represented by a statue in the main hall. This statue was left intact after the main hall was destroyed in an air-raid near the end of World War II. Over the years, the temple suffered damage from cyclones, earthquakes, and fires, but has been restored repeatedly. See numerous Taoist deities in the back hall testifying to the tolerant nature of the Chinese religions. The name of the temple translates to "Dragon Mountain," which explains the colorful dragons on the roof and the intricately carved twirling dragons on the bronze pillars at the entrance.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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5. Chiufen (Jiufen Old Street), Ruifang

Stroll through mysterious Chiufen (Jiufen Old Street) lined with rows of red lanterns hanging in front of quaint Chinese teahouses and inns. The narrow cobblestone street has changed little since the gold rush era of the town. Its traditional architecture, hilly surroundings, and misty weather evoke the atmosphere of the Academy-awarded anime "Spirited Away," attracting flocks of Japanese tourists and Ghibli fans. Eat your way through numerous food stalls packed with yummy traditional treats. Keep off the stairs at dusk when lanterns start to light up, or you will be trapped in the crowd of tourists trying to capture this scenic moment with cameras.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Ximending, Wanhua

A bustling pedestrian shopping and entertainment paradise in a historic district, Ximending has a huge variety of fashionable clothing outlets and cultural events. Built during Japanese colonization as a recreational district and the first pedestrian zone in Taiwan, the neighborhood features a lively mix of high-end shops, clubs and bars, street performances, and exhibits. Count yourself among the 3 million annual shoppers here, and sample authentic Taiwanese snacks and a variety of Western-style dishes. The bustling area is particularly popular with the young crowd.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. MyTaiwanTour Travel Services, Zhongzheng District

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. Yangmingshan National Park, Beitou

Centered around Qixing Mountain, Taiwan’s highest dormant volcano, Yangmingshan National Park, features 13 hot springs and several scenic trails easily accessible from central Taipei by frequent buses. Smoking fumaroles, Taiwan blue magpies, and rhododendrons growing from andesite rocks stand out as the national park's trademark sights. Enjoy a stroll around Dream Lake and visit Grass Mountain Chateau, Chan Kai-shek’s summer residence. You can see a staggering 1,360 species of plants as you wander around the park's rolling grass hills, which were created after the government burnt forests to prevent thieves from stealing rich sulfur deposits. Covering 114.5 sq km (44.2 sq mi), the area serves as a popular weekend and holiday outing spot.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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9. Taipei Zoo, Wenshan

Hailed as Asia's largest zoo, Taipei Zoo holds the title as the continent's leader in research, education, and conservation of animal and plant life. Opened in 1914, the property was originally owned by a Japanese zoologist. The family-friendly zoo shelters animals from tropical rainforests, deserts, and temperate zones from all over Asia, Africa, and Australia. You can explore various habitat exhibits, such as the reptile house, insectarium, aviary, and a panda shelter.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. YehLiu Geopark, Wanli

Stretching some 1,700 m (5,577 ft) into the ocean, YehLiu Geopark serves as a natural exhibition area for some of the strangest tent rock formations in the world. Dotted with hoodoo stones, the promontory offers fantastic views of the distinctive geological formations created in Miocene, which pushed the Dalian Mountains out of the sea. Marvel at the rocky Queen’s Head, the rock resembling a profile of Elizabeth II Queen of England, then check out Sea Candles, Fairy’s Shoe, or Ginger Rock. You can have fun concocting your own name for some of the shapes while walking through a forest of tall mushroom-shaped rocks. This bizarre Martian-like landscape can be reached by bus 90 minutes from West Taipei station.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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11. Elephant Mountain (aka Nangang District Hiking Trail), Xinyi District

Enjoy panoramic views or take amazing photographs of the city from Elephant Mountain (aka Nangang District Hiking Trail). The mountain offers a clear view of the landmark skyscraper Taipei 101, along with the district's urban zone. To reach the summit, you'll have to hike up the mountain on foot, so prepare by wearing good walking shoes. The site contains restrooms and facilities where you can relax, refresh yourself, and regain your energy. At the park's trail entrance, you can also rent a bike to reach your points of interest faster.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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12. National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Xinyi District

Discover the life and revolution of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the National Father of the Republic of China, at National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Located in the Xinyi District of Taipei, this memorial and museum has been open to the public since 1972. The most popular tourist attraction at this site is the changing of the guards, which takes place every hour. At this cultural center you will find educational displays, a statue dedicated to Sun, a multimedia theater, audio-visual exhibits, and a library with more than 300,000 volumes. During your visit, you should also take a walk around the grounds, which are a part of Chung-shan Park, containing a performance center, gardens, and Emerald Pond.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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13. Beitou Hot Spring, Beitou

Beitou Hot Spring serves as a relaxing haven rid of noise and traffic. You can reach the site via car, bus, or the metro system's red line, which goes to the city outskirts. The popular area offers many attractions to explore, including an eco-friendly public library, hot springs museum built in 1913, a jade-colored pool sunken into a crater, and a public bath house. Enjoy the open and inviting spas, where the hot spring pools get hotter as you go farther up the steps. You can also visit many traditional restaurants serving delicious Taiwanese meals.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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15. Daan Forest Park, Da'an

Explore Daan Forest Park, a 26 hectare (64 acre) green space in the center of the city that's known for its trees. Locals and tourists visit the site, nicknamed the "lungs of Taipei city," to take part in outdoor activities like wildlife watching and plant spotting around the ecological pond. Families with young children will find a playground, and for older kids and adults there is an amphitheater that hosts concerts and symphonies. The park also has a jogging loop, skating rink, and underground parking structure.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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