10 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Taipei
Taiwan's capital and largest city is a melting pot of Western and Eastern cultures. The people are generous and welcoming, the food is delicious, and the nightlife is dynamic and varied. This is a city that constantly surprises.
This cultural and historical "city of commerce" was the destination of so many influential merchants and explorers that Taipei is also the city that many travelers wish to visit more than any other.
But the capital is more than museums and nightlife. The summer sun shines relentlessly, so Taipei's top attractions for tourists are not beach-oriented but more focused on culture, history, and exploring the city's famous sites.
If you don't have much time to spend in Taipei, you can plan a short vacation to enjoy the city's diversity in no time at all. Explore some of our list of the top attractions in Taipei.
National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum is the most important museum of its kind in Taiwan. Known as the Gem of the Museum, this museum is a tribute to the rich traditions and culture of ancient China and showcases magnificent stone reliefs, bronzes, bronzes, terracottas, lacquer wares, jades, and Chinese painting from the dynasties of the Qin, Han, and Ming. This museum houses one of the largest collections of Chinese artifacts ever collected by any single museum, in addition to its extensive Western and European art collections. Key highlights of this museum include the Gallery of History of Chinese Art and the Gallery of Contemporary Chinese Art, where you can see stunning ceramics, pottery, art, and photography from the 20th century onwards.
Shilin Night Market
The Shilin Night Market is a vibrant old-town street market located within the extensive Shilin Night Market Zone in Taipei. Beginning at 8pm, vendors from all over the island set up their wares along the main road, which, though shaded and air-conditioned, can get pretty crowded during the hot summer months. The market's most prominent feature is the abundance of local street food vendors, including meat vendors and snake vendors, providing a distinct cultural experience not found in most Taiwanese markets. The market takes place in the heart of Shilin, one of Taipei's most bustling districts, and can be reached by bus or taxi. On weekdays, the market is open from 8pm to 2am. On weekends, however, it begins as early as 6pm.
Taipei Zoo is a fairly new and exciting zoo which contains very rare and exotic animals in its protected spacious environments. You can find it directly opposite the old capital of Taipei in Zhongshan District. It is located about 50 km from the Taipei Railway Station, easy to reach by both public and private transportation. The zoo is divided into many different themed sections from Asia to Africa, each of which contain exhibits of some of the most exotic animals on the planet. There is also a children's zoo section which holds some appealing animals.
Taipei 101, completed in 2004, is the tallest building in the world, at a whopping 1,454 meters (4,887 ft). An excellent observation deck is at the top and at night a glass floor is put in place that will allow visitors to view the city lights below. Check in to a hotel prior to visiting the tower as entrance is very limited.
Often overlooked in favor of more bustling cities, this neighborhood, just a short walk from downtown, is well worth a visit. Ximending is home to several excellent boutiques and food emporiums as well as Taiwanese brand outlets that are well worth visiting. A trip here should also include a stroll along Zhongshan North Rd, with its own showpieces such as the Taiwan Handsong Temple and Ningbo Night Market. A highlight for many is the local seafood at Ximending's seafood restaurants. And to take advantage of Ximending's proximity to the Financial Center Metro Station, the district is a busy mix of restaurants, bars, and pubs at night. Be sure to visit its lovely parks, including China Culture Park.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
This impressive building is the home of Chiang Kai-shek, one of the leaders of the Kuomintang Party in modern-day China. Completed in 1975, the building is a site of both history and culture, with a museum inside containing over 400,000 artifacts and artifacts related to the life and legacy of the Chiang family. The cultural center surrounding the museum houses a theater and an art gallery.
Tamkang University is considered one of the oldest universities in the world. Founded in 1876, it first educated the leaders of China's unification. Today, Tamkang is the place to study and visit. The university was designed by Guochen Wang, the first Chinese architect to design a traditional Western-style building. The campus is home to many beautiful temples, traditional buildings and a famous library with walls painted with over 100,000 ancient Chinese documents. Each September, Tamkang University hosts Taiwan's largest open-air drama festival. Come and see how these Taiwanese entertain their visitors with colorful performances and food.
Located in the Wulin District, the Guanyin Temple was built in 1062 in accordance with the Tsong Yong Ching Tao, the emperor's beliefs. The temple was damaged in the 1592 An Lushan Rebellion and subsequently rebuilt. Guanyin Temple is visited by millions of people every year to worship Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and meditate at her Temple. The atmosphere is tranquil and serene. Inside the main hall, there are more than 100 Guanyin statues of various sizes, shapes, and ages, each of which represents a famous Buddhist story, including the demon-rescuing Guanyin. Guanyin, the incarnation of Kwan Yin or Avalokitesvara, is believed to be able to rescue people who are facing death and transform into a golden light at the end of their lives.
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Atop the 123m-high Peak of Eternal Peace in Taipei, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (; Chih Shan Wen Mu) contains the tomb of Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the leader of the first democratic republic of China. The centre was designed by a young Canadian architect, He Qifang (; 1883-1933), who was studying architecture in France in 1909 when he was asked to design a memorial to the founder of modern China. Some call the work the nation's most beautiful building, and in style it is a hybrid of Western and Chinese architecture. The marble-clad hall consists of three large rectangular buildings linked by curved paths. The first is the entrance building. It is connected to the central hall via a covered walkway lined with more than 10,000 statues. The white marble columns symbolize mountains and the many trees symbolize the flowing rivers. It features one of the world's most extensive libraries. The center itself is a structure made of granite, shaped like a clover leaf, with many underground tunnels. The five slender stones of the largest clover leaf are the bronze sculptures of Sun Yat-sen. The statue shows him rising out of his tomb, pointing to the sky and the original version of the "Ten Principles" of Sun Yat-sen, including Democracy, Nationalism, and Human Rights. A replica of this statue is found in each of Taiwan's capital cities. The most beautiful is in Taipei.
Shilin Hot Springs
Shilin Hot Springs, an expanse of 773 acres in the central mountains near Taipei, is one of the largest, most extensive and most spectacular public hot springs parks in Asia. Considered one of the best spots in the region for a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday, Shilin boasts some of the world's best natural thermal and spa waters. Built in 1883, the facility boasts a history of hydropower production, and several old wellheads can still be seen scattered around the park. The original village area was destroyed during the civil war and the power plant was destroyed by Japanese forces in 1945 during World War II. Some of the towns and villages in the park have been reconstructed and restored, making this a must-see on any Taipei itinerary. The most well-known place in the park is the hot spring gondola, which was built in 1947. Visitors can take the gondola up the mountains and enjoy a relaxing spa break or a go at fishing in the park's famous waters. The spa resorts of Chutian and Xizhi are also worth checking out. Chutian is the most popular of the two, and the 25-meter waterfall, as well as its numerous hot springs, are what most people are interested in visiting. Shilin is close to downtown Taipei, and can be reached by cable car.