With more than 15,000 temples across the country, you could spend a whole year visiting each one. But to make the most of your vacation time (so you still have plenty of time to eat delicious street food and sample locally-grown tea in authentic teahouses), we’re on hand to show you our top 7 cultural gems you can’t miss in Taipei. See the list below and share some of your favorites with us!
1. Sanxia District
Take a trip back in time to Taiwan’s founding by heading to Sanxia old street. Wander in between red brick buildings and alleyways, historical shops, and tea houses. With so much to see, try exploring this area on bike!
2. Longshan Temple – Buddhist Temple
The best times to visit Longshan are around 6am, 8am and 5pm when crowds of worshippers gather and begin to chant. Longshan is dedicated to the Bodhisattva of mercy, Guanyin, though in true Taiwanese style there are over 100 other gods and goddesses worshipped in the rear and side halls.
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Looking to get a close up of Taiwanese culture and history, but need a break from the city? Just one hour away with public transit, Jiufen is your spot. Known for resembling setting of the animation Spirited Away, here you’ll walk among cobblestone walkways and engage with moving history, retro cafes, tea houses, shops and ocean views. What more could you ask for?
4. Bao’an Temple – Taoist Temple
From Feng Shui on the front lawn, to stone carved lions and dragons painted on the walls – this temple is a must for your Taipei bucket list.
Visit between April and June so that you can attend the free cultural festival with firecrackers, the fire walking rituals and try some amazing food (yes please!)
5. Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
Get your art on at Taipei’s creative hub. Here you’ll find art exhibits, fashion shows, film shootings, award ceremonies, shopping and more…Located on the grounds of a former tobacco factory, taking in the contemporary aesthetic here is a must.
6. Confucius Temple – Confucian Temple
You would be hard pressed to visit Taiwan and not see Confucius (China’s most esteemed teacher and philosopher FYI) somewhere. This temple is one for the modern ages because it’s (wait for it), interactive. You heard us right! Try free Confucius-themed shows in a 4D cinema for size. Want more? Come at the end of September and you can celebrate his birthday!
7. National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Interested in learning about Taiwanese history, but want to spend some time outside? Head to the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. This national monument was built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, the first president of the Republic of China. Here, you have the chance to witness the hourly changing of the guard, stroll among beautiful gardens and marvel at Taiwan’s amazing history. Best part? The museum is free! Sign us up!