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Taiwan travel guide

From hiking through mountainous National Parks and relaxing on beaches, and from standing in front of magnificent temples to getting lost in vibrant night markets in the cosmopolitan capital of Taipei, Taiwan is a land of contrasts waiting to be explored. Oh, and don't get us started on the food...

Taiwan Fast Facts

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, however you will also find people speaking Taiwanese Mandarin (Hokkien) which is influenced by standard Mandarin, indigenous and other languages.


Name: New Taiwan Dollar
Code: TWD
Symbol: $ or NT$
Exchange rate: $1 USD is approx $31 NT$

Time Zone

Time Zone: China Standard Time (GMT/UTC+08:00)

A group of women wearing conical hats working in a field in Alishan Township with moutains in the distance
A canyon in the Yehliu Geopark

Small-Group Tour of Yehliu Geopark and Sculpture Art

Escape Taiwan for the day to discover explore rock formations, beautiful coastline and art. First, you'll explore Yehliu geological park on the north coast, famous for dramatic rock formations and crashing surf. After a delicious lunch at Jinshan Old Street, you'll spend the afternoon soaking up art and culture at Juming Museum, before taking un more panoramic views and even some paranormal, at Keelung's Ghost Festival Museum.
Colorful buildings along the side of a hill in Pingxi

Day Trip to Pingxi & Jiufen from Taipei

Explore the culture of two historic towns in the hills surrounding Taipei: Pingzi and Jiufen. With a local host showing you these gems at a pace that suits you, you'll stroll through cobbled streets, sip tea in local tea houses, and soak up rich natural landscapes. Psst - Jiufen was even the inspiration for Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away. Swoonworthy!
Dim sum dumplings in a bamboo steamer

Xiao Long Bao & Beef Noodles Cooking Class with Market Tour

If we had to choose only one reason only to travel to Taiwan, without haste, we'd choose the food! Discover the soul of this delicious nation by learning how they create one of their most popular dishes - Xiao Long Bao - otherwise known as dumplings. This half-day class includes a trip to Kuang Fu market to shop for fresh ingredients, and also shows you how to make the perfect bubble tea, as well as braised beef noodle soup. 

Taiwan Highlights

Taipei 101 dwarfing over the Taipei skyline at dusk

Taipei 101

This towering bamboo stalk - which is what it was genuinely designed to resemble - is visible across the whole city. Shoot up to the 89th floor in only 37 seconds, and be prepared for some magnificent views of Taipei from the observatory (once you've recovered from the elevator ride). If heights don't make you weak at the knees, then head on up to the outdoor observatory on the 91st floor.
Top tip: For an alternative view of Taipei 101 instead of in it, take a hike up Elephant Mountain early in the day before tourists bombard the trail.
A purple sunset over mountains and a lake

Sun Moon Lake

This lake in Nantou is the largest body of water in Taiwan, and a great place to just sit down and take a break from the sometimes hectic pace of traveling. Hire a bike and cycle around the area, hop on a boat or just chill and enjoy the surroundings. Sun Moon Lake is also home to one of the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan, the Thao tribe. Check out our tours to Sun Moon Lake here!


Top tip: Take the ropeway gondola across to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village theme park, which not only offers rides, but also aboriginal culture performances.
A swinging bridge crossing a creek in a valley in Jinheng Park

Taroko Gorge & National Park

Taroko's 18km marble-walled gorge is a place all travelers could go to get a winner of a photo for Instagram - we're pretty sure it could become your most liked photo. Not only great for photos, it's the perfect destination for the walker that enjoys twisty, turny trails through tunnels, across bridged and under some crazy waterfalls.
Top tip: Don't just stop at Taroko Gorge, check out the other amazing sites in the park such as the Golden Canyon. The best way to take it all in? One of our many Taroko Gorge tours!
Red chopsticks in a bowl of udon

For the foodies

Asian food is always a tasty adventure, and Taiwan doesn't disappoint. Head to any of the night markets to sample the street food: we recommend Keelung Night Market where you can get some great seafood, or Yongkang Street where you can find a range of dining options such as James's Kitchen, which is a highly popular place for traditional home-cooking. Check out all of our foodie tours!
Top tip: Try the xiaolongbao (aka soup dumplings) and the mango shaved ice (literally shaved ice drowned in condensed milk and topped with a garnish of your choice).

Taipei: Neighborhood guide

Are you a culture vulture, or a night owl, always sniffing out the best clubs and bar drinking districts? Maybe you're a shopaholic, or perhaps you're just on the lookout for some unreal Asian eats (psst. Us too. We like you). Look no further than these must-see areas of Taiwan's capital...
A street in the Songshan district at night


If it's a hipster neighborhood you're looking for then look no further than the Songshan District, and in particular Fujin Street. The chilled-out vibe, coupled with trendy cafés, independent, quirky stores selling furniture, vintage clothing and other goodies.
Top tip: check out Fujin Tree 355 Café, which is part of a store and art gallery - all your hipster needs met in one place.
Ornate roofs in Jiufen


You can easily spend a day exploring the many lanes and alleyways of Jiufen, that are steeped in history and culture. The architecture hasn't changed since it developed during the gold rush, so it's still very authentic, however Japanese style cafes, tea houses, and shops have cropped up since then, making it hugely appealing to tourists. View our tours to Jiufen here!
Top tip: Visit the Golden Waterfall (the yellow hue is from the copper and iron deposits it picks up from old mines). Another 'golden' photo opportunity, see what we did there?!
A lake and vegetation with buildings in the distance


If you're a lover of nature then look no further than Beitou Park. You can get there in 30 mins from Taipei Main Station, and you'll not be disappointed. Lots of green, and rich in history - with an impressive range of hot springs! The perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. See our selection of tours to Beitou here
Top tip: If you visit between Tues-Sun, check out Beitou Thermal Valley (aka Hell's Valley) where you can see steam rising up as high as 100m from the geothermal pools below.
A street view of the Bopiliao Historical Block


Despite being Taipei's oldest district, Wanhua is just as trendy as the newer kids on the block. You've got the arty and distinctive Red House (the first and largest teahouse in Taiwan), beautiful temples, historic streets that will transport you back in time, night markets, and even an ice rink.
Top tip: Head over to Lane 96 Kunming Street to check out the graffiti.

Taiwan travel: your questions answered

Do I need a visa for Taiwan?

If you're staying in Taiwan for less than 90 days then you don't need a tourist visa. If you plan on staying longer than 90 days you'll need a visa prior to traveling. *Visa and entry requirements are subject to change at any time. Please always check the current status with your applicable embassy prior to travel.

What's the weather like in Taiwan?

Taiwan is warm all year round, averaging at about 71°F, but the best time to visit would be between April and June or September and November if you'd like to avoid the high tourist season, humid weather and the possibility of typhoons which occur in the summer time.

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