In this article, we have compiled everything you need to know for your first trip to Taiwan.
The following are all explained, so you can cover everything you need to know before going on a trip to Taiwan with just this page.
・A model course for a 4-day, 3-night trip to Taiwan to enjoy gourmet food and shopping
・When is the best time to travel to Taiwan?
・How to save money on your trip to Taiwan
・What to bring and what to wear for your trip to Taiwan
Taiwan is a great place with cute goods and delicious food! Please refer to this article for a fun trip to Taiwan. This article focuses on Taipei, Jiufen, Jiuquan, and other areas around Taipei.
- Enjoy gourmet food and shopping! A model course for a 4-day, 3-night trip to Taiwan
- For a trip to Taiwan, 4 days and 3 nights is recommended
- The best time to travel to Taiwan is March-April and October-November
- Budget at least 500 dollar for your trip to Taiwan
- What to bring on your trip to Taiwan
- Enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of Taiwan
Enjoy gourmet food and shopping! A model course for a 4-day, 3-night trip to Taiwan
First of all, I would like to introduce the things you can do in Taiwan along a model course. I did almost the same thing in 4 days and 3 nights, but in a different order, and made some of the best memories.
Day 2: Take a train trip to a nostalgic world. Day 2: Take a train trip to the nostalgic world of Shifen, where you can raise lanterns, visit the cat-filled Cat Village, and then tour the nostalgic Jiufen.
Day 3: A day of shopping. Day 3: A full day of shopping, including a visit to Dihua Street, Taipei’s largest wholesale district, and Kazan 1914, a stylish renovation facility.
Day 4: Take in the beautiful scenery at Taipei 101 before heading to the airport.
Day 1: Enjoy Taiwanese food at the night market on the first day
Take an LCC flight from Narita Airport to Taiwan!
It takes about three and a half hours from Narita Airport to Taiwan’s Taoyuan Airport. It’s a direct flight, so once you’re on the plane, it’s easy.
Eat Taiwanese food as soon as you arrive in Taiwan
Taiwan’s Taoyuan Airport has a food court with a wide variety of Taiwanese gourmet foods. When I arrived at the airport, I immediately enjoyed a tapioca milk tea and a large chicken.
Even if you are a little tired from the flight, the savory chicken and sweet tapioca milk tea will cheer you up.
Take a train to the center of Taiwan
From the Taoyuan Airport Line, you can take the MRT train to Taipei Main Station, the center of Taipei, in one line.
Check in to your hotel and take a breather
On the first day, let’s check in to the hotel and leave our luggage there. We stayed at the Green World Hotel Jianbei (Luogang Hotel Jianbei).
・It cost $220.96 for three nights.
・About $30 per person per night.
・The hotel is cheap, but clean and spacious.
It’s a 5-minute walk to the nearest train station and a 15-minute train ride to Taipei Station, making it a convenient place for sightseeing in Taipei.
When you are light, head to the night market
Immediately enjoy Taiwanese food! We went to the Shilin Night Market, the largest night market in Taipei, to eat and drink.
Try the xiaolongbao and other dishes.
There are so many stalls that it is hard to decide which one to eat, so if you share half of the food with the people you go with, you can eat a lot of different kinds.
Day 2: Travel by train to a nostalgic world. Visit Jiuquan → Cat Village → Jiufen
On this day, we took a train trip on the Pingxi Line, a local train that runs through the northern part of Taipei.
The following places are all located along the same train line, so you can visit them all in one day.
・Shifen, famous for raising lanterns
・Cat village, one of the world’s top six cat spots
・Jiufen, which is said to be the setting of Spirited Away.
Let’s go to Shifen for a moving lantern-raising
Shifen is famous for its lantern festival. You can experience raising lanterns every day, even if it’s not a festival day. The first step is to write your wish on the lantern.
Once you have written your wish on the lantern, it is time to fly it. At this time, you can have your picture taken with the lantern, so it’s easy to remember.
As soon as you let go of the lantern, it flies away, but many people say that it is more impressive than they expected. Raising lanterns is one of the best things to do in Taiwan.
▼ If you want to go to Shifen, please check out the following article.
Be healed at the Cat Village, one of the world’s six best cat spots.
Near Shifen, there is a “cat village” that has been selected as one of the top six cat spots in the world. If you like cats, this is the place to go.
As soon as I got off the train, everything was filled with cat-shaped things, and I was so excited!
Of course, cats are everywhere, too.
In the cat village, we came across “cat puffs”, which were really cute. Not only were they cute, but they tasted really good too!
▼ The following article is a travelogue of my visit to cat-village and recommended cafes.
Walking through the nostalgic streets of Jiufen
When you think of Taiwan, the streets of Jiufen probably come to mind for many people. It is said to be the setting of Spirited Away, and I can see why, it was such a nostalgic and wonderful town.
Walking along the pathway with swaying red lanterns, I felt as if I had wandered into the world of a movie.
Jiufen also has a lot of food shops, so you can enjoy eating here as well. The photo above is Jiufen’s famous “Taro”. It has chewy rice cakes in it, and is my favorite dessert.
You can fully enjoy Taiwanese food such as Taiwanese noodle shops and xiao long bao. I even ate xiao-long-bao three times in Jiufen!
Day 3: This day is a shopping day! Shop for Taiwanese goods and souvenirs
Take a tour of general stores in Dihua Street, the largest wholesale street in Taipei
Dihua Street is said to be the largest wholesaler street in Taipei, and it is easy to find souvenirs. It is also a hot spot for fashionable cafes and general stores that are opening one after another.
I recommend the basket bag store. The colorful basket bags woven with plastic bands are very cute. A large basket bag can be purchased for about $6, making it the perfect souvenir.
▼ The following article introduces recommended general stores in Dihua Street.
Take a breather at Cafe ASW. Enjoy our special Taiwanese tea.
ASW is a recommended cafe on Dihua Street. You can drink Taiwanese tea here.
The interior of the store is also really cute, so if you are tired of walking around Dihua Street, this ASW is a great place to take a break.
Shopping at Kazan 1914, a hot renovation spot
Kazan 1914 is a factory that has been renovated and is now home to many limited-time stores. Most of the tenants are only available for a limited time, so there is always something to discover every time you visit.
The café was also made to look like Taiwan, and it was really cute.
There were also many cute retro Taiwanese goods.
Get your Taiwan souvenirs at the Seipin Bookstore & Supermarket!
The Seipin Bookstore is said to be the model for the Tsutaya Bookstore in Daikanyama. It is a convenient place to buy all kinds of souvenirs such as cosmetics and sundries that are only available in Taiwan.
For other sweets and teas, check out the supermarkets, where you can find many inexpensive and delicious items.
Day 4: Taipei 101 for a beautiful view and then to the airport
On the last day of your trip to Taiwan, stop by Taipei 101 and take in the beautiful scenery before heading back to Japan. With a height of 509 meters, it is the tallest building in Asia. It is also a good place to visit during your stay when the weather is nice.
▼ The following is a summary of our trip to Taiwan.
▼ If you want to know more about Taiwan’s tourist attractions, please check out the following articles.
Most of the sightseeing around Taipei can be done by train.
Can I go sightseeing on my own in Taiwan? What is the transportation system like? I’m sure some of you are wondering. As it turns out, all sightseeing in and around Taipei can be done by train.
There is a well-developed subway system from the central Taipei station, and it is very convenient to take the subway just like in Japan.
To get to Jiufen or Shifen, you can take the train or bus.
▼ For more information on railways in Taipei, please refer to the following article.
For a trip to Taiwan, 4 days and 3 nights is recommended
Not a lot of sightseeing time for 3 days and 2 nights
→If you fly from Tokyo in the morning of the first day, you won’t be able to get out to the center of Taipei until the evening.
・If your return flight is after noon
→If you are taking it easy in the morning, you will have to go to the airport immediately.
・If you fly by LCC, you cannot use the airport in the center of Taipei.
→If your flight arrives in Taipei after noon, you will not be able to check into a hotel in central Taipei until evening.
Stay 3 nights if you want to visit both Jiufen and Shifen
Jiufen and Jiuquan are far from the center of Taipei, so staying 2 nights in both places is a bit difficult. If you want to visit both, we recommend staying 3 nights.
If you only want to visit Jiufen, you can stay 2 nights
If you only want to go to Jiufen without going to Shifen you can stay 2 nights. If you only want to go to Jiufen without visiting Shifen, you can do it in two nights, and if you are staying two nights, it would be more efficient to take a tour that includes sightseeing.
▼ For more information on the recommended number of days for a trip to Taiwan, please refer to the following article.
The best time to travel to Taiwan is March-April and October-November
December to February is cold in winter
Taiwan is not a land of everlasting summer. Taipei is located in the northern part of Taiwan, so it also has winters.
If you don’t mind the cold weather, you can go during this season, but it may not be the best time to experience Taiwanese culture.
March and April is the best season
March to April is one of the best seasons in Taiwan. The temperature is as follows, and it is very easy to go sightseeing.
・March: 18 degrees
・April: 22 degrees
Rainy season from mid-May to June
The rainy season starts in May, and it is not a good time to visit because the precipitation is higher than the rainy season in Tokyo.
July to September is quite hot and humid, with typhoons coming in August
Summer in Taiwan is quite hot and humid, so be prepared if you plan to visit during this period.
Also, typhoons are more likely to hit Taiwan in August than in Japan. In addition, typhoons are more likely to hit Taiwan in August than in Japan, and they can be more intense than those in Japan, making sightseeing impossible.
October to November is also the best season
From October onwards, the weather becomes cooler and milder, and this is the best time to visit Taiwan. Travel costs are often cheaper during this time.
However, I went in November, and it rained the whole time. Taipei and Jiufen get more precipitation than Tokyo, and the probability of rain is higher.
Keep in mind that no matter when you go, it will rain more than in Japan.
Budget at least 500 dollar for your trip to Taiwan
We spent 500 dollar per person for 4 days and 3 nights
We spent a total of $500 for a 4-day, 3-night trip to Taiwan, which we took on a normal Saturday and Sunday in November with two days paid. If you go during the holidays, I think it will be a bit more expensive.
Airfare: 200-300 dollars with LCC
If you make your own arrangements, you can find them for about $200 on LCCs; higher for 3-day weekends, etc. A recommended site is “ Expedia“. A safe and secure site for cheap tickets.
Hotels from 30 dollar per night
Many hotels in Taiwan are cheaper than in Japan. Two people can stay in a hotel for about $30 per night. Taipei has a convenient subway system, so no matter which area you stay in, you will have no trouble sightseeing.
The closer to the central Taipei Station, the more convenient it is, but you can usually get to Taipei Station by changing trains once.
If you want to spend less money, it is better to stay in an area 10-15 minutes by train from Taipei Main Station, rather than in the middle of Taipei.
Local transportation costs are about $30 for the train
You can do most of the sightseeing by train, so if you are in the northern part of Taipei and not using the bullet train, $30-$40 should be enough.
Food is cheaper than in Japan
The cost of food is cheaper than in Japan. Food stalls are especially cheap, and you can spend as little as $5 per meal. We did not go to any expensive restaurants.
Topical cafes cost the same as in Japan
The prices for the cute cafes were the same as in Japan. They are not cheap, so if you like cafes, you should think about $20-$30 for cafes.
Tapioca milk tea is available for about $2, which is cheaper than in Japan. If you find a store you like, keep drinking it.
Be prepared to spend at least $50 on souvenirs
Sundries are about the same as in Japan, or maybe a little cheaper. Prices are not insanely cheap, so I think it is best to set aside at least $50 for souvenirs to enjoy shopping.
▼ For more information on souvenirs in Taiwan, please refer to the following article.
▼ The following article details the budget and cost saving tips for traveling to Taiwan.
You should exchange 300-400 dollars in Taiwan
The exchange rate in Taiwan is better than in Japan, so you should exchange money when you arrive in Taiwan.
If you are planning to stay in Taiwan for 3 nights and 4 days, you should have about 300 to 400 dollars to exchange, and if you are planning to stay in Taiwan for 2 nights and 3 days, you should have about 300 dollars.
Don’t forget to bring your credit card with you so that you can handle unexpected expenses.
Credit cards are recommended for shopping in Taiwan
When shopping in Taiwan, credit cards are recommended rather than cash.
The reason is that when you get pickpocketed, having a lot of cash on you will cause more damage.
Cards can be easily stopped by phone, so basically paying by card is a good idea. There are many stores in Taiwan where you can pay by card.
When traveling in Taiwan, it is safer to be connected to the Internet
When you are traveling in Taiwan, make sure you are connected to the Internet so that you can do research.
If you don’t have internet access, you may not be able to get to the restaurant you want to go to, or you may not be able to understand what is written on the menu…
But with pocket wifi, you can connect to the Internet at any time and travel comfortably.
What to bring on your trip to Taiwan
Basically, as long as you have your passport and credit card, you can get everything else locally.
The list below can be checked off by pressing the box on the far left. Please use it to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
List of essentials for a trip to Taiwan
Form that shows the contents of your travel insurance coverage
Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Soap
Lotion, Emulsion, Body Cream
Changing Clothes, Underwear, Socks
Camera, phone charger
Carry-on bag for liquids
Summer sun protection goods for June to September
Winter warm clothes from December to February
Need-to-have items for your trip to Taiwan
Hair Iron for use overseas
Something to pass the time on the plane
▼ The details of each item are explained in the following article.
Note on clothing: Whether it’s summer or winter, be sure to bring something to cover up with.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when dressing for Taiwan is to wear feathers and warm clothes. It is very likely to be colder than you expect.
Even in November, it can be cold enough to wear only long sleeves, and from December to February, it can get as cold as 10 degrees in winter. If this happens, you will need a down jacket.
It rains a lot in Taipei, and it can get even colder, so it’s always a good idea to bring a jacket or warm clothes in any season.
Enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of Taiwan
I love the nostalgic atmosphere of Taiwan. However, some people may find it a bit dirty and smelly compared to Japan.
To be honest, there are not many countries in Asia that are cleaner and nicer than Japan, so I don’t think you should expect the same when you go to Taiwan as you do in Japan.
Taiwan is also a clean and beautiful country. I think it is the food stalls and night markets that you should be concerned about the smell and cleanliness. If you are likely to be bothered by them, I think you will have a good time if you don’t force yourself to go to the night markets and eat small packages at famous Taiwanese restaurants.
Taiwan is a place with a nostalgic view of the world that you can’t find in Japan. I hope that people who want to enjoy this atmosphere will go there.