Move Around Taipei by Train for 4 Days

There are a lot of things to see and do in Taipei for any type of traveler. Whether you want to stay close with nature, visit historic places, or simply feel like a local, Taipei offers the variety.
What's amazing about Taipei is that everything is within reach by train. The Taipei Metro conveniently connects different districts, and even its suburbs are only a few stations away from the center. Consisted of 5 main lines, the Taipei metro is very accessible and tourist-friendly.
Taipei metro map (source)

A good tip when creating an itinerary in Taipei is to visit places by area or district. Doing so saves you big time, and money as well because you can cover different places by alighting at one or two stations only. In this sample itinerary good for 4 days, I divided each day per area or district namely: City Center, Tamsui District, Beitou District, and Wenshan District:

Day 1: City Center

Morning:
1. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
2. Taipei 101

Afternoon:

Evening:
4. Ximending Night Market
Begin by alighting at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall station (BL 17) to visit the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. It's actually a good starter to briefly know Taiwan's history especially about China's national father, Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

Next, take a 15-minute walk to Taipei 101, which was once the tallest building in the world. If you want a 360-degree view of the city, head to the tower's Indoor Observation Deck at the 89th floor. Tickets are sold at the lobby. For complete information regarding Taipei 101 (ticket prices, operation hours, etc.), visit there official website.

After Taipei 101, walk to the Taipei 101 / World Trade Center station (R 03), then alight at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall station (R 08) to visit the complex of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial HallLiberty SquareNational Concert Hall, and National Theater. It's a huge area to cover, so allot the entire afternoon to go around the complex.

At night, walk back to the train station but take the other line (Songshan-Xindian line) of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall station (G 10) to alight at Ximending station (G 12). In Ximending, you'll see flashy billboard lights and waves of people crossing at the Ximending Intersection, which some people call as the "Shibuya of Taipei" for its huge similarity with the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan. Also, the Ximending Night Market is in the area that offers a local feel. Known as the king of night markets, Taipei is said to be the best at it and so a Taipei trip won't be complete without the experience of going to the night market.

Day 2: Tamsui District

Morning:
1. Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf
2. Fort San Domingo
3. Consular Residence
4. Aletheia University

Afternoon:
5. Tamsui Old Street

Evening:
6. Shilin Night Market
This route covers a tour around Tamsui District at the northern tip of Taipei. Tamsui is generally a coastal area, but it can amazingly reached in just 30-40 minutes from the center, alighting at the Tamsui station (R 28) of the Tamsui-Xinyi line.

Start early to catch a beautiful sunrise at the Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf. The surrounding is very relaxed and it's possible to catch the elderly doing tai chi and the rest either biking or running with the view of the Taiwan River. Also, there are several game booths around that you should try, which are local versions of the games in the carnival.

Next, take a slow 20-minute walk to Fort San Domingo, a historical landmark that displays the short Spanish colonization in Taiwan. Right beside it is the Consular Residence, a former British building with stylish Victorian style that got converted into a museum. Then, head to the Aletheia University where you can see more British-inspired university buildings. Some of them are open to public and entrance is free.

In the afternoon, take your time exploring the long street of Tamsui Old Street and its neighboring alleys. It's where you'll find mostly local shops selling different products from souvenir shops to food stalls.

Also read: When in Taiwan: Tamsui District

At night, return to the train station and alight at Shilin station (R 16) to see one of the biggest and most popular night markets in Taipei, the Shilin Night Market.

Day 3: Beitou District

Morning:
1. Beitou Geothermal Valley
2. Plum Garden
3. Beitou Hot Spring Museum

Afternoon:
4. Taipei Public Library Beitou

Evening:
5. Millenium Hot Spring (a public hot spring)

This route brings you closer to nature with Beitou District, a known hot spring district in Taipei. To get there, alight at Beitou station of the Tamsui-Xinyi line and then transfer to the short 2-line Xinbeitou line to alight at Xinbeitou station (R 22A).

From the station, walk for 15-20 minutes to see the Beitou Geothermal Valley, a sulfur-emitting hot spring surrounded by lush green. Note that swimming isn't allowed and it's merely for sight-seeing. Next, spend time visiting museums with traditional architecture including Plum Garden, a small Japanese style museum and the Beitou Hot Spring Museum. There are no entrance fees to the museums.

In the afternoon, drop by the Taipei Public Library Beitou, which you might see on the way to the geothermal valley. Aside from its unique wood architectural design from outside, wait until you see the huge collection of books inside.

Also read: When in Taiwan: Beitou District

Finally, cap off the night dipping in a public hot spring at Millenium Hot Spring. While there are sooo many private hot spring options in Beitou, doing it with the locals in a public bath is the best way to do it!

Day 4: Wenshan District

Morning:
1. Taipei Zoo
2. Maokong Gondola
3. Maokong trekking (choose any trail you like)

Afternoon:
4. Yao Yue Tea House
The Wenshan district is the mountain side of Taipei located in the south. To get there, alight at the Taipei Zoo station (BR 01) of the Wenhu line.

From the station, the Taipei Zoo is just downstairs. It's open daily from 9AM to 5PM. Entrance ticket is NT $60 for adults and NT $30 for students. For complete ticketing information and operating hours, visit their official website.

Next, ride the Maokong Gondola (cable car) to see a relaxing view of the mountains and tea plantations. It consists of 4 stations, and ticket prices vary depending on how far you'll go. For the best experience, go up to the last station (Maokong Station) priced at NT$ 120 for a 2-way ride.

Also read: When in Taiwan: Wenshan District

A good way to enjoy the village of Maokong is by trekking. Several trails are available, which may take hours depending on your pace. Maps are available at any gondola station and trail signs are visibly scattered in the area.

Maokong is well-known for its homegrown and quality teas. Tea houses are all over the place, among which the Yao Yue Tea House is the most popular. Go for an afternoon tea or bring home a tea bag as souvenir.

Have you been to Taipei? Which other places can you suggest? Share them below!




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