Visiting Taiwan soon and wondering where to stay in Taipei? Taipei is a 300-year old city that is as tough as it is beautiful. The attraction of the city lies in the fusion of various cultures such as Chinese, Japanese, American, and Southeast Asian. It is also the vibrant and booming capital of Taiwan. Despite its deep connections with the past and storied history, it is a highly cosmopolitan city that is one of the most developed in Asia.
Modern-day Taipei has been highly Westernized with an economy and infrastructure that could rival any modern city in the continent. The wide array of temples, historical buildings, and museums in the city are perfect examples of the beautiful fusion of the old and the new.
Where to stay in Taipei [2020 Guide For First Time Visitors] - Contents
Where to Stay in Taipei
There are several options available when deciding where to stay in Taipei. Your choice of a neighbourhood will impact the kind of travel experience you can enjoy and the things you want to do in Taipei. Among the neighbourhoods and districts you can choose from are Xinyi, Zhongzheng, Wanhua, Xinyi, Zhongshan, and Da’an. When visiting Taipei it's a good idea to get a local Taiwan sim card so you can stay connected to family and friends at all times during your trip.
Why Stay in Xinyi?
Xinyi is a place for everyone who visits the city, whether they are locals, tourists, or business travellers. If you want good food and enjoy shopping as well as a vibrant nightlife, Xinyi can offer you all of that. Dubbed as the Manhattan of Taipei, this area is filled with shopping malls, restaurants, and other places where you can have a fun night. You can get access everywhere in the area as everything is close by, and if you enjoy taking photos, Xinyi can offer you quality street photography.
The world’s tallest building, Taipei 101, as well as the Taipei World Trade Center, National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and Taipei International Convention Center, are some of the attractions around Xinyi. If you want to get fantastic views of the city, you can hike up the Xianshan Hiking trail.
Why Avoid Xinyi?
Although Xinyi is accessible for everything that you may need while in the area, it can be an expensive stay. The place may also be too crowded as it is often filled with both locals and tourists exploring the area.
Where to stay in Xinyi?
Why Stay in Ximending?
The entertainment heart of Taipei, Ximending is a place where you can find good food, experience roaring nightlife, and do all the shopping that your heart desires. Being an ideal spot for retailers, the area has quite a number of malls where you can shop both day and night. If you want to try out traditional Taiwanese food, Ximending is also a great place to do so with the various street foods and restaurants around.
Why Avoid Ximending?
If you prefer to go exploring at night and want a calm surrounding, Ximending is not the ideal place for you as it gets busier during the night with the bars coming to life. It can get too crowded as well, with all the shopping places and restaurants and other budget-friendly food spots.
Where to Stay in Ximending?
Why Stay in Shilin?
A great place for families, Shilin offers a less hectic environment and an enjoyable sightseeing experience in Taipei since it is within reach of many tourist spots in the city. If you seek to enjoy some good food, Shilin is the home of one of Taipei’s night markets, the Shilin Night Market. The area is also the home of the world’s first cat café, which is the place to be for cat lovers.
Some other attractions and activities that can be done around the area include the National Palace Museum, Yangmingshan National Park, Shilin Sheong Temple, Shilin Paper Mills, and many more.
Why Avoid Shilin?
The Shilin Night Market is filled with many people doing their shopping and enjoying the variety of food on offer. Families, students, tourists, and other groups are often spotted in the area, so if you don’t enjoy crowds, Shilin is not that ideal for you, especially during the holidays when it is packed.
Where to Stay in Shilin?
Why Stay in Beitou?
If you are a nature lover, this is the place for you to stay in Taipei. Beitou is in the northernmost part of Taipei and is home to the lush scenery of the Yangmingshan National Park. This place is ideal for hiking and is famous for its hot springs.
Its location is also perfect for seasonal viewings of the famous cherry blossoms and it provides access to panoramic views of the city. Plus, it has its own subway station, making it easier to visit other places such as the scenic Jiufen.
Why Avoid Beitou?
Beitou is not the right place for you if you are seeking the best restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. Sure, there are good options in the area, but there are other parts of Taipei that can provide you with more choices.
Where to Stay in Beitou?
Why Stay in Wenshan?
Wenshan is the place to stay in Taipei if you are looking for a remote area with some views of nature. It is still accessible to the city, but it is usually the destination of locals who want a break from the busy city life. This area is surrounded by mountains and is the “go to” place for some peace and quiet.
Wenshan also offers some attractions that will keep you entertained during your visit. This includes the Taipei Zoo, Maokong, Jingmei Night Market, and the Fudekeng Environmental Restoration Park.
Why Avoid Wenshan?
Wenshan is not ideal for the younger crowd as oftentimes, you would find them in the Shida and Gongguan areas. And, if you are into arts and culture, you should head to Zhongshan district instead, which has more to offer.
Where to Stay in Wenshan?
Why Stay in Zhongshan?
Zhongshan is the place for people who are arts and culture enthusiasts, as well as those who like to shop and explore an exciting and interesting neighbourhood. If you appreciate handmade crafts, the area houses some of the top and independent designers in Taiwan. Zhongshan also offers good food with quite a number of restaurants scattered around. It is the best place for you if you want to be in the heart of suburban Taipei.
Since this district is a culture centre, attractions include cultural wonders such as the Taipei Fine Art Museum, SPOT-Taipei Film House, Xingtian Temple, and the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art.
Why Avoid Zhongshan?
Being a business district, and considered as the tourism centre in Taipei, Zhongshan can be quite busy and filled with people. So, if you are not so much into crowds, the district can be too overwhelming for you.
Where to Stay in Zhongshan?
Daan (Da'an) District
Why Stay in Daan?
If you want more peace and quiet, stay in Daan on your visit to Taipei. It offers a less busy city life. Despite being a residential neighbourhood, Daan has trendy bars around the area as it bears the reputation of being the home of expats. It also offers you a good place for shopping. Check the Ming Yao Department Store while there.
The place is also great for you if you are a foodie as two of the best food night markets in Taipei are here: the Tonghua Night Market and the Shida Night Market. Daan is also where you can find the original Din Tai Fung restaurant.
Why Avoid Daan?
Staying in Daan can be expensive, so if you are on a tight budget, it may not be the best place for you. Since it is more of a residential area, Daan does not offer a super exciting city vibe.
Where to Stay in Daan?
Why Stay in Shida?
You will definitely enjoy your stay in Shida if you are into alternative and trendy styles. Shida’s university area has its night market offering a plethora of street food and retail options. No need to go far because Shida, located in the centre of Taipei City, houses several rock bars, cafés, and restaurants that you can conveniently visit and enjoy. It is also considered to be the most English-friendly area, making it very convenient for tourists to roam around and communicate with the locals.
Why Avoid Shida?
If you are planning a trip to relax and get away from the traffic and busy streets, Shida wouldn’t be the right place to stay for your next trip. If you don’t like crowds, a visit to the crowded and consistently jam-packed Shida Night Market within the university area would not be your cup of tea.
Where to Stay in Shida?
Why Stay in Songshan?
If you are travelling for business, then Songshan District is a good place to stay in. Hailed as Taipei’s Wall Street, tall buildings line the area and the vicinity is usually packed with business people. It is also near the airport, which makes it perfect for short visits.
Attractions in the area include the famous Raohe Night Market, which is popular for its wide selection of local food. This district is also home to the Taipei Arena and other notable attractions, such as the Breeze Center and the Ciyou Temple.
Why Avoid Songshan?
If you are in Taipei for culture and history, then this is not the place for you. Great sites for exploring Taiwan’s history are found in Zhongzheng while Zhongshan has a lot to offer for experiencing Taiwan’s culture.
Where to Stay in Songshan?
Why Stay in Wanhua?
Wanhua is one of the oldest districts of Taipei, and so here you can find iconic and historic buildings. In contrast to its landscape, this place is actually a hub for young people and it is a very lively district that you should not miss. This is the go-to place if you want to see Taipei’s emerging pop culture.
Ximending Pedestrian Area is located here, which is a must-visit place in Taipei. You’ll also enjoy the grand selection of clothing shops as well as restaurants and bars.
Why Avoid Wanhua?
Wanhua district can be a bit crowded with tourists and young people. If you want more peace and quiet, then the area might be too much for your sense. Or, if you want to be closer to nature, there are more lush areas in Taipei than Wanhua.
Where to Stay in Wanhua?
Why Stay in Zhongzheng?
The Zhongzheng district is the home of Taiwan’s history, making it ideal for people who find enjoyment in exploring the history and culture of Taiwan. Photography enthusiasts can have great subjects for their photos in this district.
If you want to stay somewhere with many accessible sights, Zhongzheng is one of the best places to be as it also has an excellent transportation system. The Taipei Railway Station is located here, giving you easy access to the different cities around Taiwan.
Some of the popular tourist destinations in Zhongzheng are the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the National Museum of History, the Chinese Taipei Film Archive, and the National Theater and Concert Hall.
Why Avoid Zhongzheng?
The district does not necessarily focus on fun nightlife and shopping. There are night markets nearby Zhongzheng but isn’t much else to do in the area at night. It is not the best place for you if you prefer to go out and enjoy a fulfilling nightlife.
Where to Stay in Zhongzheng?
Why Stay in Datong?
The Datong district is great for people who are interested in culture and history, and who enjoy great food. There are three night-markets in the area: the Yansan Night Market, Dalong Night Market, and the Ningxia Night Market. All of which offer a variety of choices for food lovers.
Museums, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, are also in the area. Spend some time to appreciate the history and culture of the city there. Also, as a whole, the Datong district is a great place for anyone who is travelling on a budget.
Why Avoid Datong?
Museums, temples, night markets, and destinations that focus on culture and history are mainly what the Datong district offers. There are few shopping malls in the area, so if you seek to spend more time on retail therapy, then it is not the ideal place for you.
Where to Stay in Datong?
Why Stay in Nangang?
Nangang is the district in Taipei that centres on education and learning. It is a great place for students who seek peaceful and calm surroundings. This district houses some museums and parks such as the Nanhu Riverside Park, the Lingnan Fine Arts Museum, and the Shanshuilu Eco Park. Other accessible places from Nangang are Xinyi district and the Roahe Night Market.
Why Avoid Nangang?
Since this district is mainly focused on an educational environment, there are not many attractions that can be found close by. This is not the best place for you if what you desire to do during your stay in Taiwan is to spend more time shopping or going out at night.
Where to Stay in Nangang?
Why Stay in Tianmu?
Tianmu is an extremely English-friendly area and definitely a good place to stay for many tourists. Best known as an enclave for Taiwan’s US expatriate community, Tianmu has great choices of restaurants offering a variety of flavorful cuisines and yummy desserts. You can also enjoy a stroll through the Tianmu Baseball Stadium and its neighbouring park, or hike trails from the Zhongshan North Road all the way up to Yangmingsha.
Why Avoid Tianmu?
If you love to visit and shop for goods that are brand new, unique, and exclusive, Tianmu is not your ideal place. Its market has compositing stalls that are not fixed and goods sold are mostly second-hand or pre-loved. Tianmu is not yet included in the MRT network. This means that tourists and even residents are likely to experience slight inconveniences in terms of transportation to and from the area.