Hold on to your hats, folks, because we’re about to embark on a wild ride through the beautiful and bewildering island nation of Taiwan!
Buckle up and keep your hands inside the article at all times because we’re going to be exploring some seriously stunning temples, eye-popping night markets, and breathtaking natural landscapes.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have enough time for a proper Taiwanese adventure!”
But fear not, my friends, because we’ve got the perfect three-day itinerary that will have you experiencing the best of Taiwan without breaking a sweat (or the bank).
But don’t just take our word for it – trust the experts at Global Traveler, who named Taipei the best leisure destination in all of Asia. And if that doesn’t convince you to pack your bags and hop on the next flight, then I don’t know what will.
So come along for the ride and let us show you the sights, sounds, and flavors of this amazing place.
And who knows, maybe you’ll even discover a new love for stinky tofu. Hey, stranger things have happened.
8:00 AM – Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel 9:00 AM – Check-in and rest for a bit 11:00 AM – Visit the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, one of Taiwan’s most iconic landmarks and a symbol of democracy 12:30 PM – Lunch at Din Tai Fung, a world-famous restaurant known for their delicious soup dumplings 2:00 PM – Explore the Ximending district, a lively area known for shopping, entertainment, and street food 6:00 PM – Dinner at Raohe Night Market, one of the oldest and most famous night markets in Taiwan, where you can try a variety of Taiwanese street foods 8:00 PM – Visit Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world, and enjoy the stunning view from the observation deck 10:00 PM – Return to the hotel
Reservation needed: Din Tai Fung Estimated cost: $25
Reservation needed: None Estimated cost: $50 (includes street food and admission to Taipei 101 observation deck)
8:00 AM – Breakfast at Fu Hang Soy Milk, a popular breakfast spot known for their soy milk and fried dough sticks 9:00 AM – Visit the National Palace Museum, one of the world’s largest museums with a collection of ancient Chinese artifacts 12:00 PM – Lunch at Shilin Night Market, another famous night market in Taipei with a variety of food stalls and vendors 2:00 PM – Visit Beitou Hot Springs, a natural hot springs area where you can relax in the hot springs and enjoy the scenic surroundings 5:00 PM – Return to the hotel to freshen up 7:00 PM – Dinner at RAW, a Michelin-starred restaurant known for their innovative cuisine and local ingredients 10:00 PM – Explore the bars and nightlife in the East District of Taipei
Reservation needed: RAW Estimated cost: $150
Reservation needed: None Estimated cost: $50 (includes food at Shilin Night Market)
8:00 AM – Breakfast at Yong He Soy Milk, a local breakfast joint famous for their soy milk and egg crepes 9:00 AM – Visit the Longshan Temple, a beautiful and historic temple in Taipei 11:00 AM – Explore the Yongkang Street area, known for its cafes, boutiques, and small shops 1:00 PM – Lunch at Addiction Aquatic Development, a seafood market and restaurant where you can try a variety of fresh seafood dishes 3:00 PM – Visit the Huashan 1914 Creative Park, a former wine factory turned creative hub with shops, galleries, and exhibitions 6:00 PM – Return to the hotel to freshen up 7:00 PM – Dinner at MUME, a modern European restaurant with a focus on local Taiwanese ingredients 9:00 PM – Explore the night markets and nightlife in the Shida and Gongguan areas
Reservation needed: MUME Estimated cost: $120
Reservation needed: None Estimated cost: $70 (includes lunch at Addiction Aquatic Development and souvenirs at Huashan 1914 Creative Park)
Beef noodle soup is considered a national dish in Taiwan. It’s a savory soup made with tender beef, chewy noodles, and a flavorful broth made with spices and soy sauce. The soup is often topped with green onions, cilantro, and chili oil. Some of the best places to try beef noodle soup in Taiwan are Lin Dong Fang and Yong Kang Beef Noodle.
2. Bubble Tea: A Taiwanese Invention
Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, is a Taiwanese invention that has taken the world by storm. It’s a sweet, milky tea with chewy tapioca balls that are sucked up through a wide straw. Bubble tea comes in a variety of flavors, such as taro, matcha, and fruity flavors like strawberry and mango. The best places to try bubble tea in Taiwan are Chun Shui Tang and 50 Lan.
3. Gua Bao: A Taiwanese Sandwich
Gua bao, also known as Taiwanese hamburgers, are a popular street food in Taiwan. It’s a steamed bun filled with braised pork belly, pickled vegetables, and peanuts. The combination of sweet, salty, and sour flavors makes gua bao a delicious and satisfying snack. Some of the best places to try gua bao in Taiwan are Lan Jia Gua Bao and Gongguan Night Market.
4. Stinky Tofu: A Taiwanese Delicacy
Have you ever tried stinky tofu—one of #Taiwan’s most iconic taste treats? My visit to Shengkeng Old Street (深坑老街) gave me a chance to savor this local favorite, enjoy the traditional architecture, & help revitalize Taiwan’s economy. Share your #StinkyTofu experience with me! pic.twitter.com/qQMd0ajd4T
Stinky tofu is not for the faint of heart. This fermented tofu has a pungent aroma that can be off-putting to some. However, once you get past the smell, the taste is surprisingly delicious. The tofu is deep-fried and served with a spicy and sour sauce. Some of the best places to try stinky tofu in Taiwan are Shilin Night Market and Raohe Night Market.
5. Scallion Pancakes: A Crispy Treat
Scallion pancakes are a crispy and flaky treat that’s perfect for breakfast or as a snack. It’s a flatbread made with scallions and dough that’s rolled out and pan-fried until golden brown. Scallion pancakes are often served with a sweet and savory sauce. Some of the best places to try scallion pancakes in Taiwan are Tian Jin Onion Pancake and Jiu Fen Old Street.
6. Oyster Omelet: A Taiwanese Street Food
Oyster omelet is a popular street food in Taiwan. It’s made with a batter of sweet potato starch, eggs, and fresh oysters. The omelet is then pan-fried until crispy and served with a sweet and sour sauce. Some of the best places to try oyster omelet in Taiwan are Keelung Night Market and Tamsui Old Street.
7. Pineapple Cake: A Sweet Treat
For those with a sweet tooth, pineapple cake is a must-try Taiwanese dessert. These buttery and crumbly little cakes are filled with sweet and tangy pineapple jam, making for a perfect balance of flavors. They’re often given as gifts and souvenirs, but they’re so delicious that you’ll want to keep them all to yourself!
8. Ru Rou Fan: A Taiwanese Comfort Food
Let me drop sth from Taiwan braised pork rice, mango shaved ice, ding tai fung and or course bubble tea 🤓 pic.twitter.com/7hyyhZThWo
Ru Rou Fan, or braised pork rice, is a comfort food that every Taiwanese person has grown up eating. It consists of tender, braised pork belly served over a bed of steaming white rice. The dish is often topped with a fried egg and accompanied by pickled vegetables or a savory sauce. It’s simple yet satisfying, and it’s sure to fill you up.
Taiwan has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in Taipei is fast, convenient, and affordable. You can easily get to all the major tourist attractions using the MRT. There are also buses, trains, and high-speed rail options available for travel outside of Taipei.
2. Rent a Scooter
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore Taiwan at your own pace, rent a scooter! This is a popular way to get around in Taiwan, especially in the countryside. It’s important to have a valid international driver’s license and wear a helmet.
3. Take a Taxi or Uber
Taxis and Ubers are widely available in Taiwan. They are a good option for short trips, especially when public transportation is not an option. However, make sure the taxi driver uses the meter or agrees on a price before getting in the car to avoid any surprise charges.
Is Taiwan safe for tourists?
Absolutely! Taiwan is one of the safest countries in Asia for tourists. Crime rates are low, and the people are friendly and welcoming.
What is the best time to visit Taiwan?
The best time to visit Taiwan is during the spring and fall. The weather is mild, and there are fewer tourists. If you visit in the summer, be prepared for some seriously hot and humid weather. And if you come in the winter, make sure to bring warm clothes, especially if you’re planning to visit the mountains.
Can I travel to Taiwan without knowing Mandarin?
While it’s always helpful to know some basic Mandarin, you can definitely travel in Taiwan without speaking the language. Many locals speak English, especially in the cities and tourist areas. And even if you don’t speak the language, you can always use translation apps on your phone.
What is the currency used in Taiwan?
The currency used in Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). You can exchange your currency at banks or exchange offices, or withdraw cash from ATMs. And don’t worry – most shops and restaurants in Taiwan accept credit cards.
What is the best time of day to eat Taiwanese street food?
Taiwanese street food is great any time of day, but it’s particularly popular as a late-night snack. Many street vendors set up shop in the evenings and stay open until the early hours of the morning.
Are Taiwanese dishes spicy?
Some Taiwanese dishes can be spicy, but not all of them. It really depends on the dish and the level of spiciness you prefer. Don’t be afraid to ask the server for recommendations or to adjust the spice level to your liking.
Can vegetarians find options in Taiwanese cuisine?
Yes, there are plenty of vegetarian options in Taiwanese cuisine, such as tofu dishes, vegetable stir-fries, and noodle soups. Be sure to ask the server for recommendations or to clarify any dietary restrictions.
Is it common to share dishes in Taiwanese dining culture?
Yes, sharing dishes is a common practice in Taiwanese dining culture. It’s a great way to try a variety of dishes and share the experience with your dining companions.
Is it customary to tip at Taiwanese restaurants?
No, it’s not customary to tip at Taiwanese restaurants. The price on the menu is the final price, and servers are usually paid a fair wage.
If you have extra time during your trip, there are a few other places you might want to check out. Here are some additional suggestions:
Taipei Fine Arts Museum: This is a great place to visit if you’re interested in contemporary art. The museum has a variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Elephant Mountain: If you’re looking for a good view of Taipei, Elephant Mountain is a popular hiking trail that offers stunning views of the city.
Jiufen: This is a charming mountain town about an hour outside of Taipei that’s known for its narrow streets, tea houses, and stunning views of the coast. Some claims it is the inspiration for the animated film “Spirited Away”
Sun Moon Lake: If you’re willing to venture outside of Taipei, Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful scenic spot in central Taiwan that’s popular for hiking, boating, and hot springs.
Of course, fitting all of these activities into a three-day trip might be a bit challenging, but I’m happy to help you customize your itinerary based on your interests and preferences.
Just let me know if you have any other questions or if there’s anything else I can do to help you plan your trip.