Destinations

48 hours in Taipei

Whether it be a quick stopover or a city break, here is what we suggest to make the most of your 48 hours in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei.

DAY 1

9am

First things first, get up above the city to get the full perspective. The Taipei 101 tower was the world’s tallest building for five years until 2009. Its hydraulic operated twin lifts are a world’s first and the fastest of their kind, with a speed of 1,010 metres per min, and they’re equipped with the most advance high-tech components. There’s an observation platform on the 89th floor that gives an incredible birds’ eye view over the city and the surrounding hills.

Taipei, Taiwan downtown skyline at the Xinyi Financial District.
Taipei, Taiwan downtown skyline at the Xinyi Financial District.

11am

Taiwan has a complex history, having been under the rule or influence of the Netherlands, Spain, English and Japan over the past 500 years, but it’s neighbour China that has had the greatest impact on the island. The National Palace Museum is one of the largest museums in the world and houses almost 700,000 incredible pieces of Chinese artwork and antiquities. Its priceless collection includes Pieces dating back the Neolithic times and covering multiple dynasties, with bronze, ceramic/porcelain artifacts, rare books, sculpture, weapons, calligraphy and stunning jade collections on display.

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4pm

Taipei is a jam packed, fast moving city, so for a little afternoon respite make your way to Daan Park. This shady oasis has walking trails, bikes for rent, children’s playgrounds and plenty of space to just sit back and relax as the city buzzes around you.  For art lovers, there are many galleries to visit too.

daan

7pm

Night markets are part of the fabric of Taiwan with over 100 to be found around the country. The most famous of them all is the Shilin Night Market in Taipei, an enormous stretch of stalls, almost like a small township in itself, selling food, souvenirs, t-shirts, new technology and just about anything else you can think of. Taipei is one of the world’s best cities for street food so you can happily wander along the brightly lit lanes at Shinlin or many other night markets scattered in different parts of Taipei city and eat your fill of grilled squid, deep fried taro balls, fried chicken, guabao (a type of Taiwanese pork hamburger), oyster omelettes and the ubiquitous stinky tofu.

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DAY 2

8am

Get up early and head to the outskirts of the city for an invigorating morning hike. The Pingding Ancient Canal Hiking Trail runs through isolated forest and alongside the babbling waters of three canals. The walk takes around two hours and is a great way to see another part of Taipei.

 

11am

Taipei is a shoppers dream with everything from huge department stalls to tiny boutiques selling clothing, electrical goods, jewelries, souvenirs and more. Zhongxiao East Road is lined with shiny shopping malls offering the latest Taiwanese fashions and gadgets. Xi-men Square is located near city centre offers plenty variety for a distinctly Taiwanese shopping experience.

 

2pm

Taipei has a vibrant tea house and café culture and is one of the world’s best cities for tea or coffee lovers. For lunch today, find one of the small, independent cafes that are scattered around the central districts. Local Taiwanese love to hang out in coffee shops, so you’ll find that these places always have a friendly vibe and lively ambience.

 

7pm

Yes, that’s right, another night market. They really are an incredible snapshot of Taiwanese life so you should try to hit at least two in one visit. Raohe is one of the oldest in the city and the best example of a traditional night market. It covers just 600 metres with food stalls, carnival games and interesting shops.

 

10pm

Finish the night at Taipei’s most unconventional after hours’ hotspot – the Eslite Dunnan Book Store, a 24-hour book store, has more than 250,000 titles in Chinese and English, stationery, electronic goods and a café. People are encouraged to stay and read for as long as they like.

 

There’s so much to do in Taipei that you could happily spend a week (or more!) here. If you want to get a good overview of the city, try a half-day tour with an English speaking guide, which are great for lovers of nature or culture. Or, if you’re an independent type, the metro and buses are an efficient, convenient and very affordable way to explore the city on your own.

tw-tpe-eslite-bookstore-6dec06

 

To find out more about Taiwan, please visit their website or their facebook page.

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