Perfect Weekend in Taipei

Lauren Mack

There's much to see and do in Taipei, my former home and one of the best places to ever visit. With a mix of culture, history, nature, fantastic food, and nightlife, Taipei has it all.

  • Muzha Station in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of Muzha Station on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      Perched in the mountains on the outskirts of Taipei, Muzha’s tea plantations produce some of the best tiěguānyīn (oolong tea). The tea shops in Maokong, a valley in the hills of Muzha, offer the best views of the city. Watch the sun set (and rise) from cozy tea shops that are open 24/7.

  • Maokong Gondola in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of Maokong Gondola on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      If you're not too tired, take the subway all the way to the opposite end and ride the Maokong Gondola the Muzha tea plantations.

  • Tamsui District

    Image of Tamsui District on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      The last stop on the red subway line R leads to Danshui, a fisherman’s wharf lined with barbecue restaurants where locals grill meats and veggies table-side. The restaurant rooftops provide the perfect spot for admiring the sunset over dinner. Below, handicraft shops, food stalls, and arcades make for a lively evening stroll.

  • Hsing Tian Kong

    Image of Hsing Tian Kong on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      After a visit to Hsing Tian Kong, it's time to get your fortune told. Whether you want to know if you’ll find love, get rich, or just get lucky, get your fortune told on Taipei’s Fortune Teller Street. The “street” is actually an underground alley with a dozen or so fortune telling staffs beneath Taoist temple Hsing Tian Kong. Inside, fortune tellers, who speak Chinese, English, Japanese, and Taiwanese, use a variety of fortune telling methods like rice and coin divination to see into the future.

  • Yongkang Street in Taipei City, Taiwan

    • laurenmack

      Around the corner from Din Tai Fung’s Xinyi Road location is the start of Yongkang Jie, a street filled with small eateries beloved by locals, bubble tea shops, trendy dessert places, and tiny boutiques. While Din Tai Fung usually gets all the attention, delicious homestyle Taiwanese fare is served at the restaurants and cafes that line Yong Kang Street. Favorites include the lǔ ròu fàn (Taiwanese braised pork over rice) at Lv Sang (呂桑食堂), dànzi miàn (noodles topped with bean sprouts, minced pork, shallots, bok choy, and garnished with one boiled shrimp) at Du Hsiao Yueh, and freshly brewed and shaken iced tea at 50嵐.

  • Din Tai Fung Xinyi Restaurant

    Image of Din Tai Fung Xinyi Restaurant on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      After a morning spent brunching and perhaps swimming at the rooftop pool at the Shangri-La Far Eastern Hotel, head to lunch at Din Tai Fung. What began as a mom-and-pop cooking-oil shop has evolved into the world’s best purveyor of xiǎolóng bǎo (soup dumplings). Each round, soupy bun is hand folded with exactly 18 perfect folds. There are plenty of other excellent dishes on offer, but it’s these humble dumplings that have made this a famous international chain.

  • Shangri-La's Far Eastern, Taipei 台北遠東香格里拉 in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of Shangri-La's Far Eastern, Taipei 台北遠東香格里拉 on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      One of the best hotels in the city, a stay at the Shangri-La Far Eastern is a pampering experience, from the expansive gym with palatial plunge pools and tubs, steam room and sauna to the breakfast and dinner buffets that have every thing you could want and crave to the rooftop swimming pool with panoramic views of the city.

  • Foot Massage Center in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of Foot Massage Center on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      After all the walking you have done, end your evening at 6 Stars foot massage. Its ahh-mazing.

  • Ximending Walking District in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of Ximending Walking District on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      Indulge in hair washing at one of the many salons in Ximending. The experience includes an extensive hair wash with relaxing scalp and neck massage followed by blow drying and styline.

  • The Red House

    Image of The Red House on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      Across the street from Ximending is the octagonal-shaped landmark called The Red House, a former public market that now houses a tea shop and a collection of micro boutiques with goods made by local artisans, including clothing, accessories, and housewares.

  • Shi-men Ting

    Image of Shi-men Ting on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      After an afternoon shopping, take the subway to Ximending. Akin to Harajuku in Japan, Taiwan’s first pedestrian zone is the place to stroll. Ximending is sleepy by day, but its neon-lit shops and restaurants are packed at night and on weekends with teens and hipsters. Pop-up food vendors, roving street performers, and Taiwanese dressed to impress make this an excellent place to witness Taiwan’s subculture and creativity.

  • TAIPEI 101

    Image of TAIPEI 101 on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      Walk from the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial to Taipei 101, one of the world's tallest buildings. Grab lunch in the food court at Taipei 101 Mall or any of the malls leading to Taipei 101. There are also some great restaurants on the upper floors, which afford enviable views of the city. Make sure to stroll the mall and visit the observatory.

  • National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      A short walk from the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial is the National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall that honors the Republic of China’s “national father.” There's a changing of the guard here too. It's also a great place to people watch.

  • National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

    Image of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      Stop at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall where you can watch the changing of the guard and view exhibits about the former dictator who ruled Taiwan from 1945 until his death in 1975.

  • Yong He Soy Milk King in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of Yong He Soy Milk King on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      Begin the day with breakfast at Yonghe Doujiang. Sip hot soy milk and sample freshly fried sticks of dough while you contemplate the day ahead.

  • Shi Lin Night Market

    Image of Shi Lin Night Market on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      Taiwan's night markets are the perfect way to sample the best of Taiwanese cuisine. Shilin Night Market is one of the largest night markets in Taipei with hundreds of stalls selling oyster omelettes, shaved ice, bubble tea, onion scallion pancakes, Taiwanese sausage and more.

  • Spring City Resort in Taipei City, Taiwan

    Image of Spring City Resort on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      After a morning spent touring the National Palace Museum, soak the afternoon away in the hot springs in Beitou. The Japanese are credited with bringing the hot spring culture to Taiwan. Spring City Resort has one of the best hot spring set-ups: various outdoor thermal pools and a hot marble slab to lay on it between soaking sessions. You can opt to spend the night here and continue the fun or stay elsewhere in the city.

  • National Palace Museum

    Image of National Palace Museum on Seeker
    • laurenmack

      This museum is a treasure trove of calligraphy, bronzes, jade, engraved seals and other artifacts, many secretly shipped to Taiwan before the Nationalists fled Mainland China in 1949. The three most famous pieces to see are two pieces from the Qing Dynasty, Jadeite cabbage and the meat carved stone and one from the Shang Dynasty, oracle bones used for fortune telling.

  • Muzha Station

    Perched in the mountains on the outskirts of Taipei, Muzha’s tea plantations produce some of the best tiěguānyīn (oolong tea). The tea shops in Maokong, a valley in the hills of Muzha, offer the best views of the city. Watch the sun set (and rise) from cozy tea shops that are open 24/7.

    December 12, 2021
  • Maokong Gondola

    If you're not too tired, take the subway all the way to the opposite end and ride the Maokong Gondola the Muzha tea plantations.

    December 12, 2021
  • Tamsui District

    The last stop on the red subway line R leads to Danshui, a fisherman’s wharf lined with barbecue restaurants where locals grill meats and veggies table-side. The restaurant rooftops provide the perfect spot for admiring the sunset over dinner. Below, handicraft shops, food stalls, and arcades make for a lively evening stroll.

    December 12, 2021
  • Hsing Tian Kong

    After a visit to Hsing Tian Kong, it's time to get your fortune told. Whether you want to know if you’ll find love, get rich, or just get lucky, get your fortune told on Taipei’s Fortune Teller Street. The “street” is actually an underground alley with a dozen or so fortune telling staffs beneath Taoist temple Hsing Tian Kong. Inside, fortune tellers, who speak Chinese, English, Japanese, and Taiwanese, use a variety of fortune telling methods like rice and coin divination to see into the future.

    December 12, 2021
  • Yongkang Street

    Around the corner from Din Tai Fung’s Xinyi Road location is the start of Yongkang Jie, a street filled with small eateries beloved by locals, bubble tea shops, trendy dessert places, and tiny boutiques. While Din Tai Fung usually gets all the attention, delicious homestyle Taiwanese fare is served at the restaurants and cafes that line Yong Kang Street. Favorites include the lǔ ròu fàn (Taiwanese braised pork over rice) at Lv Sang (呂桑食堂), dànzi miàn (noodles topped with bean sprouts, minced pork, shallots, bok choy, and garnished with one boiled shrimp) at Du Hsiao Yueh, and freshly brewed and shaken iced tea at 50嵐.

    December 12, 2021
  • Din Tai Fung Xinyi Restaurant

    After a morning spent brunching and perhaps swimming at the rooftop pool at the Shangri-La Far Eastern Hotel, head to lunch at Din Tai Fung. What began as a mom-and-pop cooking-oil shop has evolved into the world’s best purveyor of xiǎolóng bǎo (soup dumplings). Each round, soupy bun is hand folded with exactly 18 perfect folds. There are plenty of other excellent dishes on offer, but it’s these humble dumplings that have made this a famous international chain.

    December 12, 2021
  • Shangri-La's Far Eastern, Taipei 台北遠東香格里拉

    One of the best hotels in the city, a stay at the Shangri-La Far Eastern is a pampering experience, from the expansive gym with palatial plunge pools and tubs, steam room and sauna to the breakfast and dinner buffets that have every thing you could want and crave to the rooftop swimming pool with panoramic views of the city.

    December 12, 2021
  • Foot Massage Center

    After all the walking you have done, end your evening at 6 Stars foot massage. Its ahh-mazing.

    December 12, 2021
  • Ximending Walking District

    Indulge in hair washing at one of the many salons in Ximending. The experience includes an extensive hair wash with relaxing scalp and neck massage followed by blow drying and styline.

    December 12, 2021
  • The Red House

    Across the street from Ximending is the octagonal-shaped landmark called The Red House, a former public market that now houses a tea shop and a collection of micro boutiques with goods made by local artisans, including clothing, accessories, and housewares.

    December 12, 2021
  • Shi-men Ting

    After an afternoon shopping, take the subway to Ximending. Akin to Harajuku in Japan, Taiwan’s first pedestrian zone is the place to stroll. Ximending is sleepy by day, but its neon-lit shops and restaurants are packed at night and on weekends with teens and hipsters. Pop-up food vendors, roving street performers, and Taiwanese dressed to impress make this an excellent place to witness Taiwan’s subculture and creativity.

    December 12, 2021
  • TAIPEI 101

    Walk from the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial to Taipei 101, one of the world's tallest buildings. Grab lunch in the food court at Taipei 101 Mall or any of the malls leading to Taipei 101. There are also some great restaurants on the upper floors, which afford enviable views of the city. Make sure to stroll the mall and visit the observatory.

    December 12, 2021
  • National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

    A short walk from the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial is the National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall that honors the Republic of China’s “national father.” There's a changing of the guard here too. It's also a great place to people watch.

    December 12, 2021
  • National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

    Stop at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall where you can watch the changing of the guard and view exhibits about the former dictator who ruled Taiwan from 1945 until his death in 1975.

    December 12, 2021
  • Yong He Soy Milk King

    Begin the day with breakfast at Yonghe Doujiang. Sip hot soy milk and sample freshly fried sticks of dough while you contemplate the day ahead.

    December 12, 2021
  • Shi Lin Night Market

    Taiwan's night markets are the perfect way to sample the best of Taiwanese cuisine. Shilin Night Market is one of the largest night markets in Taipei with hundreds of stalls selling oyster omelettes, shaved ice, bubble tea, onion scallion pancakes, Taiwanese sausage and more.

    December 12, 2021
  • Spring City Resort

    After a morning spent touring the National Palace Museum, soak the afternoon away in the hot springs in Beitou. The Japanese are credited with bringing the hot spring culture to Taiwan. Spring City Resort has one of the best hot spring set-ups: various outdoor thermal pools and a hot marble slab to lay on it between soaking sessions. You can opt to spend the night here and continue the fun or stay elsewhere in the city.

    December 12, 2021
  • National Palace Museum

    This museum is a treasure trove of calligraphy, bronzes, jade, engraved seals and other artifacts, many secretly shipped to Taiwan before the Nationalists fled Mainland China in 1949. The three most famous pieces to see are two pieces from the Qing Dynasty, Jadeite cabbage and the meat carved stone and one from the Shang Dynasty, oracle bones used for fortune telling.

    December 12, 2021