The Nanhai Academy is a collection of buildings built on a former Shinto shrine in traditional Chinese architecture not long after the KMT nationalists took control of Taiwan. The area consists of the National Art Education Center, National Music Education Center, Taipei Botanical Garden, and the National Museum of History. Located in downtown Taipei, it is easily accessible, and you can spend an entire afternoon here. It is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Taipei.
The buildings that make up the Nanhai Academy were originally built during the Japanese era (around 1900), and was known as Kenkou Shrine which was a Shinto shrine. Later the shrine was renovated to resemble Chinese classic style architecture not long after the KMT nationalists took control of Taiwan (around 1955) under order of Chiang Kai-shek. The area was used to establish the National Taiwan Science Education Center, National Taiwan Arts Education Center, National Taiwan Music Education Center, and Center for Educational Resources and Publishing. The area includes a theater, a performance hall, an auditorium, and a broadcasting building.
9:00 AM to 5 PM, closed Mondays
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Hotels in Taipei:
We have stayed at and recommend the Yuanshan Grand Hotel, once the tallest building in Taiwan and still the most grand (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, or Agoda here).
We have stayed at and also recommend Fu Chang Hotel in Ximending, which is within walking distance of Ximending shopping district (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, or Agoda here).
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How to get there:
By MRT: The closest MRT station is Xiaonanmen Station, and is about a 10 minute walk from the museum. You can also book an MRT travel pass on Klook here.
By Car/Scooter: Driving or taking a scooter there can be hard because there is limited paid parking nearby. Looking for scooter rental in Taipei? You can search on Klook here or KKday here to search for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
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By Bicycle: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can use Taiwan's many Youbike sharing stations, or search for rentals on KKday here, and search for tours on Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here. You can also book a Sunset Riverside Bike Ride and Historical Tour, 4 Hour Cycling in Taipei, Ultimate 8-Hour Cycling City Tour, or Taipei City Bike Tour with Night Market Experience on TripAdvisor here.
For more information, check out our Taiwan transportation guide here.
I have been to the Nanhai Academy twice. They are beautiful pieces of architecture. However I did not have the time to appreciate the buildings from the inside.
View of the Modern Art and Design Education Center.
Entrance to Nanhai Academy.
Sign telling you where to go.
Map of the area.
More information about the center.
More info on Nanhai Theater, where history and the present meet.
Info on Nanhai Academy.
This is the main Nanhai Academy building.
Lily pad pond nearby.
Another view of the academy.
This building is officially the National Art Education Center.
View from inside the courtyard.
View to the left.
View to the right.
View of the broadcasting building.
View looking up the modern art center.
Front entrance to the modern art center.
Courtyard in front of the building.
View of the main entrance. It was closed when I visited.
However you can take an elevator to the roof where there is a restaurant and better views.
View looking back.
View over Taipei.
Looking back at the main building and restaurant.
The restaurant seems to focus on serving organic foods.
View of the restaurant.
View of Nanhai Academy from above.
Another view not in pano mode.
View of the pond below.
View looking north.
View of the Nanhai Theater with the Museum of History in the background.
Entrance to Nanhai Theater.
People were rehearsing when I was there.
Another great place to visit is the National Museum of History.
Unfortunately it was under renovation when I visited.
Front entrance to the history museum.
You can also look for more activities in Taipei such as Rock Climbing, Surfing, Speedboat Surfing, Diving, Snorkeling, Cooking Class, Glamping, Motorcycling, and more on Klook here, KKday here, or Tripadvisor here.
Check out our Taipei Museum Guide here.
Check out our family and kids guide to Taipei here.
Also be sure to check out our guide to Taipei here.
You can also check out our full travel guide to Taiwan here.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.