Taipei is full of some of the best museums in Taiwan. Besides the National Palace Museum, there are dozens of museums in Taipei that can provide you deeper insights into Taiwan's unique history and culture.
Brief Historical Background of Taipei:
The land on which Taipei now stands on what was once part of Basay tribal land. The Basay people had lived on the land for thousands of years before the first Chinese settlers ever came.
Chinese settlers from Fujian began living here during the Dutch rule in the 1600s.
The first Chinese settlers came to the area in the mid-1800's during the Qing Dynasty. They created a public area for drying rice and grain, called Dadaocheng (大稻埕) which also became the central market in the area.
The earliest trading shops were built in 1851, mainly selling rice, sugar, camphor, and tea. Dihua Street (迪化街) was created around this time, making it the oldest street in Taipei. Most of the buildings were one story and made of red brick in Fujian style, and later western style houses were built. The walls and gates of Taipei were completed in 1884.
In 1891, the first train connecting Keelung and Taipei was completed.
During the Japanese era, in 1904 the walls of Taipei were destroyed after less than 30 years, and Taipei was re-planned into the capital of Taiwan.
After the ROC took control of Taiwan, Taipei continued as the capital city, as well as the financial hub of Taiwan. During the Taiwan miracle, many rural families moved from southern Taiwan to factories and offices in Taipei, making Taipei the most populous urban area in Taiwan.
Currently, Taipei is the most advanced and affluent city in Taiwan. It also has Taiwan's most advanced public transportation system, making it easy for millions of commuters to live outside the city where rents are cheaper. Now, most of Taiwan's economic activity is based in this city.
Basic Taipei Travel Tips:
When should you go to Taipei?
In my opinion, the best weather in Taipei is from March-May, and October - November, when the temperatures stay around 26 degrees Celsius and there is not as much rain.
Summers are also nice, with the most sunny weather, but also hot and rainy.
Winters can be cold (but not below freezing) and usually wet.
Overall, there is no wrong answer as to what time of year you should visit Taipei. You will have a great time here at any time of year.
Hotels in Taipei:
High end: 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 also stayed at and recommend the Grand Hyatt (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), Marriot (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), Sheraton (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), Shangri-la (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), and Regent (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), which are all very high quality hotels in the middle of Taipei City.
We also recommend Fullon Hotel which has locations in Tamsui and Fulong near the beach (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here).
Budget Hotels: We have stayed at and recommend and also Fu Chang Hotel in Ximending, which is within walking distance of Ximending shopping district (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, or Agoda here). We have also stayed at and recommend Hai Xia Your Home which is right in front of Fulong Beach (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here).
Looking for a hotel? We recommend booking through Booking.com here, which provides the best quality selection of accommodation in Taiwan.
Find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan here.
Tours in Taipei:
There are many tour itineraries that you can enjoy in Taipei that will take you to multiple destinations and arrange transportation. For more information, you can check out Tripadvisor here, KKday here or Klook here, which are both great tour websites that can connect you with the right tour and tour guide for you.
Here are some of the post popular tours of Taipei on Tripadvisor:
Attractions in Taipei:
There are many attractions that you can enjoy in Taipei such as Taipei 101 Observatory, Taipei 101 460 Skyline Observatory, Taipei Children's Amusement Park, Maokong Gondola, National Palace Museum, Yehliu Ocean World, Yehliu Geopark, National Museum of Marine Science and Biology, i-ride 5D cinema, Astronomical Museum, Miniatures Museum of Taiwan, Double Decker Sightseeing Bus, Miramar Ferris Wheel Ticket, Taipei Zoo, Heping Island Park, Ju Ming Museum, Yuanshan Hotel Secret Road, National Taiwan Museum, New Taipei Gold Museum, Futian Leisure Farm, Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence, Chi Po-lin Museaum, Beitou Museum, Tsao Wonderland, Railway Museum, Fort San Domingo, 13 Levels Archaeology Museum, Austin Land, Museum of World Religions, Formosan Aboriginies Museum, ASE Parent-child Park, teamLab Future Park, Yukids Island, VR Experience, Bat Cave, Neidong Waterfall, Candlestick Islet, Jurassic Snow Park, Zhonghe High5 Amusement Park, Longshan Temple, Xingtian Temple, Ningxia Night Market, Yansan Night Market, Meteor Garden, Yingge Old Street, and many more attractions on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
Activities in Taipei:
Indoor Skiing, Rock Climbing, Hiking, Wakeboarding, Surfing, Speedboat Surfing, SUP / Paddle Boarding, Diving, Snorkeling Kayaking, Canoeing, Water Biking, River Tracing / Canyoneering, ATVing, Horse Riding, Cooking Class, Archery, Ice Skating, Roller Skating, Tree Climbing, Urban Camping, Glamping, Motorcycling, Motorbike Tour, Dragon Boat Racing, Escape Room, Shen'ao Rail Bike, Laser Gun Experience, Batting Cages, Bowling, Paintball, Flight Simulation Experience, Taipei Tram Driving Experience, Rail Simulation Experience, Taipei 101 Observation Deck activity, Strawberry Picking, Professional Photo Shoot, Body Relaxation SPA, Night Tour, Calligraphy Workshop rand more on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
Just to let you know, if you book using the links above, we get some commission at no cost to you, and you can help support our blog. Some of the Klook links may not work if you are using an Ad blocker.
You can click here to receive $5 USD on your first Klook purchase.
How to get there:
The only way to get to Taiwan is via airplane. Planes leave daily from Taipei's Songshan and Toayuan Airport.
Taoyuan Airport: Taoyuan is Taiwan's largest airport and typically has cheaper flights and more flight times to choose from. It's about an hour's journey from Taoyuan Airport to the center of Taipei. You can travel via MRT, HSR, bus, or taxi to get to Taipei.
You can get 30% off the Taoyuan Airport VIP lounge on KKday here.
Songshan Airport: Songshan is a small airport in Taipei's city center, and can be a convenient option for people traveling within Asia. The airport is right on the Taipei MRT brown line.
You can book cheap flights to Taiwan on KKday here, Trip.com here, CheapO Air here, or Kiwi here.
How to get around in Taipei:
Taipei's transportation system is convenient and safe. There are many options you can consider to get around in Taipei below:
By Train: Gets you to the city center of all major cities in Taiwan. It is about 800NT to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Roughly half the price of the HSR. Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
By HSR: (High-Speed Rail) – Gets you quickly from north to south. Besides Taipei and Kaohsiung, most of the stations are far from city centers. It costs about 1500NT to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. You can book tickets to the high-speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here.
By MRT: (Mass Rapid Transit, Metro train, subway) – Easily gets you around Taipei and Kaohsiung. You can also book an MRT travel pass on Klook here.
By Bus: Buses can be tricky. Long-range buses such as Ubus and King Bus are easier to understand and cheaper than the local train. They can take you to the city center of every city throughout Taiwan and to remote tourist destinations such as sun moon lake. A long-range bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung is about 500 NT. You can also book tickets to travel to Shifen via inter-city bus on Klook here. You can also book a Taipei Sightseeing: Hop On, Hop Off Open Top Bus on TripAdvisor here.
By Taxi: You can take short rides for about 150 NT, or hire a Taxi for a day for around 150 USD.
By Car: If you are looking for car rentals, you can also search Qeeq here, Klook here, or KKday here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
By Scooter: Looking for scooter rental in Taipei? Click here or here to search for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
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 bike 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.
Tourist Site Map:
Check out our map below of tourist sites in Taiwan, which is constantly updated:
Let's get this list started!
National Palace Museum 國立故宮博物館
The National Palace Museum (aka NPM) in Taiwan has one of the largest collections of Chinese artifacts in the world, and perhaps the finest collection of Chinese art in the world. The museum is open year round and offers tours in many different languages. It is a must-see spot for any foreign tourist visiting Taiwan...(read more)
350 NT per person.
You can book discount tickets to the National Palace Museum on Klook here or KKday here.
You can book a Taipei City Tour with National Palace Museum Ticket on on TripAdvisor here.
Check out our full guide to the National Palace Museum here.
National Taiwan Museum 國立台灣博物館
The National Taiwan Museum is the oldest and one of the best in the country and focuses on the natural, geological, and human history of Taiwan. 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...(read more)
30 NT per person.
You can book for a discount on Klook here or a museum combo ticket on KKday here.
Check out our full blog on the National Taiwan Museum here.
Yuanshan Grand Hotel 圓山大飯店
The Yuanshan Grand Hotel is one of the tallest traditional Chinese buildings in the world and was the tallest building in Taiwan for nearly a decade. It also features multiple restaurants, a swimming pool, all-day buffet, shops, and secret underground tunnels, slides, and bunkers. It is a major landmark in Taipei and definitely worth a visit even if you do not plan to spend the night there...(read more)
Free to walk inside the lobby.
Rooms vary from about 3000 NT to 500,000 NT per night.
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).
Every day at 11 AM and 2 PM (check with the front desk to make sure)
The tour is 200 NT per person
You can book a tour of the hotel and secret tunnels on Klook here, or KKday here which includes a lunch buffet.
Check out our full guide to the Yuanshan Grand Hotel here.
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall 國立國父紀念館
If visiting the former dictator at CKS memorial hall is not your thing, you can still visit Taiwan's National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (literally National Founding Father Memorial Hall) sits in the northern part of Xinyi District of Taipei, and includes a large open square and gardens. The inside of the memorial hall commemorates the life of the founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen, who is revered on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. In addition, the memorial hall has a performance hall, free rotating art exhibitions, and changing of the guard every hour. It is definitely a sight worth seeing on your trip to Taipei...(read more)
You can also join the Classic Taipei Landmarks Day Tour on TripAdvisor here.
Check out our full guide to theSun Yat-sen Memorial here.
Liberty Square (CKS Memorial Hall) 自由廣場 (中正紀念堂)
If you don't want to spend all day at the National Palace Museum but still want to learn about Taiwan's history, you should visit Liberty Square (AKA Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall). It is one of the most notable landmarks in Taipei, as well as a symbol and gathering place of freedom and democracy. featuring a large public square, Chiang Kai-Shek memorial, opera houses, and gardens. It is officially a monument to the Generalissimo and President of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek. Its iconic scenery and architecture are a must-visit for anyone traveling in Taipei...(read more).
You can also join the Classic Taipei Landmarks Day Tour on TripAdvisor here.
Check out our full guide to Liberty Square here.
Ximending is a historical neighborhood and shopping district in West Taipei. Originally built by the Japanese as an entertainment district, it later became the first designated pedestrian zone in Taiwan. Here you can find night market-esque food choices, historical sights, and endless shopping options. It is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Taipei...(read more)
We have stayed at and recommend and also Fu Chang Hotel in Ximending, which is within walking distance of Ximending shopping district (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, or Agoda here).
You can also book a 2-Hour Private Ximending Area Walking Tour on TripAdvisor here.
Check out our full guide to Ximending here.
Discovery Center of Taipei - Taipei City Hall 台北探索館
The Discover Center of Taipei is open from Tuesday to Sunday every week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, and provides one of the best exhibitions and visual histories of Taipei that you can find anywhere. I would even say your tour of Taipei's old walled city is not complete until you visit this place.
46. Jinguashi 金瓜石
Jinguashi is a small village in Ruifang District in New Taipei, famous for its now defunct mines. Here you can explore the Gold Mine Museum, touch a multi-million dollar gold ingot, see golden waterfalls, go on some of the best hikes in Taiwan, check out the old mining town, see Japanese era historic sites, and explore abandoned mining sites...(read more)
Gold Mine Museum Price:
80 NT per person (Free for New Taipei Residents)
You can book discount tickets to the New Taipei Gold Mine Museum on Klook here or KKday here.
You can book a tour to Jinguashi on TripAdvisor here, Klook here or KKday here.
Check out our full guide to Jinguashi here.
Beitou Hot Springs 北投溫泉
Beitou is a hot spring area in northern Taipei, which uses the natural spring water from Yangmingshan and Sulfur Valley. Originally a Japanese-era resort town, it now has an abundance of hot spring hotels and public hot springs to enjoy...(read more)
You can book a Bath of the Gods Hot Spring Tour at Beitou, Taipei, 2-Hour Private Walking Tour in Beitou or Beitou and Yangmingshan Day Tour from Taipei and more on TripAdvisor here.
Check out more on Beitou in our blog post here.
Fort San Domingo (aka 紅毛城 Hongmaocheng, “City of Red Hair") is one of the oldest buildings in Taiwan, with a nearly 400 year history. Originally built by the Spanish, it was handed over to nine different nations including the Dutch, Qing, Japan, British, Australia, USA, and the ROC. Now it is a popular tourist destination in Tamsui.
80 NT per person (includes passage to the British Consulate, Hobe Fort, and the Little White House).
You can book tickets to this fort and nearby historic sites on Klook here or KKday here.
You can see our full guide to Fort San Domingo here.
Houtong Vision Hall 猴硐貓村
To the east of the Houtong Cat Village you can visit most of the coal mining ruins, including the vision hall pictured above, which was converted from the original Coal Dressing Plant's Warehouse.
Shengping Theater 昇平戲院
Another cool place to see in Jiufen is Shengping Theater 昇平戲院, which takes you back in time to the heyday of small movie theaters in Taiwan. I was surprised to see that the most prolific urbex and theater blogger in Taiwan Alexander Synaptic has not covered this one yet. I guess because it is no longer a ruin...(read more)
You can check out our full guide to Jiufen here.
Wulai Ayatal Museum 烏來泰雅民族博物館
Right on Wulai Old Street on the north side is the Ayatal museum. It is worth a trip and provides a great overview of Ayatal histroy and culture...(read more).
You can check out our full guide to Wulai Old Street here.
Taiwan Coal Mine Museum 台灣煤礦博物館
The Taiwan Coal Mine Museum (aka New Pingxi Coal Mine Museum) is a former coal mine turned museum near Shifen Station on the Pingxi Railway line. Here you can ride in era coal carts and have an authentic experience of Taiwan coal mining life. The mine is the only one in Taiwan that still holds mining rights, and the only one with operating "one eyed monk" electric locomotives that you can actually ride...(read more)
You can book a tour to the Taiwan Coal Mine Museum on KKday here.
Check out our full guide to the Taiwan Coal Mine Museum here.
Taipei Astronomical Museum 台北天文館
The Taipei Astronomical Museum is insightful, fun, and amazing. It has the biggest planetarium I have ever seen and up-to-date scientific information about the cosmos and new discoveries. It also contains a roller coaster ride and a theater. It is definitely worth a trip for the whole family...(read more)
40 NT per person
You can buy tickets on Klook here or KKday here.
Check out our full guide to the Taipei Astronomical Museum here.
National 228 Memorial Museum 二二八國家紀念館
Taiwan's 228 Museum commemorates the 228 incident and surrounding history, including the martyrs, victims, and hardships they went through. It is one of the best places to learn about one of the most important events in Taiwan's history, and learn about Taiwan's authoritarian past and struggle for freedom has shaped the present. The best part is it's free...(read more)
Check out our full guide to the Taiwan's 228 Museum here.
Taiwan Postal Museum 郵政博物館
Taiwan's Postal Museum provides a unique history of Taiwan from the perspective of its postal service. It includes some of the first stamps ever made in the world, every stamp Taiwan has ever made, and a vast collection of stamps from most other countries in the world. In addition, it shows a history of postal services in Taiwan and throughout the world, as well as DIY activities. It is a fun and interesting visit for the whole family...(read more)
30 NT per person.
Check out our full guide to Taiwan's Postal Museum here.
Miniatures Museum of Taiwan 袖珍博物館
The Miniatures Museum of Taiwan was the first miniature museum in Asia, and with 200 items is the second largest miniature museum in the world. The collection includes Medieval architecture, Disney characters, doll houses, scenes from fairytales, and more. It is definitely worth a stop for miniature enthusiasts everywhere...(read more)
Adults: 250 NT at the door, or 219 NT if booked on Klook or KKday.
Children under 6: Free
You can book tickets on Klook here or KKday here.
Check out our full guide to the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan here.
Taiwan Railway Museum 國立臺灣博物館鐵道部園區
The Taiwan Railway Museum (officially National Museum of Taiwan - Railway Department Park) is perhaps the best railway museum in Taiwan. It is built inside the old Railway Department of the Governor General of Taiwan and features multiple interactive exhibitions, thousands of artifacts, and a large miniature of Taipei's railway. It is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Taipei...(read more)
You can book tickets for a discount on Klook here or KKday here.
You can also book a museum combo ticket on KKday here.
Check out our full guide to the Taiwan Railway Museum here.
Academia Sinica Museum of the Institute of History and Philology 中央研究院歷史文物陳列舘
Academia Sinica's Museum of History and Philology is one of the best museums in Taiwan. It has the largest collection of Chinese oracle bone remains in the world. It is also free, usually devoid of people, and has some of the most amazing ancient artifacts from Taiwan and China. It is like a mini National Palace Museum, and is worth a visit on your trip to Taipei...(read more)
Check out our full guide to Academia Sinica's Museum of History and Philology here.
Farglory U Museum 遠雄建築館暨文化館
The Farglory U Museum, aka Farglory Architecture and Culture Museum, is an architecture museum in Xizhi, New Taipei. The museum gives a brief history of world architecture and also has play areas and reading areas for children. Overall it is a worthwhile visit for the family while you are at IFG Mall...(read more)
Check out our full guide to the Farglory U Museum here.
Keelung Marine Science Museum (國立海洋科技博物館)
The main film in the Keelung Marine Science Museum (國立海洋科技博物館) is weirdly a musical/visual tribute to the building's past as a former power plant. I'm all for historical preservation, but this was just strange and overboard...(read more)
This is the only photo I have of the museum. Despite its name, there are actually no marine animals. Everything is either a model, photo, or interactive exhibit.
The price for admission is 200 NT.
You can book tickets for a discount on Klook here.
Check out our full guide to the Keelung Marine Science Museum here.
Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology 十三行博物館
Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology (aka the 13th Site Museum of Archaeology) is a museum in Bali District of New Taipei featuring archaeological exhibits on Taiwan's history and prehistory, as well as international archaeological exhibitions. Here is one of the best places in Taiwan to see clearly what Taiwan was like in prehistoric times...(read more)
80 NT per person
You can book tickets for a discount on KKday here.
Check out our full guide to Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology here.
Lanyang Museum 蘭陽博物館
The Lanyang Museum focuses on Toucheng's history and artifacts. If you want to learn about the history of Toucheng, this is the place to visit. It is also a beautiful building, designed in the shape of Cuestas, or slanted rocks that appear commonly along Toucheng's coastline.
For more on this museum, check out our guide to Toucheng here.
You can book discount exhibition tickets to the museum on KKday here or book a tour through Klook here.
Check out our full guide to the Lanyang Museum here.
Cihu Lake (aka Cihu Mausoleum 慈湖陵寝, or Mausoleum of Late President Chiang) in Daxi District of Taoyuan is one of the most interesting parks in Taiwan. Much of the park is full of statues of a former dictator, Chiang Kai-shek. Also, Chiang Kai-shek's former residence and his mausoleum are on the site. It is definitely a unique place worth visiting...(read more)
Seeing statues and visitors' center: Free
Back part of Cihu Park: 100 NT per person
50 NT for cars
You can book a tour to Cihu on KKday here.
Check out our full guide to Cihu Lake here.
Chungshan Building 中山樓
You may recognize the Chungshan Building from the back of the 100 NT dollar bill. Originally built as a meeting place for the now defunct National Assembly, the building is now rarely used for events. The fact that is the only building in the world built right on top of a sulfur vent means that it is hard to maintain, and many parts of the building are under constant repair. However it is full of precocious art and beautiful architecture, and it is open daily for tours...(read more)
You can book a private tour to the Chungshan building on Klook here.
Check out our full guide to the Chungshan Building here.
Taiwan Presidential Office Building 臺灣總統府
The Taiwan Presidential Office building is the office for all presidents of Taiwan, past and present. One of the many historical buildings in Taipei, it is a beautiful Japanese era brick building, with a built-in museum inside. It is open for tours to the public on weekdays, and is definitely worth a visit...(read more)
Check out our full guide to the Taiwan Presidential Office building here.
Places we missed:
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.