Taipei has finally come of age and is ready to show the world a distinct vibrancy only it can offer. With an identity crisis finally resolved, the city’s evolution into one of the region’s most exciting cosmopolitan hubs is evident in the many things to do in Taipei.
From temples and museums showcasing the very best of Chinese culture to modern landmarks and attractions that defy expectations, there is no shortage of activities in Taipei.
A Culture Resolved and Thriving
Chinese, Japanese, and Western influences combine to give Taipei its distinct character. Activities in Taipei vary from visits to sacred temples to soaring up one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
Start with a visit to the National Palace Museum. With a collection amounting to well over 600,000 artifacts and various works of art, this massive complex is home to the largest assembly of items that piece together China’s storied past. Some of most notable items include a variety of antiquities, rare scripts and documents, and of course, paintings and calligraphy. Most people are overwhelmed at how much there is to see, but only 1% of the collection is on display at any given time. Most items are in safekeeping inside temperature-controlled vaults.
The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial in the Zhongzheng District is another activity you need to tick off your list of things to do in Taipei. More than just a monument in honor of the former president of the Republic of China, the expansive complex is also where you will find Taiwan’s impressive National Theatre and National Concert Hall. Another point of interest found within the same grounds is the Gate of Great Piety.
101 Stories into the Future
It may be a little late to the party when it comes to the vertical race, but Taiwan surely impresses with the Taipei 101 Tower. At just a little over 500 meters high, it once held the title of “Tallest Building in the World” and held the same honor for a number of years. Although no longer true today, it still holds the distinction of tallest eco-friendly building in the world and remains one of the top Taipei attractions.
The first few floors of Taipei 101 house an upscale mall featuring some of the best shopping in the city. Located on the 89th and 91st floors are the Taipei 101 Observation Decks with 360-degree panoramic views of the entire city. Be prepared for the journey, as the high-speed elevator will take you from ground level to the observation deck in just 40 seconds flat.
A Foodie’s Surprise Paradise
Not many are aware, but Taipei has steadily grown to become a foodie haven. With night markets throughout the city—the most famous ones being the Raohe Street Night Market and Shilin Night Market—your list of activities in Taipei should include sampling the local cuisine.
A couple of other standards include a trip to Din Tai Fung, home of the world-famous xiao long bao, and Modern Toilet, a quirky contemporary joint that has grown in popularity in recent years.