Taipei is a fantastic city, and one that deserves to be explored to its fullest. Part of the beauty of Taipei is its proximity to a range of other amazing locations that will suit every kind of traveller.
For day trips in Taiwan, I highly recommend getting an Easycard because you’ll get discounts on your trip – like transferring from the subway to the bus. Some short trips can even be free. You can just buy them at an information desk in most stations.
Click here, if you’re interested in Taiwanese food tours or exploring the city by bike. One of our favourite spots to explore if you want to stay in Taipei for the day is the National Palace Museum which houses over 700,000 Chinese artefacts and is the largest of its kind in the world.
If you’re looking for a good base, here are our favourite Taipei hotels:
Bouti City Capsule Inn: Hostels don’t really come better than this. It’s right by Taipei Main Bus and Train Station so you’ll keep your costs down for day trips, private capsules with a curtain, friendly staff, and plenty of facilities. A similar style hostel in this same convenient area is Mr. Lobster’s Secret Den (stay for the name alone…)
Hotel Fun: If you’re looking for private rooms on a budget then this perfect. All the facilities you’d expect, and a great central location.
Yi Su Hotel: For a touch of luxury in a great location, then look no further.
10 Easy Day-trips from Taipei (And How to Get There)
Try and squeeze in at least a couple of these wonderful experiences in to your itinerary while you’re in Taipei.
Jifuen, Shifen, Jinguashi
One of the biggest and most famous attractions near Taipei – these beautiful sights are as gorgeous and otherworldly as the pictures make out.
This is the one trip I’d consider taking a day tour for because, even though it is easy to reach all these places by yourself, it is kind of hard to do them all in one day if you’re pushed for time. Check out our experience with MyTaiwanTour here.
If you’re not pushed for time and would rather do the trip solo (I don’t blame you, I love being able to take my time in places) here are the buses or trains you need.
From Taipei To Shifen:
Take a train from Taipei Main Stn. (台北車站) to Ruifang Stn. (瑞芳站) You can then transfer to the Pingxi Small Railway (平溪支線) to Shifen Stn. (十分站).
From Shifen to Jiufen:
Take the Pingxi Small Railway to Ruifang Stn. (瑞芳站), and transfer to bus #788, #827, or #1062 to Jiufen Old Street (九份老街)
Railway Booking: https://www.railway.gov.tw/en/index.aspx
Unfortunately, there’s no public transportation between Jiufen and Shifen, you’ll have to get back to Ruifang Stn. (瑞芳站) to transfer.
From Jiufen To Taipei:
Take bus #1062 from Jiufen Old Streets (九份老街) to Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Stn. (忠孝復興站) in Taipei. (You can also take this in to Jifuen if you’re not planning on going to Shifen)
From Taipei to Jinguashi
This is so easy to get to. It’s hard to believe how different the environment can be for such a small journey.
From Taipei to Xin Beitou:
Take the red MTR line up to Beitou station and then change to the pink branch which takes you to Xin Beitou.
Everything from here is in walking distance and most of the sights and the hotels are at the top of a big hill and are well sign posted.
We took a taxi (there are plenty parked up outside the station) up to Puji Temple (普济禅寺) as we didn’t quite know where we were going and our luggage was heavy.
Nearly all the hotels are right next to the temple and are well sign posted. It took five minutes and came to 50 dollars (TW). There’s a convenience store at the top, a lovely café with tea, coffee, pasta, and quiche – plus a couple of other places to eat.
Taipei to Beitou:
There are a number of buses you can take to Beitou (bus no. 216, 218, 219, 230, 266, 631, 632 to Beitou Elementary School stop) but for this one I really would recommend the Metro.
You’ve got a few options from here. Either you just stay for the day and visit the thermal valley (closed on Monday), walk around, soak in the millennium public hot spring (check the swimming gear rules – they’re strict), pay by the hour at one of the fancier private springs, have a look at the library, and the museum.
Or do what we did which was stay overnight at one of the hot spring hotels and enjoy your own private hot-springs. You can get some fantastic deals during the week or off-season and we had a double (really nice) room for just 50 dollars (US). You then have time to see the attractions at your leisure.
Some perfect hotels in Beitou:
Phoenix Pavillion Hotel – We loved our stay here. Beautifully decorated rooms and two private hot spring options. A large communal one and a private stone hot spring where you can lock the wooden doors. You also have a stone bath in your room which you can fill with hot spring water. I think I bathed three times in one day… There’s a delicious breakfast and free coffee downstairs whenever you need it.
The Gaia Hotel – Perfect if you’re looking for gourmet food, a luxury hot spring experience, spa, and a private gym. Five star facilities at a reasonable price. There’s a fantastic breakfast included too.
Yangminshan National Park
One of the most beautiful national parks in Taiwan and again so easy and cheap to get to.
From Taipei to Yangminshan: Just take bus 260 out of Taipei Main Station. It’s just 15 dollars (TW) each way and of course hiking is free so it’s a wonderfully cheap day.
It’s actually not far from Beitou and there’s a bus to and from the other so you could potentially stay overnight at Beitou and head here the next day before going back to Taipei.
You can also take bus 180 from Taipei which makes more stops at some scenic areas.
Yangminshan to Taipei: it’s the same bus (260) but the bus stop is just opposite the 7/11 and Starbucks. You can’t miss it. We were heading back at 7pm and there were still buses running for the next hour from then.
Some tips for hiking Yangmingshan – It’s not a difficult hike, you’re supposed to be able to reach the top in an hour. We took a longer scenic route and it took us over two hours. It’s stairs all the way up and coming down was rough (jelly legs).
Take a couple of snack bars and bottles of water with you. I took one of each and seriously regretted it. There’s no options to refill on the way up. Something to bear in mind.
We also didn’t know that there are snakes on the path. It’s totally safe if you stay on the track and there are signs telling you to not go wandering off the path. But I did see two snakes (this was before even reaching the initial visitor centre and café) before googling and finding out there are venomous snakes and wasps on the path.
Still, don’t let this deter you. I didn’t see anything afterwards on the long hike and I was on full snake alert. It’s a lovely hike with gorgeous views and so easy to get to. Totally worth it.
This is where you’ll find incredible rock formations that make a great stop for some incredible photos. Also perfect if you’re craving a bit of sea air and coastline. There’s not a huge amount to do so you could stay here for half a day then go back to Taipei to finish off.
From Taipei West Bus Station –
Head to terminal A at Taipei main bus station., Go to the KuoKuang (國光) window and purchase a ticket for NT$96 to Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園).
It takes around 90 minutes but it’s a scenic trip. You’ll be outside the park entrance when you arrive, walk down the lane on the left to enter.
Head back to the same area to get a bus back or you can extend your trip to nearby Keelung and Miaokou Night Market (廟口夜市) for a seafood dinner and some shopping.
Maokong Tea Mountain
Situated right in the city and next to Taipei Zoo, this is a great excursion if you have an afternoon to spare but don’t want to go too far out of the city. You can get there by subway to ‘Taipei Zoo’ station. Then take a trip in the Gondola and enjoy the wonderful views (or get the S10 bus to skip the pricey gondola).
It’s $120 (TW) to go up but it’s cheaper to buy two singles (up and down) than a return, for some reason. You can also take a bus down for just 15 dollars which is a huge saving. It’s a bit scary though.
Explore some aboriginal Taiwanese culture and some gorgeous natural landscapes at the same time. You’ll also find hot springs here, in case you don’t have time to go to Beitou.
Take the subway to Xindian Station (southern terminus of the Green Line 3, 新店) exit the station and turn right towards Bus Stop B located along Beiyi Road (北宜路一段).
Take the 849 bus bound for Wulai and stay on until the end. Fare is NT$15, and you can pay in cash or Easycard.
Some lovely hotel options at Wuali include:
Sun Moon Bed & Breakfast: Comfortable homestay with beautiful views, hot spring access, and a delicious breakfast.
Volando Urai Spring Spa: The most luxury option in Wulai, but a memorable stay that’s amazing for pictures. In-house performances, afternoon tea, male and female private hot springs, and you’re surrounded by lakes and mountains. Fine dining options are also available on site.
Houtong Cat Village
Slightly more difficult to get to with public transport but not impossible. And you’re rewarded with hundreds of feline friends at the end of it.
Originally a small coal mining town built during the Japanese era. In 2008, a local cat lover began to care for abandoned cats in the town. After word got out about the cats, the area has become a delightful tourist destination.