A modern metropolis with Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and contemporary buildings, Taipei is also home to Taiwan’s 509m-tall bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper.

The city is known for its lively street-food scene and many night markets, including the expansive Shilin market. Try Stinky Tofu or Taiwanese snacks from local vendors while soaking up the vibrant street-food market atmosphere.


Ximending is one of the most vibrant and bustling entertainment districts in Taipei. It is a must-visit for anyone who is passionate about shopping, fashion, and youth culture. It is also home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and cafes.

During the day, it is filled with young people consuming drinks, eating, and enjoying music and movies. It has over twenty theatres and six thousand vendors, and is popular for small concerts, album launches, and street performances.

It is similar to Tokyo’s Harajuku and New York’s Times Square in that it is popular amongst young people for its diverse entertainment. It is particularly busy during the weekends and public holidays, and attracts a large number of tourists.

The pedestrianised streets in Ximending are bathed in neon lights and have a wide variety of street performers, snacks, and souvenir shops. It is a great place to snap some memorable photos. There is also plenty of street art in Ximending, with many of the designs being based on pop-culture references.

The Taipei Zoo

One of the largest zoological gardens in Asia, the Taipei Zoo (Tai Bei Shi Li Dong Wu Yuan), also known as Muzha Zoo, spans 165 hectares and is home to a massive collection of animals. It’s a fantastic place to spend the day if you’re a wildlife lover, or even if you just want a change of scenery.

There are plenty of things to do at the zoo, from a visit to the Koala House to seeing giant pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan. These pandas were gifted to the zoo in 2008 by China as a peace offering.

You can also learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts by visiting the education center, which includes a zoo library, auditorium, hands-on museum and exhibits that feature Asian Animals, Prehistoric Animals, Natural Ecology Conservation, Lin Wang / Asian Elephant Exhibition, and Taipei Zoo History.

Lastly, we highly recommend visiting the Insectarium and Amphibian and Reptile House, where you can see the Aldabra giant tortoise, iguanas, frogs, snakes and more!

The National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum is a historical landmark in Taipei that houses a vast collection of Chinese cultural relics. This sprawling complex is a must-see when visiting Taiwan.

The museum’s collection encompasses 5,000 years of Chinese history and pre-history and contains bronzes, paintings, ceramics, books, and handicrafts. It is one of the largest museums in Asia and draws millions of visitors each year.

Originally the National Palace Museum’s artifact collection was comprised of those inherited from the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing courts. The collections were moved to Taiwan in 1949 from their original home in Beijing.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Kuomintang used the National Palace Museum to support its claim that the Republic of China was the sole legitimate government of all of China. They also tended to emphasize Chinese nationalism. This has made the National Palace Museum controversial. Currently the museum has shifted away from China-centeredness and is more focused on local and minority cultures.

Taipei 101

The tallest skyscraper in the world until it was overtaken by Burj Dubai, Taipei 101 is a historical landmark that you can’t miss when visiting Taiwan. It was completed in 2004 and is still the most iconic building in the country.

It is constructed to withstand the destructive forces of typhoons and local earthquakes. To do this, engineers designed the tower with a layered system of double-paned glass that is arranged into an angled movement-resisting grid.

While the tower’s design is based on traditional Chinese symbolism, it also incorporates postmodern elements to reflect a contemporary aesthetic. A curled Ruyi motif is used throughout the construction, while the building’s main spire is made from green glass that mimics the bamboo plant.

Its stepped design reflects feng shui principles, and the tower is topped with eight sections that capture water, representing luck and prosperity in Chinese culture. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and is a must-see while you’re in Taiwan.