Just in case you skimmed over the intro (totally don’t blame you!), I wanted to dedicate this little section to the question is Taipei safe.
Yes. Taipei is a very safe city for solo female travellers. You won’t run into any issues in Taipei and will feel safe everywhere you go.
Taiwanese people are some of the kindest people in the world. They’ll go out of their way to make sure you’re safe and feel comfortable in their country.
If safety was your only concern, you can go ahead and book that solo trip to Taipei!
Taipei Safety Tips
As mentioned, there are a few things you can do as a solo traveller to be a little bit extra safe in Taipei.
Since Taipei is a very safe city, there aren’t any extra precautions you need to take to be safe.
These are general guidelines you should follow to be safe not only in Taipei but anywhere you travel.
A few are specific to Taipei, but they can be extrapolated and applied to anywhere you travel.
Watch Out for Scooters
Don’t laugh. Scooters are actually a bit of an issue in Taipei (and Taiwan).
If there was one thing that would make me question is Taipei safe, it would be the scooters.
They are everywhere. You’ll pass by hundreds of them a day and will never be able to avoid them.
They’re even in pedestrian only areas where you think you’re safe from scooters. You’re not. You never are.
Basically everyone in Taipei has a scooter and uses it to get around. That being said, not everybody that has a scooter should.
People drive them like wild people, and I saw at least four people fall off or crash their scooter the first time I was in Taiwan.
One lady was driving her scooter down a pretty wide alley where it was only me walking, a street food vendor, and her. She was scooting around and somehow managed to fall off and was flat on the ground in no time.
It is your responsibility as a pedestrian to stay out of the way of the scooters.
People driving the scooters will try their very best to avoid pedestrians, but they’re driving a big machine.
If you’re in front of them and start walking erratically, swerving all over the place, that’s on you. They can only turn and navigate their scooter by the laws of their scooter. They can turn on a dime the sam way you can.
Without a doubt, scooters are the biggest safety hazard in Taipei, which means it is a very safe city.
All you have to do is keep an eye out for the scooters and make sure you’re walking safely. Keep your eyes and ears peeled.
If you notice a scooter behind you, walk as close to the curb or side of the street as you can to give them room to pass.
Avoid Sketchy Street Food
Taipei is a foodie’s dream city. It has some of the most incredible food I’ve ever eaten, and I find myself dreaming of going back to Taipei not necessarily for the sights but for the food.
There are street vendors and night markets everywhere you turn.
You’re never short of options when it comes to quick, cheap, and delicious street food.
Just like anywhere else in the world, you want to be smart when choosing what street food stalls to eat at.
Sometimes food sits around in the heat for a long time before you buy it. That’s a recipe for a stomach ache.
Luckily, street food is a way of life in Taipei, and you rarely have to worry about street food sitting around in the heat for too long.
If you’re at a popular night market, that won’t be an issue. Most stalls are so busy they have to continually make new food.
You might even be stuck waiting in line for a while at the most popular stall!
The only time you really need to pay attention to how fresh the food stall food is is when you’re out and about walking in a random, small alley and decide you’re hungry.
You can find street food pretty much anywhere you go.
But do you really want to eat it?
If you’re not sure whether or not something is fresh and good to eat, just follow the locals and eat what they eat.
They live in Taipei and know what and where the best food is. You can’t go wrong tagging along and silently taking their recommendation.
However, as I stated earlier, this isn’t really an issue. Most street food in Taipei is super fresh and safe to eat!
The thing I was most unprepared for the first time I visited Taipei was the heat.
Holy moly was it ever hot and humid in Taiwan!
If there is one thing that would make wonder is Taipei safe, it is the weather.
A lot of people aren’t used to the weather in Taipei and don’t protect themselves against it.
It is extremely important that you stay hydrated when you’re in Taipei.
Drink twice as much as you normally do and make sure you’re drinking a lot during the day.
You can’t drink the water straight out of the tap in Taipei, so you’ll need a plan on how you’ll stay hydrated.
You can rely on purchasing single-use plastic bottles or you can bring your own water bottle and refill it.
There are many water fountains around Taipei where you can refill your reusable water bottle.
Most tourist attractions have water bottle filling stations and many convenience stores allow you to fill up your water bottle as well.
Some may ask you to make a small purchase but many don’t.
The bottom line is that it is super easy to get dehydrated in Taipei and feel unwell from it.
The heat and humidity will kick you in the butt if you’re not hydrated.
You’ll also be walking around a lot so take that into account as well when figuring out how much water you need to drink.
Know Local Scams
All things considered, that aren’t many tourist scams in Taipei you need to be aware of!
That really speaks to how safe Taipei is for tourists!
The only major tourist scam I’m aware of is the typical taxi scam. The driver “forgets” to turn on the meter and then charges you an extreme amount of money.
It is super simple to avoid. Just demand that your taxi driver turn on the meter. If they don’t, tell them you’re getting out of the car.
Other minor tourist scams include watering down fresh fruit juice, overcharging tourists, and not giving the proper amount of change back.
Just be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Nothing bad should happen to you in Taipei. Especially since you’re a savvy tourist who is prepared!
All things considered, Taipei is one of the safest places I’ve been.
I never worried about being scammed or had any distrust in a local’s intentions.
Be Internet Safe
Everybody talks about physical safety when travelling, but we need to talk about your online safety as well.
When you travel, you rely on public wifi networks.
That puts you a high risk of having your online information stolen. All it takes is one person with bad intentions using the same wifi network as you, and poof your banking information has been compromised.
You do not want to go through the headache of canceling debit and credit cards while you’re abroad.
And, yes, public wifi networks at places like your hotel that have a password as still public wifi networks because anybody can access them.
The only way you can keep your online data safe and secure while using a public wifi network is by installing a VPN on all of your devices.
A VPN basically puts a forcefield around your devices that makes it impossible for a hacker to access your online data.
It makes using a public wifi network just as safe as using your home wifi where you’re the only person who knows the password.
Installing a VPN on your devices is an extremely easy thing to do, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t do it if something goes wrong when you’re travelling.
Jiufen is the most popular day trip from Taipei. It is charming, full of delicious food, and the best place in and around Taipei to buy souvenirs. The best part is that it is incredibly easy to travel from Taipei to Jiufen!
Not having to worry about figuring out transportation makes a day trip so much better!
The best and easiest way to travel from Taipei to Jiufen is to take the bus. It takes just over an hour and costs 90NTD (approximately $3USD). Most bloggers will tell you to take the train, but it isn’t nearly as convenient since you have to transfer to a bus at the end of your trip since the train doesn’t go all the way to Jiufen.
This post outlines all the different ways you can travel from Taipei to Jiufen. Knowing all your options will help you choose the best method for you and your travel style.
We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each options, so you know all the information before you commit to a transportation method.
It may only take an hour or so to get from Taipei to Jiufen, but it can feel like a lifetime if you choose the wrong transportation method!
I suggest visiting Jiufen in the morning and early afternoon. It gets uncomfortably busy in the afternoons, and the trip isn’t as enjoyable.
You’ll also have better luck with transportation earlier in the day. It won’t be as crowded, and you’ll be able to get on the first bus that stops rather than waiting in a long queue and it taking multiple buses before you can get it. You’ll also be more likely to find a seat on the train rather than having to stand.
Before We Get Started
I write a lot of these transportation guides. There is hardly any aspect of travel I hate more than figuring out how to get from one place to another.
I write these comprehensive posts, so you can have all the information you need in one place and don’t have to waste a lot time figuring out what transportation method you want to take.
Here are the other Taiwan transportation guides I’ve written:
Hopefully they come in handy when you’re planning your trip to Taiwan!
But, now, back to our regularly scheduled content on how to travel from Taipei to Jiufen!
Option One: Taking the Bus from Taipei to Jiufen
Taking the bus is the easiest and most convenient way to get from Taipei to Jiufen.
You just get on the bus and hop off when you get to Jiufen Old Street.
You don’t have to worry about transferring like you do on the train. It is so easy, and it is impossible to get lost.
There are two types of buses you can take from Taipei to Jiufen. You can take a tourist shuttle bus or a regular public bus.
The tourist shuttle bus is a coach bus, and the public bus is just like any other normal public bus in the city.
Both work perfectly fine, and it comes down to which bus comes first, is closest to where you’re staying, and whether you want a guaranteed seat on the tourist bus or are willing to possibly stand on the public bus.
The number of the buses that travel from Taipei to Jiufen are:
The bus also stops near Ximending Shopping District, Banqiao in New Taipei City, near Taipei 101, and so many other places.
The easiest way to figure out the closest bus stop to you is put “Jiufen Old Street” into your GPS and walk to the bus stop it tells you to.
There are often many buses that stop at one bus stop, so you need to be sure you’re standing in the right place. There are signs at each bus stop telling you which bus stops where.
Read the signs and stand near the stop that has your bus number on it.
Where Does the Bus Arrive at?
The bus drops you off right outside of Jiufen Old Street.
It is super convenient! You just step off the block, walk about a hundred feet, and you’re in Jiufen Old Street!
It is important to note that the bus picks you up in a slightly different location.
The pick up location to return to Taipei is up the hill from the drop off location. When you exit Jiufen Old Street, turn to the right, walk for about 200 feet, and the bus stop is on the left.
There is a shelter and sign at the bus stop, so it is easy to find. There are also people waiting there basically all day there.
Since there are two buses that pick people up at that station, there are two lines (and markings on the pavement to show you where to stand).
Be sure you’re in the right line (there is information and maps at the bus station to help you figure out what bus you want to take).
Advantages of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Jiufen
Most direct route (no transfers required!)
Basically have a guaranteed seat (outside of peak hours)
Cons of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Jiufen
It takes slightly longer than the train
The bus is slightly more expensive than the train
Option Two: Taking the Train from Taipei to Jiufen
Your next option is to take the train from Taipei to Jiufen. Most other bloggers list this as the best option, but I disagree.
The train doesn’t take you all the way to Jiufen.
You have to transfer to a bus for the last part of the journey, and it isn’t the most convenient option. A lot of the time, you have to wait for a few buses to arrive and depart before you’re able to get on one.
The buses are busy because they are already full of the people they picked up in Taipei and New Taipei City.
It is true that the train costs slightly less than the bus and takes slightly less time, but it comes down to convenience for me.
I’m willing to pay a few extra pennies and sit on a bus a few minutes longer to have a direct journey. It is nice to get on the bus and get off at Jiufen.
Not having to worry about transferring always makes the journey more enjoyable in my opinion.
How Long Does the Train Take?
It takes about 45 to 70 minutes to travel from Taipei to Jiufen on the train.
The train ride itself takes about 30-40 minutes, and the final bus to Jiufen takes about 10-20 minutes. It could take even longer if you have to wait for multiple buses before you get a seat.
The train ride can also take longer- especially if you’re travelling during rush hour. You have to take a slow train from Taipei, so it often has to wait at stations for a few extra minutes to let high-speed trains pass.
Option Four: Taking a Taxi or Uber from Taipei to Jiufen
Your final option is taking a taxi or Uber from Taipei to Jiufen Old Street.
This is a great option if you want to travel on 100% your own schedule and not be held back or reliant on a bus or train time schedule.
It is surprisingly inexpensive to take a taxi or Uber to Jiufen.
This is especially true if you’re splitting the cost between a few people.
A taxi will cost you about 1,300 NTD (approximately $45 USD), and an Uber will cost you about 1,000 NTD (approximately $35 USD).
That’s a really fair price considering the distance you’re travelling.
I’ve taken a number of Ubers in Taiwan and have had nothing but amazing experiences. I only took one taxi in Taiwan, but it was a great experience as well.
Taking a taxi or Uber is a great option for people who are in a rush or larger groups of people.
If you have a family of four, it may be more economical and relaxing to take an Uber or taxi than piling onto a bus or train.
It is definitely and option to consider when planning your trip from Taipei to Jiufen Old Street.
There you have it!
The four best and easiest ways to travel from Taipei to Jiufen.
Visiting Jiufen Old Street is one of the best day trips from Taipei. It is so different from the city and is extremely beautiful with the mountains in the background.
It may seem daunting to travel from Taipei to Jiufen, but it really isn’t. I almost didn’t go to Jiufen the first time I was in Taipei because I didn’t want to have to transfer from the train to the bus.
To be honest,I really don’t like transferring if I can avoid it.
I honestly didn’t even know there was a direct bus from Taipei to Jiufen Old Street until I put it into Google Map.
So it doesn’t have to be complicated, and is, in fact, very easy to get to Jiufen Old Street from Taipei.
Just hop on a bus and get off in a little more than an hour. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
If you’re considering not going to Jiufen because you’re not sure if the journey is worth it, take it from somebody who was in the same boat and go!
You’ll regret not going. It is truly one of the best places in the Taipei area!
As a side note and important safety reminder, don’t forget to install a VPN on your phone before you start travelling and connecting to public wifi. You’d be surprised how many people want to steal your online information and how easy it is to do!
Taipei is an amazing city and is becoming more and more popular with tourists. One of the most common thing tourists wonder about when planning their vacation is what is the wifi in Taipei like.
Is there an abundance of free public wifi? Can you only get wifi at cafe, restaurants, and hotels? Should I rent a pocket wifi when in Taipei? And perhaps most importantly how do I protect myself when I’m using public wifi in Taipei?
This post is going to answer all of those questions and more!
There is a network of free public wifi in Taipei known as iTaiwan. It is run by the government, and you can connect to iTaiwan in government-run buildings and most public places. iTaiwan is a great option, but many tourists (including me have trouble connecting to it. You have to create an account online before you arrive in Taiwan or go to a tourism office in Taipei and register in person with your passport.Renting a pocket wifi device in Taipei is a better option if you need more reliable access to wifi.
You can also connect to public wifi in Taipei at many cafes, restaurants, malls, and at the airport.
My preference is to not rely on iTaiwan for my internet in Taipei.
It is great when it works, but if you’re in a situation like so many tourists are where you aren’t able to properly create and access your account, then you’re hooped.
Renting a pocket wifi device or using Skyroam are more reliable options.
No matter how you choose to access wifi in Taipei, you need to protect your online data by installing a VPN on your devices.
Public Wifi in Taipei
There are basically two ways you can get free wifi in Taipei.
You either connect to iTaiwan or connect to complimentary wifi at restaurants and other businesses.
As mentioned earlier in the post, iTaiwan is a government-funded wifi system in Taiwan. It allows locals and tourists to access complimentary wifi at government-run buildings and in a lot of common areas.
iTaiwan pretty much connects the entire country through one wifi system. It is the best way to access free wifi in Taipei assuming you’re able to connect to it properly.
There is a very specific process you have to follow in order to setup, activate, and use your iTaiwan account.
Finland’s Taiwan Consulate website is the best overview of the system I could find. You can check it out here, but I’ll summarize it for you as well.
There are two options if you want to use iTaiwan as a tourist. You can either register for an account online before your departure or create an account in person at a tourism office or visitor information centre in Taiwan.
You can register your account online here. All of my internet browsers block this website because it “is not secure”. That is a serious issue for people who want to create an account before they arrive in Taiwan.
You can’t create an account if your internet browser won’t let you access the webpage. Your web browser may let you access it, but I tried on multiple browsers on multiple devices and had no luck.
No matter how you register your account, you need to provide your passport information and other personal information.
Once you have your account setup, you simply find the iTaiwan signal in your phone and connect by entering your username and password.
It should connect automatically every time you’re in an iTaiwan hotspot after your first initial login.
Public Wifi at Businesses
Your other option is relying on businesses you visit for free wifi in Taipei.
Many restaurants, cafes, and malls have free wifi that you can connect to. In most cases, you have to purchase something from them to get access to the wifi, but it can be worth it.
Especially if you were planning on eating or stopping for a drink in any event.
A lot of businesses use iTaiwan, but you should be able to tell who does and who doesn’t. In most cases, businesses who use iTaiwan will have the iTaiwan logo in their window. Businesses who provide independent wifi will normally have the generic wifi sign in their window.
There is no guarantee though!
Some businesses may display the generic wifi sign but rely on iTaiwan.
It is a bit of a guessing game!
Most malls and museums have their own wifi and most metro and train stations rely on iTaiwan. Restaurants and cafes vary greatly, and it is pretty much luck of the draw.
I’ll touch on this at the end of the post in detail, but it is so important to have a VPN installed on your phone when you’re connecting to public wifi in Taipei.
Even wifi at your hotel!
You never know when there might be a hacker in the next room or at the next table. You don’t want the heartache and headache of having your online data stolen!
Renting Pocket Wifi in Taipei
Your next option is renting pocket wifi in Taipei. It is the perfect solution for people who want reliable access to wifi all the time and everywhere.
Pocket wifi is a small device you carry around with you that allows you to access the internet. It is basically walking data that comes from a device so small you can stick it in your purse or pocket.
You can access the internet as long as you’re within range of the device.
It is super convenient and easy to use. You simply connect to it as you would any other wifi provider. There is a password on the back of the device. You enter it, and you’re good to go!
You can even connect multiple devices to your pocket wifi at once!
Everybody in your group can stay connected for one low price.
If you rent your pocket wifi through Klook, you pay less than $2 per day!
It is a heck of a deal and way easier and more reliable than iTaiwan.
You simply pre-order your pocket wifi in Taipei through Klook (or another provider) and pick it up at the airport when you arrive in Taipei!
Important Information About Renting Pocket Wifi in Taipei
There are a few important things you need to know before you rent pocket wifi in Taipei:
You have to show your passport to verify your identity when you collect your pocket wifi
You need to have a credit card in order to rent pocket wifi in Taiwan. The employee helping you collect your pocket wifi will charge a small amount to your credit card to verify that there is room on your card. The charge will be immediately revoked.
If you do not have a credit card, you’re out of luck. Visa/Mastercard debit cards do not work. It needs to be a traditional credit card not connected to your chequing account.
You have to pick up and return your device during business hours. Normal business hours are 10am to 7pm.
The employee will have to see your confirmation receipt before giving you your pocket wifi. You can either have an electronic or paper copy of your confirmation.
There are pretty hefty fees for lost or damaged devices. Be sure to treat your pocket wifi with respect and try not to damage it.
As long as you keep all that in mind, renting pocket wifi in Taipei is super easy and surprisingly affordable.
It isn’t cheap, and it is definitely an investment, but it is worth it if you travel a lot.
You can connect up to 6 devices at once, so you can, in theory, provide wifi to your entire group with just one Skyroam.
One of the major downsides to the Skyroam device is that you have to charge it every night.
The battery only lasts about a day, and from my experience, there is no way you can get two full days of travel in without charging it.
So be sure to have enough charging cords and outlets to charge your Skyroam every night!
I think the device itself is fairly priced, but I wish the day passes were a little less expensive. They start to add up quickly, and if you’re travelling for more than 11 days, it is worthwhile to get a monthly pass.
There are also frequent promotions that allow you to get a deal on day passes. Watch out for those, and you can potentially save a lot of money on your Skyroam wifi costs!
NordVPN is the only VPN provider I’ve liked, and the only VPN that I’ve renewed my subscription with!
It doesn’t slow down my internet connection at all. I can browse the internet and stream things just as quickly with the VPN turned on as I can with it turned off.
You can also use NordVPN to cloak your location. Not only does that add an additional level of security, but it also comes in handy when you’re streaming shows.
By setting your location to show you’re in a different country, you’re able to access their Netflix (and other streaming services) catalogue and watch shows you may not be able to get in the country you’re in.
It also works really well if you’re trying to watch sports, but the country you’re in isn’t showing the game you want to watch. I’ve been able to watch many a hockey games by changing my location that I wouldn’t have been able to watch otherwise!
You can connect up to 6 devices on one Nord account, so you can protect all your devices (and perhaps family member’s) with one account.
NordVPNoften has sales running where you can save nearly 70% on your subscription. You only pay a few dollars per month to protect your online data!
It is well worth the investment.
A few dollars a month can save you having your banking information hacked!
I didn’t have a VPN the first year I travelled, and I cringe at the thought of how stupid I was!
Don’t make the same mistake I did and get yourself set up with NordVPN.
Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and one of my favourite cities in Asia. There are so many things to see and do in Taipei that you can’t see them all in one trip. The fact that there are so many things to do in Taipei and the city is fairly spread out makes it difficult to decide where to stay in Taipei.
There are three main areas that I recommend staying in Taipei. They are Taipei Main Station, Ximending Neighbourhood, and near Taipei 101. These three neighbourhoods are conveniently located near the top tourist attractions, public transportation, and the amazing food Taipei is known for.
If you’re trying to figure out where to stay in Taipei, focus your search on those three areas, and I guarantee you’ll love the area you’re staying in in Taipei.
Just like in any city, there are good hotels and bad hotels even in the best neighbourhoods.
This post will help you figure out where to stay in Taipei. Not only the perfect neighbourhood but also the perfect hotel in Taipei.
There is nothing worse than thinking you booked the perfect hotel and then being disappointed when you arrive because it isn’t as it seemed to be online.
I’m going to share with you the highlights of the three main areas you should stay in Taipei and give you my top recommendations for hotels in every budget.
You’ll be well on your way to deciding where to stay in Taipei by the end of this post!
Taipei Main Station
Taipei Main Station is my personal favourite place to stay in Taipei. I stay near Taipei Main Station every time I’m in Taipei and absolutely love it!
Taipei Main Station is near a number of Taipei’s top attractions, and you can easily walk to multiple tourist attractions in less than 15 minutes!
You can easily walk to:
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
The North Gate
228 Peace Memorial Park
National Taiwan Museum
Ximending Shopping District
Street food markets
If you love walking from sight to sight like I do, then there is no better place to stay in Taipei than near Taipei Main Station!
In addition to being able to walk to many of the top tourist attractions in Taipei, you’re blocks away from the main transportation centre, and you can get anywhere you want to go from Taipei Main Station!
You can use the metro to travel within Taipei, the local train to go to place the metro doesn’t reach, the bus to visit attractions like Jiufen, or take the high-speed rail to other cities in Taiwan.
Taipei Main Station is the most convenient area in Taipei to stay!
I love staying near Taipei Main Station so much, I wrote an entire article dedicated to the best hotels near Taipei Main Station.
If you’re planning on staying near Taipei Main Station, be sure to check it out.
It goes more in depth about the best hotels near Taipei Main Station than this post!
Pros of Staying Near Taipei Main Station
You can walk to many of the top tourist attractions
Taipei Main Station is blocks away
Tons of great street food and restaurants around
Cons of Staying Near Taipei Main Station
Doesn’t have a ton of atmosphere
Limited number of table-service restaurants (most food is either street food or in food courts- but still incredibly delicious!)
Top Hotels Near Taipei Main Station
Top Hostel Near Taipei Main Station
Miniin is the top hostel near Taipei Main Station.
The hostel is super clean, modern, and safe. It is a huge step up compared to the hostels you tend to find in Europe and Southeast Asia.
If Miniinn didn’t have dorms, it would definitely be a very nice budget hotel to stay at.
But because it has dorms, it is on my top hostels near Taipei Main Station list.
If you enjoy staying in hostels but don’t like how unclean and outdated they can be, this is the hostel for you!
I’m genuinely impressed at how much this hostel is. Especially considering the price!
If you’re wondering where to stay in Taipei that has a super cool vibe and reasonable prices, this is the place for you!
Similar to 191 Hotel Ningxia, Morwing Hotel is bursting with personality and is a really fun place to stay.
The rooms are decorated with incredible floor-to-ceiling wallpaper. Many of the rooms have wallpaper from popular cities around the world, and you feel like you’re actually in those cities rather than in Taipei!
My favourite city wallpaper scene is set at a cafe in France, and you legitimately feel as if the people on the wallpaper could be sitting across from you in Paris.
There are a few rooms that have rather peculiar wallpaper, and these are my favourite!
In particular, there is one room that is neon green and features a cat in a baseball uniform throwing a baseball.
It is incredible and so, so much fun!
There are other rooms that feature animated squid or penguins, and they are really fun as well!
Adorable decorations aside, Morwing Hotel has an outstanding reputation for service and cleanliness.
You get an outstanding hotel and great decorations. What more could you ask for?!
The first is that the hotel is located right next to a busy street, so it can be a bit noisy during high traffic times. It shouldn’t be an issue when you’re trying to sleep though!
The other is that some of the rooms don’t have a window in them. I always prefer to have a window in my room, so this is a bit unfortunate.
The good news is that you can upgrade to a room with a window for a few extra dollars a night.
It is well worth the extra cost!
Green World Hotel Zonghua is in a great location (minus being near a busy street, but is isn’t that much of a problem). You can walk to many tourist sights, Taipei Main Station, and countless restaurants and shops with no issue.
It is hard to beat this hotel. Especially since it is so reasonably priced!
One really cool feature about this hotel is that you get to choose your room size.
You can choose from a king, queen, or twin room in either standard, large, or extra large.
This allows you to choose the perfect room to meet your travel needs. If you’re travelling as a family, you can get a large or extra large room and not feel cramped. If you’re a solo traveller like me, you can choose a standard room.
Even the standard room is quiet spacious, but it is nice to have the option to upgrade to a larger room if that is what you prefer.
Taipei 101 is iconic and basically everybody who visits Taipei visits Taipei 101. Even if they just walk by it and don’t go up (like I did), not trip to Taipei is complete without stopping by this iconic building.
No “where to stay in Taipei” article would be complete without mentioning the area surrounding Taipei 101.
I have this area on my best places to stay in Taipei list not because of Taipei 101 but because of the are surrounding Taipei 101.
There is so much green space in the area surrounding Taipei 101. It was the most green space I saw in all of Taipei.
There are parks and hiking trails within walking distance of Taipei 101, and that is why this area is one of the best places to stay in Taipei.
It is an incredibly laid back area even though it is home to one of the most popular tourist sights in the city.
The downside to staying near Taipei 101 is that is is fairly far away from the majority of Taipei’s most popular tourist attractions, so you’ll have to rely on public transportation more than walking.
But that also means that the area is quieter- especially when Taipei 101 isn’t open.
The other major downside to staying near Taipei 101 is that is is the most expensive area on this list.
It is difficult to find a decent budget hotel and hostels in the area are basically non-existant.
If you’re asking yourself where to stay in Taipei on a budget, the Taipei 101 are is not the place for you.
Pros of Staying Near Taipei 101
Lots of green space
Near malls and other shopping centres
Cons of Staying Near Taipei 101
Far away from most tourist attractions, so you need to rely on public transportation
Commercialized, so you won’t find many local restaurants, street food, or shops
Is quite busy when Taipei 101 is open
The Taipei 101 area is the most expensive area to stay on this list
Tops Hotels Near Taipei 101
Top Hostel Near Taipei 101
As mentioned in the introduction to the Taipei 101 area, it isn’t easy to find a decent hostel in the area.
So just like Ximending, I’m not going to recommend a hostel in this area.
If you’re interested in staying in a hostel in Taipei, the Taipei Main Station area is the best area to find a nice hostel for a decent price.
Top Budget Hotels Near Taipei 101 (Under $50USD per Night)
This is a tough one.
There are a few hotels in the budget range near Taipei 101; however, they aren’t great, and I don’t feel comfortable recommending them to you.
Like the type of hotel where you can rent a room by the hour if you get what I’m saying.
I’ve accidentally stayed in hotels like this in Korea, and I don’t wish that upon you. Even though they are clean and safe, they tend to be loud during the times you’re wanting to sleep, and they personally make my germaphobe heart feel awkward.
Top Mid-Range Hotels Near Taipei 101 ($50USD to $150USD per Night)
royal palace hotel
This hotel lives up to its name and does feel a bit like a palace.
The decor and attention to detail at Royal Palace Hotel is impeccable, and you feel like you’re staying in an ornate palace.
Without the price tag that normally comes with a palace!
The hotel is right next door to a MRT station, so you can easily jump on the metro and get anywhere in the city pretty easily.
Royal Palace Hotel is a bit further away from Taipei Main Station, but it is still near a park and located in a quiet neighbourhood.
One of the most difficult parts of booking a hotel in a new city is deciding on the perfect neighbourhood to stay in.
Once you’ve figured out what neighbourhood you want to stay in, it is easy to choose what hotel to stay in. It just takes a little bit of research.
When deciding where to stay in Taipei, you have to evaluate what is important to you.
Do you care more about being in a quiet neighbourhood or staying in a lively neighbourhood with a lot of night life?
Do you want to be able to walk everywhere or are you okay on relying on public transportant?
And most importantly, what is your budget and what amenities are important to you?
These are all essential questions to ask yourself before deciding where to stay in Taipei.
For most people, the Taipei Main Station neighbourhood is the best bet. It has the best combination of being close to tourist attractions, food, shopping, and being budget friendly.
People looking to partake in local night life and want to experience a younger side of Taipei will probably prefer Ximending.
And people who value a quiet area and being near nature more than anything else will enjoy staying near Taipei 101.
It all comes down to you and what you prefer and value in a hotel.
Why I Recommend Hotels.com
I have been using hotels.com to book 99% of my hotels since I started seriously travelling in 2015.
My love for hotels.com is rooted in their loyalty program. After every 10 nights you book through hotels.com (and complete your stay), you get one free night!
That’s right! You get a free night just for booking and staying in hotels you were going to book and stay at anyways!
I love getting my free night certificate, and I’ve used it to stay at hotels all over the world. It really helps me out when I’m on a tight budget!
The value of your free night is determined by how much the 10 hotel nights you booked to earn your free night certificate cost.
If you booked mostly budget accommodation (guilty!), your free night certificate will be on the lower end of the price scale. Most of my free nights have been values between $40 and $100.
If you stay at higher-end hotels or in expensive cities that cost more, your free night certificate will be much higher in value. I’ve had free nights that were valued upwards of $200!
You can apply your free night certificate to nearly every hotel on hotels.com. There are some properties that don’t allow you to redeem your free night, but they are few and far between.
The downside to this program is that you can’t use your free night certificate to pay for multiple nights in a less expensive hotel. You have to use it for a single night’s stay.
But this also comes in handy when you have to stay at an airport hotel or in a more expensive city. You just apply your free night and don’t have to worry about breaking the budget!
And it the hotel you’re booking costs more than your free night certificate is valued at, you can still use it and just pay the difference!
I figure I’m going to be staying in hotels no matter what, so I may as well be rewarded for my hotel stays!
Andhotels.comis the only hotel loyalty program that offers real value that most people can take advantage of in my opinion.
A Note About Protecting Yourself Online
No matter where you choose to stay in Taipei, you’ll be relying on a public internet connection and putting yourself at risk of having your online data stolen.
Yes. You’re still at risk even if you’re using hotel wifi that is password protected!
I’ve met multiple people while travelling who have had their banking information stolen and have had to go through the hassle of canceling their bank cards and trying to get new bank cards while on the road.
It isn’t fun, and you want to avoid having your online data stolen!
The good news is that there is a really easy way to protect yourself, and that is using a virtual private network (VPN).
A VPN puts an invisible forcefield around your online activity and prevents any prying eyes from seeing what you’re doing online.
I’ve been using a VPN since 2016 and wouldn’t dream about not having one on all of my devices. In fact, I have my VPN on while writing this article!
You can never be too safe!
I’ve used multiple VPNs over the years, but the only one I’ve ever really liked is NordVPN.
It is the fastest (even in mainland China where internet access is severely restricted and slow) and the most user friendly.
You can connect up to 6 devices on one NordVPN account, so you can easily protect all of your devices in one swoop.
NordVPN is almost always running a sale, so you can often get your VPN for 65% to 70% off, so there is no excuse not to protect your online data!
It can be difficult to decide where to stay in Taipei, and I hope this article made that decision a little bit easier for you!
My personal favourite place to stay in Taipei is near Taipei Main Station, and I imagine that is the only area I’ll stay in whenever I go back to Taipei in the future.
If you choose to stay in the Taipei Main Station area, be sure you leave time to explore the station. It is basically an attraction in and of itself! And make time to eat at the food court in the basement of Dream Mall. There are some incredible food stalls!
The area surrounding Taipei Main Station is my favourite place to stay when I visit Taipei. It is super central, so it is easy to get to all of Taipei’s main attractions. There are tons of hotels near Taipei Main Station, and it can be difficult to choose where to stay.
Just like any tourist area, there are some amazing hotels near Taipei Main Station and some hotels that when you arrive at them you instantly regret booking them.
You don’t want to end up in one of those hotels!
This post will keep you from regretting your hotel choice and help you choose the perfect hotel near Taipei Main Station.
Why Taipei Main Station is My Favourite Area of Taipei to Stay
As I mentioned, I love staying near Taipei Main Station.
It is central, so you can easily hop on the metro or bus to get to any sight in the city. Taipei Main Station is also home to the high-speed rail and the slower local trains.
You can literally get anywhere in the country from Taipei Main Station.
There are also tons of popular attractions you can walk to from the Taipei Main Station area. They include (but certainly aren’t limited to):
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Ximending Shopping District
The North Gate
228 Peace Memorial Park
National Taiwan Museum
The Taipei Main Station area is also really laid back. It is a great area to come back to after a long day and relax. Once you get off the main road, there aren’t many people, and you can enjoy exploring the area without any crowds.
Hotels near Taipei Main Station are also extremely affordable!
That is definitely one of the many reasons I love staying in a hotel near Taipei Main Station.
Affordable, laid back, super safe, surrounded by delicious food, and centrally located.
It doesn’t get any better than that!
All The Reasons I Love Staying Near Taipei Main Station
In case you want a skim-able version of what I said in the last section, here is a bullet point list of all the reasons I love Taipei Main Station and basically always stay in a hotel near Taipei Main Station:
Super central (can get around Taipei and Taiwan from Taipei Main Station)
Safe (I feel 100% safe staying near Taipei Main Station as a solo female traveller)
Walking distance to top attractions
Affordable (You can find some astonishingly low prices at hotels near Taipei Main Station)
Laid back area where you can relax after a day exploring Taipei
Amazing restaurants and street food all around
Top Hostels Near Taipei Main Station
This is the top hostel near Taipei Main Station.
It is clean, modern, comfortable, and takes security seriously. Each person has their own high-quality locker in their dorm to store all their belongings.
A lot of hostels have lockers you can use, but the lockers at Miniinn are much higher quality than you’ll see at other hostels around the world.
They also have women only rooms if you’re a female traveller and feel more comfortable sharing a room with just women rather than a co-ed room!
On top of the hostel being very safe, it is also modern and comfortable. The rooms and common areas feel much higher class than most hostels I’ve stayed at before.
It feel more like a budget hotel than what you normally think of when you hear the word hostel.
Taipei Main Station is only a 7-minute walk from Miniinn, and you are within a 10-minute walk of three other metro stations.
It is very centrally located.
I really like the vibe of this hostel and appreciate that the owner has made the effort to make it feel more upscale compared to a standard hostel.
It is a short 5-minute walk from Taipei Main Station and just a 10-minute walk from three other metro stations!
The location is absolutely perfect. You can walk to most of the top tourist attractions, but the hotel is in a quiet neighbourhood where you won’t be disrupted by honking cars or people on the streets in the middle of the night.
In terms of the hotel itself, it is a basic hotel with nothing too fancy going on.
You have your own private room, but in most cases you have to share a bathroom with other people.
It is definitely a major step up from the hostels near Taipei Main Station.
Every room and common area is equipped with complimentary wifi and air conditioning. Air conditioning is a must-have in Taipei since it is always hot and humid in the city.
All-in-all, Cube Inn Taipei Main Station is a great option for budget travellers who just want a place to lie their head and don’t need anything more than a bed, wifi, air conditioning, and a share bathroom.
This is the most modern-looking budget hotel on this list.
Hotel Relax V is decorated with monochromatic grey, huge windows, textured faux wood elements.
It is super sleek and modern.
Themajor downside is that the rooms are tiny.
By far the smallest rooms on this list.
But the hotel is super clean, blocks away from Taipei Main Station, has friendly staff, and laundry facilities!
You can pay for breakfast at the hotel, but it isn’t worth it. It is a much better use of your time and money to find a local place to grab breakfast. The local food around and in Taipei Main station is delicious!
The hotel offers a shuttle from the airport. It is 10 times more expensive than taking public transportation, so please don’t pay for it!
Top Mid-Range Hotels Near Taipei Main Station ($50USD to $150USD per Night)
Amando Inn is bursting with charm and is by far one of my favourite hotels near Taipei Main Station.
It is very unassuming from the outside and can be difficult to find.
But it is a hidden gem!
Armando Inn is hidden in plain sight on the 3rd through 5th floors of a concrete corner building.
The bottom floor is a local store, the second floor is a hostel, the next three floors are the hotel, and the top two floors are occupied by another company.
The sign is in Mandarin, so I’m not sure whether the top two floors are office buildings or residential homes.
Even though there are all these different businesses one on top of the other, the hotel still feels seculded.
Your sleep isn’t interrupted by a bunch of noise or traffic even though the hotel is located on a street corner.
The inside of the hotel feels very traditional and like you’ve stepped back in time. There are traditional wooden chairs, Chinese-style wallpaper, and beautiful tile work in the bathrooms.
It is an amazing experience and so much more than just a place to sleep at night.
Amando Inn is a 5-minute walk from Taipei Main Station and is right in the heart of street vendors and local life.
I am obsessed with the location of it!
The hotel offers a breakfast for a reasonable price of less than $5USD per person. I normally recommend people find a local breakfast, but this is a great option if you need something quick and convenient for a decent price.
They also offer an airport transfer, but, just like Relax V Hotel, it is very overpriced.
Taking public transportation is definitely the best way to travel from the airport to downtown Taipei.
Amando Inn is one of the very best mid-range hotels near Taipei Main Station, and it is also one of the least expensive!
If you’re looking to stay in a hotel that has personality, Morwing Hotel is the place for you!
The walls are highly decorated, and you never know what you’ll find when you open your door for the first time.
Many rooms are decorated like famous world cities, some have famous amine characters on the walls, some rooms are floral and calming.
My two favourite rooms are one based in Paris where there is a giant mural on the wall that makes you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of the a cafe. The other one is more strange and features a neon green wall and a cat diving to catch a baseball.
It is absolutely fantastic and so odd. But I love it!
Not only are the rooms at Morwing Hotel fantastically decorated, but they are also a fair amount larger than other hotel rooms in the Taipei Main Station area.
If you want to be able to spread your stuff out around your room and not feel cramped, this is the hotel for you!
Sleek is the first word that comes to mind when I think of City Suites.
It has a modern design and decorations, but it isn’t as in your face as some of the other modern hotels on this list.
City Suites is very tastefully decorated and comfortable.
The major downside to this hotel is that many of the rooms don’t have a window.
Be sure to pay attention to what room you’re booking if you want a window!
Earlier in this article, I wrote that you really miss having a window in your hotel room. I 100% believe that; however, the rooms are so big at City Suites that you don’t notice you’re missing a window as much as you do in a smaller hotel room.
I stillhighly recommend you spend the little extra money to get a room with a window, but having a windowless room in City Suites isn’t too bad due to the size of the room.
One other important thing to note about this hotel, you do not want to stay on the first floor.
There is a public restroom on the first floor, and some guests have mentioned that it was loud and used late into the night.
If you are assigned a room on the first floor, politely ask the person checking you in if you can have a room on a higher floor.
They’ll be able to accommodate your request most of the time.
In terms of location, City Suites is located on the opposite side of Taipei Main Station than the other hotels on this list.
It is just a few blocks from Tamsui River, but it is a bit further walk to the nearby tourist attractions.
I loveHotels.com and have used them to book 95% of my travel since I discovered them in 2015.
They have an easy to use interface, run fantastic deals to get you the best price on their rooms, and have very helpful customer service representatives if you need to change or cancel your reservation over the phone.
The crowning jewel of Hotels.com (and why I love them so much) is their rewards program.
You receive on complimentary night’s stay after you have stayed 10 nights.
To earn your free night, you simply have to book and stay 10 nights in a hotel you booked through Hotels.com. You don’t have to stay in the same hotel for 10 nights.
You just have to stay 10 nights at any hotel in any city.
10 one-night stays is the same as one 10-night stay.
10 nights equals 1 night free!
The value of your free night is determined by taking the average cost of the 10 nights you stayed to earn your free night.
You can apply your free night to nearly any booking (a very few hotels don’t let you redeem your free night) before you confirm your booking.
If you want to stay in a hotel that costs more than your free night, you can still redeem your free night!
You just have to pay the difference.
I adore this program, and I’ve earned tons of free nights through the Hotels.com rewards program.
If you’re going to stay in hotels when you travel, you may as well be rewarded for it and get a free night every now and then!
A Quick Note on Internet Safety
One thing that comes with travel is the need to connect to public wifi.
Whether it is in a hotel (yes even password protected is still public!), cafe, or on the streets (Taiwan has a great public wifi system), you’re putting yourself at risk by using public wifi.
Not-so-friendly people take advantage of people who use public wifi networks and access their online data (and often sell it).
You don’t want to fall victim to this!
And that is where a virtual private network (VPN) comes into play.
A VPN puts up an invisible shield around your electronic devices and keeps any and all prying eyes out of your online data.
With a VPN, you can rest assured that your online activity is completely private.
I’ve used many VPNs over the years on the road, and I kept changing every year because I wasn’t satisfied with the product.
NordVPN is the only VPN that I’ve used and actually enjoyed. The mobile and tablet apps are super easy to use, and you can protect your laptop and desktop with a single click.
You can connect up to 6 devices with one account, so you can protect all of your devices for one low price.
You can also cloak your location to show you’re in a different country, so you can access Netflix libraries from different countries. I use mine to access my Disney+ account when I’m in a country that doesn’t support it!
One of my favourite things about NordVPN is that they often run sales where you can get up to 70% off your purchase!
It is impressively affordable, so there is no excuse to not use a VPN when you travel!
Taipei is one of my favourite cities in eastern Asia. It has so much personality but is often overlooked by tourists.
When it comes to where to stay when visiting Taipei, the Taipei Main Station is my absolute hands down favourite.
It is in the perfect location where you can access everything either by foot or by metro within a few minutes.
The area is filled with amazing food and an overall laid back vibe.
There are tons of hotels near Taipei Main Station to choose from. There is something for everybody in every price range!
Taipei is such a fun city. There are so many things to see and do that you won’t be able to cover see it all in just one trip!
So pack your walking shoes and get ready for an amazing trip to Taipei.
Be sure to try some bubble tea while you’re there!
If you fly into Taipei, you’re going to need to figure out how to get from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei city. It isn’t difficult to travel from the Taoyuan to Taipei, but it definitely isn’t something you want to figure out once you land.
You’ll be tired after your flight to Taiwan, so it is a good think you’re reading this before you get to Taipei, so you already have a plan on how to get from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei.
There are many different ways to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. You can take the MRT, bus, airport transfer, taxi, or high-speed train. Every transportation method has its pros and cons, but for the average traveler, taking the MRT is your best option. It is the fastest and easiest to travel from Taoyuan Airport to downtown Taipei.
I normally let the reader choose the best transportation option for them when I write a transportation guide like this one. In this post I’m taking a different approach and listing the transportation methods from best to worst.
This is one of the rare occasions where I genuinely believe there is a big enough difference between the transportation methods that I wouldn’t be doing you a favour by not ranking them.
But, of course, the final decision is up to you and what works best for you and your travel style and budget!
Other Taiwan Transportation Guides
Before we get into the nitty gritting and determining the best way to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei, I wanted to leave the links to other Taiwan transportation guides I’ve written.
They’ll help you easily plan your inter-city transportation when in Taiwan!
Option 1: Take the MRT from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei
The MRT is the quickest and easiest way to travel from Taoyuan Airport to downtown Taipei.
There are two different MRT options from Taoyuan to Taipei. The express train and the commuter train. It is ideal to take the express train because it takes nearly half the time as the express to get to Taipei Main Station.
The express train takes between 35 and 38 minutes depending on whether you’re getting on at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, and the commuter train takes approximately 50 minutes.
The express train only makes three stops once it leaves the airport whereas the commuter train stops at 10 stations.
Quick Facts About the MRT
Both the commuter and express trains arrive at Taoyuan Airport every 15 minutes
The ride costs 160 NT (or approximately $5 USD), and you can purchase your ticket at a ticket booth manned by an employee or a ticket machine. You can only pay with cash if you’re purchasing a ticket at the booth rather than the machine.
Both the commuter and express trains have luggage storage areas, but the express MRT has significantly more storage.
All MRT stations have wireless internet you can connect to (there is not wireless on the MRT)
The express train has wireless charging capabilities, but the commuter does not.
Why is the MRT the Best Way to Travel from Taoyuan to Taipei?
The MRT is the best method to travel from Taoyuan Airport to downtown Taipei because it is affordable and super easy for tourists to get from the airport to downtown Taipei.
It is fool proof. You simply get on the MRT at the airport and get off at Taipei Main Station.
Taipei Main Station is the biggest train station in Taipei, so you’ll easily be able to find your way to your accommodation once you’re at Taipei Main Station.
Option 2: Taking the Bus from Taoyuan to Downtown Taipei
The next option is taking the bus from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. It is the second most popular way to travel from the airport to Taipei.
The bus station is just a short walk from the arrivals hall, so it is really easy and convenient to get it.
In some instances, it may even be a shorter walk to the bus station than it is to the MRT!
The bus is the most affordable way to travel from Taoyuan to Taipei. A bus ticket costs only 125 NT or approximately $4.25 USD.
It is definitely the best option for people who are traveling on a budget and don’t have a lot of luggage with them.
You’ll want to know what bus you need to take before you arrive at the bus station. It was suck to get on the wrong bus, end up somewhere you weren’t expecting to, and then try to figure out how to get to your accommodation.
The two buses that drop you near Taipei Main Station are 1819 and 1961. The 1819 runs 24/7 and will be your only option to downtown Taipei from midnight to 6am.
The bus fare is slightly higher during the middle of the night so be sure to keep that in mind when you’re planning how you want to get from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei.
Quick Facts About the Bus
You’ll need to have cash to pay for your bus ticket if you don’t have a transportation card. If it is your first time in Taiwan, you probably won’t have a transportation card (but you should get one) when you land so be sure you have enough cash to pay for the bus
The bus ride takes approximately 50 minutes, so it is quite a bit longer than the express MRT. You could be stuck on the bus a lot longer than that if there is a traffic jam though!
Bus in Taiwan are normally freezing cold so you’ll want to have a scarf or something like that to cover your arms and stay warm
Why is the Bus the Second Best Way to Travel from Taoyuan to Taipei?
I think the bus is the second best way to travel from the airport to Taipei beucase:
a) it is the cheapest option available and
b) the bus station is basically connected to the airport, so it is extremely convenient
The downside is, of course, that the bus takes significantly longer than the MRT. But if you’re adamant that you don’t want to take the MRT, then the bus is probably the best option for you.
Option 3: Taking an Airport Transfer from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei
An airport transfer is the perfect option for people who are:
Traveling with a larger group
Have a lot of luggage
Get motion sick on public transportation
Aren’t on a ticket budget and want a more luxurious transportation option
It is a service that you pre-book (and pre-pay for), and you’re picked up at the airport by a driver and driven to the front door of your hotel.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the scene from the movies where there is a person waiting for you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it, this is the option for you!
The best part of an airport transfer is that it is slightly less expensive than a taxi ride!
That’s absolutely incredible deal and is a pretty good value for your money. Especially if you aren’t interested in taking public transportation.
The only downside to an airport transfer is the need to book it ahead of time, but it isn’t really an issue. Its not like you don’t know that you’re flying to Taipei at least a day or two in advance!
Quick Facts About the Airport Transfer
A regular airport transfer costs about 800 NT (or approximately $27 USD)
A luxury airport transfer costs about 1,200 NT (or approximately $34 USD)
There is a small surcharge of a few hundred New Taiwan Dollars if you arrive late in the night or in the early morning hours, but it isn’t more than a couple of US dollars
A regular airport transfer can hold 4 people and a luxury one can hold 8
All of the cars/drivers have insurance, so you’re covered in case there is an accident
Why the Airport Transport is the Next Best Way to Travel from Taoyuan to Taipei
The convenience factor.
It is as simple as that. There is no more convenient way to get from the airport to Taipei.
You get in a car, and when you get out, you’re at the front door of your hotel. It literally doesn’t get any easier than that!
I also appreciate that you pre-pay for the airport transport before you even land at the airport, so you don’t have to worry about having enough cash to pay your driver if you don’t have any local currency on you when you first arrive.
It is also a great option for people who are traveling in a group. It isn’t that much more to pay for an airport transfer versus four MRT tickets.
If there are 8 of you in the group, you’re actually saving money by booking a luxury airport transfer instead of taking the MRT.
An airport transfer is also a great option for less experience travellers who are nervous about using public transportation- especially if they’re inexperienced solo travelers.
In most cases I don’t recommend airport transfers because they tend to be overpriced, but in this case, I think it is a great option to consider.
Option 4: Taking a Taxi from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei
The next option on the list is taking a taxi from Taoyuan to downtown Taipei.
I don’t really recommend taking a taxi because an airport transfer is less expensive and more convenient, but a taxi is a decent option if you didn’t have time (or forgot) to book your airport transfer in advance.
A taxi ride should cost you around 1,000 NT (or about $34 USD) during the day and 1,500 to 2,000 NT (or about $51 to $68 USD) in the late night/early morning hours.
Most Taiwan taxi drivers are honest, and you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off and paying too much. It is always best practice to try to find an official taxi stand, so you know you’re getting into a legitimate taxi.
Quick Facts About Taxis
The fare is based on a meter, but you also have to pay a surcharge and highway tolls. So wait until the driver is done adding the extras to the fare before you go rummaging for cash to pay with
The ride takes about 40-60 minutes depending on traffic and where in Taipei you are staying
If you’re having trouble finding the taxi stand, you can go to the tourist services booth, and they will point you in the right direction
Why a Taxi is the Second Worst Way to Travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei
It all comes down to cost for me.
I don’t think a taxi is worth the price when you can pre-book an airport transfer for less money.
A taxi is a fine option for people who are arriving late, have a lot of luggage, or are traveling with a group of people and didn’t have a chance to pre-book an airport transfer.
But I wouldn’t recommend it for the average traveler. I would personally opt for the MRT or an airport transfer before I took a taxi.
Option 5: Taking the High-Speed Train from Taoyuan to downtown Taipei
The final option on this list is taking the high-speed train.
I personally see no reason why you would take the high-speed train from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. It is very inconvenient compared to the other options on this list, and that is why it is in last place.
You have to take a 20-minute bus ride from the airport to the high-speed train station and then take a 20-minute train ride into Taipei.
You also have to purchase a separate ticket for each mode of transportation, which just adds to the inconvenience of taking the high-speed train into Taipei.
I can’t really think of a reason why you would choose this mode of transportation unless you’re obsessed with trains and are dying to ride a high-speed train as soon as you touch down in Taipei.
But I’m guessing there aren’t many people with that passion for trains out there.
Quick Facts About the High-Speed Train
You have to take the U-Bus to the THSR station, and a ticket costs 25 NT (less than $1 USD)
Once you get to the train station, you need to buy a train ticket for 180 NT (about $6 USD) and wait for the next train to arrive
The train stops at both Taipei Main Station and Banqiao, which makes it easy for you to get to your hotel whether you’re staying in Taipei or New Taipei City
The entire journey takes about 40 minutes (not including the time you have to wait for the bus and the train)
Why the High-Speed Train is the Worst Way to Travel from the Airport to Taipei
I don’t like the fact that you have to take a bus to get to the THSR station and then take a train into Taipei.
It doesn’t seem worth the extra effort to me when all of the other ways to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei leave directly from the airport.
The fact that you have to purchase two tickets instead of one also adds to the added hassle of taking the high-speed train from the airport to Taipei.
As you can see, there are quite a few different ways you can travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. There is a transportation option to fit everybody’s needs and travel style.
I personally always take the MRT from the airport to downtown Taipei. It is super easy, fast, and convenient. It is hands down my top recommendation!
If you’re using any form of public transportation, just be sure you’re following the rules. There is no eating or drinking and be sure you’re not sitting in a seat designated for the older population!
Tainan is a beautiful city near Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. It is a fairly popular city for tourists. It is super easy to travel from Taipei to Tainan, so there is no reason not to added Tainan to your Taiwan itinerary.
A lot of people travel from Kaohsiung to Tainan, but using Tainan as an entrance point to southern Taiwan instead of Kaohsiung is a great option.
You should definitely consider it, and this post will help you decide whether travelling from Taipei to Tainan is right for you.
The post will go over all the different transportation options to help you decide how you want to travel between the two cities.
At the end, I’ll give you my recommendation and how I travel from Taipei to Tainan!
Other Taiwan Transportation Guides
I love writing these transportation guides for you.
Figuring out how to travel between cities is one of my least favourite parts of travel, and I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to plan your transportation methods.
You’ll want to check out these transportation guides if you’re travelling around Taiwan:
You need to pick your ticket up at a ticketing machine at the railway station if you purchase it online. There is a dedicated queue for people picking up tickets, so it doesn’t take very long.
All three options work well for purchasing a ticket, and it really just depends on your preference.
I like to purchase my ticket online through the website a couple of days in advance. This way I’m able to get a window seat and make sure I get a ticket.
Tickets from Taipei to Tainan don’t normally sell out, but they can during busy times of the year like Lunar New Year.
I always recommend buying your HSR ticket a day or two in advance just to be sure you get exactly what you want!
Where Does the HSR Depart from in Taipei?
The HSR departs from Taipei Main Station.
The HSR station is located near the end of Taipei Main Station past the train station. It is really easy to find. You just follow the signs and maps in Taipei Main Station until you reach the HSR station.
You can always ask an employee if you’re having trouble finding the HSR station, but you shouldn’t need to.
Where Does the HSR Arrive at in Tainan?
The high-speed rail train arrives at Tainan High-Speed Rail Station.
The station is, unfortunately, outside of Tainan city, so you’ll need to take another form of transportation to get to Tainan.
You can either take:
Free Shuttle Bus: Hop on either H31 or H62 to get to downtown Tainan.
Train: You can take the train (not HSR) from Tainan High-Speed Rail Station to Tainan Station, which is located in downtown Tainan. A ticket costs less than 25 NTD (approximately $1 USD), and the rides takes less than 20 minutes.
Taxi: There is always a line up of taxis outside of the station. If you don’t want to take the shuttle or train, this is a great option. A taxi to downtown Tainan will cost approximately 450 NTD or about $15 USD.
All three options are great, and it depends on what mood you’re in when you arrive in Tainan. If it is later in the day, I would take a taxi. But if it is still the afternoon, I would lean towards taking the shuttle or train.
Advantages of Taking the HSR from Taipei to Tainan
It is the quickest way to get from Taipei to Tainan
The HSR is comfortable and clean
It always runs on time, and you shouldn’t encounter any delays
Disadvantages of Taking the HSR from Taipei to Tainan
It is by far the most expensive way to travel from Taipei to Tainan
The HSR station is outside of Tainan, and you need to take a shuttle, train, or taxi into the city
Option Two: Taking the Train from Taipei to Tainan
The second option is taking the regular train from Taipei to Tainan.
It is a lot slower than the HSR, but it is more affordable. You’re saving some money by taking a less convenient form of transportation, but it is a still a great option!
How Long Does the Train Take?
The length of the train journey from Taipei to Tainan varies quite a bit. It depends heavily on what time of day you’re travelling and what day of the week.
Trains that run during rush hour or on the weekend will take longer than early morning and late evening trains because there is more traffic on the train tracks.
You can expect the train ride to be between 3 and 4.5 hours long.
That’s basically twice as long as the HSR.
How Much Does a Train Ticket Cost?
Train tickets are a lot more affordable than a HSR ticket.
It will cost you anywhere between 550 NTD (approximately $18 USD) and 750 NTD (approximately $25 USD) to take the train from Taipei to Tainan.
The longer the train ride, the less expensive your ticket will be.
Essentially, if you get on the quickest train, you’re spending half the amount on a train ticket than you would on a HSR ticket and are only on the train an hour longer than you would be on the HSR.
On the other hand, if you purchased the cheapest train ticket, you’re paying 40% less for the ticket but travelling for twice as long.
If you’re taking the train, be sure you’re doing a cost comparison and trying to get on the quickest train that is within your budget.
Where to Purchase a Train Ticket
Just as with the HSR, there are three different ways you can purchase a train ticket:
I always purchase my ticket through the app. I love how convenient it is, and my phone services as my ticket!
You can download your ticket onto your phone if you purchase it on the website, so the only time you’ll have a hard ticket is if you purchase a ticket in person.
I recommend purchasing your ticket as early as possible.
Tickets from Taipei to Tainan don’t typically sell out on a regular basis, but booking early gives you the best chance to get on the train you want and get the seat you want.
A lot of people like to take the most popular trains, so if you’re not booking an off-peak train, then you should plan to purchase your ticket early.
I also recommend trying to get a window seat. It is a long(ish) journey, and you’ll want to be able to look out the window.
Where Does the Train Depart from in Taipei?
The most common place to board the train is at Taipei Main Station. This is the major transportation hub in Taipei, and all the trains headed for Tainan will stop there.
You can potentially catch a train at other TRA stations in Taipei and New Taipei Station, but it isn’t a guarantee.
If you’re staying in New Taipei City and don’t want to take the train to Taipei Main Station, you can search for a train to Tainan departing from the closest TRA station to where you’re staying. Not every train will stop there, but you’ll likely find a number of trains to choose from.
I recommend always depart from Taipei Main Station though. I find it easier and more convenient than trying to catch a train at a different TRA station.
It is up to you and what your preferences are though!
Where Does the Train Arrive at in Tainan?
The train arrives at Tainan Train Station.
It is located right in downtown Tainan, so it is a lot more convenient than the HSR station. You can easily get off the train and head directly to where you’re staying without having to worry about taking another form of transportation into downtown.
Tainan doesn’t have a metro system (yet), so you’ll have to take a bus or taxi to your accommodation if you’re not staying within walking distance of Tainan Train Station.
Advantages of Taking the Train from Taipei to Tainan
It is less expensive than the high-speed rail
You arrive in downtown Tainan
The train is comfortable and relaxing
Disadvantages of Taking the Train from Taipei to Tainan
It is quite a bit slower than the HSR
The train (in my experience) tends to be very cold, so you’ll want to bring a sweater!
Option Three: Taking the Bus from Taipei to Tainan
The third option is to take the bus from Taipei to Tainan.
This form of transportation is not nearly as popular as the HSR and train. Your transit time depends on how busy the roads are, and you can end up being delayed if there is a traffic jam.
How Long Does the Bus Take?
The bus normally takes between 4 and 5 hours, but, as mentioned, it can take much longer if the traffic is bad.
You can never guarantee how long the bus is going to take. Make sure you don’t have any strict plans for the day you arrive in Tainan just in case you’re delayed due to traffic!
How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?
The bus is the least expensive way to travel from Taipei to Tainan.
It only costs (on average) between 350 NTD or 400 NTD. That’s approximately $12 USD to $13 USD.
That’s a lot less expensive than the HSR and train, so it can be a pretty good deal. And very attractive if you’re on a very strict travel budget.
Where to Purchase Bus Tickets
You purchase your ticket at the bus station.
Sometimes you purchase your ticket directly from the bus driver and sometimes you purchase it from a ticket window at the bus station.
You’ll easily be able to figure out the process for buying a bus ticket when you get to the station. Just watch what everybody else is doing and follow their lead.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to purchase a ticket or where to catch the bus, just ask an employee (or bus driver), and they’ll be able to help you out.
Where Does the Bus Depart from in Taipei?
The buses from Taipei to Tainan depart from Taipei Bus Station.
The bus station is connected to Taipei Main Station, so it should be easy to find! You just follow the signs and map at Taipei Main Station.
I recommend taking a look at a map of Taipei Main Station when looking for the train station. It’ll really help you get an idea of where exactly you’re headed.
Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Tainan?
Tainan opened a new bus station in January of 2020. It was built to alleviate some of the traffic and congestion around Tainan Station.
Your bus from Taipei will arrive at the new bus station located on Beimen Road. It is just across the street from Tainan Park.
The new bus station isn’t within walking distance of downtown Tainan, so you’ll have to take a free shuttle to Tainan Station. The free shuttle runs every 20 minutes, and you simply wait at the designated area in the parking lot for the next shuttle to arrive.
Advantages of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Tainan
You can store your luggage under the bus
Disadvantages of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Tainan
It is the slowest form of transportation
Your journey time depends on traffic
You have to take a shuttle bus to downtown Tainan
Option Four: Flying from Taipei to Tainan
You’re able to fly from Taipei to Tainan, but nobody does so. The HSR and train are very efficient and take less time than flying- especially when you take into consideration getting to and from the airport and getting through security.
The only way I can see flying being a consideration is if you’re going to Tainan the day you land in Taipei. Then it might be beneficial to stay at the airport and catch a flight.
But even then that seems like a stretch. Not many people are going straight to Tainan upon arrive in Taiwan.
So while you can fly to Tainan from Taipei, I don’t recommend it, so I’m not going to go into the details of how you can travel by plane.
It is super easy to get from Taipei to Tainan.
No matter what transportation option you choose to take, you’re able to depart Taipei and arrive in Tainan without having to transfer trains or buses.
I love how simple and stress free it is!
Tainan is a beautiful city, and not enough tourists take the time to visit it while in Taiwan. Now that you know exactly how to get from Taipei to Tainan, there is no excuse not to visit!
You won’t regret spending time in Tainan and exploring all the beautiful temples and night markets.
Taichung is an amazing city in Taiwan that is sometimes overlooked by tourists, which is a shame! Taichung has an amazing vibe and is home to some the best museums and theatres in all of Taiwan.
The best part is that it is incredibly easy to get from Taipei to Taichung!
There is really no excuse not to visit Taichung when you’re in Taiwan.
There are multiple ways to get from Taipei to Taichung, and it can be difficult for a tourist visiting Taiwan for the first time to pick the best option that works for them and their travel needs.
I have my favourite way to travel from Taipei to Taichung, but it might not be the best method for you and your travel needs.
I’m going to go through all the different ways you can travel from Taipei to Taichung, so yo can decide for yourself what is the best method.
But don’t worry, I’ll break down the pros and cons of each method and then give you my opinion at the end as to what I think is the best way to get from Taipei to Taichung.
Before We Get Started
I find one of the most frustrating parts of planning a trip abroad is figuring out the best way to get from one city to another. There is oftentimes so little information about travelling between cities, and I have to go to multiple website just to find the answer.
Such a waste of time!
That’s why I love creating these transportation guides for you! I love stumbling across comprehensive transportation guides when I’m planning a trip and wanted to create them to help save my fellow travellers some time.
If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, here is a list of transportation guides I’ve written and hope they help you in your planning process!
Now back to telling you about how to get from Taipei to Taichung!
Option One: Taking the High-Speed Train from Taipei to Taichung
The high-speed train (HSR) is the fastest and most convenient way to get around Taiwan. It is fast, clean, efficient, and comfortable.
The only problem is that is it also the most expensive way to travel through Taiwan. You’re definitely paying for the convenience of fast travel, but it can be worth it!
How Long is the HSR Ride?
It will only take you 40 to 70 minutes to get from Taipei to Taichung on the HSR!
That is about half the time of the next quickest option! Nothing comes close to competing with the HSR when it comes to speed!
How Much Does a High-Speed Rail Ticket Cost?
Ticket prices vary depending on what day of the week you’re travelling and what time of day.
You can expect a standard ticket to cost between 650 NTD and 750 NTD. Or approximately $22 USD to $25USD.
A business class ticket is going to cost you quite a bit more. They range in price from 950 NTD and 1,050 NTD. That is about $32 USD to $35 USD. But you don’t need a business class seat. The standard class seating area is quiet nice, and you’re not on the HSR for long!
Where Can You Buy HSR Tickets?
You can purchase HSR tickets one of these locations:
Both options work perfectly fine, but I prefer to purchase my ticket online and pick it up at the train station the day I’m travelling. It is just easier that way. You don’t have to worry about setting aside the time to ensure you’re at the train station far enough in advance to stand in line to get a ticket.
If you do purchase your ticket online, you’ll either have to print your ticket or pick it up at the station.
There are dedicated ticketing machines for people who are picking up their tickets at the station, so it doesn’t take more than a few minutes. All you need is your booking reference, and you’re good to go!
Where Does the HSR Depart from in Taipei?
You can catch the high-speed rail to Taichung at one of these three stations:
Taipei Main Station
Banqiao ( located in New Taipei City)
Most tourists will catch the train at Taipei Main Station. It is the most convenient location and tends to be the easiest for people to get to.
No matter what station you choose to depart from, be sure to follow the signs in the station to find the HSR station. The signs are easy to follow and will lead you right where you need to be!
Where Does the HSR Arrive in Taichung?
The unfortunate part of the HSR station in Taichung is that it is located in the outskirts of the town. That means you have to take the extra step of taking a separate train to get to the heart of the city.
The HSR station in Taichung is well connected, so it is easy to get from the station into town.
It is only a mild inconvenience.
You can either take the train or a bus from the HSR station into town. The New Wurih Railway Station is only a five minute walk from the HSR station, and you can board a bus directly into the heart of Taichung from there.
Alternatively, you can take a Nantou bus from the HSR station to the Taichung Railway Station in the heart of the city.
Taichung is in the process of building a metro line to the HSR station. Hopefully it is up and running soon, so we can just hop on the metro and get off downtown.
Pros of Taking the HSR from Taipei to Taichung
It is fast
The trains are clean and comfortable
The HSR is reliable and hardly ever running late
Cons of Taking the HSR from Taipei to Taichung
It is fairly expensive compared to other options
You have to get from the HSR station to downtown by bus, train, or taxi
Option Two: Taking the Train from Taipei to Taichung
Taking the train is another great option for getting from Taipei to Taichung. It isn’t as quick as taking the HSR, but it is just as convenient.
The train is a nice combination of price, speed, and comfort. It is a great option for people looking to save a little money on transportation without sacrificing comfort or convenience!
How Long Does the Train Ride Take?
The length of your journey on the train varies a lot more than if you were to take the HSR. It depends on the time of day, what day of the week, and if the train has to stop to let faster trains/HSRs pass it on the track.
In general, you can expect the train ride from Taipei to Taichung to take anywhere between 2 hours and 3.5 hours.
That’s a pretty big difference!
I highly recommend you look at the departure and arrival times for multiple trains departing within an hour or two window of when you want to leave Taipei.
This will allow you to pick the shortest journey that fits within your price point. You may have to leave a little earlier or later than you intended to, but it could end up saving you a lot of time!
How Much Does a Train Ticket Cost?
There are two different types of trains that travel from Taipei to Taichung:
The local train
The express train
There will, of course, be a price difference between the two types of trains you can take.
The local train is slower and less expensive, and the express train is faster and more expensive.
There isn’t a huge price difference between the two types of trains. If you’re not on a super tight budget, I recommend trying to get a ticket for the express train.
You will arrive in Taichung much quicker than on the local train. The extra money you spent on the quicker train will be made up in the extra time you have in Taichung!
On average, you can expect a ticket to cost:
Local train: 240 NTD or approximately $8 USD
Express train: 375 NTD or approximately $12.50 USD
Where Can You Buy Train Tickets?
There are quite a few different places you can purchase train tickets, and they all have their pros and cons.
Here is a list of where you can purchase train tickets:
I personally purchase my tickets through the app. There is an English version, and it is super straightforward and easy to use!
I like purchasing my tickets through the app because the app automatically saves my ticket to my phone, and all I have to do is scan my phone when I arrive at the platform.
There is no need for a paper ticket!
You can download tickets you purchase through the website to your phone as well. You simply enter the booking number into the app, and your ticket will appear.
Buying tickets in person is, of course, great for people who want to pay in cash and don’t want to use their credit card.
You have to arrive at the station early to get your ticket, but it is worth it if you don’t have a credit card or want to use up cash.
No matter how you choose to purchase your ticket, I suggest purchasing your ticket at least a day or two in advance. It will ensure you get a ticket on the train you want, and you have a better chance of getting your preferred seat (window or aisle).
Where Does the Train Depart Taipei?
The easiest place to catch the train from Taipei to Taichung is at Taipei Main Station.
You may be able to catch the train at other local train stations in Taipei and New Taipei City, but it depends on the train, so I wouldn’t rely on that.
If you do want to catch the train somewhere other than Taipei Main Station, make sure you use the station you want to depart from when purchasing your ticket.
This way you’ll only see trains departing from your chosen station.
Where Does the Train Arrive in Taichung?
The train from Taipei to Taichung arrive at Taichung Station.
Taichung Station is in the heart of Taichung, so it is a more convenient arriving point than the HSR station outside of town.
Once you arrive at Taichung Station, you simply find you way to wherever you’re staying. You don’t have to worry about the extra step of taking a bus or train into the city, which is really nice!
Pros of Taking the Train from Taipei to Taichung
Less expensive than HSR
Arrives in the heart of the city
Nice blend of inexpensive price but still comfortable and convenient
Can buy tickets on the app
Cons of Taking the Train from Taipei to Taichung
Slower than the HSR
Have to pay attention to travel time to make sure you’re not on a super slow train
Option Three: Taking the Bus from Taipei to Taichung
The final option to get from Taipei to Taichung is by bus.
Highway buses in Taiwan are convenient and comfortable! They have nice big seats, storage under the bus for bags, and curtains to block the sun. Buses are actually quite a comfortable and stress-free way to travel in Taiwan.
The downside to taking the bus that they have to deal with traffic! You never know when you’ll hit a traffic jam, and your journey could take a lot longer than you anticipated.
How Long is the Bus Ride?
It is quite difficult to tell you exactly how long the bus ride from Taipei to Taichung is. The duration of your trip relies heavily on traffic, and that is impossible to predict.
On average, you can expect the bus ride to last anywhere from 2.5 to 3 hours.
There are ways you can try to ensure your bus ride takes as little time as possible.
This includes not travelling during rush hour and avoiding the weekend if possible. That will give you the best chance of not getting stuck in a traffic jam.
How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?
The bus is the least expensive transportation option and is perfect for people who count every penny!
A bus ticket will normally cost between 200 NTD (approximately $7 USD) and 275 NTD (about $9 USD).
As you can see, the least expensive ticket price isn’t much cheaper than the least expensive train ticket price, but there is a bigger difference between the more expensive tickets.
You should take the time to price out the train and bus options if you’re on a budget. There may not be a huge difference between the cost.
Where Can You Buy Bus Tickets?
Bus tickets are purchased at the bus station.
Sometimes there is ticket window where you purchase your ticket and sometimes you purchase your ticket directly from the driver.
You should be able to figure out the protocol when you arrive at the bus station, but if you’re unsure, you can ask any bus station employee, and they’ll be able to help you out!
Where Does the Bus Depart Taipei?
Buses from Taipei to Taichung depart from the Taipei Bus Station.
The bus station is connected to Taipei Main Station. You simply follow the signs inside the station, and you’ll arrive at the bus station!
Where Does the Bus Arrive in Taichung?
The bus arrives at Taichung Station.
Basically, the bus departs and arrives at the same stations as the train. Obviously, the buses depart from a parking lot outside the stations, but you’ll easily be able to find the bus station if once you get to Taipei Main Station or Taichung Station.
Pros of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Taichung
The least expensive option
Has storage under the bus, so you don’t have to worry about lifting bags overhead to store
Cons of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Taichung
The length of the trip relies on traffic and could take much longer than anticipated
Can’t get up and walk around like on the train or HSR
Purchasing a ticket isn’t as convenient as other options
Other Ways to Travel from Taipei to Taichung
There are a number of other ways you can travel from Taipei to Taichung. I didn’t go in depth for these options because most people won’t use these methods, but I wanted to include them quickly.
Driving yourself (car or scooter)
Taking a chartered bus/limousine bus
It is difficult to give a firm recommendation on how to get from Taipei to Taichung.
If I were travelling between the two cities, this is the process I would go through to decide what transportation method I wanted to use:
Check to see if I could get an express train that takes under 2 hours to get from Taipei to Taichung for under 350 NTD (approximately $12 USD).
If I can’t get a quick train to Taichung for under 350 NTD, then I would explore the HSR options.
I would compare the journey length to the ticket price and decide what I felt was the best for me balancing both cost and time.
In all likelihood, 9 times out of 10, I would probably take the train rather than the HSR.
For me, it is worth saving a little bit of money and having a slightly longer journey time than it is to pay the extra price for an HSR ticket.
But it might be different for you.
If you’re only in Taiwan for a very short period of time or are only visiting Taichung for the day, then the HSR is probably your best option.
The only option I’m weary of and don’t really recommend is the bus. I don’t like having my journey time depend on traffic when there is a comparable option for basically the same price.
There isn’t really a wrong way to travel from Taipei to Taichung. Each transportation method is suited for different people with different needs.
The easiest way to get from Taipei to Taichung is definitely taking the HSR or train. It takes a lot of the unknown out of the journey.
Plus you get a much nicer view from the train/HSR than the bus. Who wants to be looking at cars when you could be looking at nature?!
No matter how you decide to travel from Taipei to Taichung, it is well worth the trip! Taichung is a beautiful city that you should add to your Taiwan itinerary!
You won’t regret it!
PS- if you’re interested in learning some great tips to help you navigate Taiwan and not stick out like a tourist, be sure to check out my post on Taiwan travel tips!
Taipei and Kaohsiung are two of the most popular cities in Taiwan for tourists, but they are quite a distance apart. 358km apart to be exact. Luckily it is very easy to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung!
There are three ways you can get from Taipei to Kaohsiung: high speed rail, train, and bus.
You can also fly between the two cities, but that isn’t the most practical option, so I’m not going to discuss it.
This post will go over all the different ways you can get from Taipei to Kaohsiung and help you pick what transportation method is best for you and your style of travel!
Option One: High Speed Rail from Taipei to Kaohsiung
The quickest and most expensive option is the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR). It is also the most popular way to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung, so it is also the busiest.
The trip takes between 1.5 to 2 hours on the HSR, so it is a great option for people who need to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung quickly.
Where to Purchase Tickets
You can purchase tickets on the Taiwan High Speed Rail website or at the ticket counter at the train station. You can pay by credit card online or by cash or card in person.
If you don’t have access to a printer, you’re able to pickup tickets you ordered online at the train station. This is an ideal option for people who book their HSR ticket while in Taiwan rather than before they leave.
How Much do Tickets Cost?
The price of tickets varies a little bit depending on what time of day you leave and the time of year, but, on average, tickets cost approximately NT1,500.
This converts to approximately $50USD, so it is not an inexpensive ticket. The cost of tickets can really add up if you’re travelling with a larger group or family.
Do I Need to Book My Ticket in Advance?
This depends on the time of year, week, and day you’re travelling. There are some instances in the off-season during the week where you could purchase your ticket a few minutes before the train departs, but that isn’t the norm.
Trains from Taipei to Kaohsiung can sell out. Especially during the summer and on the weekends. They certainly don’t sell out as quickly as the trains from Taipei to Hualien, but they still do sell out.
I recommend purchasing your ticket at least two or three days in advance to ensure you get a seat.
Where do Trains Depart from in Taipei?
Trains from Taipei to Kaohsiung depart from Taipei Main Station.
Taipei Main Station is serviced by buses, the red and blue metro lines, and the Taoyuan Airport MRT, so no matter where you’re coming from, it is easy to get to Taipei Main Station from anywhere in Taipei.
To get to the HSR station, simply follow the over-head signs for that say “HSR”. The HSR station is near the Taiwan Railway platforms. If you reach the metro lines, you’ve gone too far.
Taipei Main Station is huge, but it is easy to navigate by using the signs and maps all around the station. You can always ask an employee for help if you get really lost.
Where do Trains Arrive at in Kaohsiung?
HSR trains arrive at Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung. Zuoying Station is a little bit outside of downtown Kaohsiung, so you’ll probably have to take the metro or a bus to get to your accommodation.
Just like Taipei Main Station, Zuoying Station is serviced by buses and the metro. It is located at R16. There are only two metro lines in Kaohsiung: the R and O. If you need to transfer to the O line, you need to take the R line to Formosa Boulevard and transfer there. It is the only transfer station along the metro lines.
Advantages of Taking the HSR from Taipei to Kaohsiung:
It is by far the quickest way to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung
There is dedicated luggage storage in each train car
You have an assigned seat
Disadvantages of Taking the HSR from Taipei to Kaohsiung
It is the most expensive way to get between the two cities
The train arrives as Zuoying Station, so you probably won’t be able to walk to your accommodation and will need to take public transit
Option Two: Take the Train from Taipei to Kaohsiung
The second option is taking the train from Taipei to Kaohsiung. This is a slow train operated by Taiwan Railways and is much slower than the high speed rail.
The train journey takes 4.5-6 hours depending on train traffic, so it isn’t great for people who don’t have much time to explore Taiwan and need to travel between cities quickly.
The best part of purchasing tickets online or through the app is that you can download an electronic copy to your phone, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of a paper ticket.
How Much do Tickets Cost?
Tickets cost between NT800 and NT900. This coverts to $27-$30USD, so it isn’t that much cheaper than the HSR but takes significantly longer.
You’ll need to factor in what your time is worth when deciding whether you want to take the HSR or train. Is saving $20USD-$30USD worth the extra two and a half to four hours?
Only you can decide that. If you have a long time in Taiwan, it just might be, but if you only have a week, it probably isn’t.
Do I Need to Book My Ticket in Advance?
It is easier to purchase last-minute tickets for the slow train than it is for the HSR simply because it is less popular. You can probably show up at the train station and get on the next train pretty much any time of year.
That being said, I recommend purchasing your ticket at least the night before your departure. This way you know exactly what train you’ll be on and be able to download the ticket to your phone.
Where do Trains Depart from in Taipei?
Trains from Taipei to Kaohsiung depart from Taipei Main Station just like the HSR. You simply follow the signs for Taiwan Railway, and you’ll easily be able to find your platform.
The train from Taipei to Kaohsiung departs at the same location as the local trains used to get places in Taipei the metro doesn’t cover, so if you’ve used one of those trains, you’ll know exactly where to go!
Where do Trains Arrive at in Kaohsiung?
Trains arrive right in central Kaohsiung at Kaohsiung Main Station. This is R11 on the metro line and is only one metro stop away from the transfer station Formosa Boulevard.
This makes it quite convenient to get from Kaohsiung Main Station to anywhere in central Kaohsiung you need to go.
Kaohsiung Main Station is also well connected by bus if you prefer that over taking the metro.
Advantages of Taking the Train from Taipei to Kaohsiung
The train arrives in central Kaohsiung, so it is easy to get anywhere quickly
You can easily purchase last-minute tickets without the train being sold out
Disadvantages of Taking the Train from Taipei to Kaohsiung
It takes significantly longer than the HSR and isn’t much cheaper
There isn’t dedicated luggage storage in each car, and you have to lift your bag overhead to store it
Option Three: Taking a Bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung
The final option is to take a bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung. This is the least popular way to travel between the two cities and should probably be your last resort if you can’t manage to get on a train.
The bus ride takes between 5 and 6 hours, but it can be significantly delayed because of traffic. This means your trip could take a whole lot longer than you planned on!
Where to Purchase Tickets
Tickets can be purchased at the bus station before you get on the bus and at convenience stores around Taipei.
You need to purchase your ticket before you get on the bus. Your EasyCard will not work on this bus, so you cannot tap when you get on and off for money to be automatically deducted from your account.
How Much do Tickets Cost?
Bus tickets between Taipei and Kaohsiung cost between NT400 and NT 700. That converts to $13USD to $23USD.
If you’re able to get a less expensive ticket, then it is considerably less expensive to take the bus than the train; however, the most expensive tickets are pretty close in price to train tickets.
It is probably worth the few extra dollars to take the train, so you don’t risk getting stuck in a traffic jam.
Do I Need to Book My Ticket in Advance?
The bus is a fairly popular method of transportation amongst Taiwan locals, so it isn’t uncommon for buses to be full to capacity.
You’ll be getting on the bus at the first stop, so it is likely that there will be room for you, but I recommend purchasing your ticket a day in advance or at a minimum a few hours in advance.
This way you’ll have a guaranteed seat and won’t be delayed if the bus you want to get on is full.
Where do Buses Depart from in Taipei?
Buses depart from the Taipei Bus Station. It is adjacent to Taipei Main Station near Q Square.
There are maps all around Taipei Main Station that show where the bus station is, so it is really easy to find. Taipei Main Station has free WiFi, so you can always put “Taipei Bus Station” into Google Maps and follow the directions if you’re worried about getting lost.
Where do Buses Arrive at in Kaohsiung?
Buses arrive at Kaohsiung Main Station, which is the same place the slow trains arrive at. It is in central Kaohsiung, so it is easy to get to where ever you need to go from the bus station.
Everything in central Kaohsiung is just a few minutes away on the metro, so it is quite convenient.
Advantages of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung
Your luggage is store under the bus, so you don’t need to worry about storing it yourself or lifting it overhead
It is the least expensive way to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung
Disadvantages of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung
It takes the longest time and can be delayed due to traffic
You can’t get up and walk around to stretch your legs on the long journey like you can on the train or HSR
I personally think the HSR and slow train are the best ways to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Which one you choose between the two of them has a lot to do with personal preference.
The HSR is great for people who aren’t in Taiwan long and want to get between the two cities quickly. It is how I always travel between Taipei and Kaohsiung, I like that it is quick and efficient.
The train, on the other hand, is great for people who have a long time to explore Taiwan or are on a tight budget. It does take quite a bit longer than the HSR, but it gives you more of an opportunity to enjoy the scenery outside your window.
You really can’t go wrong with either option. No matter what train you choose, you’ll have a pleasant experience and trip.
There is so much to do in both Taipei and Kaohsiung that it would be a shame to miss either city on your trip to Taiwan. Luckily Taiwan has a great public transportation system, and it is easy to get between the two cities!
Just a reminder that it is considered rude in Taiwan to be loud or chatty on public transportation and to always clean up after yourself if you have a snack on the train or bus! The Taiwan locals and train and bus employees will appreciate it!