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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!
- How to Travel from Taipei to Hualien
- How to Travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung
- How to Travel from Taipei to Tainan
- How to Travel from Taipei to Taichung
- How to Travel from Kaohsiung to Hualien
- How to Travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park
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
- You can book your airport transfers here
- 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!
I have a blog post full of Taiwan travel tips you might want to check out.
It goes more in depth about public transportation norms and how to blend in and not look too much like a tourist.
Happy traveling! I hope this guide makes it super easy for you to get from Taoyuan to Taipei, so you can start your Taiwan adventure.
Let me know in the comments below what transportation method you think is best!