12 Hours in Taipei
Taipei is a vibrant and modern world city where a unique blend of Chinese and Japanese cultures thrives. From its world-famous architectural and cultural landmarks, to its delicious cuisine, ancient natural features, temples and lively night markets, it’s a destination not to be missed.
If you’ve got just 12 hours to explore the beautiful capital of Taiwan, our guide below can help to ensure you make the most of them.
7:30am – Enjoy a traditional Taiwanese breakfast
In Taipei you’ll find little shops and stands selling authentic breakfast fare on almost every street. While most traditional Taiwanese dishes will fill a plate with fresh, colourful produce, Taiwanese breakfast is more a carb-loaded affair. Sweet soy milk (dou jiang), the iconic sesame flat bread (shaobing), a Chinese fried doughnut stick (youtiao), fried egg crepes (dan bing) and sticky rice balls (fan tuan) are a few delicious staples in this region.
Many breakfast restaurants attract lengthy queues (and thereby necessitate an early start to avoid them), particularly those of the Zhongzheng District, like the popular Fu Hang Dou Jiang. If you’re keen to avoid the crowds, ask a local where to go in your area and they won't lead you astray.
9:00am – Visit the Longshan Temple
This Buddhist temple is perhaps the most well-known temple in Taiwan, and it’s also one of its oldest. Built in 1738 in traditional Fujianese style, it sits as a source of pride in Taipei’s oldest district of Wanhua. Here you can experience Taiwan’s dedication to Buddhism and Taoism and explore elaborate temple art and architecture: colourful decorations, stone carvings and wood carvings.
10:30pm – See the city from the Taipei 101
You can’t miss the Taipei 101 – the 8th tallest skyscraper in the world – for unparalleled cityscape views. Reaching a staggering 508m tall, this building was until recently the tallest building in the world, and it’s perhaps the only place you’ll see an operational wind damper (of 660 tons!). A visit to the building’s observation decks on the 88th and 89th floors is well worth it, and if you’re lucky with the weather, the 91st floor outdoor deck will be open, too.
12:00pm – Indulge in seafood at the fish markets
Inspired by Japanese fish markets, these traditional markets present a lively hub offering fresh seafood and ready-to-eat dishes you can enjoy amid a modern market environment. Addiction Aquatic Development is a local favourite, with fresh sushi rivalling the taste of that on offer in Japan, as well as raw and cooked dishes and a juice bar. Ensure you arrive hungry!
1.30pm – Take the bottom-glass gondola to the peak of Maokong
The delight of this experience is threefold: there’s a scenic Gondola ride, a beautiful mountain-top village with breathtaking views of Taipei, and quality, locally grown tea at the end. Fitted with glass-bottom cable cars (Crystal Cabins), the Gondola that carries passengers up the mountain to the peak at Maokong offers beautiful views of the city’s natural scenery. It’s about a 4.3km journey if you hop on at the first station near the Taipei Zoo, and you’ll have the chance to explore the various tea houses and shops of Maokong upon your arrival.
4:00pm – Visit the acclaimed National Palace Museum
Taipei’s National Palace Museum is home to a permanent collection of about 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese art and artefacts, spanning 8,000 years. As such, it’s the largest and arguably the most exceptional collection of its kind in the world. You’ll want to spend a few hours here.
6.30pm – Eat at the famous Taiwanese night markets
Vibrant night markets are quintessential Taiwan, and no visit to Taipei would be complete without a visit to one (or a few!). The Shilin Night Market is a popular spot for traditional Taiwanese cuisine and merchandise, or to escape the tourists, check out the Tonghua Night Market – more popular among the locals.
To find out what cruise itineraries feature the unique destination that is Taipei, contact our friendly Cruiseabout consultants today on 1300 769 228.
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