Taiwan’s sophisticated capital has excellent food, friendly people and a reputation for being a safe city. Visit the city’s many decorative temples, or stroll through its fascinating museums, and you’ll get a sense of the mixed heritage of this thriving city. Head over to the Taipei Zoo and hop on the thrilling Maokong Gondola for some fantastic views. Or, visit the beautiful Longshan temple for a glimpse into the city’s Buddhist history. As the sun sets, take a trip up the 101 Tower to see some awe-inspiring views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
When decidingwhere to stay in Taipei, you should know thatone of the best areas to stay in the city is Zhongshan district. Here, you’ll be within easy reach of the MRT metro line, which will take you to sights like the Shilin Night Market and Tamshui Fisherman's Wharf, as well as the National Palace Museum, Maokong Gondola and the Taipei 101 building. In this district, you’ll find a wonderful selection of restaurants and cafes and some beautiful parks to relax in. You’ll also be able to enjoy plenty of excellent shopping in the area with duty free options available. The Taipei Main Station is just one stop away from Zhongshan MRT Station, and will take you to other parts of Taiwan.
The neighbourhood of Zhongshan is one of the most popular areas in the city as it is incredibly diverse, which can’t be said for the majority of the districts in the city. There are many beautiful temples in the area with Bao’an, Confucius amd Xingtian being the most popular sites. Bao’an is dedicated to the Taoist God of Medicine and showcases some of Taiwan’s most wonderfully preserved detailed temple architecture. The Confucius Temple is one of the biggest temples in the city and is used as a centre for students and therefore means it is usually quite busy, yet is a must-see due to the sheer grand of scale.
If you are lucky enough to be in the city on September 28th, then head to the temple where you will see the planet’s largest Confucian event of the year. Xingtian can get exceptionally busy and this temple is dedicated to the God of War, which has beautiful detail carved into the exterior as well as exterior and has wonderful gardens. Another moving religious site is the National Revolutionary Martyr’s Shrine, which was erected in memory of the people who died in the war of the Republic of China. Zhongshan is made up of various recreation parks and these include Rongxing Garden Park, Meiti Riverside Park and Daija Riverside Park and all of them have great open spaces to chill and have a picnic in as well as many woodland areas. The parks have good scenic views and some parks have facilities like tennis courts, golf courses and football fields, which will keep the sport enthusiasts happy. Another major attraction in Zhongshan is the Shilin Night Market, which is said to be the largest and most famous of its kind in the country, let alone the city, as it has a huge amount of stalls that sell various things like electronics, food, clothes, jewellery and lots of other goods, which is a stunning spectacle.
The district is home to a variety of museums and includes the Suho Paper Memorial Museum, Museum of Jade Art and the Fine Arts Museum, with all having fine pieces of art and other similar items that are all worth a look. Shopaholics will be in heaven as Zhongshan District has many shopping centres and a lot of streets have shops along them and one of the most famous areas for shopping is the Zhongshan Metro Mall. The mall also has many pubs and bars as well as restaurants though these can be found everywhere and there are many traditional eating places where you can try local food. There is no shortage of hotels either, and there is a great range of places to stay at from low budget to top end accommodation.
Other neighbourhoods to stay in Taipei
This is the oldest district of the city and has a whole host of historic buildings to check out like Longshan Temple, which was first built in the 18th century but only to be greatly damaged during World War II. Even so, it has been renovated and is now an excellent example of Taiwanese classical architecture, which many people come to see. Other things to see in the area are the Snake Alley Night Market, though doesn’t sell any snake anymore and only allows everyday seafood due to protests. There are many different night markets in the area and are very easy to find as you will see large numbers of people congregating on streets and most of these markets sell spices, foods, jewellery and electronics. A good area to check out at night is the Ximending, which is a multi-complex building, which serves as the main movie and entertainment area of the city. There are plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants in the area too, where there is something for everyone and Wanhua has a brilliant selection of top quality hotels.
This neighbourhood is well-known for its political buildings that are found here, which is a great place for a wander around. As well as the Presidential Office and the four different Yuan buildings there are gardens to explore as well as museums that focus on the history of the country. Other notable places of interest are the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, which was put up in memory of the former president and as well as the hall there is a National Theatre. There are several traditional markets in the district as well as various shopping centres, which have an adequate number of shops that cater most industries. There aren’t as many bars and places to eat at but it does have a good amount of hotels, which offer scenic views.