Travel Guide: Exploring Taipei During Your Layover

If you have a layover of 24 hours or at least 12 hours before your next flight at Taipei-Taoyuan Airport, don't just stay at the airport and counting time.  Explore Taipei! Yes, you heard it right.  You can explore Taipei in a day.  Taipei offers you a lot of things to do, and be amazed by its culture and history. 

Who can visit Taipei?

A.  Countries included in New Southbound Policy (NSP).  An initiative of Taiwan Government in order to enhance the cooperation with Southeast Asia, South Asia,Australia and New Zealand.
Visa-Exempt
1. Australia - Visa exemption with a duration of stay up to 90 days until December 31, 2019
2. Brunei - Visa exemption with a duration of stay up to 14 days until July 31, 2019
3. Malaysia - Visa exemption with a duration of stay up to 30 days
4. New Zealand - Visa exemption with a duration of stay up to 90 days
5. Philippines - Visa exemption with a duration of stay up to 14 days until July 31, 2019
6. Singapore - Visa exemption with a duration of stay up to 30 days
7. Thailand -  Visa exemption with a duration of stay up to 14 days until July 31, 2019
R.O.C Taiwan Travel Authorization Certificate
The following countries who applied for travel certificate online are allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days.
1. India
2. Vietnam
3. Indonesia
4. Myanmar
5. Cambodia
6. Lao
B. Some countries with Visa-Exempt not in NSP. They can stay up to 90 days.
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Vatican City State.

For detailed reference, please check the immigration site.

If you are qualified, make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months.

Transportation to Taipei from Taoyuan International Airport
There are many modes of transportation to reach Taipei. Modes of transportation are 24-Hr available but limited after midnight.

1.  Private Transfer - this is a stress-free airport transfer, and mostly you should book this in advance online.  It will bring you in front of your hotel. If you have big luggage this is appropriate for you.  Travel time is approximately 40 minutes.   You check it here.
2. Taxi- can bring you also directly to your hotel.  It is a metered taxi so fare is dependent on the traffic.  Approximately, it will cost you around 1150 NTD.  Taxi service is located at west side of Terminal 1 and 2.  
3. Bus -  bus is the cheapest public transportation going to Taipei.  It is around 135 -140 NTD. The service is 24 hours a day. For Terminal 1, it is located at B1 Arrival Area.  While for Terminal 2, it is in 1st floor arrival lobby.
4.  Taoyuan Airport MRT - this is the fastest way to reach Taipei and it will cost you only 150 NTD.  There are two types of Airport MRT.  The first one is the Express Train, and this type will only pass at 2 stations before reaching the Taipei Main Station. Travel time is 30 minutes.  The 2nd one is the Commuters train which stops to 10 stations before reaching the Taipei Main Station.  Travel time is 50 minutes. Make sure to ride the express train on your way. The first train to Taipei is 5:59 AM and the last train is 10:58 PM.

So you now have idea how to reach Taipei City.  The next thing you need to figure out is where to stay.


Where to Stay?

Sorting out where to stay is somehow overwhelming because Taipei has many hotels and hostels.  I'll be handpicking some hotels that will be suitable for just overnight stay. 

A. Near Taipei Main Station
from www.justgola.com
Accommodation around Taipei Main Station is very advantageous  because most of the MRT Lines are passing here including the Airport MRT.  Your travel across Taipei will be easier.
1.Inn Cube Taipei Main Station



Add10F., No. 13, Gongyuan Rd., Taipei Main Station, Taipei, Taiwan
Room Types: Single Bed, Bunk Beds, Double Bed
Transportation: 100 meters from Taipei Main Station. Exit at M8
Front Desk: 24-Hour Open
WI-FI: All Rooms
Cheapest Room Cost: $21, ₱1078, ¥2254


AddNo.23, Section. 1, Zhongxiao West Road, Taipei Main Station, Taipei, Taiwan
Room Types: Single Bunk Bed, Family Room, Double Room
Transportation150 meters from Taipei Main Station. Exit at M7
Front Desk: 24-Hour Open
WI-FI: All Rooms
Cheapest Room Cost: $16, ₱834, ¥1744
Book Here

3. NYS Loft Hotel
Add: 3F/4F., No. 1, Nanyang St. Taipei City, Taiwan, Taipei Main Station, Taipei, Taiwan
Room Types: Single Room, Double Room, Twin Room, Triple Room
Transportation170 meters from Taipei Main Station. Exit at Z2
Front Desk: 24-Hour Open
WI-FI: All Rooms
Cheapest Room Cost: $31, ₱1622, ¥3388
Book Here

B.  Ximending
Ximending or Ximen is a very lively neighborhood. There are too many shopping outlets and pubs here. It is called Shibuya of Taipei because of its largest pedestrian in Taiwan.  It is just 1 station away from Taipei Main Station.


Add: No.6, Ln. 147, Hanzhong St., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City 108, Ximending, Taipei, Taiwan
Room Types: Single Room, Double Room, Twin Room, Family Room
Transportation: 140 meters from Ximen Station, Exit 1
Front Desk: 24-Hour Open
WI-FI: All Rooms
Cheapest Room Cost: $35, ₱1810 , ¥3785
Book Here
Add: 2F., No.11, Sec. 2, Changsha St., Wanhua Dist., Ximending, Taipei, Taiwan
Room Types: Single Room, Dormitory Room, Double Room
Transportation: 200 meters from Ximen Station, Exit 1
Front Desk: Self-Check In
WI-FI: All Rooms
Cheapest Room Cost: $12, ₱613 , ¥1281
Book Here
3. Tomorrow Hotel
Add: No.23, Chengdu Rd, Ximending, Taipei, Taiwan
Room Types: Double Room, Quad Room
Transportation: 140 meters from Ximen Station, Exit 6
Front Desk: 24-Hr Open
WI-FI: All Rooms
Cheapest Room Cost: $47, ₱2475 , ¥5181

Above hotels are some of my suggestions where to stay in the two strategic locations, and it will be your starting point for roaming around Taipei during your layover.  If you wish to check more hotels, you may check it here


Going Around Taipei
A.  What do you need?
1. Easy Card is  a loadable card that you can use for paying your Taipei MRT and bus rides, and purchases in some convenience stores e.g. Family Mart and 7-11.  You can get this at MRT Stations and convenience stores for 100 Taiwan Dollars (NTD).  This will give you a cashless transaction most of the time of your stay.
2. Taipei Metro Pass is a pass that will give you unlimited MRT ride for specific period. It has one-day pass and Multi-Day passes( 24-HR, 48-HR, and 72-HR  Taipei Metro Passes).  I'll be discussing just the one-day pass and  24-HR Taipei Metro Pass since those passes can cover 12 to 24 hours layover.  
A. One-Day Pass costs  NT$150. Once activated by scanning at the gate, it will be valid until the end of service of the same day. 
B. 24-HR Taipei Metro Pass cost NT$180. Once activated by scanning at the gate, it will be valid for 24 hours.

If you have early flight on next day the best choice is the 1 day pass.

Do I need to get both Easy Card and Metro Pass? Yes.  Most of the tourist spots are accessible via MRT having it is very economical.  You can use Easy Card if you need to ride a bus, and avoid change. You can also use this for paying your purchases in most of the convenience stores.

Places To Go Within 24 Hours?
Now I am going to enumerate the places you can visit within 24 hours.

1. Taipei 101


  • Tallest building in Taiwan. Make your way to 89th floor to enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
  • Exit at Taipei 101/World Trade Station (Red Line)
  • Open from 9 AM to 10 PM
  • Buy your entrance ticket here. Use this promo code ALLONSALE.
2. Elephant Mountain
  • If you like hiking and want to have another view of the city, climb the elephant mountain.
  • Exit 2 of Xianghsan MRT Station (Red Line).
  • Follow the sign to the hiking trail.

3. Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
  • Build to commemorate the late President Chaing Kai-shek. It contains an art gallery and lecture hall.
  • Exit 5 of Chiang Kai-shek (C.K.S.) Memorial Station (Red/Green Line).
  • Open from 9 AM to 6 PM.

4. Longshan Temple
Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0
  • Historic site and important religious center of Wanhua area.
  • Exit 1 at Longshan Temple Station (Blue line). Head north on Xiyuan Road for 5 minutes.
  • Open from 6 AM to 10 PM
5. National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
  • Built in 1972 as a tribute to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, the founder of republic of China.  It has a museum that displays Dr. Sun Yat-Sen accomplishments.
  • Exit 4 at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall Station.
  • Open from 9 AM to 6 PM.
6. Xingtian Temple
  • Temple devoted to Guan Yu,the patron god of businessman.
  • Exit 3 at Xingtian Temple Station (Orange Line).  Walk towerds Songjiang Rd.-Manquan Rd. intersection for 4 minutes.
  • Open from 4 AM to 10:30 PM
8. Martyrs Shrine
Photo by Bernard Gagnon 
  • Built in 1969, the shrine is dedicated to the war dead during the Chinese Civil War.
  • From Dazhi Station (Brown Line), ride a Bus 208 to the Martyrs Shrine stop.
  • Open from 9 AM to 5 PM
9. National Palace Museum
© CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
  • One of the top five museums in the world.  It contains about 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks.
  • From Shilin Station (Red Line), ride Bus Red 30 to the National Palace  Museum Stop
  • Open from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
  • Entrance ticket is NT$ 350
9. Taipei Zoo
  • Divided in 8 areas e.g. aviary, African area.  Pandas are very popular here.
  • Exit 1 at Taipei Zoo Station (Brown Line).
  • Open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
  • Entrance is NT$ 60.

10. Maokong Gondola
  • Ride you way up to Maokong via gondola.  If you are tea lover, visit the Tea Promotion Center to learn more about tea production.
  • Open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Close every Monday for maintenance.
  • Ticket is NT$ 150
11. Shilin Official Residence
  • Former residence of late president of Republic of China, President Chiang Kai-Shek.   The residence is also surrounded by different gardens e.g. European and Chinese gardens.
  • Exit 2 at Shilin Station (Red Line).
  • Open from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM except Monday.
  • Entrance ticket is NT$ 100.
12. Shilin Night Market
  • Largest and most famous night market in Taiwan.  If you want to eat local food  this is your place.
  • Exit 1 at Jiantan Station (Red Line).

13. Ximending/Ximen
  • Known as Harajuku of Taipei, this place is surrounded by different clothing shops, restaurants, and bar and clubs.  The area is lively especially during weekend because of the performers on the street.
  • Exit 3 at Ximen Station (Blue/Green Line).

14. Modern Toilet
  • One of themed restaurants in Taipei. If you are looking for exciting way to eat and not in common plate this is your place.
  • Exit 3 at Ximen Station ( Blue/Green Line).
Above places are my suggestion what you can visit in Taipei with a layover of 24 hours or at least 12 hours.  On this link you'll find the Metro Taipei Map so that you can start planning your layover trip. Map


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