Taipei is a fast-developing, industrialised city, with deep cultural and historical roots. Districts in the east boast towering skyscrapers, and infinite dining, shopping and entertainment...
Boundless food experiences can be found in Taipei. Embracing cuisine from around the world, the city’s dining scene blends elements of Asian, European, and traditional Taiwanese food cultures.
Enjoy dinner with a view from the Taipei 101 tower, where multiple observatory restaurants, located as high as the 88th floor, look out over the city’s diverse landscape. Visitors who don’t find high-altitude dining enticing, can visit the fourth floor’s restaurants, cafes and coffee shops, or the skyscraper’s vast food court situated in the building’s basement.
In colourful contrast to the modern dining opportunities of Taipei 101, Taipei’s streets offer a great opportunity to sample traditional specialties. Yongkang Street in the Da’an District overflows with Taiwanese eateries, and is a popular haunt for lovers of xiaolongbao (Shanghai soup dumplings). Taoyuan Street in the city’s west is famously devoted to Taiwan’s signature beef noodles – selling variation of the dish with different spices, broth bases and noodle shapes.
Night markets provide another great opportunity for visitors to experience authentic Taiwanese fare. Shilin Night Market is arguably Taipei’s most famous, a bustling centre home to an indoor food court and dozens of street vendors dishing up traditional Taiwanese snacks. The market’s most popular dishes include oyster omelettes, tianbula (Taiwanese tempura), ‘stinky tofu’, and Taipei’s famous mango shaved ice. Equally as lively but less crowded, one of the city’s oldest night markets, Raohe Street is a great place to sample local specialties like sautéed crab and passion fruit or pearl milk bubble tea.
From roadside vendors and twilight bazaars, to brand name boutiques and upscale department stores, Taipei provides plenty of opportunities to spend a New Dollar.
The Xinyi District is Taipei’s premier shopping and entertainment destination, renowned for its cosmopolitan collection of mid to high-end malls and stores. Home to the Taipei 101 tower – featuring five floors of upscale boutiques – Xinyi is where locals go to spend big. The area also includes the expansive Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, the 11-storey ATT Shopping Mall, The Living Mall, and the flagship store of Taiwan’s leading bookshop chain Eslite.
Taipei’s modern commercial and financial district, the Da’an District also showcases ample shopping experiences. Department stores and fashion boutiques abound in the district’s north – one of the Taipei’s most affluent areas, while the district’s southern end is littered with cheap and cheerful shops.
Situated within the Zhongshan District, the tree-lined boulevard of Zhongshan North Road is a popular shopping zone for brides-to-be. Populated by local and international high-end brands, the street is celebrated for its distinguished wedding boutiques and picture studios.
Referred to as the ‘Harajuku of Taipei’, Ximending is a trendy local teen hang out, brimming with electronics and fashion retailers.
Like most emerging and developing Asian hotspots, Taipei is dotted with expansive retail malls and sprawling market places. Located in Songshan, Core Pacific Living Mall houses 24-hour shopping and a nightclub. Tech-fans are catered for at Guanghua Digital Plaza, a six-storey technology market. Taipei Underground Market is a go-to for electronics. While Shilin Night Market opens in the late afternoon, and hums with activity till well past midnight, selling a mixture of clothing and consumer goods.