The city of Taipei is comprised of 12 main districts, each of which can be subdivided into smaller areas and all connected via the efficient Taipei Metro underground system.
I’ve detailed below what to expect from each district, and included the areas and attractions worth visiting in each.
I’ve also included Danshui in this list, as although it’s not technically in Taipei (rather New Taipei City), it is still accessible by the Metro system and definitely worthy of a visit.
The list is in some sort of order, with the must-visit districts at the top. I’ve also grouped the remaining districts together in the ‘Other Districts’ section. While some of these are less popular districts, there are still some excellent attractions found in these.
I’ve also added some walking/cycling routes that I’ve personally taken and enjoyed.
|MRT Lines||Red, Blue, Orange|
Found right in the heart of central Taipei, Daan is a diverse and lively district that has a good mix of the traditional and modern.
The bustling East District of Daan is my favourite area in Taipei for mid-priced restaurants, bars and shops, while Yongkang Street is a must-visit destination featuring loads of cool gift shops, nice cafes and tea shops, and delicious bites to eat.
The district is home to the largest park in Taipei, Daan Forest Park, which is a great place to escape the chaos of the busy city for a while.
One of the locals’ favourite night markets in Taipei is Linjiang Street Night Market, which is quite small but packed with delicious food stands.
|MRT Lines||Red, Blue|
Found just to the East of Daan, Xinyi is dominated by the Xinyi Shopping District, a huge mainly pedestrianised metropolis with no less than 14 malls. The area is awash with restaurants, nightclubs and bars, most of which offer a more luxurious and refined experience, and contains many of the finest hotels in Taipei. To the south of the shopping district is the iconic Taipei 101, which itself contains a huge mall and of course the observation deck for the best views of the city.
Xinyi is also home to the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, an impressive shrine to the former leader of the Republic of China. The gardens here also offer a great opportunity to get some photos of Taipei 101.
The final MRT stop on the blue line in Xinyi is Xiangshan, which translated means Elephant Mountain. This very popular hike can be draining in the heat, but if you manage to get to the top you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the city and Taipei 101.
|MRT Lines||Green, Blue|
Wanhua is another district with a great mix of traditional and modern.
One of the liveliest areas of Wanhua (and in fact Taipei) is the Ximending Shopping District, a pedestrianised area that’s very popular with the younger generation and the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a great place to try Taiwan’s famous bubble tea, plus there are many awesome food stands and gift shops.
The Red House heritage building also has some of the best gift shops in Taipei, while the Ximending Drinking Area is the best place in Taipei to enjoy a drink outdoors. The area also has loads of really cool street art, some great street performers, cinema street for movie lovers, and tattoo street for ink aficionados.
Sandwiched between Daan and Wanhua, Zhongzheng is home to Taipei Main Station, and so is easily accessible from almost all other districts.
Zhongzheng is also home to most of the national government buildings of Taiwan, such as the Presidential Palace, and has many cultural and educational sites, including the spectacular Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
To the north of the district is the Huashan 1914 Creative Park, a really cool space to explore and relax, and directly next to this is the Taipei Technology District, which has everything tech-related you could imagine.
Found in the south of the district is Gongguan, another vibrant area with a nice night market and many shops for bargain hunters. Also found here are the Treasure Hill, the Water Park and the NTU campus, all of which are great places for a stroll.
|MRT Lines||Green, Orange, Red|
The largest district in central Taipei, Zhongshan extends north of the river and has a few nice areas to visit.
The Nanxi area, found next to the Zhongshan MRT is a really cool shopping and dining area, and just north of this is Linsen North Road, which is a vibrant part of Taipei at night, featuring many cool bars including loads of karaoke bars.
Just north of the river, there’s the Grand Hotel, one of the most striking buildings in Taipei, and Martyrs’ Shrine, paying homage to the lives’ lost during a number of wars and revolutions. Both these are within walking distance of some great hiking routes.
Other notable attractions in Zhongshan include the Hsing Tian Temple and Addiction Aquatic Development, the largest fish market in Taipei which doubles as one of the nicest dining experiences (especially for seafood lovers).
Home to the largest night market in Taiwan, Shilin is one of the largest districts in Taipei. The West of the district is much more urbanised, whilst the Eastern part is more rural and includes the National Palace Museum, which is a must-visit attraction if you are interested in historical Chinese/Taiwanese culture.
The residence of the former leader of the republic of China, Chiang Kai-Shek can also be found here, which has some lovely gardens and an exquisitely preserved home.
Tianmu is home to many of the USA’s expats in Taiwan, and as such has some of the best western restaurants in Taipei.
Travelling further up the red line, you’ll reach the much more rural district of Beitou, home to many steamy hot springs.
Xinbeitou in particular is a lovely place to visit, with many hot springs to swim in, wade in, or even bathe in at one of the many hot spring hotels. There’s a hot spring museum detailed the history of Beitou and it’s role in the Taiwanese film industry, and Thermal Valley to see the steamy springs in all their glory.
The final stop on the red line is Danshui, which has a gorgeous riverside walk filled with cafes, restaurants and an abundance of places to grab a bite.
Some of the most significant buildings in Taiwan can also be found in Danshui. Fort San Domingo was built by the Europeans as a stronghold and the site contains a number of buildings of historical importance.
There’s also a ferry service which will take you across the river to Bali, or to the very edge at Fisherman’s Wharf.
If you do come to Danshui, make sure you witness the sunset here. It’s magical!
One of the best night markets in Taipei is found in Songshan – Raohe Night Market is especially worth visiting if you want to try many delicious Taiwanese favourites.
Songhan also has a really cool place for exploring your creative side. The Songshan Cultural and Creative Park usually has some nice art and design exhibitions, and many very fine gift shops.
Dadaocheng is a significant historical attraction, being a former trading port. The area has the oldest street in Taipei – Dihua Street – which sells many dried snacks such a dried-fish and dried-fruit, and plays a significant role in the Lunar New Year.
Another of the locals’ favourite night markets, Ningxia, can also be found here.
Neihu has a some of the best hiking trails in Taipei, and if you’re looking for some Michelin worthy food, it has many of the best fine-dining restaurants in the city, including arguably the best – Raw.
The Miramar shopping mall has the best IMAX cinema in Taipei and a huge Ferris wheel.
The largest exhibition centre in Taiwan can be found here, and the newly built Music Centre is great for concerts.
Another district that’s technically not in Taipei, yet accessible via the MRT system, I’ve included this for two reasons. If you’re a lover of beautiful historical buildings, then the Lin Family Mansion is worth the MRT ride alone.
If you’re here over the Christmas period, then Christmasland is easily the best place to visit in Taipei.