Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan During a Long Layover

March 25, 2020

After I visited a couple of months ago with my parents, Taiwan officially became one of my favorite countries. Taiwan is safe, clean, and the people are amiable.

Taiwan’s train system is excellent, but if your time is limited, the best way to explore Taipei is by booking a taxi at the airport. You can easily tour the city for only US $100 - $150.

I hired a taxi driver named Chris. He was friendly and fluent in English. Let me know if you would be interested in hiring him, and I will provide you his contact information.
If you don’t like taking chances, I recommend booking your private tour ahead of time. You can check TripAdvisor for private taxi tours; they have plenty of options.

There are a lot of places you can visit around Taipei during a long layover. Here are some of the sites that I highly recommend.

Address: No. 211, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10853
Hours: Open every day, 6 AM – 10 PM
Fee: No entrance fee.

The Longshan Temple is 28.1-miles (45.3 km) from the Taoyuan International Airport. The drive would be around 35-45 minutes, depending on traffic. We stayed for about 20 minutes that includes walking around the temple, offering a little prayer, and taking some photos.

ABOUT: The Longshan Temple is considered the most famous temple in Taiwan. This temple was built in 1738 and has stood the test of time and lasted through several natural disasters and wars, including World War ll.

The taxi was waiting outside during our tour; we then drove to our next location.

Address: No. 21號, Zhongshan South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Hours: Open every day, 9 AM to 6 PM
Fee: No entrance fee.

The National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Park is just 1.3-miles (2.2 km) from Longshan Temple. It only took us 10 minutes to get to this location. We toured this place for an hour, but you can easily walk around this place for 30 minutes if you are in a hurry.

ABOUT: Taiwan erected the National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in 1980 in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. This park is in the heart of Taipei, very clean and well maintained, and considered one of the most famous national monuments in Taiwan. You can walk around the park, watch the changing of the guards, or relax by the stairs or some shaded area. The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Park surely gives you a glimpse of the history of Taiwan. See the photos below.

You’ll find a giant statue of Chiang Kai-shek on the upper level of the memorial hall, facing the Liberty Square Arch.

The amazing Liberty Square Arch, right across the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

The octagonal shape of the roof symbolizes the number 8, which means abundance and good fortune.

Also, the two sets of white stairs (each with 89 steps) represent Chiang’s age at the time of his death.

After visiting the park, onto the next destination, we go.

Address: No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District
Hours: Open every day, 11 AM to 9 PM
Fee: NT$600 per person (about $20)

A trip to Taiwan won’t be complete without visiting this famous skyscraper. The Taipei 101 Observatory is 3.0-miles (4.8 km) from the National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Park. It took us about 20 minutes to get to the location. We spent an hour here, but you can stay here until the closing time if you’d like to.

ABOUT: Formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, at 508m, Taipei 101 held the title of ‘world’s tallest building’ for several years until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. Until 2011, it also held the title of the world’s tallest green building. The 360-degree city views from the top are amazing. See the photos below.


Address: No. 1號, Section 4, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10461
Hours: Open every day, 24 hours.
Fee: No Entrance Fee. Separate charge room accommodation.

The Grand Hotel is 7-miles (11.3 km) from Taipei 101. It took about 25 minutes for us to get to this location. We spent 2 hours here because we decided to have lunch at Yuan-Yuan Restaurant, inside the Grand Hotel. Twenty minutes would be enough to walk around this hotel, learn its history, and take some photos.

ABOUT: The Grand Hotel is a palace-like landmark, overlooking Songshan in the east and Danshui in the west. The details of the outside and the interior of this hotel are magnificent. Opened in 1973, this hotel is indeed a good representation of Chinese culture. There is quite a long list of notable guests who have stayed in this hotel, including American President Dwight Eisenhower, President Bill Clinton, President Ronald Reagan, and Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore.

Address: Ningxia Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Hours: Open every night, 5 PM to 1 AM
Fee: No entrance fee. Separate payment for the food.

Taipei is home to the ten famous night markets in Taiwan. I told my parents that the best way for us to try local delicacies is to visit a night market. We chose to visit Ningxia Night Market as it is the closest to the Grand Hotel, just about 2.3-miles (3.8 km) or a 10-minute drive. This place offers a lot of mouth-watering local delicacies such as a braised duck tongue, oyster omelet, barbecued sausages, beef noodles, and many other delicious meals at an affordable price! So worth it.

If you have enough time to swing by, I highly recommend stopping at one of the famous night markets in Taipei. Make sure you go there hungry as there are tons of food you can try.

Again, here’s the rundown of the above-mentioned locations for the long layover trip guide to Taipei, Taiwan.

1. Longshan Temple
2. The National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Park
3. Taipei 101 Observatory Deck
4. The Grand Hotel Taipei
5. Ningxia Night Market

Here are some additional suggestions if you have some extra time to spare. 

Try to do the short hike to the Elephant Mountain Trail. You’ll see a fantastic panoramic view of the city. 

You can also visit the National Palace Museum, which is very close to the Grand Hotel. 

I hope this list gives you a little idea of where to go when you have a long layover in Taipei, Taiwan.

Thanks for reading our blog.

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