It’s happened to us all time and time again. You fly into a cool destination, but you have 24 hours or less before your next flight. You start researching places to see, things to do, the costs, and everything in between. Thankfully, there are often many tourist attractions near airports so you can quickly see some of the most popular sights. So what now? You land, jump in a taxi, and make your way to your first destination. It’s on! Here are my top things to do in Taipei when you only have 24 hours.
Taipei 101 is a 101-floor skyscraper and the eighth tallest building in the world, and it’s located in Taipei’s Xinyi District. This bamboo stalk replica towers over the city and features a shopping mall, observation decks, and food courts.
If you’re looking to do a little hiking with a view but you don’t have enough time to make your way to Taroko Gorge in Hualien, then Elephant Mountain and the smaller mountains surrounding Taipei are the perfect moderate hike. These mountains are great for a short day trip or watching the sunset with Taipei as your backdrop.
Wulai or Beitou Hot Springs
In Asia, hot springs are believed to raise energy levels while possibly treating chronic fatigue, eczema, and arthritis, a pretty good reason to give the popular Taiwanese hot springs a try. I have been to both Wulai and Beitou for the springs, and they will not disappoint.
This gondola near the Taipei Zoo takes you to the tip of Maokong Mountain. Here, food carts and a beautiful view of Taipei await you.
Yangmingshan National Park
Qi Xing Shan is the highest peak in the Yangmingshan National Park and only 50 minutes away from Taiwan Taoyuan Airport. In Yangmingshan you can also find bamboo trails, sulfur geysers, hot springs, and lots of hiking trails.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
I could spend a whole day here roaming through the temples, watching the guards perform at the Memorial Hall, and even sitting in the middle of all three structures with some Taiwanese beer and yummy dumplings. This tourist hotspot is really cool for a number of reasons. It’s definitely a selfie haven that’s worthy of Instagram.
National Palace Museum
I actually never visited the National Palace Museum when I was in Taiwan. It’s one of those things I told myself I would get around to but just never did. However, it’s still a popular spot, so I would still highly recommend giving it a shot!
Shilin Night Market and Keelung Night Market are the two most popular night markets in northern Taiwan, and for good reason. These markets offer a wide array of foods to eat, including Taiwan’s signature stinky tofu dish, beef noodle soup, tons and tons of seafood, and if you’re trying to play it safe, lots of dumplings and noodles. Along with the delicious food, night markets offer games for kids and shopping!
All of the above are within an hourlong car ride or less, and you can access them by train, car, or bus. Use this guide to Taipei as a starting point to create your ideal itinerary for a quick trip in the city.