The outskirts of Taipei is absolutely littered with fascinating places to visit and fun things to do. If you want to get out of the city to explore all its beautiful corners and see a bit more of Taiwan, then this list of 14 epic day trips from Taipei is for you!
In this guide, you’ll discover the very best Taipei day trips – from must-visit places to Taipei’s best hidden gems! Even if you don’t have time to see them all, this guide will give you a good idea of where to spend some time away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Here are 14 of the ABSOLUTE best Taipei day trips!
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Taipei Day Trip Essentials
Before we dive into this epic list of day tours from Taipei, read these handy guides to understand Taiwan’s vibrant capital city better:
Along with the tips included above, here are a few more tricks and essentials to make your Taipei day trip itinerary all the easier.
- If you’d like to stay overnight in any of these places, you can find some great hotel deals here.
- Grab an Easy Card (a tap-and-go transport card) so that you can save time and money on public transport.
- You’ll find top-up machines in every single convenience store and all bus and train stations.
- If you plan on doing lots of touristy things, grab a Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass, which covers unlimited rides on MRT lines, city buses, and five tourist shuttle routes.
- Since some of these day trips need a bit more travel time, book a private car charter to explore these gems at your own pace.
- Grab this 3-day unlimited HSR pass if you’re going to travel down the west coast.
- Download Google Maps, Google Translate, and the Uber app beforehand for fuss-free travel.
- If you’re visiting one of the hiking spots on this list, it’s best to wear comfortable non-slip shoes.
- Don’t forget your camera, sunscreen, and refillable water bottle!
Day Trips From Taipei < 1.5 hrs from the city
- Best Taipei day trip for foodies & photographers
Nestled on the hilltops of northeastern Taiwan, Jiufen (九份) is hands-down one of the prettiest (and most romantic) places in all of Taiwan!
With jaw-dropping mountain and ocean views, lantern-filled alleys, quaint tea houses, antique shops, and an eclectic foodie scene, Jiufen is an unmissable destination that definitely deserves a spot on your list of day trips from Taipei!
There are many awesome things to do in Jiufen, but most day-trippers only visit for one thing: the FOOD! Jiufen has an incredible food scene, and all along its Old Street (九份老街), you can sample some of Taiwan’s very best street food. Some must-try classics include peanut ice cream crepes, fish balls, glutinous rice cakes, and taro balls.
If you get tired of stuffing your face, duck into one of the charming teahouses where you can enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. Most Jiufen teahouses offer incredible views, and you’ll find the best views (and atmosphere) at Jioufen Teahouse and Amei Teahouse.
Jiufen is a great place to spend a whole day eating, browsing, and taking photos! If you’re looking to do something a bit more adventurous nearby, hike up Keelung Mountain or Teapot Mountain. A bit further afield, you can also climb Longdong Rock.
Insider’s Tips: Jiufen is a popular tourist spot among locals and international visitors, so it gets crowded quickly. If you want to avoid the crowds, try to time your visit during the week.
- How to get there: Jiufen can be reached in several ways, and I’ve written an entire guide highlighting how to get from Taipei to Jiufen. Take a train to Ruifang Station and then catch a Keelung Transit Bus to the village (coming every 15 minutes). You can also book a private transfer or join this Shifen, Jiufen & Yehliu day tour if you don’t like public transport.
- Perfect for nature seekers, waterfall chasers, and photographers.
If you want to spend a day surrounded by stunning natural scenery, then Shifen (十分) is the best Taipei day trip for you.
Shifen is a tiny village home to the widest waterfall in Taiwan – Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布). The stunning 40m wide waterfall is a real gem and a huge must on any Taiwan travel itinerary. You’ll find stacks of vantage points offering a bird’s-eye view over the falls, and you could easily spend hours admiring the gushing cascades.
Back in town, release a sky lantern right on the train tracks which run through Shifen, snack on delicious street food, or stroll along the winding streets to really experience the town’s old-world charm and learn more about Taiwan’s former coal mining industry. Along the way, you’ll also find tons of quirky souvenirs shops where you can pick up anything from sky lantern paraphernalia to Chinese trinkets and more!
- Getting there: Read my detailed guide on getting from Taipei to Shifen, which includes loads of transport tips and what to do in Shifen. Grab any northbound train (except Keelung) towards Ruifang Station at Taipei Main Station. Then transfer to Taiwan’s historic Pingxi Line. Alternatively, join this fun Shifen, Jiufen & Yehliu tour or take a private transfer to get there stress-free.
For more ideas, this guide on visiting Shifen will also come in handy.
Houtong Cat Village
- Perfect for cat lovers, photographers, and nature seekers
Houtong Cat Village (猴硐貓村) is a beautiful little village hidden in the hills of Ruifang District, New Taipei. It is definitely one of the lesser-known Taipei day trips on this list, so if you’re looking to get off the beaten path (and like cats), add this tour to your list.
Back in the day, Houtong was one of Taiwan’s most prominent coal-mining villages with more than 6000 residents. Unfortunately, as the coal ran out, so too did people. Today, Houtong is no longer known for its coal mining efforts but for something entirely different – cats!
You’ll find most of the cats lounging around the winding walkways running along the hilltop. They’re super friendly and adorable, but make sure to stick to the village’s rules! Along the way, you’ll also encounter cute cafes, tea houses, and quirky souvenir shops selling an array of kitty knick-knacks. If you’re looking for street food, you’ll find oodles of vendors in the Old Street (猴硐老街) near the train tracks. History buffs can head to the Houtong Coal Mining Ecological Park (猴硐煤礦博物園區遊客服務中心). Here you can learn more about the town’s history and even take a fun ride through the mine’s tunnels!
- Getting there: From Taipei Main Station, take a northbound train (except Keelung) towards Ruifang Station (瑞芳車站). Then transfer to a local train (and travel one more stop) or take bus 808 to Houtong. The Su Ao bound train is the only direct to Houtong from Taipei Main Station, but trains aren’t as frequent.
- Best day trip from Taipei for photographers and treasure hunters
One of the coolest day trips from Taipei is Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園) – a massive geopark, located along the shores of Taiwan’s north coast.
Yehliu is home to some of the most incredible rock formations in Taiwan. These formations were formed by years and years of sea and wind erosion, and you’ll find all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes resembling everything from mushrooms, honeycombs, a Queen’s Head, and even a Dragon’s head here! If you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find a bunch of eateries near the Geopark’s entrance.
Yehliu is a great place to feel the sea breeze on your skin, test your imagination, and practice your photo skills! Since Yehliu is a popular tourist spot over weekends, come during the week if your schedule is flexible. It’s also a good idea to grab an admission ticket online in advance to skip the queues.
- How to get to Yehliu from Taipei: Take bus 1815 (bound for Jinshan Youth Activity Center) at Kuo-Kuang Bus Taipei Terminal, near Taipei Main Station. Buses depart every 20 minutes and cost roughly NT$100. Alternatively, join this Shifen, Jiufen & Yehliu day tour for a hassle-free journey.
- Best Taipei day trip for hot spring lovers, nature seekers, and adventurous eaters
Wulai (烏來) is a small aboriginal village just 40 minutes away from Taipei City. Home to the Atayal tribe, steamy natural springs, a stunning waterfall, and an old street filled with unique aboriginal delicacies, Wulai is a popular day trip among nature lovers, hot spring bathers, and foodies alike.
What really makes this village such a great side trip option is the sheer amount of things to do here! And you’ll quickly see that Wulai is so much more than just another place to soak in a hot spring! The Old Street (烏來老街) is the best place to try local specialties such as millet wine, mountain vegetables, wild boar sausages with maqaw, spring-cooked eggs, and bamboo-tube rice. Come hungry because you won’t find these dishes anywhere else in Taiwan!
After you’ve filled your belly, follow the Lover’s Trail or hop in the cute Wulai Scenic Train to Wulai’s epic 80-m tall waterfall – Wulai Falls (烏來瀑布)! Weather permitting, you can also take a cable car ride to see the waterfall from above. A little further afield, you’ll also find many hiking trails where you can immerse yourself in nature.
Back in town, book yourself into a hot spring hotel for a relaxing soak. Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort is one of the best hot spring hotels in Wulai and has beautiful rooms with private baths.
- Getting there: Catch Bus 849, near Xindian MRT Station on Beixin Road (departing every 10-15 minutes). The ride takes about 45 minutes and costs NT$15 for a single ride.
- The best Taipei day tour for sunset chasers, photographers, and seafood aficionados
One of the easiest day trips from Taipei is the lovely seaside town of Danshui (淡水). Known for its amazing sunsets, tasty seafood, fun street performers, and historic fort, Danshiu is a great place to spend a lazy day soaking up the vibrant atmosphere.
Start your day trip exploring the Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街), where you’ll find souvenir shops, temples, and lots of street food! Don’t eat too much, though, because you’re definitely going to want to try all the seafood at the waterfront.
Then head to the waterfront lined with dozens of vendors selling fresh seafood and offering magnificent views over the Danshui River. For a change of pace, hop on a boat to Bali island (八里區) – a small island across the bank, where you can rent a bike, eat more street food, or just enjoy the views. Here’s a great guide on biking around Guandu, Danshui, and Bali.
If you don’t like boats, continue along the promenade because there’s more to see further afield. One attraction you shouldn’t miss is Lover’s Bridge (情人橋). Here you can get the best view over the river, sea, and city! Come at golden hour for epic photo ops.
If you’re sick of street food, pop into Red House Cafe – a lovely rooftop terrace restaurant with beautiful views and great food. The gorgeous Tianyuan Temple, a 10-minute taxi ride from the wharf, is another must-visit tourist spot, especially if you’re visiting during cherry blossom season.
- How to Get to Danshui: From Taipei Main Station, take the Taipei MRT Red Line to the last stop (Tamsui). The ride takes about 40 minutes and costs NT$50.
Beitou Hot Spring
- Perfect for hot spring bathers and nature seekers
A short MRT ride from Taipei Main Station, you’ll find Taiwan’s mecca of steamy hot springs – Beitou. Thanks to its proximity to the capital city, Beitou is a super popular day trip from Taipei, and there’s always a bunch of people here. Known for its steamy public pools with healing powers and fancy hot spring hotels, Beitou is a really cool place that definitely deserves a spot on your day trips list!
Besides soaking in the springs, make a point of visiting Beitou Thermal Valley (地熱谷), aka Hell Valley. If you can handle the stench of the sulfur, it’s the perfect spot to get a close-up look at piping hot thermal springs. In fact, the water temperature can reach up to 80-100℃! You’ll find many vendors nearby selling hard-boiled eggs that were cooked in these hot waters!
Further afield, the Beitou Hot Springs Museum (北投溫泉博物館), Ketagalan Culture Center (凱達格蘭文化館) and the Xinbeitou Historic Station (新北投車站) are other popular places to visit.
- Getting to Beitou: Take the red MRT line to Xinbeitou Station from anywhere in Taipei.
- Perfect day trip from Taipei for waterfall chasers, hikers, and off-the-beaten-path travelers
There are dozens of beautiful waterfalls near Taipei, and Qingshan Waterfall (青山瀑布) is one you don’t want to miss!
This stunning 30-meter high waterfall is tucked away in the northern corners of Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園) and is only accessible by car. Once you’re at the trailhead, it’s a relatively intense 1.5km hike to the waterfall, but the effort will be worth it because this place is absolutely stunning!
The waterfall is nestled in a lush forest filled with towering trees, moss-covered boulders, and gentle streams. Since Qingshan Waterfall is still much of a hidden gem, you can easily have the entire place all to yourself (especially if you visit during the week). The best part, the waterfall pool is safe to swim in, so don’t forget your swimsuit!
- Getting there: There is no public transport here, so you’ll need your own set of wheels to reach this gem. Alternatively, take a 2.5 hr bus ride on bus #867 from Tamsui Station to Shuntian Shengmu Temple (順天聖母廟). Then walk 1.6 km to the trailhead. (See on Google maps here).
- Best Taipei day tour for art hunters and DYI fans
Yingge (鶯歌區) is undeniably the king of all things ceramic in Taiwan. This cute little town just south of Taipei City is home to dozens of art studios, galleries, and over 800 shops selling all kinds of ceramic art, pottery, and porcelain items. While most stores specialize in mass-produced pottery items, you’ll also be able to find the real stuff here with a bit of effort! Just be prepared for the astronomical prices!
Yingge Old Street (鶯歌陶瓷老街) is where all the action is, and it’s a great place to stroll around, shop, pop into a quaint teahouse and join a DIY pottery class to channel your inner artist! Along Chongqing street, you can even walk (or rather squeeze) through a historic tunnel kiln built in the 60s. Further afield, pottery fanatics can pop into the Yingge Ceramics Museum (新北市立鶯歌陶瓷博物館) to learn more about the history of ceramics and check out all the cool exhibitions.
- Getting to Yingge: Take a local Taiwan Railways train (Fuxing/ Shuttle) from Taipei Main Station to Yingge station. The ride takes 38 minutes and costs NT$38. From the station, it’s a short walk to the Old Street and the Ceramics Museum. Signs point the way.
- Best for city dwellers, Instagram chasers, art lovers, and foodies
Located on Taiwan’s west coast, Taiwan’s second-largest city, Taichung (台中市), is yet another great Taipei day tour option. The city is easily accessible from Taipei by HSR in just over an hour.
There’s so much to do in this vibrant city that you could easily spend up to three days in Taichung and never be bored. Some of the highlights include visiting Rainbow Village (the city’s most Instagrammable spot), browsing the cool exhibitions at the National Art Museum (國立臺灣美術館), devouring the sweet treats at Miyahara (宮原眼科), and joining a DIY Bubble Tea class. Of course, there are loads more to do in Taichung, and if you want to get off the tourist track, this list of epic places near Taichung is just what you need.
- Getting to Taichung: Take a southbound HSR train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung HSR Station. From there, the city is accessible by MRT, taxi, bus, or scooter rental if you prefer to have your freedom.
Day Trips from Taipei > 1.5hrs from the city
Laomei Green Reef
- Perfect for ocean lovers and off-the-beaten-path travelers
If you happen to visit Taiwan during spring, then you should definitely make a point of visiting Laomei Green Reef (老梅綠石槽).
Laomei Green Reef is a 700-m long rocky reef located in a tiny town in Shimen District, just on the outskirts of Taipei. The reef’s ditches and trenches were formed thousands of years ago when lava crept down from a volcanic eruption. But what really makes this reef so special is that the entire reef is covered in vibrant green algae for a limited time each year. Since this phenomenon can only be witnessed briefly, planning your visit to Laomei is essential. The best time to see the reef blanketed in algae is from March to May, before the summer heat kicks in. The reef is only visible during low tide, so make sure to check the tide schedule beforehand.
Laomei is a great day trip from Taipei to witness something really special! It’s a cool place to gawk at the reef, wander along the beach, and take photos. If you can (and tides permitting), come at golden hour for the most incredible setting imaginable!
Just a heads up: The reef is a protected area, so please don’t walk on it. In fact, you can get a steep fine if caught doing so!
- Getting there: Take bus 863 or 862 from Tamsui Bus Station (right next to the Tamsui MRT Station). Get off at the Mingde Village 1 stop. Tickets cost NT$45, and buses depart every 20-30 minutes.
- Perfect for beachgoers and thrill-seekers
There are several cool beaches near Taipei, but if you’re looking for white powdery sand, chilled vibes, and epic sea views, then Baishawan is your best bet.
Baishawan Beach (白沙灣遊憩區) is not too far from Laomei Green Reef. Therefore, you can easily combine these two Taipei scenic spots in one trip. Buses between the two areas are frequent and reliable. If you feel like walking, there’s a nice little hiking trail with epic coastal views from Laomei Green Reef via the Fuguijiao Lighthouse (富貴角燈塔) to Fuji Fishing Harbor (富基漁港). From here, it’s approximately another 2.4km to Baishawan.
Baishawan Beach is a very laidback place where you can swim, bask in the sun, rent a paddleboard, grab an ice-cold beer, or just chill on the beach. Don’t miss the fish & chips at Dazzlers when visiting this stunning Taiwan beach!
- Getting to Baishawan: Take bus 863 or 862 from Tamsui Bus Station and get off at Baishawan Beach. The ride takes just under 1 hour and costs NT$45.
- Best for hikers and nature seekers
If you want to really get acquainted with Taiwan’s natural scenery, there’s no better place than Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園).
Taroko Gorge is a beautiful 19-km canyon filled with epic caves, stunning waterfalls, sacred shrines, and some of the best hiking trails in Taiwan. The central highway, which was carved out from the rock face, snakes through the canyon, making it super easy to explore this natural wonder of Taiwan.
There are loads of points of interest here, but some must-hit stops include the Eternal Spring Shrine (長春祠), Swallow Grotto (燕子口步道), and the Baiyang Waterfall (白楊瀑布). While it’s worth spending a couple of days at Taroko National Park, it is possible to visit Taiwan’s stunning marble canyon on a day trip from Taipei. It will be a whirlwind tour but doable if you join this Taroko tour with round-trip flights.
- Perfect for street art hunters, city dwellers, and photographers
Taipei and Kaohsiung are at the complete opposite ends of the island. Thankfully, Taiwan has an excellent transport network! In less than 2 hours, you can be right in the thick of Taiwan’s uber-cool harbor city!
Kaohsiung (高雄市) is Taiwan’s largest port city and the 3rd biggest city on the island. It’s a fantastic place to spend a few days, but a day trip from Taipei will have to do if time is limited.
Kaohsiung is unlike any other city in Taiwan, and it’s got a great vibe. Some must-dos include checking out the cool art installations at Art Pier 2 (駁二藝術特區), walking through the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔), taking a romantic cruise on the Love River (愛河), and stuffing your face with as much seafood as you possibly can! If you’re a foodie, don’t miss Liuhe Night Market (六合夜市) for an epic Taiwanese night market experience!
- Getting to Kaohsiung: Take any southbound HSR train from Taipei Main Station to Zouying Station. The ride takes less than 2 hours and costs NT$1490. Reach the city center via MRT, bus, or taxi. For more tips, read my guide on how to get to Kaohsiung.
Best Taipei Day Trips in Conclusion
There are way more than 14 Taipei side trips, but this list will hopefully provide a great starting point! Have you visited any of these cool places near Taipei? Feel free to share your favorite Taipei day trips, top tips, and anything in between in the comments below!
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