While there are stacks to do in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city, it would be a shame to come all this way and not check out all the amazing things to do in Taiwan’s second largest city, Taichung. And since the distance between the two cities is only about 160km, it is an obvious add-on to any Taiwan itinerary. The best part? Traveling from Taipei to Taichung is super easy, so you should definitely go!
Central Taiwan’s shining star, Taichung, is a hub for all kinds of traveling folk, from foodies to hikers to culture seekers. It’s a huge metropolis home to some of Taiwan’s most iconic landmarks, such as Rainbow Village and the National Taichung Theatre. Above all, Taichung is a multifaceted city with loads to do! In fact, you could easily spend a couple of days here visiting all the fascinating museums, sacred temples, lively night markets, and nearby nature spots.
As already mentioned, getting to Taichung is pretty straightforward, with several ways to access the city. To help you find the easiest route to suit your travel needs, here are the best ways to travel between Taipei and Taichung.
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Before you go
Before you head out to explore all of Taichung’s sights and sounds, these posts may come in handy:
How to Get From Taipei to Taichung: 5 Easy Ways to Travel
Getting from Taipei to Taichung by HSR
Travel time: 45-65 minutes | Cost: TWD 700
The fastest and most comfortable way to get to Taichung from Taipei is by HSR – Taiwan’s uber-fast high-speed rail. There are dozens of trains daily and the travel time is only about 45-65 minutes, depending on which train you take.
The HSR train departs at several locations in Taipei City, with Taipei Main Station being the easiest to access. The first train leaves at 6:26 am, and the last train is at 11 pm. If you’re not close to the city center, hop on an HSR train at Nangang Station or Banqiao Station. For more departures, you can check out the HSR train schedule here.
Tickets for the HSR can be booked online here with Klook (tourists only), on the official THSR website, via Ibon machines, or directly at the station. A standard seat costs TWD700, and a business class seat TWD 1250. If you don’t mind not having a guaranteed seat, non-reserved tickets cost TWD 675.
While taking the HSR to Taichung is arguably the easiest route to access the city, you should know the HSR Station is not actually in town. Instead, it is in Wuri District, just on the city’s outer edges. Thankfully the station is well connected, with buses, trains, taxis, and the MRT Green Line allowing easy access to central Taichung.
Just outside the HSR Station, you’ll also find several scooter rental shops where you can rent a scooter for as little as TWD 450 a day. If that’s not an option for you, catch a Taiwan Tourist Shuttle on B1 of the station. Another option is to catch a local train from nearby Xinwuri Railway Station to downtown. The train only takes a few minutes and is dirt cheap.
Getting to Taichung from Taipei by Train
Travel time: 1.5-3.5 hrs | Cost: TWD 241-375 depending on the train you take.
If the HSR is not for you, another straightforward way to get to Taichung from Taipei is by train. Taiwan has an incredibly reliable railway network, with frequent trains down to Taichung. Although your journey will be slightly longer than taking the HSR, it will be much cheaper. And while the cost and exact duration mainly depend on which train you take, work on roughly 1.5-3.5 hours of travel time.
There’s no shortage of trains traveling between Taipei and Taichung, and you can easily catch one practically any time of day. The first train to Taichung from Taipei Main Station departs at 5:24 am, and the last one is at 9:00 pm. However, if you want to shave off a bit of traveling time, make sure you book a seat on one of the Express trains. These include Puyuma, Taroko Express, or Tze-Chiang Limited Express trains.
The Puyuma and Taroko trains, in particular, allow you to access the city in less than 1h40, whereas Tze-Chiang train generally takes about 2h30. However, all three are typically much faster than the Local Train, which practically stops at every stop along the track. A seat on either the Puyuma train or a Tze-Chiang Limited Express train will cost TWD 375, while tickets for the local train cost TWD 241. For more details on the train schedules, visit the TRA website.
It’s easy to buy train tickets directly at the station, but you can also grab them online. Another plus point is that you can reserve tickets 14 days in advance. This is especially recommended if you are visiting Taichung over a long weekend or special holidays like Chinese New Year.
The best part about taking the train from Taipei to Taichung is that you’ll arrive right in the heart of the city. Taichung Train Station is well connected with buses and taxis ready to transport you to your hotel. Alternatively, pre-book a scooter here on Klook for pickup at the train station.
Taking the Bus to Taichung
Travel time: 2 – 3 hrs | Cost: TWD 270-330
Taking the bus from Taipei Bus Station to Taichung Station is definitely one of the longer routes to get to Taichung, but since it costs much less, it’s a great option for those traveling on a shoestring. However, you should know that Taiwan’s highways get congested easily, especially during rush hours. So if you don’t want to be stuck in traffic, you might need to rethink taking this option.
There are several bus operators, but the most convenient option is Ubus (bus #1619 and #1620). Both buses depart directly from Taipei Bus Station, which is adjacent to Taipei Main Station. Loads of buses run daily between the two cities, with the first bus leaving at 6 am. The last #1619 bus to Taichung TRA Station is at 8 pm, and for bus #1620, it’s at 9:35. With that said, there is also an option to take an overnight bus to Taichung. It will be slightly more expensive, and you’ll have to deal with arriving in the city when everything is shut. For more details, check out the Taiwan Bus website here.
Bus tickets generally range between TWD 270 – TWD 330, and if you’re lucky, it’s possible to get discounted access. Buses in Taiwan are super comfy with adequate legroom space and free wifi. Just make sure to bring a sweater as the AC can be a pain. You can buy tickets at the Ubus ticket booth within the bus station or grab them here on Klook.
Taking a Private Transfer from Taoyuan Airport to Taichung
Travel time: approx. 2 hours | Cost: TWD 2200-5000
If you’ve just arrived at Taoyuan Airport and don’t want to bother with public transport to get to Taichung, taking a taxi is your best bet. The only problem is that it will be considerably more expensive. Added to that, you won’t necessarily save on traveling time – especially when traveling during peak hours, weekends, or national holidays.
The easiest way to get a taxi service from Taoyuan to Taichung is to book a private transfer via Klook. The best part is that you can book everything online in a few clicks! The whole process is seamless, and you won’t need to deal with the headache of figuring out which trains or buses to take.
However, if you’re spending a few days in Taipei, getting back to the airport just to get a taxi would be a huge waste of time. Instead, opt to ask your hotel to assist in arranging a transfer for you, or at the very least, put you in contact with a reputable taxi service. Just make sure you agree on a fixed price first!
Flying to Taichung from Taipei
Travel time: 2.5-4.5 hours | Cost: Dependant on carrier and departure details.
If none of the options above are for you, your last resort is flying. However, I really wouldn’t recommend this option. First off, it is by far the most expensive option on this list of how to get to Taichung. And secondly, considering the time it takes to get to the airport, check-in times, and the actual flight, it will take much longer to get to Taichung than you think.
If you must fly, Uni Air and Mandarin Airlines offer daily flights from Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA). There are currently no direct flights between the two cities, so expect a layover in Magong, Penghu. Flight tickets can cost anywhere from TWD 5000 to TWD 8000, depending on your departure details. To get to the city from the airport, grab a taxi, or catch bus #302 or #9.
Well, there you have it – an entire list of options on how to get to Taichung! While each option has its perks and drawbacks, I hope this post has helped you figure out the best way to reach Taichung from Taipei. As always, feel free to share your transport tips in the comments below!
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