Taipei is one of those cities that just comes to life even after the sun sets. From its lively night clubs to its expat-friendly bars, you’ve got plenty to explore during your evening stay in the city.
Booking a Taiwan tour package is an easy and convenient way to save money on flights and accommodations, while creating your own itinerary will allow you to tailor your visit to the City of Azaleas according to your own travel style. Check out our list of favorite nighttime locations in Taipei below!
Raohe Street Night Market
Though we recommend visiting as many of Taipei’s night markets as possible to get the full experience, Roahe Street Night Market is one you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Its relaxed, open-air atmosphere and wide selection of food makes this market an absolute must-visit for food connoisseurs. Strolling down this 600 meter lane will greet you with dozens of food stalls that serve authentic Taiwanese staples night after night. They’re so good, in fact, that five specific stalls have received nods from the Michelin Guide. If you can’t sample everything, you can’t go wrong with these award-winning establishments: the Fuzhou the Black Pepper Bun, the Chen Dong Pork Ribs Soup, the Dong Fat Hao (which serves oyster noodles), the Ma Shu Bao Bao (which sells rice mochi), and the Shi Boss Spicy Tofu (which serves stinky tofu soup).
For the best views of the city, most people will direct you towards Taipei 101. It’s no wonder why, as this behemoth of a tower cuts an imposing figure across Taipei’s skyline. Unfortunately, the skyscraper’s observatory is only open to visitors until 10 PM, so you’ll have to factor that in if you plan to visit.
Luckily, there are other places where you can get a great view of Taipei. Xiangshan, also known as Elephant Mountain, is just a stone’s throw away from the Xiangshan MTR station. It has a dedicated 1.5-kilometer marked hiking trail leading up to an ideal viewpoint and a viewing platform that’s only a little further along, where urban photography enthusiasts can enjoy taking breathtaking shots of the city. Thanks to these features, Elephant Mountain is popular with both tourists and locals looking to get fitBest of all, entrance is absolutely free.
The Ximending Youth Shopping District is often likened to Tokyo’s Harajuku. One glance immediately tells you why, as its streets are teeming with fashionable youth, lending a lively sort of energy to the area. Step into a bookshop and you might find Japanese books and print media side by side with traditional Chinese titles. You may even bump into a cosplayer or two while exploring, as Ximending is Taipei’s haven for harizu, a term for people who adore Japanese culture
Beyond the bustling maid cafés and noisy video game arcades, Ximending is also ground zero for the city’s vibrant and thriving LGBTQ+ community. The iconic Red House Theater hosts an annual New Year’s Eve countdown, and LGBT-friendly establishments dot the surrounding area.
Fans of the Studio Ghibli classic Spirited Away may want to trek to this seaside mountain village in New Taipei’s Ruifang District, as it is reminiscent of the town featured in the movie. The red lanterns that light up its streets at night will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a frame of Miyazaki’s cinematic masterpiece.
Unlike the town in the film, however, Jiufen also serves as a living piece of Taiwan’s history that you can immerse yourself in. Several buildings in this former gold mining town were constructed during the Japanese occupation and remain untouched to this day. Its narrow streets are filled with retro-style Chinese teahouses and Japanese coffee shops that call back to times long past. This nostalgic atmosphere makes it a popular weekend destination for both locals and tourists alike.
For those who prefer exploring the more modern side of the capital, Taipei definitely won’t disappoint. After all, it is considered one of Asia’s most exciting cities due to its numerous nightlife options.
However, even those who prefer quieter pursuits over rambunctious lights and sounds can find a place they’ll enjoy. One such establishment is Eslite Dunnan, Taipei’s one and only 24-hour bookstore chain with over 40 branches in Taiwan. The Dunnan branch, in particular, consists of five floors. It is said to hold around 250,000 Chinese and English titles across a variety of genres.
Eslite Dunnan doesn’t just offer books, either. Interestingly enough, this store also sells clothing, accessories, skincare and fragrances.
Once you’ve browsed their selection of books or miscellaneous items, you can rest your feet at either of the two cafés on the premises. theme restaurant or even get yourself a drink at its wine cellar.. If you’re looking for a bit of entertainment, the bookstore regularly hosts cultural performances, art exhibits and film screenings, too.. Best of all, Eslite never imposes purchase on its patrons. You can read whatever you want for as long as you want without having to buy a single thing!
Unfortunately, this flagship location is set to close in 2020, so it’s best to visit as soon as you can. If you can’t make it before then, don’t worry. The good news is that Eslite is making plans to select a new location for its 24-hour operating store.
It’s clear that there’s no shortage of things to do in the lively city of Taipei. Whether you’re a foodie, a bookworm, or even a history buff, there’s bound to be something that tickles your fancy. Enjoy your evening out in Taipei!