Great Tips for First Time Visitors to Taipei
On your first trip to Taipei you will of course, be both excited and nervous. While it is exciting to explore a new land, city or country, one always has some jitters about as to how to make the most of your trip without encountering any hassles.
It is always a good idea to consider taking advantage of a professional Taipei tour, that introduces you to the best the city has to offer. You stay at the best hotels and enjoy dining at the leading restaurants and are taken to the most popular sites and attractions of the city. Thus, with a local expert guide with you, you feel a lot more confident and surer. However, if you want to go it alone, here are some top tips to help first time visitors see the best of Taipei.
A first-timer’s travel guide to Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei is a sprawling city, and you will soon learn that this is not the kind of city you would have expected for Asia. There is both a cosmopolitan as well as tropical feel to the city. It is one of those cities where you can enjoy both extremes of the spectrum and are sure to be pleasantly surprised by some unique experiences. Here are some tips for the first timers in Taipei.
Best Time To Visit Taipei: The best time to visit Taipei is from October to March when the weather is the most pleasant. You should avoid the rainiest months from May to September if possible. If you would like to catch the cherry blossoms, go during the Springtime.
Currency Exchange: As soon as you land, exchange your currency into some Taiwanese dollars as the country still relies on cash. Exchanging your currency is important as many stores and restaurants still do not accept debit or credit cards.
Mobile Phones: Get a SIM Card for your mobile phone. One can easily get prepaid SIM card packages here that work on a weekly or monthly basis. Although there are many Wi-Fi spots, it is best to get a SIM card installed so you are not always hunting for connectivity.
Transportation from the Airport: Once out of the airport, you can take Airport MRT or the Airport Bus. Although both are useful, the MRT is a lot more convenient, but be aware that they stop the service at midnight. The Airport Bus on the other hand, runs 24 hours a day.
Where to Stay: It is a good idea to stay in the Ximending District, especially if you are here for the first time. The Ximending District is very close to the Taipei Main Station and has everything you would possibly need on your trip.
Now that you are all set to explore Taipei, you will discover that the city is very easy to explore on foot. There are well-marked streets with English signs and well-paved sidewalks.
Easy Card: Get the Easy Card that can be used on trains, buses and even for buying food. It works like your local credit card and can be used for food and transportation in Taipei. Use the card to explore the boutiques, restaurants, and cafes in the Ximending area.
Major Sites to See: The major attractions to explore in Taipei include Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, National Taiwan Museum, Songshan Cultural & Creative Park and more. From Elephant Mountain, you can get a great view of the city. Another spot from where you can get a killer view is the Taipei 101 Observatory.
Explore the famous Shilin and Raohe night markets of Taipei which are the most popular among the locals and the tourists for shopping.
Local Cuisine: When it comes to food, Taipei will not disappoint you. You can have the best sushi at the Addiction Aquatic Center or enjoy Dim sum and soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung. Head for Choose me Cafe & Restaurant for some great coffee and Pinecone Restaurant is well known for its Japanese-fried chicken over spaghetti.
Once you are done with Taipei, fear not, there’s a lot of places to visit around Taipei as well. So make the most of your time in and around this beautiful city.