10 Best Taiwan Attractions to Visit Outside Taipei City

10 Best Taiwan Attractions Outside Taipei

Explore Taiwan beyond the capital.

We all know that Taipei is a bustling metropolis with an undeniable charm, but have you ever stopped and thought for a second about the true beauty of Taiwan lying beyond city limits? From breathtaking natural wonders to historic towns filled with culture and tradition, there’s truly something for every traveller outside the capital. Get a glimpse of this popular East Asian destination beyond its city centre in this guide that unveils the best Taiwan attractions, offering a taste of the island’s diverse landscapes and other hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Also read: 8-Day Taiwan Itinerary: Exploring The Island’s Hidden Travel Gems

Best things to do and hidden gems in Taiwan — that are not in Taipei!

1. Visit the Alishan Forest

Best Taiwan attractions: Alishan Forest

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Nestled in the stunning Taichung city mountains, Alishan Forest is a magical place where huge ancient trees pierce through the sky. This lush green haven is known for its misty mornings and lovely sea of clouds, indeed a treasure trove for all nature lovers. 

Within the park is a vintage, narrow-gauge train popularly known as the Alishan Forest Railway that was originally used during the Japanese occupation to access the area’s nearby forests, but conservation efforts have now rendered the train for logging purposes. Today, it serves as a beautiful tourist attraction, chugging along breathtaking tracks and offering passengers the most picturesque mountain views.

The Alishan National Scenic Area is also home to mountains filled with tea plantations, where most of Taiwan’s famous Oolong tea is cultivated. Make sure not to leave without savouring a hot cup of this aromatic brew!

2. Take a forest bath at the Taipingshan Forest

Taiwan attraction: Taipingshan Forest

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Stressed? One of the best ways to combat this is to immerse yourself in the verdant embrace of nature. Luckily, Taipingshan Forest in Yilan County is the perfect place to experience the restorative way of forest bathing. An act of consciously and intentionally connecting with nature alone, taking a forest bath offers a wealth of health benefits including reduced stress, improved sleep, and a surge in energy and mood. 

Blessed with mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and woodsy trails, Taipingshan Forest has breathtaking natural beauty and provides the ideal backdrop for a rejuvenating experience. Imagine gentle green paths that continue through the forest, where you can smell the mild fragrance of wildflowers and the earthy scent of petrichor (the pleasant smell of nature after the rain). Take in the hums and tweets of the birds around you, and listen to the rustling whisper of leaves; a beautiful symphony of nature sounds you’ll only find in outdoor Taiwan attractions.

Also read: 12 Breathtaking National Parks & Other Nature Attractions in Taiwan

3. Marvel at the rock formations in Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark

Image credit: Anton Fratila’s Images via Canva Pro

Located on Taiwan’s northern coast, Yehliu Geopark in Wanli District poses a captivating display of nature and is considered one of the best Taiwan attractions. Here, strong wind and waves have sculpted the rugged landscape over the years, forming dramatic rock formations. 

The park’s crown jewel is the Queen’s Head, which is a “mushroom rock” formation that looks like a queen and has in fact become an iconic symbol of Taiwan. Beyond this, Yehliu also boasts other fascinating rock formations like the Fairy’s Shoe, Candle Rock, and countless other curiously shaped rocks, each a testament to the power of time and nature’s effects.

4. Fly a colourful lantern at Shifen


Image credit: xiquinhosilva | Wikimedia Commons

Nestled within Pingxi District, New Taipei City is Shifen, a charming town filled with history as it was once a coal mining hub that transformed into a captivating tourist hotspot. The town thrums with the magic of the famous sky lanterns. Here, visitors flock to release these colourful papers into the sky, carrying their hopes and dreams. 

But beyond the enchanting lanterns, Shifen boasts a nostalgic atmosphere with its preserved railway line and an old street that is filled with local shops and eateries, offering a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich culture and heritage.

5. Wander through the streets of Jiufen


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Situated in the Taiwanese mountains, Jiufen is a captivating mountain town steeped in history and charm that is often compared to the whimsical world of Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. Once a bustling gold mining hub, Jiufen now enchants visitors with its winding alleys lined with teahouses, local food options, and unique souvenir shops — wander through the atmospheric lanes and savour a hot cup of tea while taking in the scenic ocean views.

Also read: 12 Hidden Gems in Taiwan That You Shouldn’t Miss

6. Breathe in the fresh mountain air at Qingjing Farm

Qingjing Farm

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Escape the concrete jungle and embrace the fresh mountain air at Qingjing Farm in Nantou County. Another one of the captivating Taiwan attractions, the farm boasts rolling green meadows. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the Swiss Alps where fluffy sheep wander freely! 

But beyond the picturesque landscape, the farm offers a unique blend of European-style architecture and traditional Taiwanese charm. Here, visitors can interact with irresistibly adorable animals, witness sheepdog demonstrations, and indulge in local delicacies — all while soaking in the picture-perfect mountain vistas.

In spring, the rolling green hills might transform into a carpet of light brown meadows. But don’t worry, because you’ll most likely chance upon blooming cherry blossom trees during your visit!

Also read: Taiwan Cherry Blossom 2024 Forecast: Best Places & Times to See Sakura

7. See the beauty of Laomei Green Reef up close

Laomei Green Reef - Best Taiwan Attractions

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Picture this: a secret seascape painted emerald green. This is exactly what Laomei Green Reef looks like, a captivating natural wonder located on the northern coast of Taiwan. Every spring, after the winter monsoons subside, vibrant algae carpet the ancient volcanic rock formations, transforming them into a beautiful sight of emerald trenches. 

Walk along the shore at dawn or dusk and witness the transformation as the green hues dance with the colours of the sky, creating a picturesque spectacle that will leave any traveller enchanted by its beauty. 

Another bonus: Leomei Green Reef is only about 54 kilometres from Taipei City. So, it’s among the Taiwan attractions that you can visit on a day trip from the capital!

Also read: 16 Beautiful Libraries & Bookstores to Visit Around Asia

8. Have a beach day at Qianshuiwan Beach

Qianshuiwan Beach

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Craving a beach escape? Qianshuiwan Beach, aka Shallow Water Bay, promises calm waves that are perfect for a relaxing dip. But beyond the pristine beach, Qianshuiwan’s true charm lies in the many different activities visitors can do along the shore — ride a bike along a coastal path with the crashing waves as your background noise, indulge in fresh seafood meals at beachfront restaurants, and take in the majestic sunset hues as you enjoy a drink or two. Qianshuiwan is definitely a treasure trove of sun, sand, sea, and food waiting to be explored.

Willing to go farther than New Taipei for a beach day? Find around 90 isles in the Penghu archipelago, home to some of the best beaches and seaside attractions in Taiwan.  

9. Walk through Taiwan’s highest canyon suspension bridge

Thrill-seekers, make sure not to miss the heart-stopping Mountain Moon Suspension Bridge in Hualien County. Nestled within the lush embrace of Taroko National Park, this bridge is not just any ordinary bridge. It soars 204 metres long and a staggering 100 metres high, holding the title of Taiwan’s highest canyon suspension bridge. Step onto the wooden planks and feel a surge of adrenaline as you gaze out at the breathtaking panoramic views of surrounding mountains and valleys.

10. Conquer the great outdoors at Zhuilu Old Trail

Zhuilu Old Trail - Best Taiwan Attractions

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Taiwan’s Zhuilu Old Trail promises an unparalleled adventure that will leave thrill-seekers breathless in more ways than one. This legendary path carved into a sheer cliff winds its way 550 metres above a valley — yes, it’s even higher than the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper! But beyond the heights of the trail, you’ll stumble upon majestic hidden waterfalls, ancient temples blanketed in mystery, and otherworldly rock formations. All of these seem straight out of a sci-fi movie.

For history buffs, the Zhuilu Old Trail isn’t just a scenic route. It was also a significant part of the indigenous Truku people’s history. Locals traversed this path for centuries, using it for hunting, trade, and even defence against invaders.

Be on the lookout for remnants of their presence: rock carvings and hidden temples that whisper secrets of the past. The Zhuilu Old Trail may just be another adventure to some, but it’s a treasure trove of culture and Taiwan’s history for many, offering a glimpse into a bygone era and a profound connection with nature’s raw beauty.

Also read: 15 Best Cafes in Taipei for Coffee, Brunch, Milk Tea, and More

Indeed, Taiwan’s charm extends far beyond the bustling streets of Taipei. From the ethereal beauty of nature to the heart-pounding heights and trails, Taiwan’s diverse landscapes offer something for every traveller. Whether you crave serenity, nature, or thrill-seeking adventures, the island promises unforgettable experiences you’ll keep in your heart forever. So, which of these best Taiwan attractions outside Taipei are you coming to visit first?

About Author

Patricia Caleon
Patricia Caleon

Patricia is a simple girl who likes to express herself through pictures and words. Not much for talking; writing and taking pictures have always been her way of telling people of her stories and adventures. On a normal day, you'll probably see her reading a good book in one hand and a cup of coffee in another.