A 7-Day Taipei Itinerary For Those Who Live To Eat & Shop!

A 7-Day Taipei Itinerary For Those Who Live To Eat & Shop!

Get ready to eat, shop, sleep and repeat!

For those of you whose ideal holiday is an endless shopping spree fueled by bouts of feasting, Taipei is the ultimate holiday destination.

There’s so much to see around Taipei City that even if you spent weeks or months there, you would probably not even scratch the surface of its shopping and dining scene. But if you only have 7 days, here are the essential sites to visit to make sure that you make the most out from your trip to Taiwan’s capital!

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Day 1 and 2: Central Taipei – Zhongzheng and Da’an

Get a taste of traditional local breakfast fare

breakfast fare

Image credit: istolethetv

Head straight to Hua Shan Traditional Market for a traditional local breakfast at Fu Hang Dou Jiang. Be there early for a cup of smooth soy milk that goes perfectly with You Tiao (Chinese fried churros). While you’re there, make stomach space for their signature fluffy Shao Bing (Chinese layered flatbread) as well.

Get a headstart on your souvenir shopping at Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Centre

taiwan souvenir

Image credit: Charles Chan, of a Chinese-style landscape painting (left); Jirka Matousek, of jade jewellery (right)

For authentic, high-quality and affordable handicrafts, it’s definitely worth checking out the non-profit Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center. Browse a range of interesting items from mini oil paper umbrellas to jade jewellery; you might just get all your souvenir shopping done in a single morning!

Learn about Taiwan’s modern history at Liberty Square

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Image credit: AngMoKio

Your next stop is the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, recognisable from its impressive white facade and classic eight-sided blue roof. Inside, you’ll find a memorial library, the Chiang Kai-shek museum, and exhibition halls where you will learn about the life and career of one of modern Taiwan’s founders.

liberty square

Image credit: Dudva

The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall overlooks Liberty Square, where numerous public gatherings of historical importance were once held. Today, however, you might see locals making use of the space to jog, play mahjong and practice tai chi.

Feast like kings and queens

Dian Shui Lou dumpling

Image credit: Dian Shui Lou

A plethora of great eats are available near the Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Centre and Liberty Square. Our top choice would be either a warming bowl of beef noodles at Liu Shandong or the seasonal special menu at Shanghainese restaurant Dian Shui Lou. Both were awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in this year’s inaugural Taipei Michelin guide.

braised pork rice

Image credit: Alain

Another fantastic option is Jin Feng, which serves up the best lu rou fan (braised pork rice) in Taipei. This local staple is a simple dish, consisting of tender braised pork laying atop a bed of soft white rice. It’s best eaten with winter melon soup, stir-fried vegetables, and braised eggs.

Satisfy all your electronics needs at Guang Hua Digital Plaza

Guang Hua digital plaza

Image credit: Wpcpey (left), The Tech Revolutionist (right)

Head over to Guang Hua Digital Plaza, best known as the mecca for Taiwanese techies. Within the impressive six storeys of electronics stores, there’s literally every gadget you could possibly want, from mobile phones to computer parts and even karaoke machines.

Snack on Taiwanese street food at Shida Night Market

Shida night market

Image credit: David

Shida Night Market caters to its youthful crowd with plenty of cheap fashion stores, locally-designed apparel and affordable food fare.

taiwanese bao

Image credit: MR+G, of sheng jian bao (left); Ron Dollete, of gua bao (right)

Grab some sheng jian bao (pan-fried minced pork dumplings) from Hsu Ji, gua bao (Taiwanese pork buns) from Lan Jia Gua Baoand crispy fried chicken from Shi Yun for dinner. If you’re still hungry, look to Lao Tian Tian for homemade desserts like grass jelly.

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Day 3 and 4: Old Taipei – Wanhua and Datong

Get your culture fix at Dalongdong

confucius temple

Image credit: Kabacchi, of the Confucius Temple

Your third day begins with an exploration of the Dalongdong Cultural and Historical District. Visit the Confucius Temple or the strikingly elaborate Bao’an Temple, located just opposite it. You’ll find stone lions, dragon columns and clay carvings adorning the Taiwanese folk religion temple.

Shop till you drop at Ximending, then rejuvenate yourself with more street food

ximending shopping

Image credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

Just a few streets away, you’ll find a completely different scene: the bustling Ximending shopping district, dubbed the “Shibuya of Taipei”. Here, you can get fashionable wearables at very reasonable prices.

50 lan milk tea

Image credit: 50 Lan

Pick up a Tea Latte or an Oolong Milk Tea with mini-pearls from 50 Lan to sip on or try some of the irresistible street food at Ximending. An absolute must-try here is the famous mee sua from Ah Zong Mian Xian, topped with oysters and pork intestines. For desserts, go for the soft, gooey Okinawa-style grilled mochi sold on Emei Street, paired best with a matcha or black sesame sauce.

mee sua and grilled mochi

Image credit: Jonathan Lin (left); Jirka Matousek (right)

Take a trip through Old Taipei

old taipei

Image credit: lienyuan lee

Walk off your food paunch at Bopiliao Street, Taipei’s historical and cultural district, and visit the Heritage and Culture Education Center to learn more about the area’s history.

longshan temple

Image credit: Bernard Gagnon

You’ll also pass one of the “Big Three” temples in the area, the exquisitely-decorated and colourful Longshan Temple. Though it was originally a Buddhist temple, hundreds of other Taoist and Confucian deities are now worshipped here too. There’s also an underground bazaar selling apparel and snacks if you’re not done with shopping!

Have snake soup and a foot massage at Huaxi Street Market

huaxi street market

Image credit: Larry Koester

The entrance to Huaxi Street Market is located nearby, marked by a red palace-styled archway. Once known as “Snake Alley”, huge glass cases of live snakes snacking on mice could be found along the entire street. The snakes would be slaughtered in front of customers paying to consume their (apparently enriching) fresh meat and bodily fluids in a “snake soup”.

huaxi street delicacies

Image credit: Guillaume Paumier

While snake slaughter has since fallen out of favour with the public, other exotic local delicacies can still be found here, including stinky tofu and softshell turtle soup.

If you’re not feeling too adventurous, enjoy a foot massage at one of the specialised massage parlours, get your fortune read in a bookstore, or try the traditional ‘daisy noodles’ from Changhong Noodle instead.

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Day 5: Northern Taipei – Shilin

Visit the world’s largest collection of Chinese artifacts at the National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum houses about 700,000 pieces of imperial Chinese artifacts in its permanent collection, but perhaps the most famous one is the 7.4-inch Jadeite Cabbage. It’s scarcely larger than the human hand, but has been dubbed the “most famous masterpiece” of the entire museum. Another interesting work is a meat-shaped sculpture, a piece of jasper carved to resemble braised pork belly. You can even get your own replicas in the gift shop!

Go on a gastronomic journey at Shilin Night Market

shilin oyster omelette

Image credit: 黃 zero

As one of the largest and most popular night markets in Taipei, Shilin Night Market is an essential stop. There are plenty of souvenir and clothing stores but its claim to fame is the huge variety of local delicacies available. Sample the oyster omelette from different street stores or try the infamous stinky tofu here.

snowflake ice

Image credit: Kimberly Vardeman (cropped)

For dessert, go for xue hua bing (snowflake ice), a cold and creamy dessert made from shaved ice and topped with fruits and syrups.

Day 6 and 7: Commercial Taipei – Songshan and Xinyi

Explore Taipei’s best brunch spots

kyushu pancake cafe

Image credit: bryan (cropped)

Shopping opportunities are aplenty in Taiwan but nowhere more so than in the shopping capital Xinyi. While waiting for the malls to open, head to Kyushu Pancake Café on trendy Fujin Street for a warm, fluffy pancake stack made from seven different grains sourced from Kyushu. Fujin Tree 353 Café is another great option for a solid morning cuppa and a croissant.

Bargain-hunting at Wufenpu

wufenpu

Image credit: Sengkang

Head over to the Wufenpu shopping district for your next shopping spree. It’s rumoured to be the best place for finding amazing bargains with ever-changing collections of clothing. Most stores restock on a Monday, so visit on a Tuesday to be the first to peruse new products, or a Sunday to catch spectacular last-minute discounts!

Warm yourself up with Taiwanese hotpot

12 Hotpot

Image credit: 12 Hotpot

Hotpot experts would be able to distinguish the Taiwanese variety from its siblings originating from other regions. A great place to try Taiwanese hotpot is 12 Hotpot located near Wufenpu, where you can choose between four types of broth to cook your meats and vegetables in.

And if you haven’t yet managed to try gua bao (Taiwanese pork buns), you have another great opportunity to grab one at Song Shan Gua Bao.

Tea time in Eslite Spectrum Department Store

tea with books

Image credit: Essolo

The Eslite Spectrum Department Store has a whole level dedicated to “Tea With Books”, and you’ll find the entire third floor stacked floor to ceiling with over 10 million books.

eslite spectrum bookstore and pearl milk tea

Image credit: Wing1990hk (left); Chun Shui Tang (right)

It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon browsing and reading in the Eslite Spectrum Bookstore; embark on your literary expedition with a cup of Pearl Milk Tea from Chun Shui Tang, the supposed “inventor” of bubble tea!

wu pao chun bakery

Image credit: Wu Pao Chun

If you’re a bread lover”, don’t leave without visiting the Wu Pao Chun bakery in the basement. Sample their top products, like the “Taiwan Longan with Red Wine” and “Taiwan Litchi Rose Champion” breads, or take home one of their artisanal jams.

Get a panoramic view of the city from Taiwan’s tallest building

taipei 101

Image credit: 中岑 范姜

We’ve saved the best for last. You’d no doubt have seen the Taipei 101 skyscraper countless times as you toured the city, peeking out from the sea of high-rise buildings. Head over there on your last evening and shoot up to the Observation Deck on one of the world’s fastest elevators, to catch a 360-degree panoramic view of the sunset.

Taipei 101 Shopping Mall, located on the lower floors of the building, is also the place to find luxury fashion brands like Dior and Prada.

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 Chow down on xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung

xiao long bao

Image credit: Din Tai Fung

As the birthplace of Din Tai Fung, it’s impossible to leave Taiwan without tasting its award-winning, hand-crafted xiao long bao (soup dumplings). The original branch is located at Xinyi Street but its branch in the basement of Taipei 101 is a little less crowded but just as good.

la mian

Image credit: Din Tai Fung

Order a few rounds of xiao long bao with the restaurant’s Noodles with Minced Pork Sauce, and Stir-Fried Amaranth Greens for a delicious, satisfying final meal. You deserve it, after all that walking!

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Get ready to eat, shop, sleep and repeat – Taipei is really the ultimate destination for every foodie and shopaholic!


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About Author

Ashley Tan
Ashley Tan

Ashley is a lover of black coffee and sunny mornings. When she takes a break from perfecting her sun salutations and sprinting through TV marathons, she's dreaming of her next adventures: exploring old cities on cobbled pavements, dipping her toes into sparkling waves, and watching the sunset from above the clouds.

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