Winter in Taiwan: 14 Best Things to See, Do, and Experience

Winter in Taiwan: 14 Best Things to See, Do, and Experience

Beyond snow activities, did you know you can still swim on a beach during this season?

Taiwan is an immensely popular travel destination in Asia due to its amazing landscapes, fascinating culture, and delicious food. This island nation has a diverse culture, with traces of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Western, and indigenous influences. Despite its small size, there are still a host of activities awaiting visitors.

With the winter holidays fast approaching, travellers should consider this place for an experience unlike any other. Read on to find out about an unforgettable winter in Taiwan!

Winter in Taiwan: What to expect and when to go 


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Taiwan has a warm subtropical climate with hot, rainy summers, and mild, relatively dry winters. Winter in Taiwan begins at the end of December and runs till the end of February. January is the coldest month and can see average temperatures as low as 13℃.

As temperatures vary significantly across the country, it would be convenient to split Taiwan into three regions.

South Taiwan


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In the south, winters are the warmest and driest due to the tropical climate. This results in warmer winter temperatures varying between 13℃ and 24℃. What’s more, the sea temperature here is ideal for swimming!

North Taiwan


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On the other hand, winter in Taipei feels slightly cooler. Here, travellers can expect between 13℃ and 21℃ and cloudy skies throughout winter. The north also sees more rainfall, so expect it to drizzle for days.

Central Taiwan

taiwan winter

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The interior of Taiwan feels more like a typical winter as temperatures can drop below 0℃. Since most of the central region is an uninhabited mountain range, it is by far the coldest in the country. Temperatures can go as low as -6℃ and this is the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of some snow.

Winter runs from December till the end of February, giving travellers ample opportunities to experience winter in Taiwan. However, to get the best Taiwan experience, we suggest heading there between the end of December and January.

What to pack for your Taiwan winter trip

Winter in Taiwan offers a nice blend of cool and warm temperatures that can satisfy everyone. Do take note of the varying climate per region and the clothes that you’ll need. Despite the mild temperatures in the populated regions, nights and early mornings can get quite chilly. 


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We advise bringing thick t-shirts, cardigans, thin sweaters, and a coat for chilly situations. But if you are in cities like Taipei, a hoodie, jacket, or raincoat will help should it drizzle. If you are planning a trip to the beach or a hot spring remember to bring swimwear and comfortable footwear. 

The mountainous regions require a full winter kit so definitely bring gloves, a down jacket, and a waterproof coat. Hiking in the mountains will be a sizable undertaking so bring along durable hiking boots. An extra sweater or jacket wouldn’t hurt either!

Also read: 10 Clothing Essentials to Shop for Your Winter Travels

Best things to do in Taiwan during winter

1. Check out Christmasland in New Taipei City


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Though Christmas is not an official holiday in Taiwan, many still gather at Christmasland to celebrate this joyous holiday. This annual event in Banqiao, New Taipei City is an extravagant celebration that involves street decorations, light shows, and performances.

taiwan christmas

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This grand event is popular with locals and travellers alike and it runs through the entire month of December. Interestingly, Taiwan celebrates Christmas with their own unique twist. The holiday is catered towards couples and groups of friends instead of families. While gift-giving still occurs in the form of hong baos, Christmas here seems closer to a Western Valentine’s Day.

Pro tip: Visit the event on weekdays when crowds are at a minimum.

2. Usher in the New Year at Taipei 101


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Taipei 101 is a skyscraper that towers 101 stories above the city skyline. This superstructure is an engineering and architectural marvel as it fuses technology with tradition. It houses dozens of restaurants and boutiques as well as floors of office spaces.

taiwan new year

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During New Year’s Eve celebrations, this skyscraper hosts the most dazzling celebration in all of Taiwan. Each year, thousands of fireworks are launched to ring in the new year topped off with a magical pyrotechnics display. Live performances, festive music, and a wide variety of food makes this a must-see event.

3. Admire millions of butterflies during the Butterfly Beauty Festival

The Butterfly Beauty Festival follows the migration pattern of millions of Euploea butterflies heading south for the winter. These butterflies head towards Maolin National Scenic Area, which is a densely forested region in the east. Locals affectionately call the region Purple Butterfly Valley, as it comes alive in beautiful hues of purple during this season.

This event is one of only two winter migratory butterfly gorges in the world, the other being in Mexico. With the only other possibility of seeing such a spectacle on the other side of the world, for many Taiwan is their best bet. Unfortunately, Purple Butterfly Valley is not a fixed place and the best spots are not known till the butterflies arrive. You can check out updates on the butterflies and guided tours here.

4. Join in the country’s biggest celebration during the Lunar New Year

lunar new year

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Lunar New Year is the most anticipated celebration in Taiwan. During this celebration, the streets come alive with music and it is by far the happiest time of the year. Most Taiwanese take the time to gather with their families to welcome the new year. 

Alongside traditional foods, families feast on local delicacies, play mahjong, and exchange stories with each other. For visitors, this festive period is ideal to soak in a great atmosphere and hopefully set off some fireworks! 

Pro tip: Book your hotel rooms and train tickets in advance as it can get really busy during the celebrations.

5. Head up Hehuanshan to see some snow


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Perhaps the crowning jewel to your winter in Taiwan, Hehuanshan (or Mount Hehuan) is the most famous spot to see snow. This 3,416-metre-high mountain, deep in the heart of the country, is accessible via the Wuling Pass. Following your trek up the mountain, stop by 3158 Cafe and enjoy a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate. 

Also read: 13 Tips for Packing Light for Winter Trips

6. Explore the icy landscape in Yushan National Park

yushan national park

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For the adventurous souls, head to Yushan National Park: home to Taiwan’s tallest mountain, Yushan, as well as a portion of the Central Mountain Range. This mountain towers at 3,952 metres above sea level and requires a hiking permit to climb. 

The park itself contains a diverse range of flora and fauna such as the Formosan sambar deer and Mikado pheasant. With hundreds of species of wildlife waiting to be discovered, Yushan National Park is perfect for sightseeing and eco-tourism. Besides the wildlife, the park is also home to dozens of high-altitude mountains such as Yudeshan and Dongxiaonan.

Pro tip: Dongxiaonan is an easier climb and is a great spot to view the Central Mountain Range and Yushan.

7. Build a snowman in Yangmingshan National Park

taiwan winter

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Apart from hiking up immense mountains, Taiwan has other snow activities that are more beginner-friendly, such as building a snowman and skiing. Yangmingshan National Park is a short drive from the city centre of Taipei and has beautiful spots for photo ops. 

Alternatively, you could head to Little Ding-Dong Ski Resort located in Xinfeng to try your hand at skiing. This ski resort was the first indoor ski resort in Taiwan that has snow all year round. While entry tickets to the recreational area can be purchased onsite, there are professional ski courses that require a reservation. You can check out the details and opening hours of the resort here

8. Get a panoramic view of the city from Elephant Mountain

taipei 101

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With mountains done and dusted, return to the city to catch amazing sunsets atop Elephant Mountain. Okay, I lied, there might just be a couple more mountains in this winter in Taiwan guide. But this is more of a viewing spot than an actual mountain, so at least you won’t struggle (as much).

Elephant Mountain is just 183 metres tall and has a short hiking trail of 1.5 kilometres. This trail is split by several pavilions and scenic spots, so you can take a leisurely stroll to the top. At the peak, enjoy stunning views of the skyline with the iconic Taipei 101.

9. Cross Baishihu Suspension Bridge for stellar views

suspension bridge

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Baishihu Suspension Bridge stretches from Dragon Boat Rock to Yuanjue Waterfall. The 116-metre bridge connects four mountains and looks like the spine of a dragon guarding the town of Baishihu.

The area around the bridge is a hotbed of activity with organic farms, temples, orchards, and forested paths. You should definitely add this spot to your winter in Taiwan itinerary.

10. Taste the fruits of your labour in Dahu

One of the best things to do in Taiwan during winter is to go strawberry picking. With strawberry season conveniently coinciding with winter, one should not pass up this opportunity to grab fresh strawberries.

strawberry farm

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Miaoli County is famous for its extensive strawberry farms and strawberry-themed delicacies such as strawberry-glazed sausages and strawberry beer. The Ming Fan Strawberry Farm and Great Nature Strawberry Farm in Dahu township are perfect for a strawberry avalanche.

Also read: 15 Reasons Why Japan Lovers Will Also Love Taiwan!

11. Unleash your inner Disney character at Xinshe Castle

xinshe castle

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Xinshe Castle is located east of Taichung City and features a European-styled castle with scenic grounds. While most travellers visit this castle in spring for the cherry blossom season, winter should not be overlooked. As you stroll through the picturesque gardens and ponds, don’t forget to check out the Hexagon Restaurant for French treats.

12. Grab a warm and hearty hot pot in Taipei

taiwan hot pot

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After all this exploring out in nature and braving the chilly winds, one’s stomach must be crying out for fuel. And there is no better remedy than a sizzling hot pot that will make your mouth water. One of the top dishes in the country, one can’t really say they have been to Taiwan without indulging in local cuisine. 

taiwan hot pot

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There are several options strewn across Taipei such as Orange Shabu Shabu House and Wu Lao Guo. With signature broths, premium ingredients, and unique sauces, your winter in Taipei will be unforgettable!

13. Tantalise your taste buds at Feng Chia Night Market

night market

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Night markets are a staple of Taiwan’s food culture and offer an immense variety of delights at affordable prices. It comes as no surprise that the country is home to 70 night markets and nearly half of these are in Taipei. 

night market

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Feng Chia Night Market in Taichung City holds the title of the biggest night market in Taiwan. This incredible market houses thousands of shops, stalls, and restaurants selling a stimulating assortment of treats. Xiao long bao, stinky tofu, and tian bu la (fish cake) are just the tip of the iceberg. 

14. Escape the chilly winds with a dip in a hot spring

hot spring

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Cap off your holiday with one of the best things to do in Taiwan in winter. The hot spring is a classic and Taiwan has several options to rest your weary body. If you are staying in Taipei, we recommend taking a day trip to Jinshan Hot Spring and Beitou Hot Spring for stellar views and traditional experiences. 

Also read: 10 Best Winter Destinations in Asia for Your Next Holiday

Winter in Taiwan has much to offer for the eager traveller. From amazing local cuisine to natural sceneries and exhilarating festivals, an experience here is one you should not miss!

About Author

Sarvaesh Mohan

Sarvaesh is always on the lookout for the next adventure and loves to get his adrenaline pumping. When he's taking a break from travel, he loves to play video games and watch historical documentaries.