We recently enjoyed a Taiwan family trip to Taipei, and as we were only in town for the weekend, we needed to try and fit in all the best Taipei tourist attractions in a short space of time.
Taipei for Kids
We were really taken by this cool city, and it is a surprisingly child-friendly place to visit. The streets are wide and would be easily navigable with a buggy if you are visiting Taipei with a toddler or baby; people are friendly and there are plenty of fun things to do in Taipei with kids. We particularly loved the cool vibe of Yongkang Street and the night markets are a Taipei must see. Although we didn’t have time, the shopping looked pretty good too. And then there’s the food. Oh, the food!
Taxis are easy to flag down in the street and we found all taxi drivers really helpful and friendly – some even had DVD players and karaoke machines in them! We also found restaurants to be welcoming to children, with high chairs available. So if like us you only have a short time here and want to try and fit in all the top things to do in Taipei with kids, check out our itinerary and find out what to do in Taipei for 2 days.
We kicked off our Taipei trip with a visit to one of the most famous Taiwan tourist spots: the Taipei 101, before taking a fabulous Taipei street food tour. In the afternoon we walked off all that food by visiting some of the famous Taipei tourist spots, such as the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial. We finished the day by sampling the most famous dumplings in the world at the original Din Tai Fung.
The Taipei 101 is one of most famous Taiwan tourist attractions. This Taipei tower soars above the city’s other skyscrapers and topping off at an impressive 509.2m high. It was the world’s tallest building at the time of its completion in 2004, until 2009 when it was superseded by the Burj Al Khalifa in Dubai. Today it is only the world’s 6th tallest building, but still claims the record for the world’s fastest elevators.
The Taipei 101 observatory is on the 89th floor of the Taipei 101 tower at 382m and provides incredible 360-degree views over the city. You can also climb the stairs to the 91st floor outdoor Taipei 101 observation deck – not for the feint hearted! The kids loved looking through the binoculars from up here.
Keep a look out for the Super Big Wind Damper on the 88th floor that keeps the Taipei 101 safe – it is the world’s largest and heaviest and on full display for visitors.
You can buy your Taipei 101 ticket on the ground floor of the tower, but be sure to check the Taipei 101 opening hours (9am to 10pm at the time of writing) and get there early as the queues build up quickly. Click here to buy discounted tickets for the Taipei 101 Observatory
Taipei Street Food Tour
We were at the Taipei 101 in time for opening at 9am, meaning we managed to avoid the queues and still had time to join a Taipei walking tour to get to know all the famous Taiwanese street foods.
We joined the Taipei Eats Xinyi Tour, which we loved! So many amazing tasty treats to be had. This fun food tour took us through bustling street markets, enjoying samples from street side vendors and even to a stinky tofu shop, and gave us a real insight into Taiwanese cuisine.
The Taipei Eats Xinyi Tour sets off four times a week at 11am. Click here to read more about our Taipei Street Food Tour with Taipei Eats.
Taipei points of interest
We ate so much on our street food tour that we needed to do some exercise in the afternoon. We chose to do this by taking in some of the most famous places to visit in Taipei. We started with a visit to the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, one of the most popular Taipei places of interest. If you are planning to come here, try to time your visit to catch the changing of the guards, which takes place every hour.
Across town we also visited the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, an impressive building and a must do in Taipei. Built in memory of the former President of the Republic of China, this huge memorial hall is octagonal in shape and has 89 steps leading up to hall – the age of Chiang Kai-shek when he died.
The guards here stand impressively still for long periods of time and my kids loved looking to see if they could see them blink! If you have time, try to also fit in a visit to the Longshan Temple – renowned as the most beautiful temple in Taipei. Unfortunately we ran out of time to do this.
Dinner at the Original Din Tai Fung
If I’m honest, the main reason I came to Taipei was to eat at the original Din Tai Fung restaurant. I have been a massive fan of Din Tai Fung and regularly eat at their Singapore and Hong Kong branches. Taipei’s most famous restaurant is responsible for putting the xiao long bao (Shanghai pork dumplings) on the world stage.
Din Tai Fung opened in Taipei in 1958 but they didn’t start making their famous xiao long bao until 1980. The restaurant shot to fame in 1993 when the New York Times named it as one of the ten best restaurants in the world.
Trust me – a visit to the original is worth it! I was super excited to come here and it didn’t disappoint. For me it is definitely one of the best places to go in Taipei for dinner.
You can’t make reservations at Din Tai Fung so make sure you get here early – we arrived at around 5.30pm and queue time was only about 20 minutes or so. There is another branch in the Taipei 101 – but the one on Xinyi Road is the original. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a stroll along Yongkang Street and the surrounding lanes after your meal to take in the atmosphere.
On our second day in Taipei with kids we took a trip to the Taipei Zoo, before riding the Maokong Gondola to drink tea in a traditional teahouse. We ended the day with a visit to the most famous Taipei night market, Shilin.
Morning: Taipei Zoo
If you’re visiting Taiwan with kids, you probably won’t get away without visiting the Taipei Zoo, one of the most famous Taipei attractions for children. There’s a huge amount to see here, so if you are pushed for time and only want to spend the morning here, you should take note of the Taipei Zoo hours and arrive at opening time.
The zoo is pretty big so make use of the shuttle trains if you are visiting with small kids, and you can also rent strollers here. You will be given a ticket to visit the giant pandas when you enter the zoo, so don’t miss your allotted time slot. Read more about the Taipei Zoo and plan your visit here on the Taipei Zoo website
Maokong Gondola to Yao Yue Teahouse
Once you have had your fill of animals at the Taipei Zoo, make your way to the shuttle bus station outside Birdworld and catch the shuttle bus to the Maokong Gondola station. Here you can ride the Taipei cable car up the mountain to the Maokong tea plantations.
Maokong is just a short distance outside of Taipei city centre, but a world away in character. With its mountain views and teahouses scattered amongst the countryside it is one of the most popular day trips from Taipei. It is also the most famous place to sample some Taiwanese tea.
There are plenty of teahouses to choose from, but one of the most famous is Yao Yue. Yao Yue Teahouse is a good thirty-minute walk from the Maokong station, so if you have small kids who are already exhausted from walking around the zoo, you might want to take a taxi or choose a closer teahouse. We didn’t realize how far it was and our poor kids were on their last legs by the time we arrived!
Yao Yue Teahouse enjoys a peaceful setting overlooking the tea plantations and it was a fun spot to learn to drink tea the traditional way. The tea set came with complete instructions to help the novice tea drinker and there was also a full menu of dim sum and interesting tea-infused dishes to choose from.
We were all exhausted by this time, so instead of walking back to the Maokong cable car, we asked the teahouse to call us a taxi back to the city, to have a rest in our hotel before heading out for the night.
Shilin Night Market
You can’t visit Taipei without spending an evening at one of the Taipei top attractions: the famous night markets. The Shilin Night Market is the most famous of all, and so this is where we headed to for the evening. And what fun we had!
The Shilin Night Market is huge, taking over several interconnecting streets, all teaming with street food stalls and market stalls. The kids will love seeing all the different street foods being prepared – but keep a tight hold of their hands as it is super busy and you could easily lose them in the crowds.
The most fun thing to do at the Shilin Night Market is to eat! We wandered around and sampled all the amazing different street foods. If you are planning to visit here, make sure you don’t arrive too hungry, as we found we had to queue for all the popular stalls. Some of our favourite snacks were the Taiwanese sausage on a stick, flame-torched beef, oyster omelette and pepper pork buns.
To get to the Shilin Night Market, just jump aboard the MRT to Jiantan Station, then follow the crowds. If you would prefer to explore the night market with the help of an experienced Taipei tour guide, you can also book a Taipei Night Market tour. Click here for details of the night market tour.
Other Things to do in Taipei with Kids:
We’ve already filled you in on all the best things to do in Taipei if you only have a couple of days. But what if you have longer? Here are some more ideas of where to go in Taipei with kids:
Taipei Children’s Amusement Park
Visiting the Taipei Children’s Amusement Park is one of the most popular things to do in Taiwan with kids. There are several fairground attractions here to amuse the kids, including a small roller coaster, ferris wheel, spinning teacups and dodgems. There is also a fun outdoor playground with sandpit, and one of the best indoor playgrounds in Taipei. This Taipei amusement park is located close to the Shilin Night Market.
Leofoo Village Theme Park
The Leofoo Village Theme Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Taiwan for kids. This Taipei theme park is divided into four themed areas: African Safari, Wild West, South Pacific and Arabian Kingdom. It not only features lots of fun thrill rides and shows, but also a water park (Summer only) and Taiwan’s only African safari-style open range zoo.
It takes around an hour to get to Leofoo Village Theme Park from Taipei. For this reason many people choose to stay overnight in the resort here, which has safari-themed bedrooms and views into the animal enclosures.
Click here to check prices for the Leofoo Resort.
The Taipei Eye is a cultural show that is perfect entertainment for the whole family and one of the most spectacular things to see in Taipei. You can expect some traditional Chinese folk music, Chinese opera, amazing acrobatics, lion dances, dancing and more. Although we didn’t have time to see the Taipei Eye show, we saw a similar show when we visited Chengdu, and the kids all absolutely loved it.
A trip to Jiufen Village is one of the most popular Taipei day trips. This historical village is renowned as one of the most beautiful places to go in Taiwan. The village was originally built by the Japanese following the discovery of gold in 1893, and today attracts tourists who come to wander the maze of alleyways and explore the numerous cafes, teahouses and souvenir shops.
Where to stay in Taipei?
Looking for a family-friendly hotel in Taipei? We stayed at Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel and completely loved this kids friendly hotel in Taipei. It has super friendly staff, a rooftop swimming pool and good choice of restaurants. I am happy to make this Taipei hotel recommendation.
Another contender for the best hotel in Taipei for family is the W Taipei. This super stylish Taipei hotel benefits from a great location in the shopping district, It has a gorgeous swimming pool with pool deck and a good choice of restaurants, which is why many families think this is the best place to stay in Taipei.
Click here to check prices for the W Taipei. Looking for other options for a family hotel Taipei?
Compare Taipei hotel prices below:
The Best Time to Visit Taipei
Taipei enjoys a sub-tropical climate. Summer is hot and humid in Taipei, and the city also suffers from the occasional typhoon at this time of year. The winter months of December – February are the coldest, although rarely much below 10 degrees Celsius. These are the driest months and therefore a good time for sightseeing. Spring and Fall are the most popular times to visit Taipei.
- Summer months are very hot and humid, particularly July-August
- Winter months January & February are the coldest
- Spring weather is unpredictable with heavy downpours common
- Fall is usually pleasant temperatures and lower humidity
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