We recently visited Taipei for the first time and although we only had 48 hours in Taipei, we were really taken by this cool city. The streets are wide and would be easily navigable with a buggy, people are friendly and there are plenty of things to do in Taipei with kids. We particularly loved the night markets and the cool vibe of Yongkang street, and 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 you only have a short time to visit Taipei, check out our two-day itinerary for Taipei with kids below:
On day one of our Taipei two-day itinerary you are going to visit Taipei’s most famous landmark, the Taipei 101, before learning all about Taiwan’s famous street food on a fabulous street food tour. In the afternoon you can walk off all that food by visiting some of the famous sights such as the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial before heading out in the evening for the most famous dumplings in the world at the original Din Tai Fung.
Morning – Taipei 101 and a Street Food Tour
The Taipei 101 is Taipei’s most famous landmark and soars above the city’s other skyscrapers, 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 It was the world’s tallest building at the time of its completion in 2004, until 2009 when it was superseded by the Burj Al Khalifa in Dubai.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 observatory is on the 89th floor of the Taipei 101 at 382m and provides incredible 360-degree views over Taipei. You can also climb the stairs to the 91st floor outdoor observatory – not for the feint hearted! 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 discounted tickets for the Taipei 101 Observatory online here at Klook Travel
Taipei Street Food Tour
If you get to the Taipei 101 in time for opening at 9am, you should be able to avoid the queues and still have time to join a street food tour of Taipei to get to know all the famous Taiwanese street foods.
The Taipei Eats Xinyi Tour sets off four times a week at 11am, and takes you through bustling street markets, to street side vendors and even to a stinky tofu shop, to give you a real insight into Taiwanese cuisine. Click here to read more about the Taipei Street Food Tour with Taipei Eats.
Afternoon – sightseeing
You will need to do some exercise now to work off all that food you will have indulged in on the Taipei Eats street food tour, so now is the time to take in some of the sights of Taipei.
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is an impressive building to visit. 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. Across town the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall is another famous tourist attraction in Taipei. Try to time your visit here to catch the changing of the guards, which takes place every hour. If you have time, try to also fit in a visit to the Longshan Temple – renowned as the most beautiful temple in Taipei.
Dinner at the Original Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fun is Taipei’s most famous restaurant and 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. I have been a massive fan of Din Tai Fung and regularly eat at their Singapore and Hong Kong branches. Trust me – a visit to the original is worth it! I was super excited to come here (if I’m honest it was the main reason I came to Taipei!) and it didn’t disappoint.
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.
Overnight in Taipei
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On day two of our 48 Hours in Taipei with Kids itinerary, you are going to take a trip to the Taipei Zoo, ride the Maokong Gondola to drink tea in a traditional tea house and end the day with a visit to Taipei’s most famous night market.
Morning: Taipei Zoo
If you’re visiting Taipei with kids, you probably won’t get away without visiting the Taipei Zoo. There’s a huge amount to see here, so if you only have 48 hours in Taipei and want to only spend the morning here, you should arrive at opening time at 9am.
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
Lunch & Afternoon: 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 cable car up the mountain to the tea plantations. My kids loved riding the cable car – and on a clear day the views over Taipei are spectacular.
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 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 Gondola 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.
Yao Yue Teahouse enjoys a peaceful setting overlooking the tea plantations and is a fun spot to learn to drink tea the traditional way. The tea set comes with complete instructions to help the novice tea drinker and there is also a full menu of dim sum and interesting tea-infused dishes to choose from.
Dinner: Shilin Night Market
You can’t visit Taipei without spending an evening at one of the famous night markets, and the Shilin Night Market is the most famous of all. The Shilin Night Market is huge, taking over several interconnecting streets, all teaming with street food stalls and market stalls.
Jump aboard the MRT to Jiantan Station, and follow the crowds. The most fun thing to do at the Shilin Night Market is to eat! Wander around and take your time to sample all the amazing different street foods there are to try. Be warned though that you will likely have to queue for all the popular stalls, so don’t arrive too hungry! Keep a look out for Taiwanese sausage on a stick, flame-torched beef, oyster omelette and pepper pork buns.
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!
And that’s it for our 48 Hours in Taipei with Kids itinerary. Have fun!
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