Taiwan is a family friendly destination which can cater to any type of visitor: nature-loving, culture-loving, food-loving, urban-loving and more. Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, sits on the Northern tip of the country and can keep you entertained for weeks with its endless cultural sites, parks and hiking, restaurants and shopping.
There are wonderful parks and playgrounds sprinkled all around the city. Spending a few days wandering around from park to park is a great way to spend time with kids as each playground is delightful in its differences!
For families–or any visitors for that matter–the wandering around itself is a huge part of the fun, and restaurants and public transportation are truly destinations in and of themselves.
Here are our favorite 10 activities in Taipei that the whole family will enjoy:
1. Elephant Mountain (Xiangshang)
Elephant (Xiangshang) mountain is a wonderful, steep but short climb up (less than 30 minutes) to beautiful views over all of Taipei and beyond.
Climb up on one of the rocks overseeing the city scape and you’ll have some great family pictures. It’s conveniently located with an MRT stop called Xiangshang, which is Elephant in Mandarin. You’ll get off the MRT and it’s a short walk through parks and residential areas (following the signs) to the start of the (mostly stairs) trail.
2. Longshan Temple
You’ll see many temples traveling through Asia but taking the time to go into one and see the ornate carvings and decor up close is a tremendous cultural experience.
Longshan, built in 1783 in Taipei’s Wanhua District, is a well known temple conveniently located in the city center right off the MRT stop, Longshan Temple. You’ll see a mixture of locals and tourists there while touring. The temple incorporates a mixture of believers including Buddhists and Taoists.
Kids and adults alike will be mesmerized by the rows of food placed on long tables (don’t touch), along with freshly burning incense and the displays of trees and water features mixed throughout the temple. Another convenience for families are the public bathrooms on site.
3. Night Market
A Taiwanese night market is a reason to keep the kids up late for at least one night. It’s a great cultural experience and a fun time to go around taste-testing Taiwanese street snacks while perusing the goods for sale.
Each night market (or day market) specializes in different things. There are traditional food and goods night markets and there are also jade markets, flower markets and even those that have carnival games.
The Tonghua Night Market is a good choice for all kinds of local and unique food options. It’s located off the Xinyi Anhe MRT stop and starts at 6 pm.
4. 2/28 Peace Park/NTU Hospital Stop
The NTU Hospital MRT stop is a stop that can easily fill up a full day or half day of fun. The stop takes you to the 2/28 Peace Park, where you can walk through and learn about the 2/28 Memorial and even walk through the Memorial hall (a small museum) if it’s open.
Also on the grounds is a beautiful temple that makes for great pictures and a good sized playground and outdoor exercise area for all ages.
On the southwest side of the park, near the playgrounds is the….
5. President’s Offices
Originally built to serve as the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period, the Presidential Office Building is one of the most recognizable buildings in Taiwan. Take a tour of the building!
There is an Open House schedule for which no advance booking is required, you just line up outside the door. Be sure to check the Open House dates: https://english.president.gov.tw/Page/124
Otherwise, you will need to book in advance online several days before you’d like to visit.
On the north side of the 2/28 Park is the…
6. National Taiwan Museum and Land Bank Exhibition Hall
On the opposite end of 2/28 Peace Park from the Presidential Offices is the National Taiwan Museum. This is a fantastic museum full of art, artifacts and history. After touring the National Taiwan Museum, don’t miss crossing the street and visiting the much less noticeable but even more fun for families, perhaps, Land Bank Exhibition Hall.
The Land Bank Exhibition Hall is a small museum built in an old bank building from the 1930s. It’s an eclectic mix of an old bank vault and history of Taiwanese money, along with dinosaur bones and other ancient artifacts. There is a delightful cafe in the museum that overlooks a huge dinosaur bone display, along with an outside terrace eating area.
7. National Museum of Drinking Water
Yes there is actually a museum here of drinking water in Taiwan, but it’s also a wildly fun pool and waterpark for kids of all ages.
There are a few small water slides, raining umbrellas, buckets that fill up with water and splashes galore. The entire pool itself is about 1.5 or 2 feet around so it’s great for kids that are still learning to swim completely on their own. They sell floaty devices here and goggles, along with a small food court, etc. too in case you need to pick something up.
8. Palace Museum
The Palace Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art within its four massive levels.
It’s mostly a full day excursion as you’ll need to take either a cab to the museum or the MRT to the Shilin Station, followed by a bus to the museum, but don’t let that detour you. It is huge and the sheer size of the building and grounds itself is reason enough to visit.
There are collections of precious jades, writings, paintings and furniture throughout the museum. There are also several restaurants, including a teahouse, a food court and the Silks Palace restaurant which is housed in the annex next to the museum. Try the duck at the Silks Palace restaurant.
9. Traditional Lantern Shop
While a market is a great place to browse local goods, going to a traditional Chinese/Taiwanese Lantern shop is a very fun excursion. Kids can browse the hundreds of colors and patterns of lanterns and be mesmerized by their beauty. They make for awesome, unique souvenirs to bring home to family and friends.
A little off the beaten path away from tourist shops and traffic is the Lao Mian Cheng shop. It’s a five or 10 minute walk off the Daqiaotou MRT stop.
This shop has been around for more than 100 years and is a family business. You’ll find paper lanterns, cotton lanterns and hand-painted lanterns of all sizes.
10. Taipei 101
Taipei 101 shouldn’t be missed on a first visit to Taiwan. You’ll get impossibly impressive views of the region, along with the experience of going up the elevator and learning just how this building was able to be built to withstand the wind and extreme weather without toppling to the ground. A great lesson in architecture for all ages.
Within Taipei 101, visitors can also spend their day shopping the hundreds of stores and restaurants within the building in its massive mall area.
For more Taipei travel planning, visit:
- Where to Stay and How to Get Around Taipei
- Where to Eat in Taipei with Kids
- Two Awesome Taipei Day Trips