Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei (With Kids or Without) — Taiwan Travel Tips

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There are so many things to do in Taipei. With kids or on your own. If you’re interested in Asia, then put Taiwan on your list. And this list of fun things to do in Taipei is not just for families. Most of our tips can be enjoyed by just about anyone! Taipei museums, Taipei night markets, Taipei day trips and more!

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Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

I know many family travelers look at Taipei as more of a layover on their way to JapanThailand, Malaysia or other Asian destinations. Taiwan, however, really is an amazing place to travel with kids. As one of the island’s number-one fans, I still find it perplexing that it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

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Perhaps the biggest irony behind my push to visit Taipei with kids is just how long it took me to realize the city’s potential myself.

After all, Keiko and I actually lived in Taiwan in the late 90’s, but we visited the capital only a few times. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later — while living in Tokyo — that I realized just how awesome Taipei with kids could truly be.

I started re-visiting the island on my own in 2007. In 2013, the kids finally visited with me, and we had such a good time that we stayed for two months.

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Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

I really think visiting Taiwan with kids is a must. Lots of people want to see Beijing, Shanghai, and Tibet. So do I, but Taiwan offers a side of Chinese culture that isn’t available anywhere else.

Whether you’re just passing through or considering a longer stay, there are things to do in Taipei that everyone can enjoy. Taiwanese food is some of my favorite in the world. A uniquely delicious style of Chinese cooking that’s heavy on seafood, with occasional hints of its past as a former Japanese colony. The Taiwanese people are also very warm and welcoming in general, and they absolutely adore children.

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Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids
Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei

There are so many fun and educational things to do in Taipei. You certainly will find some remarkable historic places. There also are museums, high-rise buildings and a couple of day trips you can take outside of Taipei with kids. Below are some of our top picks for things to do in Taipei with children.

Please note: Taipei night markets are not listed below, because they deserve a post of their own. DO NOT MISS the night markets. For fun until sunset, I’ve listed up some other things to do in Taipei with kids. If you wonder what to eat in Taiwan, check out our post on family-friendly Taiwanese food. More to come!

The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

The outside of this gargantuan hunk of a monument won’t enthrall young ones for long. Our kids, however, loved to see the changing of the guard happening inside. My wife and I enjoyed too, but perhaps for different reasons.

There were large tour groups from Mainland China watching when we visited. Seeing their reactions as the “renegade province” went through a military ritual was more than a little interesting for us.

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

The Sun Yat Sen Memorial

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Yes, another chunky historical monument. The history of Sun Yat-Sen (the founder of the Republic of China) is really interesting. What the kids enjoyed most, however, was all the life going on around the memorial.

This is one of the main spots in town where young dance crews meet to practice their moves. Both of our kids soaked that in for a long time. Also, keep in mind that the memorial is quite close to the Taipei 101 building, which is probably on your list, as well.

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The Taipei 101 Building

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

This was the tallest building in the world for five years, and despite the expense to visit the top, we found the view and the details of its construction to be worth the price tag and still think it’s one of the best things to do in Taipei with kids or without.

The Taipei 101 building also has the world’s fastest elevator, which was less impressive than we had hoped, in that is ascended too smoothly (my boy and I wanted to feel the velocity!).

However, an unexpected surprise was the gargantuan wind damper near the top: a 660-TON golden ball hanging high inside the building’s interior to provide counterbalance during earthquakes and strong winds.

Audioguides are available in English, Japanese, and many other languages. And you can’t beat the view.

Adult tickets are TWD $600. Students & kids above 115cm TWD $540. Free for kids under 115cm. 

Lungshan Temple

This is probably the most crowded temple in Taipei and is often packed with tourists and worshipers alike, but I still recommend it because it’s beautiful and easily accessible, being just a 5-minute walk from the station.

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

The grounds are quite nice to walk with kids as well, including the waterfall and garden. There are many great temples to visit, but we consider this one of the best things to do in Taipei because of its history and the surrounding neighborhood.

On the west side of the temple is “herb alley,” where lots of Chinese medicinal plants are stored, prepared and sold (worth a walkthrough).

To the south, across the street from the entrance to the temple is Mengxia Park. Here, you will see locals gather to do tai-chi, sing karaoke, play mahjong and other activities typical of the Taiwanese pensioner.

The National Palace Museum

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

If you are in Taipei with kids and have even a modicum of interest in Chinese history, then this place can be fascinating. This is one of the best things to do in Taipei for history buffs.

There might be more of China’s history in this building than there is in China itself. Yes, a hyperbolic statement for sure, but not as much as you think when you consider that Chiang Kai Shek stole most of this from the mainland right before Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution began destroying anything with historical significance.

Kids (and Noise) in the Museum

As interesting as this stuff can be, most kids — including mine — will be ready to leave long before you will. If that sounds like your kids, then don’t bother trying to see everything. Head straight for the coolest stuff. For us, that was the jade sculptures and the drinking cups carved out of rhino horns.

There are many things to do in Taipei with kids that everyone can enjoy. Read on as I tell you what to do, what to eat and where to stay in Taipei Taiwan. Taiwanese people are also very warm and welcoming in general, and they absolutely adore children. | Taiwan Family Travel | Taipei Travel with Kids | Taiwan with Kids | Taiwanese Food | Taiwan Travel | Taipei 101 | Taipei Travel Tips | Taipei Taipei Food | Taipei Hotels | Taipei Restaurants | Taipei attractions | Taiwan Travel Tips

Visiting Taipei with kids is often an exercise in noise management. The entire city is loud — including revered museums like this one.

The National Palace Museum can feel a bit chaotic: lots of huge tour groups from mainland China are here, and … well … many of the people in these groups have never been to a museum like this. Out of all the things to do in Taipei, you’ll find more tourists from Mainland China here than anywhere else.

Expect lots of loud chatter and camera flashes — even as museum staff and guides are explicitly telling people to keep voices low and refrain from using a flash. Talking over the din are the tour guides. Some groups have earpieces, but many do not, so the guides often have to raise their voices to be heard.

If you’re genuinely interested in learning more and think the kids would be too, then join a group or hire a guide. They help put the objects you’re looking at into historical context. But if you don’t want to stay more than an hour, skip the guide.

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Not many people know this, but there are at least nine aboriginal tribes on the island of Taiwan (possibly more, but nine recognized tribes, anyway).

This museum introduces their art and their culture, which is quite interesting. It’s right across the street from the National Palace Museum, and much smaller and quieter…which can be a good thing. Learning about the aboriginal tribes is one of the most interesting things to do in Taipei for anyone interested in world cultures.

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Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

If you’re in Taipei with kids, consider a shrimping excursion. It’s one of the most unique things to do in Taipei with kids or anyone.

What’s shrimping? It’s simple: you go to a covered pool stocked with shrimp. You drop your line in with a hook and bait. Shrimp bite the bait, you pull them out of the water, grill them on the spot and eat them.

It’s fun and can be a nice way to sit and relax for a few hours. But as with any fishing experience, patience is sometimes required. Most places cook them for you, and if you’re squeamish, the staff at some establishments may even help you bait the hook if you ask nicely (no promises). Other simple additions such as beer, sodas, and fried rice are also usually available for your meal.

These places aren’t fancy: many are simple concrete pools with plastic stools to sit on. But it’s fun.

There are several shrimping places within a 10 min car ride from the National Palace Museum on Zhishan Rd. Section 3. 

Baby Boss

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Ok, so this one may be just for families. If you’re in Taipei with kids and you like the concept behind job-themed indoor amusement park Kidzania (mentioned in the Tokyo with Kids: Odaiba post), then you’ll like this place, too. It’s one of the best indoor things to do in Taipei with little kids.

Baby Boss follows the same formula as Kidzania, letting primary school-aged kids role-play a wide variety of occupations, such as firefighter, surgeon, security guard, pilot and flight attendant.


There are lots of things to do in Taipei, but if you have time, plan for a day trip or two. Here are a few of our favorite things to do near Taipei City.


Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

This little mountainside village is one of our favorite places to recommend to anyone visiting Taiwan with kids. It already has plenty of tourists visiting, but most of them are Chinese, Japanese and local Taiwanese travelers.

Jiufen: Things to do in Taipei

You go to Jiufen essentially to walk one long set of stairs down a picturesque mountainside, with restaurants and tea houses along the ledges.

This is one of the places that inspired Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki when he was creating the film Spirited Away, and it’s a great spot to soak in the view over some excellent Taiwan High Mountain Oolong Tea. Anyone interested in Miyazaki films or atmospheric tea ships will consider this one of the best things to do in Taipei.


Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Only a few bus stops from Jiufen is Jinguashi, an old gold mine that was transformed into a Japanese POW-camp during World War II. Lots of stories here, and despite the dire history involved, it was quite interesting for all four of us.

After all, there’s lots of decorative gold to gawk at, and the place owns a massive gold ingot (220kgs!) that was at one time the largest piece of gold in the world. And you can actually lay your hands on it!

This would definitely be one of the most interesting things to do in Taipei for World War II history buffs or anyone who just wants to see a lot of gold in a small space.

Elephant Mountain

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Not many huge cities have a wooded trail that leads to such a beautiful lookout. Stroller-pushers beware: this is all steps, and they can get steep. The walk from the station to the first lookout point is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on who is walking.

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

There are several more lookout points, the highest probably taking about two hours or more to reach, but the first viewpoint is enough (see above). If you want a quick escape from the concrete jungle to be around some green space, then this is one of the best things to do in Taipei.

Don’t forget to bring enough snacks and water for everyone, and also mosquito repellant, because there can be quite a few buzzing around this area almost any time of the year.

The Maokong Gondola & Taipei Zoo

Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

The views on this are pretty spectacular, but in inclement weather, it can be hard to see very far. The ride’s about 30 minutes, and there are food options, tea shops, and plenty of room to run at the top, including the Taipei Zoo and its panda.

If going to the zoo, take the gondola there and then walk back to town downhill, especially if you’re pushing a stroller.

If you have thrill-seekers in your family, then wait for one of the glass-bottomed cars on the gondola.

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Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

Sitting in natural hot springs is one of our favorite things to do in Taipei or anywhere, and Taiwan’s place on the ring of fire gives it lots of geothermal activity. For a day trip, there are a number of places you can go for a warm soak. Don’t expect the full Japanese bathing experience — most baths are public and everyone wears swimwear — but many hotels in the area have private tubs if that’s your thing.

To be honest, however, as much as we love the Japanese onsen ritual, we don’t try to recreate it here. You can pay for your own private indoor tub, but the ambiance is lacking, so I suggest looking at the hot springs in Taiwan more like going to a public pool.

The good news with this is there may be other kids there, and everyone can go into one pool together (as opposed to gender-specific pools). The bad news is that it may not be as peaceful as you imagined.


Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

The riverside tubs in Wulai were my favorite, and there’s a waterfall and other attractions nearby. However, I should note that a typhoon did a lot of damage to the area, and that may still affect these attractions. If you’re on motorbikes, however, it would be worth visiting the area.

Otherwise, find out from locals what the situation is. Wulai’s original residents were indigenous people, and they still run many of the hot spring hotels here.


Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

This area was first developed by the Japanese during their pre-WWII occupation and it remains a very popular place for weekenders. Some of the pools here get quite hot, so always check before plopping in or letting the kids jump in.

Out of the two hot spring towns mentioned here. I’d recommend this one first. It’s easily one of the best things to do in Taipei as a day trip.


Taiwan is like a second home to me. The people, the culture, the food — we love it all. I studied Chinese while I lived there. Most of it has been forgotten from lack of use, sadly, but I can still understand what is going on around me. This probably helped with our ability to navigate the city.

When my kids arrived here, Taiwan was our first stop in our experiment with long-term travel, and despite growing up in neighboring Japan, their initial culture shock was quite pronounced. Any Western family would probably have a similar experience anywhere in Southeast Asia, but I think it can be actually better in Taiwan because people are so kind and accommodating. After the kids learned a few basic phrases in Mandarin, locals became even sweeter.

Have you been to Taipei with kids? What were your impressions of Taipei? Tell us in the comments below or contact me.

Further Reading: Taipei and Beyond


Our Top 15 Things to Do in Taipei with Kids

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  1. Jennifer M. says:

    We were actually planning a three week trip to Japan (from Europe) this summer. The cheapest flight has a 12 hour layover in Taipei. I looked up “spending an afternoon in Taipei with children” this morning – because we’d never been there – and bumped into this blog. We now cut into our time in Japan so we can explore Taiwan for a week too 🙂 So excited, thank you!

    • So happy to hear this! We love Taiwan, and I plan to write more about the island. Taipei is fantastic, but there is so much more to Taiwan than the capital. Please let us know what you think!

  2. Hi, great article and beautiful family. I put Baby Boss and the Maokong Gondola on our list for our next trip to Taipei. A few things I would add to your list are the amazing Taipei night markets, Ximending pedestrian zone, Hope Farmers Market, Tamsui Old Street, and Guandu Temple in Beitou. Best of all, they are all free except for all the food you will stuff yourself with. There’s more info about all these places on my travel blog.

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