As the capital city of Taiwan, Taipei has over 2.7 million people living in this densely populated city. While there are many things to do in Taipei, the vicinity of Taipei has so much charm and so much to do!
Using Taipei as a home base, there are many day trips from Taipei that you can take. Whether you are travelling by subway, train or bus, there are many day trips from Taipei you can enjoy as a solo traveller.
In this post, I’ll show you my top 7 Taipei day trips that I took while I was travelling solo in Taiwan. I thoroughly enjoyed these day tours and highly recommend each of them to independent travellers.
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What you need to know before taking a day trip from Taipei
Before you take any Taipei excursions, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Taiwan. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get around Taiwan, how to get a Taiwan SIM Card and other travel tips.
Here are some additional travel tips that you might find useful for your day trips from Taipei:
- It is safe for solo female travellers to travel outside of Taipei and take public transportation. I went on all of these Taipei day trips on my own.
- The best way to reach these Taipei day trip destinations is by taking the subway, train or bus.
- Purchase a rechargeable smartcard called EasyCard or iPass. Either card is good for taking public transportation places all around the country. You can get a rechargeable card at any major train station or convenience store in Taiwan.
7 easy Taipei day trips for solo travellers
In no particular order, here are my seven favourite day trips from Taipei. I included highlights and directions on how to get to the destination.
- Jiufen (九份)
- Shifen (十分)
- Beitou (北投)
- Tamsui (淡水)
- Fulong Beach (福隆海水浴場)
- Caoling Historic Trail (草嶺古道)
- Jiaoxi (礁溪)
1. Jiufen (九份)
Jiufen is a little quaint town 40km east of Taipei. It is one of the most popular day trips from Taipei because there are many things to do in Jiufen and many public transportation options.
While you are in Jiufen, follow Jiufen Old Street (九份老街) and browse around the small shops and try local treats at A-Zhu Peanut Ice Cream Roll, and Lai Ah Po You Yuan (賴阿婆芋圓). The street also has many teahouses. Try traditional tea at a historical teahouse like Jiufen Teahouse (水心月茶坊).
Outside of the quaint town, there is a 2-hour hiking trail going up Teapot Mountain (無耳茶壺山登山) where you can see Jiufen, Keelung Mountain (基隆山) and Yinyang Sea (陰陽海).
From Teapot Mountain, you can continue to Banpingshan Trail (半屏山步道) or descend and make your way to the Golden Waterfall (黃金瀑布).
How to get to Jiufen from Taipei
Take MRT to Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復興), which is on the Bannan Line (blue) and Wenhu Line (brown). Take exit 2, walk out and turn right. Find the bus stop for bus 1062.
The bus ride takes about an hour and will drop you off at Jiufen.
If you want to hike up to Teapot Mount first, take the bus all the way to the last stop to Chuen Ji Hall (勸濟堂). See my detailed instructions on my post on travelling to Jiufen from Taipei.
2. Shifen (十分)
Shifen is a railroad town 35km east of Taipei and is known for its beautiful waterfalls and Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival (15th day of the lunar new year).
When you arrive in Shifen Station, walk around Shifen Old Street (十分老街) and see all the food vendors, souvenir shops, lantern shops, and Jingan Suspension Bridge (靜安吊橋).
Then walk 20 minutes away from the station, you will find your way to Yanjingdong Falls (眼鏡洞瀑布) and Guan Pu Suspension Bridge (觀瀑吊橋). Keep following the signs and Shifen Waterfall (十分大瀑布) is right in front of you. The majestic waterfall is a 40 meter high and has many viewpoints where you can take many Instagrammable photos.
And even if you cannot see the lantern festival, you can still release a lantern in the sky. Buy a paper lantern from one of shops on Shifen Old Street, write your message, and you can set your lantern free into the sky. Legend has it that when you release the lantern, it is a way to pass your wishes to the gods above. This has to be one of my best memories for travelling in Taiwan!
How to get to Shifen from Taipei
Take the local train to Ruifang station (瑞芳車站). Transfer to another train bound for Pingxi (平溪), and get off at Shifen Station (十分車站).
There is also a shuttle bus option from Jiufen to Shifen if you want to combine both places the same day.
3. Beitou (北投)
Beitou is one of the best towns to experience the hot spring culture in Taiwan because of its close proximity to the capital city (only 12km north of Taipei) and the abundant activities that you can do on a day trip.
A visit to Beitou must include a visit to the Thermal Valley (地熱谷), a free outdoor area where you can see the thermal bath in its natural glory and Beitou Hot Spring Museum (北投溫泉博物館), where you can learn more about Beitou hot spring culture.
There’s also Sulphur Valley Recreation Area (硫磺谷遊憩區) just east of the city centre. The area has a hiking trail where you can see different areas of the recreation area including a few sulphur pools.
To actually experience a hot spring, you can visit Millennium Hot Spring (北投公園露天溫泉), a popular paid hot springs for locals. But there are also several free footbaths around Beitou.
And if you want to stay overnight and experience a private hot spring at the luxury of your own hotel room, there are many hot springs hotel in Beitou. I really enjoyed my stay at the Waterhouse Hotel. The Japanese-inspired hotel has spa facilities and a deep soaker tub with hot spring water in your own room!
How to get to Beitou from Taipei
Take MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line (red line) to Beitou Station (北投站), then transfer to Xinbeitou Line to Xinbeitou Station (新北投). From Xinbeitou Station, follow the signs along the street to all the attractions.
4. Tamsui (淡水)
Many people may not know about Tamsui (or Danshui) but it is a laid-back waterfront city that is only 20km north of Taipei which is perfect for a day trip.
While you are meandering through the old streets of Tamsui, visit Danshui Market (淡水市場), Fuyou Temple (淡水福佑宮) and Tamsui Longshan Temple (淡水龍山寺). And browse the stores on Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街) and trying some of their local snacks, such as fish crackers, fish ball soup, and pineapple cake (of course!). The old street is one of the best places to pick up great souvenirs from Taiwan.
Continue (either by walking or cycling) to the Riverbank make your way to Fisherman’s Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭). The journey to Fisherman’s Wharf is rather long for walking but scenic. Before you head back to Taipei, visit some of the food stalls, cafes and the Lover’s Bridge (情人橋).
And if you still have time (and energy), visit Fort San Domingo (淡水紅毛城) and the Former British Consulate Residence (前清英國領事官邸) for the rich historical background.
How to get to Tamsui from Taipei
Take MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line (red line) to Tamsui Station (淡水站) which is the last stop on the red line.
5. Fulong Beach (福隆海水浴場)
Fulong (福隆) is a popular beach resort town 50km east of the capital city. Locals living in Taipei love visiting Fulong Beach for its 3km golden sand beach and many water activities like swimming, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking.
Moreover, Fulong Beach hosts the annual Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival and the Hohaiyan Rock Festival.
If you want to spend half the day on the beach and half a day hiking, Caoling Historic Trail is just south of Fulong Station. See sweeping mountain views and a mountain full of silvergrass when you hike the 8.5km trail from Fulong Station to Dali Station (or in the reverse direction).
How to get to Fulong Beach from Taipei
If you are only going to Fulong Beach, take the train from Taipei Station to Fulong Station (福隆車站). The train journey takes 1 hour 36 minutes.
6. Caoling Historic Trail (草嶺古道)
Caoling Historic Trail is one of several ancient trails in northeastern Taiwan. The 8.5km trail crosses over from Yilan County to New Taipei City where you can see sweeping mountain views and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Every fall and winter, the mountain is full of miscanthus flowers or silvergrass, where shimmery grass moves to the rhythm of the north wind. Visitors from all over the country attend the Annual Festival of the Silver Grass Season just to get a glimpse of the magic.
A perfect day trip on Caoling Historic Trail starts from Dali Station to Fulong Station. Along the way, there is an opportunity to hike part of Taoyuan Valley (桃源谷) where you will see grazing buffalos and Mt Wankengtou (灣坑頭山), and several large boulders with inscriptions.
How to get to Caoling Historic Trail from Taipei
From Taipei Station to Dali Station (大里火車站), the train journey takes 1 hour 38 minutes. From Dali Station, follow the signs for Caoling Historic Trail. Then end your journey at Fulong Station and return home to Taipei.
7. Jiaoxi (礁溪)
Jiaoxi (礁溪) is a rural township in the northern section of Yilan County on the east coast of Taiwan. The area is located in a fault zone with underground sources of heat which makes Jiaoxi the largest hot spring area in Taiwan.
While you are in Jiaoxi, visit Tangweigou Hot Spring Park, a popular hot spring park with free foot baths and fish foot baths (NT$80), Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park Forest Bath for a bit of a local hot spring experience or simply find one of the many free foot baths around the city.
And if you are looking for other things to do in Jiaoxi, hike the Paoma Historic Trail to see panoramic views of Jiaoxi or find Wufongci Waterfall in the mountains.
How to get to Jiaoxi from Taipei
The easiest way to travel from Taipei to Jiaoxi is by taking the train from Taipei Station to Jiaoxi (礁溪站). The train journey takes 1 hour 30 minutes.
Want a fun way to get around small towns? Learn how you can rent a scooter outside of Taipei
Which Taipei day trip are you going to take?
I hope all of them because each of these day trips from Taipei is fun and different from one another. I really like these destinations because you can easily get there without renting a car. This is a definitely perk for a solo traveller!
Which day trip from Taipei do you like the most? Leave a comment below. Or if you think there are other Taipei day trips that should be part of the list, let me know as well.