Last Updated on February 28, 2020 by queenie mak
Taichung (台中) is the second-largest city in Taiwan, and the big city has so many attractions that you may need a few days to see them all.
But if you have never been to Taichung and you only have one day in the city, then you must follow my Taichung itinerary. In 1 day, you can experience the best culture, art and sample the best food in the city.
So get ready to taste some of the best Taiwanese food, indulge in modern art and culture and experience what Taichung is all about.
Before you visit Taichung
Before you go to Taichung, take a look at my post on learning all my best tips for travelling to Taiwan. I included a lot of information, including getting a Taiwan tourist SIM card, and more. And check out more tips on my solo travel guide to Taichung and learn about transportation, logistics and anything else before diving into the one-day itinerary.
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Where to stay in Taichung
My Taichung 1 day itinerary is packed with many attractions and activities. It is best to stay in Taichung for the night so you can get proper rest and so you can keep on going for the rest of your trip.
I would recommend staying at either Norden Ruder Hostel Taichung (check rate at Agoda) or SOF Hotel (check rate at Agoda), which are both close to Taichung Railway Station. They are both excellent and are not expensive at all.
Alternatively, I have other suggestions on where to stay in Taichung in this post.
My Taichung itinerary: 1 day in Taichung
Wondering how you should spend 24 hours in Taichung? Follow my Taichung 1 day itinerary, and you will see the best of the best in the city!
All the Taichung attractions are pinned in the interactive map below. Follow the numbers, and you can see the description for each activity. And you can find more information about each attraction by clicking on the individual pin.
1. Have breakfast at the most popular breakfast spot in the city, Taichung Second Market
Your Taichung 1 day tour must start with a hearty breakfast. Taichung Second Market (台中第二市場店) is famous for its local food, especially traditional breakfast food. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Many locals (and travellers) go to the market bright and early to get radish cake with a fried egg in a tangy sauce from 王家菜頭粿糯米腸. The food stall is on the south side of the market. You know the food is good when there is always a long queue!
Others will get lurou fan (魯肉飯), which is a braised minced pork cooked in a soy sauce with five spices and served over white rice. It is a classic Taiwanese dish!
And to top it off, grab an iced black tea from the popular tea shop, Lai’s Tea Shop (老賴茶棧) to complete your meal.
How to get to Taichung Second Market
If you are starting your day from Taichung Railway Station, Taichung Second Market is in walkable distance. From the station, walk north on Section 1, Taiwan Boulevard, for 13 minutes. The market is on the left.
2. Get zen at Taichung Confucius Temple
The Taichung Confucius Temple (台中孔廟) was built in a classic architectural style of the Song Dynasty. And the temple complex resembles the original Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong, which is the birthplace of Confucius in China.
The temple premise is serene and not very crowded (most of the time). Take a walk through the front gate and explore all the covered corridors, shrines and courtyards. And pay attention to the colourful decorated details in the roof, beams, and columns.
How to get to Taichung Confucius Temple
From Taichung Second Market, take a local bus (#132, 701, 26, 201, 303, 307 and many more options) to Taichung Confucius Temple. The bus ride is about 14 minutes and free when you use your EasyCard or iPass (any bus route that is less than 10km in Taichung is free when you use EasyCard or iPass).
3. See the giant golden Buddha at Paochueh Temple
Paochueh Temple (寶覺禪寺) was built to commemorate all the fallen Japan soldiers during World War II. Many Japanese tourists visit the temple to pay their respects as the deceased were gathered into the columbaria.
When you enter the temple premise, there is the original main temple built in classic Japanese-style and is surrounded by concrete walls. But most people visit the temple because they want to see the 7-storey tall giant golden laughing Buddha.
How to get to Paochueh Temple
From Taichung Confucius Temple, walk 10 minutes towards Paochueh Temple. Or you can take a local bus (#65 or 701) for 2 stops with your EasyCard or iPass.
4. Buy food souvenirs at Miyahara
Miyahara (宮原眼科) was an ophthalmology clinic during the Japanese Colonial Era. Today, it is a retail store selling chocolate, cookies and traditional Taiwanese treats like pineapple cake and sun cake. Miyahara is the perfect place to buy all your food souvenirs to bring back home for your friends and family.
Besides all the goodies at Miyahara, many visitors visit Miyahara because of the Harry Potter-esque interior. The elaborate details of the staircase, bookshelves and display cases are all one-of-a-kind and very detailed.
If you are staying overnight in Taichung, either at one of the accommodations I suggested above or another place in Central District, you can drop off your Miyahara purchases before moving on for the rest of the day.
How to get to Miyahara
From Paochueh Temple, take local bus #201, and it will take you to a bus stop near Taichung Old Station. Miyahara is just on the same block.
5. Have lunch and bubble tea at bubble tea’s birthplace, Chun Shui Tang
There are thousands of bubble tea shops all over Taichung, but you probably don’t want to miss the opportunity to have the “original” bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang (春水堂).
Claiming to be the birthplace of bubble tea, Chun Shui Tang serves delicious bubble tea and traditional Taiwanese food.
You must try a classic Pearl Milk Tea. It was first created in 1987. You might fall in love with the creamy milk tea and the chewy tapioca balls. Or if you prefer, order the signature Black Tea as it was the original creation in 1983.
As for food, there are many delicious options, including the classic dry noodles with minced pork sauce and the fried spare ribs noodle soup. Both are equally delicious, especially when you pair it with a frothy bubble tea!
How to get to Chun Shui Tang
From Miyahara, take local bus #1 or 21 to Chun Shui Tang. The entire journey, including the walk to the bus stop, will take about 13 minutes.
Alternatively, you can stroll through the neighbourhood and walk 14 minutes to work up your appetite for delicious food and bubble tea.
6. Indulge in contemporary art at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
If you are a fan of modern and contemporary art, then you cannot miss the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館). The museum has different exhibits by Taiwanese artists with a focus on modern art. They change their displays from time-to-time. So even if you have been there before, you should visit the museum again to see what new exhibits they have. Admission is free.
And don’t leave the museum without walking around the garden to see the outdoor exhibits.
How to get to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
From Chun Shui Tang, walk to the nearby bus stop and take a local bus (#71, 75 or 51) to the museum.
7. Grab a coffee and cake at Shen Ji New Village
Shen Ji New Village (審計新村) was once a dormitory built by the Taiwan Provincial Government. Since the government restructured, the dormitory was left unused for many years.
Today, the area is transformed into a new cultural creative marketplace for young entrepreneurs. There are boutique stores, cute coffee shops and many more.
How to get to Shen Ji New Village
Shen Ji New Village is only a 6-minute walk away from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. It is an easy and leisurely walk, especially if you walk through the Calligraphy Greenway.
8. Take many Instagram photos at Rainbow Village
When a residential area in Taichung’s Nantun District was purchased by a developer, the plan was to tear down all the old run-down homes and built new modern buildings. Most residents took compensation or new housing, but Huang Yung-fu stayed and decided to paint the remaining 11 houses in the area.
Today, the area is known as the whimsical Rainbow Village (彩虹眷村) where it is a designated cultural area. The Rainbow Village is a must-see in Taichung! And if your timing is right, you might even get to meet Mr. Huang, who is affectionately known as Rainbow Grandpa.
How to get to Rainbow Village
Local bus #56 and #72 will take you directly from Shen Ji New Village to Rainbow Village. The bus ride takes about 43 minutes.
9. Visit the futuristic National Taichung Theatre
While the primary purpose of the National Taichung Theatre (台中國家歌劇院) is to promote art, incubate creative ideas, and host various live performances, many people visit the theatre to see the futuristic modern architecture.
While you are there, walk through the entire theatre and see all the exciting spaces. The performance stages are on second through the fourth floor, a restaurant on the fifth, and a cafe, shop and “art corner” are all on the main floor. And don’t forget to take the elevator to the Sky Garden on the rooftop. It is an excellent spot to see the neighbourhood from above.
How to get to National Taichung Theatre
From Rainbow Village, take a local bus #358 to Lingdong High School. Then walk to the bus stop to catch bus #199.
If you don’t want to take multiple buses, take an Uber for 20 minutes. It costs between NT$190-240.
Tip for using Uber: download the Uber app and set up the app before you use the app. And if you are setting it up in Taiwan, you will need a local phone number.
10. Cap off your night by eating street food at Feng Chia Night Market
While there are night markets closer to the city core, Feng Chia Night Market (逢甲夜市) is the best night market in Taichung.
Located at the north end of the city in Xitun District, the market has over 30,000 people visiting during the weekend. And it is popular with locals as the night market is located right by a university.
Besides the typical traditional Taiwanese food you can find at any night market in Taiwan, there are a few unique food stalls at Feng Chia Night Market.
I found a popular food stall selling Taiwanese hot dog where the bun is made with sticky rice and the toppings include garlic and pickled vegetable. Another food vendor sells cake/cookie that looks like little chickens. The original is an egg waffle, but Taiwanese food vendors have re-invented the original food to something so whimsical.
How to get to Feng Chia Night Market
From the National Taichung Theatre, take local a bus (#5, 199, 29, 54, or many more options) towards Xitun District and disembark at Feng Chia University on Fuxing Road. Feng Chia Night Market is just east of the main road.
If you want to see Taiwan with a tour, check out some of these tour ideas:
If you have 1 extra day in Taichung
If time is on your side and you have a day or two to spare, there are many things you can do outside of Taichung. Consider one or a few of these options and add them to your trip itinerary.
Option 1: Zhongshe Flower Market
Zhongshe Flower Market (中社觀光花市花海) is one of the best flower markets in Taiwan where different types of flowers bloom throughout the year. The flower market is especially popular during tulip season, where up to 300,000 tulips are in full bloom.
The flower farm is also known as Chungshe Flower Garden or Houli Flower Farm, just in case you have any confusion finding different information online.
See more day trip information to the flower market here.
Option 2: Gaomei Wetlands, Wuqi Fisherman’s Wharf and Luce Memorial Chapel
In one day, you can see several popular attractions just outside of Taichung city centre.
First, start the day by seeing the ecological preservation zone at Gaomei Wetlands (高美濕地). Even though most people will visit the wetlands for the famous sunset, it is worthwhile to see the wetlands during the day as it is not as busy. While you are there, rent an electric bicycle to make your journey more enjoyable!
Then visit the Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour (梧棲漁港) to see the fishing harbour and enjoy local seafood.
On the way back to Taichung, stop by Luce Memorial Chapel (路思義教堂) to see a modern contemporary church.
For more details about the day trip to all three attractions and a detailed itinerary, take a look at my post here.
Option 3: Da Keng Scenic Area
And for those of you who like to be active, then try hiking in Da Keng Scenic Area (大坑風景區).
If you really like a challenge, try one of the first five trails because they are the most difficult. Trail #4 is the hardest one, but it has the best views.
I quite enjoyed hiking through the forest on the staircases made of logs. It was challenging but the views were all worth it!
Option 4: Carton King, Xinshe Sea of Flowers and Xinshe Castle
If you plan your day properly, you can see Carton King Creativity Park, Xinshe Sea of Flowers (from late November to early December), and Xinshe Castle all on the same day. And it is free to take the public bus for the entire day if you use your EasyCardor iPass.
Follow my detailed directions at the bottom of each post.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Taichung one day trip. I love the city and hope you will love it too!
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For more travel planning resources, check out my Amazon picks:
Where to go in Taiwan
Wondering which city you should visit in Taiwan? Check out my solo traveller’s guides to the best cities to visit in Taiwan.