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Taiwan Itinerary: How to Spend 3 Weeks in Taiwan as a Solo Traveller

Taiwan is one of the best solo travel destinations in Asia. The country has everything! From bustling cities and quiet hillside villages to the gorgeous natural scenery. Whatever you dream of doing, Taiwan has it all!

And with careful planning and research, you can plan the perfect Taiwan itinerary and see everything in three weeks. But you can skip all the research because I’ve already done it for you.

I’ve travelled to Taiwan several times in the past year as a solo traveller. I researched and experience various parts of the country and gained a lifetime of memories. So I’ve come up with the best itinerary for spending 3 weeks in Taiwan. Keep reading, and I will show you how you can spend 3 fun weeks in the beautiful country.

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What you need to know before starting your 3-week Taiwan itinerary

Before you spend 3 weeks in Taiwan, 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 and how and where to get a Taiwan SIM card.

Here is a quick look at some of the important things you should do before starting your 3 week Taiwan itinerary:

  • Download the Google Translate app. The app can help translate your English phrases to Chinese (Traditional). The app will show the phonetic words under the translated Chinese phrase. You can either attempt to pronounce the words or show them to the person you are trying to communicate with.
  • Purchase an EasyCard or iPass at an MRT station for public transportation throughout Taiwan. They are both rechargeable smartcards where you can take public transportation, including trains, buses, etc. The card is $100NT, and you can top up any amount. The actual fare for the subway and bus is discounted if you use the IC card. 
  • Travelling around Taiwan is easy due to the efficient transportation system. Between the Taiwan High-Speed Railway (HSR) and the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) local train system, you can reach your next destination within hours.

When is the best time to visit Taiwan

The best time to visit Taiwan is now! Seriously, there isn’t a really bad time. It depends on what type of activities you would like to do and what experiences you are after. But here are some tips on when to visit Taiwan.

  • Spring (March to May) – Temperature is mild and hovers over 20 to 25°C. It is the best time to hike in one of many national parks and see cherry blossoms. Here are some tips on what to wear in spring.
  • Summer (June to August) – Taiwan can get hot and humid in summer. Temperatures can reach up to 35°C or more. And typhoon season means a bit of rain and wind to a torrential rainstorm. Be prepared for the humidity and rain!
  • Fall (September to November) – The temperature is mild and comfortable. And at the tail end of typhoon season, you won’t need an umbrella. It might be the ideal time for visiting all parts of the country.
  • Winter (December to February) – Winters in Taiwan are quite mild, especially if you are at the island’s south end. And if you are in Taipei, it rarely drops below 10°C. Wintertime is the best time to visit Taiwan if you like the chilly weather and dry season.

However, if you travel during the Lunar New Year (usually around the end of January to mid-February), most retail stores and restaurants are closed, especially the first three days. The streets are eerily quiet. Moreover, accommodation can cost a lot more than usual.

Taiwan travel itinerary: How to spend 3 weeks in Taiwan

My Taiwan 3-week itinerary includes many cities and towns around Taiwan. Plus, I included the must-see places and hiking destinations to experience different parts of the country.

The Taiwan trip itinerary starts from Taipei, and the journey will take you around the country counterclockwise.

Here is a quick summary of my Taiwan travel itinerary:

  • Day 1 – 3: Arrive in Taipei; Hualien & Taroko National Park
  • Day 4 – 5: Kenting
  • Day 6 – 7: Kaohsiung
  • Day 8 – 9: Tainan
  • Day 10: Chiayi
  • Day 11: Alishan
  • Day 12 – 13: Sun Moon Lake
  • Day 14 – 15: Taichung
  • Day 16 – 20: Taipei
  • Day 21: Fly home

Taiwan Itinerary Day 1 – 3: Arrive in Taipei, take a train to Hualien 

What to do in Hualien in 2+ days

Depending on when you arrive in Hualien (花蓮), you may have up to a day and a half (days 1 and 2) to explore the beautiful city and eat some of the unique food in Hualien County.

And on day 3, explore the hiking trails in Taroko National Park (花蓮太魯閣國家公園) on your own by taking the hop-on-hop-off to Taroko Park.

Here are some things to do in Hualien:

  • Dongdamen Night Market (東大門夜市)
  • Taroko Gorge National Park (花蓮太魯閣國家公園)
  • Chishingtan Scenic Area (七星潭風景區), including Qixingtan Beach (七星潭)
  • Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭)
  • Mukumugi Valley (慕谷慕魚)

Hualien Accommodation: Meci Hotel (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Hualien: Most travellers will arrive at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport since most flights will arrive in Taipei. First, take the MRT to Taipei Train Station. Then hop on Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train for Hualien.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 4 – 5: Kenting

What to do in Kenting in 2 days

Kenting (墾丁) is the area that includes Kenting National Park and all the small townships including Hengchun (恆春), in Southern Taiwan. The area is known for beaches, natural scenery, and outdoor activities.

One of the best ways to experience Kenting is by renting a scooter. Start from Hengchun, drive towards Kenting, and pass Kenting National Forest Recreation Area. Continuing on the same road, you will reach the Southernmost Point of Taiwan. Then proceed to drive north, pass Gangkou Suspended Bridge, and you will even pass by Qikong Falls on your way back to Hengchun.

Here are some must-see things you cannot miss in Kenting:

  • Kenting National Park (墾丁國家公園)
  • Kenting National Forest Recreation Area (墾丁國家森林遊樂區)
  • Cape Eluanbi (鵝鑾鼻)
  • Kenting Long Keng Ecological Reserve (龍坑珊瑚礁保護區)
  • Fongchueisha (風吹砂)
  • Gangkou Suspended Bridge (港口吊橋)
  • Qikong Falls (七孔瀑布)
  • The ChuHuo Eternal Flame (出火)
  • Guanshan (關山)
  • Hengchun Night Market (恆春夜市)

Kenting Accommodation: Grand Bay Resort (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Kenting: Take the TRA train from Hualien to Fangliao Station (枋寮車站) and take Kenting Express Line 9189 Bus heading for Kenting.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 6 – 7: Kaohsiung

What to do in Kaohsiung in 2 days

Kaohsiung (高雄) is a vibrant city with a mix of modern architecture and historic temples on the southwest side of Taiwan. And the city has extensive bike paths that meander through the city and will take you to the suburbs of Kaohsiung. They even have a convenient bike share program where you can rent a bike from one spot and return it to another.

Here are some of the best things to do in Kaohsiung:

  • The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔)
  • Lotus Pond (蓮池潭)
  • Pier-2 Art Centre (駁二藝術特區)
  • The Dome of the Light at Formosa Boulevard Station (美麗島站)
  • Cijin Island (旗津區)
  • Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (高雄市立美術館)
  • Ruifeng Night Market (瑞豐夜市) and other Kaohsiung Night Markets

Kaohsiung Accommodation: Greet Inn (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Kaohsiung: Take the Kenting Express Line 9189 Bus from Xiaowan in Kenting to THSR Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung. The bus ride takes 2 hours and costs NT$400.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 8 – 9: Tainan

What to do in Tainan in 2 days

As a foodie, you will love Tainan (臺南)! Besides the typical Taiwanese food you can find anywhere in the country, there are many special dishes you can only sample in Tainan. Try their danzai mian and gua bao and anything you find at the market.

When you are not eating in Tainan, look for some of these highlights in Tainan:

  • Tainan Confucius Temple (台南孔子廟)
  • Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia) (赤崁樓)
  • Shennong Street (神農街)
  • Fort Anping (or Fort Zeelandia) (安平古堡)
  • Anping Old Street (安平老街)
  • Anping Tree House (安平樹屋)
  • Chimei Museum (奇美博物館)
  • Da Dong Night Market (大東夜市)
  • Tainan Flower Night Market (花園夜市)

Tainan Accommodation: Somer Hotel (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Tainan: Take the TRA train from Kaohsiung Station to Tainan Station. The journey takes 35 to 65 minutes and costs NT$68 – 106.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 10: Chiayi

Things to do in Chiayi in 1 day

While you may not have heard of Chiayi (嘉義), most travellers will visit Chiayi before going to Alishan. But it is a fantastic city not to be missed! And there are plenty of things to do in Chiayi in one day.

Here is a list of things to do while spending a day in Chiayi:

  • Hinoki Village (檜意森活村)
  • Song of the Forest (森林之歌)
  • Alishan Forest Railway Garage Park (阿里山森林鐵路車庫園區)
  • Old Prison in Chiayi (舊監獄)
  • Cheng Huang Temple (隍廟-綏靖侯)
  • Chiayi City Historical Relic Museum (嘉義市史蹟資料館)
  • Wenhua Night Market (文化路夜市)

Chiayi Accommodation: Lan Kwai Fong Garden Hotel (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Chiayi: Take the TRA train from Tainan Station to Chiayi Station. The journey takes 45 to 70 minutes and costs NT$90 – 140.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 11: Alishan

Things to do in Alishan in 1.5 days

Alishan National Forest Recreational Area or Alishan National Scenic Area, is one of the best places to visit in Taiwan, especially if you love to hike. And it is possible to see the park as a solo traveller and not join any travel groups.

When you follow my 2 day Alishan itinerary, you will spend day 11 and half of day 12 seeing the park. Here is what you will see:

  • Tashan Peak Observatory (大塔山觀景台)
  • Jiemei (Sister) Ponds (姊妹潭)
  • Alishan Shouzhen Temple (阿里山受鎮宮)
  • Three Generation Tree (三代木)
  • No. 28 Giant Tree (28號巨木)
  • Xiaoliyuanshan Lookout at Mount Ogasawara (小笠原山觀景台)
  • Duegaoyue Trail Head (對高岳登山步道)
  • Giant trees of Shuishan (水山巨木)
  • Cherry Blossom Trail (櫻之道)

Alishan Accommodation: Alishan House (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Alishan: Start your day in Chiayi bright and early so you can catch the first bus to Alishan. Bus 7322 leaves Chiayi Station at 8:05 am and arrives in Alishan at 10:30 am.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 12 – 13: Sun Moon Lake

Things to do in Sun Moon Lake in 1.5 days

Sightseeing at Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) starts in the late afternoon of day 12. But don’t worry; there is plenty of time to see all the highlights at the largest freshwater lake in less than 2 days.

During the 1.5 days, you will see many things in Sun Moon Lake. Here are some highlights:

  • Longfeng Temple (龍鳳宮月老廟)
  • Wenwu Temple (文武廟)
  • Xiangshan Visitor Centre (向山行政暨遊客中心) 
  • Shuishe Pier (水社碼頭)
  • Mt Maolan Trail (貓囒山步道) 
  • Mt Qinglong Trail (青龍山步道)
  • Xuanzang Temple (玄奘寺)
  • Cien Pagoda (慈恩塔)
  • Ita Thao (伊達邵)
  • Sun Moon Lake Ropeway (日月潭纜車) 
  • Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (FACV) (九族文化村)

Sun Moon Lake Accommodation: Sun Moon Inn (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Sun Moon Lake: Catch the 1:00 or 2:00 pm bus from Alishan to Sun Moon Lake. You can purchase your ticket on the day of travel at the 7-Eleven at Alishan Bus Terminal. The bus ticket costs NT336.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 14 – 15: Taichung 

What to do in Taichung in 2 days

Spend time exploring the beautiful city of Taichung (台中) and enjoy all the art and culture the city has to offer. Plus, you do not want to miss some of the excellent night markets in Taichung.

You can see all the best things in Taichung in one day when you follow my detailed itinerary. And on your second day in the city, take an excursion to one of the places listed below.

During your first day in Taichung, here are some of the attractions you will see when you follow my Taichung 1 day itinerary:

And on your second in the Taichung, take an excursion to one of the following places:

Taichung Accommodation: Norden Ruder Hostel (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Taichung: Hop on the Sun Moon Lake Shuttle Bus at Sun Moon Lake Shuishe Visitor Centre. The journey takes 1.5 hours and costs NT$193.

Taiwan Itinerary Day 16 – 20: Taipei

What to do in Taipei in 5 days

There is so much to do in Taipei (台北) that you can easily spend a few weeks in the city!

Since we only have five days in the capital city, spend about two or three days exploring the metropolis city of Taipei. Take the TRA and see villages and towns outside Taipei City for the rest of the time.

Here are some suggestions for things to do in Taipei City:

While there are many exciting things to do in the city, part of experiencing Taipei is to take day trips and see other parts of northern Taiwan. Here are a few day trip ideas from Taipei:

Taipei Accommodation: Star Hostel Taipei Main Station (check Agoda for rate and review)

How to get to Taipei: There are many options for travelling to Taipei, including Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train, Taiwan High-Speed Rail (HSR) and long-distance buses. Choose one that suits your budget and timing.

Day 21: Fly Home

Going to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport is a comfortable subway ride from the Taiwan main station. Don’t forget all your belongings and all the souvenirs you are taking home.

There are many reasons to love Taiwan, and I hope you will enjoy the country as much as I do.

Was this post helpful? Did you like my Taiwan itinerary and find it helpful in planning your trip to Taiwan? 3 weeks in Taiwan is the perfect amount of time to see the best of the country. Let me know in the comments if you have additional questions about planning your first solo trip to Taiwan.

Thank you for reading my Taiwan itinerary post

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Taiwan:

Introduction to Taiwan
Northern Taiwan posts

Like this blog post? Pin it on your Pinterest board!

About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

27 Comments

  • Sarah Shumate
    June 2, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Excellent guide! This is so helpful! I would love to have two full weeks to explore Taiwan – you got to see so many different sides of it in that length of time.

    Also, I’m starving now after reading your list of foods to eat! 🙂

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 2, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Its pretty easy to get around especially with train. I would’ve love to stay longer and eat more! lol

      Reply
  • Jackie S.
    June 2, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I love this guide! I want to take a trip around Taiwan one of these days. I spent a week in Taichung a few months ago and had an awesome time. You’re right. The bus system in Taichung is the best thing in the world. I used it everywhere.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 2, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks so much!! There’s still so much to see – I want to go back already! Especially to Taichung because of all the art and culture.

      Reply
  • Holly Goodyear
    June 2, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Great guide! I’m looking to go to Taiwan soon so saving this for later! I’m so excited for all the food!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 2, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you for your comment! Its easily one of my favourite countries!

      Reply
  • WanderWithJo
    June 2, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Wow you covered a lot in 2 weeks, I barely managed Taipei and outskirts in 10 days! Jeez, I am slow haha

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 2, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      I was actually there for much longer! But most people would probably have less time so I condensed the itinerary into 3 weeks. And it was hard to do that!!

      Reply
  • lincalinca
    June 2, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Lovely post 🙂 I wish I had 3 weeks to explore Taiwan back when I visited! I only went for a stopover there in Taipei, so basically saw it in the early morning/late evening, but it was still worth it. I have heard amazing things about Tainan and your post confirms it should be on the itinerary!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 2, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      You have to go back! There is still so much more to explore 🙂

      Reply
  • ianandmar
    June 3, 2018 at 1:16 am

    What a thorough guide! I so love Taiwan, especially the food OMG! Taiwanese breakfasts are amazing too!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 3, 2018 at 2:37 am

      omg Taiwanese breakfast!! I can eat that everyday and for every meal! haha

      Reply
  • Jewels Rhode
    June 3, 2018 at 3:43 am

    I had a layover in Taiwan on my way to Singapore. We got to explore a little bit, but clearly i need to go back and explore for much longer. Great guide. There is so much to see.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 3, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      Yes, you’ll have to go back and do a proper visit! Lots to see and do…and eat! 🙂

      Reply
  • Seeking Wonderful
    December 12, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Love your itinerary! We skipped on Hualien, Kenting and Tainan on our trip, to see Sun Moon Lake and Alishan. Taiwan is so beautiful, I really fell in love with its cities, food, nature. Definitely a destination worth going back.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      December 12, 2018 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you so much!! I missed Sun Moon Lake and Alishan haha so funny! But I’m already planning on going back to see those two places. 🙂

      Reply
      • Seeking Wonderful
        December 13, 2018 at 12:35 am

        It is worth seeing it. You can check my previous posts about Sun Moon Lake and Alishan.

        Reply
  • Joyce
    November 7, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Hi Queenie,

    What are your top places for a 10-14 day trip? I don’t want to feel rushed. I love art, culture, museums, nature and food! I am leaning towards staying in Taipei mainly and doing day trips or overnights at Jiufen, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taroko Gorge. Looking forward to your recommendations.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      November 7, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Joyce, it looks like you have a good list there. If you have less than 2 weeks, try to see these places:
      Taipei (2 days)
      Day trips from Taipei – Caoling Historic Trail, Jiufen, Shifen
      Taichung (1 day for food and culture)
      Tainan (1 day for food)
      Kaohsiung (1-2 day for culture and food)
      Jiaoxi (1-2 days for hiking, waterfall, food, hot springs)
      If you don’t want to feel rushed then consider trimming down to staying in Taipei and Taichung so you have 2 homebases so you can do day trips. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Joyce Kung
    November 7, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for this list! Looks awesome. And thanks for all of the information on your site. It’s really helpful for travel planning!!!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      November 8, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      Aww thank you, Joyce!! I’d be interested to know how your trip goes and if you like the suggested places. You also given me the idea to write a shorter itinerary as some people may not want a long itinerary like this one. Hope you have fun planning your trip! 🙂

      Reply
  • Liza Lagdamen
    February 13, 2024 at 8:08 pm

    I’m currently in Taiwan and just about to leave. Thank you for all your suggestions. You’ve been super helpful in my planning. I look forward to checking out your other destinations as I am in Asia for several months. Thanks again!!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      February 14, 2024 at 10:35 am

      Hi Liza,
      I hope you had a good time in Taiwan. It is one of my favourite countries. Looking forward to see what you discovered in Taiwan! Happy travels!

      Reply
  • Swee
    March 9, 2024 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Queenie.
    I plan to visit Taiwan this Nov. Your 3 week itinerary for Taiwan is very helpful.
    I hope you can give some suggestions:
    I’m traveling from Taoyuan international airport to Hualien directly.
    My flight arrive Taoyuan 10.10 AM on Monday.
    There are trains leaving Shulin at 11.55 & 12.21pm for Hualien.
    Will I be able to get out of Taoyuan immigration & customs & get to Shulin for the 11.55 or 12.21pm train?
    How to get from Taoyuan airport to Shulin? Which metro Line?
    Thanks, Swee.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      March 9, 2024 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Swee,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I’m not familiar with Shulin. But it looks like you can take Airport Express to Taoyuan Station, another train to Banqiao Station, another train to Shulin Station.
      There are trains via Taipei Train Station too. Not sure why you have to go through Shulin.
      As for timing, I would allocate at least an hour to clear customs and pick up luggage. And another 1 to 1.5 hour of travel time from Tooyuan airport to Shulin. Still not sure why you need to go that route but 12:21pm train might be too tight still.
      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Swee
    March 9, 2024 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Queenie,
    Is there public transport to travel around Kenting Tourist Sites like Kenting National Park, Kenting National Forest Recreational Area, Southernmost point of Taiwan, Qikong falls, Gangkou Suspended bridge, etc.
    I’m a solo traveler.
    I’m taking TRA train from Hualien to Fangliao Station & Kenting express bus line 9189..
    thanks, Swee

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      March 9, 2024 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Swee,
      There are Kenting Shuttle Buses where several routes connect to Hengchun Bus Station. Check the Kenting Shuttle Bus Route Map. It is possible to buy a one day pass. But check bus schedule – they are not as frequent as buses in other cities.

      Reply

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