Taiwan was the first stop into Asia on our family gap year and we instantly fell in love. Clean, friendly cities, fantastic food, easy transport and a huge array of outdoor activities make Taiwan a great family destination in Asia.
If you are planning a trip to Taiwan with kids, the entry point is usually the city of Taipei. We were pleased to invite guest blogger and Taiwan local, Robert Schrader from Taiwan Starts Here to share some of the best things to do in Taipei for kids.
Whether you are travelling with teenagers, pre-teens, kids or toddlers, you will find some of the best things to do in Taipei with kids here.
Things to do in Taipei with Kids (Young and old)
Most posts about things to do in Taipei with children focus too heavily on activities for young kids — and ignore the fact that teenagers and parents need to be entertained too. This is not one of those posts.
On the other hand, while there’s plenty in this Taipei for kids itinerary that appeals to tweens, teens and even Mum and Dad, I have curated this Taipei sightseeing list in a way that’s mindful of young children’s needs as well.
You can enjoy most of these experiences at any time of day, to work around day sleeps and early bedtimes.
I’ve also selected a manageable array of Taipei attractions, which you can customize to the length of your Taipei family trip.
Whether you have 3 days in Taipei or an entire week, I’ve assembled these adventurous ideas to delight your whole family—including, yes, you.
Where to Stay in Taipei For Family
Before I delve more deeply into things to do with kids in Taipei, let’s talk about where in the city you should base yourself.
For short stays you can enjoy great stays at certain hotel properties (I like the Dandy Hotel chain on the lower end, and big-box properties like W Taipei on the higher end).
For stays longer than a few days, I prefer apartments in Taipei to hotels.
I find apartments offer better value for money, and also allow you to stay in quieter, more authentic parts of the city.
As far as where to search for Taipei Airbnb apartments, I recommend the central districts of Da’an and Zhongzheng.
Located near lush Da’an Park and equidistant from all the attractions I’ll be listing over the next few paragraphs, these residential neighbourhoods combine convenience with calm.
As you search, try and stay as close as possible to Taipei MRT stops such as Dongmen, Da’an Park and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
What to Do in Taipei for kids
Hike Xiangshan Mountain
If you’re looking for easy hikes in Taipei that have an amazing ROI, ride the red line of the Taipei MRT to Xiangshan, its eastern terminus to hike up Elephant Mountain for views of the city. It is one of the best free Taipei attractions.
The beginning of the Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain) trail is about 15 minutes by foot from Exit 2.
How long it takes to ascend will depend on your kids’ age and energy level, but whether it takes you 30 minutes, an hour or longer, the views of the Taipei skyline from the viewpoints (there are more than one!) are postcard-perfect.
The climb is relatively easy and even little kids should manage the walk.
Eat Along Ximending Pedestrian Street
If you are travelling to Taiwan with teenagers, another of the best Taipei attractions for kids is visiting Ximending, the pedestrian street accessible from Ximen Station (green and blue MRT lines).
In addition to clothing and shoe shops, and flamboyant anime designs that might make you think you’ve accidentally gone to Japan, Ximending is a great area for eating.
Savor Taiwanese-style fried chicken, sweet mango ice, cong you bing scallion pancakes or fun-for-all-ages bubble milk tea.
Ascend Taipei 101
Some argue that it’s impossible to get the best view of Taipei from atop its most iconic skyscraper, since you can’t see the landmark itself—I disagree.
In addition to being able to say they ascended what was, until a few years ago, the world’s tallest building, your kids will be able to ride one of the world’s fastest elevators and unwind afterwards inside Taipei 101 Mall.
Whether that means snacks inside the food court, or simply the opportunity for an hour inside ice-cold air conditioning, Taipei 101 and the shopping centre beneath it live up to the hype.
Discover Taipei Night Markets
Trying local dishes is a great way to experience a place and the Taipei Night Markets are a great family destination, especially for those with older kids.
Some can get very crowded, so try to plan your visit when they open for a more relaxed experience.
As I mentioned in the intro to this post, not all things to do in Taipei with kids are appropriate for all kids.
Taipei night markets such as the ones at Shilin, Shida and Raohe Street, for example, don’t necessary get going until 7 or 8 PM, which might be after the bed time of younger kids.
The work around is that certain places in Taipei (such as Yongkang Street near Dongmen station) offers Taiwanese food and retail adventures during the day time as well, which makes them accessible to all.
Get Creative at KidsAwesome
2023 Update: Unfortunately KidsAwesome is currently closed, with no future open date advised.
If you are wondering what to do in Taipei with kids on rainy days, or simply want to enjoy some of that air conditioning I mentioned a few paragraphs up, KidsAwesome makes a great choice.
Taipei’s only children’s museum, it offers more than a dozen exhibition areas, plus a trio of interactive spaces themed to “sky,” “forest” and “cave.” It is one of the best things for kids to do in Taipei.
Note that if you have older kids with longer attention spans, more adult-friendly museums such as the Taipei Fine Art Museum (TFAM) and National Palace Museum are great options too.
Family-Friendly Day Trips from Taipei
Irrespective of who you travel with, Taipei is arguably as good for day trips as it is a standalone destination.
There are plenty of fantastic places near Taipei to consider for your Taipei family trip itinerary.
Older kids with a curiosity for culture and history might enjoy traveling from Taipei to Jiufen, a former gold mining town with a snack-filled Old Street and an illuminating Gold Museum.
Another urban day trip is to seaside Keelung, a port city that’s home to colorful Zhengbin Fishing Harbor and the delicious Miaokou Night Market.
Other things to do near Taipei with kids include adventurous natural excursions.
Ride the train to thundering Shifen Waterfall, hike to the top of Seven Stars Mountain in Yangmingshan National Park or take the bus to Baishawan Beach on Taiwan’s northern coast.
No matter your ultimate choice, an awesome natural adventure is never far away from the busy streets of Taipei.
Other Amazing Taiwan Destinations
It’s unlikely that your Taiwan family trip will begin and end in Taipei.
Leaving the capital behind, you have two potential routes: Traveling down the west coast toward Taiwan’s second city, Kaohsiung, via high-speed rail; or taking a road trip down the rural, fiercely beautiful east coast.
Note that while the first option will see you staying in cities like Taichung and Chiayi, beautiful natural spots like Sun Moon Lake and Alishan are still only a day trip away.
If you’re taking a longer trip (say, 2 weeks in Taiwan or longer), you can link these two together.
Leave Taipei by car, staying in destinations like Hualien and Taitung on your way down the east coast to Kenting National Park, then drop the car in Kaohsiung and travel back northward by HSR.
If you’ve only got a week in Taiwan or less, however, you’ll need to choose one or the other.
The Bottom Line on Taipei Attractions for Family
The good news? Most places to visit in Taipei with kids appeal to kids of all ages, including “kids” like you and I, in our 30s, 40s and beyond.
The better news? No matter how young or old your children are, most Taipei attractions are easy to adapt, whether to an early bedtime, a specific level of stimulation or even the city’s unpredictable weather.
Taiwan, more broadly, is an underrated destination for travelers of all ages. I hope this post has showcased how the country’s dynamic capital city is uniquely suited to families traveling together.
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Robert Schrader moved to Taipei in 2019, after falling in love with Taiwan over the course of several trips. He created Taiwan Starts Here as an engaging, inspiring platform to share his insider knowledge with an English-speaking audience.