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How to Save Money and Still Have Fun in Taiwan

Need a vacation that won’t break the bank? Trying to find a way on how to save money AND still have fun at the same time?

Taipei’s just the place for you.

The city offers so much in terms of activities and attractions. It’s also home to some of the best food in the region, and at price points that are more than easy on the budget.

So whether you’re traveling with family, your significant other, or even flying solo, here’s a handy budget travel and tours guide that’ll make your trip to Taiwan a memorable one, without putting a dent in your savings.

 

Flying Solo

Asian Solo Traveler

Where to Stay?

Hostels are a solo traveler’s best friend. Apart from their obvious cost advantages, they also offer the chance to interact with fellow travelers.

More often than not, they are centrally located so you can be right in the thick of things without having to spend a pretty penny. That’s how you save money on your trip!

Cost: Average cost per night at a hostel in Taipei is PHP900 for a bunk bed or PHP1,100 for a private room.

Check out hotels in Taiwan here

How to Get Around?

Make sure you purchase an EasyCard as soon as you get to Taipei. It’ll be your trusty companion for the whole trip.

Load it with money and you can use it to ride the MRT, rent public bicycles, or ride the city bus, airport MRT and the Kaohsiung MRT.

You can even use it to pay for items at convenience stores like 7-11 and Family Mart. You can purchase an EasyCard at all MRT stations and convenience stores.

Cost: Adult cards cost NT 500 and include a balance of NT 400; the NT 100 is a deposit. The Student cards cost the same but can only be purchased from station staff with student identification. Although train rates are the same, bus rides are cheaper by NT 3.

Where to Have Fun?

Longshan Temple in Taiwan

    • Longshan Temple

The oldest and most well-known temple in Taiwan, it was a place of worship and gathering for the country’s first settlers. Over the years, it’s been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, most recently in 1945, when it was hit by US bombers in World War II. Today, it features a large waterfall and carp pool.

Cost: Free

    • Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

A national monument that was erected to commemorate former president of the Republic of China and Taiwan Chiang Kai Shek. This memorial hall is a must-see and is one of the country’s most popular attractions.

Cost: Free

    • Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei

Showcasing art from contemporary Taiwanese artists as well as historical architecture, a visit to the MoCA is a great way to break up the monotony of a day visiting temples and national landmarks. It features a good mix of classical and modern art and proves that Taiwan values its thriving arts scene.

Cost: NT 50 

Where to Eat?

Hit up the city’s various night markets for a true taste of what Taiwan has to offer. For just NT 100 (PHP 166~), not only you can save money, but you can already have a filling meal.

Shilin and Raohe Night Markets are known for having some of the best food options, so if your time in the city is limited, be sure to hit those markets up.

Cost: About NT 100 (PHP 166~)

 

Coupled-Up

Couple Traveler

Where to Stay?

Lucky for you and your SO, hotels in Taipei are extremely affordable and provide the kind of bang for your buck that’s hard to come by in other major metropolises like Tokyo or Hong Kong. You can find mid-range, centrally-located two-star hotels for roughly PHP 2000/night.

Cost: About PHP 2,000/night

How to Get Around?

As we mentioned above, you can’t go wrong with the EasyCard. In addition to all the modes of transport you can use it for, it also allows you to pay for rides on the Maokong Gondola, a fun and, some may say, romantic way to see the city.

Cost: Adult cards cost NT 500 and include a balance of NT 400; the NT 100 is a deposit. The Student cards cost the same but can only be purchased from station staff with student identification. Although train rates are the same, bus rides are cheaper by NT 3.

Where to Have Fun?

Xinbeitou Hot Springs in Taiwan

    • Xinbeitou

Taipei’s also home to a hot spring village called Xinbeitou or just Beitou as it’s commonly known. The village has several hot spring parks including the Millennium Hot Springs, a mixed sex hot spring recommended for budget conscious couples.

Cost: From NT 40 per head to upwards of NT 1500 an hour

    • Maokong Gondoloa

The Maokong Gondola is a cable car that will bring you to the tea-growing area of Maokong. There’s also the option to ride in one of its Crystal Cabins, which features glass-bottomed cable cars to give riders a better view.

From Maokong Station, you can hike to Silver Stream Cave and Waterfall. Some of the best Taiwan attractions you can find within your budget too!

Cost: NT 70

Pro-tip: Get 20% off when paying with an EasyCard

    • Ximending

Explore Taipei’s coolest shopping neighborhood, Ximending, which features lots of street art, cool shops, and trendy restaurants, including the infamous toilet restaurant Modern Toilet and Da Che Lun a sushi train restaurant.

Cost: Free

Where to Eat?

If you’ve had your fill of traditional Taiwanese cuisine, Addiction Aquatic is the perfect break.

The building was once Taipei’s old fish market but has since been converted to an upscale seafood grocery and restaurant, featuring aquariums of live crabs, lobsters, eels, and other fish as well as a mouth-watering selection of fresh sushi and sashimi for takeaway.

It might be a bit more expensive compared to night market fare, but it’s great value for money when you take into consideration what you’re getting.

Cost: A takeaway sushi set can cost roughly NT 120-250.

 

Family Fun

Family Holiday At Beach

Where to Stay?

As we mentioned previously, hotels in Taipei are surprisingly affordable, so even though you’ve got your whole tribe in tow, your bank account doesn’t need to suffer.

That said, if you’re looking for something with a decidedly more ‘homey’ feel, check out the serviced apartments. They typically range from PHP 2000-3000/night.

Cost: An estimation of PHP 2,000-3,000/night

How to Get Around?

Adults should purchase the Unlimited Fun Pass (NT 1200), which provides unlimited rides on the MRT as well as entrance to many of Taipei’s major attractions, including the National Palace Museum and the Taipei 101 Observatory.

For kids under 6 years old or under 115 cm in height, many of Taipei’s transport options and entrance fees to attractions are waved.

Like most cities, they offer student discounts so be sure to bring your child’s school ID.

Cost: NT 1,200

Where to Have Fun?

Double Decker Bus Ride Taiwan

    • Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour

For a quick way to explore the entire city, hop on the Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour and discover all of the city’s major landmarks and top attractions in one go, with the option of hopping on and off at a destination of your choosing.

Cost: NT 300 for a 4-hour pass

    • Taipei Zoo

The Taipei Zoo is the largest zoo in Asia. It features several different exhibits including an insectarium, a Taiwanese animals section, a dinosaur exhibit, and a panda exhibit. 

Cost: NT 60 for adults, NT 30 for students

Pro-tip: The panda exhibit is closed every first Monday of the month.

    • Land Bank Exhibition Hall

Check out the Land Bank Exhibition Hall, a dinosaur-themed museum that features the complete skeleton of a gigantic brachiosaurus. Right across the street from it, you can visit the National Taiwan Museum.

Cost: NT 30 for adults, NT 15 for students (free under 6)

Where to Eat?

How to save money in Taiwan becomes easier thanks to its multitude of night markets and rich street food culture.

Eating in Taiwan is incredibly easy on the wallet, even if you’re traveling with your entire family. The best part is, there’s always something for everyone, so if you’re traveling with picky eaters, Taipei’s bevy of food options will always come through.

Cost: Choose your own adventure!

Whether you are traveling alone, with family, or your friends, book that Taiwan adventure on Traveloka! Save your seat now!