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When planning my Taiwan itinerary I quickly realised that one week in Taiwan was not enough to see all of the country, despite it being a small island, but 7 days in Taiwan was all I had and surely it was better than nothing?
I can confirm that it was better than nothing, I actually saw quite a lot on my Taiwan trip in 1 week and I really enjoyed the Taiwan 1 week itinerary I planned out for myself. I definitely could have done with 2 weeks in Taiwan, perhaps even 3 weeks in Taiwan, but I still saw a lot of the best places to visit in Taiwan
I visited Taipei in the North, Hualien and Taroko National Park in the East and Kaohsiung in the South and it was not too rushed as Taiwan is easy and efficient to travel around.
There are lots more places to vgo in Taiwan and it’s easy to fully loop around the Country and visit the Cities on the West Coast of Taiwan too but I managed to get a good flight out of Kaohsiung and found it easier and cheaper to fly from there than Taipei so that’s where I finished my Taiwan Backpacking Trip.
Related Post: How Expensive is it to Visit Taiwan?
Here is my Taiwan Travel Blog detailing my Taiwan one week itinerary detailing what I did and recommendations for you if you have just one week in Taiwan.
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR TAIWAN
First up, have you got travel insurance for Taiwan yet? I am covered with World Nomad’s who I really recommend! They are designed by travellers, for travellers with excellent customer service and a range of cover options.
Get a free quote here while you’re thinking about it:
SIM CARD FOR TAIWAN
I found the wifi pretty good in Taiwan but i do think it’s best to have a local sim card so you have constant internet access.
The best way to get a sim card for Taiwan if your phone is unlocked is to buy this EasyCard & Sim Card package deal in advance. You’ll need an EasyCard to get around on transport in Taiwan anyway and at the same time you can get a Taiwan Sim Card with 4G and pick them up at Taoyuan Airport when you land.
If your phone is locked or you don’t want to go to the hassle of getting a sim card, I suggest getting a portable wifi device for Taiwan which you can get delivered to your home free of charge 2-3 days before you leave for Taiwan!
After checking in I headed straight out to a Night Market to start my Taipei itinerary. Night Markets are one of the most popular things to do in Taiwan so this was a great first introduction!
I went to Raohe Night Market because it was closest to my hostel, it’s a really famous Taipei Night Market so I recommend this for your first taste of Taiwan and Taipei!
From day one in Taipei, I recommend you get an Easy Card which is used on all transport in Taipei and in Taiwan which is so, well, easy! Be sure to get an Easy Card at the start of your trip in a metro station or pick an Easy Card up in the airport via this service.
If you’re thinking about where to stay in Taiwan. Taiwan has so many hotels and hostels to choose from throughout the country. In Taipei, I stayed at Star Hostel Taipei East for 3 nights. It’s in a really good location in the Eastern Side of City and a beautifully decorated hostel with dorm rooms and private rooms. Lovely staff and good Taiwanese Breakfast included.
AIRBNB IN TAIWAN
Taiwan has some great Airbnb options like this which will make you feel like a local! To get $30.00 off your Airbnb stay(which is one nights free accommodation in Taipei!),open a new account using this promo code!
My First Impressions of Taiwan arriving in Taipei and going to a Taiwan Famous Night Market:
Things to do in Taipei:
To help with your Taipei itinerary, I suggest using the MRT to get around Taipei and to go to the following Taipei attractions. These places to see in Taipei flow well in terms of how the City and Metro are laid out which is why I recommend this route to you too. For what to do in Taipey for 3 days, here are some ideas:
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Park
Knife Massage in Taipei City Mall
Taipei Expo Park
National Palace Museum
Shilin Night Market
If you want to do a tour around Taipei, have a look at these options:
To SEE my Day 1 and 2 in Taipei and my Taiwan 7 day itinerary, including the knife massage above, have a watch of my YouTube video here!
Things to do in Taipei:
As well as having many City Attractions in Taipei, there are lots of Taipei day trips to be done and lots to see on the outskirts of the City along with a bit of nature so this is a great way to spend day 2 in Taipei and to make sure you see the best with 1 week in Taiwan.
The best time to visit the Taipei 101 is first and early in the morning to avoid the queues. All of these attractions are in the same Eastern area of the City too so they are easy to visit in one day in Taipei:
Cable Car to Maokong
Another Night Market or Dinner in a Taipei Restaurant like Din Tai Fung which is a popular place to get Dumplings in Taipei!
Related Post: 3 Day Taipei Itinerary.
The MRT is so easy to use in Taipei. Buy an EasyCard from one of the stations for 100NTD, this is non-fundable but it still makes it cheaper than buying separate tickets. I topped up by 300NTD in total which I used fully on my MRT journeys in 2 days.
Keep your EasyCard with you as you can use it all over Taiwan on public transport and in shops like 7/11.
When it comes to what to wear in Taipei, you can wear usual City exploring clothes on day 1, including comfy shoes, but on day 2 I would recommend activewear as the Elephant Mountain walk and Maokong walks get sweaty!
For additional Taipei Travel Tips, have a look at my Taiwan trip blog and Taipei Travel Blog here.
I caught the 10:00am-12:30 train from Taipei to Hualien. I purchased my train ticket at Taipei Main Train Station during my first full day in Taipei to ensure I got a ticket as they cannot be booked online. I recommend you book a train ticket in advance too especially if travelling on a weekend around Taiwan.
I got Lunch in Hualien when I arrived, there are many cafes and restaurants in Hualien.
Hualien has a huge Coastline so later on, I had a walk down to the Coast, the weather wasn’t on my side so I didn’t see much but going to the beach is a popular thing to do in Hualien, so is hiring a bike to explore the Hualien Coastline.
Hualien Food Markets starts at abut 6:00 pm by the Coast and it’s a really good food Night Market, in fact I preferred it to the Taipei markets I went to as it’s so well set out with lots of food options!
Hualien is set up for tourism with many hotels and hostels. The best location to stay in Hualien is by the train station as it’s much more convenient.
I stayed at World Inn Hostel for 2 nights and really liked it. The staff are so friendly and gave me tips for my Hualien itinerary and Taroko National Park. Their dorm rooms have been thoroughly thought about and the private rooms are really comfy, I really recommend it!
To SEE the Hualien Night Markets, have a look at my YouTube video here!
Taroko National Park is the reason why I visited Hualien, it’s the most popular National Park in Taiwan and if you like nature and going on walks you’ll like this too.
I took the public bus from Hualien into Taroko National Park and jumped on and off it between walks around the park.
To see the full details of my day trip to Taroko National Park solo, have a read of this post.
If you are a confident moped driver, a moped is a great way to explore the Coastline and the National Park.
If you are a keen hiker there are some great hikes but some require permits so it’s best to look into this in advance.
If you would rather take an organised day trip around Taroko National Park which will enable you to see more and definitely see Taroko Gorge these are the tours I recommend which you can book online in advance:
To SEE Taroko National Park, have a look at my YouTube video here!
The weather here can get very wet so things to pack for Taroko National Park are waterproof and quick-dry clothing. Wear hiking/walking wear too.
If you get the public bus from Hualien to Taroko National Park you can use your EasyCard to pay for the bus!
Take enough food and water for the day as if you are doing quite a bit of hiking you will not pass that many cafes.
I got the 8:23am-13:08 train from Hualien to Kaohsiung and I had to change in Taitung. The first train was a (Hello Kitty themed) high-speed train and the second a normal older train. I had 8 minutes to change trains but the trains were on the same platform so it was fine! I purchased this train ticket the day before at Hualien Train Station which I recommend doing, especially on a weekend in Taiwan.
I arrived and had a little walk around Kaohsiung to start my Kaohsiung itinerary, got some lunch and chilled in my hostel until later where I headed to a night market in Kaohsiung.
There are 2 famous and popular tourist night markets in Kaohsiung, I went to Liouhe Night Market which is the smaller one and it was a good introduction to the City.
Where to stay in Kaohsiung:
I stayed at FlyInn Hostel for 3 nights. It’s in a great location, has really friendly staff and is very clean. The private double room was perfect for me as a solo traveller, they have single private rooms too and good dorm rooms.
AIRBNB IN TAIWAN
Kaohsiung has some great Airbnb options like this which will make you feel like a local! To get $30.00 off your Airbnb stay(which is one nights free accommodation in Taipei!),open a new account using this promo code!
Things to do in Kaohsiung:
Although Kaohsiung is not one of the most popular cities to visit in Taiwan there’s actually a good amount of things to do in Kaohsiung and I really enjoyed the City. I read a blog post before going which said it’s an underrated Taiwan City and I agree! It was a great way to end my Taiwan 1 week itinerary.
For more information on the best Kaohsiung attractions, have a read of this Kaohsiung blog post but in short, here’s how I recommend you spend one day in Kaohsiung.
Taiwanese Breakfast at Xing Long Ju
Pier 2 Art Centre
Ferry to Cijin Island and Explore island on foot or bike.
Lotus Pond and Dragon Tiger Pagoda
Ruifeng Night Market
If you’d like a tour around Kaohsiung to see all the best local spots, have a look at this Kaohsiung Day Tour!
To SEE Kaohsiung, have a watch of my YouTube video here!
I actually had a second full day in Kaohsiung and I flew from Kaohsiung Airport which is why I ended my Taiwan Backpacking Trip there but if you have a flight from Taipei you can get a fast train back to Taipei from Kaohsiung very easily.
If you do fly from Taipei and you have an extra day, you could visit the popular City of Taichung on your way back North.
I found it much cheaper and quicker to fly from Kaohsiung Airport to Japan, which is where I went next than Taipei Airport to Japan so I’d suggest searching some flight options on Skyscanner like I did to find to get the best and cheapest flight out of Taiwan as Taipei may not be the cheapest!
7 Days in Taiwan was not enough and is not enough by any means.
Like I said at the start I could have easily have spent 2 weeks in Taiwan and 3 weeks in Taiwan if I was travelling slower, it’s such a great country with so much to see and Taiwan is so easy to get around. The locals are friendly and it’s not that expensive making it a great Country to Backpack in Asia that’s a little bit different to the usual places people backpack to!
I hope this Taiwan Itinerary helps you plan your Taiwan Trip and Taiwan Holiday!
For more of my Taipei Blog Posts see:
I stayed at the 3 hostels mentioned in this post complimentary but I had a great stay in all of them and fully recommend them to you.
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!
NOV-DEC: PROBABLY INDONESIA
If you want to join or read more about the details of the group tour.