Taichung may be the second biggest city in Taiwan but it has got nothing on Taipei, in my opinion. There are a few popular Taichung attractions but I will warn you now that these popular places to visit in Taichung are pretty spread out and getting around Taichung is not easy as there is no metro system so you need to rely on walking, uber, taxi’s or buses, and I couldn’t quite get my head around how to catch a bus in Taichung.
That said, a stop in Taichung works well if you’re travelling around Taiwan on a loop or travelling between Taipei and Kaohsiung, plus there are 2 popular day trips from Taichung that are worth visiting the city for. Essentially, it’s a good base and stopover city in Taiwan.
I personally recommend spending one day in Taichung city, and I’ll help you out on what to do in Taichung in this Taichung Itinerary and Taichung Travel Guide. Then, give yourself another one or two days in Taichung to visit places near Taichung and do the Taichung day trips!
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.
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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!
AIRBNB IN TAIWAN
Taichung 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 night’s free accommodation in Taipei!), open a new account using this promo code!
How to Get to Taichung.
This is a pretty important Taichung travel tip! Taichung is accessible via bus or train. Getting to Taichung by train is probably the best and easiest way to get there whether you are travelling from Taipei to Taichung or Tainan to Taichung. However, one important thing to note is that Taichung has 2 train stations, and they’re not close together!
There’s the TRA Station which is the local train station in Taichung, this is in the centre of the city, then there is the HSR (High-Speed Rail) Station which is a lot further out of the city and a 20-minute taxi ride. I believe there is a train between the two, and there are definitely buses, but keep this in mind when planning your Taichung travel.
It might be easier to catch a high-speed train from Taipei to Taichung for example but it will still take you another 20 minutes to get into the centre by taxi, and therefore cost more. The high-speed trains in Taiwan cost more than the local trains, so if you’re on a budget in Taiwan and you have time, I’d recommend the slower local train which is still a pleasure to travel on.
You can’t book trains online via Taiwan’s train system but you can book them online using 12GO Asia, the top transport booking platform in Asia. Search for your trains to Taichung here:
One Day Taichung Itinerary
Taiwanese Breakfast in Taichung
Taiwan is all about its breakfasts and getting a Taiwanese breakfast is something you must do at least once in Taiwan. For the best local breakfast in Taichung head to Second Market. Be warned that on a weekend in Taichung it will be busier as locals love this market too! It was when I walked past on a Saturday morning but that also adds to the atmosphere! You may not know what you’re ordering but have a look at what the locals are getting and get whatever you can, it’s going to be good either way!
Taichung Rainbow Village
Taichung Rainbow Village is where I suggest you head next on your Taichung itinerary. How to get from Taichung to Rainbow Village is a little difficult as it is not in the city centre. You can get a public bus- bus 27 or 40 to Lin Tung University which takes about 1 hour plus a little walk from the university to the Rainbow Village. Or you can get a taxi or Uber. Taxi’s in Taichung work on the meter so I got an Uber which cost 240NTD each way.
Be aware that although the Rainbow Village in Taichung is worth visiting and it is a well deserved Taichung attraction, it is very small and there is nothing else to see and do around it so you’ll only need one hour at the Rainbow Village maximum to take photos and have a look around. In fact, visiting there on my own took me about 30 minutes and then I felt ready to leave!
For more information on the Rainbow Village history and how to get there, check out my friend Janet’s blog post here.
To help you plan your trip around Taiwan, have a look at all of my Taiwan Blog Posts here!
Chun Shiu Tang Bubble Tea
Back in the city, as far as things to do in Taichung go it’s pretty much all about the food and drinks! Taichung is the home of Bubble Tea and Chun Shiu Tang on Siwei Street is the original Bubble Tea store in Taichung and a popular place to visit in Taichung. They don’t serve Bubble Tea only, they have a full menu of different tea’s and plenty of food options so it’s a good place to visit for lunch in Taichung on this Taichung itinerary!
If you run out of time or it’s too far for you to get to, Chun Shiu Tang is a chain of Bubble Tea stores in Taiwan and the tea you’ll get in here will be the same as in any other store, and any other Bubble Tea store in Taiwan for that matter. There’s nothing particularly special about the Chun Shiu Original Store in Taichung apart from the fact that it’s the original store!
However, if you are a Bubble Tea fan like myself maybe you’d fancy doing a Bubble Tea masterclass which you can do in this store. I think this is a pretty cool Taichung activity and a great thing to add to your Taichung itinerary seen as there are not many other fun things to do in Taichung, to be honest!
You can book a Bubble Tea making class online KK Day using this link.
Taichung Cultural and Creative Industries Park
In the afternoon on this Taichung itinerary, for another one of the places to visit in Taichung you could head to Taichung’s Creative Park. One of the really unique things to do in Taiwan are its Creative Parks, I’ve seen cool ones in Taipei and Kaohsiung and Tai chung has one too! Taichung Cultural and Creative Industries Park used to be an old fashioned brewery and now it’s a modern place where you can check out the cool art exhibitions, take some good photos and chill out in a pretty peaceful area of the city.
If you’re in need of more things to do in Taichung, Taichung Park is not huge but it is a nice green area of the city and I love the parks in Taiwan for observing local life so be sure to consider this when planning your day in Taichung!
Taichung Night Market
For things to do in Taichung at night there’s only one option – a night market!
Taichung Night Market’s span the city which is great in theory but it doesn’t make getting to them harder as they are not all centrally located.
Personally I ended up at Yizhong Street Night Market twice because it centrally located close to Taichung Park and close to my accommodation in Taichung.
However, Fengjia Night Market is where you want to head if you can because it’s Taiwan’s biggest night market and that’s saying something because Taiwan has some seriously big night markets around the country!
Fengjia Night Market really is huge with food stalls running on both sides of the street and you literally can’t even see the end, let alone walk to the end!
If it’s your first trip to Taiwan and you want to get a full Taiwan experience I think Fengjia Night Market is a must-visit place in Taichung as it’s definitely the best night market in Taichung for a real local experience!
If you don’t fancy a night market or perhaps if you’re looking where to have dinner in Taichung on another night, somewhere that might take your fancy is the Modern Toilet Restaurant. There are 2 of these themed restaurants in Taipei and there’s one in Taichung too. I did read on Taichung Tripadvisor that the food isn’t that great and they have limited vegetarian options which is why I didn’t eat there but it’s a fun and quirky restaurant in Taichung which is what Taiwan is all about!
Two to Three Day Taichung Itinerary
One of the reason’s Taichung is a popular city for tourists to visit is because of two places – Sun Moon Lake and the Dakeng Hiking Trails.
With 2 days in Taichung, I’d recommend spending one day in the city as I’ve detailed in the above Taichung itinerary, and one day visiting either Sun Moon Lake or Dakeng Hiking Trails. With 3 days in Taichung, you could do both and I don’t think it would be a waste of your time.
To help you plan your trip around Taiwan, have a look at all of my Taiwan Blog Posts here!
Day Trips from Taichung.
Sun Moon Lake Day Trip from Taichung
I visited Sun Moon Lake on my Taichung day trip. It’s really easy to get a bus from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake. At the bus stop, they sell Sun Moon Lake passes which include bus travel, a boat ticket, a ropeway ticket and they can include bike hire too. It takes 1.5-2 hours to travel from Taichung City to Sun Moon Lake and once you’re there you need about 4-5 hours to see the lake and head over to Ita Thao Village.
Some websites rate Sun Moon Lake as one of the Taipei attractions but in my opinion, it is too far away from Taipei and will be a pretty exhausting day trip so it is best to go from Taichung!
For full details on how to do this day trip, have a read of my Sun Moon Lake Travel Guide from Taichung here!
Dakeng Trails Day Trip from Taichung
Taichung doesn’t have a national park close to it but it does have hiking trails and hiking in Taiwan is very popular. I got my first taste of Taiwan hikes when I went to Taroko National Park from Hualien on my first trip to Taiwan!
There are a number of hiking trails and they are numbered, note that some of them are harder than others and the Dakeng trails in Taichung can get very busy on weekends so it’s the best time to go hiking in Taichung is on a weekday if you can. The easier trails get particularly busier than the harder trails too.
It’s possible to get a bus from Taichung to Dakeng Hiking Trails and it’s best to leave early in the morning so you have all day to do your chosen trail. I ran out of time to do the Dakeng Trail hiking but I found this blog post very helpful on how to get to Dakeng Trails and which trail to hike.
Tainan Day Trip from Taichung
Another alternative day trip from Taichung is to Tainan if it’s not already on your Taiwan itinerary, although I personally liked Tainan and think it is worth at least one night.
There is a high-speed train from Taichung to Tainan which takes 40 minutes however neither of these cities HSR stations are in the centre so you need to get a train from this station to the central station or go a slower local train which will take longer in theory but will be less hassle. Travelling around Taiwan by bus is also popular and possible, Taichung’s bus station is in the centre of the city so a bus from Taichung to Tainan could be an option.
You can’t book trains online via Taiwan’s train system but you can book them online using 12GO Asia, the top transport booking platform in Asia. Search for your trains to Taichung here!
Where to stay in Taichung.
As far as accommodation in Taichung goes, location wise because the city is spread out you are always going to be far from something in Taichung. I stayed pretty close to Taichung Park which was a good location and I’d say staying close to Taichung Rail Station (if you use the TRA local train to get there) is a good location too.
Good rated Hotels in Taichung are:
Good rated Hostels in Taichung are: