Taiwan had been on my Asia wishlist for years and when planning a trip to China and Japan I knew I had to squeeze a trip to Taiwan in too! I had no idea how much it costs to travel to Taiwan and I was hoping I wouldn’t find it expensive backpacking Taiwan.
However, I am happy to say that Taiwan IS a really budget-friendly country to visit! To help you work out your Taiwan Budget, it’s not as cheap as some South-East Asian Countries like Vietnam, but let’s be honest and say that these days all of South East Asia isn’t really cheap to travel, so I’d say that the cost of travel in Taiwan is very similar to that of Thailand and Indonesia and Taiwan is definitely not as expensive as nearby Japan to visit!
So let’s get into how much I spent in just over one week in Taiwan and general travel costs in Taiwan like how much is food in Taiwan and how much is accommodation in Taiwan, so you know prices for Taiwan budget travel and how to visit Taiwan on a budget!
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Explore Taiwan in a Budget!
My Taiwan Travel Costs!
I spent 8 days and 8 nights in Taiwan on a budget and spent NT$8,300 / £203.00 / $268.00 USD NOT including accommodation.
WITH accommodation in hostel dorm rooms, roughly, I would have spent an extra £120.00 and in a private rooms in hostels, roughly, I would have spent an extra £240.00.
This did include all of my transport costs around the Cities and Country. 2 meals a day & snacks (breakfast was included in my hostel accommodation) and entrance fee’s to a few things, and that’s all I needed to spend money on in Taiwan which is why the cost of travel in Taiwan can be so cheap!
FIRST TIMERS GUIDE TO TAIWAN
I’ve been to Taiwan twice. I love the country so much! I have written lots of posts to help you visit Taiwan, start with my 8 Helpful Tips For Planning a Trip to Taiwan from Start to Finish and the Best Places to Visit in Taiwan!
TAIWAN SIM CARDThe best way to stay connected in Taiwan 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 Taipei Taoyuan Airport when you land!
GETTING AROUND TAIWAN
The Metro within cities in Taiwan is really great, easy to use and so safe. You’ll need an EasyCard which you top up with credit to use the metro and buses.
To get around Taiwan, I loved travelling by train. As a tourist, we can’t use the direct Taiwan train booking system. Instead you can go to a train station a few days before and purchase your ticket, or book online in advance using 12GO Asia!
Taiwan Transport Cost
You’ll need to purchase an EasycCard when you arrive which you’ll use all over the country on the metro and buses, this is NT$100 / £2.45 / $3.23 USD and non-refundable.
Be sure to get an Easy Card at the start of your trip in a metro station or even pick an Easy Card and Sim Card package deal in their airport via this service.
I spent on average NT$100 / £2.45 / $3.23 USD per day on my EasyCard when in Taipei and Kaohsiung City using the metro all day.
Train costs in Taiwan will vary depending on where you are visiting in the country, how far it is and whether you’re getting a High-Speed Train or Regular Train. Train Journeys from City to City will be between NT$500 / £12.25 / £16.20 and NT$1200 / £29.40 / £38.90.
If you are on a budget in Taiwan try to get trains that take longer as they will be cheaper than High-Speed Trains or look at buses in Taiwan to help with your Taiwan budget as they tend to be cheaper than trains, but slower!
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 and check rates here!
Taiwan Food Costs
Night Market Food
This is where you’ll eat most nights in Taiwan whether you’re in Taiwan on a budget or not!
Prices of foods in Taiwan’s Nigtht Markets will vary depending on what it is but the general prices for one item are between NT$30 / 73p / 86c and NT$120 / £2.93 / $3.88. Most items are in the middle at about NT$50-60. I usually got 3-4 things in the night market so it can make for a fairly cheap dinner in Taiwan.
Meals in Restaurants
Decent meals in restaurants will be between NT$200 / £4.89 / £6.47 and NT$350.00 / £8.56 / $11.33, but the best thing about Taiwan is that like all Asian Countries there is an abundance of street food and small locals cafes where food is much cheaper (half the prices of above) where you can eat if you are on a budget when travelling Taiwan.
Most hostels will offer re-fillable water but a bottle of water in a supermarket like 7/11 is around NT$25.00 / 61p / 80c.
Bubble Tea / Coffee
The average price of a bubble tea or coffee from a tea or coffee shop is NT$80.00 / £1.95 / $2.60, again this will depend on where you are and what you have, it could be a bit more, or a bit less!
I didn’t drink any alcohol so I can’t tell you the costs of alcohol.
To help you plan your trip around Taiwan, have a look at all of my Taiwan Blog Posts here!
Taiwan Attraction Costs
I spent a bit of money on attractions and entrance fee’s in Taipei but not in my other two stops of Hualien and Kaohsiung at all.
Taiwan Accommodation Costs
As always the biggest chunk of money will be spent on accommodation. Note again that my cost above did not include accommodation as everyone has different preferences.
All of them were very clean, organised and helpful in telling me about the area.
In Taipei, the price of staying in a dorm room in a hostel is about NT$610.00 / £15.00 / $20.00 a night.
The cost of a dorm room in cities decreases a bit once you’re out of Taipei I found, for example in Hualien and Kaohsiung it is NT$450 / £11.00 / £14.50.
The cost of a private room in a hostel in Taiwan is about NT$1225 / £30.00 / $39.00, this could be less or more depending on the hostel and location but when halved if sharing a room doesn’t come to much more than a dorm room.
It seems pretty standard for hostels in Taiwan to include breakfast or offer breakfast at a good rate so keep this in mind when booking as it’ll save you money on another meal in the day!
There are plenty of hotels in Taiwan too. I didn’t look into any of these but if you are backpacking Taiwan you’ll be fine in the hostels in Taiwan whether you stay in dorm rooms or get a private room depending on your budget and preference.
TAIWAN ITINERARY HELP
Here are my top Taiwan itinerary posts to help your plan your trip:
- 2 Week Taiwan Itinerary!
- 1 week Taiwan Itinerary!
- 18 Best Places to Visit in Taiwan!
- How to Plan a Trip to Taiwan!
TAIWAN ON A BUDGET
Taiwan isn’t the cheapest country but it’s not the most expensive either and can be travelled on a reasonable budget. Here’s my post on the cost of travel in Taiwan and how to travel Taiwan on a budget!
Extra Costs in Taiwan
I didn’t get a sim card as I found the public WIFI in Taiwan to be really good and plentiful but if you need a Prepaid Sim Card in Taiwan you’ll be looking at between NT$300.00 – NT$700.00 / £7.50 – £17.60 depending on how long you stay and how much data you need. Basically, Sim Cards are pretty good value in Taiwan!
I personally recommend buying 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!
I hope this helps you plan your Taiwan trip or convince you to go if you agree that you can travel Taiwan on a budget!