Home Asia 13 Brilliant Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan!

13 Brilliant Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan!

by TheWanderingQuinn

Some links in this post contain affiliate links including amazon associate links. I receive a small commission if you use the links at no extra cost to you.


Kaohsiung in Taiwan was a pleasant surprise for me! I had never heard of Kaoshiung City until I saw a better flight from Kaohsiung to Japan than Taipei to Japan, I typed into Google ‘things to do in Kaohsiung’ and a few blog posts appeared telling me that this Port City is one of the most underrated cities in Taiwan and is a lovely city to spend a few days.

So I booked the flight and I’m here to tell you that I agree, Kaohsiung cannot be missed on your Taiwan Itinerary! I even returned again for 5 days in Kaohsiung 6 months later because I loved it that much!

Whether you’re flying in or out of Kaohsiung or just passing by on a loop trip around Taiwan there are enough things to do in Kaohsiung, places to see in Kaohsiung and places to eat to keep you busy for at least 2 days in Kaohsiung, maybe even 3 if you like exploring at a slower pace.

At the same time, if 1 day in Kaohsiung is all you have, you can fit a lot in as the Metro system is really good and you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Kaohsiung!

Things To Do in Kaohsiung.

things to do in Kaohsiung
Keep Reading for the best things to do in Kaohsiung!

1. Eat a Taiwanese Breakfast

Start your day right with these best things to do in Kaohsiung! Taiwan is famous for its breakfasts and walking the streets of Kaohsiung in the morning you will find lots of little places open with plenty of locals in them eating and in some cases queuing for breakfast.

The best place to eat breakfast in Kaohsiung and somewhere that has become particularly popular with tourists in Kaohsiung, but is also very popular with locals is Xing Long Ju!

It’s open every day from 4:00 am to 11:00 am and the nearest MTR station to Xing Long Ju is City Council Station.

I think no matter what time you visit you’ll have to queue at Xing Long Ju for Breakfast in Kaohsiung as the locals love it just as much as us visitors however the queue goes down pretty quickly as many locals are taking food away and there are plenty of seats inside and upstairs.

Also note that when you see the queue, the longest queue on the left is for the Bao Dumplings, if you do not want one of these there is a smaller queue on the left that takes you past this where you can get other breakfast items. If you’re in a rush, skip the Bao and you should be served quicker.

They serve a few different breakfast foods but none of the staff speak brilliant English I found on my 2 visits, which is fine and should not be expected but it makes ordering harder. It’s also pretty stressful trying to pick and pay and know where to go!

They do serve a breakfast soup with fried dough bread in it, Bao, a flaky sesame seed bread which you can get with an omelette inside and a fried breadstick if you wish. Soybean milk is a popular drink with a Taiwanese Breakfast so if you want to go really local, get one of these too. I do recommend asking for a soybean drink with sugar as it tastes much better and I prefer the drink cold. If you ask for this at the counter the ladies will understand what you mean.

In all honesty, it wasn’t the best food I’ve ever had and it is very greasy if you go for the flaky bread and dough stick as I did but you go for the local Taiwanese Breakfast experience and that’s what you get!

If this restaurant in Kaohsiung happens to be closed which is very uncommon, there is another restaurant 2 doors down on the corner and some of my followers on Instagram told me they went there instead and enjoyed it!

Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Xing Long Ju Taiwanese Breakfast Kaohsiung
Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Xing Long Ju Taiwanese Breakfast Kaohsiung

2. Get a view from 85 Sky Tower Observation Deck

If you want to start your trip with a city view and you’re wondering ‘what to do in Kaohsiung?’ the best view of Kaohsiung it seems is from the 85 Sky Tower building which is the tallest building in Kaohsiung and not hard to miss.

The closest metro station to 85 Sky Tower is Kaohsiung Exhibition Centre and Sanduo Shopping District.

3. See Street Art at Pier 2

Pier 2 and Pier 2 Arts Centre in Kaohsiung is a really cool place to visit if you’re wondering what to do in Kaohsiung. Take the Orange MRT line to Yanchengpu and when you leave, head towards the Coast.

You’ll soon come upon what once were Port Warehouses, then disused Warehouses, now renovated Warehouses with activities inside and lots of cool art on the outside! This is a Taiwan attraction that can’t be missed and one of the best things to do in Kaohsiung!

If you’re looking for things to do with Children in Kaohsiung, this is a great place to visit. Not only are there lots of Art Murals and huge Statues of random animals but there’s a little train to take you around some of the warehouses (when I say little, I mean really little!) and there’s a huge green park which has also been filled with art and is a fun place to play!

Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Pier 2 Arts Centre Kaohsiung Taiwan
Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Pier 2 Arts Centre Kaohsiung Taiwan

Related Post: To see how to fit all of these things to do in Kaohsiung into your trip, check out my 2 and 3 day recommended Kaohsiung itinerary here!

4. Take the Boat to Cijin Island

From Pier 2 I’d recommend heading to Cijin Island, it’s a good idea to pair these two together because they are so close together. The ferry to Cijin Island leaves from Gushan Ferry Pier regularly, you can take bikes and mopeds over if you wish.

Related Post: Here’s my full guide to Cijin Island in Kaohsiung with things to do, how to get there and what to eat because it’s one of the best places to visit in Kaohsiung.

It costs 30NTD each way and you can use Taiwan’s EasyCard to pay for the Ferry (this works on the Kaohsiung metro too as well as on the Taipei Metro and basically all over Taiwan). The boat literally takes 5 minutes to get to Cijin Island and the extent of this Port City is really shown in the views over.

Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Cijin Island Kaohsiung Taiwan
Things To Do in Kaohsiung, Cijin Island Kaohsiung Taiwan

5. Pass by the Formosa Boulevard Dome of Light

If you happen to be passing by the Formosa Boulevard MRT station be sure to have a quick look at their Dome of Light near the station entrance, it won’t take long and it’s not the best Kaohsiung attraction but it’s worth a look when passing through the station and adding to your list of things to do in Kaohsiung!

things to do in Kaohsiung, Formosa Boulevard Dome of Light

6. Walk along Love River

Love River Kaohsiung runs through the City and out into the Port. I had a little walk along it near the Port end of the River and it was really nice. It kind of reminded me of Melbourne’s River which the huge buildings on either side. People were practising sailing it in and it was just a nice peaceful part of the City to see and walk along.

things to do in Kaohsiung, Love River

Need help booking a train to or from Kaohsiung? You can’t book trains in Taiwan using the Taiwan Train System but you can book them on 12GO Asia. So book your trains around Taiwan here!

7. Head to Fo Guang Shan Buddha Monastery and Museum

Fo Guang Shan Monastery and Buddha Museum is quite far out of the City Centre but you can get there via public bus. It is really cool to see and a good place to learn more about Buddism so I recommend it to you as one of the popular things to do in Kaohsiung if you have time.

Related Post: How to Visit Fo Guang Shan Monastry from Kaohsiung City!

fo gang shan monestary | things to do in Kaohsiung

8. Visit Kaohsiung’s Temples & Lotus Pond

Further North and out of the City a bit but still on the MRT line is Lotus Pond which is surrounded by Temples.

Have a read of my Lotus Lake Blog Post with directions on how to get to Lotus Pond from Kaohsiung and to read about what the temples mean including the famous Dragon and Tiger Pagoda, and which way to see them so you don’t get bad luck!!

things to do in Kaohsiung, Dragon Tiger Pagoda Kaohsiung Taiwan
things to do in Kaohsiung, Lotus Lake Kaohsiung Buddhist Temple

9. Take a Free Walking Tour in Kaohsiung

On my second trip to Kaohsiung, I was interested in knowing more about this city so I joined a walking tour with Like it Formosa. They started free walking tours in Taipei a few years ago and in 2019 started them in Kaohsiung too.

I went on the religion tour around Lotus Pond which was a good way to learn more about the area, religion in Taiwan and the temples in Kaohsiung. Note that they offer the tour on Thursdays and Sundays from 3:00 pm but they offer a Harbour city tour on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 3:00 pm too so add this to your list of things to do in Kaohsiung!

To help you plan your trip around Taiwan, have a look at all of my Taiwan Blog Posts here!

10. Eat at Kaohsiung Night Markets

Taiwan is known for its night markets and Kaohsiung does not have a shortage of them! Kaohsiung has 4 Night Markets popular for Tourists so here’s my Kaohsiung food guide to them!

The best Night Market in Kaohsiung, in my opinion, is Ruifeng Night Market. Ruifeng Night Market is quite far out of the centre and is in fact very close to Lotus Lake so I would suggest going to Lotus Lake at about 4:00 pm and then heading over to Ruifeng Night Market by foot as I did. The nearest MRT stop for Ruifeng Night Market is Kaohsiung Arena Station.

Here is my full blog post on the best night markets in Kaohsiung, why they’re so good, where they are and the opening days and times. Read it here!

Ruifeng Night Market Kaohsiung taiwan
-Ruifeng Night Market Kaohsiung taiwan

11. Eat Shaved Ice at Gao Xiong Po Po

Shaved Ice Dessert is a popular dish to eat in Taiwan and one of the highly-rated restaurants in Kaohsiung for Iced Dessert is Gao Xiong Po Po Shaved Ice. They serve a range of flavours but it’s said that mango is the original flavour and I can confirm this is delicious. Going here works well with going to Pier 2 Arts Centre as it’s not too far away.

Mango shaved ice dessert Kaohsiung

12. Drink Coffee at Coffee Wake Up

If you want a cool cafe to visit in Kaohsiung be sure to head to Coffee Wake Up close to Central Park MRT station. They serve great coffee and it’s beautifully decorated. Very Instagram style!

13. Take a Day Trip from Kaohsiung

I thought I might do a day trip on one of my two days in Kaohsiung, as it turns out I didn’t need to as I really enjoyed Kaohsiung and it kept me busy for two days however if you have longer or do all of the above in one day in Kaohsiung, thanks to Taiwan’s awesome train system you can do a number of day trips by train.

Popular Day Trips from Kaohsiung include:

Tainan – Taiwan’s Oldest City just slightly North of Kaohsiung.

Taitung – On the East Coast of Taiwan and a less-visited city in Taiwan.

Xiaoliuqui / Lambai Island – An island just off of the coast where you can go snorkelling!

Maolin Scenic Area – A place full of waterfalls and aboriginal culture.

I personally found this blog post really helpful in detailing the best Kaohsiung day trips. Some blogs suggest going to Kenting from Kaohsiung but after looking into this myself in more detail, Kenting National Park is quite far away by bus and therefore I don’t think a day trip to Kenting National Park from Kaohsiung is a good idea.

In all of Taiwan’s Cities, you use an Easy Card to pay for transport. I loved that the whole country uses one so be sure to get one at the start of your trip in the subway or pick an Easy Card and Sim Card package deal in the airport in Taipei via this service.

Where To Stay in Kaohsiung.

I stayed at FlyInn Hostel which I really liked and is definitely one of the best hostels in Kaohsiung. It’s rated very highly on Hostelworld and for good reason, it’s in a great location next to Sanduo Shopping District MRT, it’s been well designed with good private double and single rooms, and dorm rooms.

I would recommend the best place to stay in Kaohsiung as being near an MRT station whether that’s Sanduo Shopping District or Formosa Boulevard in the centre so you can get everywhere in the City very easily.

If you want to stay in a hotel in Kaohsiung here are highly rated hotels for great prices:

OX Suites

85 Water Impression

Legend Hotel Pier 2

Papo’a Hotel

Or, search for more hostels and hotels in Kaohsiung here!

AIRBNB IN KAOHSIUNG

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 night’s free accommodation in Taiwan!),open a new account using this promo code!

Things To Do in Kaohsiung, best hostel in Kaohsiung Flyinn hostel

How To Get To & From Kaohsiung.

Within Taiwan: Kaohsiung is well connected by train. On my first visit, I got a train from Hualien where I visited Taroko National Park on the East Coast.

Taichung, Tainan and Taipei to Kaohsiung are very easy too, you can get a high-speed train to Kaohsiung from Taipei in just a few hours. You can also get a high-speed train from Taichung and Tainan or the local train if you want to save money and have more time.

Need help booking a train to or from Kaohsiung? You can’t book trains in Taiwan using the Taiwan Train System but you can book them on 12GO Asia. So book your trains around Taiwan here!

Powered by 12Go Asia system

Outside of Taiwan: Kaohsiung has Taiwan’s second-largest airport with the second-highest number of flight routes. It’s very easy to get to and from Kaohsiung City to Kaohsiung Airport in 15 minutes on the Metro (it’s the fastest I’ve never got to an Airport I think!).

Popular flight routes to Kaohsiung are Singapore to Kaohsiung, Malaysia to Kaohsiung and the Philippines to Kaohsiung!

Need help getting to the airport??:

Check out Kuala Lumpur Private Airport Transfers here!

Check out Changi Private Airport Transfers here!


To SEE Kaohsiung, watch my YouTube video here!


Now you know what to do in Kaohsiung, you can read more of my Kaohsiung and Taiwan blog posts to help you plan your trip further:

I stayed at FlyInn Hostel complimentary however I had an enjoyable stay and recommend it to you. 

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.