I love Taiwan! I’ve been twice and seen a lot of the best places to see in Taiwan! I have found it to be an extremely friendly country which is unique, quirky and surprisingly easy to get around!
I love that Taiwan has mountains, beaches, lakes and fun cities! On top of that, it’s modern but holds so much tradition and culture too.
If you’re thinking of planning a trip to Taiwan, highly recommend you do!
In this Taiwan travel guide, I’m going to give you my top tips for Taiwan travel including where to go in Taiwan, how to get a tourist visa for Taiwan, how to book accommodation and transport and some things to learn before you go to make life easier!
Taiwan Tavel Planning Tips
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 CARD
The 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!
1. Taiwan Tourist Visa
Before we even get into planning your Taiwan Trip, can you get a visa for Taiwan?
Taiwan has an extremely generous and easy visa process. For many countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many European Countries, Taiwan gives a free 90-day free visa on arrival, which is impressive! This Guide to Taipei gives a full list of the countries that will get this option.
This is perfect if you are planning a backpacking trip around Taiwan and aren’t sure how long you should be there!
Here is my 1 week Taiwan itinerary and 2 week Taiwan itinerary to help you plan your stay!
A visa on arrival means you do not need to do anything beforehand and you will be granted 90 days in the country when you arrive for free.
Other countries like Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Dominica, Colombia and Peru will need to obtain a Taiwan visa online which will provide you with an e-visa valid for 30 days and you must enter the country within 3 months of it being issued.
For more information on these types of visas, who needs them and how to obtain an eVisa for Taiwan, have a look at a visa issuing site like Byevisa’s Taiwan eVisa page.
2. Flights to Taiwan
Taipei is the capital city and this is the best place to fly into for more flight availability and better prices, especially if you are flying long-haul to get to Taiwan.
However it is worth looking into other airports too, for example, Taipei is in the North so I flew into there from Kuala Lumpur, I planned a 1 week trip to the South of Taiwan and after looking, it was cheaper to fly from Kaohsiung which is a big city in the South to Japan than it was from Taipei, and it saved me a trip back up North!
So if you are travelling Asia as I was, definitely try these different possibilities!
Personally, I love Skyscanner to help me work out different routes, costs and dates to find the best one!
3. Where To Go in Taiwan
If you’re like me before going to Taiwan you probably have very little knowledge about this tiny island! So where should you go in Taiwan and what’s there?
Here are some top places to visit in Taiwan to help you with your Taiwan trip planning:
Taipei – This is the capital city and it’s a must-visit! It’s a pretty big city with a lot to see from viewpoints like Elephant Mountain, one of the highest buildings in the world the Taipei 101, night street food markets, Buddhist temples and plenty of shopping!
Juifen & Shifen – These are both traditional towns close to Taipei, now they are big tourist hotspots but they are fascinating to visit and both can be done as a day trip from Taipei!
Kaohsiung – This is my favourite place in Taiwan! I just love the ease of this city and because not as many people visit as other cities in Taiwan, it feels like a bit of a gem and it’s very local too. It’s smaller than Taipei but there are still so many things to do in Kaohsiung like visiting Buddhist temples like the famous Tiger & Dragon Temple, visiting street food markets, a Buddhist Monastery and going over to Cijin Island.
Taroko National Park – If you like hiking on your trips, this is a great place to visit! I stayed in a city nearby and did a day trip to Taroko National Park which was an amazing way to see another side of Taiwan that didn’t involve big cities or crowds.
Check out my post best places to visit in Taiwan for even more ideas of where to go in Taiwan!
4. Accommodation in Taiwan
Taiwan offers a huge range of accommodation and if you’re looking to backpack Taiwan or travel Taiwan on a budget, the quality of their hostels is so so good, they have dorm rooms and privates so definitely look into these options!
I really recommend staying in a more traditional style of accommodation whilst you’re there, think of beds that are really close to the floor! I stayed at one of the Star properties in Taiwan and really recommend it for amazingly Taiwan hospitality!
One thing to note about accommodation in Taiwan is that you must remove your shoes as you enter! There will be places for you to leave them when you arrive and put on slippers that are provided if you want something on your feet!
5. Getting Around Taiwan
Unless you are visiting Taiwan for a short break and only plan to stay in Taipei, you will definitely want to move around Taiwan!
Even with 1 week in Taiwan I managed to see 3 major places and did a few day trips. It was such an incredible week!
You probably know of Japan for its high-speed trains but did you know Taiwan has them too? They make getting around the country really quick, they are clean and comfortable and not too expensive!
The only thing is, as visitors to Taiwan, we can’t book trains in Taiwan using the Taiwan Train System but you can book them on 12GO Asia which is a platform I really like using in Asia so keep this in mind nearer the time when it comes to planning your Taiwan itinerary!
6. Learn some Mandarin
Mandarin is spoken in Taiwan and there are not many signs in English.
Ok, so you don’t have to learn a lot, or even any in fact, but what I found helpful was to research some key travel phrases for Taiwan and have them on my phone in Mandarin and English.
For example, I ate as a vegetarian in Taiwan so I had an image on my phone which stated I was Vegetarian so I could show it to people because when it came to being a vegetarian at the night street food markets in Taiwan, it really wasn’t easy to work out what was in the food!
It’s also good to know the very basics of Hello and Goodbye, and people in Taiwan really appreciate it when you use them I found:
Hello: Nǐhǎo (Nee how) Thank you: Xièxiè (Shieh-shieh)
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!
7. 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 in all countries 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 Taipei 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!
8. Safety of Taiwan
Lastly, if you are unsure about the safety of Taiwan, I urge you not to be! I found Taiwan to be one of the safest countries I’ve been to! I didn’t once question my own safety of that of my belongings.
I found Taiwanese people to be incredibly friendly and hospitable when talking to them. And when out in public or on public transport they just weren’t bothered by me! There was no staring like in some countries, they were just getting on with their day.
I travelled to Taiwan as a solo female and I highly recommend it to you too!
FAQs About Planning a Trip to Taiwan
How many days are enough for Taiwan?
3 days in Taiwan is enough to see Taipei and have a day trip to some nearby towns. However 1 week in Taiwan is a better amount of time to spend in Taiwan to see a lot more. 10 days in Taiwan and 2 weeks in Taiwan are also great lengths for a trip to Taiwan!
What is the best month to visit Taiwan?
September, October and November are considered the best months to visit Taiwan because of the more pleasant weather. I visited Taiwan in March though and found it a good month to visit to Taiwan and I went in October which was also good.
Is Taiwan an expensive place to visit?
Taiwan is not an expensive place to visit and you can travel Taiwan on a budget by staying in hostels, taking buses and eating street food. Taiwan is definitely not as expensive as Japan.
How much should I budget for a trip to Taiwan?
Taiwan can be traveled on a budget. I spent about £450.00 in 1 week in Taiwan.
I hope you feel more content with your Taiwan Trip Planning and are ready to go!
- For more of my Taiwan blog posts to help plan your trip see:
- Cost of Travel in Taiwan. How To Travel Taiwan on a Budget!
- 1-3 Day Taichung Itinerary and Things to Do in Taichung!
- 2-3 Day Kaohsiung Itinerary To See All Kaohsiung Attractions!
- Kaohsiung to Cijin Island & Things To Do in Cijin Island!
- How To Do a Sun Moon Lake Day Trip from Taichung!