36 Hours in Taipei, Taiwan

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Taipei Landscape - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

Taipei is the vibrant capital city of Taiwan, an enchanting island situated off the east coast of mainland China. With a tropical climate, the summers are hot and humid, while the winters remain mild. The island is home to a population of 23 million, and Mandarin Chinese is the official language. The local populace is known for its amiability, friendliness, politeness, and hospitality, with a significant portion of the younger generation proficient in English.

Pottery holds a special place in Taiwanese culture, seamlessly integrated into their tea culture. Taiwan's unique growing conditions contribute to the production of world-famous high mountain green teas, known for their bold and flavorful profile. 

Taiwan ceramics’ claim to fame could be that of Tatung ceramics which is one of the only remaining local ceramic production factories and known for their durable porcelain. If you ever visit a Chinese restaurant anywhere in the world, if you flip the plate upside down to peer underneath, chances are, it bears the Tatung logo.

Eslite Hotel - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu


I highly recommend the Eslite Hotel, a masterpiece designed by the renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Located in the heart of Taipei City, its central location allows for convenient travel in and around the area. The hotel complex includes the Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store, offering diverse shopping options and a variety of dining choices. Additionally, within the complex, you'll find the prestigious Eslite Gallery and Performing Center, showcasing fine art.


Navigating Taipei is a breeze with the efficient Metro Taipei subway system. I also suggest opting for taxis or Uber rides to explore the city with ease. The cost is budget-friendly, making it an economical choice compared to transportation expenses in many other countries.


Taipei 101, National Palace Museum, and Authentic Taiwanese Cuisine

10:00 AM


Begin your day with a delightful breakfast at the food court in the Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store, a 24-hour bookstore conveniently located right next door to the Eslite Hotel. Indulge in a wide array of authentic Taiwanese culinary delights.

For the dedicated foodies, you can also start your day with a traditional Taiwanese breakfast at Fu Hang Soy Milk. While there might be a line, it's a testament to its popularity, and rest assured, the queue moves swiftly.

11:00 AM


Among the myriad attractions in Taiwan, Taipei 101 stands as an architectural marvel. Formerly the tallest building globally, it features a rapid elevator that transports visitors to a breathtaking

Taipei 101 - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

observatory. Enjoy the view and surroundings, and walk around the most extensive commercial district in Taipei. For those seeking a morning adventure, you can embark on a hike to Elephant Mountain, which is not far from Taipei 101. The trail primarily consists of a steep staircase, but the relatively short duration is well-rewarded with a breathtaking view of Taipei 101 and the city skyline.

Din Tai Fung - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

1:00 PM

Lunch at Din Tai Fung

On the ground floor of the Taipei 101 building, there is a Michelin-awarded restaurant called Din Tai Fung. Enjoy the world-famous soup dumpling for lunch. The signature pork soup dumpling, also known as the xiao long bao, is a must-order. The restaurant is very strict on their quality control and each dumpling is supposed to have 18 pleats and a perfect form or it will not be served. All the other variations of the dumplings are also quite tasty, including some vegetarian options. The pork chop fried rice is also a stunner with a whole slab of Taiwanese-style pork chop laid over fluffy fried rice. I recommend going to the hostess stand immediately upon arrival and getting a ticket for a table. If there is a wait, you can download the Din Tai Fung app to keep track of the numbering system while you browse around the Taipei 101 shopping mall. 

2:00 PM

National Palace Museum

Following lunch, opt for a taxi or Uber ride to the National Palace Museum,approximately 35 minutes away with a taxi fare of around 15 USD. The museum is renowned for housing invaluable ancient Chinese ceramics and precious paintings transported from Mainland China during the Civil War of 1949.

The museum houses nearly 700,000 artifacts and artworks, showcasing over 8,000 years of Chinese history. Their collection of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and rare books remains a poignant reminder of resilience and preservation. With its main building designed by Huang Baoyu, the museum stands as a beacon of cultural heritage and international collaboration.

In addition to its remarkable artifacts, the museum provides visitors with access to Zhishan Garden, a classical Chinese Song and Ming-style garden, as well as the preserved residence of renowned painter Chang Dai-chien.

National Palace Museum - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu
National Palace Museum Collection - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu
Golden Formosa - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

7:00 PM

Dinner at Golden Formosa

After spending a few hours walking around and looking at art, treat yourself to a wonderful and authentic Taiwanese dinner at Golden Formosa Taiwanese Cuisine, known for serving the most genuine and traditional Taiwanese dishes.

I would recommend the fried pork ribs and go with a group! Everything is served family style so the more people you can get together, the more dishes you can try. Reservations are also recommended.

10:00 PM

Night Out

For a clubbing vibe, FRANK Taipei features a rooftop area that boasts close-up views of Taipei 101 and is a nice area to escape to when you need some air from the indoor areas

CeLaVi is more of a lounge vibe on the top floor of a skyscraper in the Xinyi District but because of its proximity to Taipei 101, it provides a unique view of the 101 in which you are almost level with the usually towering building. 

Day 2

Museum, Theater, Galleries, and Dinner at the Night Market

Yingge Ceramics Museum - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

9:00 AM

Yingge Ceramics Museum

After breakfast, head to the Yingge Museum. In the outdoor spaces surrounding the museum, you can find numerous large-scale ceramic installations commissioned by the museum. On the second floor, the permanent exhibition explains the history of ceramics in Taiwan, from prehistoric ceramics to the future of high-tech ceramic applications. The gallery on the uppermost floor hosts many juried exhibitions, most notably, the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, which features selected works from many international ceramic artists.

1:00 PM

Yingge Old Street Village

Following your morning art exploration, enjoy lunch at Yingge Old Street Village. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, savoring exciting street food options, and explore local pottery shops for unique finds.

3:00 PM

See a Performance at Taipei Performing Arts Center or the National Theater

Taipei Performing Arts - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

Plan ahead of time and check the center’s schedule to enjoy a wonderful performance at the Taipei Performing Arts, which was designed by the Famous architect Rem Koolhaas. They organize a wide range of programs including various stage productions, workshops, talks, courses, tours, and activities for all ages. 

  • TIP: Note that Sundays and Mondays are often closure days, so plan your visit accordingly. 

The National Theater and National Concert Hall are twin performing arts venues at Liberty Square in Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan. Completed in 1987, the landmarks stand on the south and north sides of the square with Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to the east.

The National Concert Hall features mostly classical music concerts, often with well-known international artists. If interested, you can check the online calendar to see if there are any concerts scheduled during your trip. Across the way from the National Concert Hall is the National Theater which has more opera and dance performances.

The National Theater and Concert Hall - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

If there are no scheduled performances during your visit, consider exploring and gallery-hopping around the vibrant art scene in Neihu. Within a 2km radius, you'll find numerous contemporary art galleries. Tao Art is one of the notable options worth exploring.

4:00 PM

Gallery Hopping

Tao Art Space - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

Tao Art Space

Tao Art Space, designed by Japanese architect Jun Aoki, combines Chinese classical garden elements with winding corridors. It also boasts its Song Dynasty ceramics collection, which frequently showcases and occasionally hosts ceramic exhibitions.

Tao Art Space - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu
Tao Art Space - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

Double Square Gallery

Established in 2015, Taipei's Double Square Gallery focuses on art promotion, curation, publishing, research, and art collection. The name reflects the gallery's physical layout and conceptual values, emphasizing its commitment to redefining the role of galleries in the contemporary international art scene. 

Double Square Gallery - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

Tina Keng Gallery - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu


Since its establishment in 2009, the Tina Keng Gallery has been dedicated to exploring the rich tapestry of Asian art, delving into its profound historical roots and vibrant modern aesthetics. Specializing in the nurturing of Taiwanese modern and contemporary art, the gallery continuously endeavors to showcase the diverse cultural expressions of the region. For current exhibitions, please visit their website.


Whitestone Gallery boasts multiple locations across Asia. Established in 2017, its Taipei gallery stands as a dynamic architectural marvel. Overseen by the internationally acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma, renowned for his discerning aesthetics, the space is meticulously crafted to provide a fitting backdrop for contemporary art. Among the notable ceramic artists represented by the gallery is Miyako Terakura.

White Stone Gallery - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

Liang Gallery - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu


Established in 1993 by Yu Yen-Liang and Claudia Chen, Liang Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the talent of Taiwanese modern artists. Located in Neihu Technology Park, the gallery specializes in modern abstract and contemporary art, hosting monthly exhibitions. Among its notable artists are ceramicists like Hsu Yunghsu. For information on their current exhibition, please visit their website.

7:00 PM

Night Market for Dinner

After immersing yourself in a performance or the vibrant Neihu art scene, head to the nearby Shilin Night Market. There, indulge in shopping and savor a diverse array of delicious Taiwanese street food. They are famous for their large fried chicken cutlets. There are competing stalls for the fried chicken but all of the options are tasty! 

Another option: For food enthusiasts, consider joining a Taipeieats guided tour through a night market. They'll lead you to the finest stalls for a taste of traditional street food delights.

Shilin Night Market - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

For a delightful evening of drinks and entertainment, Wonder.land is a fantastic destination nestled in the scenic Yangmingshan mountains, conveniently close to Shilin. Offering a selection of light bites and drinks, guests can enjoy the ambiance alongside an infinity pool and breathtaking sunset vistas. Operating hours are from 5 pm to 12 am.

Day 3

9:00 AM

Zhongzheng Memorial Park and Nanmen Market

Start your morning with a relaxing and nature-filled visit to the Zhongzheng Memorial Park, a vast park where you can enjoy the natural beauty of Taipei. After enjoying the peaceful nature, head towards Nanmen Market, which is located at the same MRT station as the Zhongzheng Memorial Park and was recently renovated. Many locals like to visit here before the Lunar New Year to stock up on supplies and New Year decorations. There are many stalls selling traditional Taiwanese dry goods and it could be a good place to see a variety of local fruits and produce and would be enticing to any gourmand. The most unique aspect of this market is that it is air-conditioned, unlike most traditional markets in Taiwan! There is also an indoor food court where you can have breakfast and sample Taiwanese dishes. 

CLC Studio - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

11:00 AM

Studio Visit to CLC - Christina Lui Ceramic Studio

CLC Christina Liu Ceramics - studio visit by appointment. Christina Liu’s ceramic works can be found in many Michelin-starred restaurants all over the globe, most notably at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. She set up her studio in Taipei in 2017 after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London. 

Although her work is deeply rooted in functionality, it’s not limited by it. She uses the forms of functional vessels as a starting point for her designs, but the results are never merely utilitarian plates or bowls. They are meant to be intricate objects that evoke a sense of luxury through the details and precision that become apparent while in use.

12:00 PM

Lunch at YongKang Street

YongKang Street is one subway stop from the Zhongzheng Memorial Park.  Discover the finest beef noodle soup at Yong Kang Beef Noodle and try Taroking for shaved ice and mango ice smoothies. The original Din Tai Fung location is also located in this area which could also be an option instead of the 101 location. For delectable scallion pancakes, bubble tea. There are also a few traditional tea houses offering high-quality Taiwanese Oolong tea, teapots, and pottery.

Yongkang Street - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

2:30 PM

Taipei Fine Art Museum

Taipei Fine Art Museum - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

The mission of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum is to preserve, research, and promote Taiwanese modern and contemporary art globally while fostering public understanding and participation. It organizes exhibitions, including the Taipei Biennial and the Taiwan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, to expand cultural horizons and enhance international visibility. The museum collects and maintains works of Taiwanese modern art, preserving historical assets and shaping public memory. Through research, education, and awards, it supports artists and promotes cultural discernment in society. Creative marketing strategies offer immersive experiences, elevating visitors' artistic refinement and taste within a sophisticated cultural and recreational space.

4:30 PM

Afternoon tea at Hermit's Hut

Following your museum visit, indulge in afternoon tea at Hermit's Hut. The serene and zen ambiance, along with knowledgeable staff, offers an opportunity to explore traditional Chinese tea brewing. You can either have it expertly brewed or follow the provided instruction cards to conduct your own tea ceremony. Occasionally, the venue also hosts exhibitions, primarily showcasing ceramics, especially teaware.

Hertmit's Hut- Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

6:30 PM


Restaurant A - Photo Courtesy: Christina Liu

For dinner, two options are suggested:

Dine at Chu Yu for the finest Taiwanese Teppanyaki experience. The set menu, priced at around 70 USD per person, is a worthwhile investment, especially for seafood enthusiasts. Reservations are essential.

You can also opt for Restaurant A, where the dining space doubles as an art gallery featuring rotating displays by local artists. The restaurant exclusively utilizes locally crafted ceramic wares from Christina Liu Ceramics' studio in Taipei. Due to high demand, it's advisable to make reservations at least one month in advance.

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Christina Liu

Before her master’s in ceramics and glass at the Royal College of Art in London, Christina Liu aspired to attend culinary school in Paris, fueled by a passion for food. However, after a transformative stint in a fine-dining restaurant in LA, she found her true calling in clay, merging her love for ceramics with gastronomy. Now, Christina creates bespoke tableware, drawing from the interplay between plated cuisine, vessel, and diner, inspired by both Western and Japanese culinary traditions.

Christina Liu's Website

Shida Kuo

SHIDA KUO, born in Taiwan, has resided in New York City since 1989. Holding a B.F.A. from National Taiwan Normal University and an M.A. from New York University, he also teaches at NYU's Department of Arts and Art Professions. His exhibitions span globally, from Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York to Eslite Gallery in Taiwan, Sokyo Gallery in Kyoto, and Fine Metal Concept in New York. Kuo's works are featured in prominent private and public collections worldwide, including the Ed Broida Collection in the USA, Centro Cultural Paraxo in Italy, and the National Taiwan Museum of Art.

Shida Kuo's WEBSITE

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