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Best Things To Do At Night In Taipei

By Peter Chao A personal trainer living in Taipei and passionate about the local food and culture
01 March 2020
Best Things To Do At Night In Taipei

Edited by Emma White

The busy energy that races through Taipei’s animated streets is what makes this city famous and is one of the reasons why it is becoming an increasingly popular city break destination. While some cities tend to slow right down as night falls, the pace of city life in Taipei at night dramatically increases, producing a sensory overload which keeps visitors coming back for more! From bustling night markets, to karaoke clubs, to streets lined with lively bars, shops and restaurants adorned with dazzling neon lights, underground nightclubs, carnival games and street performers, there is an endless list of exciting things to do in Taipei at night. Navigate your way round Taipei’s nocturnal playground with this Taipei nightlife guide, featuring a selection of different night time activities, top attractions to see at night and hidden gems that only locals would know about. So you can spend less time wondering what to do in Taipei at night and more time getting out there, rubbing shoulders with locals, tasting delicious food, sharing drinks and singing your heart out at KTV!


Shilin Night Market

When researching what to do in Taipei at night, the first thing that will crop up will most certainly by Taipei’s night markets. Taipei’s night scene is dominated by its colorful night markets where you can find a myriad of things to see, do, and most importantly, eat! Awaken your taste buds at the Shilin Night Market, Taipei’s largest and most famous night market. Wander around the various stalls and shops selling weird and wonderful foods, unusual trinkets and wacky souvenirs. This is where you get to experience the real Taipei. Soak up the friendly local atmosphere, get lost in the sea of busy locals and eager vendors, feel the buzz of Taipei nightlife, and surrender yourself to an evening of crazy and unexpected fun! Become a part of the local crowd munching on oyster omelets, stinky tofu, skewered squid, and chicken noodles. And wash it all down with a tiger sugar milk coffee or a pearl milk tea! Be bold, be brave, leave nothing untasted. You will find this vibrant market every evening near MRT Jiantan Station.

Ningxia Night Market

Though a lot smaller than the others, Ningxia night market has a more relaxed atmosphere and a small community vibe that many people prefer. I love coming here and I’d say that it’s one of the best night markets in Taipei. The food is just as fantastic, if not more fantastic than the more popular markets such as Shilin and Raohe, and is available at much lower prices in comparison, making Ningxia market a cheaper alternative ideal for travelers on a budget.  Be sure to try the saltwater chicken, fried quails’ eggs, oysters, braised pork rice balls, and the fried scallion! The whole food section is only about 150 meters long, so I highly recommend getting small bites from different stalls and sharing with your fellow travelers so that you can enjoy a bit of everything. Once you’re full up, check out the rest of the market stalls. You’ll find a ton of cool toys and souvenirs and even some street retro arcade games which provide endless fun for both adults and children!

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is more than just a building, it is a mini-city within Taipei! The tour of the building itself is excellent, you will learn all about the tower and its history and get to see the famous big pendulum. To reach the observation deck you will have to use the elevator which has been named the fastest in the world (an cool experience in itself in my opinion!).  Once you reach the top floor you’ll be met with the most incredible views of the city below. Although Taipei 101 is great at any time of day, I advise you to arrive just before sunset to experience the sun setting over the magnificent urban jungle and then admire Taipei’s skyline lit up against the night sky. This is one of my favourite night tourist attractions in Taipei!

Visit the mountains

One of my all-time favorite things to do in Taipei at night is to hop on my motorcycle and ride up into the mountains, park up and settle down to watch the sunset over the city. If you don’t have access to a motorcycle or another vehicle during your stay, it’s perfectly possible to hike up. Hiking up Elephant Mountain is especially popular and a great activity for visitors both during the day or at night. The views from Elephant Mountain aren’t just the best in the city, but arguably some of the best in the whole of Taiwan! And in my opinion, the view is even better at night. The sight of the Taipei skyline twinkling in the light of the moon, dominated by Taipei 101 and surrounded by the forest and mountains beyond, is truly magical. It is without a doubt one of the most Instagrammable places in Taiwan! There are also some wonderful temples hidden away in the mountains which are often lit up when night falls, they are definitely worth seeking out if you have the time to spare.

Ximending

Whether you visit Ximending during the day or at night, this area has a lot to offer. There are numerous shopping plazas packed with high street stores, independent shops, restaurants, fast-food eateries, coffee shops, street food vendors, and much more. You’ll even find temples, souvenir shops, street performers, and a whole host of crazy surprises! I recommend saving this activity for night time because once the sun goes down, Ximending comes alive with a buoyancy that is unmatched elsewhere in the city! This lively entertainment hub is the beating heart of Taipei’s nightlife and a place that encapsulates the city’s personality and spirit. This Taipei nightlife district is bustling with locals and tourists alike, mingling in crowds, sharing drinks, searching for the best street food, and just generally having a great time. Get lost in the crowd, sample the local food, check out the cool shops, and admire the blinding neon lights and the animated signs. You’ll soon be swept up in the Ximending buzz, making friends with locals and discovering the city’s unique night-time scene.

KTV Karaoke

A night spent singing with friends at a KTV parlor is one of the most popular and most unique forms of night time entertainment in Taipei. KTV traces its roots to karaoke, originating from Japan. Karaoke machines offering recorded songs stripped of lead vocals started to appear in Taiwan in the mid-1970s at local Japanese-style bars and eateries. In the last couple of decades, larger chains have appeared all over the city, offering more professional experiences in more upscale venues with improved facilities and catering options, thus transforming the KTV scene into a mainstream social activity. Most districts will have at least one karaoke venue, so they are easy to find wherever you are. Prices vary according to the size of the room and luxuriousness of its facilities, but on average the cost is around NT$630 for a small room and NT$2,772 for a large one on a weeknight, while on Friday and Saturday nights the costs rise to NT$700 and NT$3,080. One of the most recommended KTV places is Partyworld, ZhongHua branch. Whether you go to spectate or to get up on stage and sing your heart out, this a great way to end an evening spent exploring the Ximending area. Don’t be shy - the locals will appreciate you joining in and it will no doubt be turn out to be a very memorable night!

Huaxi night market

Within walking distance from the famous Long Shan Temple, you will find Huaxi night market, an old-style, traditional market which showcases a darker, more raw side of Taipei. Some visitors are put off by the more aggressive nature of this market and prefer to stick to the more glamorous markets that Taipei is famous for, however, Huaxi is an interesting part of town which is reminiscent of a past era, one before the tourists, the skyscrapers and the bright lights. It's an important area for those interested in the city’s history and cultural roots and a unique experience that provides a great insight into local life in Taipei. Along this stretch, you will find an array of noodle and fish restaurants, specialty shops, street vendors, and massage shops which attract all different kinds of people. This area is also known for the snake handlers and snake-derived medicines and foods which give Huahsi Street its common name, “Snake Alley”. There are also a few interesting temples nearby which are worth visiting. If you’re looking for something a bit different and you’re willing to be open-minded, this is a great place to explore.