As the capital city of Taiwan, Taipei’s charm is reflected by its numerous historical attractions, night markets and airy parks. This itinerary is ideal for those who are looking to spend five days in Taipei, with recommended kid-friendly activities and places to explore.
Morning: Bring your kids to breakfast at Robot Station Diner. True to its name, this robot-themed restaurant is decorated with distinctive robot figurines that range from tiny to life-size. This is a great place for children to explore as there is no doubt these structures will leave them impressed. If your child is a fussy eater, then you are in luck. The diner’s simple menu consists of classic kid-favorite foods, with selections of pizza, pasta and juices.
Afternoon: All that food has probably left your kids bouncing with energy, so head to the Botanical Gardens for a mid-afternoon stroll. This beautiful garden contains over 1,500 different species of flora and a variety of fauna, with green landscapes and large spaces that are perfect for kids to play in. Be sure to take a photo at the lotus ponds, which feature huge beds of water lilies, and is a definite highlight of the garden.
Evening: Eat xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung. For those of you who have never heard of xiao long bao, it is a traditional Chinese delicacy which consists of a steamed bun stuffed with tasty filling. Whilst it is typically filled with pork, these days there are different options to choose from, and these buns can also be filled with meat, vegetables or even seafood. Din Tai Fung is one of Taipei’s top rated restaurants to savour this signature dish at.
Morning: Visit Taipei Zoo. Recognized as the largest zoo in Asia, this zoo places importance on animal conservation and environmental research. Your kids are bound to love this place, as the zoo cares for animals that originate from Taiwan, Australia, Africa and other parts of Asia. Some of the rare species of animals that live here are penguins, koalas and tapirs. This is a great destination for parents to teach kids about wildlife that they do not get to see in everyday life. As the zoo is quite large, it is advised to spend at least half a day here.
Afternoon: Close to the zoo is Maokong Gondola, which is also worth a visit. Endorsed by Hello Kitty, these gondolas are adorned with charming decorations and colourful details that will definitely win the heart of any little girl. The gondolas stop at four stations before reaching the top, and you have the option to get out and explore each one. The highest station is located at 200m. Expect views of Taipei’s stunning tea plantations on the way up. Once you are at the top, you are also able to wander through the walking trails provided, or stop at one of the restaurants for a snack.
Evening: Sample some local delicacies at Shilin Night Market. Visiting at least one night market is a must in Taipei, as this where all the best street food is found. Shilin Market is one of the most popular night markets in Taiwan. Your little one will be kept occupied with the countless stores that sell cheap toys, accessories and sweet treats such as milk tea. After the long day of activity that you’ve just had, indulge in the selection of street food on offer.
Go on a day trip to Leofoo Village Theme Park. Located an hour away from central Taipei, Leofoo Village can be easily reached via car or public bus. Initially, it opened as Taiwan’s largest wild animal zoo, but over the years it has turned into an amusement park and safari. This makes it an ideal destination for both the adrenaline seeker and nature lover. With its four main areas themed to various parts of the world, leave reality behind for a few hours as you take a trip to the ‘African Safari,’ ‘Arabian Kingdom,’ ‘South Pacific’ and ‘Wild West.’
Morning: You can’t go on holiday to Taipei without visiting one of their cat cafés- what child wouldn’t want to bond over cake and cats? Visit The Lightened cat cafe where your kid will be delighted at the cuteness of their new furry friends. Relax in one of the armchairs or catch some sun in the outside garden, all with a kitty in your arms. Though there are so many cafes to choose from, The Lightened is recognised as the coziest cat cafe in Taipei.
Afternoon: Hike up Elephant Mountain. The best time to go is just before sunset, as you will be rewarded with magnificent views of Taipei 101 over a stunning backdrop of colours in the sky. Located in the Xinyi district, this short hike only takes around 20 minutes and is suitable for people of all fitness levels. Make sure you wear light, comfortable clothing and bring some water. You might even want to bring some snacks to enjoy whilst you are watching the sunset.
Evening: Discover Miramar Mall. This is one of Taipei’s largest shopping malls, and its highlights are a rooftop Ferris wheel and IMAX cinema. Get an ice cream, catch a night time cartoon, and go on the Ferris wheel at night for views of Taipei’s night lights. There are plenty of options here to keep your child entertained. Finish the day off with a meal from the food court or one of the many restaurants that cater to a range of cuisines.
Morning: Grab a bite to eat at the Modern Toilet Restaurant. This place started out as a small ice cream store, where ice cream was sold in containers shaped like a squat toilet. The humorous concept became so popular that the store was turned into a restaurant. There are two restaurants available in Taipei: one is in the Taipei Shilin neighbourhood and the other one is in Taipei Ximen. Modern Toilet’s expansive menu will definitely satisfy the taste buds of both parents and children, with a range of options that include foods such as Korean fried chicken, spaghetti and steak.
Afternoon: Discover Huashan 1914 Creative Park. Though this park is located off the beaten path, the trip here is worth it. Once an abandoned wine factory, this large space now provides a base for exhibitions, cultural activities and colourful art installations. There is also a movie theatre, concert space and event space, with many unique shops and restaurants to browse through. Many exhibitions also cater to children, and as the exhibits change quite regularly, this is a place that you can visit multiple times without getting bored.
Evening: Explore another night market. Shida Night Market is located in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Taipei. Similar to many others, this market offers a large selection of delicious food and inexpensive clothing stalls. Grab some yummy street food for dinner and take in the craziness of the night market’s surroundings.
How to get around:
MRT: A one day pass costs 150NT$, while a 5 day pass is 700NT$.
Bus: 15NT$. This is a flat rate price, and it is actually cheaper traveling on the bus and then getting on the MRT as you do not have to pay the extra cost. On the bus, there will be two signs above the driver’s head saying UP or DOWN. If it says UP, that means you should pay when you get on. If it says DOWN, you pay while disembarking. Make sure to check the bus schedule beforehand.
Taxi: The base taxi fare is 70NT$, with every 1km after that being costing 25NT$.
AirAsia flies to Taipei from Kuala Lumpur. For flight and info fares, visit www.airasia.com.