20 Hour Layover in Taipei: What To Do On a Long Layover [2024]

You have a 20 hour layover in Taipei. Is it worth exploring the city? What can you do? What to do in Taipei Airport for 20 hours and is it enough time to leave the airport?

In this post, we will provide what can you see in Taipei within 24 hours, including the fastest way to get to Taipei City Center from the airport, best short trip ideas and a 20-hour itinerary!

From The Airport To Taipei City

There are two international airports if you visit Taipei or Taiwan:

The majority of international flights land at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Travel from Taipei Songshan Airport

There’s a Songshan Airport Metro Station (BR13). You can get to other Metro Stations quickly.

Travel from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

The airport is not in Taipei but in Taoyuan.

You can reach Taipei Main Station by taking the metro airport line direct train within 39 minutes; check the price here.

It’s worth noting that the airport line is run by Taoyuan Metro Company. In contrast, Taipei Metro is run by Taipei Metro Company. In short, they are two different systems, but you can use Easy Card (an all-in-one public transportation card for bus, metro, and train).

An Efficient Way To Explore Taipei

You will only visit Taipei once, so joining a tour to see all the highlights in Taipei is a great idea.

This affordable private tour is perfect for those who want to make the most of their layover time in Taipei and explore the city’s top attractions before catching their next flight. It’s very affordable!

Where to Stay in Taipei

Ximending (西門町) and Taipei Main Gate (台北車站) are the top two places to stay. If you are unsure, here is the post about staying at Ximending or Taipei Main Gate with a detailed comparison.

If you decide to join (half) day trips or want to live close to the vibrant Ximending but are worried that it’s too noisy, stay at this hotel since it takes around 10 minutes to Ximending and Taipei Main Gain. A perfect location that you can rarely ask for. Besides, you can grab food quickly nearby if you arrive late in Taipei.

How To Get The Best Travel Experience in Taipei Within A Day

There are many things to see and do in Taipei, but if you only have 24 or even 20 hours, what should you do to see the best of Taipei?

Nature, of course. You cannot experience that elsewhere.

Ideas For Experiencing Nature in Taipei

There are top three things you can do:

Hiking in Taipei

Taiwanese people love hiking; there are a lot of well-organized hiking trails. Here are the top 5 Taipei Metro-Friendly Hiking Trails. No need to take a bus.

Queen’s Head In Yeliou

Yeliou (野柳) is known for its Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園), where you’ll be amazed by the sight of honeycomb and mushroom rocks, artfully sculpted over time by the sea’s erosion.

Visit it before it’s too late!

Queen’s Head is one of Taiwan’s best-known natural wonders. Still, the researcher has warned that it is at risk of being beheaded by nature, like seawater, wind, and even Typhoons.

Be sure to visit Queen’s Head before it’s too late. You will get a truly unique experience from your trip. Short of time in Taipei? This half-day tour departs every day from Taipei Main Station.

Jiufen

If you want something other than a modern city center, visit Jiufen (九份). This village takes you back to the old times with narrow cobblestone alleys, old-style tea houses, and unique architecture.

In addition, there are also waterfalls, hiking trails, and a beautiful coastline nearby. This tour includes the best of Jiufen; pick this tour if you have half a day to explore it.

This tour includes visiting both Yeliou and Jiufen; you can see Taipei’s best natural scenery!

Ideas For Art And History Lovers

National Palace Museum Taipei

Most people think China is the best place to see Chinese artworks, but that is not true.

Things you can do during your layover in Taipei: visit National Palace Museum!

During Kuomintang’s retreat to Taiwan from China, many valuable collections from the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing were moved to Taiwan. National Palace Museum in Taipei has a collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks.

“The Jadeite Cabbage (翠玉白菜)” and “The Meat-Shaped Stone (肉形石)” are the two must-sees at the museum.

This tour includes a guided tour of all the must-see attractions, including a visit to the National Palace Museum Taipei.

20-Hour Itinerary In Taipei

Here is our 20-hour itinerary in Taipei; it includes the best attractions in Taipei.

This itinerary is metro-friendly. It covers the leading tourist destinations in Taipei, and the attractions are close to each other. It is perfect if you want to travel by yourselves.

TimePlaceMRT Sation
20:20Arrive at the airport
8:30-13:00MaoKongTaipei Zoo
13:00-15:00Elephant MountainElephant Mountain
15:00-16:00Din Tai Feng (at Taipei 101)Taipei 101
16:00-17:30Taipei 101 Observatory
17:30To the airportTaipei Main Station
What you can do within 24 hours in Taipei

Things To Do On A Layover In Taipei City

If you decide to have a city tour, here is a list of things you can do, and the Taipei Fun Pass is a must-have, including unlimited bus and metro rides and entrance to popular attractions.

Visit Taipei 101 To See The City View

Taipei city view from Elephant Mountain
Taipei 101 is the most iconic and tallest building in Taipei (the left one). This is taken from the top of Elephant Mountain.

Taipei 101 is the most iconic architecture in Taipei and was once the tallest building in the world. You can see the magnificent Taipei city line if you get to the Taipei 101 Observatory.

We went to the Observatory twice; the evening view is more impressive than the day view.

Enjoy The Elephant Mountain

A must-visit place in Taipei. The mountain was named for its shape, which resembles an elephant’s face and nose.

Why is it called Elephant Mountain
Did you see an elephant on the picture?

The hiking trail is quite steep, so some might see it challenging. We hiked with our 60-year-old mother; she found the hiking trail steep and needed to rest twice. However, she said it was worth the visit because the view was great!

Once you reach the top, you get a beautiful view of Taipei City and the iconic Taipei 101. Many people go to Elephant Mountain to take an Instagram photo with it. If you wish to see the evening view, it is also possible.

Elephant Mountain is popular among the locals, including older people. You should visit it if you love hiking!

Visit MaoKong To Experience The Tea Culture

Are you a tea lover? Have a day or half-day trip to MaoKong!

MaoKong is in the sub-area of Taipei City but is accessible by metro. Once you reach Taipei Zoo Metro Station, you can take the MaoKong Gondola to MaoKong.

You can go hiking, see the beautiful waterfall and enjoy the local cuisine. Experiencing tea culture is one of the best things you can do in MaoKong. This post shares what you can do in MaoKong.

Enjoy Street Food At The Night Markets

When talking about Taipei, you can not miss street food, and night markets are the best place to find street food!

Is Shilin Night Market Worth It?

By its name, Night Market is where many food vendors gather to sell local street food. Shilin Night Market is the most famous one, as we are the locals, it is too touristy, and we don’t recommend going there.

Our Recommendations: Ningxia Night Market

What to eat at Ningxia Night Market
MICHELIN Guide Recommended Yuen Huan Pien Oyster Egg Omelette

one of the night markets the locals go to and only a 9-minute walking distance from Zhongshan Metro Station (中山站).

The must-try food is: MICHELIN Guide Recommended Yuen Huan Pien Oyster Egg Omelette (圓環邊蚵仔煎) and Rong’s Pork Liver (豬肝榮仔). Of course, if you don’t like organs, don’t try Rong’s Pork Liver ;).

If your flight is in the evening, grab some food here before heading to Taipei Main Station for the metro to the airport!

Savor Xiao Long Bao At Din Tai Fung

Talking about Xiao Long Bao, you must visit Din Tai Fung!

You can find Xiao Long Bao at many places in Taipei, but the one from Din Tai Fung is the best in Taiwan and has earned One Michelin star! Their Xiao Long Bao has 18 exquisite folds of thin and delicate skin handcrafted by their skilled chefs.

Xiao Long Bao, also known as soup dumplings, has a pork-based filling, and its meat broth bursts out once you bite it. Remember to enjoy it when it is served on your table. Never wait until it gets cold.

Besides classic Pork Xiao Long Bao, we also love Green Squash and Shrimp Xiao Long Bao. Green Squash is a vegetable widely cooked in various dishes in Taiwan. It gives a mildly sweet taste to the Xiao Long Bao and is a perfect combination with shrimp!

Ximending

If you love a vibrant city vibe and want to experience youth culture and fashion trends, Ximending is for you. Many local young people and teenagers visit Xiemending for the latest clothing styles, accessories, and cosmetics.

In addition, you can find many restaurants worldwide, like Japanese, American, Korean, etc. Of course, you can also try the local street food there.

20-Hour Layover in Taipei Conclusion

We hope you find this post helpful! If you have better ideas of where to go and what to do in Taipei, leave a comment to let us know!

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