Taipei is a city full of colour, night markets, busy streets, trains, local food stalls, western style shopping centres, yellow taxis and FULL of life and culture. A fusion of Japanese and Chinese influences throughout. So you can only imagine how good the food must be! What we gathered fairly quickly, is that everyone in Taiwan LOVES babies. It made us feel very comfortable and made for traveling through the city very easy. We are not big city people, in fact we try and avoid big cities as much as we can, however, Taipei was an exception. Although Taipei has a population of over 2.6 million, it sure didn’t feel like that. It is easy to escape the hustle and bustle of the ‘big city chaos’ by venturing to the beautiful temples, calming gardens and scenic walks Taipei has to offer. Below is a list of the top things to do in Taipei with young kids and babies.
What to do in Taipei with babies and toddlers
We spent 4 days in Taipei at the beginning of our trip and 3 days at the end of the trip. So what did we do? Here is our guide of things to do in Taipei with a toddlers and babies.
Like any zoo, this is a great place for kids of all ages. Getting to the zoo itself is an amazing experience. We caught the train out to the Taipei Zoo station. A beautiful picturesque ride through Taipei city and to the outskirts. Make sure you sit on the left hand side of the train for even better views. To access the zoo from the station, you get the cable car up to the zoo entrance. Once at the entrance, you then get in a small train to the front gate. You can actually rent strollers at the zoo, which is great as we only brought our backpack carrier. The zoo itself is not the most amazing zoo in the world, but the layout is great and there is plenty to see. It is worth going to if you have kids.
To get to the Zoo, we took the cable car, which is a great trip even without checking out the zoo. When we had finished at the zoo, we headed back on the gondola and continued the ride up to Maokong Village. At some points of the ride up you are 300m above the treeline! Make sure you get a gondola with a glass bottom. This sounds scary, but it makes the experience that much more exhilarating. The views from the gondola are breathtaking and some of the most scenic in all of Taiwan. The cable car itself is all enclosed, so there is no need to worry about young kids falling. There is plenty of room for strollers and carriers as well. Maokong Village is a beautiful mountainside village filled with chinese tea houses, tea plantations, temples and scenic walks. There is an information centre at the Maokong Station where you get off and you can arrange where you would like to go from there. Once out of the station, we walked to the right and explored the lush gardens and tea fields. It was so beautiful. There were panoramic views of Taipei city in the distance and the tranquil sounds of the small waterfall in the gardens. Our son loved exploring the gardens.
Temple hopping and Palace exploring
We spent a couple of days temple hopping through Taipei. Our son LOVED the temples, as do we. Taipei has some of the most spectacular temples I have seen. Below are some of the nicest temples we visited on our trip:
- Lungshan temple. http://www.lungshan.org.tw/
- Taipei Confucius Temple. https://www.ct.taipei.gov.tw/en-us/Home.htm
- Tianhou Temple. http://xn--djrpt1c90vgrd.tw/en/index_en01.html
- Dalongdong Baoan Temple. http://www.baoan.org.tw/ASP/Home/default.asp
- Guandu Temple. http://www.kuantu.org.tw/
- National Palace Museum – not a temple but amazing place to visit! https://www.npm.gov.tw/
- National Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. https://en.cksmh.gov.tw/
- 2/28 Peace Park.
Xiangshan walk up Elephant Mountain
This is a beautiful walk up Elephant mountain on the outskirts of Taipei, with spectacular views of Taipei 101 and Taipei city from the top. It’s one stop past the Taipei 101 station on the Xiangshan line on the red MRT. You will see the signs for Hiking trail on the left if you take the second exist out of the MRT station. Follow the signs (and the crowd) to the trail entrance. We arrived at dusk after spending the afternoon in Taipei 101. There are quite a few steps to the top, but definitely worth it once you are there. We took our son in the backpack carrier. There were alot of people at the top, but you will always find a spot to stop and admire the AMAZING view of Taipei 101 and surrounds of Taipei city. I would highly recommend going at dusk or early morning as the light over the city was breathtaking.
An absolute must when going to Taiwan. We got the train to Taipei 101 station and walked through the entrance of Taipei 101 through the luxury mall (past Gucci, Zara, Dior, Fendi and Bulgari) to the elevator. After purchasing our ticket we headed for the queue for the lift. I would recommend taking a few snacks or something to keep your little ones entertained as the wait time was over half an hour. We didn’t have either, so my husband and I tag teamed taking our son out of the line and walking around the shops. Once making it to the lift, the ride up took an amazing 40 seconds to reach the top! We were warned that the speed may make our sons ears pop, but he didn’t seem to have any problems with that. At the top, we raced out to see the views over Taiwan. We were taken back by the breathtaking view from every angle. It was absolutely spectacular. The view of the city below and the mountain range that surrounds the city was definitely something that’s etched into my mind forever. We stayed up the top for over an hour. On the Northern side of the building there is the view overlooking the domestic airport. Our son stopped and watched the planes taking off and landing for ages. At the top there are a few souvenir shops and you exit via an extremely large and impressive gem store.
Every district has a night market. We loved exploring them each night for dinner. Although we didn’t stay at each one for long, or go later in the evening, it differently gave us a different view of Taipei as we immersed ourselves in the night culture. I would recommend heading to the markets in the afternoon. The markets open at 5pm. Head to the markets then to avoid the crowds. We loved sampling the sights sounds and culinary cuisines each market had to offer. Our son had a ball absorbing all the colours, lights and local attention, as well as the food! We weren’t put off by the fact it was all “street food” as it was all cooked to order from fresh ingredients. I would be recommended to take your child/ren in a backpack carrier or baby carrier. Strollers are hard to maneuver through the large crowds and they would not see much through the crowds of people. Here is a list of our favourite markets:
- Raohe Street night market
- Huaxi Night Market
- Shilin Night Market
We spent a day exploring the old streets of Taipei through the Bangka Old street area, Dihua Street, and Sanxia old street. The area around Lungshan temple was also lovely to explore and get lost. We took the stroller with us so our son could sleep (and we could enjoy a drink at one of the Chinese/Japanese tea houses). We ate our way through the old town with the endless dumpling stalls, stinky tofu shops and bubble tea cafes. Our son loved trying all the local cuisine.
Parks and Playgrounds
There is a plethora of parks, playgrounds and indoor play centres in Taipei. They cater so well for young kids in Taiwan that we were spoilt for choice. Usually after a full day of sightseeing we would take our son to the park before heading out to the night markets. He had died and gone to heaven as the playgrounds in Taipei are on another level. Our favourite park was in the Da’an forest Park. It was probably hands down the biggest park I have ever been to. Be prepared to share it with hundreds if not thousands of kids, but that’s not going to stop your kids from having the best time. The park is also covered in grasslands, trees, flowers and foliage plants, there is a Buddha Statue and a bamboo forest in the south also. A great afternoon exploring can be had at this park. It is also close to the original Din Tai Fung restaurant!
Accommodation in Taipei
When looking for accommodation in Taipei, we ensured we found somewhere close to the train line. This is easy, as virtually everywhere is in walking distance to a station. There are footpaths everywhere which makes it easy for stroller access to and from your accommodation. We opted for an Airbnb in the Da’an district as we wanted a balcony and a kitchen. Hotels in Taipei (in our budget) were quite small and didn’t have the facilities we needed, such as second bedroom, small kitchen, access to boiling water (to sterilize), bath, balcony and a homely feel.
Getting around Taipei
We are not big city people. In fact we try and avoid them as much as we can. The stress of trains, buses, big crowds and baby luggage is definitely evident in large cities when trying to navigate the big city commute. Not Taipei. They have their transport system nailed to a T, and it makes it very easy for foreigners to get around. EVERYTHING and i mean everything is written in English, which makes navigating the train system a breeze. There are lifts and elevators in each station, which makes it great for accessing with strollers. Each station is also equipped with a parenting room and some even have feeding rooms! The ticketing system is also very clever, easy and cheap. The following website is great for getting any local Taipei MRT information.
If trains just aren’t your thing, or you are strapped for time, then taxis are also a great way to get around. You can spot the yellow ‘New York’ style taxi a mile away, and there are plenty of them. Most of the taxi drivers we had spoke very good english and acted like our personal tour guides, pointing out every building and park on our way. They all seemed very proud of their country and honoured that we were there to embrace it. I would recommend writing your destination in Mandarin either on your phone or on a piece of paper. Google translate was also great when communicating with taxi drivers who may not have very good english.
WiFi in Taipei
Coming from Australia where our WiFi is terrible, the WiFi in Taipei is another level. Every MRT station, Bus station, Park and bus has free wifi. We were always able to stay connected, whether that be a good thing or a bad thing when on holiday that’s up to you, but the thought of knowing you can just connect to the wifi and search for some information was great.
Breastfeeding in Taipei
Breastfeeding in a foreign country may be difficult, especially if it is culturally taboo to do so. So where does Taiwan stand on Breastfeeding? Back in 2010, Taiwan released a law to protect mothers and allow them to Breastfeed in public, fining those so say otherwise up to $30,000NT (approx $1300AUD). So go ahead, feed that precious bundle of joy of yours anywhere you want and don’t feel bad about it.
Would we go back?
Absolutely!! We spent 7 full days in total (4 at the beginning and 3 at the end of our trip) exploring the sights and sounds of Taipei city, and I feel we only scratched the surface. It ticks every box when travelling with kids. They cater so well for kids and families alike that it makes it so easy to keep everyone in the family entertained. We can’t wait to go back there and see what else Taipei has to offer.