Taiwan Itinerary 4 Days: The Ultimate First Timer’s Guide

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

How To Spend 4 Days In Taiwan?

Welcome to my Taiwan Itinerary 4 days travel guide

This itinerary is ideal for those who are visiting Taiwan for the first time and are looking for budget friendly things to do.

Taiwan is a part of my backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. 

For more info of the entire 3-month itinerary, please check out this post.

Best Time To Visit

For any vacations or trips, most people tend to recommend the summertime for the warmth and sunny days which is from May to October.

Personally, it is nice to travel during the rainy season because there are less tourists and therefore, less wait times for any site seeing.

I recommend reading my other blog post: Southeast Asia Tips and Itineraries

I talk in detail about when I prefer to travel and why.

taiwan itinerary 4 days

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Taiwan Itinerary 4 Days: Cost And Budget

We ate a lot during this trip (very obvious from all the food pictures).

That being said, your budget really depends on the way you travel.

If you are a budget traveler, you can easily get by with $25 per day and stick to sightseeing and other free things.

If you were like us, I suggest $50 per day.

We ate everything. We probably had 2 boba drinks per day alone.

Taiwan was the last leg of our Southeast Asia trip, so we were pretty flexible with budget.

When creating a Taiwan itinerary 4 days plan, you have to set priorities and expectations on what you are trying to accomplish.

Taiwan Accommodation

For traveling in Southeast Asia, for the most part, I used the following websites and apps:

  • Hotels.com
  • Agoda.com
  • Hostelworld.com
  • Airbnb

I recommend staying Taipei and getting to other cities and sites is easy because of the centralized transportation.

We stayed at this hotel:

Platinum Hotel at No.77, Anxing Rd., Xindian Dist., New Taipei City, 231 Taiwan

I used miles to splurge on a more luxurious hotel because we had spent 3 months staying in hostels.

Taiwan Itinerary 4 Days: How To Get Around?

Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei

This was super easy!

Taiwan has a pretty robust MRT system. 

Just hop on the MRT, and it will directly take you to the Taipei Main Station.

From there, you can head to wherever your accommodation is located in the city.

The MRT is about NT $160 or about $5 USD

How To Get Around Taiwan?

We primarily walked and used the MRT system.

To get to Shifen and Jiufen, we booked a bus through this website.

Taiwan Itinerary 4 Days Overview

Day 1: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Ximending District, Modern Toilet Restaurant, Free Walking Tour

Day 2: Maokong Gondolas, Maokong Tea house, Zhangshan Temple, Taipei Zoo (optional), Shilin Night Market

Day 3: Elephant Mountain, Beitou, Millennium Hotspring 

Day 4: Shifen Falls, Shifen Railroad, Jiufen

Day 5: Optional open day, click this for more ideas

Taiwan Itinerary 4 Days: Day 1

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial is Taipei’s most famous landmark.

It was built in honor of the former leader Chiang Kai Shek.

Now used as a public gathering area, it is surrounded by greenery, cherry trees, and fish ponds.

When we visited, we stumbled upon a Buddhist assembly of people who were practicing Falun Dafa.

Falun Dafa is a cultivation practice that uses slow movements ad meditation guides based on truthfulness to commemorate the first teacher in Taiwan.

They were doing character formations and were dressed in the solid colors that were white, yellow, and black.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
downtoan taipei
boba ximending
Ah Zong Mian Xian

Ximending (Downtown Taipei)

If you do not have a set itinerary, you can literally just walk around Ximending and get lost in all the food stalls, shops, and entertainment.

You can spend hours here and try all the foods, shop, and absorb everything.

Food recommendations:

  • Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle
  • 50 Lan Boba
  • Prince Cheese Potato
  • Blowtorched steak
modern toilet restaurant
modern toilet restaurant taipei
modern toilet restaurant
modern toilet restaurant

Modern Toilet Restaurant

There’s an American saying: “don’t shit where you eat.”

If you believe in that, then definitely do NOT go to the Modern Toilet restaurant.

This bathroom themed restaurant serves their food in miniature sinks and commodes.
The Modern Toilet Restaurant serves Asian and Italian cuisine.

We ordered pasta and Asian stew which also came with ice cream shaped in poop.

It was definitely an experience! The food wasn’t mind-blowing, but you will definitely be paying for the quirky bathroom themed environment.

Take lots of pictures!

free walking tour taipei
eslite bookstore
taiwan itinerary 4 days

Free Walking Tour

Get your walking shoes ready!

One of the best ways to experience Taipei through do a Free Taipei walking tour.

This is one of my favorite activities in this Taiwan itinerary 4 days travel guide.

It’s free, and I got to work off all the food I had eaten.

Even though this is free, you are encouraged to give a tip.

We gave around $20 USD.

You will learn so much about Taiwan’s history, landmarks, culture, and food. 

Duration: 2 hours

  • Taipei Dome
  • Sun-Yat-sen memorial hall
  • Taipei city hall
  • Eslite bookstore
  • Xinyi commercial district
  • Taipei 101

Here is the link the one we did:

Free Taipei Walking Tour

Klook.com

Taiwan Itinerary 4 days: Free Walking Tour Breakdown

Taipei Dome

This iconic dome has been under construction since 2007, but the completion of this landmark remains to be determined. 

The vision for the Taipei Dome includes an indoor stadium that can hold over 40,000 people, shopping centers, and a movie theatre.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

This landmark is dedicated to Sun Yat-sen, who is the founding father of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) on his 100th birthday. 

Try to catch guard-changing ceremony here which happens every hour. 

In addition, it is used as an exercise and dance area by locals.

Taipei City Hall

This is the municipal government landmark in Taipei which houses a myriad of shows, exhibitions, and other presentations.

Eslite Bookstore (Xinyi Store)

Calling all book lovers! You cannot miss Eslite bookstore. 

It is one of the largest bookstore chains in Taiwan and was the first 24-hour bookstore in Taipei.

Within the Eslite bookstore, there are numerous shops and restaurants that you can check out.

We actually got boba here!

Xinyi Commercial District

Think bougie skyscrapers, shopping, upscale restaurants, luxury brands, and neon lights. 

The Xinyi Commercial district is an up-and-coming commercial center of Taipei.

The most expensive apartment complex in Taiwan is located here with each unit selling for a whopping $33 million USD each.

Yes, you read that right.

Taipei 101

One of the most iconic buildings in the Taiwan skyline is Taipei 101. 

Standing at 508m or 1,646 ft, this bamboo like structure used to be the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2009.

It is built to withstand earthquakes and other natural calamities. 

You are able to pay and enter the building from the 5th floor. 

The elevator can take you up to the observation deck on the 89th floor within 40 seconds.

The first 5 floors house all the luxury shops and brands in Taipei.

Fun fact, in 2007, an Austrian base jumper named Felix Baumgartner parachuted from the 91st floor illegally.

He has since then been banned from the country for life.

Taipei Itinerary 4 Days: Day 2

Maokong and Maokong Gondola

maokong tea plantation
maokong
maokong

Maokong is a quaint mountain town in Taipei.

It is known for its breathtaking views, temples, and tea houses.

You can get here by riding the Maokong Gondola.

This is a cable car which is the cable car from the MRT Taipei Zoo Station.

What’s unique about the Maokong Gondola is that the cable car’s platform is see-through, so you can see the view beneath you.

The Gondola also stops at the zoo, but we decided to spend time in the town just walking around and trying out all the street foods and tea.

Places visited in Maokong:

  • Maokong Teahouse
  • Tea Plantation
  • Zhangshan Temple
  • Maokong Zoo (optional)
taiwan itinerary 4 days
blowtorched steak
shilin night market
shilin night market

Shilin Night Market

Run free and eat your heart out.

There are so many stalls, so much food to try, so many things to look at.

One of the tips that we got is to try foods that have long queues—and that we did.

Foods you should try:

  • Hot Star Fried Chicken
  • Blowtorched steak
  • Boba
  • Fish balls
  • Grilled king oyster mushroom
  • Grilled octopus

Taiwan 4 Day Itinerary: Day 3

elephant mountain
taiwan itinerary 4 days

Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan Hiking Trail)

If you have seen pictures of a panoramic view of Taipei 101 and Taipe’s skyline, the view is probably from Elephant Mountain.

It’s about a 20-minute hike to the top, and there are a couple of spots along the way for picture taking.

Also, there are specific 3 boulders that people usually climb to get the perfect shot with the Taipei 101 building.

In total, there are 600 steps, which is totally doable, and you can easily take breaks when needed.

Overall, you cannot miss this hike, and I recommend prioritizing this in your Taiwan itinerary 4 days travel guide (because it’s free).

Through the MRT, simply take the red line to the last stop which is the Xiangshan Station.

Pull up google maps, and it will be a 10-minute walk.

We passed parks, apartment buildings, and basketball courts along the way.

millennium hot spring
millennium hot spring
taiwan itinerary 4 days

Beitou

This city is known as a retirement city in Taiwan because of its natural hot springs and greenery.

We could have chosen a fancy hot springs spa, but my husband and I took it to the next level and went to a $1 bathhouse where all the local senior citizens took baths.

We went to the Millennium Hot Springs, which is known as one of the oldest hot springs in Beitou.

It was the funniest experience ever because we had no idea what we were doing.

We even got yelled at since we took too long to get in the water because it was too hot!

Tip: Start with the cold spa first to numb the body. 

Then ease in to the warmer water and start going into the hotter spas once your body starts to get used to the temperature.

Other things to see here:

  • Beitou Hot Spring Museum
  • Beitou Thermal Valley
  • Free foot bath in Beitou Quan Yuan

Taiwan 4 Day Itinerary: Day 4

For day 4, we used Klook to book a tour that goes to Shifen and Jiufen.

The exact tour (A Day Tour in Jiufen and Shifen From Ximen (Day and Night Scene in Jiufen) that we did through Klook is no longer active.

Klook.com

Shifen Waterfall

The Shifen Waterfall, also known as Little Niagara, is one of the most stunning views in Taiwan.

Although not quite as grand as Niagara Falls, the highest point stands at 20 m (66 ft) high and 40m (131 ft).

You can enjoy they view while eating snacks and drinking boba from the café located nearby.

shifen
shifen railroad
shifen

Shifen Railroad

This town is a marketplace surrounding a railroad.

It is most famous for sky lanterns and souvenir shops.

You can buy your own lantern and depending on the color of the lantern you buy, there is a meaning to it.

The vendors set up the lantern for you to be able to paint each side with your wish(es).

Once you are done painting your lantern, the vendor will light up the lantern and give you instructions on when to release it; very similar science to a hot air balloon.

jiufen
taiwan itinerary 4 days
boba taipei
taiwan itinerary 4 days
beef jiufen
stinky tofu
jiufen foods taiwan

Jiufen

This mountainous small town is most famous for the real-life version of the Japanese animated movie spirited away Hayao Miyazaki.

There really is no proof that Miyazaki based the movie on this place, but I can tell you that it is quite magical.

Warning: this place is all stairs, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes!

Think dense narrow staircases decked with red lanterns, all kinds of mouthwatering Taiwanese foods including the most delicious melt in your mouth Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

I’m pretty sure I gained 20 lbs. from this day alone. We ate everything that looked good (basically everything).

Foods to try:

  • Boba, you can never have enough!
  • Fried seafood
  • Taiwanese beef noddle soup (MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH)
  • Stinky tofu (to be honest, I could not get myself to finish this. Consider yourself warned).
boba taipei
boba taipei
50 lan boba

Taiwan 4 Day Itinerary: Other Ideas or Optional Day 5

  • Try boba, Taiwan is the creator of boba
  • Eat Mango Shaved ice
  • Din Tai Fung- the first-ever Din Tai Fung establishment is in Taipei, try out the amazing xiaolongbao 
  • YehLiu Geopark
  • Maokong Zoo
  • Go on a food tour

Helpful Links For Travel Planning

Are you planning on traveling to Taiwan?

I hope this Taiwan Itinerary 4 Days Travel Guide is helpful with your planning.

Taiwan has so many amazing attractions and sceneries that we did not really have a set schedule.

Out of all the countries we traveled to in Southeast Asia, I truly believe that Taiwan had one of the best dishes.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.

As always, safe travels!

taiwan itinerary 4 days
taiwan 4 day itinerary

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