The Ultimate Taiwan Budget Travel Guide

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Asia

This is your perfect Taiwan budget travel guide!

Taiwan is a great destination for budget travel. The nation is known as the home of bubble tea and legendary romantic drama, but it also offers exciting and budget-friendly experiences. Taiwan sure is a big deal for those who love traveling! You can find yourself hiking the beautiful Yushan mountain, gulping creamy bubble tea, munching on juicy guanbao (pork buns), flying lanterns in traditional villages, and taking photos of stunning oriental-style pagodas. Moreover, Taiwan is not just great for your bucket list but also friendly to your wallet! 

Taiwan is an affordable country to travel to. You can easily find cheap accommodations, free yet gorgeous tourist attractions, wildly affordable stuff sold in night markets, and of course, crazy delicious one-euro street foods! Here are some tips on how to get the best experiences and finds in Taiwan on a budget :

Cheap street foods, perfect for your Taiwan budget travel

Street Foods Should Be on the Top of the Menu

Can you imagine getting a one-euro rice bowl for lunch and another euro for dinner? Taiwan says it is possible! Cheap street foods are all over the country, from savory snacks to sweet desserts. Even though they are very affordable, those street foods are next level. You can find Michelin star snacks, like Liu Yu Zi fried taro balls, for less than a euro. Another recommendation would be flour rice noodles, with their heartfelt soup and nice texture, which cost around two euros. You wouldn’t want to miss boba drinks when visiting the birthplace of boba. Surprisingly, there are a lot of boba shops that sell a cup for less than two euros. I couldn’t think of a greater offer than that! 

Try Taiwan’s Public Transportation. It is comfy and budget-friendly! 

Moving around Taiwan is easy. There are lots of public transportation options in the country, from buses to metros. Fees for intracity metro rides are fairly affordable. You can buy a Metro Pass Card or Easy Card, which differs according to the duration. A 24-hours Easy Card pass costs NTD 180 or €5.91. Meanwhile, intra-city buses in Taipei and Taichung cost about NTD 15 or less than a euro. Though the fees are very affordable, Taiwan’s public transportation is comfortable and convenient.

Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

There are lots of accommodations option in Taiwan. You can find luxurious hotels with five-star service to hostels with bunk beds where you can meet other travelers. Standard hotel rooms in Taipei cost about €40 or NTD1,200. For cheaper options, you can book a hostel for €16 or NTD per night.

Visit Free Tourist Destinations

Free tourist destinations are great for your wallet and fantastic for your Instagram posts! Lots of free tourist destinations are available in Taiwan. It won’t cost you anything to see the stunning Chiang Kai-Sek memorial hall and its pretty zen-style garden. Feeling adventurous? Try hiking Elephant Mountain, which stretches around 1.5km from Taipei’s central. The astonishing view of Taipei city from above costs you zero.

Go for a Trip with Travel Buddies

The more, the merrier. That tagline hits in when it comes to traveling on a budget! You can spend less money if you share the traveling costs with your friends. A hotel room for two is much cheaper than booking one on your own. Some group tours cost less than individual ones. Moreover, traveling with your friends can bring so much fun! 

Worry not; if you find trouble finding travel mates as your best buddy is busy or your partner can’t take a day off, we got your back! Find your perfect TripMates with us. 

The Perfect Five Days Taiwan Budget Travel Itinerary

Looking forward to an amazing but cheap Taiwan trip? We’ve got you covered! Here are a five days Taiwan travel itinerary for you to experience the alluring Taiwanese culture, food, and experiences. This itinerary will let you experience the bustling Taipei, the cultural melting pot Taichung, and the picturesque Alishan. Of course, it is budget-friendly! 

Day 1: Explore the Trendy Taipei and Street Food Adventure

Stunning Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial Hall for your Taiwan budget travel bucket list

Spend your first day in Taiwan exploring the metropolitan city of Taipei! You can visit stunning palaces and pagodas, classic historical places, and grab some delicacies. Here are some must-visit destinations during your first day :

Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial Hall

The 4,000 ft square offers three stunning oriental-styled buildings, one of which is the Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial Hall. For history lovers, this place is for you! Take a glance at Taiwan’s history as you reach the top stairs of Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial Hall, presented through dioramas and statues. Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial Hall is also decorated with beautiful zen-styled gardens. The best news? No entry fee!

Elephant Mountain

Taking a glance at the bustling Taipei from a panoramic view can be an exhilarating experience. You can do that in Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world. However, if you are looking for cheaper attractions, visit Elephant Mountain. The 183m high hill offers you a hiking experience and a gorgeous panoramic view of Taipei. The best time to visit Elephant Mountain is at sunset, as the pretty orange-purple light gives you a picture-perfect view of Taipei. 

Shilin Night Market

As the night is approaching and your stomach starts grumbling for food, go to Shilin Night Market. The famous night market is open at 4 PM while reaching its busiest hours around 7 PM. Shilin Night Market is the home of Michelin-star vendor Liu Yu Zi taro balls. This night market feels like heaven if you are traveling budget! You can get five different street foods for just €5.

Night markets sure are interesting! Explore other night markets here.

Day 2: Take a Day Trip to the Movie-Like New Taipei City

Stunning geopark, which gives you Star Wars vibes, old towns that look like those in Hongkong kungfu movies, and an oriental street that makes you feel like you are entering a Ghibli movie. The attractions in New Taipei City would make you feel like a movie star! Some of the must-visits in New Taipei City are :

Yehliu Geopark

At a glance, Yehliu Geopark looks like Star Wars: The Force Awakens set. Desert-like lands, coral stones, and stunning sandstone formations. Years of geological movements create unique sandstone formations, from the classic heart to the eccentric ice cream-shaped stones. You can find the iconic ‘Queen Head’, a stone that looks like an Ancient Egyptian queen’s side profile. You can see the brilliant blue sea of the Northern Taiwan coast while enjoying the picturesque scenery of sandstone formations. 

The entry fee for Yehliu Geopark is NTD 80 or €2.63. The park is very accessible. You can get on the No.1815 bus from Taipei City Hall to Yehliu, then continue with a 15-minutes walk to the geopark.

Jiufen Old Street

Feel like a Hongkong mafia or Ghibli character in this destination! Jiufen Old City is a narrow alleyway with a bunch of Chinese-style ornaments and shops. The street will remind you of Ghibli Studio’s most popular piece, Spirited Away. The red lanterns, small oriental-style shops, bonsai plants, and beautiful buildings make you feel like you are in Ghibli’s magical world or spending your daily mafia life. We would like to recommend A-Mei Tea House, a popular tea house for you to experience traditional Taiwanese tea ceremonies and have a healthy, delightful cup of tea. A session at A-Mei Tea House could cost you around NTD 300 or €10

Notable experience of flying lanterns during Taiwan budget travel

Pingxi District

Magnificent natural scenery and Taiwanese culture collaborate nicely in Pingxi District. Pingxi is the home of the Taiwan lantern festival. If you are looking for a vibrant Taiwanese traditional festival, visit Pingxi in February. The new year lantern festival will leave you in awe! At Pingxi District, you can make a wish and write it on an enormous lantern. Fly your lantern and let your wishes reach the heavens. This unique experience will cost you around NTD 150 or €5

Day 3: Explore the Quirky Ximending 

Find affordable stuffs in the colorful Ximending for your Taiwan budget travel experience

Quirky, vibrant, and fun that is Ximending! Feel some touch of Japanese Harajuku culture in Taiwan in this district. Find yourself walking through the Ximending intersection, which looks a lot like the Shibuya intersection with its large billboards and trendy shops. You can find lots of unique themed cafes, from the Japanese legendary maid cafe to toilet-themed cafes. Ximending is the absolute place for those who love shopping! There are lots of shops selling crafts, souvenirs, and clothes at very affordable prices. Sounds good for a budget trip, isn’t it?

Day 4: Move Your Way to Central Taiwan and Get Into Taichung’s Vibe

One of the pretty and cheap travel destinations for your Taiwan budget travel list

Central Taiwan offers you mouth-watering cuisines, crazy experiences, stunning nature, and colorful cities. Indeed, it is worth visiting! The city of Taichung is just a one-hour train ride away from Taipei, and it will be your first stop for this amazing adventure! Here are some must-visit and must-do in Taichung!

Rainbow Village

This vibrant village looks really pretty in pink! The Rainbow Village is a tourist attraction starring houses with colorful paintings and cute murals. This destination is perfect for those who love to take some pictures or pose for an outfit of the day (OOTD) post. The colorful adventure in the Rainbow Village costs you nothing. You can also grab some cute souvenirs to support the locals in the village. 

Taichung Park

Take a deep breath and relax in this serene park. Taichung Park features a Japanese-style zen garden with a large blue-green lake at the center. Have a relaxing time by walking through the lovely park or sitting down to enjoy the scenery. 

Feng Chia Night Market

Night markets in Taiwan are surely great! Especially this one, the Feng Chia Night Market. This vibrant night market is the largest night market in Taiwan, with hundreds of vendors selling street foods and delicacies. Roasted duck bun, chicken chops, and pork stew are the must-try delicacies. If you are looking for the Taiwan traditional ones, make sure to try stinky tofu. The unique taste and smell are quite extreme, but legend says they taste good! 

Day 5: Take a Day Trip to Alishan 

The magical Alishan is perfect for your Taiwan budget travel

Find yourself lost in the fairytale-like Alishan! The mountainous region offers stunning pine forests, stunning zen temples, and picturesque natural beauty. You can reach Alishan by train or bus from Taipei. We would recommend the Alishan Rainforest Train. The classic, Japanese-built train is perfect to enjoy the alluring beauty of Alishan’s forest. The two hours train ride will cost you NTD 384 or €12. However, if you are looking for cheaper options, you can take a bus from Chiayi for NTD 271 or €9. Spend the day admiring Alishan’s alluring scenery, taking a relaxing walk in Chaoping Park, and getting a bowl of hot soup. 

Taiwan is a wonderful destination for those who are seeking awesome experiences and luscious food while being on a budget. Pack your bags and get ready to explore this amazing Eastern Asia country. You could also find like-minded TripMates to join you on your perfect Taiwan trip.

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