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BESIDES being an economic hub, Taipei is a metropolis you can make for a relaxed and charming Taiwan travel itinerary.

You just have to look past the omnipresence of Taipei 101. Do so, and options are aplenty for a quick and easy R&R.

If you have a day to kill in this city — be it a layover or just a short business trip — we’ve got the perfect Taiwan travel itinerary for you. Whether its drinks, getting local-designer clothes or just where to stay for a night, here is how to spend a day in our favourite city of Taiwan.

This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia HK.

 

 

01
Mandarin Oriental Taipei (<10 hours)
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Taiwan travel itinerary: How to spend 24 hours in Taipei
Image credit: Mandarin Oriental Taipei

Nestled comfortably in Taipei’s most established business district, this Mandarin Oriental outpost is a 5-minute drive from Songshan airport.

Its spacious rooms are luxuriously modern with rich classical influences.

Also, it has impressive spa facilities spread over 2 floors, including a fully-equipped Fitness & Wellness Centre — should you wish to start your day with rejuvenated senses.

02
Breakfast at Café Un Deux Trois (2 hours)
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Taiwan travel itinerary: How to spend 24 hours in Taipei
Image credit: Mandarin Oriental Taipei
  • Start your day with a hearty breakfast right in your own hotel.
  • Café Un Deux Trois features a wide range of international cuisines in buffet style, with a three-meal restaurant concept. Pick from its unique breakfast sets — Traditional English, Continental and Spa breakfast.
03
Visit the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (1 hour)
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Built in memory of the first president of the Republic of China, work on the hall began a year after President Chiang’s passing.

The hall is white with a blue roof, representing the dominant colours in the ROC flag.

You’ll also spot a bronze statue of Chiang looking west, in the direction of the Presidential Office Building as well as mainland China.

04
Lunch at Xiang Se (2 hours)
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Taiwan travel itinerary: How to spend 24 hours in Taipei
Image credit: Xiang Se

 Xiang Se might be the most committed of cafes you’ll visit hidden in plain sight.

Venture through a dilapidated doorway and you’re greeted with ash furniture and a decrepit paint job that’s actually fitting for the ‘gram.

Its brunch fare excites yet feels familiar, with dishes like emulsion covered avocado toast and breakfast curry substituting white rice for polenta.

05
Shop at Ne.Sense (1-2 hours)
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Taiwan travel itinerary: How to spend 24 hours in Taipei
Image credit: Ne.Sense

At the fashion district of Xinyi, Ne.Sense has an exceptional curation of both the best avant-garde menswear brands like Agi & Sam and streetwear names like Komakino and Off-White.

Even Hypebeast raves about this place — now you can’t pass up a chance for a wardrobe update.

 

06
Visit Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (1-2 hours)
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The Songshan Cultural and Creative Park used to be where the first modern tobacco factory in Taiwan was housed.

Its Baroque courtyards are now populated by small businesses — bookstores and cafes alike.

Exhibitions are held time to time across the park’s five former warehouses, where you can witness one of the largest art shows in the city.

Its exhibition halls close at 6pm, after which you can still visit the neighbouring Taiwan Design Center.

07
Dine at Indulge Experimental Bistro (2 hours)
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Taiwan travel itinerary: How to spend 24 hours in Taipei

    Image credit: Indulge Experimental Bistro

Coming in hot at no. 3 on this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, Indulge Experimental Bistro continues to be the best bar in Taiwan. Come attest to the best that local drinks culture has to offer in the form of homegrown botanicals or the Taiwanese “Four Season” tea.

Also expect restaurant quality dishes like whole soft shell crab, garnished with sticky rice and dried shrimp sabayon.

This is a spot we highly recommended for some grub or a tipple — perhaps both.

 

08
Last stop: Raohe Street Night Market (1-2 hours)
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While most travellers flock to Shilin, you should visit its less mainstream counterpart, since Raohe Street triumphs with all things edible.

It is a convenient, centralised repository for some of the best Taiwanese street food.

Be it Crispy Fuzhou Black Pepper buns or steaming bowls of Chen Dong Pork ribs Medicinal Herbs Soup — you want it, they got it.