Taipei, Taiwan: the Crown Jewel of Formosa
The capital of Taiwan, Taipei is the political, financial, and cultural lifeline of the island. It is a modern metropolis with world-class shopping, dozens of great museums, a wide variety of excellent restaurants, and history, all connected seamlessly by one of the best public transportation systems in the world.
There are two International airports in Taipei.
Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) is the most convenient airport for traveling to Taipei, with airlines from all around the world flying in on regular schedules. Located approximately 50 kilometers from TICC, we recommend hopping into a taxi or airport shuttle (No.1960 to Grand Hyatt Hotel) for the most direct and seamless way to get to Xinyi District.
The Taipei Songshan Airport primarily provides services to locations in Taiwan, as well as other locations in Asia, including Seoul, Tokyo, mainland China, and other countries. It is significantly closer to TICC (30 mins drive to TICC).
Taxi fare from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei City will cost approximately NTD1,200, and from Songshan Airport about NT$500.
Northern Taiwan has a subtropical climate. Daytime temperatures in Taipei in December are around 22°C (71°F), falling to around 16°C (60°F) in the evening. Participants are advised to bring light and warm clothing and basic rain wear.
The official language in Taiwan is Mandarin. English is widely spoken and the Taiwanese are friendly, you can easily ask for or clarify directions as needed; and most signs for destinations and on public transportation are in English too. However, some taxi drivers might have limited ability to speak English. We recommend you carry Mandarin translations for places you're going to and hotel address card to show to the driver.
Getting Around in Taipei City
In Taiwan, taxis are in yellow and can be found at taxi ranks in the city and at major locations such as hotels and airports. Taxis can also be hailed in the street in Taipei City.
Uber is also available.
The Taipei metro is often the fastest and most convenient mode of public transport in Taipei. Train arrives on average every 3 to 5 minutes, and the average time between stations in metropolitan Taipei is around 2 mins.
Smoking, eating, drinking, and chewing gum are not allowed inside the metro.
One-way tickets can be purchased at the ticket machines at the station before passing through the gate. Daily and multi-day passes and EasyCard travel cards (pronounced “yo-yo card”) can be purchased at the information desk or EasyCard customer service center.
Taipei buses cover the whole city and are a good way to explore Taipei in depth.
Fares: Fares can be paid in coins or with the electronic EasyCard travel card. One trip or segment costs NTD15.
If paying by EasyCard, swipe (tap) the card both upon getting-on and getting-off the bus and the bus fare will be deducted accordingly.
The YouBike network is integrated with the metro. YouBike stations are located outside every metro station and near most major sites in Taipei.
Tax/Service Fees and Tips
Sales tax is usually included in the price and does not have to be added. A 10% service charge is added to bills in hotels and restaurants. Tipping is not customary in Taiwan. On payment, receipts are issued as proof of purchase.
The official currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD), which is available in the following denominations:
(coins) $1, $5, $10, $50;
(notes) $100, $200, $500, $1000
Shops in Taiwan do not accept traveler’s checks, so visitors holding traveler’s cheques should have them converted into Taiwanese dollars at a bank.
Opening hours are typically 9:30 to 15:30, Monday to Friday. ATMs are located throughout Taipei.
The current exchange rate is approximately US$1 to NTD30
Foreign currencies can be redeemed upon arrival at the airport, in a bank, or at large department store authorized by the government to convert currencies.
Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, JCB, UnionPay etc.) are accepted in most shops, hotels and restaurants.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, the MRT system, and bus stops.
Taipei is 8 hours ahead of GMT.
For more travel information to Taipei City, please visit the official Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City.