Wondering what to do in Taichung? On the hunt for the next instagrammable/foodie spots? You have come to the right place. Taichung is often overlooked by travelers, but in my opinion, it is one of the coolest places in Taiwan. It offers two of my favorite elements of travel: photo opportunities and delicious food. 😛 Ample of both in fact, as you will soon see. In this Taichung Travel Guide, I share my best recommendations on where to go, what to eat, and where to stay for visitors who only have about one to three days in this vibrant city. Use the table of contents if you want to skip right to the activities and make sure to download my printable Taichung itinerary near the end of the post.
*Psst this post contains affiliate links, which means, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for supporting.
How to get to Taichung
From Taipei, you can get to Taichung by Taiwan’s high-speed rail (HSR). The HSR departs quite often from Taipei Main Station (from 15 to 30 minutes). A free seat ticket is $675 NTD, which is about $23 USD. The ride is 50 minutes. Once you get to Taichung HSR station, you can either bus to the city, which will take about 50 minutes or get a taxi, which will take about 20 minutes. If you fancy, you can also just get a private transfer from Taoyuan Airport to your accommodation in Taichung.
When to visit Taichung
Taichung has fairly temperate climate year-round. We visited during January and the weather was absolutely lovely. The flowers were blooming and people were outside in shorts and t-shirts. It is best to avoid visiting during the summer months, July and August, when the temperature can get uncomfortably hot up to 32 degrees. Also, April 3rd-6th is Tomb Sweeping day in Taiwan. This is a time when people return to their family homes and help maintain the graves of their ancestors. It is ill-advised to travel during this time as traffic is busy and the mood is solemn. Otherwise, any time of the year is great. Here are some unique events in Taichung throughout the year that are fun to attend for foreigners:
January- February: preparation for Chinese Lunar New Year
March: Taiwan Lantern Festival and cherry blossom season
June: Dragon Boat Festival
October: Double Ten Holiday: A proud day for the locals as they celebrate everything Taiwanese.
November: Taiwan International Dance Festival
Where to stay in Taichung
We stayed at this lovely Airbnb in Taichung. Owned by an interior designer, the apartment is well designed with lots of clever usage of space. The bed was super soft and comfortable! The amenities showed a lot of thoughfulness. Kumao really was a super host. He made sure that we had an electric pot, mineral water, glasses, tea bag, coffee bag (We need tea every morning 100%), fluffy bath towel, hair dryer, and just about everything we needed. I highly recommend this listing.
*If it’s your first time using Airbnb, use my referrer link and enjoy $45 off your first booking!
Prefer staying in traditional accommodation? Check out these great choices:
- Great location with breakfast included. Rating 9.2 / Estimated price $14 USD
- Top rating + price combination on Booking.com Rating 9.7 / Estimated price $49 USD
- Ranked #1 by travelers on Tripadvisor Rating 8.9 /Estimated price $55 USD
- Clean hotel with modern interior design Rating 9.0 / Estimated price $37 USD
How to get around in Taichung
Public transportation is certainly available in Taichung. For the more adventurous souls, you can rent a scooter, or a bike, and go around like a local. The city has two public bike renting system on the streets, iBike and YouBike. (They are pretty much the same TBH. Not sure why there are two. I’m sure if there is a third one, it will be called WeBike 😛 ) If you like to travel in more comfort, and style, you can rent a car (Here is an economical option and a premium option) To save time, my recommendation is actually hiring a private driver. This is what we did as we really wanted to see as much as possible in a short amount of time. Our driver was knowledgeable of all the tourist sights plus some more. We were glad we chose this option also because we were traveling with my boyfriend’s mom, who has some mobility limitations. With the private driver, we got around town quickly and efficiently, which was everything that we hoped for.
Psst you can also join a pre-arranged city tour of Taichung. Klook has many awesome listings. Check them out.
What to do in Taichung
Now let’s move on to all the fun things! As more tourists travel down to Sun Moon Lake and Alisan from Taipei, they are slowly beginning to discover Taichung, located on the way. This city, full of colorful art and cute cafes, is easy to fall in love with. Hurry up and explore its offerings before everyone else start coming in herds. 😛
Just a 10 minutes drive away from the HSR station is a beautiful art installation called “Rainbow Village”. These funky houses used to be homes of Chinese soldiers. After the houses became abandoned, the government wanted to tear them down. However, one of the veterans named Huang Yung-Fu decided to paint the whole village and convince the city to keep it. Now, Rainbow Village is one of the most popular tourist spots in Taichung. Mr. Huang still lives here and maintains the houses. He is known affectionately as “Rainbow Grandpa”. You can read all about his story inside some of the houses.
Rainbow Village is totally free to visit and a great photo spot you absolutely can’t miss.
Rainbow Village Address: 408, Taiwan, Taichung City, Nantun District, 春安路56巷25號
Painted Animation Lane
I love street art and I love cartoon. Put these two together and you’d have me shrieking in excitement like a 5 year old. The Painted Animation Lane in Taichung is the cutest street art alley I’ve ever seen. Seriously, Taichung has so many talented artists….These paintings feature many beloved characters from anime and cartoon. You can find Super Mario brothers, Pikachu, Popeye, minions and several Disney friends. Ooh the nostalgia. I still remember waking up early on Sunday mornings to watch cartoons. Those were the best days. Go ahead, indulge your inner child.
Painted Animation Lane Address: Lane 100, Linsen Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
Zhongshe Guanguang Flower Market
The Zhongshe Guanguang Flower Market is actually a bit out of the way, but for true flowers/photography lovers, it is so worth it to make the trek. The market has fields of beautiful flowers blooming all year round. Every corner is Insta worthy. This was one of my favorite places during all of my travels in Taiwan. I mean, look at this lavender field of dreams. *Insert heart-shaped eyes. The drive from the city takes about half an hour. If you take public transportation, it’s around an hour and a half. You see what I mean about hiring a private driver? It cuts down travel time so much. Many of the fields have sweet props like swings and this giant (fake) piano. I felt like I was in a music video, channeling my inner Alicia Keys.
Thinking back now, I’m surprised that we didn’t see anyone taking wedding photos. My boyfriend and I definitely seized the chance to take some cute shots together. I know, before we nauseate you with our couple-ness, let me just say we don’t get to get to see each other all the time, being in a long-distance relationship and all. Ok? Bear with us now. 😛
*Know before you go: The market also has an all you can eat BBQ restaurant. If you buy lunch there, entrance to the flower area is free! We did this. The food was very so-so. But hey, we killed two birds with one stone. I’m always about that efficiency.
Zhongshe Guanguang Flower Market Address: No. 333號, Section 5, Sanfeng Road, Houli District, Taichung City, Taiwan 421
Taichung Cultural Heritage Park
I’m going to keep showing you all the colours of Taichung until your eyes bleed rainbow. 😛 Taichung Cultural Heritage Park is in the south district of the city. The history of the attraction goes back to 1916, when it used to be a brewery factory when the Japanese had colonial control of Taiwan. After Taiwan was handed over to China in 1945, the factory kept going until 1998, when the government asked the business to move elsewhere. The abandoned houses were eventually designated as historic monuments and got re-imagined by the Council for Cultural Affairs into a creative park. Today, the Taichung Cultural Heritage Park houses public art and studios for artists, and hosts events and exhibitions.
You can still witness relics from its former brewery days, however. The TTL Taichung Wine Village in the park is dedicated to showcasing old brewing equipment.
Taichung Cultural Heritage Park Address: No. 362號, Section 3, Fuxing Road, South District, Taichung City, Taiwan 402
A trip to Taichung cannot be without a visit to Gaomei Wetland, the best sunset-watching spot in the city. Even if you are pressed for time, I don’t want you to miss this beautiful place. You can actually combine Gaomei Wetland and the Zhongshe Guanguang Flower Market in one day tour. Watch the sun set between white windmills against the golden sky. Ahh such a serene moment. It can get quite windy at the wetland. Make sure to take a coat. Not going to lie, while I look composed in the photos, I was actually freezing my butt off.
Here’s another annoyingly cute photo of me and Alan, taken by Alan’s mom. Is this turning into a “Romantic Taichung Travel Guide for Couples” or what?
Also called Chungshan Park, this urban green space in the north district is a popular place to hang out for locals and foreigners alike on a nice day. Built in 1903 during the Japanese rule era, it is a designated historical site today. You can see some of the Japanese influence like the long red bridge over the water. A fun activity to do is renting a boat and go rowing on the lake. Rental cost is 200NT ($6 USD). Visit in March and see the lake enveloped in gorgeous pink cherry blossoms. Nighttime in the park is also stunning as the center pavilion gets lighted up. People also celebrate the annual lantern festival here, which is quite a sight to behold.
Taichung Park Address: No. 65號, Section 1, Shuangshi Road, North District, Taichung City, Taiwan 404
Taichung Confucius Temple
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There are many Confucius Temples in Taiwan. The one in Taichung is quieter in terms of traffic, comparing to the ones in busier cities like Taipei and Tainan, even though it is just as majestic. This means better photography opportunities for you and overall calmer experience. The Taichung Confucius Temple was constructed in 1976. There are many rich details in the architecture, which follows the Chinese Song Dynasty style. Make sure to capture some close up shots of the beautiful red door, the multi-colored ceilings, and the ornate interior of Dacheng Hall.
Taichung Confucius Temple Address: No. 30號, Section 2, Shuangshi Road, North District, Taichung City, Taiwan 404
National Taichung Theater
This modern opera house is less than a decade old. Officially opened in 2016, it has attracted a lot of attention for its stunning appearance. The building was designed by famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Mr. Ito said his work is a whirlpool. As he describes it, “it forms its own space. Yet immerses into the flow.” Deep right? There is definitely a sense of smooth flow when you step into the interior space. Take a guided tour and really get to know the theater. And if you have time, consider catching a show. Check what’s on here.
National Taichung Theater Address: No. 101號, Section 2, Huilai Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407
Dali Art Plaza
The Dali Art Plaza displays quirky artwork from all over the world. The giant plaza is home to a huge outdoor concert space, multi-functional indoor performance halls, a number of art galleries, book galleries, shops, and restaurants. It is creat to spark visitors imagination. How stunning is this LED rose garden? (Above photo)
Dali Art Plaza Address: No. 1號, Keji Road, Dali District, Taichung City, Taiwan 41267
CMP Block Museum of Art
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Last art spot I promise. (I know. I’ve never seen so many of them in one city) The CMP Block Museum of Art is an outdoor open-air museum that is completely free to visit. Similar to several other spots I mentioned, the area was old and unattractive before its development. Big props to the Taichung art council for their imagination. Today, the 7500 square meter museum covers several street blocks. There is a melange of unusual creations. Many of the artworks on display are approachable and interactive. According to different trends and holidays, the museum also hosts special exhibitions. This is a great place for both children and adults to run around. Since the area has become quite busy, there are many coffee shops nearby if you get tired and want a break.
*UPDATE: The CMP Museum of Art is closed for construction. On their website, it is said to be shut down until 2022.
CMP Block Museum of Art Address: No. 71, Guanqian Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 404
Where to eat in Taichung
All the photo-taking got you hungry? Have no fear, food is never too far away in Taichung. While Tainan probably has the best food scene that I’ve experienced in Taiwan, Taichung comes in a very close second. Read on for all the drool-worthy places.
There are two famous night markets in Taichung, Fengjia night market and Zhongxiao night market. We liked the latter better. As opposed to the huge Fenjia market, Zhongxiao is easier to navigate as the stalls are all down one street. We definitely ate our weight in street food here. A couple of things to try: Guabao, a yummy bun stuffed with pork belly; Oyster omelets, BBQ skewers, and for the brave eaters, stinky tofu!
Zhongxiao Night Market: Address: Zhongxiao Road, South District, Taichung City, Taiwan 402
This hot pot restaurant on Meicun road is amazing! We discovered it by accident really. The small family-owned business uses all the freshest ingredients. We tried their spicy pot and the broth was really flavourful. The restaurant owners were really kind to chat with us and gave us huge portions of food. We would definitely return to this restaurant again if we revisit Taichung in the future.
Si Ji Guo Shi Address: No. 232, Section 1, Meicun Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
Chun Shui Tang
Are you a fan of bubble, AKA boba? If so, you have to visit Chung Shui Tang, the original establishment that invented this worldwide famous drink. If you’ve never had boba before, even more reason to try it. This milky sugary Taiwanese tea is absolutely delicious, and addicting. Once you go boba, you will never go back. Chun Shui Tang also offers dim sum, so you can have a full meal here as well. There are actually multiple locations but the original store is located on Siwei street. It’s a good idea to go early in the morning as the restaurant gets really busy and it’s no fun to wait in queue when you are hangry.
Chung Shui Tang Address: No. 30 Siwei Street, Taichung, Taiwan
Ice Cream in Taichung
I adore ice cream so much. Taichung has some amazing spots that I just fell in love with. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to check out these stores.
I’m Talato Ice Cream
I’m Talato has several locations in Taichung. They offer many unique ice cream flavors. We tried the chocolate flavor and the sesame flavor. Both were really good. Alan also had an espresso that he liked a lot. Meanwhile, I was too busy going gaga over the store’s adorable decor. There is a “swimming pool” filled with ice cream cone at the back of the store, and a teeter-totter of ice cream right outside the store. How sickeningly sweet are these photos I got? 😉
I’m Talato Address: No. 451, Yingcai Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
Miyahara Ice Cream
When I first read Miyahara Ice Cream’s store name in Chinese, 宮原眼科 , I was confused because it means “eye clinic”. Later on, I found out that it was indeed an eye clinic back in Japanese colonial time. After Taiwan was given back to China, Miyahara became the Taichung Health Bureau. It slowly declined and the building decayed. Thankfully, a renowned pineapple cake company took over and totally transformed the place. Miyahara became a dessert shop. Everyday, there is a long line of people outside the store waiting to try the legendary Miyahara ice cream and pineapple cakes. As if the sweets are not enough, the interior of the shop is inspired by Hogwarts in Harry Potter!
Miyahara Ice Cream Address: No. 20號, Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan 400
Taichung Travel Guide Summary
A recurring theme that I noticed in Taichung is people’s creativity and resilience. So many places mentioned in this article had been forgotten until someone came along and gave them new lives. I really love that about Taichung. It has a spirit that is very bright and imaginative. Don’t you think so?
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Walking on a rainbow 🌈 Coming to Taiwan was a great way to end my year with a bang! 2017 has been amazing. A lot of new places explored, new things tried and learned. Revamping my blog was something I've spent a lot of time on in 2017. Proud of the direction it's heading and I got lots of ideas for it in #2k18. What were some of your proud achievements this past year?
Taichung Landmark Map
Taichung 1 Day Itinerary Free Printable Download
Feeling excited yet overwhelmed about all the things there are to do in Taichung? Don’t know which activity to pick because you have a very short amount of time? Don’t worry. I went ahead and made the tough choices for you. For the in-a-rush travelers who only have a day in Taichung, I created a one-day itinerary with my picks of the can’t miss activities. Enter your email below to get the download link in your inbox. By signing up, you will also receive the TBB newsletter where I share monthly travel tips, new itineraries, and exclusive goodies like free printables.
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