Taipei transportation is great and there are many options to get around the city.
There are many options when it comes to traveling to Taipei or getting around the city. For first-timers, read through the info below so you can make the most adequate plans for your trip!
Fortunately, getting in and around Taipei is easy and convenient. There are MANY transportation options for a large city. Key: be prepared to metro your way throughout the trip. It’s inexpensive and will get you anywhere. Here’s a quick breakdown:
GETTING TO TAIPEI:
Getting to Taipei is easy with direct flights from Singapore to Taipei and you’ll most likely be landing in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport 台灣桃園國際機場 (TPE) situated 30 kilometers away from Taipei city center. The train access from airport to Taipei city won’t be completed until December 2015. Until then, here are different ways to get into the city from the airport:
From TPE to Taipei by airport shuttle:
This may be the most efficient yet economical way to travel from the airport to the city. For less than NT$150 the Express Airport Buses will take you either to Taipei Main Railway Station 台北火車站 (with a stop at Yuanshan MRT Station 圓山站) or to Taipei Grand Hyatt Hotel 台北君悅酒店 (with a stop at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station 忠孝復興站.) The buses take off every 15 minutes and each ride takes approximately 50 minutes to reach city center.
There’s also a free airport shuttle bus between Novotel Taoyuan Airport Hotel to the airport.
If you’re traveling to different cities such as Taichung, Zhanghua, Xindian or Zhongli, visit here for more shuttle info.
From TPE to Taipei by private cars:
This is also a highly recommended option if you don’t mind spending NT$1500 (not much more than a taxi) for a pre-arranged car service. You can ask your hotel to arrange a private sedan with a driver, who will meet you at the arrival area. The ride is about 30 minutes, while the service is easy and comfortable.
Here are other private car companies we recommend:
Taipei Car Service: Has cars ranging from Toyota Camry (USD $33) to Mercedes E-class (USD $48.) They also provide day tours in the city.
Vincent Vacations: You can add airport transfer to a travel package, with cancellation available within 5 days of your travel date.
From TPE to Taipei by taxi:
From NT$900 to NT$1200, you can catch a taxi outside of the airport to reach Taipei city. For more information, visit here.
Renting a car at TPE:
The cost of renting a car at the airport is more expensive than renting from kiosks in Taipei city, but it’s also more convenient at the airport. Bonus: they speak English. You’ll need to prepare an international driver’s license and your regular state or province driver’s license.
In Terminal, the car service is located at the arrival lobby, look for a company called Ching Bing, open from 5 a.m. to midnight.
In Terminal 2, the car service is also located at the arrival lobby area. The company is called Easy Rent, they’re open from 9 a.m. to midnight.
GETTING AROUND Taipei:
As a rising international metropolis, it’s a breeze getting around Taipei. Taxis and MRT are the best form of transportation, while walking is also ideal. Renting a car or driving in the city requires special skills since traffic is often congested and drivers often make unexpected turns and stops.
Taipei’s Mass Rapid Transit system 台北捷運 (MRT) has been voted as the world’s best metro system in the world for multiple years. It’s clean, safe, efficient and gets you where you need to be ON TIME. The trains run from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Each ride costs between NT$20 and NT$65 and each station has both Mandarin and English written languages. Inside the train, you’ll hear announcements in four different types of languages: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka and English.
If you’ll be traveling in Taipei for more than a few days, then get a refillable EasyCard 悠遊卡 (pronunciation: yo-yo-ka.) You can add up to NT$5,000 on these smartcards, which you can refill at ticket offices, vending machines, and at convenience stores.. The cards provide 20% discount on all rides. Students can save a lot by showing a student ID to attain EasyCard Student Pass. EasyCards can also be used at certain bus stations, parking lots and for YouBikes.
There’s no drinking or eating inside the trains. If caught, you’ll be fined. “Safety Zones” are special platforms designated for women and children traveling at night. Each MRT station is also wheelchair-friendly and almost all stations have elevators.
If you’re traveling luxuriously, or you’d like to hire a private car for a day tour, here are a few private car companies we recommend which may work well for business travelers as well:
Taipei Car Service: Provides English guides and translation services. At the end of each day the driver will have you verify the days toll and parking receipts, the meter amounts (start and finish) and the pick up and/or drop off times on an invoice. The company will process the invoice and charge your credit card as per your booking and email you a receipt.
Limo.com: Whether you need a party bus to celebrate a birthday or wedding, or an executive black car for Taipei airport transfers, Limos.com finds the best vehicle to fit your needs. Hiring chauffeured transportation and limousine service in Taipei allows you to avoid the hassle of parking and confusing directions.
Taxis in Taipei are THE BEST! They’re inexpensive, prevalent throughout the city and will get you anywhere at anytime. Drivers are extremely friendly and honest. So you don’t need to worry about being ripped off. Meters start at NT$70, an additional NT$20 is added for late night fees. No tipping is necessary.
Most taxis have GPS systems. If you don’t speak Mandarin, show your Google map on your phone or have your destination written down in Chinese to show the driver.
Buses in Taipei can get you anywhere in the city with NT$15 for each zone. The confusing part is that foreigners (even locals) can’t tell which zones end and start at what point. If you need to pay for more than one zone, the driver will tell you. Stations and directions are written in both Mandarin and English. You can pay by cash or with your MRT EasyCard.
In recent years, Taipei launched YouBike rental program allowing easier transport for locals and travelers. You can use EasyCard to rent these yellow bikes which are parked near most metro stations. Sometimes you’ll see bike lanes in Taipei, if not, you can legally ride bikes on sidewalks.