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Affordable Travel: Things to Do in Taiwan When On a Budget

Unlock affordable travel adventures with these top things to do in Taiwan that will help safeguard your budget while enriching your journey. Find out more.

Taiwan

Are you traveling to Taiwan on a budget? You’re in luck! This island in the western Pacific Ocean is a goldmine for travelers who want to stretch their budget without missing out on the fun. With a mix of free sights, cheap eats, and affordable adventures, Taiwan lets you experience its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes without spending a fortune. 

Dive into our guide for the top things to do in Taiwan that promise affordable travel and unforgettable memories.

1. Explore the Spiritual Serenity of Longshan Temple

Starting your Taiwan trip with a visit to Longshan Temple is like stepping into a living piece of history, and the best part? It’s absolutely free. Located in Taipei’s oldest district, Wanhua, Longshan beautifully blends Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian faiths, offering visitors a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich spiritual and cultural heritage.

Built in 1738, Longshan has stood the test of time, surviving both natural disasters and the bombings of World War II. Each restoration undertaken by the local community has reinforced its significance as a symbol of Taiwan’s resilience.

While Longshan’s main deity is Guanyin, Longshan also enshrines the God of Wealth, Caishen. Consider stopping by to pay your respects; who knows, a simple visit might just turn the tide of fortune in your favor, giving your travel budget that extra stretch.

But what makes Longshan one of the most famous places in Taiwan for travelers is its celestial cupid—Yue Lao, the matchmaker deity. Amidst the serene beauty and ancient rites, Longshan might just offer the ultimate budget-friendly bonus—free matchmaking, courtesy of the divine.

2. Capture the Best Views from Elephant Mountain

You don’t need to splash out to enjoy some of the best views in Taiwan. Elephant Mountain, located just a short walk from the Taipei Metro Xiangshan Station in Xinyi District, is among the must-visit places in Taiwan. With a 1.5-kilometer trail that climbs 600 ft., the walk is surprisingly manageable, typically requiring only 25 to 40 minutes to reach the top.

However, if you tire easily or have weak knees, don’t worry. Along the way up, there are several elephant-shaped benches where you can take a break and just enjoy being surrounded by nature. 

But let me tell you, the view from the top is totally worth it. You get this amazing sight of Taipei 101 and the whole city spread out below you without having to shell out for expensive tickets or tours. 

3. Savor the Flavors at Vibrant Night Markets

Taiwan

After a long day of adventure, one of the most rewarding things to do is visit Taiwan’s bustling night markets. From the famous Shilin Night Market in Taipei to the historic Fengjia Night Market in Taichung, these must-visit places offer a unique glimpse into the local lifestyle. 

Moreover, exploring these markets is an incredibly budget-friendly way to eat your way through some of the country’s most delicious and iconic dishes. Here, you can sample everything from mouth-watering street snacks like stinky tofu to oyster omelets and Taiwan’s famous bubble tea. But it’s not all about the food. Night markets are also great places to pick up affordable souvenirs like ink stones and hand-painted paper fans. 

As you wander through the lively aisles, soaking up the neon lights and the cacophony of sounds, you’ll find that the night markets are truly the heart and soul of Taiwanese urban culture.

4. Wander Through History at Lukang Old Street

If you’re traveling to Taiwan for a limited time, Lukang Old Street should definitely be on your list of must-visit places in Taiwan. This historic spot in Changhua County is your time machine back to the Qing Dynasty, showcasing age-old architecture and narrow alleys that tell tales of yesteryears.

In the 1900s, Lukang was ranked as Taiwan’s fifth most populous city, thriving with life and commerce. However, this vibrancy diminished over time due to the silting of its harbor and the city’s decision against the passage of railroads. 

Yet, this decline in commerce had an unexpected silver lining. While other cities in Taiwan sprinted towards modernization, Lukang held onto its rich history. Many of its ancient buildings stand to this day, offering a unique glimpse into a time before skyscrapers dominated Taiwan’s skyline.

Today, you can wander through carefully restored, century-old design shops and historic houses. Don’t miss the ancient temples scattered around, including visiting the famed Longshan Temple, hitting two historical highlights in one go. 

And the cherry on top? Experiencing this slice of history doesn’t cost a thing. But let’s be honest; you’ll probably want to spare a few coins for Lukang’s famous ox tongue cookies. Don’t worry—they’re as affordable as they are irresistible, making them the perfect, budget-friendly treat to cap off your visit.

Maximize Your Taiwan Trip Without Maxing Out Your Budget

Are you worried your travel budget to Taiwan might fall short? You’ll be happy to know that many of the best experiences, like those we’ve mentioned, are part of what makes Taiwan an ideal destination for affordable travel adventures. Of course, you’ll still need to account for food, transport, and accommodations, but with these budget-friendly things to do in Taiwan, you can enjoy a rich travel experience that’s light on your wallet.

Start planning your adventure today and see how far your Taiwan trip budget can take you.

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