Taiwan has always been an attractive destination for its beautiful natural scenery, rich Chinese traditional culture, and is also known as a food and shopping paradise. Like other developed countries, big cities in Taiwan have extremely developing and modern public transport systems. However, to travel a lot of places, to save time and money for traveling, understanding the public transport is basic, especially for first-time travelers come here. We will summarize a few advantages and disadvantages of public transport in Taiwan for you to compare and choose the vehicle that suits you best. So, how to get around Taiwan and how to travel around Taiwan by public transport and how to go around Taiwan? Let’s check out our suggested 5 best way to get around Taiwan and best way to travel around Taiwan to find out the answer!
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First, in brief, public transport in cities of Taiwan including 3 main types: Bus, MRT and bicycle. The means of transportation between provinces include: HSR high-speed train, train and intercity bus (Popular coach companies such as Kuo kuang, UBus, …).
Best way to get around Taiwan? Bus
The first is the convenient public bus system in Taiwan. This is an extremely friendly means for you to travel on your self-sufficient trip with soft price, which can take you to most tourist destinations in and outside the city. Of course, buses in Taiwan are good, even mini bus or shuttle buses, there is no cram passengers or running carelessly. You can buy tickets with Easy Card or cash. The bus stations in Taiwan are very convenient, with very useful information about: schedules, routes, even have bus schedule tables, bus number, traveling time for you refer to in advance and prepare.
However, the limitation of taking the bus is that you always have to depend on the departure time of the bus, which is very wasteful waiting, or you cannot take advantage of the time to visit, especially those who have a short self-sufficient trip with dense itinerary and want to go to visit many destinations. If you are traveling on your own, it is best to download the app to track the schedule of the bus. Major cities are all offer free apps that allow travelers to track their bus schedules.
Note: The bus routes in Taipei operate from 5am until 12pm, but in Taichung the bus only runs until 9pm, in Tainan is 10:30 pm. Therefore, this vehicle will not be suitable for those who like to go out late and explore the nightlife in Taiwan.
If you still want to travel by bus to see the street, but are afraid to wait for a long time, don’t worry, book immediately sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus ticket to explore Taipei day and night. Experience Sight Seeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus, will take you around the most famous places in Taipei with very reasonable prices and incentives (4-hour tickets only ~ 260 TWD, full day tickets is only ~612 TWD), so inexpensive!
Link to buy tickets here: Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour.
How to get around Taiwan? MRT in Taipei, Kaohsiung
Taipei and Kaohsiung are the two largest cities in Taiwan with very developed MRT system. This is a convenient means of transportation within the inner city. MRT stations are often located near tourist destinations or shopping malls, so it’s convenient for those who are not familiar to taking the bus in Taiwan.
Especially if you have the opportunity to visit Kaohsiung, do not miss the MRT Formosa Boulevard station, which is known as the most beautiful MRT station in Taiwan. A special feature of this place is the design as a giant kaleidoscope, with extremely brilliant glass dome. To get into the area under this dome, for only 20 TWD, you can have virtual living photos at one of the most impressive subway stations in the world.
However, when talking about utilities, the MRT system also has certain limitations, such as:
- Ticket prices are higher than taking the bus
- Passengers often have to hard to find a seat on the train during rush hour
- Convenient only if you choose to visit attractions near the stations.
- MRT is only available in Taipei and Kaohsiung
- Main stations such as Taipei Main Station are usually quite large and crowded because this is the gathering point of both MRT, HSR and train, so you will have to walk quite a lot in the station to find the right line and route. For those who do not have much travel experience, this is quite hard.
Also for those who are first traveling to Taiwan, when taking MRT, should note the following things:
- Do not eat or drink when entering the MRT station, you can bring food, milk tea but NOT eat here.
- You need line up when getting on the train: In general, wherever you go, what to do in Taiwan, you have to queue.
- When taking the escalator, if you want to stand still, please stand to the right, leaving space left for those who want to walk ahead.
- Download the Go! Taipei Metro (iOS, Android) application to look up the train schedule, routes for more convenient. This App allows you to check the MRT map in Taipei as well as the fare for each station.
Best way to travel around Taiwan: Bicycle
If you pay attention you will easily see near the bus stops, MRT stations or the city convenience stores in Taiwan always have waiting bike rows. You can easily see each bike is locked with an electronic latch. These bikes are part of the public bicycle system, so you can register to use them by using an Easy Card at automatic vending machines (located near bicycle drop-off points) with a phone number in Taiwan. Each phone number can only be used once to register. Rest assured that these machines have instructions in both English and Vietnamese, so the registration is very simple.
You are get free to ride for the first 30 minutes, after which you will be charged NTD 10 for the 30 minutes of use. Each time you ride, you just need to swipe the Easy Card at the touch screen and the bike is ready to use.
In Taipei and Taichung, this bike system is provided by U-Bike Co., these yellow bikes are very striking. The bikes are equipped with baskets, headlights, full horns and stop points spread throughout the city, so this is really a useful vehicle not only for local people but also for tourists.
Cycling around Taipei is both convenient and healthy, but do not forget to buy a 4G sim card or 4G pocket wifi transmitter to check Google maps to help you avoid get lost. Download the Ubike (iOS, Android) app to help you find the nearest bike rental points and drop off locations around you.
How to travel around Taiwan? HSR trains and bullet trains
In addition to intercity buses, trains and HSR high-speed trains are also means of transportation between provinces and cities in and from Taipei.
The train in Taiwan is very clean and smoothy running, if you book in advance, you can select the seat, but if you buy ticket on the same day, the luck is lucky, if the train is less passengers you maybe find an empty seat, if the train is crowded you have to standing. In terms of speed, compared to taking the bus, the train is not much faster, it is only one more than the point that if you traveling on long distances (have to sit for 3 hours or more), you can buy food and sightseeing on the train, rather than hugging your hungry stomach to wait for the bus reach to the station to eat just like when traveling by bus. And the meal on train is very good, but the price is affordable, only 80 TWD/part, you can eat until full.
HSR is best, fast and convenient, but the price is quite high so if you want to travel by this vehicle, it is best to book right at Klook to get super discount.
Link to book HSR tickets to go everywhere here: [Limited Time Food Promo] Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Discounted Ticket from Taipei.
And if you want to visit suburban spots like Pingxi, Jiufen, Shifen, Sun Moon Lake, please watch the train schedule carefully, otherwise you will have to take the other vehicles, may take a long time to wait. So for first-time visitors to Taiwan, the most economical option is to rent a private car to go straight to the attractions to save time.
Refer to Klook’s car rental service:
- Yehliu, Jiufen, and Shifen Day Tour with Taiwanese Pastry Making
- Sun Moon Lake Day Tour: Shuiwatou Trail, Xiangshan Visitor Center, Wenwu Temple with Sun Moon Lake Boat Cruise
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Taipei you can refer to
- Taoyuan Airport Private Transfers (TPE) for Taipei
- Sedan Taoyuan Airport Transfers (TPE) for Taipei
- [SALE] Taoyuan Airport MRT Ticket & Exclusive Shopping Coupon
- Luxury Taoyuan Airport Transfers (TPE) for Taipei
- Explore Taipei City
- Taipei Free Walking Tour Historic Route
- Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour
- Taipei Popular Sightseeing Private Car Charter : Jiufen, Pingxi, and North Coast (Chinese/English/Korean)
- Northeast Coast Scenic Day Tour
- Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen
- Yehliu, Shifen, and Jiufen Day Tour with Korean and English Speaking Guides
- [10% Off + 1 Extra Free Day] 4G SIM Card (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan from Chunghwa Telecom
- 4G SIM Card (TPE Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan from Far EasTone Telecom
- 4G WiFi (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan
- 4G Portable WiFi for Taiwan from Uroaming (Unlimited Data)
- 4G Portable WiFi for Taiwan from WiFiBB (Unlimited Data)
- 4G LTE WiFi (TW Airport Pick Up) for Japan
- [Sale – Taiwan Food Promo] Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Discounted Ticket from Taipei
- Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Consecutive Unlimited Pass (2 or 3 Days)
- Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Discounted Ticket from Taoyuan
- THSR Exclusive Discount One Way Ticket from Taoyuan (Two Tickets for the Price of One)
Are you finding more top things to do in Taipei: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Taipei itinerary 4 days — How to spend 4 days in Taipei & what to do in Taipei for 4 days perfectly?