While Taipei may not be as pricey as other Asian cities like Tokyo or Hong Kong, it certainly isn’t always the most budget-friendly destination either. Luckily, travelers willing to do a little planning ahead of time can enjoy plenty of Taipei’s offerings without breaking the bank.
Accommodation is probably the most expensive element in any Taipei vacation, and rooms here are notoriously small. One of the cheapest (actually it’s free!) ways to stay in the city is through Couchsurfing. This worldwide network of travel enthusiasts has over 2,000 members in Taipei alone, Photo courtesy of The Meeting Place/Flickr
and for travelers going solo or in pairs, it’s easy to find a couch or extra bed to sleep on. Many hosts are ready and willing to show their couchsurfers around the city or at least offer recommendations on where to go, what to eat, and how to get around.
For travelers looking for a little more privacy, Taipei has a few clean and comfortable hostels. The Meeting Place has 4, 8, and 12 person dorms with some of the most spacious and well-kept communal areas of any hostel in town. Another cozy choice in the Shida area is the Chocolate Box. In addition to dorm rooms, this place has a few double rooms at affordable prices.
Photo courtesy of Lian Chiang/Flickr
When it comes to eating on a budget, you can’t go wrong with Taipei’s numerous night markets. The lines of food stalls at the Shilin market can satisfy the biggest of appetites for a few US dollars. For other food suggestions based on price, take a look at Hungry Girl’s Guide to Taipei.
In such a large and diverse city, travelers can entertain themselves for days without spending a penny on entrance fees or admission tickets. Taipei is full of free things to do, including pleasant hiking in Yangmingshan National Park or on Elephant Mountain, visits to the city’s many temples, or an afternoon at the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial.