The first thing that struck me the first time I went to Taiwan was how friendly the people were. I had thought Taipei would be similar to Hong Kong, a big city with surly, fast-walking people, but nope. Even in a big city like Taipei, people are actually nice to one another.
Of course, Taipei is a cherished holiday destination for Singaporeans, and hardly needs any introduction. But if you’re wondering how much it’ll actually cost, we’ve got it all figured out. Here’s a sample Taipei itinerary for a budget traveller.
|Accommodation||$15 x 6 = $90|
|Food||$20 x 7 = $140|
Singapore to Taipei flights ($260)
Return flights from Singapore to Taipei on budget airlines tend to be in the 300++ SGD range, but during sales they can dip to under 280 SGD, so keep your eyes peeled for cheap flights to Taipei.
Our tip is to subscribe to all the budget airlines’ newsletters and then book once tickets go on sale. The cheapest tickets are usually around 260 SGD.
If your dates are flexible, consider visiting Taipei the “shoulder” season (in between peak and off-peak) around October to early November, before the end-of-year school holidays. Taipei weather is pleasant but not cold then, which is just nice for exploring.
Cost: 260 SGD
Taipei Airbnb or hotel ($90)
Breathe a sigh of relief, because accommodation in Taipei is fairly inexpensive thanks to Airbnb.
If you are travelling alone and seriously on a budget, your best bet is to rent a single room on Airbnb. You can find one for as little as 15 SGD a night. That’s even cheaper than the cost of a bed in a hostel dorm, which is typically around 25 SGD to 30 SGD.
If you’re travelling with a friend, you save quite a bit. It’s even more cost effective to rent a room or studio on Airbnb, which can range from about 25 SGD to 40 SGD.
Alternatively, you can share a budget Taipei hotel room for 40 SGD to 50 SGD per night.
Hotels near Taipei main station are the more expensive, so the farther you stay from the city centre, the cheaper it gets. As long as you stay near an MRT station, it’s really cheap and easy to get around, which brings me to my next point…
Cost: 15 SGD a night (90 SGD for 6 nights)
Getting around by Taipei MRT ($30)
Khaw Boon Wan recently said Singapore’s MRT should try to emulate the Taipei Metro. Well, let’s just say we have a long way to go. If you’re used to being elbowed by aggressive aunties on the MRT, the Taipei Metro will come as a breath of fresh air. It’s more reliable and people are less rude.
Taking the Taipei MRT is affordable, too. Here’s a price list:
|Taipei MRT ticket||Price|
|Single journey||20 NTD (0.89 SGD) to 65 NTD (2.80 SGD)|
|Unlimited rides (1 day)||150 NTD (6.68 SGD)|
|Unlimited rides (24 hours)||180 NTD (8.01 SGD)|
|Unlimited rides (48 hours)||280 NTD (12.46 SGD)|
|Unlimited rides (72 hours)||380 NTD (16.91 SGD)|
If you’re not buying a day pass, get an EasyCard, which is their version of EZ-Link, and instantly enjoy 20% off all rides. You can buy this from any convenience store in Taipei. There are also student discounts, so bring your student card and ask before you buy anything.
For more about taking the Taipei MRT and Taipei Railway, see our guide here.
Cost: 30 SGD for a week
Sightseeing at Taipei attractions ($40)
Most Singaporeans go to Taipei to stuff their faces with food, but if you have some time left over for sightseeing, Taipei also has no lack of completely free attractions, such as Longshan Temple, Danshui (Tamsui) and Huashan 1914 Creative Park. (And of course, all the famous night markets are free to visit.)
The 2 main paid attractions in Taipei are Taipei 101 Observatory and National Palace Museum. Taipei 101 Observatory costs 600 NTD (27 SGD) to go up, while the National Palace Museum costs 350 NTD (15.58 SGD) for adults to enter. You can buy a combined ticket for both at 820 NTD (36.49 SGD) which saves you about 6 bucks.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can skip these paid attractions and hike up Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain) for pretty views of the city, and/or head to free historic sites like Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall for a bit of culture.
Cost: 40 SGD to keep yourself entertained for a week
Taipei food ($140)
Taipei is a foodie’s paradise, and no matter what your budget you’re going to eat well. Your cheapest options are meals at food courts, small local food stalls and night markets. A bowl of noodles should cost around 120 NTD (5 SGD), and if you’re eating at night markets snacks cost much less.
Eating at mid-range, western-style restaurants or themed cafes will cost more. For instance, a meal at that infamous toilet-themed restaurant will cost you about 250 NTD (10.50 SGD) to 300 NTD (12.61 SGD). Slightly more atas options can go up to 500 NTD (21 SGD).
Cost: 20 SGD per day (140 SGD for 7 days)
Have you ever been to Taipei? Share your experiences in the comments!