If you are visiting Taipei for a few days, you are probably considering taking a day trip outside the city and Tamsui is the perfect destination for anyone traveling on a budget because you can reach Tamsui easily using the Taipei MRT Metro system!
Often, taking a day trip can require a long journey or a complicated bus ride but visiting Tamsui is extremely simple as it is the last stop on the Taipei MRT Red Line, so you just ride until the very end of the line in the direction of Tamsui. It will take about 40 minutes from Taipei Main Station and you can’t miss the last stop!
You can embark on the Red Line at any of the stops throughout Taipei, or you can easily switch from another MRT line in the city. Consult the Taipei MRT map to find your nearest connection to the Red Line and you will soon be on your way to Tamsui!
Once you arrive in Tamsui, you can spend the entire day visiting this charming seaside district, which has a history as a fishing town, a Spanish settlement, and a major port.
Some activities you might enjoy in Tamsui are visiting the Fisherman’s Wharf in the waterfront area and taking a boat cruise. Another attraction is touring Fort San Domingo, which was established by the Spanish in 1628 and was later used by the British.
If you are looking for food, there are lots of seafood options given the oceanfront location. There are also food market choices for the budget traveler and many restaurants as well.
Some popular local street food specialties include ‘Ah-gei” which is fried tofu with noodles and fish paste or fish balls, which can be fried or served in a soup. One more fun snack option is an ice cream ‘tower’, a super-tall soft serve in a cone. If you are vegetarian, have food restrictions, or just don’t enjoy seafood, don’t worry as there are many options for noodle dishes and sweet snacks that are suitable for those who don’t want fish or seafood.
For the rest of the afternoon, you might simply enjoy wandering down the waterfront or the Old Street and checking out the little shops and markets, and enjoying the ocean breeze. Don’t forget to pick up some bubble tea!
Depending on how long you plan to stay, a final fun ( and free !) activity is to enjoy the sunset from the waterfront or the ‘Lover’s Bridge’ pedestrian bridge in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. This could also be a good time to enjoy one last bubble tea before you start the journey back to Taipei.
Tamsui is a great budget day trip destination to visit from Taipei because it is so easy to reach on the MRT Red Line and there are activities to fill your entire day to fit any budget.
When you are ready to return to Taipei, simply hop back on the Red Line of the Taipei MRT and you will be back in the city in under an hour.