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Where to Stay in Taipei
Taipei is composed of several, dense downtown districts that make up the cultural and political center of the city. There are also a number of outer districts to the north and south. Those wanting convenient access to the city's most popular tourist spots will want to search for hotels in the downtown area. Here, you can be close to the city's two most significant memorials: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Business travelers will also be close to Taipei's commercial core, which includes the towering Taipei 101 building. Famous for being the second-tallest building in the world Taipei 101 offers visitors stunning views of the city from its 89th-floor observation deck. There are also several significant arts institutions in the downtown area, including the National Concert Hall, which hosts Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra. If you're looking to shop, you can find boutique accommodations in the northern Neihu district. This neighborhood boasts several large shopping complexes. Neihu is also the hub of Taipei's IT industry, making it a popular destination for business travelers. After spending a day shopping, guests of Neihu can relax outdoors at Dahu Park, a popular recreational area that sports a lake, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and hiking trails. For a truly luxurious stay, book reservations at an exclusive hotel in the northern district of Shilin. Here in this upscale district, tourists have easy access to Taipei's number one attraction, the National Palace Museum. The institution exhibits one of the largest collections of Chinese art and artifacts in the world. The Shilin Night Market is another unique Shilin site. Considered one of the largest markets in Taiwan, it stretches for several blocks and remains open well into the night. The market also features a food court, which is an excellent place for foreigners to sample the city's local cuisine.
Taipei Hotel Tips
Taipei is a fairly wet city. Even at its driest, the metro area experiences about 12 rainy days per month. The wettest season falls from June through October. This is known as the Pacific typhoon season. Those looking to experience the mountain hiking trails of northern Taipei will probably want to avoid this season. However, it is the perfect time for those looking to explore the city's many museums and shopping malls. The summer months are also the peak tourist season within the city, so be sure to book your hotel reservations well in advance.
Those looking for a good deal should search for Taipei flight discounts and hotels from January through April. This season is cooler and drier than the summertime, and hotel rates tend to go down. Also, late spring is an excellent time to explore Yangmingshan National Park and its many natural hot springs. Hotels also sometimes advertise specials for September through November when the summertime tourist season dies down.
Taipei Hotel Recommendations
The five-star Grand Hotel in the Shilin district is not only one of the most elegant accommodations in Taipei, but it's also a major landmark. Built in 1952 in the style of a Chinese palace, the hotel's interiors are adorned with both Asian- and Western-inspired elements. Guests can enjoy lovely views of the nearby Keelung River and the Yangming Mountains. Nine different room options are available. Standard rooms are cozy and sport contemporary furnishings. Larger deluxe rooms are spacious and feature a retro-Chinese aesthetic. Guests have the option to dine at one of three onsite restaurants, including the Grand Garden Restaurant, which serves afternoon tea daily.
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, the City Lake Hotel in the Nihue district offers guests convenient access to the neighborhood's main businesses, shops and scenic attractions. Luxurious rooms feature inviting and comfortable decor. Spacious suites are available as well. Upon checking in, guests receive complimentary fruit, soft drinks, tea, coffee and mineral water. The hotel also boasts a full-service business center, a meeting room and a gym. Guests can visit the third-floor atrium to sip an evening libation at the hotel bar. For a higher end experience, visit the hotel's Lounge 462. This swank cocktail lounge features modern interiors and views of the outside gardens.
Or stay in downtown Taipei at the affordable Hotel B. Located near many of downtown Taipei's top attractions, the recently renovated facility features contemporary interiors and stylish furnishings. Business travelers can take advantage of the hotel's business center and free Internet access. A breakfast buffet is served each morning, and complimentary mineral water, tea and coffee is available throughout the day. Guests can choose to make reservations for one of six different rooms styles ranging from the modest business single to the spacious standard suite. The hotel also serves as the home of the Baguio Restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant's specialties include Thai spicy shrimp angel hair pasta, fried rice with Chinese yam and wolfberries, and anka-flavored pine nuts fried rice.
Although Taipei is an incredibly compact city, it's greater metropolitan area covers a lot of ground. Fortunately, the city has a number of reliable public transportation options. Many visitors will find that the Taipei Metro, or MRT, is one of the easiest ways to see the city. The rail system runs in a wheel-and-spoke pattern, with most of the routes extending outward from central Taipei. In all, the MRT incorporates more than 60 miles of track. The city also boasts an efficient bus network. Buses display destination information and stop names in English, making the vehicles very accessible to Western tourists. Cycling is a popular way to see the city. Designated bike paths can be found alongside rivers and select streets. For longer trips, travelers can hail a taxi.