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Taichung, Taiwan – 16 Things To Do Guide 2024

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Taichung in Taiwan was once known for its industrial output but it has undergone a total transformation in recent years. Taiwan’s second biggest city, there are so many things to do in Taichung with new attractions opening all the time – for instance, opened in 2024, you can now visit the Taiwan National Museum of Comics.

Located on Taiwan’s west coast, Taichung is becoming increasingly popular with domestic and Asian tourists with heaps of attractions to suit all budgets and tastes.

On your visit to Taichung, we were practically the only westerners visiting here during our Taiwanese adventure so it made it feel kind of special.

Taichung, Taiwan Overview

Given the scope of things to see and do in Taichung (and eat) in the city, we are pretty sure it will be different next time we visit, so try and visit Taichung before the tourist masses invade.

Although not as well known as Taipei, Tainan or Kaohsiung on the tourist circuit, Taichung should definitely be a part of your Taiwan itinerary.

From the Rainbow Village to ship-shape churches, gorgeous green spaces to Instagram worthy ice-cream, there are plenty of top Taichung tourist spots and things to do.

We most recently revisited Taichung in Taipei for a week long stay in April 2024.

Here is our things to the top things to do in Taichung, Taiwan in 2024:

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Travelling to Taichung, Taipei

As Taichung is Taiwan’s second biggest city (after Taipei) plus one of the most populated places in Taiwan, there are many transport options to get here.

Going to Taichung via Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR)

We visited Taichung directly from Taipei via the Taiwanese High Speed Rail System,

You can buy discounted Taiwan High Speed Rail one way tickets between Taipei and Taichung (plus other stations) via this Klook HSR booking link >

Please note these discounted Taiwan High Speed Rail 2024 tickets are exclusive to overseas tourists and you will need to show your passport upon redemption.

Taichung by bus

You can take a bus from Taipei to Taichung in two hours for as little as NT$260 one way (prices correct as at May 2024).

Book your Taipei to Taichung bus ticket here >

Alternatively, try these Taichung tours and day trips with Viator >

Things to do in Taichung and attractions

1. National Taiwan Museum of Comics Taichung

Taichung’s newest thing to do and major tourist attraction,the National Taiwan Museum of Comics opened in early 2024, located in the grounds of a former prison.

The site has been extensively renovated and it is now a lush green open space with lots of exhibition rooms located across historic buildings.

National Taiwan Museum of Comics Taichung

Chock full of comic-book attractions, exhibitions, archives and cafes, the entire site will continue to expand until it fully opens in 2029.

From children reading comic books in the libraries to families collecting the stamps across the site, it was one of the busiest attractions in Taichung City. It also felt very reminiscent of the nearby Taichung Cultural Heritage Park – but WAY better!

From the history of the prison site to the buildings that are currently open, read our Taiwanderers guide to visiting the National Taiwan Museum of Comics plus photos >

National Taiwan Museum of Comics Taichung

Try this – Light Aircraft Experience in Taichung >

2. Bugcat Capoo Shop Taiwan and Foam Cat Cafe

Chances are if you’ve spent any time in Taiwan, you’ll have spotted the bright blue Bugcat Capoo comic character – so popular, there is even a themed Bugcat Capoo 7-Eleven store in Taipei – find out more about all the themed Taipei 7-Elevens here >

Bugcat Capoo celebrates its 10th anniversary (soooo young) in 2024 so it is a perfect time to do all things Bugcat Capoo whilst in Taichung.

Bugcat Capoo Shop Taiwan taichung

As well as two Bugcat Capoo shops (including a new one at Taichung Station), there is also a rather ‘purrfect’ Foam Cat Cafe, renowned for its latte art, plus a Bugcat Capoo pop-up at the above National Taiwan Museum of Comics.

Taichung’s Bugcat Capoo House is located in an old traditional Taiwan style building with wooden arches and tiles. It really is a charming set-up and has hundreds of Bugcat Capoo gifts and merchandise including exclusive postcards and even Bugcat moped helmets!

For the full low-down on all things Bugcat Capoo in Taichung (including the Foam Cat Cafe), check out our Taiwanderers guide to Bugcat Capoo shops here >

Bugcat Capoo Shop Taiwan taichung
Bugcat Capoo Shop Taiwan taichung

3. Shen Ji New Village

Push your way through the hardcore hipsters and selfie snappers and this pretty independent retail village in Taichung is actually a rather enjoyable area to explore.

From boutique breweries to cute coffee shops, it is easy to spend an afternoon (and the contents of your wallet) at Shen Ji New Village, a top Taichung tourist spot.

Formerly a 1960’s dormitory complex for the Taiwan Provincial Government, Shen Ji New Village in Taichung retains its historical charm and you can still explore the nooks, crannies and mezzanine staircases to the second floor.

We visited Shen Ji New Village one Friday afternoon during what we think was the last day of school or university as there were lots of students posing for graduation photos all over the village. The local youngsters love it here, especially posing in the British style red phone box.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post Shen Ji New Village

You might like – From Taipei: Taichung Instagram Day Tour >

4. Taichung Creative and Cultural Industries Park

Taiwan creative parks are frequent in number and vary in terms of the visitor experience – the one in Taichung is OK to visit but nothing outstanding (we preferred Shen Ji New Village above).

And if you gauge Taiwan’s creative parks mainly by their Instagram opportunities and selfie spots, Taichung Creative and Cultural Industries Park doesn’t really have many vibrant murals or wall paintings like the others – but there are still lots of things to do here.

We liked Taichung Creative Park as it was easy to walk around, fairly quiet and is home to regular pop up exhibitions plus visit a rather interesting brewery shop (it felt like stepping back 50 years into a time-warp).

The presence of the Taichung Creative Park brewery shop is a nod to the fact this 6 acre site used to be the largest brewery in the whole of Taiwan. Cheers!

2024 update – the brewery section appears to have been closed down on our last visit. Other than a weekend flea market we stumbled upon, there doesn’t appear to be all that much going on these days at  Taichung Creative and Cultural Industries Park.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post Taichung Creative and Cultural Industries Park
Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post Taichung Creative and Cultural Industries Park

You might like – things to do in Taipei

5. Taichung Park

Taichung has lots of top tourist spots and open green spaces but the most frequented and loved by locals is the eponymous Taichung Park (also the oldest park in Taichung).

Things to do in Taichung, Taichung Park

You could easily spend a whole afternoon in Taichung Park wandering around the lake and exploring the large Japanese style pagoda, the main feature of the park.

We were amazed by the sheer number of large fish (likely koi carp) in the lake. In fact, a family next to us were feeding the fish with bread and the carp were battling the ducks for the bread (kam-’koi’-kaze?). To get up close to the wildlife or the huge fountain in Taichung Park, pedalos can be hired to take out on the lake here.

Taichung Park is open 24 hours.

Address: No. 65號, Section 1, Shuangshi Rd, North District, Taichung City

Taichung Park Fish pond lake
Taichung Park lake boats

You might like – things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan >

6. Taichung River Walk

The Da’an River flows through the centre of Taichung and efforts have been made to make the central sections accessible, by creating paved walkways along either side of the river, as well as water sculptures and stepping stones across the river.

It has been really well done, and lots of local people hang out along Taichung River Walk having their lunch or walking with friends (very popular with young mums and their pushchairs) – it is certainly one of the best (and most fun) free things to do in Taichung.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post river

Taichung River Walk reminded us of a mini version of the redeveloped and pedestrianised Cheonggyecheon creek area in Seoul, South Korea too.

One minor point – if you plan to have a picnic or bring an ice-cream from nearby Miyahara (more on this later), there are no bins anywhere along the pedestrianised stretch of river so make sure you bring something to take your rubbish / recycling back with you.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post river

7. Miyahara; Taichung’s best ice-cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream! Miyahara is a beautiful and Instagrammable ‘olde worlde’ red brick building from the 1920s (a former ophthalmology clinic), which now houses an incredibly popular ice-cream shop, Miyahara, alongside a retail shop and high-end restaurant.

Taichung’s Miyahara n-’ice’ shop interior resembles Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies and has to be seen to be believed – it is packed full of wall to-wall large bookcases and gleaming shop counters, with staff all besuited in immaculate uniforms.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post miyahara

At Miyahara, you will find local snacks such as pineapple cakes, plus luxury tea and coffee, cookies and gourmet chocolates, all presented in beautiful packaging and kept (tantalisingly) behind glass.

Upstairs at Miyahara, you’ll find a restaurant called Moon Pavillion which serves up old Taiwanese gourmet cuisine in a retro setting.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post miyahara

Eating one of Miyahara’s ice creams is one of Taichung’s top things to do and the queues are crazy busy.

If you do not want to queue for an hour or so, we would recommend going to get your ice-cream early in the morning (ice-cream for breakfast needs to become a thing!) or late in the evening – they also have a smaller sister joint down the road.

There are over 50 fantastic flavours of ice cream and a sundae with several scoops will cost you around NT $450 (Mihayara prices correct as of summer 2023). Toppings such as cheesecake, waffles and pineapple cake are available at an extra cost.

We can’t decide if this is our favourite / the best ice-cream in Taiwan or whether it is Snow King in Ximending, Taipei – if you can, visit both on your Taiwan travels!

Address: Miyahara, No. 20號, Zhongshan Rd, Central District, Taichung City

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post miyahara
Photo from Instagram

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8. BashiBao (closed)

2025 update – sadly BashiBao is now closed

These are in our opinion the best steamed buns in Taichung (or even Taiwan)? We’re including BashiBao as a highlight as it was one of the tastiest dishes we tried during our Taiwan trip; definitely a tasty and top tourist spot in Taichung. It is also a stone’s throw away from the  riverwalk / Zhongshan Green River Bridge, making it the perfect picnic opportunity.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post bashibao steamed bao buns

The whole experience was ‘bao-tiful’ from start to finish (sorry not sorry). You order your Bashibao baos from a vending machine (the world’s first gau bao vending machine no less) and they are then freshly cooked to order.

The main centrepiece of the Bashibao hole in the wall outlet is their almost 70 year old Chinese bamboo steamer (authentic as!).

You might like – Sun Moon Lake and Qingjing Day Trip from Taichung >

9. Taichung Night Markets

Taichung is home to the largest night market in Taiwan – Fengjia Night Market, one of the best attractions and top tourist spots in Taichung. Fengjia Night Market is open from 6pm to 3am daily (as of 2024).

However, Fengjia is quite far out of the city (a long bus ride – definitely not easily walkable) so we visited the Zhongxiao Night Market for our nocturnal noodles.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post
Zhongxiao Night Market

A short walk away from all the main hotels and hostels in downtown Taichung, Zhongxiao night market runs along both sides of a main street and has a combination of street-food stalls and restaurants with outdoor seating areas.

Unlike Kaohsiung’s tourist night markets, the main road remains open throughout so watch out for errant mopeds joining the food stall queues.

There is a nice range of food stalls at Taichung Zhongxiao Night Market, with plenty of choice. Stalls usually open late afternoon until around 11pm (so Fengjia Night Market stays open later).

Fengjia Night Market
, Wenhua Rd, Xitun District, Taichung City
Zhongxiao Night Market, Zhongxiao Rd, South District, Taichung City

You might like – take a trip along Taiwan’s Pingxi line >

10. Fourth Credit Union

This is a Taichung dessert hall with a difference; you can ‘bank’ on it!

Situated over three floors of a former bank, Fourth Credit Union is an opulent retro setting,  really making the most of its historic surroundings.

It used to have lots of different street-foods but is now focused on sweet-treats (as it has been taken over by nearby Miyahara’s ice-cream shop owners)

There are a lot of culinary choices here, (mostly desserts including a second branch of Miyahara Ice Cream). All reasonably priced, so in keeping with your surroundings, it won’t break the bank!

Our tip is that if you want a Miyahara ice-cream but don’t want to stand outside the main shop eating it, head on over to Fourth Credit Union as there are lots of seats and smaller queues. You’re welcome!

Address: Fourth Credit Union, No. 72號, Zhongshan Rd, Central District, Taichung City

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post Fourth Credit Union
Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post Fourth Credit Union

You might like – Guide to Taiwan 7-Eleven including what you can buy >

11. Taichung Totoro Bus Stop (Closed)

2024 update – this Taichung Totoro Bus Stop has now been moved by its owner – however, there is another mural Totoro bus stop at Taichung’s Animation Alley / Lane; more on this later.

Although not totally legit (and not approved by Studio Ghibli), this loving recreated bus stop from the movie ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ (when Satsuki waits at the bus stop for her parents and Totoro shelters her from the rain) is a little away from Taichung’s attractions, but ‘Totoro-y’ worth your time!

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post Totoro bus stop

Although not an actual bus stop (just in case you spend hours waiting for a bus), this has been created by a local resident, whose workshop is to the left of the Totoro bus-stop.

When we visited, he beckoned us in to see his latest creation, a Harry Potter trolley disappearing into the wall on platform 9 3/4 (like the one at King’s Cross Station, but without the two hour queue to get your photo taken).

There are lots of awesome anime inspired photo opportunities and it is free to visit, but it located on the side of a very busy road, so you have to weave through the traffic to get the best shots from across the other side of the street.

Address: Totoro Bus Stop (大里龍貓公車站) – Address: No. 133, Qiao Cheng Road, Dali District, Taichung City

You might like – Houtong Cat Village, a day trip from Taipei >

12. Animation Alley /Animation Lane, Taichung

Channel your inner anime by visiting Taichung’s animation alley – these are two laneways adorned with paintings of all your favourite cartoon characters including Super Mario, Spongebob Squarepants, Studio Ghibli, the Simpsons and Pokemon (plus loads more that we can’t name!).

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post animation lane
Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post animation lane

We were a little underwhelmed by our Animation Alley / Lane visit to be honest – it takes about one minute to see them all, and the alleyway itself is nothing special plus some of the paintings are peeling and a little slapdash.

If you have limited time in Taichung, we wouldn’t say this is one of the best things to do in Taichung nor a top Taichung tourist spot.

Address: Animation Lane Taichung, No.100 Linshen Road, Xi District, West District, Taichung

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post animation lane
Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post animation lane

You might like – Themed 7-Elevens in Taipei (with cartoon characters like Snoopy) >

13. I’m Talato (closed)

2024 update – I’m Talato is currently closed

I’m Talato cafe is worth going to just to pose with the random ice-cream sculptures located directly outside their entrance.

As with the unusual outdoor decor, choosing an ice-cream at I’m Talato is a little different than the norm.

You buy an entry ticket (150 NTD) which allows you 2 scoops of ice-cream plus one hour to enjoy the surroundings and take photos inside with all the gelato related sculptures – n-’ice’! Taiwan’s Got Talato!

Address: I’m Talato, No. 451號, Yingcai Rd, West District, Taichung City

Join our Facebook Taiwan Travel Tips Group!
Need help with your itinerary or have any Taiwan related questions? We are in Taiwan right now, so head on over to our friendly Facebook group and ask the experts!
Click here to join our group >

14. Taichung train station &  Taichung Station Railway Cultural Park

Taichung’s swish modern TRA train station is an unexpected great photo spot in the city. Head over to admire some of the awesome art installations dotted around outside.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post train station

Next door, the old Taichung railway station has been turned into the Taichung Station Railway Cultural Park where you can dine on old carriages, enjoy picnics on the old railway tracks plus enjoy craft and flea markets at the weekend. A new Bugcat Capoo store also opened in April 2024 in the old station.

Things to do in Taichung, Taiwan blog post train station

15. Taichung Rainbow Village – now reopen in 2024

The Rainbow Village in Taichung is a popular tourist attraction and Instagram hotspot but possibly also very overrated (in our ‘unexpert’ opinion).

After a recent spate of vandalism at the Rainbow Village Taiwan (ironically by those who were paid to look after it), many of the original features and walls have now been painted over or replaced with artwork completed by the local pupils and painters.

Taichung Rainbow Village

Alas, the creator of Rainbow Village died in January of this year (2024) at the age of 101 years old.

Still incredibly popular with dozens of tourists filing through during our visit (even complete with a weird, singing ‘Iron Man’), it remains one of the most colourful things to do in Taichung.

From opening times to how to get there plus photos of the new artwork, here is our Taiwanderers guide to visiting Taichung’s Rainbow Village in 2024 >

Taichung Rainbow Village

Our final Taichung thing to do…

16. Panding Church (New)

Wow, this is one Taichung church that looks ship-shape; literally! Nautical but nice, the Panding Church is a popular place to visit and the blue and white theming also look quite similar to a sailor’s outfit.

Located a little way out in the Longjing District, this basically looks like a real Noah’s Ark (but without all the animals).

Address: Panding Church, No. 15號, Lane 361, Youyuan S Rd, Longjing District, Taichung City

You might like – Take a stroll in Taichung’s lavender forest >

Other things to do in Taichung, Taiwan

See sunset at Gaomei Wetlands with Klook or Viator >

Have fun at Lihpao Land Theme Park including go-karting and Line Friends >

Visit the National Museum of Science in Taichung >

Slide on over to Taiwan’s first indoor constant temperature ski resort – Mitsui Outlet Snowtown >

A full day Taichung and Lavender Cottage Private Tour with Lunch >

Taichung & Lukang 1 Day Tour >

Taichung North District Walking Tour >

Taichung for kids; Wonder New Land >

Day trips from Taichung

One of the most popular side trips from Taichung is a trip to Sun Moon Lake, which is a 2 hour drive away.

We only visited the city for 2 nights so we didn’t have the chance to do any excursions, but if we were to return to Taichung we would definitely love to visit Sun Moon Lake on a group tour or by ourselves on the bus.

Here are some examples of tours you can do from Taichung:

A Day at Sun Moon Lake

Xitou Day Tour

Sun Link Sea & Lotus Forest Day Trip

How to get to Taichung

Taichung has it’s own airport and you can take a bus from the airport into town in just 30 minutes. Plan your route in advance online using Rome2rio.

To get to Taichung from Taipei, you should take the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) from Taipei Main Station (or Banqiao and Nangang stations) to Taichung’s HSR Station.

The journey takes around 1 hour and costs approximately TWD 670-750. Taichung’s HSR station is located a little bit out of the city but you can connect to downtown Taichung City by taking either a bus or taxi. Book your high speed rail ticket online with Klook for convenience.

It is best to book your seats on these popular routes well in advance (especially during the Taiwan public holidays like Chinese New Year).

There is an alternative and much cheaper TRA train from Taipei (Tze-Chiang Limited Express train) that costs only TWD 241 – but the journey time is so much longer at around 2-3 hours. This is a great choice for travellers who are on a budget and not time limited.

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How to get around Taichung

There is no underground metro system in Taichung but they do have a great bus network. An added bonus is that any bus in Taichung is free up to a 10 km ride – Amazing! This link is a useful guide to using Taichung buses.

If you are staying in the city for a while you might want to consider purchasing an Easycard which you can use to pay for your bus rides (plus you can use them on the MRTs in Taipei and Kaohsiung). These can be purchased and topped up in convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and Family Mart.

Uber is also available in Taichung but we didn’t use this whilst we were staying there.

Pocket WIFI rental in Taichung

Having a pocket wifi device was super handy during our trip. We pre-ordered one online with Klook and collected the device at Taipei airport and dropped it off at Kaohsiung’s airport.

The rental cost was pretty cheap at only £1.25 per day, and we were both able to connect our phones to it. 

Taichung accommodation

There is a huge range of accommodation options in Taichung which are very affordable and highly rated! Here are some suggestions for all types of budget in Taichung:

Budget Taichung accommodation

Some hostel accommodations that come highly rated include:

Backpacker 41 hostel  
Trendy hostel located 5 minutes walking distance from Taichung Train Station. Check out prices and availability for Backpacker 41 hostel.

Loosha Hostel
Comfortable and clean hostel with women’s only floor located 1 minute from Taichung Train Station. Dorms and private rooms, plus free breakfast everyday. Check out prices and availability for Loosha Hostel.

Mid range Taichung hotels

If you are looking for something mid range then these hotels are in excellent locations with great reviews.

CityInn Hotel Plus Taichung Station
This is the hotel we stayed at – modern and only 2 minutes walk from Taichung train station. Check out prices and availability for CityInn Hotel Plus Taichung Station.

Shin Sei Bashi Hotel
Comfortable clean rooms within walking distance from train station. Check out prices and availability for Shin Sei Bashi.

More Taiwan inspiration

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  • Jay Eleanor
    May 30, 2023 at 1:39 am

    Your blog is very useful. Great help, we will visit Taiwan next month. Yey! Thank you so much!