The best places to live in Taipei
Taipei is a compact city, meaning that just about any area can be convenient to live in, but it's also densely populated. This can make commuting slower than one might expect.
Each area and suburb of Taipei has unique qualities and there are plenty of options for expats looking for accommodation.
Family-friendly areas in Taipei
These areas, while diverse in character, are particularly suited to families due to their less frenetic pace and more suburban feel.
The Tamsui area is located at the northern terminal station of the Tamsui MRT line. The area is quiet, with a small-town feel, and is close to some beautiful beaches. There's much for expats to enjoy in Tamsui, residents can travel to the mouth of the Tamsui River and enjoy a day out of the city, take in Tamsui's old street for unique gifts and food, or hop on a bus out to Fisherman's Wharf to enjoy the catch of the day. They can also check out Hong Mao Fort on the way back – a beautifully maintained historical site from the days of Portuguese settlers.
The downside to Tamsui is that there are fewer amenities, and it's at the end of the Red Line, making for a longer commute into Taipei for work. However, expats should be prepared for crowds during the summer months.
Primarily a family residential area, Da'an also appeals to singles and students due to its proximity to various universities and commercial hubs. Expats often prefer Da’an for its easy access to workplaces and its family-oriented atmosphere.
Da’an hosts a plethora of diverse restaurants, relaxed cafés and interactive parks. Among these is the popular Da'an Forest Park, one of the city's largest green spaces. Close by are the Jade and Flower markets, which are open on weekends, as well as the Zhongxiao Dunhua and Fuxing shopping areas.
Although Da'an offers a plethora of amenities, it is known for high housing costs due to its popularity. It also has a dense population, and the availability of public transport can be somewhat limited.
Largely residential, Dazhi District provides a convenient respite from the city's bustle. Residents can enjoy Dazhi's riverside park areas, complete with paved bike paths that stretch across the city.
Neihu is home to a thriving community of multinational companies, high-rise luxury apartments and green spaces that entice and encourage family living without the commute. It hosts some of Taipei's largest stores such as Costco, Carrefour and RT-Mart, and expats can enjoy world-class shopping at Miramar Entertainment Park, where kids can take a ride on a huge Ferris wheel.
Songshan is a popular choice among expat families seeking a quieter neighbourhood without sacrificing convenience. Located just north of Zhongxiao Road, Songshan offers an array of restaurants, local parks, and older apartments. It tends to be one of the pricier areas but is a great place to raise a family in a convenient location. Each small neighbourhood-within-a-neighbourhood is designed to meet all of a family's needs. The area is well connected via the Songshan Airport and Songshan train station, and there is lots to see and do.
Young, upbeat areas in Taipei
These areas, brimming with nightlife and urban culture, are typically favoured by young expats.
These are Taipei's official student areas, dominated by an eclectic mix of foreigners and locals. This makes for a colourful melting pot of food, fashion and culture. Shida (National Taiwan Normal University) is Taipei's liberal arts campus. A short distance away is Taipei's premier university, Taida (National Taiwan University). The large population of students make this an affordable and interesting place from which to enjoy Taipei.
The glass and steel heart of Taipei, Xinyi is young and modern. The district has all the trappings of a modern city. Many of the best restaurants, nightclubs and designer-shopping opportunities are available here. Whether looking to have a beer, dance the night away in a nightclub, shop for the latest styles, or take in a movie at Warner Village, Xinyi District has it all.
►For an overview of transport in the city, read Getting Around in Taipei
Photo credits: Quiet and family-friendly areas in Taipei by Remi Thorel; Young, upbeat areas in Taipei by Timo Volz. All sourced from Unsplash.
"Expats tend to live all over the city, as it’s so easy to get around by MRT. Generally speaking, Da’an neighbourhood has an international, university vibe. Ximending and Wanhua are historic and interesting but rundown. Eastern District around Taipei 101 is the most upscale and trendy. Many longer-term expats live in Tianmu, a leafier district north of the city centre. We chose to live in New Taipei City, because the cost of living was much lower, and the MRT made the commute to the city centre very easy." Read more about Nick's expat experiences in Taipei.
Are you an expat living in Taipei?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Taipei. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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