Taiwan is a small island in East Asia and is known for its amazing food, its beautiful nature spots, and its complex, fascinating culture.

Although the island of Taiwan is relatively small, there’s a lot to see. It has everything from vibrant cities to sprawling valleys and lakes and towering mountainous areas.

With its beautiful vistas, lush forests and MAJESTIC peaks – nature lovers will be in awe of Taiwan’s natural landscapes. Pack those hiking boots and get ready to explore!

In between Taiwan’s enchanting nature, you’ll find bustling cities and towns. The island is also known for its vibrant night markets that serve up some of the best food I’ve tasted!

It’s incredibly popular amongst tourists from all walks of life who want to experience a taste of Asia. Because of its popularity, you’ll find lots of great places to stay in Taiwan no matter what your budget or travel preferences.

However, the sheer variety of options can make it difficult to decide where to stay in Taiwan. There are so many cool cities and places to stay that it can feel overwhelming.

But never fear! That’s exactly why I’m here. To help you decide what area of Taiwan is best for you and get you all geared up to book your stay.

In this guide, I’ve compiled the best areas to stay in Taiwan and categorised them by interest or budget. You’ll also find my favourite places to stay and things to do in each. In a matter of minutes, you will be the expert on the areas of Taiwan!

Let’s get down to business and find what area is  best for you in Taiwan.

Quick Answers: Where is the Best Place to Stay in Taiwan?

Map of Where to Stay in Taiwan

Where to Stay in Taiwan-min
1. Taipei, 2. Taichung, 3. Sun Moon Lake, 4. Kinmen Islands, 5. Kaohsiung, 6. Lukang, 7. Alishang National Scenic Area, 8. Tainan

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Taipei – The Overall Best Place to Stay in Taiwan

Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and will probably serve as your entry point to the country. This is a modern, busy city that has its own distinct personality and vibe. Everything seems to jostle for position in this city, with skyscrapers, night markets, fine restaurants, and casual eateries competing for your attention. Basically, you could spend weeks in the city and you’ll never run short of things to include in your Taipei itinerary, which is why it’s overall the best place to stay in Taiwan.

Where to Stay in Taipei

When you’re trying to decide where to stay in Taipei, you’ll find an incredibly wide range of options. This includes everything from capsule hotels to 5-star modern accommodations with all the luxuries. Public transport in Taipei is fast and efficient, so no matter where you stay, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting around to explore the city. For the ultimate in convenience, try the neighborhoods of Zhongzheng, Wanhua, or Xinyi to be close to everything.

If you want amazing food and to really get a good taste for the life and culture of Taiwan, Taipei is where you should start.

Best Places to Stay in Taipei

You’ll find a bewildering variety of Taiwan accommodation options when you start looking for somewhere to stay in Taipei. But don’t be disheartened by the sheer volume. No matter what type of accommodation you’re looking for, here’s where to start.

Where to Stay in Taipei
Deciding where to stay in Taiwan? Taipei is a great option.
Flip Flop Hostel

Taipei M Hotel | Best Hotel in Taipei

When you’re looking at hotels in Taiwan, you probably already know that it’s worth spending a little extra money to get clean, comfortable, and convenient lodgings . And that’s exactly what you’ll enjoy at this hotel. It’s close to transport as well as several top attractions and has a bar and restaurant on-site so that you can have a relaxing meal after a long day.

Flip Flop Hostel | Best Hostel in Taipei

This hostel in Taipei is located close to the main train station. The rooms are clean and welcoming, with lots of common areas so you can get to know your fellow travelers. The building is an old railway workers’ dorm that’s been renovated to modern standards and it offers dorm room accommodation.

Private Room in Apartment | Best Airbnb in Taipei

The best part about staying in someone else’s apartment is asking them about their city’s best sites and restaurants. When you do this, you can explore local watering holes and amazing food! The hosts at this apartment offer a private bedroom and shared bathroom in a residential area close to the city center for the best of both worlds.

Taichung – The Best Place to Stay in Taiwan for Families

If you’re looking for the best places to stay in Taiwan when traveling with your family, then Taichung will help you keep them busy and entertained. It’s in central Taiwan and is one of the more unique cities you’ll encounter. It’s known for its local color and fun activities as well as the abundance of museums, most of them with exhibits and activities that’ll appeal to every member of your family. Once your restless kids get a taste of the historic Taichung Park, colorful Rainbow Village, or the National Museum of Fine Arts and Natural Science, they’ll be too tired and happy to complain.

The Best Place to Stay in Taiwan for Families

There are a huge variety of top places to stay in Taiwan, no matter what city you’re in, and Taichung is no different. However, if you’re only staying in the city for a short time, then you probably want to be in the Central District, which is close to everything and offers lots of transport options.

When you visit Taichung, you’ll be taken aback by its unique vibe and beautiful spaces. And make sure you check out the Lin Family Gardens and some Japanese style temples while you’re there.

Best Places to Stay in Taichung

Taichung has a huge variety of Taiwan accommodation options. Whether you enjoy fancy hotels, basic hostels, or cozy apartments, you’ll be able to find somewhere to stay that gives you a comfortable and convenient home base.

Where to Stay in Taichung
Taichung is a great place to stay.
Walker Taichung

Butler Hotel Former Plaza Hotel | Best Hotel in Taichung

If you’re looking for comfort and convenience when you choose hotels in Taiwan, this choice will exceed your expectations. It’s located right in Taichung’s Central District, close to the National Museum of Natural Science. It offers a fitness center (so you can work off all that amazing food), and stylish rooms with air conditioning and all the amenities.

Star Hostel Taichung Parklane | Best Hostel Taichung

Star Hostel is located in a stunning Green building that’s filled with 14,000 plants as well as shops, cafes and restaurants. The hostel is made using local material that gives it a natural, relaxing feel. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also close to a night market and several museums and offers free Wi-Fi.

Walker Taichung | Best Airbnb in Taichung

When you’re looking for lodging in Taiwan, this is a great choice. It’s right in the center of the shopping district and close to the bus station and high-speed rail. The rooms are elegantly decorated, spotlessly clean, and suitable for up to 2 guests.

Sun Moon Lake – The Best Place to Stay in Taiwan for Couples

Sun Moon Lake is a romantic delight and one of the best areas to stay in Taiwan. It’s the largest body of water in Taiwan and a popular tourist destination for local and foreign tourists. There’s nothing like sitting by the lake with someone you love. And as an added bonus, there are lots of restaurants, shops, and cafes that have sprung up nearby so you can take advantage of your surroundings.

Best Place to Stay in Taiwan for Couples
The serene waters make this a great place to stay in Taiwan.

But if you’re not the kind of traveler who likes to sit around, then try some more adventurous activities. Hike beside the lake, take a bike ride through the surrounding hills, or go sailing on the lake. The natural scenery is simply stunning. There are also some interesting temples to explore as well a cable car, so you can get a bird’s view of the whole area.

If you’re visiting Sun Moon Lake, you probably want to stay as near to the lake as possible. Thankfully, lots of accommodation options have sprung up around the lake to help you with that goal.

Best Places to Stay in Sun Moon Lake

There are two sides of the lake to choose from when you’re choosing a hotel. But as long as you’re fairly close to the lake, you’ll find it easy to get around using the local bus or boat shuttles that will take you from one side to the other.

Lealea Garden Hotels | Best Hotel in Sun Moon Lake

This brand has a few different locations around the lake, so make sure that you choose the right one! The hotel’s rooms are spacious and comfortable and have all the amenities. And the hotel is close enough to the water that you could walk there even on the warmest day!

Perbed Hostel | Best Hostel in Sun Moon Lake

If you’re looking to stay near Sun Moon Lake on a budget, then this hotel is ideal. It offers lovely views because it’s surrounded by mountains and close to Sun Moon Lake. It’s also close to the local cable car which offers easy transport around the lake and beautiful views. The rooms are clean and cozy with bright and modern decorations.

Cabin | Best Airbnb in Sun Moon Lake

What could be better than staying in a cabin on the lake? Appealingly rustic, this accommodation still has all the modern amenities and is close to everything. During your stay, you can walk to the local bus stop, Ida Thao pier, the butterfly garden, and the local cable car station. The cabin offers complete privacy and has a balcony so you can sit outside and enjoy your surroundings.

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Kinmen Islands – The Coolest Place to Stay in Taiwan

The Kinmen Islands were the site of a battle between the Nationalists and Communists in 1949. However, these days it’s better known as a tourist destination with some amazing scenery. In fact, the local scenery is so beautiful that the island is often called a “lake in the sea”. Add some epic historic buildings and it equates to the coolest place to stay in Taiwan. This is a must see stop on any Taiwan backpacking adventure.

Coolest Place to Stay in Taiwan
The Kinmen Islands

In terms of activities and things to do, the Kinmen Islands offer pretty much everything. There are great hiking and nature reserves, amazing forests, fascinating historic buildings and old architecture to explore. And you’ll also find some great local beaches if you want to soak up the rays while you’re in the area. There’s also amazing food, but you’ve probably come to expect that from Taiwan by now.

So, make sure you get eating and exploring in the Kinmen Islands during your trip to Taiwan.

Best Places to Stay in Kinmen Islands

The Kinmen Islands are small, so basically all the areas are convenient and connected by transport. All you have to decide on is whether you want to be right in the center or if you want a little more peace and quiet around you. No matter where you choose, you’ll be close to Taiwan’s amazing public transport network.

Where to Stay in Kinmen Island
Full Apartment

New KM Hotel | Best Hotel in Kinmen Islands

This is one of the best hotels in Taiwan if you want to spend some time on the Kinmen Islands. It’s close to the Jinning Township and offers a Jacuzzi and air-conditioned rooms as well as a variety of amenities. The Nantaiwu Mountains are a short drive from the hotel as well, so you shouldn’t have any trouble exploring the region.

Take a Break B&B | Best Guesthouse in the Kinmen Islands

Located in Jincheng Township, this B&B is simply charming; there’s no other word for it. The entire building is surrounded by lovely gardens with quiet areas to sit and enjoy nature. The rooms are unique, with antique-style furnishings and all the amenities. They also offer a delicious breakfast every morning.

Full Apartment | Best Airbnb in the Kinmen Islands

If you’re traveling with your family or friends, then this apartment is perfect. It’s suitable for 4 guests and offers complete privacy as well as all the modern amenities. It has 2 bedrooms and a bathroom and is close to Jincheng District as well as to transport options.

Kaohsiung – Where to Stay in Taiwan on a Budget

If you like cities, then you’ll love Kaohsiung. It’s got a busy, bustling vibe, great food, and fascinating historic sites making it the best city to stay in Taiwan. Kaohsiung is a little cheaper than the capital, so it’s great when you want the city feel without stretching your bank balance. Kaohsiung is popular with local and foreign tourists and is the maritime and industrial hub of Taiwan. It’s also a famously busy and crowded city, so don’t expect much peace and quiet while you’re there!

Where to Stay in Taiwan on a Budget
Kaohsiung at night.

Kaohsiung has one of the best mixes of cultures, peoples, and communities you’ll find in the whole country. It’s also surrounded by stunning natural scenery, so most people who spend time in the city take day trips outside to go hiking or cycling. This is a relatively young city, but it still has historic sites such as the aptly named Love Pier and the Lotus Pond Shrine. It also has several interesting museums sprouting up such as the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum.

No matter what you enjoy doing while you’re on holiday, Kaohsiung promises entertainment and a lively atmosphere. So, all you have to do is find the best hotels in Taiwan and start booking.

Best Places to Stay in Kaohsiung

Like any busy modern city, Kaohsiung has lots of Taiwan accommodation options at every price point and to suit every comfort level. All you need to do is find a place to stay in Kaohsiung that makes you feel comfortable and cozy without breaking the bank.

Royal Hotel Group- Central Park Branch | Best Hotel in Kaohsiung

If you want to be right in the center of the city, you can’t do better than this hotel. It’s surrounded by shops, within walking distance of the train station, and has a restaurant on-site so you’ll never go hungry. The rooms are fully equipped for a comfortable stay and include your own private bathroom.

With Inn Hostel | Best Hostel in Kaohsiung

This hotel is a good choice if you want lodging in Taiwan that’s right in the heart of the city and close to the local train station. It even has a bit of local flavor and is based in an old Taiwanese house that has been renovated to modern standards. It’s close to local shops and restaurants and offers friendly, dorm-style accommodation.

Rm. R2 | Best Airbnb in the Kaohsiung

For more local and authentic lodging in Taiwan, you can’t go past this modern and sleekly decorated condominium. It’s suitable for up to 3 guests and close to the Luhe Night Market, the MRT station, and lots of food and shopping options. This is a very safe part of the city, so you can wander around at all hours looking for things to do without worry.

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Lukang– One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Taiwan

Lukang is the second oldest city on the island and it isn’t as popular with tourists as other options. That means you’ll enjoy a quieter experience exploring all the unique charms and history of this town. It’s known for two things: amazing architecture and delicious food, so make sure that you take advantage of both of these things.

Where to Stay in Lukang
Where to stay in Lukang?

Lukang is located in the northwest of Taiwan and was once a busy seaport and trading center. Over time, it lost most of this prestige but the historic attractions and feel of the city have remained remarkably untouched. There are over 200 temples for you to explore in Lukang, many of them bright and vibrant and unlike the temples, you’ll see anywhere else. There are also several unique attractions to explore such as the Taiwan glass gallery and Lukang Old Street.

Visiting Lukang is a good chance to see a historic city without the press of a lot of tourists while you’re staying in Taiwan. And you’ll find lots of hotels and guesthouses in this city that are as unique as some of the attractions!

Best Places to Stay in Lukang

Lukang is a smaller city than most of the others on this list, so you won’t find the same variety of hotels and lodgings. However, this is relatively speaking, so you should still be able to find somewhere to stay that suits your travel style and budget.

Joy Inn | Best Hotel in Lukang

Enjoy a unique stay at this hotel while you’re visiting Lukang. It offers a terrace, Jacuzzi and free Wi-Fi to make your stay both convenient and relaxing. The rooms have fridges and minibars as well as a private bathroom. There’s even an on-site restaurant that serves delicious food.

Small Eye Backpacker | Best Hostel in Lukang

There aren’t too many hostels or hotels in Lukang, but this is a good choice when you’re staying in Taiwan on a budget. The rooms are comfortably furnished and have a shared bathroom. It’s also charmingly homey, so you’ll have lots of chances to get to know your fellow travelers and make some new friends.

Whole House | Best Airbnb in the Lukang

This newly renovated house is suitable for 3 people and is close to the Lugang Longshan Temple. The space is cool and comfortable and it’s within five minutes’ walk of the bus station and Wenwu Temple. You’ll get your own kitchen and bathroom as well as complete privacy in this house.

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No matter where you are in the world, problems can arise. Accidents can happen and petty crime is always a possibility.

Find out whether Taiwan is safe or not before landing – you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful trip.

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Alishan National Scenic Area – Where to Stay in Taiwan for Adventure

If you prefer the natural and the wild to the hustle and bustle of the city then you must spend some time in the Alishan National Scenic Park. This is one of the best areas to stay in Taiwan if you’re into stunning, natural places. There are 25 mountains around the area to suit every nature lover.

Where to Stay in Taiwan for Adventure
A great place to get into nature.

When you arrive in the area, make sure you go on the Alishan Forest Railway first. The train snakes its way through the forest before stopping at a lovely little village where you can see the remains of a Shinto temple and experience the local Tsou culture. There are several small villages where you can stay, but Chiayi is one of the most popular because it offers a direct bus and railway into the park. The Alishan Township is also a good area to stay in for good proximity to the park.

When it’s time to get out of the city and go hiking or explore waterfalls, gorges, and ravines, then it’s time to visit the Alishan National Scenic Area.

Best Places to Stay in Alishan National Scenic Area

Your biggest concern when looking for the top places to stay in Alishan National Scenic Area is your proximity to the mountains. You don’t want to be too far away and have to travel for hours. Instead we suggest you pick your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb based on proximity to the park, even if this means you have to spend a little more money.

Alishan Hotel | Best Hotel in Alishan National Scenic Area

If you want to be really close to the Alishan National Scenic Area, then you’ll have to pay the premium for it. This 5-star hotel offers grand rooms that you probably won’t get time to enjoy as you’ll out so much! It has a kids’ club, coffee bar, private bathrooms, bathtubs, and a restaurant. But of course, the real draw is how close it is to the park for those sunrise views.

An Lan Jie Hostel | Best Hostel in Alishan National Scenic Area

This hostel is located in the city center and close to the train and bus station. It offers dorm rooms and private rooms to suit all travel preferences. Each room is decorated with a different theme based on the local culture and geographical features in the area.

Private Room in Condominium | Best Airbnb in the Alishan National Scenic Area

Staying in an Airbnb is probably the best way to enjoy the Alishan National Scenic Area on a tight budget. This private room offers comfort and convenience while you hike and explore the natural beauty of the area. It’s close to local eateries, to the local railway station and the forest trail for great convenience.

Tainan – The Best Place to Stay in Taiwan for History Nerds

Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and was once the capital, so you’ll be overloaded with history when you visit. This is where you’ll get to experience the most traditional aspects of Taiwanese culture still in existence. And as an added bonus, it’s also one of the best places to stay in Taiwan if you enjoy great food as it offers the best food you’ll find on the island.

Best Place to Stay in Taiwan for History Nerds

You could spend days or even weeks exploring the history of this city including from the Taiwan Confucian Temple built-in 1665 to Fort Provintia, built-in 1653. The city has a fascinating historic district known as Anping District as well as great museums, night markets, and general shopping areas. You can also get out of the city for day trips to the Taijian National Park or Hutoupi Reserves if you’d prefer to get away from the concrete jungle for a while.

If you’re ready for historic sites and cultural landmarks, then visit Tainan, the former capital and probably the most interesting city in all of Taiwan.

Best Places to Stay in Tainan

Tainan is just stunning if you’re a history buff or just enjoy the atmosphere of older cities that have some real history behind them. And anywhere you stay in this city will have that same vibe. If you enjoy that atmosphere, try to stay close to Anping Old Street, so you’re central to everything and will have your choice of places to eat and socialize.

Kindness Hotel – Tainan Chihkan Tower | Best Hotel in Tainan

You can’t get better than this; a centrally located hotel at a reasonable price. The Kindness Hotel is within walking distance of the Taiwan Confucian Temple and Chihkan Tower and is surrounded by places to eat. The rooms are clean, spacious and equipped with all the essentials you’ll need for your stay.

U.I.J. Hostel | Best Hostel in Tainan

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Taiwan on a budget, this is a great choice. It offers lots of common areas like a bookstore and open kitchen so you can share your travels with friends. The dorm rooms are comfortable and just perfect if you’re on a tight budget but still want to stay close to everything.

Y1 House | Best Airbnb in Tainan

Suitable for up to 2 guests, you’ll enjoy perfect privacy when you stay in this apartment. It’s conveniently located on Zhengxing Street in the Central and Western District and is surrounded by convenience stores, restaurants, and the city’s best attractions. So, when you make this apartment your base, you won’t have to go far for some entertainment or a snack.

The Top Places to Stay in Taiwan

Everyone travels differently. Some people prefer fancy hotels, others are happy with basic Taiwanese hostels, and some travelers like to live like locals in cozy apartments. Whatever your preference, you’ll be able to find a range of Taiwan accommodation options to suit your needs.

the top places to stay in Taiwan
Remember to switch off the lights when you leave…

Sato Castle Motel | Best Hotel in Taiwan

This is a bizarre one of a kind motel located in Taipei. The outside is modern with a mock-castle façade. But once you get inside, the room decorations will leave your head spinning. Each room is different, from the soccer-themed rooms to the Geisha rooms. There’s even a Lego castle themed room that your kids will love! The hotel is also conveniently located near the Taipei Ferris wheel and all its attached attractions.

Sleepy Dragon Hostel | Best Hostel in Taiwan

If you’re looking for good hostels in Taipei, then this beat is just about perfect. The location is ideal, with a view of the mountains on one side and Taipei 101 on the other. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the night market, public transport, the Keelung riverside park, and lots of modern shops and restaurants. And the dorm rooms are comfortable, welcoming, and clean.

Modern Loft | Best Airbnb in Taiwan

When you travel, one of the best strategies for a good trip is to stay close to transport options. And this loft, located 2 minutes from the train station, fulfils that goal perfectly. It’s also located in a vibrant local neighborhood where you’ll probably spend most of your time gorging on the local food.

Books to Read While Visiting Taiwan

Here are some of my favorite books set in Taiwan:

Taiwan: A Political History — To properly understand Taiwan and all of its many layers, check out this very well-researched read by Dennis Roy.

Forbidden Nation — For over 400 years, Taiwan has suffered at the hands of multiple colonial powers, but it has now entered the decade when its independence will be won or lost. Another important account that helps backpackers (and anyone for that matter) come to terms with Taiwan’s history. 

A Thousand Moons on a Thousand Rivers — Winner of the 1980 United Daily Literature Competition, this novel about love, betrayal, family life, and the power of tradition in small-town Taiwan was an instant bestseller when first published in Taiwan. 

The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from a Beautiful Island —  Get to know the amazing cuisine of Taiwan in intimate detail.

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What To Pack For Taiwan

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Taiwan

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Taiwan

Taiwan is one of the most interesting, exciting, infuriating, baffling, and tasty little countries in the world. It rightfully now receives thousands of visitors each year who want to experience its charms. Our tip, when you’re staying in Taiwan, make sure that you see more than just Taipei and get around the country as much as you can. Taipei is an amazing city, but Taiwan has many faces and all of them are accessible if you just move around a little and keep an open mind.

Looking for more info on travelling to Taiwan?