Solo Travel In Taiwan – A Girl’s Guide!

solo female travel taiwan

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After my solo travels in Taiwan, I have a lot to say on the matter. But the first thing I’d say to anyone on the fence is: DO IT!!

In this guide, I’m going to share everything you need to know for a solo trip to Taiwan including where to go, how to get around, the perfect Taiwan itinerary, the best hostels, how to make friends and more!


Accommodation / Hostelworld

Getting around car hire / bus / train (12Go)

Activities: GetYourGuide / Viator

Guide book: Lonely Planet Taiwan

Staying connected: Taiwan e-SIM card / Asia e-SIM (inc Taiwan)

taiwan solo travel
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Is Taiwan good for solo travel?

Yes, Taiwan is a great place for solo travel given its positive safety rating, fantastic infrastructure and countless wonderful attractions.

I felt totally safe as a woman travelling alone in Taiwan. TOTALLY. However, I would say that Taiwan’s suitability for solo travel depends on what type of solo trip you want. I did get a bit lonely at times.

Unlike countries in Southeast Asia like Vietnam and Thailand where hostels are packed with solo travellers keen to explore together, the hostels in Taiwan are a little quieter and frequented more by locals. Overall, I didn’t meet THAT many other travellers in Taiwan but I expect that will change as it grows in popularity.

So, if you’re looking for a party trip akin to travelling solo in Thailand, perhaps Taiwan is not the adventure for you. But as long as you’re happy doing things alone, you’ll easily keep busy. There are so many amazing places on this incredible island!

Read next: the best places to travel solo in Asia

Kaohsiung pagodas

Is Taiwan safe for solo travel?

Taiwan is ranked the 32nd safest country in the world by Population Review and even higher – 3rd in the world – by Numeo! Although it’s hard to say which is correct, I wouldn’t dwell too much: Taiwan is incredibly safe!

If the statistics aren’t enough to convince you, I can say with first-hand experience that I felt incredibly safe as a woman in Taiwan. There’s next-to-no crime and the locals are so friendly and helpful. I remember on my first day, someone coming up to ask (in English) if I was lost and needed help. So kind!

Taiwan is safe for solo female travellers at all times of day and night. I never felt unsafe walking alone in the evenings.

Read next: my guide to solo female travel safety

Attitudes to women in Taiwan

This is worth mentioning! ‘Safe’ is an arbitrary term because, safe for who? Women, People of Colour, LGBT+ travellers? Well, in Taiwan, safety extends across demographics.

Taiwan has a woman president and progressive attitudes to women’s rights.

It’s not a conservative country and I felt comfortable wearing what I would at home.

Although a lack of crime is always a positive thing, it’s even better travelling knowing that the country has genuinely great attitudes to women!

Also, Taiwan was the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2019 making the country safe for LGBT+ locals and travellers.

Is Taiwan ok for first time solo travellers?

Safety-wise – yes absolutely!

Logistic-wise – yes, it’s straightforward to get around with great infrastructure. Things are clean and ordered so it’s not too overwhelming. The only hurdle may be Mandarin… if you’re nervous about communicating, there are easier countries to travel solo in Europe and Asia.

Social-wise: maybe not! If you’ve never travelled alone before, I’d recommend going somewhere with more of a backpacker scene so you have support and company if you need it. I’d suggest solo travel in Thailand or Vietnam.

travelling alone taiwan woman

Good things about solo travel in Taiwan

  • Taiwan is safe for women travelling alone – the chances you’ll be victim to a crime are nearly nonexistent so you can relax and enjoy your trip
  • It’s an affordable country – aside from accommodation which I found disproportionally spenny, most things in Taiwan are cheap from food to transport. I barely spend £500 ($600) in 3 weeks!
  • It’s easy to get around – so you don’t need to worry about hiring a car alone.

Bad things about solo travel in Taiwan

  • It can be a bit lonely since it’s not yet as popular with other travellers as Thailand or Vietnam
  • The cost of accommodation is high meaning getting a private room for one may eat into your budget, especially if you’re not a hostel person.

Best places to travel alone in Taiwan

Here’s where I recommend solo female travellers go, plus what to do there…

Taipei (the capital)

Taipei view of taipei 101 from elephant mountain

Taipei is a fantastic city and a great introduction to Taiwan. Although there are two other cities with international airports (Kaohsiung and Taichung), I suspect 99% of travellers start their trip here.

Taipei is a blend of modern and traditional. Shiny, futuristic skyscrapers neighbour colourful temples dating back centuries. Food stands serving age-old delicacies passed down through generations are just a stone’s throw from modern bubble tea cafes. I spent 10 days in Taipei and didn’t run out of things to do!

Read next: 3-5 day Taipei itinerary

Things to do in Taipei

  • Taipei 101 – visit the observation deck inside or hike the Xiangshan Trail to Elephant Mountain for the best views
  • Explore Ximending – this modern, vibrant neighbourhood is alive throughout the day and night with street performers, markets, shopping opportunities and bubble tea cafes. It’s safe to wander at any time
  • Take a free walking tour with TourMeAway – they have free tours of the Old Town and Longshan Temple, plus food tours at a surcharge (I can highly recommend their food tours!)
  • Visit important sites such as Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Longshan Temple and the National Palace Museum
  • Soak in bubbling thermal springs in Beitou – visit the museum, sightsee at the Thermal Valley and soak in the Public Hot Springs with the locals
  • Songshan Cultural and Creative Park – this refurbished factory is a hub for art, design and events
  • Eat at all the night markets – such as Shillin, Raohe, Linjiang and Huaxi.

Day trips from Taipei

Jiufen – if you take just one day trip from the capital, make it this scenic hillside town. Dating back to the Japanese gold rush, it’s an ex-mining town full of adorable tea houses (A-Mei Teahouse being one of the best) and atmospheric winding streets. It’s also a renowned foodie destination with all kinds of delicacies to discover.

There’s a direct bus connecting the capital and Juifen or you can take a regular train service to Ruifang and jump on a bus the last section. It’s a safe and lovely place for solo travel in Taiwan so don’t skip it!

Shifen and the Pingxi Line – the touristic railway village of Shifen where people release lanterns for luck is just one stop along this train line that connects attractions in the countryside. Although Shifen is a pleasant town and Shifen Falls is worth a visit, my highlight (obviously!) was the stop before: Houtong Cat Village where feline friends rule the roost.

After Shifen, the final stop on the line is Pingxi Village, a more peaceful version of Shifen. The line begins at Ruifang Station.

One option for a solo day out from Taipei is to make all the stops along the Pingxi Line and save Juifen for another day. Alternatively, see Juifen and Shifen during the same day with this tour ($38).

Yehliu Geopark – the weird and wonderful volcanic shapes caused by nature have become tourist attractions, thought to resemble common objects and people’s profiles. Make your own mind up whilst wandering this open-air gallery beside the sea. Take a bus or a day tour (using my guide to Yehliu Geopark).

Related tour ($38) – Jiufen, Shifen & Yehlui during one day

Yangminshan National Park – the closest national park to the capital is the best place to escape the city and feel at one with nature. For some peaceful soul-searching during your solo travels in Taiwan, you can arrive by public transport, car hire or an organised day tour.

Where to stay in Taipei – easily the best-rated hotel is Star Main with 9.7 stars out of 10 based on almost 3,000 reviews! Browse all hostels on Hostelworld.


Having enjoyed all the city pleasures of the capital, I didn’t know what to expect from Kahosiung. But I loved it! Sure, it’s not as huge as Tapiei, but it may be better for those who feel overwhelmed by big megacities. It’s a creative, arty city with lots of colourful places to visit.

My favourite attraction in Kaohsiung is the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas beside the peaceful Lotus Pond. These two huge statues connect the pagoda behind; enter via the dragon’s mouth and exit via the tiger for luck. Before heading back to the city centre, visit other pagodas around the lake: the Autumn & Spring Pagodas and Zuoying Yuandi Temple. 

The Rainbow Church on Cijin Island is another Instagrammable attraction, and you also can’t miss Pier 2 Art Center near the harbour (where you get the boat to Cijin). If you’re feeling energetic, hike Monkey Mountain or take a trip out of town to Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum where a 108-metre Buddha statue awaits.

Foodies travelling alone in Taiwan, don’t miss Liuhe Night Market or the more authentic option of Ruifeng Night Market. These are great places for cheap and informal dining, ideal if you don’t want to dine alone in a restaurant.

Where to stay in Kaohsiung: the best-rated hostel in town is Ahiruyah, which is spotlessly clean with easy access to all the city’s important attractions.

Hualien and Taroko National Park

Taroko gorge

Taiwan has fantastic cities but the nature is also incredible! Especially if you’re not a big city person, a trip to Taroko Gorge is the perfect dose of nature and me-time during a solo trip to Taiwan.

The best place to stay near Taroko is Hualien, a city on Taiwan’s east coast just a 2-3 hour train ride from Taipei. From here, there are a couple of ways to explore the park: hire a car, ride the hourly shuttle service that visits points of interest around the park, or take an organised day tour.

Highlights for your Taroko Gorge itinerary include the Swallow’s Trail where birds swoop in the canyon above picturesque hanging bridges; Changchun Shrine (a beautiful temple cut into the hillside beside a waterfall) and Shakadang Trail, the best place to get off-grid and do some walking.

Hualien is a decent base with great places to eat like Dongdamen Night Market. I stayed at On My Way which is a lovely hostel close to the station. World Inn also has great reviews.


Another suitable place for solo female travel in Taiwan is Taichung, a mid-sized city on the west coast that makes for a pleasant stop-off when travelling between Taipei and Kaohsiung.

It was the Rainbow Village that used to bring lots of travellers to Taichung but sadly it was vandalised in 2022 and is now quite different. Other things to do in Taichung include:

  • Visit the first bubble tea cafe – as a super fan, you can imagine how excited I was about visiting Chun Shui Tang! It didn’t disappoint
  • Zhongshe Flower Market – these gorgeous flower fields are the perfect place for a photoshoot
  • Take a day trip to Sun Moon Lake – one of Taiwan’s must-visit places, easily reached from Taichung. Take a boat on the lake, ride a cable car above it, or hike around it
  • Have the best ice cream of your life at Miyahara – but seriously! This place is a palace and the ice cream is phenomenal.

Being Taiwan, of course there’s plenty to eat in Taichung. I even wrote a guide to the best food in Taichung.

I stayed at Getcha Hostel with cosy pod bunks, but T Life also has fantastic reviews.

Kenting National Park

Kenting places to travel solo taiwan

Easily accessed from Kaoshiung or Hualien, this wonderful national park on the southern tip of Taiwan is a place to relax and unwind during solo travel in Taiwan. Stay overnight in Kenting or Hengchun.

The only downside to visiting Kenting Nat Park alone is that the best way to get around is by hiring your own transport, either a car or scooter (an international driving license is required for either). However, there are shuttle buses travelling around the park so DIYing it is possible provided you manage your expectations about seeing everything.

Highlights of Kenting include visiting Longluan Lake, Maobitou Park and lookout, watching sunsets (from Guanshan Sunset Viewing Park or Eluanbi Lighthouse) and hitting the beaches. These aren’t the quality of Southeast Asia but they make for a decent beach break when visiting Taiwan. Beaches worth visiting include Baishawan Beach, South Bay and Kenting Beach.


tainan taiwan

Although I ran out of time to visit Tainan, this is an important stop for history lovers planning a Taiwan solo travel itinerary. You can stay overnight or visit as an easy day trip from Kaohsiung (just 1 hour on the slow train and 15 minutes on the High-Speed Train).

The historic Qing Dynasty capital from the 1600s-1800s is full of fortresses (such as Anping) and temples (such as Luermen Mazu Temple dedicated to the goddess of the sea). Nowadays, there are a few modern influences, too, like Blueprint Creative Park.

Best season to visit Taiwan

Although you can visit Taiwan solo year-round, it’s a destination with clear seasons. I went in May and it was VERY rainy! Although I still enjoyed my trip, I’d recommend visiting outside of rainy season if you’re on a tight schedule because you won’t be able to reschedule activities cancelled due to bad weather.

Spring (March-May) – before the rainy season, the weather is still cool. This is an ideal time to visit Taiwan. However, the rain starts in May so this is not the best month.

Visit in Feb or March to see the cherry blossoms!

Summer (June-August)
this is the hottest and most crowded time to visit Taiwan so not optimum. There’s also the chance of typhoons.

Autumn (September-November)
– this is another ideal time to visit Taiwan when the rainy season has ended and the December crowds have yet to arrive.

Winter (December-February)
– this is the coldest time to visit Taiwan, plus the Christmas and New Year period is busy and expensive.

Overall, the best times to go are April and October-November, either side of rainy season when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold.

Cost of solo Taiwan travel

$1 dumplings

Solo travellers visiting Taiwan will be relieved to know it’s generally not an expensive destination. Getting around the country is affordable if you take the TRA slow train ($10-25 a journey), and getting around cities is super affordable with the MRT underground and buses (around $1 a journey).

Food in Taiwan is incredibly affordable! Eating mainly at night markets rather than restaurants isn’t a sacrifice because this is where some of the best food can be found. Dishes start from $1! And you don’t need to skip restaurants entirely if you’re on a budget because a meal with a drink costs around $5.

The only thing about Taiwan is that accommodation is a little expensive in comparison to other costs like food and transport. In Taipei, you’ll struggle to find dorm beds for less than $20 a night, meaning accommodation is more than double the cost of travelling alone in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.

If you don’t want to stay in a hostel dorm, you’ll need to up your budget as a solo traveller in Taiwan because private rooms start at $35. It’s cheaper outside of the cities so, if you decide to mix up dorms and private rooms, I suggest being tactical about where you do it.

Read next: Taiwan travel budget

Where is Taiwan?

Taiwan map
Click to open in Google Maps

Taiwan is an island located off the east coast of China (separated by the Taiwan Strait), north of the Philippines and southwest of South Korea and Japan.

Getting to Taiwan

Being an island, you’re pretty limited about how to arrive in Taiwan. Most travellers arrive by air into Taoyuan International Airport (TPE).

Flights from other Asian countries start from $50. The cheapest flights are usually to Vietnam, China, South Korea (see my guide to solo Korea travel if you’re heading here next), Japan and Singapore. I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights.

Getting from the airport to downtown Taipei is quick and easy using the MRT: ride the purple line to Taipei Main Station in 35 minutes. The bus is cheaper and slower (around 1 hour) but a reliable option outside of MRT hours (6am-11pm).

How to get around Taiwan

Bus gettig around during solo travel in Taiwan
Busing around Taroko National Park

The train system in Taiwan is incredibly efficient, if a little confusing to understand at first. I got around Taiwan using…

HSR – the high-speed train (Taiwan’s answer to Japan’s bullet train) is the quickest but most expensive way to get around. It connects Taipei to Kaohsiung in just 2 hours. Journeys can be booked up to 29 days in advance and cost up to $35. I used 12Go to book my tickets.

TRA – these trains are slower but worth it for budget travellers. Taiwan is small so the journeys never take forever. The trains are clean and reliable. They fill up quicker than HSR trains so book in advance, especially at weekends and public holidays.

Note – I had problems trying to buy TRA train tickets (as opposed to HSR ones) online with a foreign bank card so I always bought them at the station a day or two in advance.

Bus – although I never took buses when travelling solo in Taiwan (aside from city buses and shuttles in the national parks), there’s a wide network of comfy buses that can be even cheaper than the train. Kuo Kuang and UBus are two of the main networks. 

Rental car – some travellers visiting Taiwan hire a car but I can’t see the need, really, with this many efficient and affordable public transport options (especially for solo travellers in Taiwan who’ll have to do all the driving and front the whole cost).

Getting around Taipei

The MRT (underground train) is a cheap, clean and efficient way to get around Taipei. There are 107 stations connected by 5 lines (brown, red, green, orange and blue). Journeys cost around 20-60 NT$ (up to $2) depending on distance.

Note – there’s no eating or drinking allowed on the MRT! I even got told off once for drinking water.

There’s also an expansive network of city buses that travel further afield than the MRT, connecting the city with day trip destinations like Yangmingshan National Park and Juifen. Buses are slightly cheaper than MRT journies but a little more convoluted.

Be sure to pick up an EasyCard. Not only do these save you money but you can top them up in advance, saving time on purchasing each ticket individually.

Bicycle: Unlock a bike from any YouBike station and pay using your EasyCard.

Getting around Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung also has an efficient MRT system although there are just 2 lines, connecting at Formosa Boulevard station (don’t miss the Dome of Light art installation while there).

There are also LRT overground trains, city buses and the ferry connecting Cijin Island with the mainland. Your EasyCard works here, too.

Street art building
Kaohsiung is a vibrant city and easy to navigate

Taiwan food & night markets

I loved the food in Taiwan. Not only are there many local delicacies but there’s fantastic Korean and Japanese food, too (for a fraction of the price of food in those countries). The sushi is phenomenal!

During solo travel in Taiwan, I rarely ate in restaurants even though dining alone isn’t something I mind at all. The night market food was just so good I rarely needed to!

Some of my favourite Taiwanese foods are:

  • TFC – Taiwanese fried chicken is a popular dish, especially with young people who can be found crowded around Hot Starr in Taipei’s Ximending district
  • Bubble tea – this is the birthplace of boba so it would be rude not to drink it everywhere!
  • Xiao long bao – soup dumplings are best eaten at Din Tai Fung restaurant. Don’t stop with them: there are so many types of dumplings in Taiwan!
  • Coffin toast – a hollowed-out hunk of bread is filled with a creamy stew. A calorific feast!
  • Beef noodles – this dish in a rich soup is best eaten on Kong Kang Street in Taipei.

The only Taiwanese food I didn’t like was stinky tofu! This may be the national dish but I couldn’t get past its overwhelming odour.

Do you need travel insurance as Taiwan is so safe?

Although Taiwan is safe for solo female travellers, I always recommend getting travel insurance. Although you’re unlikely to be victim to a violent crime, it’s possible that you could fall sick and need emergency treatment, just like you could anywhere in the world.

I use True Traveller: it costs £30 (€40) per month for world coverage for a year. When I’ve claimed, they’ve had the money in my account within days. They cover pre-existing health conditions and will cover you if you’re already travelling and/or don’t yet have your flight home booked. Click to get a quote.

True Traveller is just for European residents (including the UK) so, for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.

Taipei taiwan solo travelling
Taipei is a fun and safe place for solo female travel in Taiwan

Getting a SIM card in Taiwan and do you need it?

One of my top solo travel tips for women is to stay connected by getting a local SIM card. You can buy these in local stores (just remember to bring your passport as they usually ask).

To get connected right away, buy an e-SIM on Airalo that you can download to connect as soon as you land. Browse packages from 7-30 days from $4.50 or, if you’re visiting other countries on your trip, check out Airalo’s Asialink card covering 18 countries including Taiwan.

However, you don’t absolutely NEED a SIM in Taiwan because there’s free Wi-Fi in MRT stations and 7-Eleven stores. When sightseeing, it’s easy to quickly get online to do research or load your next journey.


Can you drink tap water in Taiwan? The tap water is technically safe to drink but many travellers choose to play it safe by buying bottled water or bringing a reusable water bottle and filling up from filtered units at their accommodation. This is what I did.

What is Taiwan like for vegetarians? The typical food isn’t the best as there’s lots of pork (and the national dish of stinky tofu tends to revolt foreign travellers), however it’s easy to find buffet restaurants where you can fill up a lunchbox with ingredients of your choice. Opt for all the veggies.

Should you tip in Taiwan?
No, Taiwan does not have a big tipping culture so it’s not something you need to factor into your budget.

Thanks for reading!

More solo travel guides…

Guides to solo travel in Europe:

Solo travel in the Americas:

Guides to solo female travel in Southeast Asia:

For more content, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Getting there – it’s easy to arrive by flight. I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates.

To stay connected, buy an e-SIM with Airalo and use data as normal. Browse their Korea SIM packages.

In my opinion, Lonely Planet offer the best guidebooks. Get the latest Lonely Planet Taiwan.

Car hire – I recommend for car hire in Taiwan and around the world.

For Taiwan High Speed Trains, use 12Go. The search feature allows you to compare prices and durations.

I use for accommodation. They have the best range of hotels and self-catering apartments, plus you can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.

To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.

For activities, I use GetYourGuide and Viator as they both have a huge range of affordable tours.

e-SIM: Stay connected with an Airalo e-SIM data plan: they have a Taiwan SIM card or an Asialink card covering 18 countries that you can download in advance of your trip.

Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.

For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.

Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and tips!

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