Taipei is already a lively metropolis in the daytime, but when the sun sets, the city is even more exciting: bars are packed with throngs of 20-somethings, night markets are bustling with families and friends seeking cheap eats, and nightclubs pulsate with music. Some spots such as the hot springs, KTVs, and Eslite bookstore are open 24/7, while others like the night markets, bars, and clubs are open until the wee hours of the morning. The Taipei Metro closes at midnight, but taxis and ridehailing services are plentiful. Taipei is a relatively safe city with low crime, making it easy to explore day and night. With so many options, you could easily go out every night, but everything is more 热闹 (rènào), or lively, on the weekends, with no two nights ever being the same.
Whether you want a laid-back lounge, rowdy sports bar, or ultra-hip mixology, Taipei has you covered. In the past decade, dozens of speakeasy-style bars have opened here, but amid the glitz and glam are classic bars, too.
- Black Wind Bar: An oldie but a goodie, this neighborhood bar has been serving stiff drinks since 2002.
- Alchemy Bar: Enter through a bookcase into a 1920s-themed watering hole that serves Prohibition-era cocktails and has live jazz on Thursday nights.
- AHA Saloon: AHA Saloon creates creative craft cocktails utilizing local ingredients. Try the Tree of Knowledge, made with green tea, pear, guava, black rice, and salted Sakura leaf.
- Bar Mood: Celebrated Taiwanese bartender Nick Wu incorporates tea, herbs, fruit, and other locally-sourced ingredients to craft avant-garde cocktails like Tropical Breeze (Bacardi rum, homemade Earl Grey tea syrup, tropical purée, and fresh lime juice).
- Draft Land: You won’t find cocktail shakers here, but rather bartenders serving draft cocktails on tap. Created by beverage research company Drink Lab, Draft Land’s team injects N2 or CO2 into its cocktails and mocktails.
- F---ING Place: Popular with students, this dive bar serves just drinks.
- Hanko 60: This speakeasy in Ximending serves over-the-top cocktails with unexpected ingredients such as asparagus juice.
- Indulge Bistro: Award-winning mixologist Aki Wang creates fanciful cocktails infused with Taiwanese ingredients and flair like the Mooncake (aged rum, millet, cream, winter melon, and grapefruit).
- L’arrière-cour: Opened in 2000, this bar specializes in single malt whiskey.
- MOD Public Bar: For 25 years, MOD Public Bar has been the place for a proper drink, particularly whiskey.
- MQ | Marquee: This bar/lounge is popular with Taipei’s trendiest socialites, serving fancy cocktails in an equally glam space.
- Ounce: There’s no menu, only bespoke beverages created based on each patron’s wishes.
- R&D Cocktail Lab: As the name suggests, this craft cocktail bar is constantly researching and developing one-of-a-kind cocktails that incorporate locally-sourced ingredients.
- Revolver: Throngs of local and foreign students congregate for draft, bottled, and canned beers at Revolver.
- Room By Le Kief: Come here for molecular mixology that results in mesmerizing and Instagram-worthy drinks.
Clubs and Dance Clubs
Many of Taipei’s clubs are in or near Neo19 and ATT 4 FUN, shopping mall and entertainment complexes in Xinyi district near Taipei 101. While most clubs like Box Nightclub play EDM, there is a club spinning music for every type of clubber, including hip-hop at Chess; house and techno at B1; and Latin, reggaeton, and salsa at M Taipei.
- Ai Nightclub: There’s a long queue on student nights (Thursday and Sunday) when the small dance floor is packed with revelers dancing to EDM.
- Brass Monkey: Brass Monkey has been a popular place to drink and watch sports on TV since it opened in 2003. There's a nightly happy hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Ladies Night is on Thursdays.
- IKON Taipei: Popular with locals, IKON has an extensive cocktail menu as part of its all-you-can-drink parties.
- Klash Taipei: Hip-hop is on the turntables, and it’s all-you-can-drink. There's free admission before midnight on Sundays, while women get in free on Wednesday and Thursday.
- OMNI: One of the most sophisticated clubs, OMNI has won awards for its design and has one of the best sound systems playing mostly EDM.
- Triangle: This warehouse-style music venue plays mostly hip-hop. Wednesday is Student and Ladies Night.
- WAVE CLUB Taipei: The EDM music is loud and the local crowds are large thanks to the all-you-can-drink deals Tuesday through Sunday. Women get in free before 11 p.m. nightly.
The most popular late-night eats are at Taiwan’s night markets (including the tourist-friendly Shilin Night Market, the student-centric Shida Night Market, and local favorite Lehua Night Market), which provide miles of street stalls serving savory and sweet snacks. If you prefer a sit-down restaurant, Taipei offers a plethora of Western and Eastern options like N.Y. Bagels Cafe, an American-style diner which imports its bagels from New York (the Chengde Road location is open until midnight), and Citystar, which serves Hong Kong-style dim sum 24/7.
While many bars offer regularly scheduled live music, Taipei has several venues dedicated exclusively to such performances, including PIPE and The Wall. Located in a former water pumping station, PIPE hosts a variety of live music performances. Meanwhile, the basement-level The Wall features two stages and excellent acoustics, with live music—ranging from indie rock to techno—on the agenda nearly every night of the week.
Events or Activities
If the bar and club scene isn’t for you, Taipei offers a multitude of alternatives, many of which are family-friendly.
- Eslite: Locals love perusing the reading materials of this beloved bookshop. The third floor is open 24/7.
- Fortune Telling: Fortune telling is an important part of life in Taiwan. Fortune Telling Street is where many locals go, whether they wish to consult about potential love interests or determine a baby's name. Located in an underground alley under Hsing Tian Kong, there's a Taoist temple where fortune tellers can offer you a look into your future in English.
- Hot Springs: Taking a soak in soothing sulfuric hot springs has been a popular pastime since the Japanese brought this tradition to Taiwan. There are more than a dozen hot spring resorts in Beitou, ranging from en suite hot spring baths at Kyoto Hot Spring Hotel to communal outdoor tubs at Spring City Resort to nude soaking at the modern Villa 32.
- KTV: Channel your inner rock star and book a private, furnished room at karaoke chain PartyWorld. Song options include popular and classic Western and Chinese tunes.
- Maokong: Take a scenic ride on the Maokong Gondola, which stops in the middle of the Maokong tea plantations. The cluster of tea shops here are open 24/7 and offer traditional tiěguānyīn (oolong) tea along with enviable city views.
- Ximending: Similar to Japan’s Harajuku and New York City’s Times Square, this pedestrian zone is packed with shops, street vendors, street performers, teen dancers practicing synchronized dances, and youngsters dressed to impress.
There is a family-friendly festival worth seeking out nearly every month:
- Lantern Festival: A highlight of the two-week Lunar New Year festivities is the Lantern Festival, held in either January or February (depending on the lunar calendar). There are several lantern festivals across Taiwan, but the most famous one is Taipei's Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, where more than 100,000 lanterns are lit and released into the night sky.
- Ghost Festival: Celebrated in August or September, the Hungry Ghost Festival is a time to pray for wayward, hungry souls who roam the night to visit the living. One of the biggest festivals is in the port city of Keelung, about 45 minutes from Taipei. Here, paper lanterns are lit and released on the water to light the way for lost souls.
- Moon Festival: During this harvest festival in September or October, families gather in the evening to barbecue, eat moon cakes, and admire the moon.
Tips for Going Out in Taipei
- The Taipei Metro shuts down at midnight daily; however, there are a handful of trains that start or continue their final journey in the few minutes past midnight. Passengers can look up the start times for the first and last trains on the Metro website. Routes on the city’s bus system stop between 10 p.m. and midnight.
- Hailing a yellow, metered taxi is easy late at night, but finding a taxi driver that speaks English is hard. It’s best to bring the address of your destination written in Chinese along with the phone number.
- A NT$20 surcharge is added to cab rides after 11 p.m.
- Taipei is safe and so are taxis—even for solo female passengers—but be wary of riding taxis alone in the wee hours of the morning.
- The taxi dispatch service can be reached by calling +886 800 055 850 (Press 2 for English service) or 55850 from a mobile phone.
- Ridehailing services like Uber and Lyft are popular as is LINE TAXI, a taxi-hailing service from the LINE mobile app. Rideshares accept cash and credit card for payment.
- Wednesday is Ladies Night at most clubs like Box Nightclub and Triangle, so women get to drink free for a set period or the entire night.
- Clubs are 18 and over. If you’re a student, bring your student ID (some clubs offer student discounts) along with your passport to prove your age. The dress code in Taipei is more casual than other places, but men cannot wear shorts, flip flops, or tank tops.
- Cover charges range depending on the club, the night of the week, and gender. For example, at Klash Taipei, the cover ranges from NT$250 to NT$400 for women and from NT$200 to NT$700 for men. Meanwhile, at WAVE CLUB Taipei, the cover ranges from NT$400 to NT$500 for ladies and NT$400 to NT$800 for gentlemen.
- In general, the earlier you arrive, the cheaper it is to enter the club; it’s not uncommon for club-goers to begin queuing at 10 p.m.
- Tipping has become increasingly popular in Taipei, with some bars and clubs adding a 10 percent (or more) gratuity to checks.