The island of Taiwan is approximately 245 miles long and 89 miles at its widest point—13,855 square miles (35,883 sq km) in all—and is almost entirely subtropical in climate with generous rainfall: exception being Taiwan's southern end, anchored by Kaohsiung City, which is completely tropical. That said, weather can fluctuate quite dramatically depending on region even on such a compact stretch of land (and its neighboring islands) and time of year, with a monsoon season and typhoons during summer through early autumn, yet crisp, dry and refreshingly cool times during the winter.
In general, Taiwan visitors can count on extended, hot and humid summers, pleasantly chilly albeit somewhat short winters (pack a coat!), and plenty of beach weather all year in the south; though, do be wary of heavy rain and monsoon periods. As a result, the best time to visit depends on your priorities, whether it be saving a little money during lower peak months, attending festivals, or avoiding the monsoons.
On a general packing note, Taiwan can be very casual when contrasted against Hong Kong's formality, but there's still a good degree of Western fashion, modest and respectful garments when at religious sites, and some upmarket style for visits to Taipei's five-star hotels and restaurants.
Weather And Climate By Region
Taiwan's capital city, with an approximate population of over 2.65 million (the greater New Taipei City area, which surrounds Taipei, tops 4 million), is located to Taiwan's north and a hub for travel to and from other countries thanks to the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in neighboring Taoyuan City. Taipei's weather can be extremely diverse throughout the year, with distinct seasons that require different suitcase packing forethought depending on when you go.
October and November tends to see some of the most comfortable weather here, usually ranging from a high around 80 degrees F (27 degrees C) down to 65 degrees F (18 degrees C): warm enough for shorts and T-shirts, yet cool enough to not break a big sweat either (that's a big plus if attending Taiwan's annual LGBTQ Pride march in late October, Asia's largest event of its kind).
December through March are chilliest, dipping as low as mid-50s F, but come April you can expect the high 70s F and as of June things start getting hot—about 93 degrees F (34 degrees C) in July—with a good bit of rainfall.
Located approximately 82 miles southwest of Taipei and accessible by high speed rail, car, and via the Taichung International Airport (from other cities and several international destinations), this is Taiwan's second most populous city with more than 2.8 million denizens filling out its region. Situated just off the coastline, things can get very wet from April until mid-September with about a 55 percent daily chance of precipitation in June with more than 10 inches average accumulation.
June through October is the hottest time of year, also hitting over 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) in July, but the fever finally breaks and slides into the high 80 degrees F (26 degrees C).
Located in Taiwan's south, and accessible by the final stop of the High Speed Rail system (Zuoying Station) and Kaohsiung International Airport, the city of Kaohsiung comes in just below Taichung in the poplation department with more than 2.7 million. It's one of the hottest regions and cities in Taiwan, with subtropical weather, but as a reward is close to many of the best beaches. Although oppressively hot, with heat that can hit 97 degrees F (36 degrees C) during July and quite a bit of rain, summer is vacation time and brings a lot of families to the beaches.
If you're keen to stay dry, cooler, and enjoy some bicycling around Kaohsiung's lovely waterfront bike trails, late September until early May is your best bet.
Taiwan's only completely inland county, Nantou is nonetheless home to a waterfront draw for honeymooners, weddings, and picturesque activities, Sun Moon Lake, and plenty of beauteous mountains including Yushan, a.k.a. Mt. Jade, Taiwan's highest at almost 13,000 feet.
Nantou sees mostly clear skies between October and April, and not too much rain during the winter (June and August, however, tend to be wettest with around 11 inches per month on average). Winter can be the best time to visit, both due to the comparative dryness and pleasant cool weather that can average between 72 degrees F (22 degrees C) and 53 degrees F (11.6 degrees C) in January.
Spring in Taiwan
This season lasts from March until May and offers a few definite highlights for travelers during this time. In March, you should be able to catch a good chunk of Cherry Blossom season, which typically begins in February and can stretch all the way into April. Several of the best Cherry Blossom viewing spots during this time are located in the north's Taipei and New Taipei City area, including Tianyuan Temple (accessible via a bus from the MRT's Tamsui Station) and Yangmingshan National Park (take a bus from Taipei Main Station or the Jiantan MRT stop), while Taoyuan's Loving Farm is also close by. And just south of the island's halfway point in the lush countryside, the Alishan National Scenic Area and its highway is riddled with lovely blossoms from March until early April. Spring also welcomes some prime beach swimming weather in the south.
What to pack: Definitely pack the swimwear if you're planning to hit the beaches or hotel pools, and comfortable light clothing including shorts for warmer days. Also include some layers if heading to the chillier parts of Taiwan (like Alishan's alpine forest), and a waterproof jacket and compact umbrella for rainy days.
Summer in Taiwan
The summer months of June through August can get, in the words of Cole Porter, too darned hot with temperatures pushing into the 90s F and extremely wet to boot thanks to the bulk of its monsoon and typhoon seasons, especially in the south (a boon for surfers, who can take advantage of epic stormy swells). Despite this, summer is a peak travel season due to schools being out of session between July and August, with families crowding resort and high tourism areas and prices spiking around 50 percent higher than the months of November to March.
What to pack: Clothes that you won't mind sweating up or getting wet, swimwear, sunscreen and sunglasses, heavy-duty umbrellas for brushes with monsoons and typhoons, and water-resistant, comfortable shoes and sandals. A raincoat is also a must.
Fall In Taiwan
September through November sees the monsoons and typhoons recede (although it can still rain a bit with cloudy skies) and the fever break with temperatures dropping into the high-mid 70s F (exception being the south, where it hovers in the high-mid 80s F). November sees the beginning of off-peak season with prices dipping around 50 percent less than summertime's holiday peak, which lasts until about March. That said, October presents a major month for hotel occupancy in Taipei thanks to major trade shows like Taipei International Electronics Show and Gay Pride, which drew approximately 130,000 attendees in 2020 and sees LGBTQ visitors from across Asia.
What to pack: It will be warm enough for shorts many days, but some long pants are also a good idea, especially if doing anything formal or planning to visit Buddhist temples and holy sites. A light jacket and umbrella are sage additions, and swimwear for beaches and hotel pools. If you're into hiking, this is a great time, so bring hiking-friendly clothing and footwear too.
Winter in Taiwan
December through February represents one of the most pleasant times in Taipei, with less rainfall overall, a dash of actual winter chill, and off-peak hotel rates and packages. During this time, the Chinese New Year—dates change annually—kicks off a vacation period similar to North America's Christmas and New Year, with many locals spending time with families and most smaller businesses closed for a couple of weeks (one perk: you can visit big stores like Eslite). The holiday ends with a Lantern Festival, with stunning displays around Taiwan. February sees the start of Taiwan's Cherry Blossom season, and Taipei's Broadwood Park, in the Neihu District, features sakura along a riverside path, which can get jammed with tourists and locals especially on weekends during this time. Meanwhile, Taichung's Wuling Farm offers a less tourist-packed, beautiful Cherry Blossom path (there's an admission charge of about $5.50 during peak season).
What to pack: Layers is the way to go, so bring everything you'd need for a comfortably 70s F day, plus long sleeve shirts and pants, a sweater, and a light to medium weight jacket for when nights dip into chilly territory (50s F). Even better if the latter is water-resistant should a little rain come your way.
|Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours|
|Month||Avg. Temp||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||55 F - 64 F||0.68 in||10 hours|
|February||55 F - 64 F||1.54 in||11 hours|
|March||59 F - 68 F||1.79 in||12 hours|
|April||64 F - 77 F||2.01 in||12 hours|
|May||72 F - 81 F||2.18 in||13 hours|
|June||75 F - 86 F||2.08 in||13 hours|
|July||77 F - 90 F||1.14 in||13 hours|
|August||79 F - 90 F||2.53 in||12 hours|
|September||75 F - 86 F||2.64 in||12 hours|
|October||70 F - 81 F||5.8 in||11 hours|
|November||57 F - 66 F||3.27 in||10 hours|
|December||60 F - 67 F||2.87 in||10 hours|
Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours