The National Palace Museum was established in 1965, and it holds one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese imperial artifacts and pieces of art, with a collection size of almost 700,000 pieces. The size of the collection is staggering and, whether you’re an art fan or not, you have to appreciate the scope of this wondrous collection. Steep yourself in Chinese history as you move through the collection at the National Palace Museum and experience the relics of the past as you remember that much of this collection was once owned by former Chinese emperors.
Intro to the National Palace Museum in Taipei
The current directors of the National Palace Museum are Lin Jeng-yi and Chen Chi-nan and the collection at the National Palace Museum features bonze metalwork from the late Western Zhou Dynasty, rare Chinese ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, and more. Once you’ve made your way through the exhibits, don’t forget to head outside and enjoy the beautiful Zhishan Garden that is on the same compound as the National Palace Museum. This garden covers 1.88 hectares and is home to many ponds, Chinese pavilions, and waterworks. Let the tranquil beauty of this garden enhance the magnificent National Palace Museum leaving you with beautiful memories to return home with.
Shopping & things to do near the National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum is located outside of the downtown core, so aside from some restaurants and the museum’s own gift shop, there isn’t much in the way of shopping in the immediate area. However, it is only a quick transit ride away to some really great sites. If you’re looking to get some gifts from the National Palace Museum’s gift shop, it is open the same hours as the museum, which is daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays (open from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.).
- Shilin Night Market: The Shilin Night Market is one of the largest and most famous night markets in Taipei and a great stop for visitors who are looking to get some shopping done, or want to find some delicious Taiwanese snacks. Open daily from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Shilin Night Market is located near Jiantan Metro Station.
- Beitou Hot Springs: Whether you’re looking to spend a day here, or want to extend your visit to the area, the Beitou Hot Springs is a beautiful attraction that is easily accessed by the metro. Enjoy the open-air hot springs that feature four different pools (each with varying temperatures that increase as you work your way through the pools), and let yourself slip into a relaxed state as you enjoy your visit.
- Xingtian Temple: Conveniently located next to Xingtian Temple Metro Station in Zhongshan District this temple is dedicated to Guan Yu, the patron god of businessmen, features beautiful dragon statues and lovely architecture, and is a little piece of contentment inside busy Taipei.
Best places to eat near the National Palace Museum
While the National Palace Museum is a little off the beaten path, there are a few nearby restaurant options, and some are within the National Palace itself. It is always worth remembering that the National Palace Museum is a transit ride away from busier parts of the city, so if the nearby options aren’t to your liking, you can always hop on a bus and go further into Taipei.
- Silks Palace: Located right beside the National Palace Museum, this restaurant offers great Chinese food with a lovely ambiance. Try the beef noodle soup or the dim sum for a real treat!
- Fuchunju Café: This restaurant is located right beside the National Palace Museum’s gift shop and offers a great place to sit and have a bite to eat after visiting the expansive museum.
- McDonald’s Taipei Soochow University: Located a short distance away from the National Palace Museum this McDonald’s is a great choice for inexpensive, quick food or if you’re looking for a familiar taste in Taipei.
Bars, lounges, & nightlife near the National Palace Museum
While there are no bars in the direct vicinity of the National Palace Museum you can strike out from the palace and head into an adjoining neighborhood to sample local nightlife options. All it takes is a quick bus ride from the National Palace Museum to find many bars and nightlife options.
- Patio 84 Bar & Grill: Located in the Shilin District, this location offers indoor and outdoor seating options, cocktails, beer, and food. If you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day at the museum, then this could be a great pick!
- Wicked Wolfpack: The Wicked Wolfpack focuses on offering craft beer, coffee, and great food. If you’re looking for a beer flight to sample after exploring the National Palace and a relaxed atmosphere, then look no further than the Wicked Wolfpack.
- Irene’s Lounge: This sports bar, located in the Shilin District offers cocktails, beer, and great food. If you’re looking to catch a game while you’re in Taipei, or are looking for a lounge with a lively atmosphere, then Irene’s Lounge is a great choice.
Transportation options at the National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum is located outside the city center of Taipei and there are multiple ways to reach this landmark. The most inexpensive way to reach the National Palace Museum area will be with a combination of metro and bus rides. However, you may also hire a taxi if you prefer, though this will be a costlier option. If you plan on taking the Taipei Metro and bus system, then there are a few options to choose from, depending on where you are coming from in the city. If you are nearest to the Tamsui-Xinyi Line, then take this metro line all the way to the Shilin Metro Station and, from there, take the R30 bus to the National Palace Museum. If you are near the Wenhu Line, then take the metro line all the way to the Dazhi Metro Station and, from there, take the B13 bus to the National Palace Museum.
If you choose to use the metro in Taipei, then you can purchase either single trip tickets or tickets that are good for multiple days. Prices for metro tickets will range depending on the number of days needed, or on the distance of your journey, but it is a very reasonable and cost-efficient way to travel when visiting Taipei. For the bus services, there are local and long-distance routes that can be used to travel all around the city. Fares for bus tickets will range, but are quite reasonable and start at about NT $15 ($0.15 USD).
If you are planning on visiting the rest of Taiwan or outside of the Taipei area, Taiwan also has great train services and options for both long-distance, and short-distance travel by train. The regional routes are generally reserved for shorter trips while the high-speed trains are used to cover long distances quickly. Train tickets will range depending on the class of ticket you purchase and the length of the journey, but start at about NT $155 ($5 USD) per ticket.
No matter which option you choose, travel around Taipei is quite easy, however, if you are ever uncertain about which mode of transportation would be best, you can always contact your hotel’s concierge or guest services as they should be able to recommend a method of travel that will get to you to your destination.