Culture + Style

Old and New Collide on a Tour of Taipei’s Portal to the Past

If you venture beyond the glimmering skyscrapers and neon lights of Taipei’s city center, you’ll soon find a wealth of traditional architecture, temples and markets. These three sights will transport you back in time while showing off the city’s creative side.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

This collection of century-old buildings once housed Taipei Winery, a sake and ginseng wine producer. After several iterations, the park opened as an artistic space in 2005 — a venue where theater groups, painters and designers come to showcase their talents.

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Get your art fix at Creative Park. (Photo: Getty Images)

Check the schedule before you go to see if there are any markets, concerts or creative workshops in the offing. Alternatively, it’s a great spot to spend an hour having an urban picnic. Walk here past the famous Huashan Market and make a breakfast pit stop at the popular Fu Hang Soy Milk café.

Dihua Street

Once a vital thoroughfare to Da-Dao Cheng’s trading basin, Dihua Street is now famous for its Chinese New Year market, when the promenade is taken over by open-air stalls decorated with Chinese lanterns and crowds jostling to buy trinkets.

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Shop like a local on this historic street. (Photo: Getty Images)

Carve out some time for the Xia Hai City God Temple, which is renowned as a matchmaking temple among the faithful. Or simply take a breather at one of the many vintage coffee shops along the strip.

Bopiliao Historical Block

This narrow, winding street’s redbrick walls, arched arcades and engraved window frames offer a display of traditional architecture, and the street is the perfect setting for a really atmospheric neighborhood stroll.

This block draws visitors who are on the hunt for the historic side of Taipei, as well as arty types who come for the creative murals and craft stores. If you have more time, Lungshan Temple and Huaxi Street Night Market (Snake Alley) are a short walk away.