Ximending: The Best Place to Stay in Taipei

If there’s one place that has blown all my expectations out of the water, it’s Taiwan and the capital city is no exception.

We visited Taipei as part of our 7-day road trip around Taiwan and we discovered not only the best area to stay in Taipei for tourist visitors but also how easy the city is to navigate and explore as a visitor.

Perhaps you’re visiting Taiwan for 3 days or a short layover, so you’ll want to know the best place to stay in Taipei city that allows you to see all the main attractions and where to stay in Taipei to easily travel around the city and experience the best that Taipei has to offer.

Read on for the best location to stay in Taipei.

Rainbow road in Ximending

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How to get to Taipei from Taipei Taoyuan Airport

If you’re visiting Taipei, you’re most likely flying into the city’s main international airport - Taipei Taoyuan Airport.

The city actually has two airports - Taipei Taoyuan and Taipei Songshan which is usually domestic or short haul international flights. But most international carriers use Taoyuan airport which is about 1 hour from Taipei city centre.

How to get from Taipei Airport to Taipei City by train

The best way to get from Taipei Taoyuan Airport to Taipei City is on the Airport Express train line. This takes you to Taipei Main Station where you can connect to most other MRT lines and buses to reach your final destination. 

There are two trains you can catch: an Airport Line Express train and the Airport Line Commuter train. The only difference is the Commuter train stops at all stations so it takes longer.

Taipei Airport Express train:

Colour: Purple Line

Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1: 35 minutes to Taipei Main Station

Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2: 40 minutes to Taipei Main Station

Frequency: 15 minutes

Running time: 6am - 11.23pm

Fare: 160 TWD one way (2023 price)

Stops: Taipei Main Station, New Taipei Industrial Park, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Airport Terminal 1, Airport Terminal 2

Luggage space: 122 compartments for 28 inch luggage, 604 compartments for 20 inch luggage

Wireless charging: Available

Timetable linked here

Taipei Airport Commuter train:

Colour: Blue Line

Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1: 50 minutes to Taipei Main Station

Frequency: 15 minutes

Running time: 6am - 11.23pm

Fare: 160 TWD one way (2023 price)

Stops: All stations

Luggage space: 252 compartments for 20 inch luggage.

Wireless charging: No

Timetable linked here


How to get to Taipei from Taipei airport by taxi

We took a taxi back to the airport for our return journey as our flight was around 6am so the Airport trains weren’t running yet.

A taxi should cost between $1300-1500 TWD. We were able to book a taxi via the hotel but you could also find an Uber for the same or cheaper price depending on the time of day and demand.


Where is the best area to stay in Taipei?


The best area to stay in Taipei for first timers is undoubtedly Ximending district.

Ximending is famous for its vibrant culture, bustling walking streets, night markets, colourful lights and shopping streets as well as great food and accommodation options.

The area is also well connected to the rest of the city by Ximen station which serves the Bannan Line (blue line) and Songshan-Xindian line (green line).

Ximending was perfect for our first time in Taipei, allowing us to see all the city’s main sights and we had so many options for food, drinks and evening entertainment right on the doorstep of our hotel.

We stayed at Amba Ximending Hotel during our first two days so we were centrally located in Taipei City and in the best district to stay in Taipei. Then we moved to Amba Hotel Songshan location for our last night for epic city views.

Looking for a Taipei district map? Click here to find a Taipei city map including MRT lines and stations.


Where to stay in Taipei Ximending district

My top Taipei accommodation recommendation is to stay at Amba Hotel Ximending for the best place to stay in Taipei. 

Amba Hotels kindly provided me with a two-night complimentary stay although all views are my own and I have to say, the location of Amba Ximending could not have been more perfect for our stay in Taipei to allow us to explore the area and the rest of the city.


Best hotel in Taipei Ximending: Amba Hotel Ximending

The rooms:

Our large room in Taipei Ximending

We were provided with a Lohas room style which is a very large 41 sq metres room with a large double bed, seating area with sofas which also double as sofa beds if you’re a family or group. The room can sleep up to 4 adults and 2 children.

The style is modern, industrial and we loved the separate shower room and toilet as well as the huge vanity area around the sink - I travel with so many toiletries and always appreciate extra touches like the additional counter space.

There is a TV in both the bedroom and sitting area as well as ample storage for your stay.

The rooms are equipped with shampoo, soaps and other small amenities for your convenience, plus a hair dryer and bottled water which is refreshed daily.

Our favourite extra feature of the room was the Amba flip flops. We always have indoor sandals for our travels and the colourful hotel flip flops were not only perfect for that, but the hotel encourages you to take the flip flops home with you to reduce waste - so you get free sandals too!

We also loved the special touch of local snacks and drinks to try which were so much fun and a lovely welcome!

our room and vanity area

Amba Hotel Ximending


The food:

breakfast in the restaurant at Amba Ximending

Breakfast is included with your stay at Amba Ximending and wow what a breakfast it is! It’s my favourite meal of the day but Amba really took it to the next level!

Breakfast takes place in The Cape restaurant on the 5th floor reception area of the hotel with city views.

The breakfast is buffet style with a huge selection of breakfast foods from American style cooked breakfasts with sausage, hash browns and bacon, to traditional style breakfasts with dumplings, noodles, soups and more.

I loved the egg station with freshly cooked eggs made to your specific order. There is also a freshly made rice roll station where you can build your own rice rolls with ingredients of your choice and have them cooked there and then!

Fresh coffee, juice, a cheese platter, seasonal fruits, pastries, meats, salads and everything you can think of is available for you to fuel up in the morning before your day of exploring.

The hotel has two restaurants and a bar:

1. The Cape - signature restaurant on the 5th floor (where breakfast is served) during the day and evening, The Cape is a vibrant and relaxed restaurant with a range of US-style and Italian dishes

2. Ting Bar - Ting means “listen” in Chinese and it’s a relaxed, chilled atmosphere with music including jazz, blues and contemporary music to enjoy with a drink or two.

3. Buttermilk is located in the Eslite Wuchang shopping complex below Amba Hotel in Ximending and is an American style urban dining restaurant with an outdoor courtyard as well as indoor seating.

the bar at Amba Ximending


The services:

Amba Hotel lobby Ximending

Amba Hotel is specifically catered towards international guests looking for where to stay in Taipei, so all their staff speak English and were incredibly welcoming and accommodating including arranging transport for us, late check out options and luggage storage.

Resources and guidance for local recommendations were available including plenty of leaflets for local events and things to see.

Daily room cleaning is provided although we loved that the “do not disturb” and “clean me” signs were magnets for the door rather than paper - great for avoiding paper usage and waste!

Amenities provided in the room were fantastic but there was also free laundry available which was a lifesaver after our long trip! No coin operation machines or need to buy detergent, it’s all provided for free in a clean, well-equipped laundry room with washers and dryers.


The price: 

Amba Hotel is a very affordable hotel considering the excellent location in the centre of Taipei. You can book a room from as low as £62 per night and there are additional discounts or offers if you book directly on their website.


The location:

Ximending at night

Located in the heart of Ximending district just 5 minutes walk from Ximen station, Amba Hotel Ximending is ideal if you’re looking for the best place to stay in Taipei for shopping, eating, entertainment, experiences and transit around the city.

Despite the central location close to the walking street and night markets, the high rise hotel and great sound proofing means we did not hear any noise or disturbance from our room - so if you’re worried about noise, it was genuinely a non-issue for us.


Things to do in Taipei: best area to stay

Staying in Amba Ximending means a great location for these attractions in Taipei and within walking distance of Ximen MRT station to reach a range of other attractions too.

Things to do in Taipei within walking distance of the hotel include: 

  • Ximending night market

  • the Ximending walking streets

  • Eslite Wuchang shopping centre

  • Tianhou Temple

  • Rainbow Road

  • The Red House theatre

  • Bopiliao Historic Block

  • Longshan Temple

  • Guangzhou Street Night Market

colourful streets and night market

Things to do in Taipei just a short MRT ride from Ximen MRT station in Ximending:

  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (2 stops on MRT Songshan-Xindian green line)

  • Elephant Mountain (1 stop on green line,7 stops on Tamsui MRT red line)

  • Taipei 101 (1 stop on green line 6 stops on Tamsui MRT red line)

  • Wufenpu Shopping district (7 stops on MRT Songshan-Xindian green line)

Plus there are countless restaurants, bars and street food options as well as shops, street markets and shopping centres within the Ximending district.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

View of Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain

Summary: Where to stay in Taipei City

Hopefully this Where to Stay in Taipei blog has given you some firsthand guidance and ideas for planning your own trip to Taipei.

We absolutely loved our time in the city and Taipei far exceeded our expectations, part of that was definitely being in such a great location to be able to experience what the city has to offer thanks to our stay at Amba Hotels.

Although our stay at Amba Hotel was provided on a complimentary basis, all views are my own and I hope this account of our stay reflects the enjoyment of our time there.

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If it’s your first time visiting Taipei, this is the best area of the city to stay in. Plus my hotel, attractions, food and drink recommendations to help you make the most of your stay in Taipei | where to stay in taipei | best hotels in taipei | xim