Zhongzheng and Gongguan are in the centre of Taipei.
Zhongzheng houses powerful political offices and governmental ministries. Gongguan is home to the National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University, also colloquially known as Taida and Shida respectively, which may perhaps produce the next generation of leaders.
The Green Line runs through the southern end of Zhongzheng from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to Gongguan and beyond, till Jingmei. The Red and Blue Lines serve the northern parts of the district, with a major interchange at Taipei Main, which also has connections to the Taipei TRA and HSR railway stations.
Museums and buildings
- 1 National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂) (CKS Station on Xindian line). The memorial hall is a famous but controversial symbol of both Taipei and the Republic of China, as expected of its namesake. It is here that the nation's flag is raised every morning, and the huge courtyard serves as a place for both national celebrations as well as a platform to voice one's disapproval of the government. The memorial consists of a large bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek, watched over by two motionless honor guards who are replaced every hour in a rifle twirling ceremony. Downstairs, there is a museum of Chiang's life, complete with his cars and uniforms. Even if you are not into memorials, the gardens, with their Chinese style ponds, are definitely worth a visit. The grounds of the memorial are also a favorite place for locals to gather and practice martial arts, though you'll have to be there early if you want to see this. Most people begin their work-out at around sunrise, and will have left for the office before 8AM. Free.
- 2 National Museum Of History (國立歷史博物館), 49 Nanhai Rd, ☎ . Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, closed Mo. This museum is in Taipei Botanical Garden, and is famous for its varied selection of exhibits, including Tang dynasty tri-color pottery and Shang dynasty bronzes. Admission NT$20.
- 3 National Taiwan Museum (國立台灣博物館), 2 Xiangyang Rd (Nearest MRT station 'National Taiwan University Hospital' on the Danshui line.), ☎ . This museum is in 'Peace Park' (near Taipei Main Station) in a splendid Baroque and Renaissance style building. Opened in 1899, it was Taiwan's first museum and focuses on anthropology and the fauna and flora of the island.
- 4 228 Memorial Museum.
- 5 National Taiwan University (台灣大學, or 台大<Tai-da> for short) (Gongguan (公館) on the Xindian (Green) Line). Taiwan's pre-eminent institution of higher education. The campus grounds are surrounded by several blocks of shops, bookshops, cafes and tea houses popular with students and scholars. Browse through the stalls and booths directly across the street from the main entrance of the university (don't forget there is a lot more just behind the main street), grab a bite or two of the popular snacks, such as fresh fruit, spice-cooked meats, soy goodies, sky-high ice cream cones, sweets, shaved ice, tapioca teas or fresh bread. You can also sample the yummy Taiwanese fried chicken chain Ding Gua Gua. Try a "Gua Gua Bao," a flavorful sticky rice pouch. There are many American fast food restaurants across the street on the right of the University, right next to several wonderful bookshops.
- 6 Presidential Office Building (總統府), 122 Chongqing South Road, Zhongzheng District. Built during the Japanese colonial period as the residence of the Governor-General of Taiwan, currently used as the official residence of the President of the Republic of China. Public access is generally restricted to specific open house days which are published on the web-site.
- 7 228 Peace Memorial Park (二二八和平公園). This park is on the north side of Katagalan Boulevard and the MRT station 'National Taiwan University Hospital' on the Danshui line. The park was founded by the Japanese in 1907, and was originally called New Park (新公園). The name was changed in 1996 to commemorate those killed in the 228 Incident of 28 February 1947. The park is popular with practitioners of taichi and senior citizens playing Chinese chess. The National Taiwan Museum marks the northern entrance to the park.
- 8 Taipei Botanical Garden (植物園) ('Xiaonanmen' on the green line). This beautiful garden has inspired the citizens of Taipei for over one hundred years. The lotus ponds are a hallmark of the park and are especially captivating when the these symbols of peace are in full bloom and swaying in the summer breeze. The gardens are close to the National Museum of History.
- 9 Hua Shan Cultural and Creative Industry Center (華山創意文化園區), 1 Bade Rd, Sec 1 (Exit 1, Zhongxiao Xinsheng MRT. Walk straight ahead. Turn right at elevated highway onto Jinshan North Road. Cross the next highway (Bade Road). Huashan Park is on the left side of the road). This former brewery has been transformed into a creative space in a park. The exhibitions are well presented and imaginative and the theater performances, while less formal than those at the National Theater, are first rate. The center also has a number of cool cafes - some with with outdoor seating - an art movie theater and a number of shops selling innovative crafts.
- 10 Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村), No. 7 Beiping E. Rd. (near Shandao Temple Station, Exit No. 1, walk to Tian Jin St. and turn right to Beiping E. Road), ☎ . Tu–Su 11:00–21:00. This village provides residency programs for Taiwanese artists and others from around the world. They provide gallery and studio space for artists. They also have a few cafes which are excellent for a mid-day break while exploring Taipei. You are free to roam around the village.
- 11 Treasure Hill Artist Village (寶藏巖國際藝術村), No. 2, Alley 14, Ln. 230 Dingzhou Rd. Sec. 3, ☎ . Tu–Su 11:00–22:00. Another artist village. Free.
- 12 Zhongshan Hall (中山堂) (North of Ximen MRT station). The buildings were completed in the period of Japanese rule on December 26, 1936. In 1945, The former Taipei City Hall was renamed as Zhongshan Hall. In 1992, the building has been identified to Second monuments of the country. Later it was assigned as a cultural space that hosts cultural and art events.
- 1 National Theater Hall and National Concert Hall (國家戲劇院 and 國家音樂廳) (CKS Station on Xindian line. The Theater Hall and Concert Hall buildings are located on each side of Liberty Square.). Located in the grounds of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, it is an are excellent place to see performances of a Taiwanese play or a dance troupe. They also host many international events. Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra performs at the National Concert Hall. The building's neo-classic Chinese architecture is especially stunning when flood-lit at night.
- 2 Taipei Water Park. (自來水園區) 1 Shiyuan Street is situated in Gongguan area and was newly opened in 2007. The park is built around the Museum of Drinking Water. Many facilities are all about water. The most popular are water slides and swimming spas. But the facilities are open only in summer (entry included with the museum ticket)
- 3 Museum of Drinking Water (自來水博物館), 49 Nanhai Rd (Gongguan on Xindian Line), ☎ . 9AM-6PM (tickets offer till 5PM), closed Mon. The Museum of Drinking Water was completed in 1908, and is the first pumping station and filtration plant in Taipei. The museum is in the Taipei Water Park.
- Fjällräven Store, No 6, Lane 94, Section 3, Xinsheng South Road, Gongguan. (Exit 2, Taipower Building MRT Station. Walk straight, crossing main highway in front - Xinhai Road. Still on Xinhai Road, turn left. Turn into first alley on right. Walk to the right of the park, passing Three Idiots Restaurant. Take a right at the next junction and then first left. Fjällräven is immediately on the right.), ☎ . 13:30PM-9:30PM. Excellent selection of durable and stylish outdoor gear.
- 1 Guanghua Digital Mall (光華商場), No 8, Civic Boulevard Sec 3, (Take the Orange Line or Blue Line to Zhongxiao Xinsheng (忠孝新生), From Exit 1, immediately make a U-turn. At the Mega Bank, take a left down the lane (walking north) to enter the maze of shops south of Bade Road. The mall is across the road.). 10AM-9PM. A six storey mall specializing in computers and other electronic devices. The facility also comprises an exhibition pace to show case new products and a food court.
- Mountain Hard Wear, 7 Ln 284, Roosevelt Rd, sec. 3, Gongguan (nearest MRT - Gongguan) Tel:+886 2 2365-1501, plus a few stores within a few doors of each other are professional trekking and backpacking stores offering a wide range of high quality equipment. These stores are just north of the junction with Zhongxiao West Rd on Zhongshan North Rd, sec 1 (west side of the road).
- Rockland, No. 5, Lane 94, Section 3, Xinsheng South Road, Gongguan. (Exit 2, Taipower Building MRT Station. Walk straight, crossing main highway in front - Xinhai Road. Still on Xinhai Road, turn left. Turn into first alley on right. Walk to the right of the park, passing Three Idiots Restaurant. Take a right at the next junction and then first left. Rockland is immediately on the left.), ☎ . 12:30PM-9:30PM. An excellent selection of outdoor gear, including trekking shoes, backpacks, and many accessories. Helpful service.
- 2 Taipei Zhongshan Metro Shopping Mall (Easy Mall (中山地下街)). A long underground shopping area that houses several stores selling all manner of items, not necessarily limited to electronics. A few stores in the Easy Mall carry current and vintage video games, hardware and software.
- 3 Taiwan Handicraft Mart (中華工藝館), 1 Xuzhou Rd (On corner of intersection with Zhongshan South Road), ☎ . A wide selection of traditional handicrafts.
- 1 Happy Farm Vegetarian Restaurant (Kai Xing Nong Tsung (開心農場素食店)), 2F, No 16, Lane 683, Roosevelt Road, Sec 3, Gongguang (entrance from Roosevelt Road or Xinsheng South Road.), ☎ . Offers simple and tasty Chinese buffet style vegetarian meals.
- Su De Su Shi (素德蔬食), No 21, Lane 283, Roosevelt Road, Sec 3, Gongguan, ☎ . 11AM-2PM, 5-7:30PM. A buffet style restaurant offering a wide range of Chinese vegetarian dishes.
- Thai Guo Xiao Guan (泰國小館), 219 Tingzhou Rd Sec. 3 (Near National Taiwan University), ☎ . This small Thai restaurant is in Gongguan.
- Three Idiots Toast and Curry, No 28, Lane 263, Roosevelt Road, Sec 3, Gongguan.. 11:30AM-3PM, 5-10PM. Indian chefs offering interesting fusion dishes
- Mary Jane's Pizza, 89 Wenzhou St, ☎ . No. Taipei (near Taida). Great thin crust pizza at reasonable prices, they also do delivery. NT$180-300 for a pizza.
- Sababa Pita Bar, No 17, Lane 283, Roosevelt Road, Sec 3, Gongguan., ☎ . 11:30AM-9:30PM. Specializes in Israeli and Middle Eastern food.
As a student area, Gongguan is home to a host of distinctive cafes.
- Aura Cafe (微光咖啡), No9, Lane 269, Roosevelt Road, Sec 3, Gongguan. (Exit 2, Taipower Building Station MRT. Cross Highway in front - Xinhai Road. Still on Xinhai Road, turn left. Take first right. The cafe is a few minutes walk on the left.), ☎ . 12 noon - 11PM. A chic and stylish cafe. Excellent coffee, including drip. Friendly and helpful service.
- Coffee Lab, No. 6, Lane 64, Section 2, Zhōngxiào East Road. This small coffee shop roasts their own beans on site. 3 resident cats keep patrons company as they sip carefully crafted lattes.
- 1 Imperfect Cafe, 2F, 95-6 Xinsheng South Road, sec 3, Gongguang (After passing the Gongguan branch of Eslite Bookshop - directly opposite the main gate of Taiwan National University. - , turn into the second lane on the left. The entrance to the cafe is immediately on the left.), ☎ . 11:30AM-10:30PM. A very contemporary cafe, with rough concrete walls, wooden tables and industrial lights. Ample facilities for laptop connections provided. Serves good quality coffee, a variety of teas, and light meals.
- Trilobite Cafe, No. 64-2, Section 2, Jìnán Road,. Serves excellent coffees offering a wide selection of espresso. The two resident dogs are very friendly too.
- 2 Taipei Brewery (Taiwan Beer Bar), 85 Bade Rd Sec. 2 (Zhongxiao Xinsheng MRT, entrance on Weishui Road just around corner). 9AM-9PM. A godsend for the thirsty budget traveler in a city of pricey bars, this is most certainly the cheapest bar in town. This is a great place to find the rare Taiwan Draft Beer, which has a 2-week expiration and usually can only be found in a few restaurants and stores in the same city as the brewery. It's attached to the brewery where Taiwan Beer is made, close to the intersection of Bade and Jianguo Roads. The restaurant is located in an inconspicuous warehouse deep inside the brewery entrance. What it lacks in ambiance it more than makes up for in value. The draft beer 500 ml is NT$60, but you might want to opt for a bottled 600 ml malt beer for NT$55. Interior and exterior seating are available.
- 3 The Wall Live House, 200 Roosevelt Road B1, Sec 4, ☎ . The biggest venue for independent live music - Taiwanese bands playing everything from rock to reggae.
- 1 Eight Elephants & Dreaming Dragon, JinJiang Street, Lane 48, Alley 4, No. 6, 1F (near Shida, 3min walk from Guting Metro station exit 2), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rated best hostel in Taiwan for 2010 by HostelWorld.com. A very clean and stylish hostel. Helpful info for travelers and job-seekers. From NT$550 per night.
- 2 Camels' Oasis Hostel, 2F.-1, No.78, Ningbo W. St., Taipei city, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Cheap but decent, clean hostel in a good location, only 5 mins walk from MRT C.K.S memorial hall station. NT$300/night.
- Taipei Hostel, 6F, No. 11, Lane 5, Linsen N. Rd, ☎ , . Well-known for its numerous facilities, helpful staff, and excellent rates. Ideal location near the MRT station and several restaurants. Dorm: NT$300 (NT$1500/week). Single bed room: NT$500 (NT$2500/week). .
- World Scholar House, 10-4, Guangzhou Street, ☎ . A clean and conveniently located hostel. Dorm and private rooms available, with the rates running NT$350-NT$500.
- Taipei Key Mall Traveler Hostel, 15F-2, 50 Zhongxiao W. Rd. Sec. 1, ☎ . This hostel is located opposite the Taipei Main Station on the 15th floor of the building where the K-Mall is located, next to the tall Mitsukoshi building. NT$490 per night per person and includes breakfast, NT$250 for children under 12.
- See You Hotel (喜苑旅店), 18 Chongqing South Road, sec 1 (10 minutes walk west then south from Taipei Main Station), ☎ , fax: . Modern, clean and well appointed, with features such as flat screen tvs and air conditioning in rooms, as well as spacious bathrooms. Staff are very friendly. From NT$1,980.
- New Mayflower Hotel, 1 Chongqing South Rd, Sec. 1, ☎ . Large and comfortable rooms and with modern amenities.
- Guest House Taiwanmex, No 18-1 Lane 18 Nanjing West Road. (5 min walk from Taipei main train station), ☎ . Check-out: 12 noon. Air-con 2-bed dorms, single and double rooms. Free wifi, free laundry. from NT$350.
- 3 Cosmos Hotel (天成大飯店), 43 Zhongxiao West Road, sec. 1, ☎ . In front of Taipei Main Station. The dated decor brings down the tone in this otherwise comfortable hotel. Service standard in the hotel was good with staff being responsive but not very knowledgeable.
- [dead link] Hotel Flowers, 19 Hankou St, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent value for money, take note that the rooms are extremely small.
- YMCA (Y Hotel), 19 Xuchang St (near main station), ☎ . English speaking staff is friendly. Has in house restaurant. Rooms on the street side have a balcony.
- 4 Caesar Park Taipei (台北凱撒大飯店), 38 Zhongxiao West Rd, Sec. 1, ☎ . Walking distance to the Presidential Palace, the hotels location is its biggest drawcard. Rooms are rather soul less and the breakfast buffet is standard, though edible.
- 5 Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel (台北喜來登大飯店), 12 Zhongxiao East Rd, Sec. 1, ☎ . An older hotel located in an area isolated from shops and other amenities. However, it offers a high overall standard in the rooms and the service.