Tainan is the cultural heart of Taiwan, home to centuries-old monuments and temples, exciting festivals, a thriving art scene and cuisine that makes the rest of the island envious. Although it might look like any other large Taiwanese city, if you take the time to explore, you will find it is full of traditional, small-town charm and rich history.
Founded as a Dutch colony in 1624, this part of Taiwan was then occupied by the Chinese until the late 19th century. Explore Tainan’s Confucius Temple, the first Confucian temple in Taiwan and, at one time, the highest educational institution on the island. The temple grounds are a popular public gathering place, where you will see locals leisurely strolling, doing tai chi or flying kites.
Wander the streets of Anping, the city’s oldest neighborhood or go for a soak in the famous hot springs at Guanziling. Browse the trendy shops and street murals on Haian Road and then slow down amid the pretty stone pathways and lily ponds in Tainan Park.
Head to one of Tainan’s famous night markets. Hua Yuan Night Market in the north district is the largest outdoor market in Taiwan. Browse the food stalls and find out why Tainan’s cuisine is famous throughout Taiwan. Try a savory oyster omelet or coffin bread, thick fried bread filled with hearty seafood and vegetable chowder.
If you dare, check out the heart-pounding Yanshui Beehive Rockets Festival in February. Ranked among the world’s most dangerous festivals, the event involves the launch of thousands of fireworks and bottle rockets straight into crowds of onlookers.
Tainan is less than four hour’s from Taipei by car or train. You can easily explore the city’s attractions on foot or you can hire a rental scooter, which makes it easy to quickly navigate the busy streets. November and December, as well as March and April, are the best times of year to visit. During these months, the weather is warm and the city receives little rainfall.
Sightseeing, Tours and Hot Springs
Spend some time at this 17th-century Dutch fort, known for its classical Chinese architecture, statues and picturesque gardens.
One of the most important religious sites in Taiwan is an old temple complex filled with shrines and sculptures and noted for its architectural beauty.
Explore the great outdoors at Guanziling Hot Springs, a popular spot to commune with nature in Tainan. Make time to visit the theme park and spas while you're in the area.
Join huge crowds of locals and enjoy the lively energy of an open-air market, while snacking on local delicacies, socializing and playing games.
Discover insights into the early history of Tainan at the 17th-century stronghold that once helped to defend the city against attack.
You can browse for souvenirs when you visit Shennong Street, a popular shopping spot in Tainan. While in the area, you can find time to visit its temples.
Book a private professional photographer for a family trip, destination wedding, secret proposal or just a great day. Prices start at 8.
See the beauty of northern Taiwan on this 3-day tour. Enjoy Taiwanese cuisine with a dessert making session and walk through the popular Fengjia Night Market. Then marvel at the gently sloping mountains at Sun Moon Lake and get a taste of culture at the Lukang Folk Arts Museum.
Spend 5 exciting days discovering the natural beauty of Taipei. Relax at the Flying Cow Ranch and beautiful Sun Moon Lake, enjoy delicious aboriginal cuisine, and try foods at the Fengjia Market. Get to know the processes of pottery and papermaking at the Snake Kiln and Paper Factory.