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Tips for Traveling in Taipei with Kids:
1.) Get an Easy Card.
Easy cards can be purchased from metro information counters or any convenience store (7-ELEVEN, FamilyMart, Hi-Life and OK mart) for NT$100, and then you can top them up to pay for metro and bus rides, entrance to the Taipei Zoo, museums, and riding the Maokong Gondola. When you have kids in tow, swiping the card is just way more convenient than digging in your purse/wallet for cash. Also, keep in mind kids under 6 can ride the metro for free.
2.) Sign up for free wifi, or get a portable 4G wfi router at the airport.
It’s easy to signup for free wifi in Taipei, and most outdoor shopping districts, night markets, and public spaces have free wifi. You’ll need to have a working phone number, and then signup online.
Alternatively, if you want something faster it’s very easy to reserve a portable 4G wifi router (NT$79 a day) for the duration of your trip. The device connects up to 5 devices at once, has a battery life of 8 hours, and can be picked up/returned at the airport.
3.) Always carry socks.
Taipei is usually pretty hot for most of the year, making it good sandal weather. However, if you have a young child that is play center age, always carry extra child (and adult) socks. It’s surprising how often you’ll stumble across a play area while you’re out, especially at malls, and most require parents and children to wear socks.
4.) Double-check all Monday plans.
While major must-see locations are open daily, some of the smaller attractions, as well as play centers and family restaurants that are open on weekends, take Monday off as a rest day, so if you’re making plans for a Monday double-check the activity is open.
5.) Visit night markets early.
If you’re visiting Taipei with small kids, you can still visit night markets, just go early and preferably on weekdays. Most stalls are beginning to open and food is available if you visit around 5-6pm, but if you go later be prepared for some serious crowds!
6.) Buy convenience store coffee.
If you are a parent that thrives on coffee, give the convenience store coffees a try, they make surprisingly good and inexpensive coffee. While in other countries convenience store coffee is usually syrupy and not so great, the ones in Taiwan do a decent job satisfying one’s coffee fix. Also, it’s a good place to grab a quick snack (including fresh bananas) for a hungry child, as you grab a coffee.
7.) Use Chinese addresses in taxis.
While the Taipei MRT and bus system are very convenient, if you’re under time constraints or there’s a place you can’t access easily by public transit, taxis are both plentiful and affordable. It’s also a good alternative when the kids are exhausted after a long day of sightseeing! However, try to always have the name and address of where you want to go available in Chinese characters. It'll make getting around so much easier. From personal experience, showing the driver a Google Map with all the map text in English, doesn’t usually work well. Also, it’s a good idea to have small change on hand, and not NT$1000 bills.
8.) Use a food delivery service.
Taipei is home to some amazing and delicious food, however after a day of exploring Taipei with your kids there’s no shame in having this delicious food delivered. Online food ordering sites, like FoodPanda.com.tw, are a very convenient way to try new food, as well as satisfy even the pickiest eater.
9.) Bring a stroller for young children.
Taipei is a very stroller-friendly city, and there’s more walking than you’d expect whether it’s taking the Airport MRT, or walking around memorials and museums, so generally it’s a good idea to have one just in case. However, another good reason that it’s good to bring a stroller is that it makes you eligible for the special assistance immigration line, which can save you waiting in a long line with a squirming exhausted toddler.
10.) Pick a month besides August to visit.
August is not the best month to travel with kids in Taipei. It’s unbearably hot and humid, and you’ll end up planning your visit around where you can stay indoors, or else where you can visit in the morning/evening before it gets too hot. Also, it’s typhoon season. If possible, visit during October and November as that is when the weather is at its best! Just remember it can to be rainy any time of the year.
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