Night markets are a common feature throughout Taiwan, with Taipei having an impressive selection. Many are extremely popular for their great range of local street food, to the point that they are treated more as a dining option than a shopping one. Some, on the other hand, are renowned for the variety and uniqueness of their wares.
While there are plenty to choose from, the locations in this list of the best night markets in Taipei are by far the most popular and distinctive, offering one-of-a-kind experiences. A visit to a Taipei night market is as much about the buzzing community atmosphere, the colourful stalls and interacting with the locals as it is about finding souvenirs or a cheap meal. These markets have all that and more.
Shilin Night Market
The biggest and most famous of the many night markets in Taiwan, the sprawling Shilin Night Market, it is always busy with locals and tourists. Much of the central market is covered to protect it from the rain, but the shopping opportunities spread around the surrounding streets, making the whole area a paradise for bargain hunters.
Particularly popular wares on offer include souvenirs, clothes and over 500 food stalls. You’ll find plenty of Chinese tea sets, ceramics and pottery, which make for interesting and original gifts. A visit to the brightly-lit and vibrant market is all but considered a must for any visit to Taipei.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Friday from 4pm to midnight, Saturday–Sunday from 3pm to 1am
- Location: No. 101, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
Raohe Street Night Market
The oldest of the city’s night markets, the 600m length of Raohe Street has been a popular tourist attraction since 1987. Passing through the decorative archway at the entrance to the road, shoppers face a great variety of shops and stands. Wares range from a huge variety of food to electrical goods, games, DVDs, beauty products, clothing and accessories to a small amusement arcade for the kids. Its popularity means that it does get very busy which can make it uncomfortably cramped.
The main attraction is the street food, and you can often spot TV crews working on cookery programmes among the impressive selection of stands selling local dishes and delicacies. Top dishes include spare ribs stewed in Chinese herbal medicine, oyster vermicelli, and spicy stinky tofu.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 4pm to midnight
- Location: Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
- Tel: +886 (0)2 2763 5733
Shida Night Market
Found in a trendy part of town, behind the National Taiwan Normal University, Shida Night Market is famous for its fashion. Many of the stalls and stores in the network of side-streets off Shida Road are run by young entrepreneurs selling their unique designs. You will often also find young musicians practising their trade and a good range of local and traditional food offerings. The market is very popular with the local students and has an almost bohemian, boutique feel to it. If you’re looking for something a bit different, you’ll probably find it here.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Friday from 6pm to 11.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 2pm to 11.30pm
- Location: Lane 39, Shida Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Ningxia Night Market
Ningxia Night Market boasts a cool old-Taiwan style and is noted for its distinctiveness. It’s best known for its traditional gourmet snacks like fried taro balls, oyster omelette and Imperial Guangdong Porridge. The fact that they’re all sold at affordable prices makes it as popular with locals as it is with tourists.
There are also old-school arcade attractions and quirky stalls around the market. One of Taipei’s older markets, the 300-metre market is also a popular place for buying Chinese New Year goodies.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 5.30pm to midnight
- Location: Ningxia Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Huaxi Street Night Market
More commonly known as Snake Alley for its unique food offerings, Huaxi Street Night Market is a unique shopping experience in the Wanhua District of Taipei. Food highlights famously include deer penis, turtle testicles and the snake meat and blood which gave the market its nickname. Dishes containing Chinese herbs and medicine are also very popular.
The entrance to the market is marked with a traditional Chinese gate. This leads to a bizarre collection of stalls and stores which are extremely popular with tourists. Huaxi Street Night Market is very close to the smaller Guangzhou and Wuzhou night markets and Longshan Temple, making it a good place to start for a tour of this ancient part of the city.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 4pm to midnight
- Location: Huaxi Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
- Tel: +886 (0)2 2388 1818