North Taipei Tour: Yangmingshan, Yehliu Geopark, Beitou Hotsprings, etc.

north taipei tour

Going on a North Taipei tour? Visit Yangmingshan, Yehliu Geopark, Beitou Hotsprings, Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, Fort San Domingo, and more!

After doing a Taipei city tour, it only made sense to go outside of the city to experience more of what Taiwan has to offer. Some of my favorite parts of Taiwan are in fact not in Taipei, but in close proximity to the city.

Yangmingshan is the mountainous areas home to the highest peaks of the country; the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf offers sunset bay walk strolls and fresh seafood; Yehliu Geopark wows tourists with natural rock formations and landscapes; Beitou Hotsprings offers a chance to relax and unwind after a long day of traveling.

And because of the efficient transportation system, doing a North Taipei Tour super easy and comfortable — even if you’re traveling as a solo female, a family with kids or with an elderly person.

Here are just some of my favorite destinations for a North Taipei tour:

tamsui fisherman's wharf

Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, Fort San Domingo, and Lovers Bridge

If you’re eyeing to look at the coastal areas of Taiwan, the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to ride a ferry, catch the sunset, and eat freshly-caught seafood. The Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf is an ideal destination also leisurely strolls, as by nighttime the boardwalks and riverside cafes light up. It makes for a great shopping place too, as the markets sell creative souvenirs.

We arrived at Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf early in the morning, where it is still a sleepy town with not many people. I would advise that you save a visit at nighttime so that you can see the baywalk come alive.

  • How to go to Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf: Tamsui Station of the Taipei Metro Red Line or ride bus Red 26, 836, or 857 going to Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Tamsui Ferry Fee: ~NT$50. Transportation and entrance fee covered by the Unlimited 3-Day Fun Pass (see below for details)

Also located in Danshui District is Fort San Domingo, a historical monument reflecting Taiwan’s colonization era. If the Philippines had Intramuros to reflect colonial era ruins, Fort San Domingo is one of Taiwan’s remnants of foreign invasion.

Originally a wooden fort built by Spaniards in 1628, the original structure is what the Dutch rebuilt the fort in 1744 using stone. It was renamed Fort San Antonio, although Han Chinese settlers called it “fort of the red-haired people” too when the Dutch came in.

  • How to go to Fort San Domingo: It’s within walking distance from the Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Fort San Domingo entrance fee: NT$60 for adults, NT$40 for students and groups. Transportation and entrance fee covered by the Unlimited 3-Day Fun Pass

Before leaving Danshui district, visit Tamsui Lover’s Bridge. resembles the mast and rigging of a sailing ship, a representation of the Danshui fishing town. It’s particularly beautiful at nighttime as the bridge lights up in multiple colors. The view of Tamsui Lover’s Bridge is especially awesome at night while riding the ferry at Fisherman’s Wharf.

  • How to get there: Ride the bus 26 from the station or Fort San Domingo. Transportation covered by the Unlimited 3-Day Fun Pass

Mt. Qixing at Yangmingshan National Park

If you’re up for some minor mountain climbing, I highly recommend hiking Qixingshan, the highest dormant volcano in Taiwan.

Located within the Yangmingshan National Park, Qixingshan literally translates to “seven-star mountain”, probably because its crater has seven small peaks due to violent volcanic eruptions. Mt. Qixing stands at 1120 meters above sea level. Its views include sulfuric vents contrasting with the foggy weather. The trail is paved and short that even the elderly and kids can hike to the summit.

Personally, I was a bit unprepared for the hike that I only wore pang-aura loose pants, off-shoulder top, and slippers (gasp!) because those are the only things I had. But we still finished strong despite the cold. The hike was easily doable half-day.

  • How to go to Mt. Qixing: From Jiantan Metro Station, take Bus R5 going to Yangmingshan National Park
  • Qixingshan fees: No entrance fees and no need for guides
qixingshan mt. qixing yangmingshan national park

Juming Museum

If you’re a Filipino who liked visiting Ben Cab museum in Baguio City, you will enjoy the next North Taipei tour destination. One of the most underrated Taipei tourist spots is Juming Museum.

It is the largest contemporary artwork of the world-renowned Taiwanese artist Ju Ming that houses his crafts through the years. The sprawling complex of the Juming Museum contains over 2,000 pieces of his geometric and minimalistic stone, steel, and bronze sculptures.

Honestly, if I had to go to one contemporary art museum in Taiwan, it will be Juming Museum.

  • How to go to Juming Museum: From Tamsui Station of the Taipei Metro Red Line, take the North Coast Shuttle Bus
  • Juming Museum Hours: 10AM – 6PM. Suggested duration of the museum tour is 2-3 hours
  • Juming Museum ticket fee: NT$250. Transportation and entrance fee covered by the Unlimited 3-Day Fun Pass
juming museum

Yehliu Geopark

One of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Taiwan is upon knowing about the Yehliu Geopark.

Home to unique thousands of years old geological formations, it is a 1,700-meter landscape of eroded honeycomb and mushroom rocks. Located at the North Coast of Taiwan, some of the famous rock formations at Yehliu Geopark are the Queen’s Head, Sea Candles, Fairy Shoe, Elephant Rock, Ice Cream Rock, Kissing Rock, and more the Dragon’s Head.

Honestly, the downside to traveling Yehliu Geopark is how crowded it gets with tourists on any given day. During the time of my visit, we were overwhelmed by the crowd who are sometimes unruly and ignore regulation signs. There was even a lights and sounds show at night which is totally unnecessary — why would you embellish something that’s already naturally beautiful? I hope they make an effort to make tourism more sustainable so the rock formations can last another thousand years.

  • How to go to Yehliu Geopark: Take the North Coast Bus Shuttle
  • Yehliu Geopark entrance fee: NT$80 for adults and NT$40 for students and kids. Entrance fee covered by the Unlimited 3-Day Fun Pass.

Beitou Hotsprings

After a gruelling day of doing a North Taipei tour, try relaxing at the home of authentic hot springs in Taiwan. The Beitou Hotsprings was popularized during the Japanese colonization era, as it was filled with inns, public and private baths, parks, and tea houses. It was a quaint little town for taking it slow.

Note that the three common types of hotsprings include green sulfur (found only in Beitou and Japan), white sulfur (the most common in the area), and iron sulfur (transparent springs). At this point, I suggest you go with just the basics. Trying the Beitou Hotsprings is a must when you’re in Taiwan!

  • How to go to Beitou Hot Springs: Take the Beitou Station from the Taipei Metro Red Line. Change train going to Xinbeitou Station. Transportation covered by the Unlimited 3-Day Fun Pass.
  • Cheapest Beitou Hotspring package: We were able to get a private bath for 45-minutes at NT$200 per person
beitou hotsprings north taipei tour

North Taipei Tour Tips

While you’re doing a DIY North Taipei tour, here are just some important information about your trip:

  • Taiwan weather. Taiwan has a monsoon season from April to September which is characterized by unpredictable drizzles and downpour. The best time to travel to Taiwan is from October to March, but it can still rain during those months.
  • What to wear. It’s advisable to wear comfortable walking shoes since there’s a lot of walking and commuting involved. Locals usually wear loose and light-weight clothing.
  • What to bring. Don’t forget to bring your EasyCard, a refillable water bottle, umbrellas or raincoats (for when you’re biking), and skin protection!
  • Unlimited Fun Pass for 3 Days. I highly recommend getting a Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass for 3 Days. It will save you lots and will help you maximize your Taipei city tour. You get an all-access pass to the Taipei Metro, Taipei Buses, and most of the Taipei attractions listed here.

What I love about Taipei is that you don’t need to travel extensively just to get a wide variety of experience. Just by taking the train or bus, you can already visit natural parks, fishing villages, mountains, hot springs, and historical and art museums just near the capital city.

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