The cost to travel in Taiwan – our budget breakdown

Planning to travel around Taiwan and curious to know how much money you should budget for a trip to this awesome island? When we spent a week in north Taiwan I meticulously kept track of our expenses with the goal of giving you insight in the cost to travel in Taiwan. I hope this will help you budget for your own trip!

This was our cost to travel in Taiwan for two persons (7 days)

Total cost two persons 7 daysCost per day for two personsCost per person per day

As you can see, in a week in Taiwan we spent 574 euro for two persons. This comes down to just 41 euro per person per day. Not bad, right? We traveled quite comfortably. I would describe our style for this trip as ‘middle-of-the-road’: we did not stay in five star hotels but not in hostel bunk beds either. We moved to different places on most days; and we ate whatever we found along the way! In the below breakdown you can see how much we spent on each category of travel expenses.

Taiwan travel budget breakdown (€)

Prices in EURO

The majority of our budget was spent on accommodation; at an average of 45 euro per night for an ensuite double room this was still really affordable. The next biggest expense budget was food, snacks, drinks, and more snacks. Then transportation, and finally some random other expenses that are hardly worth mentioning. Let’s break this down further and show you exactly the cost to travel in Taiwan!

Sleeping – Budget for accommodation around in Taiwan

We spent most of our nights in Taipei, in a small and simple guesthouse called MudanHouse. At 44 euro per night for an ensuite double room this was quite a steal, especially because the price included breakfast. It was in a reasonably central location. We were within walking distance to some sights and otherwise close to Taipei’s excellent public transport network. In Jiufen, where we also spent a night, value for money was slightly less. We paid a little more (50 euro) for a smaller room – but it was located in the absolute center of Jiufen. If you’d like to spend less money on accommodation during your trip in Taiwan, you can do so by sleeping in hostel dorms or in a hotel further away from the center with shared bathroom facilities. Prices can go as low as 10 euro per night for a room.

Meals, drinks and snacks – Budget for food around in Taiwan

Taiwan is famous for its food scene: endless night markets, bubble tea stands, street food snack stalls… It’s no wonder that a big chunk of our budget went to glorious food! And best of all, eating out in Taiwan is very cheap. We spent 81,74 in total for meals. (That’s less than 6 euros per person per day for lunch and dinner combined!) We ate most of our meals in night markets or simple places like noodle shops. And it was delicious!

Some of the gorgeous meals we enjoyed in Taiwan

Now, besides our regular meals (lunches and dinners) we spent a similar amount on drinks and snacks (about 6,30 euro per person per day). Whenever we bumped into something that looked appetising, we would simply try it out. From fried mushrooms to pineapple cake, from an extra serving of sesame noodles in between meals to peanut ice cream rolls, and from red bean cakes to an elaborate tea ceremony in a tea house in Jiufen. Not to forget all those servings of delicious bubble tea!

So in short, we ate our way around Taiwan and never hesitated to buy a snack or a drink that looked like it needed to be tried. And yet we definitely didn’t break the bank. However, if you are traveling on a minimal budget, the 6 euros per person per day for meals will do. (Honestly, the meals were filling enough… the extra snacks were just too seductive!) Although I do believe that trying all the snacks and street food is what makes traveling in Taiwan so fantastic. So it would be a pity to miss out on that!

Snacks, street food, and more snacks… Don’t forget to experience a tea ceremony in a tea house when you are in Jiufen!

Transport – Budget for traveling around in Taiwan

Public transport in Taiwan is really cheap. At the airport station we got ourselves an EasyCard. This is a credit-card sized card that you can top up at stations or 7Eleven stores, and that you can use on buses and subways. We also took a couple of trains outside Taipei and these were also cheap. For example: about 3,30 euros to get from Jiufen to Taipei (1h40m train ride). We did not take any of the high speed trains, which are more costly. As a foreigner you can book your high speed rail tickets in advance via KKday which often has good promotions (got this good tip from a Taiwanese friend!)

In the picture on the right you see how Taiwanese claim their spot in line at the bus stop while they go and have coffee somewhere else!

Other Taiwan travel costs

At the Jiufen mining museum
Exploring the old mines in Jiufen

We got a really good deal on a SIM card with unlimited data and some calling credit that we picked up at the airport. If you are a foreigner you can pre-order a temporary SIM card cheaply at the same KKday website as mentioned above. You can also book discounted tickets for high speed trains through this site if you are not a Taiwan national.

Another cost related to communication was the price of a plug adapter. We hadn’t considered that Taiwan uses different electrical plugs than our European ones (two flat pins like in the US and Canada) so to be able to continue charging our gear we got an adapter at a night market.

Some other random expenses: 1,50 euro per person for entrance to the Mining Museum in Jiunfen; 4,40 to rent a locker at Jiunfen train station for a day (so we wouldn’t have to carry our bags while we day-tripped around the region before going back to Taipei); and finally some money spent on postcards and stamps, street musicians and beggars.

Some info on money matters in Taiwan

We withdrew cash because it is much easier to pay at small vendors like street food stalls with cash than with card. ATMs are widely available. The local currency is New Taiwanese Dollar.

The cost to travel in Taiwan is super decent!

We were pleasantly surprised by how little we spent during our week in Taiwan. We did not budget our expenses on purpose; things were just cheap! It is great to not be inhibited by concerns about money when you travel, and Taiwan is one of those destinations where it is relatively easy to have an amazing (and delicious) time at a super decent price. Enjoy your trip!!

Budget travel Taiwan
Thanks Yun-Chien for the cool cover photo 😀

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