6 Artsy Hubs You Have To Visit When You're In Taiwan

For when you're done making your rounds of the night markets.
PHOTO: (LEFT) Instagram/yvonneadeline, (RIGHT) Instagram/huashan1914_creative_park

You’ve eaten your way through the night markets of Taiwan—gobbled up some scallion pancake, rice noodle soup, oyster omelette, beef cubes, xiao long bao, takoyaki, and Hot Star fried chicken that’s bigger than your face—and washed it all down with enough milk tea to drown a village. Now it’s time to get a taste of the art and culture that Taiwan has to offer—amazing architecture, a colorful history, and beautiful products from local designers and artisans.  

  1. Hua Shan 1914 Creative Park

    Once upon a time this place was a wine factory. Today, it’s a creative park that hosts special exhibits, bazaars, and cultural events. It’s a quiet little park where locals take their kids for fun activities, walk their dogs, and hang out with their friends at cafés and restaurants or go shopping at the small, independent shops selling cool and cute items—trinkets, washi tapes, postcards, stationery, shirts, bags, toys, etc.—made by (mostly local) artists and designers. Thanks to its history and architecture, as well as its recent reincarnation as an arts park, there are a number of spots where you can take that perfect IG photo, too.

  2. Songshan Cultural and Creative Park

    From tobacco factory to cultural and creative park, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is a destination that’s full of history, amazing architecture, and hipster coolness. The place has enough character to serve as a location for the next Alessandra de Rossi x Empoy Marquez romcom. You can walk around the grounds, sit in the lovely courtyard, drop by the cool shops, hang out at the café, and check out the dreamy Yue Yue Bookstore that’s sure to take any bibliophile’s breath away. The shops sell items beautifully made and designed by local artists, designers, artisans, and craftspeople. You’ll surely find something (or several somethings) beautiful and unique to take home as a souvenir.


  3. Eslite Spectrum

    Right beside Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is this gorgeous curved building designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito. It’s a mall-slash-boutique hotel-slash-performance hall. What sets this shopping center apart is that it champions the local culture, showcasing and selling products and wares by Taiwanese craftspeople, artisans, and entrepreneurs. You can buy creative lifestyle products and clothing designed by the country’s talented  designers, or watch demos by artisans and sign up for creative workshops.

  4. 16 Creative Boutique at The Red House

    This beautiful brick building known as The Red House is home to 16 Creative Boutique. The Red House was initially built as a public market before later becoming a theater for the performing arts. Today it is a creative hub pulsing with a cool, young energy, where small shops showcase the unique creative and artistic vibe of amazing local artists and entrepreneurs—one-of-a-kind Taiwan-themed graphic shirts, dresses, stationery, leather goods, tea candy, and so much more. On the weekends you’ll even find a creative bazaar just outside The Red House, where students and up-and-coming designers pitch up tents and hawk their wares.

  5. Bopiliao Historic Block

    On the way to or from Longshan Temple, you may stumble across Bopiliao. This historic block features restored buildings that date back to the Qing dynasty, the Japanese occupation, and the post-war era. It’s a quiet little place where you can walk around and marvel at what the streets of the city might have looked like at one point. As you stroll around the block, you’re bound to come across a brick wall decorated with colorful artwork, the perfect backdrop for an IG photo that your followers are bound to double tap.

  6. Rainbow Village Taichung

    Take a train ride to Taichung and visit this colorful little village that’s as close as one can get to an Instagrammer’s dream landscape. Rainbow village is one of the veteran villages that used to house Kuomintang soldiers. When the government started tearing the villages down and rehousing the soldiers to make room for new building developments, one veteran decided to paint the houses in his entire village and turn it into a psychedelic, rainbow wonderland. His artwork transformed his veteran village into a popular tourist destination, thus saving it from demolition. 

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