If you’re a foreign traveler visiting Taipei for a few days (hopefully more!), I’m sure you’re looking for the best way to get from TPE airport to Taipei City. The major international airport is quite far from the city center (technically in Taoyuan City), but luckily there is an easy and efficient option for transit. We arrived early in the morning after flying China Airlines 777-300ER business class, and transfer to our hotel using this option was stress-free.
MRT – Best Way to Get from TPE Airport to Taipei City
From everything I read and our subsequent experience, the express MRT line is the best way to get from TPE Airport to Taipei itself. The station is fairly easy to find. Once you pass customs and enter the arrivals hall, follow the signs to head downstairs to the MRT station. The boarding area looks like this. The MRT train stops at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
If you have small Taiwanese bills, you can buy single journey tickets from the kiosk. Otherwise there is a staffed kiosk by the entry gates into the metro system. The attendant spoke English and it was super easy to buy one way tokens for $150 TWD (~$4.75 USD) each.
There is an express line and a commuter line. I didn’t take a look at the schedule, beforehand, but there is a timetable at the station that shows the schedule of commuter and express trains. The express, with only three stops, is definitely the best way to get from TPE airport to Taipei. Both the express and local lines terminate at Taipei Main Station, where you can make other rail or subway connections.
We caught the 6:40 AM departure and arrived at Taipei Main Station just before 7:20 AM. This is essentially as fast as it would have been to drive, although we still had to connection to the metro to take us to the Grand Hyatt. The ride itself was comfortable, and there was hardly anyone on the line this time of day.
The other MRT lines are a decent walk from the airport line station. Head up all three escalators and walk straight, following the signs. We caught the Tamsui-Xinyi line, headed in the direction of Taipei 101/Xiangshan.
The Main Station offers a couple conveniences. If you need internet, you can connect for free to the Metro internet for 30 minutes. There are also lockers outside the Tamsui-Xinyi line entrance. The airport line also has inductive chargers available for your devices.
Metro tickets for getting around Taipei are wonderfully cheap. It costs just $25 TWD (~$0.80 USD) per person to take the Tamsui-Xinyi between Taipei Main Station and the World Trade Center stop. Single use tokens are available at the kiosks just outside the entry gates. Most other rides within Taipei will be basically as inexpensive.
Even after the transfer time, we arrived at Grand Hyatt around 8:00 AM. This was a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes from when our MRT train departed the airport.
Bus and taxi are other options to travel between TPE airport and Taipei city, but from our experience and everything I read, MRT is still the best and most convenient. The trains are regular, and it is affordable.
If you want a taxi straight to your hotel, you’ll pay more like $35 USD for the ride. Unless your traveling with a group, this is a lot more costly. The bus option is CitiBus line 1960, which costs about the same as the MRT.
Headed Elsewhere in Taiwan?
Depending on where you are headed, MRT may or may not be the best way to begin your journey. If you’re headed west of Taipei City to somewhere like Jiufen or Keelung City, taking the MRT to Taipei Main Station and then catching the train will likely still be the best option. If you’re headed south from TPE airport, you’ll need to look up what transit is available. There are plenty of rail lines in Taiwan, which will be your best bet.
Transportation in Taiwan is efficient, cheap, and easy to navigate. The MRT is not only the best way to get from TPE airport to Taipei, but it is also the best way to get around the city. It made exploring Taipei for a few days with one of my boys a breeze. We had a great adventure.