In Taipei, shopping is basically a national sport. No plans for the weekend? Shopping. Bored on a cold rainy day? Shopping. Want to hang out with your bestie? Shopping. The city is filled with shopping malls, local markets and boutiques, selling everything you can think of: high-end designer brands, handpicked vintage European jewelry, popular Korean skincare…
So, for those who are planning to do some (crazy) shopping in Taipei, continue reading!
Let’s start with the cheapest option. Wufenpu shopping district is a wholesale area consisting of hundreds of small open-front shops, where all the street vendors buy their products from. It has literally everything, and with prices as low as just NT100 for a t-shirt! One small advice: if you see something you like, just go for it. It’s like a night-market style maze in there, no way you’ll find your way back to the shop again…
Although try-ons are not allowed in Wufenpu, you get to bargain with the shops if you’re buying more than one piece of clothing. Shops are usually open the whole day from 11am all the way to midnight, so take your time there!
How to go: take the MRT to Houshanpi Station and get out at exit 1. Walk straight towards the intersection of Zhongpo N. Road and Yongji Road Intersection.
Shida Night Market
Another cheap spot to check out is the Shida Night Market. Usually night markets in Taiwan are about food, but this one is known for its affordable yet good-quality shopping, probably because of its location in a university area. You will find plenty of clothes, shoes, jewelry and headwear of the latest style trends, at prices not as crazy-cheap as Wufenpu but definitely friendlier than boutique prices (you can buy a warm scarf for NT200).
How to go: take the MRT to Taipower Building Station and get out at exit 3.
On the more expensive side is Dongqu, also known as the East District of Taipei. It’s most lively area is around the Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT Station, where you can find not only chic boutiques, but also fancy restaurants, bars and nightclubs. There is also a huge SOGO department store and a few international brands like Zara, Forever 21 and Mango.
Compared to the two places mentioned before, East District offers products that are pricier but also much better in quality, most of them being imported from Korea, Japan and the States, so if you’re more concerned about quality over price, here’s the place to be!
How to go: take the MRT to Zhongxiao Dunhua Station and get out at exit 2. Walk into the small street next to Zara and there starts your hunt.
Watson, Cosmed, Tomod’s and Poya
Who talks about shopping without mentioning makeup and skincare products?
If you walk around Taipei (or any city in Taiwan), you’ve definitely seen one of those cosmetic shops around the corner. This is where you can do all your beauty shopping.
Japanese makeup brands, Korean skincare, local hair products… everything you need in your makeup bag, you can find them here. They constantly have discounts and buy-1-get-1-frees, and you don’t even need to worry about missing out: the employees usually come stand in front of the shop with big signs and a loudspeaker to inform everyone! Best place to buy gifts for your girlfriends/besties.