Dihua Street (迪化街) is a historic neighborhood in central Taipei, an exciting display of the city’s artistic prowess as well as a way to meet traditional sellers of Taiwanese herbs, teas and fabrics. The capital’s oldest surviving neighborhood, it is said to offer a glimpse into what the city would have looked like in the 19th century.
Many of the buildings have been well preserved and renovated for modern day use, with some shops still set up like the good old times. The stores selling local nuts and dried fruits and vegetables are of particular interest to many visitors, with stores full to the brim with a bewildering variety, all displayed in old-fashioned baskets and bowls. Many of the shops also offer free samples, so you can try lots of items before you buy. Additionally, medicinal tea shops and traditional craft stores are popular with many, and store owners enjoy explaining all the options available.
Apart from a few festivals, such as the New Year Market, Dihua Street generally won’t be as busy as night markets in Taipei, but still gets a fair good number of visitors. It’s a perfect spot for budget travelers, with plenty of window shopping opportunities, plus it’s a great retreat from the more developed areas of Taipei. Dotted with little art galleries, craft shops and plenty of Instagramable buildings, it’s a perfect spot for an afternoon stroll.
How to get there
Dihua Street is in a bit of an awkward spot to get to on the Taipei Metro, but the nearest station is Beimen on the green line, which is attached to Taipei Station. There is a YouBike station outside, or you can walk to Dihua Street in about seven or eight minutes from exit 3. Just head north up the main road outside Beimen Station (Tacheng Street) and you’ll eventually reach the area.