Keelung River (基隆河) is the main river that runs through the north of central Taipei, all the way to the city of Keelung. This fun cycling route from Songshan to Grand Hotel Taipei is a peaceful ride through riverside parks and grassland, which has made it a popular route with locals looking for a bit of weekend or evening exercise.
The route also passes under the flight path of Songshan Airport, and it’s always fun to have a break here to get some videos and pictures of the planes soaring only hundreds of meters from your eyes. This kind of closeness of nature and modern technology is something that makes an Asian city like Taipei so exciting to explore on a bicycle.
Time required: 40-50 minutes
How to do the cycling route
First make your way to Songshan Station. From Beimen Station near Taipei Station, you can take the green line of the Taipei Metro (14 minutes, NT$25). Head out of exit 3 of Songshan Station, where you’ll find a YouBike station if you need to rent a bicycle.
Next head directly north, past the market and huge temple, and once you get to the river wall you’ll see overpass stairs. Head over to the river, and you’ll come across the Rainbow Bridge. Head left in an westerly direction on your bicycle. Each side of the river has parks and such to enjoy as you cycle through, but generally the north side is more undeveloped and richer in nature.
Most people finish when they get to near Grand Hotel Taipei, the towering, traditional red building past the airport. If you head in at this point there are a few YouBike stations to drop off your bikes, such as at Jiantan Station. Another option would be to return on the other side of Keelung River.