Taipei’s National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) is one of Taiwan’s most renowned museums and a must see for almost any visitor. It hosts an extravagant collection of Chinese treasures, art and artifacts. The museum houses some of the most important items that were brought over by the Nationalists as they retreated to Taiwan during the civil war.
The museum was designed in the architectural style of a Northern Chinese palace. It houses what many consider to be the most comprehensive and well-presented collection of ancient Chinese artifacts, spanning over 5000 years of China’s history. It’ll take most visitors at least a few hours to enjoy it all. Multilingual signage, artifact descriptions and audio guides are available.
Just outside the National Palace Museum is Zhishan Garden (至善園), a traditional Chinese garden based on the styles of the Song and Ming dynasties. Many visitors seem to not know about it, and miss out, which is a shame as it’s a lovely little place to relax in after all the busyness of the museum. As you stroll around you’ll come across many lovely spots, such as the Orchid Pavilion, the Dragon Pond and the Pine Wind Pavilion.
How to get there
First, make your way to Shilin Station on the red line of the Taipei Metro. Head out of exit 1 and ahead to the main road and you’ll see signs directing you to the many buses that can take you to the museum (12 minutes, NT$15). It is also possible to walk (35 minutes) or use a YouBike to cycle (15 minutes) to the museum by heading east via Zhongzheng Road, then down Zhi Shan Road.
Hours and fees
Hours: 9am to 5pm. Closed on Mondays.
Admission: NT$350, under 17 years old free. Skip the line by purchasing beforehand on KKday. Zhishan Garden NT$20 (free by presenting National Palace Museum ticket stub). Consider the discounted Taipei 101 Observatory Combined Ticket at NT$820 if also going up the tower.
Official website: npm.gov.tw