Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街) is a famous shopping street in the Tamsui district of New Taipei, full of traditional restaurants, pastry shops and old-fashioned grocery stores. It’s often busy with tourists, but still has that down-to-earth feel many travelers are looking for.
Most famous is the Castella sponge cake, a super light sponge that delightfully wobbles as it’s cut into pieces in front of potential customers. It may look rather plain in pictures, but the cutting of the sponge is quite a sight to see, and should really get your taste buds going when you also get a whiff of the enticing aroma.
Don’t forget to also check out the bustling array of stalls and shops along the walkway on Tamsui River. It has more of a street market feel to it and would certainly take more than a few visits to consume all the fried fish crackers, snacks and cakes on offer. It’s especially lively and fun in the evening, in combination with a beautiful sunset over Tamsui River.
How to get there
The nearest station on the Taipei Metro to Tamsui Old Street is Tamsui Station, on the northern end of the red line. If coming from central Taipei, you can take the metro train from Taipei Station (37 minutes, NT$50). From Tamsui Station, head forward out of the exit, and follow the tourist signs. It’s only a few minutes walk away.
Alternatively, there are YouBike stations outside Tamsui Station and near the end of the shopping street if you’d prefer to bike there.