The Red House (西門紅樓) is an award winning cultural institution known for showing off arts, crafts and souvenirs produced by locals, as well as being a hotspot for both traditional and modern performances and concerts. Located in the heart of the Ximen shopping district in Taipei, it was originally built more than 100 years ago as one of the island’s first public markets. It became a meeting point for Japanese, Chinese and Western cultures throughout this ever-changing period in the history of the island, and became a key source of business activity.
Since taken over by the Taipei Culture Foundation in 2007 it has been renovated and transformed into one of the Ximen’s highlights. As well as the cultural workshops and theater productions, there is a traditional tea shop, an exhibition hall and a live music house. As an official platform to promote the cultural and creative industries in the country it has become a first port of call for those with an interest in Taiwanese culture.
The main draw for tourists will be the art market on the first floor. While some of the souvenirs in the Ximen area can be a bit tatty, the ones at The Red House are generally higher quality and more ornate. The market has a collection of little shops and stalls, all run by independent creatives and artisans, who proudly show off their wares for sale. The entrance area to the market has displays about the Ximen shopping area, and there is also a small information desk if you would like to find out more or need advice about the area.
How to get there
The Red House is located a very close to Ximen Station, which is on the blue and green lines of the Taipei Metro. Take the blue line if coming from Taipei Station (1 min, NT$20) or Taipei City Hall Station in Xinyi (13 mins, NT$25). Head out of exit 1, walk directly ahead across the road, and you’ll see it on your left.
Hours and fees
Open: 11am to 10pm (until 9:30pm Tuesdays to Thursdays)
Official website: redhouse.taipei