The area in which you choose your flat is the single most important decision that is going to have the biggest impact on your exchange semester. The location of your room is at least as important as the choice of your university. How do you choose the best neighbourhood for your room in Taipei? In this article I listed critical factors to consider when choosing your area.
Your area is going to define your stay in Taipei:
Your speed of life in Taipei depends of the area and the people that surround you. Some areas are full of events and activities, like night markets, sportscenters, parks and pubs to grab a drink, etc. Most exchange students opt for the international areas around NTU: Shida and Da’an districts. They are close to Gutting and Taipower Building MRT stations. These areas offer a great mix of dynamic day-and nightlife, lots of activities (like pool parties in the summer for example), parks, fruit markets and great nightmarkets. These areas are surrounded by more than five universities and language centers and are therefor sparkling life.
Dynamic or calm neighbourhood
The choice is yours. Both have their obvious positive and negative aspects. Usually, international areas and areas around nightmarkets are more dynamic. Alternatively, it is easy to find cozy studios in very calm and quiet areas with mainly Taiwanese residents. It is important to be aware of the dynamism of the area. Don’t party like an animal when you are in a quiet residential area. And don’t expect your neighbours to be quiet at 10pm if your room is inside a nightmarket. No rocket science here, this is a matter of common sense.
Most areas in Taipei are highly suitable for daily life. As we wrote in previous articles , Taiwan is known for its abundant convenience stores where you can buy anything 24/7. They are very cheap and you can find everything you need. We usually say that there is at least one convenience store on every corner, and often more.
MRT : Many foreigner-friendly flats are less than 7-8 minutes walking to the nearest MRT station. Make sure that you are on the right MRT line to go to your places of interest: university, nightclubs, cultural areas and trainstations to travel around Taiwan.
**Ubike: ** Ubike stations are spread everywhere across the city. Student areas have abundant Ubike stations.
Bus : They are a very cheap way to travel around Taipei but most foreigners don’t use them that much. They are the most interesting for NCCU students who want a room in the international NTU area. Direct connections make it very easy to reach NCCU.
Taxi : They are not really area specific. You can find them anywhere and fares are very cheap compared to Western taxi fares.
Cost of living
Different areas have different rents of course. The demand for apartments in the international areas around NTU are the main reason for the higher prices. In more remote and less international areas you can have very low rents. You can find typical mothly rents for rooms by area in Taipei in our guide .