Keelung, Taiwan – 20 Things To Do Guide + Photos 2024

Keelung is a picturesque port city in Northern Taiwan, famous for its Miaokou Night Market, hillside temples and waterside cityscape.

From the colourful Zhengbin fishing port to its natural wonders like Heping Island Geopark and Yehliu Geopark, there are lots of things to do in Keelung – it is also less than 1 hour away from Taipei by train or bus.

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The main port of call for cruise-ships in Northern Taiwan, Keelung continues to change at a fast pace, with many new attractions unveiled in the last year including the Keelung Great Food Town waterfront complex and the free to visit Keelung Tower.

From fantastic food to stunning shrines, here is our guide to the best things to do in Keelung, Taiwan.

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For booking tours, transfers and SIM cards we recommend Get Your GuideViator or Klook.

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How to get to Keelung

We would recommend staying in Keelung several nights at least as it is a destination in its own right and can be easily combined with other day trips like Jiufen and Shifen.

If you are visiting Keelung from Taipei, trains from Taipei Main Station to Keelung station depart very regularly from early morning to late at night.

Train ticket Keelung to Taipei
Train ticket Keelung to Taipei or use your EasyCard

The first train from Taipei is around 6am and the last train from Keelung to Taipei departs around 11.30pm so there is plenty of time to include the famous Keelung Night Market.

We also found that the buses from certain parts of downtown Taipei (such as Nanjing and Zhongshan) were in fact a quicker way of getting to Keelung Night Market than the train from Taipei Main Station.

So definitely check Google Maps or the official Go! Taipei Metro app to see which is the quickest and best route for you to Keelung if you are staying in Taipei or Jiufen.

Bus from Keelung to Taipei
Keelung train station
Keelung train station

Taiwanderers Tip 

Grab a Taiwan EasyCard as a convenient way to use buses and public transport in Keelung (plus across Taipei and Taiwan). They can be easily topped up at stations and convenience stores and come in lots of cute designs.

Read more about how to use a Taiwan EasyCard, including how to top up >

You might also like – 30 cute Taiwan EasyCard designs and where to buy them >

Keelung Accommodation and Hotels

Budget – Mid-Range ($$)
Just Live Inn
Highly rated 4 star hotel located close to the night market and harbour. Check rates and availability for Just Live Inn

Luxury ($$$)
Evergreen Laurel Hotel
Popular hotel with harbour views. Facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, bar and onsite restaurants. Check rates and availability for Evergreen Laurel Hotel

Check out the best hotels in Keelung via or

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Things to do in Keelung, Taiwan

1. Keelung Night Market AKA Miaokou Night Market

Our number 1 thing to do in Keelung if you are a foodie – Keelung Night Market is one of Taiwan’s top night markets, with hundreds of superb street food stalls and open 7 nights a week.

Keelung Night Market AKA Miaokou Night Market

As visited by such famous food shows such as Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix and the late, great Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover, Keelung Night Market is a fine foodie foray so make sure you arrive on an empty stomach!

Keelung Night Market AKA Miaokou Night Market

Keelung Night Market (MiaoKou Night Market) is open from around 6pm until midnight daily – also note the famous yellow lanterns you always see in photos are only switched on Friday through Sunday.

From food prices to the best street eats, here is our ultimate guide to Keelung Night Market >

Keelung Night Market AKA Miaokou Night Market

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2. Keelung Tower

Keelung’s newest tourist attraction and top thing to do, Keelung Tower is a new addition to the iconic harbour skyline of Keelung offering up panoramic views of Keelung city plus the nearby hillside temples.

Officially opened in early 2024 with a limited trial opening in December 2023, Keelung Tower’s presence on the horizon isn’t hard to spot, given its bright orange colour and distinctive crane shape.

Built as a nod to Keelung’s maritime past and significance as a trading port, Keelung Tower is a must visit when in the area and a great way to access Zhongzheng Park without the hike.

From the views at the top to the fourth floor bookshop and library, here is our guide to visiting Keelung Tower >

Try this – Keelung food tours with local guides >

3. Heping Island

Heping Island GeoPark in Keelung is perhaps not as well known as Yehliu GeoPark (a simple day trip from Taipei) but it is one of Taiwan’s best natural attractions – and much easier and quicker to access by public transport too.

heping Island Taiwan

Heping Island GeoPark (written locally as 和平島地質公園官方網站) comprises of incredible geo-formations, shaped rocks and sublime coastal views (including a pretty pagoda looking out over the water).

There are even seawater / ocean swimming pools plus a newly built visitor centre to enjoy – complete with a gorgeous gift shop.

heping Island Taiwan

The NT$120 admission to Heping Island GeoPark equates to around £3 or $3.80 USD as of summer 2024 – book your tickets in advance with Get Your Guide here >

From the different rock formations to prices, read our guide to Heping Island GeoPark here >

heping Island Taiwan

4. Zhengbin Fishing Harbor

Taiwan’s most colourful village and port, Zhengbin Fishing Harbor in Keelung is a kaleidoscope of rainbow and pastel colors, reminiscent of Burano in Italy.

A popular Keelung tourist attraction, the colorful houses of Zhengbin Fishing Harbor are a popular Keelung Instagram and social media selfie spot.

Zhengbin Fishing Harbor Taiwan

Once Taiwan’s biggest shipping port, Keelung’s Zhengbin Fishing Harbor was built around 1934 during the Japanese colonial era.

There are around 15 rainbow coloured houses and thin apartment blocks in a variety of striking colours (especially when they are lit by sunshine).

Zhengbin Fishing Harbor Taiwan

From the best time to visit to which bus to get, read our Zhengbin Fishing Harbor guide here >

P.S. We’d argue this is more colourful / cooler than the so-called famous Rainbow Village in Taichung – read our honest review of Rainbow Village here >

Try this – Keelung Islet Island Landing, Lighthouse, and Elephant Trunk Rock Experience >

5. Keelung Landmark Observatory

A little bit of Hollywood in Keelung, the huge white Keelung sign looking out over the port may not be quite as iconic as the Hollywood Hills sign, but it looks the part and can be seen from all over the city (it is also known as Landmark Observatory).

Keelung Landmark Observatory

Better still, unlike the Hollywood sign, the Keelung sign is fitted with thousands of LEDs which light up in different colours at night.

You can climb up to the Keelung sign from the main harbour area via Huzi Mountain Trail, and there are Keelung Observatory Landmark directional signs along the way.

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6. Keelung hot dog bus stop / themed bus stop

Across the harbor from Keelung Zhengbin Fishing Harbour another popular photo shoot spot is the American diner / hot-dog themed bus stop – we’ve seen it a fair few times on Instagram and TikTok.

This particular Keelung bus-stop is covered in American diner style graphics and is a homage to the hotdog. There are several other themed bus stops in Keelung including a technology themed one down the road at City God Temple.

In case you are wondering, the hotdog themed bus stop in Zhengbin Fishing Harbor is actually sponsored by Taiwan Farm Industry Co and shows different cuts of meat.

It is to encourage tourism and selfie pics but also create funds for Keelung’s transport infrastructure through bus-stop sponsorship.

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7. Zhongzheng Park / Keelung Guanyin & Big Buddha statues

High on the hill over Keelung, one of the most stunning views can be enjoyed from Zhongzheng Park, home to the towering Keelung Guanyin / Goddess statue – both are free to visit.

Zhongzheng Park / Keelung Guanyin & Big Buddha statues Keelung

Incredibly, it is the biggest Goddess statue in Taiwan and the whole of Southeast Asia.

If you are visiting Zhongzheng Park via the Keelung Tower elevator and have made it to the top, be sure to follow the pathway across Magpie Bridge, turn left at Zhupu Altar and continue to the main road.

Take the steps through the trees all the way up to the Big Buddha Statue (complete with giant guarding dragons).

Zhongzheng Park Keelung
Zhongzheng Park Keelung

Try this – Keelung: Night Market food tour >

8. Zhupu Altar (Main Altar) – currently closed in 2024

Keelung Zhupu Altar is currently closed / boarded up for refurbishment – this is how it looked on our visit in spring 2024. So this is one Keelung thing to do you might need to save for a later date, but you can still get a good sense of it from outside.

Famous for its annual midsummer Ghost Festival (which it is illuminated for and covered in lights), it also houses a museum dedicated to the Ghost Festival history.

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9. Keelung Great Food Town

Keelung’s newest waterside dining complex, the Great Food Town Keelung food court opened in early 2024 and has a huge dining area overlooking the harbour (and popular with cruise ship visitors).

Keelung Great Food Town

Great Food Town Keelung has multiple waterside restaurants and even a rooftop terrace and garden looking out over the ocean, with nightly VR evening shows (using an augmented reality app on your phone).

Keelung Great Food Town
Keelung Great Food Town

Great Food Town Keelung is free to visit and worth exploring just for the ocean terrace, even if you don’t want to dine.

If you like collecting souvenir stamps (a popular past-time at Taiwan tourist attractions), there is a stamp trail here too.

Keelung Great Food Town stamp Taiwan

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10. Grab a Keelung Breakfast

Keelung has a reputation for good food and plenty of it. If you’re staying in Keelung several days or have just jumped off an early morning train from Taipei, be sure to grab some breakfast in one of the bustling restaurants or street food stalls.

scallion pancake and fried egg breakfast Taiwan

We are big fans of green onion scallion pancakes so we went for a classic Taiwan breakfast scallion pancake with a fried egg in the middle from ‘Early Today’ (map), a family run restaurant that is popular with locals and nearby workers which opens daily at 5am.

Whilst it may not be healthy, damn it was delicious and the staff were really nice – we sat outside watching the world go-by and highly recommend it as a very cheap breakfast in Keelung.

Incidentally, we think the best Taiwanese scallion pancakes can be found on Yongkang Street in Taipei at Tian Jin Scallion Pancakes – read our review here >

11. Far Eastern Laijia Fried Buns

Another popular breakfast place in Keelung (although it is open all day), we discovered Far Eastern Laijia Fried Buns (map) purely by chance.

The small bakery and shop had one of the biggest queues we saw anywhere in Keelung. If in doubt, follow your nose – and the locals.

Far Eastern Laijia Fried Buns Keelung

We joined the large line and had to wait about 20 minutes until we had some tasty Taiwan buns in our hands. Cheap too and available in a variety of flavours including chives, pork and cabbage – Taiwan tea was also available.

We didn’t mind waiting in line though as we got to see the bakers hard at work rolling and making fresh buns before frying them – culinary skills up close!

Please note there is no seating here so it is takeaway only – we saw several Keelung locals purchase 20 or so at a time and yes, it did not disappoint.

chive bun taiwan

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12. Keelung Maritime Plaza

A popular meeting point and of the best port look-outs, Keelung Maritime Plaza is one of the first open spaces you’ll likely see if leaving from Keelung Station.

The Maritime Plaza has lots of wavy benches and nautical theming plus several sets of statues and public art.

Keelung Maritime Plaza
men people umbrellas statue keelung

At night, the plaza also lights up with colourful LEDs embedded in the pavement – be sure to watch out for those pesky seagulls if you are eating snacks here. We had a few close calls with our chive fried buns!

cruise ship Keelung Taiwan
View of cruise ships from Keelung Maritime Plaza

Try this – Keelung sea fishing & cuisine experience >

13. Keelung 3D billboard

Immersive 3D billboards in Japan are very popular and we’ve started to notice a few popping up in Taiwan, including a very cute baby tiger one near to the Shilin night market in Taipei.

Keelung 3D billboard cat

Keelung recently unveiled its own immersive billboard atop a building in Guomen Square, featuring a cute playful cat who bounds about the screen (well, in between the adverts). We don’t know if the cat has a name so we’ll just go with the ‘Keelung Kitty’.

The Keelung 3D billboard has been set up by Keelung Aniverse to help promote their VR theme-park in Keelung.

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14. Magpie Bridge

Keelung’s Magpie Bridge is the walkway between the top of Keelung Tower and the neighbouring shrines, temples and Hope Hill.

It can also be accessed in reverse from the Hope Hill, if you are approaching Keelung Tower from Zhongzheng Park and want to walk across Magpie Bridge to take the Keelung Tower elevator down.

The sunset views on Magpie Bridge are incredible and it is a brilliant photo-spot, with Keelung Tower acting as a perfect backdrop.

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15. Yehliu GeoPark

Taiwan on the rocks! Yahoo for Yehliu Geopark, home to a number of unique geological formations (‘rock stars?) formed over thousands of years.

Yehliu GeoPark Taiwan

A 30 minute drive or 50 minute bus ride from Keelung, Yehliu GeoPark is more famous than Heping Island Geopark and as such, can be a lot busier (it is very popular as a day tour, often combined with Shifen and Jiufen).

Yehliu GeoPark Taiwan

Located on a beautiful part of the North Taiwan coast, the peninsula stretches around 1,700 meters, formed by geological movement that forced the Datun Mountains to change their shape, jutting into the ocean.

Skip the queue and book your Yehliu Geopark tickets in advance with Klook >

Check out these Yehliu GeoPark tours with Viator or Klook.

Yehliu GeoPark Taiwan

16. Aniverse VR Amusement Park Keelung

A fun thing to do in Keelung with kids (especially on a rainy day), Aniverse Park is a VR theme park located in the old Keelung train station (just across the road from the new one).

Aniverse VR Amusement Park Keelung

Billed as the world’s first Metaverse experience (yep, we aren’t sure either), Aniverse has an array of 3D games and immersive experiences and starts with a ride about the steampunk-esque Delta Airship.

Get up close with the Little Prince wearing VR goggles or soar above some of the world’s most famous landmarks in the ‘Delta Cabin’.

Book your Aniverse Keelung tickets here with Klook >

17. Keelung Chenghuang Temple

Built in 1857 and one of Keelung’s most beautiful temples, Keelung Chenghuang was built to keep Keelung safe and symbolise the protection of the city wall and moat.

One of the temple’s main features is the giant abacus found hanging from the ceiling of the main temple, used to ‘calculate’ the amount of good vs evil (metaphorically) and warn people away from wrongdoings.

Chenghuang Temple looks out over the main port area and is a short walk from the Maritime Plaza and Keelung Station.

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18. Keelung Pau Pau Ice

A very ‘n-ice’ dessert that is unique to Keelung, this is a flavoured ice treat that is much denser than other Taiwan shaved ice desserts.

Keelung Pau Pau Ice

One of the best places in Keelung for Pau Pau is stall 37 at the Keelung Night Market.

Something to keep you cool after spicy food or a hot summer’s day, this Keelung Pau Pau stall offers several flavors of shaved ice and each cup costs 60 TWD.

It genuinely just tastes like ice-cream but is somehow more refreshing – a pleasant surprise!

Keelung Pau Pau Ice

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19. Khóo Tsú-song Old Mansion

Built in the 1930s, Khóo Tsú-song Old Mansion is rather ghostly and abandoned now but an interesting glimpse into a traditional Taiwanese building with Western elements, once famous for its red-brick walls, bamboo windows and Fujian style architecture.

High in the hills and with spectacular views of Keelung harbor, Khóo Tsú-song Old Mansion is in need of some TLC and there has been talk for years of restoring it, but to seemingly no avail.

Given the current state of the mansion, this might be one Keelung thing to do that is best left for urban explorers.

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20. Keelung Tours

Keelung is easy to self-explore or get around on foot and public transport, but if you only have a limited amount of time or would prefer the expertise of a local guide, try these Keelung tours:

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