Zhongshan, Taipei’s Trendiest Neighbourhood + Things To Do

Taipei’s trendiest district and hipster hangout, Zhongshan is the Taipei neighborhood for cool cafes, boutique shops and second-hand stores.

Every side-street in Zhongshan is packed with hole in the wall bars or a treasure trove of thrift stores. At the weekends, thousands of trendsetters and ‘cool kids’ visit the flea markets or pop-up festivals along Zhongshan Linear Park.

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Zhongshan, Taipei Taiwan

There are so many things to do in Zhongshan including Taipei’s top subterranean shopping center, Zhongshan Underground Book Street with lots of epic Eslite stores.

As well as modern bars and Japanese style izakaya restaurants, there are still lots of traditional buildings that have been repurposed like the Film House, set-up in the former US Ambassador’s home.

From night markets to vintage camera shops, museums to malls, here is our guide to Zhongshan in Taipei, Taiwan.

Zhongshan, Taipei Taiwan
R9 Cafe Zhongshan, Taipei Taiwan

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Taiwan checklist

We love using agoda.com and booking.com for researching and booking all our hotels, and Hostelworld for booking hostels.

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

How to get to Zhongshan

To access the main downtown area of Zhongshan including the popular underground mall and always busy Xinzhongshanxianxing Park, head to Zhongshan MRT and take exit 4. You will emerge in one of the busiest intersections in Taipei.

To go to Zhongshan MRT from Taipei Main Station, it is a 1 ride on the red Tamsui-Xinyi Line towards Beitou or an 11 minute walk.

Also check Google Maps or the official Go! Taipei Metro app to see which is the quickest and best route for you.

Yakitori caffe Zhongshan, Taipei Taiwan

Taiwanderers Tip

Grab a Taiwan EasyCard as a convenient way to use buses and public transport in Taipei and across Taiwan). They can be easily topped up at stations and convenience stores.

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

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Zhonghan Hotels and recommended accommodation

Budget ($)
Beimen WOW Poshtel
Popular hostel with both dorms and private rooms, located a 10 minute walk away from the Zhongshan neighbourhood. Check rates and availability on booking.com, agoda.com or hostelworld.com

Mid-Range ($$)
The Tango Hotel Taipei Nanshi
Popular and modern hotel located close to all the Zhongshan shops, bars and restaurants. Check rates and availability on booking.com or agoda.com

Luxury ($$$)
The Okura Prestige Taipei
Luxury 5 star elegant hotel located a 5 minute walk from MRT Zhongshan Station. Facilities include a heated rooftop pool, spa and onsite restaurants. Check rates and availability on booking.com or agoda.com

Check out the best hotels in Taipei via booking.com or agoda.com

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Zhongshan Taipei, things to do guide

1. Eslite R79 Store / Zhongshan Underground Book Street

One of the Taipei’s quirkiest shopping centres, this underground mall is home to several Eslite bookshops, which is one of Taiwan’s biggest and most beautiful bookstore chains.

They have branches all over Asia and Taiwan, including Songshan Cultural Park in Xinyi.

Eslite R79 Store / Zhongshan Underground Book Street Taipei
Eslite R79 Store / Zhongshan Underground Book Street Taipei

A great place for all weather shopping and perfect rainy day activity in Taipei, Zhongshan Underground Book Street (map) has hundreds of thousands of books, magazines and CDs / vinyl record across several stalls, plus cute stationery and loads of unique souvenirs to enjoy.

For us, the best and most quirky shop was Eslite x Platform Original (EXPO), showcasing the work of local artists plus some very unique and unusual gifts.

Eslite R79 Store / Zhongshan Underground Book Street Taipei

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2. Zhongshan Linear Park AKA Xinzhongshanxianxing Park

The focal point of Zhongshan and seemingly where all roads lead to, Zhongshan Linear Park (known locally as Xinzhongshanxianxing Park) is an urban park that is a popular meeting place and especially busy at the weekend, where it hosts regular flea markets ad craft stalls.

Zhongshan Linear Park AKA Xinzhongshanxianxing Park Taipei
Zhongshan Linear Park AKA Xinzhongshanxianxing Park Taipei market

We’ve been here several times over the years and on every weekend visit, we discover some form of festival like Women Brewers craft beer festival or a jazz festival.

Throughout the park, there are lots of modern sculptures plus you’ll always catch street-performers or live bands busking away.

The Zhongshan neighbourhood / district market takes place every Saturday and Sunday until around 5pm.

Zhongshan Linear Park AKA Xinzhongshanxianxing Park Taipei
Zhongshan Linear Park AKA Xinzhongshanxianxing Park Taipei

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3. SPOT – Taipei Film House

Housed in the opulent former US Embassy building, SPOT – Taipei Film House (map) is a super spot to grab some coffee or watch local and international movies.

SPOT - Taipei Film House Zhongshan

The cafe and cinema were established in 2002 but the building has a rich embassy history with the likes of former US president Richard Nixon staying here in the 1960s when he was Vice-President.

The building itself was built in the 1920s and a reminder of Taiwan’s colonial past (built by the Japanese but in the style of an American home).

SPOT - Taipei Film House Zhongshan

With extensive grounds and gorgeous green lawn, Youmoutoohana Coffee Shop (open 11am to 10pm) is an excellent Zhongshan cafe to escape the hustle and bustle of Taipei and sit in the garden.

Inside the former embassy, there are a couple of shops plus the arthouse cinema, SPOT Cinema with around 90 seats.

SPOT - Taipei Film House Zhongshan

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4. Boutique shopping along 6 Lane 20, section 2

The side road that leads from SPOT – Taipei Film House to Zhongshan Linear Park is the best place for boutique shopping and fine fashions in Zhongshan.

Zhongshan Taipei Boutique shopping along 6 Lane 20, section 2
Motherhouse Zhongshan Taipei Boutique shopping along 6 Lane 20, section 2

Literally every other shop is a clothing store or skincare shop, with fantastic fashion shops like Tonya, Motherhouse and Hama Boutique. There are also several famous fashion chains like Air Space Lady, Air Space Plus and Lab 22.

This Zhongshan Shopping street often has large lines of young people outside it coffee shops and artisan bakeries plus you’ll see lots of interesting things like an awesome astronaut silver statue outside ‘Sceny Bon perfume shop.

Air Space Lady Zhongshan Taipei Boutique shopping along 6 Lane 20, section 2
Ferme Zhongshan Taipei Boutique shopping along 6 Lane 20, section 2
Lab22 Zhongshan Taipei Boutique shopping along 6 Lane 20, section 2

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5. Zhongshan True Love Station bistro

A beautiful bistro established in 1994 and overlooking Kangle Park, we think Zhongshan True Love Station (map) has the most incredible exterior of any restaurant in Taipei.

Zhongshan True Love Station bistro Zhongshan Taipei

Outside, there is a vintage station facade complete with bus stop and old plastic seats plus as you look into the window, seemingly it is an old station and gorgeous grocery store.

It is in fact a blissful bistro and restaurant serving up classic culinary dishes like pork belly, mapo tofu noodles and ice-cream roll.

Get aboard this Taipei love train and dig in!

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6. Hoto Cafe

Tucked away in a sleepy side-street a few steps down from the True Love bistro, Hoto Cafe (map) is a more subdued and straightforward affair famous for its decadent desserts like chestnut cheese-cake and caramel pudding.

Hoto Cafe Zhongshan Taipei

With a small seating area outside and a few tables indoors, Hoto Cafe is the go to place in Zhongshan for a chilled coffee and afternoon – the lattes are also adorably served with a heart in the foam.

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7. Snappp Vintage photography

Wandering around Zhongshan’s side-streets and exploring all the trendy store exteriors make us snap happy so it is apt that there is an old school camera and film development shop in Zhongshan called Snappp Vintage (don’t forget the extra p’s).

Snappp Vintage photography store  Zhongshan Taipei

From Polaroid cameras to black and white film, Snappp (map) is a nostalgic throwback to the days of photography when you had to wait to get your films developed or shake it like a Polaroid Picture (thanks Outkast).

This is also one of the few places left in Taipei where you can buy disposable film plus they have a few branches (insert your own ‘duplicates’ joke here) around the city.

Snappp Vintage photography store  Zhongshan Taipei

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8. Linsen park  / Kangle Park

If you want a big green space to explore or Zhongshan Linear Park is too busy with stalls and festivities, the largest park and recreation area near Zhongshan MRT is Linsen Park, which merges into Kangle Park (map).

Kangle Park Taipei

These are popular spots for picnics and joggers / dog walkers (watch out for the exposed tree roots) plus it has some shaded walkways beneath the trees, a stone garden plus an epic statue of a local digitary on horseback.

If you grab some takeaway bites from Zhongshan’s bakeries or food kiosks, Taipei Linsen Park is a nice place to enjoy them or as a brief respite from shopping.

Kangle Park Taipei

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9. Zhongshan Metro Mall

Taipei’s very first underground mall that stretches almost 1km underground between Taipei Main Station and Shuanglian Station, Zhongshan Metro Mall (map) has seen better days and now mainly consists of salons, outlet stores and fashion labels you’ve probably never heard of.

Zhongshan Metro Mall Taipei

With around 70 stalls, this is an OK shopping experience but ultimately, is a good way to avoid the wet weather on a rainy day in Taipei.

Zhongshan Metro Mall Taipei

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10. Shuangcheng Street Night Market and Food Court

A 15 minute walk north from Zhongshan Linear Park brings you to Shuangcheng Street Night Market (map), one of the lesser known Taipei night markets.

A small neighborhood market accompanied by a covered food court (the latter is open in the day too), Shuangcheng Street springs into life every evening with traditional Taiwanese food stalls, from scallion pancakes to wonton soup and sweet potato balls.

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11. Fujin Tree Cafe

Have you ‘bean’ to Fujin Tree Cafe (map), a backstreet coffee shop renowned for its inhouse roast and pineapple cake treats?

As the sign on the wall says ‘Good Coffee Inspires You’ and Fujin Tree Cafe was buzzing (perhaps that’s the caffeine kicking in?) despite its off the radar location.

Popular sweet treats include the chiffon cake and tiramisu, plus there are some substantial dishes like brie and honey toast – but be sure to save room for pineapple cake!

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12. Eslite Spectrum Nanxi

Zhongshan’s biggest shopping center next Zhongshan MRT and a very busy scramble crossing, Eslite Spectrum Nanxi (map) is a modern mall with a focus on crafts, design and a huge bookstore (well, it is Eslie after all) that also includes a big foreign language section (in case you want to buy a Taiwan Lonely Planet or similar).

With six stories of shopping, inside you’ll also find a small food court plus lots of pop-up stalls, stationery and general cuteness.

Eslite Spectrum Nanxi Mall Taipei

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13. Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei

Opened in 2001 and located in one of Taiwan’s famous red brick buildings, the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (map) started as an elementary school in the 1920s before later becoming Taipei City Hall.

These days, it houses one of Taiwan’s largest temporary art collections with permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions.

As of summer 2024, admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei costs NT$100 per person (the equivalent of £2.40 or $3 USD).

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14. TiMELAB photo booths

With the UV lights outside, this photo booth shop kind of feels like a tanning salon but don’t be deceived. Photo booth stores are popping up all across Taipei and TiMELAB (map) is one of the most visited in Zhongshan.

TiMELAB photo booths Zhongshan Taipei

There are lots of fun props to try on here like colourful headwear or geeky glasses along with make-up styling and hair curling products.

Once in the photobooths (some of which can do overhead shots), you can opt for blinging backgrounds or cute special effects before printing out your pictures.

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15. The Wrice & Kafe Tsuki Kato

A joyful Japanese dining experience in the heart of Zhongshan District, The Wrice (map) is a Japanese curry and rice joint, with curry sets accompanied with soup and sides. The drink selection is also spot on, with the brown sugar milk tea highly recommended.

 The Wrice & Kafe Tsuki Kato Zhongshan Taipei

If you are still feeling peckish afterwards or in need of something sweet instead, try Kafe Tsuki Kato next door for a creme Brulee and coffee.

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16. Zhongshan Thrift Stores and Vintage Shops

Possibly Taipei’s top place for vintage shops and second hand fashions, Zhongshan’s side streets are a treasure trove of thrift stores and retro fashions.

Thrift vintage stores Zhongshan Taipei

Literally if you walk down any street, you’ll likely find at least one or more thrift shops but based on our experiences, the highest concentration of second-shops in Zhongshan was the alleys immediately next to the east entrance of Jiancheng Park.

Some of the best vintage shops in this neighborhood include Damn It! Vintage (hard to spot because of all the camouflage gear and houseplants out the front), Travis Vintage and Mana.

Travis vintage store Zhongshan Taipei

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17. SOMA Tea and Mocktails

Amongst all the fashion boutiques on the same street, SOMA Tea and Mocktails (map) is one food drinks place that stood out, mainly because the line to get in was huge and backed out into the road.

SOMA Tea and Mocktails Zhongshan Taipei

Known for their milk teas (costing around NT$60), SOMA is something else with multiple branches across Taipei.

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18. Renoir Puzzle

Finding unique presents in Taipei or Zhongshan is never a challenge, especially at the Renoir Puzzle store (map).

An upmarket puzzle store and hugely successful hobby shop, Renoir Puzzle has hundreds of different jigsaws to choose from, including cute cartoon cats and Taiwan cityscapes.

Renoir Puzzle Taipei

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19. Coffee Stand By Me

Cute name, even better coffee! Follow the fairy lights outside and head indoors to one of Zhongshan’s cutest and most compact coffee shops.

Coffee Stand By Me Taipei

From brown sugar latte (NT$150) to draft beer from Taipei craft beer breweries, Coffee Stand By Me (map) is a nice local joint with some choice cakes and chocolates.

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20. K Monstar

See that huge queue in Zhonghshan’s side-streets with dozens of younger Taipei teens queuing? That’ll likely be K Monstar (map), a little bit of South Korea and K-Pop in Zhongshan.

K Monstar k-pop store in Taipei

K-Pop music and concerts are becoming increasingly popular in Taiwan and this is one of Taipei’s top K-Pop Shops.

From Seventeen to Stray Kids, BTS to Blackpink, say ‘Hally-u’ to K Monstar in Zhongshan.

K Monstar k-pop store in Taipei

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21. Mensen Town Noodle Shop

The biggest foodie queue in Zhongshan? It has to be a toss up between Mensen Town and Chiyin Chicken Ramen (more on the latter later).

Mensen Town Noodle Shop Taipei

Mensen Town (map) is a tiny noodle shop in Mensen Town with big bowls of flavours, vintage interiors and marvellous mian xian dishes.

Mensen Town’s signature dish is the ‘exclusive’ everything dish which includes oyster, pork intestine and chicken meatballs for $160NT a bowl – prices correct as of summer 2024.

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22. Neon Cafe and Bar

An izakaya style pub just off Zhongshan Linear Park, Neon Cafe and Bar (map) is open daily from 2pm to 3pm for cheap draft beer, classic cocktails and loud music – you are also allowed to order in food from the restaurant next door.

A Zhongshan dive-bar but in a delightful way, there is even an old sofa outside to sit on if you want to enjoy brews with views.

Neon Cafe and Bar Taipei

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23. Gung Lok Union Grocery

A Hong Kong style fast food restaurant, Gung Lok Union Grocery (map) has a vintage vibe and nostalgic nibbles, serving hearty meals from Hong Kong.

Gung Lok Union Grocery Taipei

From club sandwiches to cold-brew, chicken rice to curry, Gung Lok serves up some serious snacks plus has a range of its own merchandise and other grocery style souvenirs.

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24. Vacanza Accessory + Cafe Zhongshan

A jewellery cum cafe shop (not as disgusting as it sounds), Vacanza (map) is a popular jewellery, crafts and beading store with several branches in Taipei.

Vacanza Accessory + Cafe Zhongshan

With Zhongshan being quite hipster and trendy, this particular Taipei Vacanza has a coffee shop and waffle house inside, selling sweet and savoury waffles.

You can also find a Vacanza shop in the Zhongshan Metro Mall nearby (but without a cafe inside – how vanilla!).

Vacanza Accessory + Cafe Zhongshan

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Our final thing to do Zhongshan, Taipei

25. Chiyin Chicken Ramen

Hungry after all that shopping, exploring and drinking (or all of the above)? Then finish your trip to Zhongshan with a culinary trip to Chiyin Chicken Ramen (map), a popular noodle shop that opens from 5pm on weekdays (plus lunch service on the weekends).

Chiyin Chicken Ramen Taipei

If you are willing to queue, Chiyin Chicken Ramen is currently one of Zhongshan’s hottest restaurants with flavourful broth and freshly made ramen noodles – be sure to order a side of the crispiest chicken karaage in Taipei.

Other Zhongshan things to know

Watch out for mopeds and mass hipster gatherings in the side streets.

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