Bursting with youthful exuberance and creative energy, Ximending is a must-visit for every traveler in Taiwan, for cinema, music, food, and most especially for shopping.
Shopping is practically a sport in many places in Asia and one of the best places to find variety, affordability, and sheer volume of goods is Taipei. In this Taiwanese city, there are endless strings of malls, markets, and entire shopping districts to get lost in and spend your hard-earned money.
Hit the bustling streets of Ximending, Taipei’s first pedestrian-only shopping and entertainment zone. It’s an extremely popular place among locals and tourists, whether you’re on the hunt for clothes, cosmetics, footwear, gadgets, toys, or local crafts—name it, you can find it here!
To get started, follow the stream of young shoppers and trendy hipsters as they flock to the area known as the Ximending Youth Shopping District.
How To Get To Ximending, Taipei
Found in west Taipei in the Wanhua District, Ximending is a popular tourist spot that’s easily accessible even by first-time visitors.
The easiest way of getting to Ximending is by taking the Taipei MRT Bannan Line or Songshan-Xindian Line until Ximen Station. Step out of Exit 6 of Ximen Station and head to the center of all the action, the Ximending Pedestrian Area. From here, most of the best shopping spots in the district are easily accessible by foot.
The busy district is located west of the Taipei Main Station, so travelers from other cities in Taiwan can simply take the train, then either hop on the MRT or walk about 10 minutes to Ximending. If you prefer to take the bus, choose one that stops at Ximen Station, Ximen Elementary School, or Ximen Market.
Keep in mind that many of the shops and other businesses in Ximending open its doors at around 11:00 am until around 10:00 pm.
Shopping In Ximending
One of the best places to visit in Ximending is the historic Red House Theater, which was built back in 1908 as the first-ever government-built public market in Taiwan. Inside the building is a music venue as well as several shops. During weekends, a bazaar is set up with local arts and crafts sold by young artists and students.
If you’re interested in purchasing clothes and accessories, drop by Eslite Department Store and Wanguo Department Store for a great selection of international brands. Plenty of sneakerheads go to Taipei to pick up big-name footwear brands, a lot of which can be found at the shoe store ABC-Mart. Those who want to buy locally-made shoes can visit FuFa in Ximending.
Another great spot in Ximending Youth Shopping District is Wan Nian Building, which features all kinds of goods, but is mostly known for its amazing range of discounted toys and games. Shinjuku Plaza is also a fantastic stop for affordable shoes and clothing, while Cosmed and Watsons are popular for cosmetics.
Ultimately, just keep moving! Wandering the alleys of Ximending will inevitably lead you somewhere interesting, from big brands like Nike and Uniqlo to dizzyingly large department stores to tiny stalls and charming boutiques.
Best Ximending Cafés, Restaurants
Eventually, you’ll want a well-deserved break from shopping. Fortunately, Ximending is home to a wonderful selection of cafés and restaurants for travelers who want to fuel up in the middle of marathon shopping.
The most popular restaurant in Ximending is probably Modern Toilet, a quirky diner featuring a unique theme revolving around the bathroom. It may sound off-putting, but it’s definitely a memorable experience to sit on toilet-chairs and eat poop-shaped ice cream, among other wacky dishes.
Snow King is another iconic gastronomic stop in Ximending, serving homemade ice cream since 1947. It’s known for its range of unusual flavors, such as red beans and meat flakes. Other great stops include Alice is Coming for coffee and SOL Café Ximen for cocktails.
Whether you choose to stay in the area or not, make sure to visit the district at least once during your trip to Taipei. Exploring Ximending is one of the top things to do in Taipei, not just for its endless array of shops and malls, but also for its cinema culture, KTVs, tattoo parlors, and diverse food choices.
If you’re wondering what to do in Taipei, you can’t go wrong with Ximending! Ximending is a part of KKday’s Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket, along with other iconic Taiwanese sights, such as Taipei 101 and the National Palace Museum.