11 BEST Places to Live in Taiwan (Updated 2023)
Taiwan is a beautiful, but somewhat underrated travel destination in East Asia, which is surprising with it being jam-packed full of incredible things to do. From bustling night markets, outrageously good street food, fascinating historical sites, and breathtaking natural landscapes, it’s certainly a place you won’t get bored.
Despite being still relatively underrated amongst travelers, more and more people are deciding to call Taiwan their new home! Whether that be for a few weeks, a couple of months, or a permanent fixture, there are so many places to choose from to live in Taiwan despite its relatively small size.
In this guide, we have broken down 11 of the best places to live on the island, all of which offer something a little bit unique. We also give you an insight into the monthly cost of living, including rental prices, along with some of the best things about living in that destination and some potential flaws.
Is a move to Taiwan a potential opportunity in the near future? Have a scroll to find out much more about places to live in the country.
Staying Safe in Taiwan
Taiwan is known for being one of the safest countries in East Asia and has an extremely low crime rate. This means that in most places you choose to base yourself in the country you should feel pretty comfortable wandering around on your own.
However, that being said, pickpocketing and petty crime do still exist. And like in any other country, in some neighborhoods and districts these actions will be more of a common occurrence. So make sure you use your common sense and be vigilant where you can, particularly in places where crime is higher.
But that being said, thousands of people move to the country every year and have little to no problems so don’t let that worry you.
Before heading to Taiwan though you will need to get travel insurance — our go-to insurance provider for this is Safety Wing! They have excellent policies at great rates and we would highly recommend using them on your next trip.
#1- New Taipei
“Taiwan’s newly formed ultra-modern city, New Taipei has become one of the most popular places to move to in the country with a sleek city center, incredible transport links, and plenty of incredible sites to explore.”
Monthly Cost of Living in NEW TAIPEI
Cost of Rent
in NEW TAIPEI
New Taipei is by far the most popular place for expats to move to in Taiwan and is ranked in the top 2% of places to live in the world. Despite being officially a city in Taiwan, New Taipei is newly formed and is more like a region that stretches between the cities of Taipei and Keelung in Northern Taiwan.
New Taipei City is nicknamed a modern and more urbanized version of its sister city Taipei with more high-rise buildings and futuristic transport systems and is certainly the place to live in Taiwan if you want a more western feel to your home city.
There are also plenty of epic things to do in and around New Taipei and despite it having a modernized feel to it there is still an abundance of culture, including sites such as the historic buddha temple of Lungshan Temple, the spectacular memorial park of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and the bustling Ningxia Night Market.
Pros of living in New Taipei
Great public transport links
Multiple districts to live in at different price ranges
Amazing cultural attractions
Cons of living in New Taipei
Super busy and high traffic rates
#2- Tainan City
Monthly Cost of Living in Tainan City
Cost of Rent
in Tainan City
Tainan City is one of the best cities to live in Taiwan if you want a relaxed and slower-paced lifestyle! The city has a few skyscrapers appearing across the city but overall buildings are a lot smaller and have a traditional style creating a small-town feel.
The people of Tainan City are also said to be one of the friendliest communities in the country, with most visitors being blessed with a traditional and warm welcome, which creates a homely vibe that is super comforting when you arrive in a new city.
The city is also one of Taiwan’s oldest cities meaning there is plenty of historic attractions to explore. Be prepared to fall in love with spectacular ancient architecture, traditional street food, and rich and interesting museums. The top sites you need to explore when living in the city include Anping’s Treehouse, Grand Mazu Temple, and Blueprint Creative Park.
Pros of Tainan City
Free parking for scooters and motorcycles readily available across the city
Warm local atmosphere
Much cheaper than Taipei and New Taipei
Cons of Tainan City
Poor public transport services
English is not spoken widespread
Infrastructure for scooters (which is the main form of transport) needs improving
“One of the safest cities to live in the world, Taipei is an incredible destination to live in and has plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to explore from beautiful nature landscapes to epic concerts and parties.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Taipei
Cost of Rent
Bustling and vibrant, Taipei is home to one of the biggest expat scenes in Taiwan and we can see why with the city being home to excellent infrastructure and plenty of things to do. In the city, you can expect plenty of fun events to enjoy including concerts and pool parties, beautiful mountainous landscapes and beaches scattered across the metropolitan region, along with an incredible selection of hiking trails.
The city is also super safe and is ranked one of the safest places to live in the entirety of East Asia with next to no street crime, and very few scam artists. Along with this, the city is also very inclusive of different groups of people.
As we already mentioned the expat scene is thriving in Taipei so you will have plenty of opportunities to meet others in a similar situation to you if you move to Taipei. We have also heard the expat groups are super friendly and are more than happy to give tips to the newbies heading to the city. The most common expats in Taipei are English teachers and students, which has created a youthful and energetic feel to parts of the city.
Pros of living in Taipei
Super convenient city, lots of things on your doorstep
High quality public transport
Tasty street food markets
Cons of living in Taipei
Higher pollution than other areas in the country
Long rainy season
#4- Taichung City
“The art and cultural hub of Taiwan, Taichung City is a great place to unleash your creative side with plenty of art exhibitions and spectacular architectural sites to explore.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Taichung City
Cost of Rent
in Taichung City
Taichung City is known for being the art and culture hub of Taiwan and is a perfect destination to move to if you want to explore your creative side. In the city, you will have access to numerous museums, art installations, and design boutiques, and there are also a high number of jobs available in the artistic industry.
The city also has reasonably low prices, but also comes with great education and healthcare facilities with good quality hospitals along with highly regarded public and private schools.
One of the key draws of Taichung City is that it has a mild and warm climate pretty much all year round meaning you are less likely to be hit with tropical storms and heavy rainfall days which lots of people want to stay clear of!
Speaking of good weather patterns, despite not being specifically on the coast there are a lot of beautiful beaches and stretches of coastline in the Taichung region which are perfect if you want to soak up the plenty of sunny days Taichung City Provides.
Pros of living in Taichung City
Great healthcare and education standards
Mild and warm climate all year around
Fast wifi speeds for digital nomads
Cons of living in Taichung City
English spoken is not widely spread
Not a lot of nightlife
Truth be told, if you are traveling, you are going to need insurance. Whether it’s a quick trip to the doctor or a longer stay at a hospital, it makes sure that you are covered in a worst case scenario.
For me, I always go with Safety Wing. They have an amazing customer support team, flexible plans, and are extremely affordable.
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#5- Taoyuan City
“A safe and laid-back city that is well connected to other parts of the country including the International Airport and the capital city of Taipei.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Taoyuan City
Cost of Rent
in TAOYUAN CITY
Taoyuan has a great transport network which means you can get around the city on buses and trains pretty easily which means commuting to work along with leisure activities is a walk in the park. Along with this it also has great connections to other areas of the country including the capital Taipei along with the International Airport where there is actually an ultra-high-speed train service to get you there!
Despite there not being a ton of exciting activities in the city, there are a few awesome options to enjoy in and around the city. Spend your evenings in Taoyuan City watching the sunset over Shih-men Reservoir, and during the day you can hit the shops at Daxi Old Street or perhaps get your adrenaline kick at Leofoo Village Theme Park.
Taoyuan comes with a mix of cultures and subcultures and is super welcoming to all types of groups. Along with this, English is widely spoken so if you haven’t adjusted to the local dialect yet then you will still find it easy to get around.
Pros of living in Taoyuan City
English is widely spoken
Close to International Airport and capital city of Taipei
Good quality transportation network
Cons of living in Taoyuan City
Food and drink costs are a little bit expensive
Not an awful lot to do in the city
Traffic is a little hectic
#6- Hualien City
“A hub for exploring the west coast of Taiwan’s finest natural hotspots, Hualien City is a vibrant student city that offers plenty of outdoor activities scene.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Hualien City
Cost of Rent
in Hualien City
One of the key draws to living in Hualien City is its access to the great outdoors Taiwan has to offer. All over the city, you will see incredible views of jaw-dropping mountain landscapes along with views of the beaming blue Pacific Ocean. This means that you are within striking distance of plenty of amazing outdoor activities, making it perfect for nature lovers. Within 15-minutes you can be at one of the best beaches on the island and if you venture a little bit further you can reach the spectacular Taroko National Park which is one of the top sites on the entire island.
Some of the best neighborhoods you might want to consider living in Hualien which are super safe but still have a vibrant feel include Beiblin and the Downtown, although rental prices do tend to be marginally higher in these neighborhoods.
Hualien City also has a strong student population with it being home to two major universities: Tzu Chi University and Dong Hwa University. This has created a youthful and vibrant atmosphere which has significantly added to what was once a poor nightlife scene.
Pros of living in Hualien City
One of the most affordable city's in Taiwan
Close proximity to nature
Lots of universities so a youthful atmosphere
Cons of living in Hualien City
Higher risk to extreme weather patterns such as earthquakes, typhoons etc.
Could be too quiet for your liking
Far from the International Airport
Monthly Cost of Living in Hsinchu
Cost of Rent
Despite not being one of the most popular places to live amongst expats, Hsinchu is an awesome place to base yourself with plenty of fascinating attractions, world-class food and drink options, and good transport options to other major hubs on the island.
One of the key reasons people move to Hsinchu is due to its large number of job availabilities, including in the Science Park Field and teaching English. It is also one of the best places to learn Mandarin with a great number of language school options that have great reviews and customer feedback.
Hsinchu is also arguably one of the best places in Taiwan for foodies with an incredible selection of world-class restaurants along with authentic street food markets. From deliciously tasty Taiwanese snacks at local food vendors all the way to Michelin star-worthy restaurants in the Big City area; and near Zhubei Station you will be dazzled by how insane the food is in Hsinchu.
Pros of living in Hsinchu
Lots of jobs available particularly in the science park field
Close proximity to other major cities including Taipei and Taichung
World class restaurants and food options
Cons of living in Hsinchu
Nightlife scene is small
Neighborhoods vary significantly so you have to make sure you pick the right one
Higher risk in typhoon season than some other areas
“An underrated city amongst expats but super popular amongst tourists, Keelung is a waterfront city in Northern Taiwan that is known for its epic cafes and shops along with outdoor hotspots.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Keelung
Cost of Rent
It’s all about the outdoor activities in Keelung, so if that’s not your thing then this might not be the best destination for you to live in Taiwan. The city is surrounded by epic mountains and awesome ocean views and there is plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore. Many expats and locals spend their weekends exploring these natural hotspots, including Chaojing Park, Heping Island Park, and the unique rock formations at Peace Island. This has also meant there is a bustling tourism scene which can be a pro or con depending on what you like in a city!
The city is known for its cafe culture with an epic selection of bakeries and cafes where you can indulge in some tasty treats or some of the finest local tea and coffee. Oh, and loads of these cafes have super high wifi speeds which is great for those locals working remotely!
Litter and sewage around the marina have been a problem over the years and are definitely something you should consider before moving here. However, the issues have dramatically improved over the years so it’s not something to worry about too much.
Pros of living in Keelung
Great cafe culture with an good selection of bakeries and cafes
Unique food scene
Bustling tourism scene
Cons of living in Keelung
Litter problems around the city
Not an awful lot going on
“A small city perfect for immersing yourself into Taiwanese culture with minimal tourists and an authentic and traditional environment to live in.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Chiayi
Cost of Rent
The city of Chiayi is relatively small compared to most of its neighbors, however it has everything you need and you get to know the local digs so much better this way! There also aren’t that many tourists in Chiayi City, which creates more of an authentic and traditional environment that is perfect for immersing yourself in Taiwanese culture.
Chiayi also arguably provides one of the best qualities of life in Taiwan and has low living costs. You’ll have an abundance of things to do and explore including bustling night markets, incredible biking trails, and plenty of beautiful restaurants and bars. It also has great transport connections to bigger cities if you’re craving that ultra-lively atmosphere, which you find more of in places like Taipei.
Chiayi is known for being one of the safest places to live in Taiwan and the majority of its neighborhoods are pleasant places to. It also has some of the best weather on the island with mild weather patterns and plenty of sunny days across the year.
Pros of living in Chiayi
Plenty of natural hotspots nearby
Very safe with low crime rates
Pretty good weather all year round
Cons of living in Chiayi
Transportation is not super convenient
Relatively small city
Maybe a little too small
Monthly Cost of Living in Kaohsiung
Cost of Rent
One of the biggest cities in Taiwan, Kaohsiung is often overlooked as an epic place to live in comparison to places such as Taipei and New Taipei. However, it is jam-packed and full of plenty of things to do along with pretty much everything you need for day-to-day living. The city is a very safe place to live and caters to a number of different groups, with it being dubbed an ultra-safe place for families along with it having a bustling nightlife scene for those younger expats and tourists.
As we already mentioned, Kaohsiung is a huge city on the island and its neighborhoods do vary quite a bit so you need to bare that in mind when picking your place to stay. Some of our favorite neighborhoods we would recommend you look into are the Art Park, Aozihdi, and the Lotus Pond area.
Other amazing perks of the city include its ultra-fast internet speeds for those digital nomads along with warm winter weather for those looking to escape the sun. Despite improving over the year, air quality and heavy traffic are both still an issue in the city, but you kind of expect that with it being one of the largest on the island.
Pros of living in Kaohsiung
Great nightlife scene
Ultra fast internet speeds
Warm winter weather
Cons of living in Kaohsiung
Relatively high air pollution compared to other cities in Taiwan
City may have too much of an industrial feel to it
#11 - Kinmen
Monthly Cost of Living in Kinmen
Cost of Rent
The last place on our list of the 11 best places to live in Taiwan is Kinmen and it is certainly one of the most unique spots to base yourself in the entirety of Taiwan! Nicknamed ‘a small island with a big reputation’ Kinmen has a unique charm to it. Kinmen actually isn’t on mainland Taiwan and is a group of islands just off the shores of mainland China and is actually only home to a few small villages with a laid-back island feel to them.
This is the perfect place if you want a stripped-back way of life away from the hustle and bustle of Taiwan’s big cities such as Taipei. The cost of living here is also reasonably low so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank too much by living here, especially on food and drink costs.
There really isn’t too much to say about Kinmen as it is just a totally stripped-back place to base yourself, but that’s the beauty of the tiny island communities.
Pros of living in Kinmen
Laid back lifestyle
Cons of living in Kinmen
Rural location with not many connections to other places
Far away from Taiwan mainland
Maybe a little too quiet
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to live in all of Taiwan
That wraps up our guide to the best places to live in Taiwan. In this article, we listed 11 of our favorites from big cities such as New Taipei for those who want the biggest and most bustling atmosphere, to the smaller more remote towns and cities for those who want a more intimate group of ex-pats to meet and a more laid-back atmosphere.
Of course, all these places have their own pros and cons of living there, some of which will be different from person to person, but we can tell you they all have their own unique spark.
As always thank you so much for checking in and reading this article. We really hope you enjoyed it and perhaps are ready to move to Taiwan if that was on your agenda. If you do end up using any of our recommendations or have any questions do let us know we would love to hear from you guys 🙂
Now, all there is to say is Travel on Nomads!
Cost of living in New Taipei
Cost of living in Tainan City
Cost of living in Taipei
Cost of living in Taichung City
Cost of living in Taoyuan City
Cost of living in Hsinchu
Cost of living in Keelung
Cost of living in Chiayi
Cost of living in Kaohsiung
Cost of living in Kinmen
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