• A QUICK GUIDE TO DADAOCHENG

    Taipei’s Oldest District

    A colourful display on a shopfront shelf in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood
  • A QUICK GUIDE TO DADAOCHENG

    Taipei’s Oldest District

    A colourful display on a shopfront shelf in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A QUICK GUIDE TO DADAOCHENG

Taipei’s Oldest District

Simply walking the streets of Dadaocheng is a pleasure. As the oldest district in Taipei, there’s a lot of history here. It’s felt in the architecture, the goods spilling out of every shopfront, and the fascinating museums dedicated to specialist local subjects. Dihua Street, the narrow artery running through the centre of the district, is impossibly pretty. Yet the area remains surprisingly un-touristy. So much so that we didn’t even make it here till our second visit to Taipei.

Somehow it had flown under the radar, missed amongst all those must-see Taipei attractions. But it’s a fascinating place to explore, especially if you have an appreciation for historic buildings, traditional crafts and hip Taiwanese design. It’s certainly worth an afternoon of your time, or even a couple of days if you prefer a slower pace of wandering. We encourage you to take to the streets and see what you find, but to get you started here’s a few of our favourite spots.

A worn but charming facade in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A classic Taipei metal grate door flanked by a column of green letter boxes mounted on the penny tile covered wall in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A worn but charming facade in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A classic Taipei metal grate door flanked by a column of green letter boxes mounted on the penny tile covered wall in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

WHAT TO SEE & DO

Dihua Street

Dihua Street is the heart and soul of Dadaocheng district. It’s the oldest street in Taipei and every narrow shopfront tells a story. Architectural influences range from mock Baroque to Japanese and Southern Fujian. Stretching around a kilometre from north to south, it could easily take you a few hours to wander, taking in the history as you stroll. Many of the places mentioned in this guide are found on, or nearby, Dihua Street.

A stylish corner facade in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A beautiful brick facade with arched windows and old bicycles racked outside in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

An old brick facade with an open shopfront and motorbikes parked outside in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A beautiful brick facade with arched windows and old bicycles racked outside in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

An old brick facade with an open shopfront and motorbikes parked outside in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

*Keep your eyes peeled for the great local walking map, available in shops and cafes around Dadaocheng*

Museum 207

This wonderful little corner house museum is worth a visit for the terrazzo flooring and rooftop view alone. But be sure to leave enough time to take in the rest too. Originally a Chinese Medicine shop, this historic building was opened as Museum207 in 2017. Exhibitions here change every few months, focusing on a specific theme about local culture, customs or history. Cherishing The Old was on display during our visit, focusing on reusing, repairing and repurposing old things. Past exhibitions have included those about Taiwanese terrazzo art, traditional doors and window design, and Taiwanese gifting culture. 

No. 207, Section 1, Dihua Street

Free Entry

Wednesday – Monday 10am – 5pm (5.30pm Sat, Sun & National Holidays)

The three story corner facade of Museum 207 in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A berry design on terrazzo flooring in Museum 207 in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood
Beautifully designed laquered paper parasols in Museum 207 in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Interesting and stylish building design inside Museum 207 in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

The three story corner facade of Museum 207 in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A berry design on terrazzo flooring in Museum 207 in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Interesting and stylish building design inside Museum 207 in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

AMA Museum

This hard-hitting museum is dedicated to the comfort women of the Japanese occupation era. Opening on International Women’s Day 2016, the permanent exhibition displays historical and cultural relics, telling the story of Taiwanese comfort womens’ suffering and their human rights movement. There’s a cafe on site and shop selling goods on behalf of female entrepreneurs and charities.

No. 256, Section 1, Dihua St

Free Entry

Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm

Follow our adventures

COME JOIN US ON FACEBOOK


WHAT TO BUY

There’s something wonderful about the mix of old and new in Dadaocheng. Traditional produce, sold for over a century in this district, sits beside contemporary design stores, creating a balance of nostalgia and modernity all at once.

Tea

Dadaocheng’s history lies in the wholesale merchandise industry, with tea being at the forefront of the export trade from the mid-19th century on. A number of historic tea factories and shops remain, scattered along Dihua Street and beyond. Pop in for a brew, or just to admire the atmospheric interiors.

Rows of tea displayed in metal urns on old wooden shelving in a traditional tea store in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Rows of tea displayed in metal urns on old wooden shelving in a traditional tea store in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Granny Bags

Charming, colourful, practical and a Taiwanese classic! The A ma bao is a great souvenir to pick up. They come in all colours and sizes, spilling out onto the pavement at a number of shops along Dihua Street.

A busy shopfront selling granny bags in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Colourful granny bags on display in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A busy shopfront selling granny bags in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Colourful granny bags on display in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Modern Taiwanese Crafts & Design

Alongside revamped stores specialising in the merchandise of old, you’ll find a number of creative spaces and design shops selling contemporary products, housed in historic buildings. Art Yard 1 is a great place to start your browsing, with a bookshop, textile design store and more on offer. Wander up Dihua Street and you’ll find pottery shops, boutique clothing stores, and craft workshops galore.

Pottery on display at a store in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Handbags and cushions on display at Art Yard 1 in in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Pottery on display at a store in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Handbags and cushions on display at Art Yard 1 in in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

WHERE TO EAT

You’ll find everything from street food to contemporary fusion cuisine in Dadaocheng. One of Taipei’s best night markets is also nearby, a great option for trying a variety of Taiwanese classics. 

開飯

For a quick but filling bite to eat on the go (or sitting in) stop by this Zongzi sticky rice dumpling store. They offer a variety of fillings, including veggie and vegan options, all utterly scrumptious. Steamed buns are also available. There’s an English menu with pictures, making it easy to decipher what lies inside the steamed bamboo leaf parcels. 

No. 88, Section 1, Dihua Street

Zongzi sticky rice dumplings on the table at a store in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Zongzi sticky rice dumplings on the table at a store in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Ningxia Night Market

A little east of Dihua Street is bustling Ningxia Night Market. No trip to Taipei is complete without a visit to at least one of these quintessential Taiwan eateries, and Ningxia is one of our favourites.

The crowds move slowly down the main artery of Ningxia St. Night Market in Taipei

The crowds move slowly down the main artery of Ningxia St. Night Market in Taipei

Things kick off nightly from around 5:30pm til late, with a couple of lines of food stalls, plus permanent restaurants along the side. A few stalls have tables and chairs, otherwise munch as you go. Be sure to wait in line for the deep fried taro balls, Michelin recommended oyster omelette at Yuan Huan Pien, and moreish king oyster mushrooms at a stall by the northern entrance. 

Ningxia Road, Datong District

Nightly 5.30pm – midnight

The vendor gently taps spice coating on barbecued mushrooms at Ningxia St. Night Market in Taipei

A queue of people wait outside the neon lit exterior of Yuan Huan Pien, a Michelin Guide recommended oyster omelette restaurant at Ningxia St. Night Market in Taipei

An aproned man prepares bowls of noodles from a stall at Ningxia St. Night Market in Taipei

A queue of people wait outside the neon lit exterior of Yuan Huan Pien, a Michelin Guide recommended oyster omelette restaurant at Ningxia St. Night Market in Taipei

An aproned man prepares bowls of noodles from a stall at Ningxia St. Night Market in Taipei

Peacock Bistro

Set through the back of a beautiful old Taiwanese house, Peacock Bistro dishes up fusion cuisine with an emphasis on locally sourced produce. It’s a cosy spot for brunch or a late night dinner, washed down with a cocktail or glass of wine. 

No. 197, Section 1, Dihua Street

Wednesday – Monday 1130am – 1030pm (last food orders 9pm)

The stylishly tiled courtyard looking into the softly lit Peacock Bistro in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

The stylishly tiled courtyard looking into the softly lit Peacock Bistro in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

URS329 Rice & Shine

This old rice shop, run by fifth generation local rice traders, serves up traditional Taiwanese food in atmospheric surroundings. It’s open for lunch and dinner and specialises in set meals, with three appetisers, soup and freshly ground rice accompanying your choice of main. The restored red brick building is over 100 years old, an absolute beauty.

No. 329, Section 1, Dihua Street

Daily 12pm – 3pm (last orders 2.30pm) & 530pm – 9pm (last orders 830pm)

PLANNING A TRIP TO TAIWAN?

EXPLORE MORE ON OUR
TAIWAN PAGE


Two potted plants stand in the sun before a penny tile covered wall in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Walking the narrow back lanes surrounded by plants, tiled walls and attractive chinese character building signs in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Pistachio colored penny tiles on a building in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

WHERE TO DRINK

Dadaocheng has no shortage of quality coffee shops and bars to quench your thirst. A number of historic buildings have been repurposed of late, giving once quiet back streets a new lease of life.

COFFEE SHOPS

Salt Peanuts

Our favourite of the cafes we hung out at in Dadaocheng, Salt Peanuts is part of the same building complex as Peacock Bistro. It sits directly on Dihua Street, with the bistro accessed via the courtyard through the back. You can sit inside, or at a table around the inner leafy courtyard, admiring the traditional architecture. There’s a great brunch menu on offer as well as your usual drinks and sweet treats. 

No. 197, Section 1, Dihua Street

Daily 10am – 6pm (limited food menu on Tuesdays when Peacock Bistro is closed)

Inside the modern Salt Peanuts, a great little cafe on Dihua Street in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Inside the modern Salt Peanuts, a great little cafe on Dihua Street in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Pallas Cafe

I have to confess that we didn’t actually get a chance to check this place out in person as it was closed throughout our stay in Dadaocheng. However, we’re putting it in here as it looked right up our street and we hope you’ll get a chance to prove us right! Think terrazzo flooring, racing green wall tiles and mismatched wooden chairs. By all accounts the coffee, food, service and atmosphere is top notch. It’s on a side street just off Dihua Street.

No. 14, Lane 14, Section 1, Dihua Street

Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 9pm // Monday 1pm – 10pm //  closed Tuesday

ENJOYING OUR PHOTOGRAPHY?

COME JOIN US ON INSTAGRAM


BARS

春風得意
(Spring Breeze)

We were delighted to stumble upon this local bar, full of character and friendly young staff, hiding away at the northern end of Dihua Street. The owner also happens to be a woodwork craftsman, the bar brimming with his tables, chairs and various other creations. It’s pretty cheap, with draft beer at TWD100 and cocktails from TWD200. The retro Taiwanese tunes had us coming back for more each night. There’s no English name, but the local name translates as ‘Spring Breeze’.

No. 333, Section 1, Dihua Street

Monday – Thursday 6pm – 12am //  Friday – Sunday 4pm – 12am

Inside at a very local bar in Dadaocheng, soft lighting, dark wood furniture and a fully stocked backlit bar complete the picture at Spring Breeze.

A cocktail and menu on a wooden table in a bar translated as Spring Breeze in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Inside at a very local bar in Dadaocheng, soft lighting, dark wood furniture and a fully stocked backlit bar complete the picture at Spring Breeze.

A cocktail and menu on a wooden table in a bar translated as Spring Breeze in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Mikkeller

Bringing Danish cool to Taipei, there’s craft beer galore to be had here. Order from the extensive draft menu downstairs (24 taps!) and head to the second floor seating area to enjoy. Mikkeller is housed in a three storey historic corner building, but the interior deco is minimalist Scandinavian (of course). The majority on tap is Mikkeller’s own brews, shipped directly from Denmark, with a few guest beers and cold brew Taiwanese tea thrown into the mix too.

No. 241, Nanjing West Road

Sunday – Thursday 4pm – 12am // Friday – Saturday 4pm – 1am

Soft lighting and chic modern design upstairs at Mikkeller, a popular craft beer joint in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Soft lighting and chic modern design upstairs at Mikkeller, a popular craft beer joint in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

Le Zinc Cafe & Bar

Transitioning freely between cafe and bar, this relaxed space tucked away down a back alley is a nice spot by day or night. The staff are friendly and coffee, beer, wine and food is available. During the day you can wander through the inner courtyard to the front of the building, where you’ll find a beautiful ceramics shop opening onto Dihua Street. 

No. 34, Lane 362, Minsheng West Road

Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 12am // Sunday – Monday 10am – 7pm

The bright lights (as seen from outside) of Le Zinc Cafe and Bar in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

The bright lights (as seen from outside) of Le Zinc Cafe and Bar in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

WHERE TO SLEEP

When exploring Taipei’s oldest district it’s only fitting to stay in equally atmospheric surrounds.

Jian Shan Hotel

We spent three nights at Jian Shan, in the ground floor deluxe double room, and loved having this as our base. Stepping in off the street, you emerge into another world, full of nostalgia and charm. The lobby is home to a beautiful old TV unit, gramophone, telephone exchange desk and more. The rooms here all feature period furniture and quirks like old books, telephones, maps and posters. It’s in a great location too, a few minutes walk to Dihua Street, Dadaocheng Park, and loads of great local restaurants, bars and shops. 

No. 182, Gui Sui Street

The retro room at the Jian Shan Hotel in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

The retro room at the Jian Shan Hotel in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

OrigInn Space

For a true heritage stay, opt for OrigInn Space, just a few doors down from Mikkeller. The interior is a beautiful mix of retro cool and modern design, with many original features of the historic house remaining. Nice touches like record players in the rooms and stone bathtubs make this the perfect place to wind down between exploring the streets of Dadaocheng. 

No. 247, Nanjing West Road

A QUICK GUIDE TO DADAOCHENG

Taipei’s Oldest District

We wish you a wonderful time in Dadaocheng and hope this quick guide helps you make the most of your stay. To find all the places mentioned, check out the map below.

A red sandy brick facade surrounded by countless potted plants in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

A red sandy brick facade surrounded by countless potted plants in Dadaocheng, Taipei's oldest neighbourhood

ORGANISE YOUR TRIP TO TAIPEI NOW

Booking.com

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – if you purchase a product or service via these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps offset the cost of running this blog and keeps us travelling so that we can continue to produce great content for you. We greatly appreciate your support!*

Liked This Guide?
Pin It For Later!

Share Logo

FOLLOW US

EXPLORE MORE OF TAIWAN

An intricately arranged motorbike repair shop in Dadaocheng, Taipei, Taiwan
A boldly coloured huge lantern hangs at the entrance to Longshan Temple, Taipei
7 Best Things To Do In Taipei
Taipei Night Market Culture: A Quick Guide
Day Trip From Taipei: Releasing sky lanterns at night at Pingxi, Taiwan

Still Not Sorted Your Travel Insurance?
It’s Not Too Late! Get A Quote Now


Any questions about Dadaocheng, Taipei or Taiwan in general, let us know in the comments below!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dadaocheng is the oldest district in Taipei and a fascinating area to explore. It\'s a street photographer\'s dream, with historic buildings housing everything from traditional dried foods to modern Taiwanese design wares. In this quick guide we\'ll point you in the direction of the best sights, cafes, restaurants and bars, plus highlight the coolest retro hotels in the area, complete with a map so you can find them all! #Taipei #Taiwan #cityguide
526 Shares
Pin501
Tweet
Share25
WhatsApp