Uncover artwork, historical past and a little bit of kitsch at these high Taipei museums

With millennia of Indigenous historical past adopted by encounters with the Chinese language, Europeans and Japanese, Taiwan has all the time been a cultural crossroads.

This vibrant island democracy holds many desirable tales, and the museums discovered inside its capital Taipei may inform them greatest. On a wet day (or any day besides Monday) go to their galleries for perception into tribal communities, Hakka heritage and the contentious relationship between Taiwan and China.

These are the most effective museums in Taipei.

Taiwan’s oldest museum, the stately Nationwide Taiwan Museum options reveals that deliver to life the historical past of the island © Jack Hong / Shutterstock

Nationwide Museum of Historical past provides highly effective historic insights

Based by Japanese colonists in 1908, the Nationwide Taiwan Museum is Taiwan’s oldest, positioned on the fringe of 2-28 Peace Memorial Park in central Taipei. Discover the park and its many pagodas earlier than the day will get too scorching, discovering commemorations of the “February 28 Incident” on the location the place Taiwanese civilians protested in opposition to police brutality sanctioned by the Chinese language nationalist authorities (the Kuomintang) in 1947.

Contained in the museum’s galleries, guests can discover Taiwan’s cultural and pure historical past – together with taxidermy fashions of indigenous animals and dinosaur bones – earlier than transferring throughout the road totally free entry to the century-old financial institution vault at Land Financial institution Exhibition Corridor.

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Worldwide artwork lovers will love the Taipei Superb Arts Museum

Considered one of Taipei’s greatest artwork galleries, the Superb Arts Museum is a fantastic selection for a time out. The museum is a frequent cease for worldwide touring exhibitions that cowl vogue, design and artwork. TFAM additionally showcases native artists and hosts the Taipei Biennial inside its fashionable architectural area. The doorway charge is often 30NTD however is free on Saturday evenings. (Uncover extra methods to see extra for much less within the capital with our information to Taipei on a finances.)

Exhibition displays with jade objects and other treasures at the southern branch of the National Palace Museum, Chiayi, Taiwan
On the Nationwide Palace Museum, you’ll see dazzling treasures from China’s former imperial collections © 54613 / Shutterstock

See the splendors of Chinese language artwork on the Nationwide Palace Museum

Should you go to just one museum in Taipei, make it this one. The Nationwide Palace Museum boasts a everlasting assortment of 700,000 Chinese language artworks and artifacts – the world’s largest and doubtless most interesting – with 8000 years of Chinese language historical past on wonderful show throughout 4 huge flooring. Come ready to for a visible feast: on show are ceramics, vintage calligraphy, jades and bronze vessels that after belonged to the Chinese language emperors.

The museum’s grand entrance befits the historic significance of its contents, with a large walkway lined with manicured shrubs and fountains squared in by a fancy constructed within the model of a Chinese language palace.

Study different histories at Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

Simply down the street from the Nationwide Palace Museum, the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines offers another image of Taiwan’s historical past, worlds other than the glittering wealth of former Chinese language emperors. As a substitute, right here you’ll discover numerous shows of Taiwan’s native cultures, specializing in the ethnology of the island and the numerous customs and life of its totally different tribes.

Expertise the wonders of the universe on the Taipei Astronomical Museum

Unleash your interior area little one on the Taipei Astronomical Museum, exploring the numerous wonders of the universe by means of a variety of instructional reveals and interactive services that embrace an equatorial telescope, star dome and ecliptic sundials.

A display in the former baths at the Beitou Hot Spring Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
The Beitou Scorching Spring Museum hosts history-oriented reveals in an intriguing constructing that blends Japanese and Western architectural kinds © Alamy Inventory Picture

Stroll by means of a forest of Euro-Japanese structure on the Beitou Scorching Spring Museum

A duplicate of the Shizuokaken Idouyama bathhouses in Japan, the Beitou Scorching Spring Museum is an surprising discover within the foothills of Yangmingshan mountains in northern Taipei (accessible through a brief stroll from Xinbeitou MRT station).

Inbuilt 1913 on the valley’s pure scorching springs, this complicated blends Japanese and Western architectural kinds and served as a public bathhouse for Japanese colonialists. Swap footwear for slippers to stroll on the tatami-mat flooring and get a better have a look at the arched hallways and tiled partitions of the previous bathing space as you peruse historic reveals.

Relaxation some time on the pavilion overlooking Beitou Park; alternatively, head down the street for a extra immersive expertise at Beitou Public Scorching Spring, baths that stay energetic right now.

Take a quiet stroll by jade artifacts on the Nationwide Museum of Historical past

Set throughout the chirping-bird-filled haven of the Botanical Gardens, the National Museum of History stands out among the many timber with its Ming-style structure – all purple columns and sloped turquoise roofing – backing onto a tranquil lotus pond. Step inside for textiles, handicrafts and jade jewellery from throughout some six Chinese language dynasties, taking time to roam the backyard afterward.

Local residents walk past in front of the golden Guandu Temple on the eve of Lunar New Year, Taipei, Taiwan
An energetic temple with elaborate structure, Guandu Temple is a type of dwelling museum © AFP through Getty Photos

Guandu Temple provides dwelling classes in spiritual practices

Guandu Temple could be known as a dwelling museum. The oldest temple in Northern Taiwan is devoted to the ocean goddess Mazu and tells numerous narratives by means of carvings inlaid on the partitions, columns and dragon sculptures all through.

Relationship again to the mid-Seventeenth century and expanded throughout the Qing Dynasty, Guandu is now a multi-denominational temple managed by an affiliation of Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwanese Indigenous peoples.

Take within the latest and newest on the Museum of Modern Artwork (MOCA)

One other of the most effective galleries in Taipei is the Museum of Modern Artwork (MOCA), which options an eclectic program of contemporary worldwide exhibitions inside a Japanese colonial constructing simply north of Taipei Foremost Station.

Visitors view the miniatures displayed at Miniatures Museum in Taipei, Taiwan
Guests take within the cute and barely kitschy shows on the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan © Alamy Inventory Picture

Pattern some kitsch on the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan

On the smallest scale of all of them, the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan showcases one {couples}’s distinctive assortment of world points of interest in miniature. Reveals embrace a tiny Buckingham Palace, Tudor fortress and Roman ruins alongside fantastical scenes from well-known fairy tales such a Pinocchio and Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s all a little bit foolish – and completely charming.