Before traveling one may ask what’s the cost of living in Taipei?
Well if you are planning to spend a few days in the capital of Taiwan – Taipei. Certainly, you want to be prepared for every moment in the city. That’s only possible when you have a fair idea of the cost of living in Taipei. You must agree that the budget for any trip is not just restricted to the transportation costs, food prices, entry tickets (for attractions), and accommodation. There are other hidden costs as well that one often forgets to check for. Hence, in this blog, I am going to cover all the possible expenses for any expat or tourists in Taiwan. Along with transportation and accommodation, it also includes other costs of living like medical, internet, electricity, gas, and more.
Table of Contents
Cost of accommodation in Taipei
The cost of housing in Taipei greatly depends on the type of accommodation. It also depends on the neighborhood of the city you are choosing to live in. It’s pretty simple, the closer you are to the city center, the costlier the rent of Taipei apartments. Zhongshan District, Da’an District, Songshan District, Xinyi District, and Ximending are some best places to visit in Taipei. Taipei Rent for a small studio apartment with a bedroom, bathroom, and a kitchen could cost you around NT10,000 for a month in Taipei. But a thing to notice here is at this budget, you will probably end up getting an old apartment with less space. A budget between NT 14,000 and NT 16,000 would slightly give you a better Taipei apartment rental option.
For those who choose comfort over money, A “Taipei house” or one of the largest apartments with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living and study area. Such a Taipei monthly rental can range from NT 20,000 to NT 30,000.
In order to rent an apartment in Taipei, one needs to have an advance deposit of two to three months at the time of signing a lease. However, you can negotiate with the landlord and can agree on the mutually discussed and agreed terms.
If you are traveling short term but still looking to get accommodations to help we highly suggest Airbnb. This is our go-to option when traveling short term. It allows us not only the security of being backed by Airbnb but allows us to read tons of reviews to make sure we know exactly what we are getting ourselves into prior to arrival.
**Don’t forget to check out the top tips for traveling Taiwan in 2020**
Cost of food and eating out in Taipei
Being a Taipei expat, you would be amazed to know that the city has a plethora of options when it comes to eating out in Taipei. From high-end restaurants serving delectable dishes and comfort to amazing food stalls serving the cheap and tasty delicacies, the dining scene of Taipei is pretty extensive. The downside is for the ones who prefer to cook at home (especially western food) as the cost of home cooking and eating outside is pretty the same in Taipei. Besides, the fancy bars in Taipei are also expat-friendly and affordable.
Cost of utilities in Taipei
Apart from accommodation and food, the other major utilities required for the people living in Taipei are the internet, telecom, transport, healthcare, water, gas, and electricity.
Most of the apartments in Taipei come with a broadband connection. However, the cost of it depends on your rental agreement. Some landlords charge separately for the internet while some give it as a complimentary service.
However, if your apartment doesn’t come with broadband service and hence, you are looking to set up one. Popular internet service providers in Taipei are So-Net, VSAT, and Chunghwa Telecom. Instead of paying every-month for the internet, it’s better to subscribe to the yearly plan. It will help you save some money. An average ADSL cable plan would cost you something between NT 800 and NT 850.
The water in Taipei is quite affordable. The bill generates bimonthly and it ranges from $30 to $40. The bill remains fairly consistent throughout the year.
Like water, the electricity bill also comes bimonthly. The electricity in the city is also affordable for people thinking of moving to Taipei. For a person, the cost of electricity for a month goes up to $85 (in summer) and $20 (in winter).
The gas bill also generates bimonthly in Taipei. The per-person monthly cost of gas in the city ranges from around $10 to 15$. The amount of the bill generally remains consistent all throughout the year.
Mobile SIM Cards and Plans
For expats, getting a sim card is pretty easy in Taipei. All you need is a passport while filling out the form. Your Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) will count as an ID proof as well. Those who don’t have ARC, they can also easily get a sim card from any telco store or from a convenience store. For that, you can just use your passport. Popular telecom companies in Taipei are Myfone, Chunghwa Telecom, and Taiwan Mobile. The cost of unlimited data plans with calling minutes in Taipei range somewhere between NT 600 and NT 1300. However, it is important to know that the more the validity of your plan, the cheaper it is.
Transportation in Taipei
Traveling with the city of Taipei is very easy with the efficient Taipei Metro. Taipei MRT is one of the world’s best subway systems that covers almost the entire city. Along with MRT, the network of buses in Taipei is also pretty extensive. Allowing people to save some cost of traveling, EasyCard and Taipei Pass are two popular payment options. EasyCard is used for all forms of public transportation whereas Taipei Pass is used in Taipei MRT and Taipei City buses. There is also a Taipei Fun Pass that comes with different validities (1 day, 2 days, and 3 days) and offers unlimited rides in Taipei metro and city buses. The cost of 1 day, 2 days, and 3 days Taipei Fun Passes are NT$ 1200, NT$ 1600, and NT$ 1900, respectively.
Healthcare in Taipei is pretty affordable and expat-friendly. The city is dotted with well-equipped and best-in-class hospitals with highly-skilled doctors and surgeons. You will receive a high standard of medical care from both government and private hospitals. Expat life in Taipei is not as easy as a local person, one should have health insurance to deal with any sort of medical assistance. When we travel we always have travelers’ insurance. After running into issues with our first-year provider we now only trust SafteyWing. They offer amazing rates with no contract. Not only that you will always be covered internationally and locally at home.
If you are working in Taiwan you will have a small monthly fee for NHI and your employer will pay a portion of this fee. It can be as low as $35 USD a month!
For example, when we were traveling I had to get a root canal. If I were to have NHI insurance in Taiwan a root canal would cost me as little as $5 with the crown costing $300. That’s extremely cheap compared to the USA but not as cheap as Thailand.
So, these were some Taiwan travel tips for expats from our side. If you have any questions about the cost of living in Taipei or have any query related to budget, price or anything else, do let us know in the comment section below. Also, check out our recommended travel essentials that we carry on our every vacation to make the trip hassle-free and memorable one.