Songshan: 7 things to do in Taipei's hot new hood

Songshan District is becoming the hottest place to stay in Taipei, Taiwan, and it has so much to offer that you will leave determined to come back.

taiwan taipei raohe street night market
  • Natasha Dragun
  • August 2018

Home to Taipei’s second airport, Songshan District’s leafy streets are becoming a mecca for creative types, thanks to its mix of cutting-edge galleries, cool cafés and bijou homewares and craft stores.

Best things to do in Taipei in 24 hours

There are lots of must-haves at Funfuntown.

1. Funfuntown

The items at this creative concept store are hand-sourced from around the world by the owner. This means that merchandise changes regularly at Funfuntown but might include old-fashioned toys, polished Ibazen stools, handmade wooden bowls and mugs by Takahashi Kougei, or paper-thin porcelain by Jicon. No. 2, Alley 1, Ln 359, Fujin St; +866 2 2766 5916

2. Gabee Coffee

If you like your coffee black with no sugar, this place probably isn’t for you. A barista champion, GaBee’s owner opened this café to celebrate fun and fantastical caffeinated beverages. The signature drink is a mix of espresso and sweet potato puree served in a martini glass. Another jaw-dropping creation is a fruity concoction of espresso, cream and fresh watermelon. 21 Ln 113, Section 3, Minsheng E Rd; +886 2 2713 8772

The Rainbow Bridge from Songshan District with Taipei City in the background.

3. Beans & Beats

Lovers of old-school hip hop will want to make a beeline for this dimly lit café, where you can sip coffee or craft beer while listening to funky beats. The dining room at Beans & Beats is on the ground level; the office of hip hop label Kao! Inc is in the basement. Here, vinyl records and cassettes line the walls and guests can pick an album and hand it to a DJ to spin. 346 Fujin St, +886 2 2765 5533

4. Fujin Tree 353 Cafe

The Fujin Tree Group found a Songshan street that they loved and decided to open three shops on it. Fujin 353 is in the café, an industrial-chic space where tables spill onto the sidewalk when the sun is shining. Everything is done well, from the coffee to the sandwiches and cakes. Next door is 355, selling handmade jewellery and clothing, and across the street is 352, where you can pick up quirky homewares. 353 Fujin St, +886 2 2749 5225

The Ciyou Temple was built in 1753 and is a popular tourist attraction.

5. Sunny Hills

Pineapple cake is serious business at this Songshan outlet of Sunny Hills. Here, the traditional Taiwanese treat is prepared to perfection using only a handful of ingredients: a rich pastry enveloping a sticky pineapple filling. The brick-shaped cakes are baked daily and are popular as gifts at Sunny Hills. 1 Alley 4, Ln 36, Section 5, Minsheng E Rd; +866 2 2760 0508

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park highlights local artists and performers.

6. Songhan Cultural and Creative Park

Located in a series of 1930s buildings that once housed a tobacco factory, this area has been transformed into a gallery and event space used to highlight local artists and performers. Among the tenants here are Taipei Design Museum, Song Yan Gallery and Red Dot Design Museum, plus a bookstore and cafes. Stroll around the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park to feel the cultural pulse of the neighbourhood. 133 Guangfu South Rd, +866 2 2765 1388

The line-up for the steamed pork buns at Raohe Street Night Market is lengthy.

7. Raohe Night Market

From pork pepper buns and squid on sticks to stinky tofu to bubble tea, almost every Taiwanese snack is on the menu at this busy night market. It’s one of the oldest and most popular of its kind in Taipei, with stalls stretching 600m along either side of Raohe Street. It’s not all about consumption, though: evenings here offer entertainment and plenty of people-watching opportunities. Raohe St