When is the best time to go to Taiwan? Which months or seasons are best, and which should be avoided?
These questions are not easily answered, because it depends what you are looking for, and no month is perfect in Taiwan. According to tourist arrival numbers, there is no distinct “high” or “low” tourist season in Taiwan. In reality, the numbers go up and down every month, as do the price of flights (see my guide to finding budget flights to Taiwan on search for the best flight deals here).
However, based on a decade-plus of traveling around and living in Taiwan, I would say that the best months to visit Taiwan are October, November, and April. The busiest month is December. Pretty good months are December, January, February, and March, but avoid Chinese New Year if you can.
The Best Season to Visit Taiwan
It’s tough to declare which season is the best for visiting Taiwan. It strongly depends on your personal climate preference and what you want to do in Taiwan. My personal favorite is autumn.
Here’s a summary of the ups and downs of each season in Taiwan.
|– Lovely weather
– Low chance of rain
– Autumn foliage viewing
– Perfect for hiking
– Few tourists in Oct/Nov
|– Possibility of typhoons in Oct
– Huge tourist crowds in Dec
– Cool at night
|– Cherry blossoms
– Hot Springs
– Chance to see snow
|– Damp/cold/gray in the north
– Crowds and closures for CNY
|– Good weather in April
– Concerts in April
– Low crowds
|– Plum Rainy Season in May/June
|– Beaches and water activities
– Sunniest time of year
|– Extremely hot and humid
– Typhoon season
– Summer crowds
Autumn (October to December)
In my personal opinion, autumn is the best time of the year to visit Taiwan. These three months have the lowest possibility of rain. The weather is pleasantly warm during the day and only a little cool at night.
October and November are crowd free, but December is the busiest month of the year in Taiwan for tourist arrivals. Christmas events start in late November, while NYE is one of the busiest times of the year. Book early!
November and December are the best time to see fall foliage, but you’ll need to travel a ways to one of the country’s National Forest Recreation Areas to see it.
Winter (January to March)
January and February are the coldest months of the year in Taiwan. Taipei, Yilan, and the north are especially chilly, but this is also the best time to see snow in the high mountains, like Hehuanshan.
Cherry blossoms start in late January, but come in February or March for the best displays. See my Taiwan cherry blossoms blooming forecast for more info. Winter is also the best time to experience Taiwan’s hot springs.
Chinese New Year is a week to be avoided if possible, due to crowds, higher prices, and closure of many restaurants and attractions. It usually comes in late January to late February. But the Lantern Festival, on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar new year, is awesome.
Spring (April to June)
While April is a good month to visit Taiwan, May and June are not. The Plum Rain season brings near constant rain and gray skies for weeks on end.
April’s weather is pleasant, and the April long weekend features several music festivals. However, May and June are all about the rain. In June, when the plum rains finally taper off, they are replaced with intense heat and humidity, signaling the start of summer.
Spring is, however, a good time to visit beaches or Taiwan’s small islands before the masses of Taiwanese do so in summer.
Summer (July to September)
Summer is, according to most people, the worst time to visit Taiwan. Summer temperatures and humidity are oppressive, making it difficult to spend much time outside.
Summer also comes with occasional typhoons, which can disrupt your travel plans for a few days (always make sure to have travel insurance for Taiwan just in case!) Summers are also more crowded, with students off school and more tourists due to the summer holidays in other countries.
If you don’t mind the heat, summer is a good time for beaches, swimming, and other adventure activities.
The Best Months to Visit Taiwan
The best time to travel to Taiwan is October, November, and April. I choose these months for their excellent weather, lower tourist crowds, and interesting events.
The below table will give you an idea of the average temperatures and rainfall in Taipei. Keep in mind that in the south of Taiwan, like Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Taitung, the weather is usually a little warmer than in Taipei, while the high mountains, like Alishan and Cingjing Farm, are colder.
|25°C or 77°F
My personal favorite month of the year in Taiwan is October. In October, the weather can’t get any better. The oppressive heat of summer is finally gone, but it’s still pleasantly warm, even at night.
Most importantly, October has a lower chance of rain – it actually has the fewest rainy days of rain of any month of the year in Taiwan. The only reason it has a higher average rainfall than other months is due to the occasional typhoon.
In terms of tourist numbers, October is one of the least busy months of the year. Some fun events in October include Halloween and Pride Parade (usually the last Saturday of the month).
However, even October is not perfect. On rare occasion, a typhoon can strike Taiwan as late as October, and late season typhoons tend to be strong.
November has many of the same perks as October – fewer tourists, low chance of rain, and generally pleasant weather.
I only put November in the second place because it starts to get a little cold in Taipei and the north of Taiwan, especially at night. On the plus side, it is extremely rare for a typhoon to strike in November.
November is the start of autumn foliage viewing and silvergrass season in Taiwan. It’s also the start of hot spring season, but minus the big crowds of December.
In April, spring and warm weather finally return to Taipei and the north of Taiwan, while the south can already be hot.
April is one of the less rainy months of the year, too, as the spring Plum Rainy Season doesn’t come until May.
With winter cherry blossom season and Chinese New Year holiday finished, April is once again less crowded. You can see a lovely display of calla lilies in Yangmingshan National Park in May.
The first weekend of April, usually a 4-day long weekend, is the unofficial music weekend in Taiwan. Some big ones that usually happen on this weekend include Spring Wave, Megaport, East Wave, and Organik.
October, November, and April are not the only “good” months to visit Taiwan. Several other months also have many pros and few cons.
December has long been the most popular month of the year to visit Taiwan in terms of tourist arrival numbers.
Visitors especially from nearby Asian countries flock to Taiwan at this time to see the NYE fireworks at Taipei 101, Christmas events, hot springs, autumn foliage, and strawberry picking.
December is the start of winter in Taiwan. It’s not as cold as January or February, but you’ll definitely need to dress warm for Taipei and the north. On the plus side, the chance of rain is just as low as in October and November.
Big crowds is the main downside of visiting Taiwan in December. The weekend of NYE, especially when it’s a 3-day long weekend, is one of the busiest weekends of the year in Taiwan, so book your accommodations and trains early!
January, February, and March
January and February are the coldest months of the year in Taiwan, while March is only slightly better. Taipei in particular tends to be bleak, with cold humidity that gets under your skin.
On the plus side, hot springs are great to visit when it’s cold. Cherry blossoms start blooming in late January, but the best displays of them are in February and March. Some people come to Taiwan in January or February specifically to see snow in the high mountains.
Lunar New Year, the biggest holiday of the year for locals, is not a good time to visit Taiwan. The 7 to 10-day holiday usually takes place from late-January to late-February. Many things in Taipei and other major cities close at this time, hotels fill up around the country, highways have traffic jams, train tickets are hard to get, and flights can be more expensive due to so many Taiwanese flying home from abroad.
On the other hand, the Lantern Festival, on the 15th day of the lunar new year, is one of the most impressive festivals of the year in Taiwan, so try to come for that instead!
The Worst Months to Visit Taiwan
While every month has its own pros and cons, the following months have bigger cons than others.
There’s only one reason you’ll probably want to avoid Taiwan in May, but it’s a big one. It’s called the “Plum Rain Season”. This mini-monsoon brings never ending grays skies and rains for weeks on end.
The timing of the Plum Rain season varies by year, but it usually starts sometime in May in the north of Taiwan and then works its way south into June.
Yes, the tourist crowds will be low in May, but personally I’d rather have clear skies with more people.
If you must visit Taiwan in May, not all hope is lost. There are several interesting events in May – find more info in my guide to visiting Taiwan in May.
June has two strikes against it. Visit Taiwan in early June and the Plum Rains will still be pouring. Come in mid- to late-June, and the oppressive summer heat will have already begun. The extreme heat and humidity often results in late afternoon showers.
On the plus side, June is less busy than July and August, and typhoons never strike as early as June.
Dragon Boat Festival is one interesting activity that takes place in June.
July & August
July and August are the hottest months of the year in Taiwan. Expect temperatures in the mid-30s Celsius every day. The intense humidity makes it feel even worse. Going outside in the mid-day can feel like torture.
July and August are also the start of typhoon season in Taiwan. Anything from zero to half a dozen typhoons strike Taiwan every year. If one strikes during your visit, it will bring extremely heavy rain and wind. There may be a stay-at-home order for 1-2 days, so you might lose a day or two of your trip. It’s also dangerous to visit high mountain areas during typhoons.
However, July and August are NOT a “rainy season”. They are actually the sunniest months of the year in Taiwan, in terms of the total hours of sunshine per day. Besides typhoons, which are relatively rare, most of the rain will come as very short but intense downpours in the late afternoon, often for less than an hour.
Summer also has moderate crowds due to students being off school and holidays in other countries. Taiwanese flock to beaches and the offshore islands in summer.
September is not much different than July and August in Taiwan. It’s still extremely hot, humid, with the possibility of typhoons and late afternoon showers.
On the plus side, September sees far fewer tourists than July or August. So if you have the choice, visiting Taiwan is September is definitely better than July or August. If you don’t mind the hot and humid weather (plus the risk of typhoon), then September is actually a great month to visit Taiwan for this reason alone.
The Mid Autumn (Moon) Festival usually falls in September. It doesn’t have anything special for visitors, beside eating moon cakes, but watch out for domestic crowds if it results in a 3-day long weekend.
When to Visit Taiwan: Conclusion
If you have total flexibility, choose when to go to Taiwan based on your personal interests.
Choose autumn for low crowds, balmy weather, hiking, fall foliage viewing, and low chance of rain.
If you mainly want to do flower viewing, hot springs, or try to see snow, go for winter, but just mind the holiday dates.
For the best music festivals and good weather, choose April, but try to avoid May and June due to the Plum Rains.
Last but not least, expect intense heat, humidity, sun & rain, and the possibility of typhoons messing up your travel plans if you come in summer.