What Will be Open in Taipei During Lunar New Year 2024?

Locals celebrating Chinese New Year in Taipei with a dragon dance, with lots of kids reaching up to try to touch the dragon as it goes by

If you’re planning to visit Taipei during Chinese New Year, you’ve probably heard that many things will be closed and that it’s not the best time of the year to visit.

While it’s true that Taipei can feel a bit like a ghost town at this time, there will be more places open and things to do than you might imagine. What’s more, it’s a great time to see cherry blossoms!

In this article, I’m going to cover exactly which days places will be open or closed this Chinese New year, and on which days, including popular attractions, night markets, restaurants, department stores, and convenience stores.

Chinese New Year 2024 Holiday Dates

In 2024, Chinese New Year’s Eve will be on Friday, February 9. Chinese New Year’s Day will be on Saturday, February 10.

The official national holiday will be from Thursday, February 8 to Wednesday, February 14.

Here’s a table of the days of the holiday and what to expect for each of them.

Wed Feb 7Still a working day and everything will be open. People will start to leave the city, especially in the evening.
Thurs Feb 8First official holiday day, but most things still open. More people leaving the city.
Fri Feb 9New Year’s Eve. Taipei will be dead as most people are with their families in their hometowns. Most things will be closed.
Sat Feb 10New Year’s Day. Taipei will be dead as most people are still with their families in the hometowns. Most things remain closed, but a few major attractions will open.
Sun Feb 11New Year’s Day 2. Taipei will remain quiet as most people are visiting their matrilineal family on this day. More things will be open than the last two days.
Mon Feb 12 to Wed Feb 14New Year’s Day 3-5. Taipei will gradually return to normal, with more and more things opening.

Best Days to Travel

Based on the information in the above table, I suggest that you avoid doing any major travel out of the city on Feb 7 to 9 and 12 to 14. On those days, highways will be traffic jams and hotels/train tickets will be sold out. Stick to the city (I’ll introduce places below) or short day trips from the city by bus or local train.

On the other hand, if you want to go far out of the city, February 10 and 11 will be perfect days for traveling. Most Taiwanese will be at home eating and drinking with their families on those two days.

When Will Attractions Be Open/Closed?

Now let’s get down to some specific places and cover when they will be open or closed during the Lunar New Year Holiday.

For any attractions that I don’t mention below, it’s best to check their holiday hours on their website, GoogleMaps, or contact them directly to ask.

Taipei 101

Looking out the 89F windows at Taipei 101 Observatory and mountains and houses, with a neon light outline of Taipei 101 on the wall between windows

Like most department stores in the city, Taipei 101 Shopping Center (including Taipei 101 Observatory!) will be remain open every day of Chinese New Year.

On New Year’s Eve (February 9), the Taipei 101 Shipping Center hours are usually reduced to 11 AM to 6 PM (instead of the usual 11 AM to 9:30 or 10 PM). The Taipei 101 Observatory hours will be reduced to 10 AM to 6 PM (instead of the usual 10 AM to 9 PM).

On New Year’s Day, both will go back to normal opening hours.

It’s best to double check, as these times may vary slightly each year. Book your observatory tickets here and read my guide to visiting Taipei 101.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Looking through a white gate at a large square and white and blue monument to Chiang Kai Shek in Taipei

CKS Memorial Hall is fine to visit any day of the year. The large square has public access, so you can always enter it to admire the two classical Chinese buildings (National Theater and National Concert Hall), blue and white memorial building, Liberty Arch (photo above), and ponds there.

In February, it’s even possible to see cherry blossoms around the ponds.

As for the changing of the guards ceremony, it usually takes place every day, every hour on the hour from 9 AM to 5PM, on the fourth floor of the hall (in front of the large CKS statue). However, it will not take place on NYE (Feb 9) and NYD (Feb 10) The museum inside will also take a break on these two days.

National Palace Museum

Looking through a traditional white Chinese gate at the National Palace Museum on a forested hillside

National Palace Museum usually usually closes for one day on Lunar New Year’s Eve (February 9) but opens to the public as normal on New Year’s Day (February 10).

While the museum usually closes every Monday, if the Monday is a national holiday (for example a long weekend), then it remains open. This means that it will be open with normal hours on Monday, Feb. 12, because that will be a national holiday.

Taipei Children’s Amusement Park

Two kids inside a ferris wheel car looking out from it

Similar to the previous entry, Taipei Children’s Amusement Park will be closed on New Year’s Eve (Feb. 9) and open with normal hours on other days of the holiday. That includes Monday the 12th, even though it’s usually closed on Mondays, because it will be a national holiday.

Expect normal crowds – while many families will be outside of Taipei for the holidays, some of them do still stay in Taipei and are looking for things to do. You can buy tickets online here.

Maokong Gondola and Taipei Zoo

A Taiwanese mother and her two young kids sitting inside a gondola with glass floor and sides and view of Taipei 101 in distance

Almost exactly like the previous two entries, Maokong Gondola and Taipei Zoo will usually close for one day on Lunar New Year’s Eve and remain open as normal on other days.

Likewise, even though Maokong Gondola usually closes on Mondays, it should remain open on Monday, Feb. 12 because that will be a national holiday. Taipei Zoo doesn’t close on Mondays.

Beitou Hot Spring

Some kids and families playing in outdoor hot spring baths
Spring City Resort is open every day

February weather tends to be cold and wet in Taipei (see a Taipei monthly temperature a rain chart here). Soaking in thermal hot springs is the best antidote!

Most of the hot spring spas in Beitou Hot Spring area are run by hotels, which means they are open every day of the year. I recommend Spring City Resort – save money by buying your tickets online first.

Only Beitou Public Hot Spring will close for two days: New Year’s Eve (Feb. 9) and New Year’s Day (Feb. 10).

As for other attractions in Beitou, the number of days they close for varies. For example, Beitou Hot Spring Museum and Beitou Public Library usually close NYE, NYD, and the next two days, while Thermal Valley usually closes NYE and NYD only.

Also keep in mind that most attractions in Beitou close every Monday. This year, since Monday will be Day 3 of the Lunar New Year and a national holiday, it’s not certain whether they will be open or not.

Other Things to Do During CNY in Taipei

Besides the above-mentioned attractions which will be open most days, there are many (mostly free!) things to do in Taipei during Chinese New Year.

Watch Lion & Dragon Dancing

A yellow Chinese dragon standing on a beam and three levels of people in a hotel lobby look down on it.

On New Year’s Day, you can see dragon and lion dancing at a few locations in Taipei. The best one is at Grand Hyatt Hotel (book rooms here) near Taipei 101. This usually takes places at 11 AM on Chinese New Year Day (Feb 10) and is free for the public.

It starts with firecrackers and dragon dancing in front of the hotel, then moves into the lobby for the lion dancing (above photo). This is an excellent activity for kids, and the lions usually through candies around.

Dayeh Takashimaya Department Store in Shilin also has a lion dancing event. It usually starts at 10:30 AM on the first floor.

Enjoy the Lantern Festival

Some huge colorful Taiwanese lanterns in the shape of a deer jumping through hoops and Taipei 101
Lanterns on display for Lantern Festival in Taipei City

Although the official date of Lantern Festival doesn’t come till the 15th day of the year (Feb 24 in 2024), the festivities will begin even before Lunar New Year.

The 2024 Taipei Lantern Festival will take place from February 2 to March 3. This year, it will be in Ximending (see my Ximending guide). Visit the area on any evening during those days and you can see some beautiful lanterns and decorations on display.

Because it’s the year of the dragon, there will be lots of dragon ones. Note that only some lanterns/decorations will be put up in this first two weeks – most of them will be put up from Feb. 17 to Mar. 3. The lanterns will be lit from 5 to 10 PM daily.

Note that this is not the same as the Lantern Festival National Event, which will be in Tainan in 2024. Nor is it the same as the Pingxi Mass Lantern Releases, which will be on February 17 and 24 this year.

Cherry Blossom Viewing

A branch of blooming cherry blossoms in focus, with the outline of the dome top of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall out of focus in the background, and with dark sky above
Cherry blossoms at CKS Memorial Hall in Taipei

Cherry blossoms season in Taiwan lasts from January to early April. No matter when Lunar New Year falls, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to spot cherry blossoms somewhere in or near Taipei.

To find the best spots and their usual blooming times, see my guide to cherry blossom locations in Taipei and around Taiwan.

Go Hiking

Some Taiwanese hikers standing on a stone trail on the right, with a yellow volcanic fumarole on the left just beside them
Hiking in Yangmingshan National Park

For anyone interested in hiking, there are plenty of hiking trails in and around Taipei to enjoy during Chinese New Year (besides the most famous hike in Taipei, Elephant Mountain!)

You’ll want to plan this day by day – February tends to be cold, gray, and sometimes rainy, which isn’t exactly inspiring weather for hiking. But on clear days, it can be fine enough to want to hit the trails.

Visit Temples

Close up of the side of a large gold-plated incense pot in a temple courtyard with human figures holding up its lid

Temples are one of the few places that will actually be busy on Lunar New Year Day (February 10). That’s because many Taiwanese visit their local temple on NYD to pray for prosperity and good luck in the year to come.

Longshan Temple and other popular ones will be bustling, so it’s a great time to visit them. As for other days of the holiday, temples will maintain normal opening hours.

Riding YouBikes

A row of yellow and white YouBikes parked on a sidewalk, with pedestrians walking in the distance

YouBikes don’t have holiday schedules. These public shared bikes are available around the clock every day of the year.

Before you go, make sure to read my guide to renting YouBikes in Taipei so you can learn about how to rent them with or without a Taiwan SIM card.

Shopping and Dining During LNY

Will you be able to find food during Chinese New Year? Yes, but your options will be more limited. The same thing goes for shopping. Let’s take a closer look.

Department Stores & Other Shops

Large luxury stores on the 4th floor of Taipei 101 Mall
Taipei 101 Mall

Most department stores in Taiwan stay open virtually every day of the year. Usually they will have reduced hours on Lunar New Year’s Eve and then open as normal from New Year’s Day.

In fact, to entice shoppers to spend their 紅包 (hong bao or red envelope) money and New Year’s bonuses, many department stores even offer special sales and promotions during Chinese New Year.

However, most regular stores will take one day or a few days’ break for Lunar New Year. This is especially the case for smaller, family-owned businesses, simply because they want to spend some time with their families. It will depend on the shop – some will close for the whole holiday, while some will start to open from Day 2 or 3.

Convenience Stores & Supermarkets

Exterior of a 7-Eleven in Ximending Taipei with some cute cartoon characters on it

Major convenience store chains in Taiwan like 7-Eleven and FamilyMart never close. Most branches are open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

This means that, in a worst case scenario, like you can’t find any restaurant that’s open in Taipei, you can always find something to eat or drink at a convenience store.

The same thing goes for major supermarket chains like Carrefour or Wellcome.

Night Markets and Restaurants

Looking up a night market road with vendors on the right and a few pedestrians
Shilin Night Market on a quiet day

All major night markets in Taipei are open every night of the year. These include Shilin, Raohe, Ningxia, Tonghua, Nanjichang, and Huaxi night market.

However, individual vendors in the night markets may choose to take a break for a few days. So if you visit any night market on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, you can expect it to quieter than usual, with only some of the stalls open.

The same thing goes for local restaurants and bars. Most will be closed on NYE and NYD. Then they will gradually start to reopen from Day 2 on. If you plan to eat out, it’s best to choose a restaurant first, then call before you go to find out whether they will be open.

Some international or expat-run bars or restaurants will stay open every day during Lunar New Year to cater to expats in Taiwan. For example, we’ve dined at GB Brewery (Gordon Biersch) and On Tap pub on Lunar New Year’s Day, when almost everything else seemed closed.

Traditional New Year’s Markets

A row of baker's shelves loaded with dome-shaped white cakes with red and green Chinese new year designs on them
Chinese New Year cakes for sale at Nanmen Market

For traditional daytime markets selling items for Lunar New Year, such as Dihua Street and Nanmen Market, it’s best to visit them in the 2 to 3 weeks (and especially the weekends) before Lunar New Year.

That’s when they will be packed with people, decorated with lanterns, and selling all kinds of goods and foods for Chinese New Year. During Lunar New Year, they will be dead just like everywhere else.

See my guide to Dihua Street for more info.

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