Getting from Taoyuan Airport to Ximending (or Ximending to Taoyuan Airport)

Arrows showing how to travel from Ximending to Taoyuan Airport or Taoyuan Airport to Ximending

Two of the most common questions in my Taiwan Travel Planning group are “How do I get from Taoyuan Airport to Ximending?” and “How do I get from Ximending to Taoyuan Airport?”

It only makes sense, as Ximending (or Ximen) is one of the cheapest and most popular neighborhoods to stay in Taipei, especially for first-timers in Taiwan.

Taoyuan International Airport, or Taipei Airport (TPE), is the main international airport servicing Taipei. It is located west of Taipei City in Taoyuan City. Don’t confuse it with the smaller Songshan Airport (TSA) in the Taipei city center, which has fewer international flights.

Luckily, Taipei Airport to Ximending this is not a complicated route. There are a few options, though, depending on the time of your flight and how much you want to spend. By public transportation, you’ll need to transfer at Taipei Main Station, as there is no direct bus from Taoyuan Airport to Ximending.

Also see my guide to traveling from Taoyuan Airport to other places in Taipei and how to find low-cost flights to Taiwan.

How to Get from Taoyuan Airport to Ximending

The below tables show the three main options for getting from Taoyuan Airport to Ximending. The first one is essential to book. For the other two, buying a ticket in advance will just give you a little discount.

Continue reading below for all the details about each one.

Klook Private Transfer

Close up of a driver's arms while holding the steering wheel on a private transfer from the airport to the city

✔️ Fastest
✔️ Easiest
✔️ Cheaper than taxi
✔️ Directly to Ximending
🚫 More $ than MRT or bus

Airport MRT

Two Taoyuan Airport MRTs passing each other on tracks before a tunnel, one is blue and one is purple

✔️ Easy, convenient
✔️ Cheap
✔️ Can swipe EasyCard
🚫 Need to transfer at Taipei Main Station
🚫 Not 24 hours

Airport Bus

Bus 1819 parked at Taoyuan Airport, with a sign that says 5 and Taipei Main Station

✔️ Cheapest
✔️ WiFi and A/C
✔️ 24 hours
🚫 Need to transfer at Taipei Main Station
🚫 Longer walk to Ximending

By Taxi or Private Vehicle

Close up of a driver's arms while holding the steering wheel on a private transfer from the airport to the city

Taking a taxi or private vehicle is the fastest and easiest way to get from Taoyuan Airport to Ximending. However, it’s only a little faster than taking the Airport MRT, but costs much more. Even with three people, taking a taxi will cost more than twice as much as three MRT tickets.

I recommend arranging a private vehicle on Klook from the Airport to your hotel in Ximending. The cost is usually a little lower than a taxi. Another plus is that you can know the price and pay for it online before you get there. The price will depend on the time of day.

Expect to pay TWD 1000 to 1200 to Ximending. There is an option to add a child seat if you need it. If you ask a hotel in Ximending to arrange this for you, they will charge arounf 1400.

If you have more people or lots of luggage, a van will cost more. It should be around 1400 to 1600 to Ximending.

A man and woman getting into a yellow taxi at the airport.

To take a regular yellow taxi from the airport to Ximending, just walk out the front door of the arrival hall and you’ll see the taxi queue.

The driving time from Taoyuan Airport to Ximen is about one hour and usually costs around TWD 1200 to 1400. The cost can be impacted by traffic, time of day, and how long it takes.

If you have more than three adults and/or lots of luggage, you’ll need to wait for a taxi van, which will cost something like TWD 1500 to 1800.

You can also rent a car at Taoyuan International Airport. I recommend Klook because it searches multiple local providers at once. You can request a child seat and select different drop off locations across Taiwan.

However, please note that most hotels in Ximending don’t have parking. I actually recommend getting out of Taipei by public transportation first, then starting your car rental outside of the city.

For solo travelers, you can ride in a private vehicle for a lower price with this shared transfer deal.

By Airport MRT

Two Taoyuan Airport MRTs passing each other on tracks before a tunnel, one is blue and one is purple
Taoyuan Airport MRT (image by Adlersson is licensed under CC By 4.0

The Taoyuan Airport MRT is the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Taoyuan International Airport to Ximending. It is relatively new (opened 2017), never too busy, and has lots of space for luggage.

From Terminal 2 (A13) to Taipei Main Station (A1), the ride is 39 or 53 minutes (every second train is express) and costs 150 TWD (children under 6 are free). You can see the MRT times here.

From Terminal 1 (A12) to Taipei Main Station (A1), the ride is 36 or 50 minutes and costs the same.

A map of the stations on the Taoyuan Airport MRT to Taipei
You’ll be going from A13 or A12 to A1. The purple line is the express train (every second one).

The first Airport MRT departs T2 at 6:04 AM (and T1 at 6:07 AM) and arrives at Taipei Main Station at 6:57 AM.

The last Airport MRT departs T2 at 11:35 PM (and T1 at 11:37 PM) and arrives at Taipei Main Station at 12:25 AM.

Usually, it takes about one hour to get through Taoyuan International Airport. This means that if your flight arrives anytime between 5 AM and 10:30 PM, you should have no problem to take the Airport MRT.

If you have any issue at the airport or many flights arrive at the same time, it could take longer to get through the airport.

A long hall with slanting white ceiling in Taoyuan International Airport
Arriving at T1 of Taoyuan International Airport

When you arrive at the airport, after you collect your luggage and exit into the arrivals hall, just follow the signs to the Airport MRT. Both T1 and T2 Arrival Halls are on the 1st (ground) floor. Go to the front and take the escalator or elevator down to the MRT station.

In the Airport MRT station, you can pay for a single ride token using cash only (no credit card). Scan the token on the sensor to enter the station. When you arrive at Taipei Main Station, you’ll need to deposit the token into the slot to exit the station.

Even better is to buy an EasyCard from the machine or ticket window (also cash only). You can also purchase an EasyCard online for pickup when you arrive at the airport (note the opening times for pick up).

An EasyCard costs TWD 100 (non-refundable deposit), plus you need to load some money onto it. The Klook deal comes with the choice to add 200 or 400, so the total will be 300 or 500. Go for the larger amount, since you will be using this for all your MRT rides in Taipei and other cities in Taiwan.

Kids under 6 ride the Taoyuan and Taipei MRT free, while kids age 6 to 12 can buy a “Concessionaire Card”, only available from the station ticket window. It’s almost the same as an adult card, but only has some tiny discounts when transferring from one type of transportation to another.

You can also buy your Airport MRT tickets online to get a small discount.

Swipe your card to enter the station. Make sure you catch the MRT in the direction of Taipei – it also goes in the opposite direction to Taoyuan City.

When you arrive at Taipei Main Station, you will need to swipe the card again to exit the station. Taipei Main Station is huge. You will arrive at this spot, which is to the west of the main train station building.

Use GoogleMaps to check how far it is to walk from that spot to your hotel in Ximending. It could be anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes walking time. If you are able to walk that far with your luggage, just take the escalator or elevator up to the street and walk to your hotel.

If that is too far for you, consider to just take a taxi from the station to your hotel. It will only take a few minutes and the cost will be around TWD 100.

A row of spots for swiping in to an MRT station in Taipei, with little green arrows denoting where to go in.
Swipe your EasyCard to enter any MRT station.

You can also ride the Taipei MRT from Taipei Main Station to Ximending Station. However, this will take almost as long as just walking to your hotel, because it takes a while to transfer to the Taipei MRT.

To do this, when you arrive at Taipei Main Station on the Airport MRT, don’t go up to the street. Just follow the signs and underground tunnels to Taipei MRT’s “Bannan Line” (Blue Line or 板南線). Taipei Main Station Blue Line is also called BL 12.

Signs in Taipei Main Station for the Bannan Blue MRT Line
Follow signs for Bannan Blue Line

Because the Airport MRT is run by Taoyuan City and the Taipei MRT is run by Taipei City, you will need to first swipe out of the Airport MRT station, walk about five minutes through underground tunnels, then swipe in to the Taipei MRT station.

Then, keep following the signs to the Bannan (Blue) line. When you finally get to the blue line platform, make sure to get on the train going in the direction of Dingpu. Ride it one stop to Ximending station (BL 11).

Ximending has six exits. The most common one is exit 6, which goes directly to the famous pedestrian shopping district. Exits 4 and 6 have elevators.

You can check the map at the station to see which exit is closest to your hotel. Note that on these maps, north is not always at the top.  

When riding the MRT or in any MRT station, no eating or gum chewing is allowed, don’t talk loudly, dark blue seats are for the needy, and always stand on the right side of escalators (the left side is for walking).

Also read: How to Buy Train Tickets in Taiwan

By Airport Bus

Bus 1819 parked at Taoyuan Airport, with a sign that says 5 and Taipei Main Station

Bus 1961 is the only direct bus from Taoyuan Airport to Ximending, but it only runs 3 times per day and is a little slow (1 hour 10 minutes).

If you can’t catch one of those, then the best options is the Airport bus to Taipei Main Station.

The Airport bus is a little slower than the Airport MRT. It takes about one hour to reach Taipei Main Station. It is also a little less convenient for going to Ximending, because the bus station where you arrive in Taipei is a little further away from Ximending than the Airport MRT station.

The bus is a little cheaper than the Airport MRT. It is TWD 135 per adult, or TWD 15 cheaper than the Airport MRT. Children aged 0-3 are free, while ages 3-12 are half price. You can book your ticket online, but it’s only possible to book return tickets, so you have to tide the bus both ways.

The main reason to take the Airport bus is if your flight arrives later than 10:30 PM or earlier than 5 AM, and you don’t want to spend the money on a taxi.

During COVID, the Airport bus stopped running in the middle of the night, but now it’s back again.

The Taoyuan Aiport Bus is run by Kuo Kuang bus company. It is Bus #1819. To see the times, click this link, then click “timetable”, and “To Kuo Kuang Motor Transportation Taipei Station” to see the departure times from Taoyuan Airport T2. If you’re getting on at T1 (the second stop), just add a couple minutes to the times.

When you arrive at Taoyuan airport and exit into the Arrivals Hall, follow the signs to “bus station”. You’ll need to go down some escalators, at both T1 and T2.

If you didn’t buy a ticket online, you can buy it from one of the ticket windows. The buses are comfortable, have free WiFi, A/C, and lots of luggage storage room. There are no toilets on the bus.

The bus will arrive at the Kuo Kuang Bus Station at Taipei Main Station. This is farther away from Ximending than the Airport MRT Station. You will need to walk 20 to 30 minutes to your hotel in Ximending or take a taxi (TWD 100 to 110).

If you’re arriving at Taipei Main Station from around 6 AM to midnight, when the MRT is running, you can take the MRT to Ximending. This is not a bad choice, since you’ll be passing by the MRT station anyways if you walk to Ximending. However, it’s not good to take large luggage on the MRT during rush hour.

To take the MRT, when you arrive at the bus station, go outside and turn right around the corner to find Exit M1, or walk into any door of the large train station building, go downstairs, then follow the signs underground to Taipei MRT Bannan Line. Taipei Main Station is a huge maze, so I can’t even try to give directions, but just follow the signs and you will get there!

As I described in the last section, you’ll need to swipe an EasyCard or buy a single ride with cash to enter the MRT station. Follow the signs to the platform for the Blue Line, get on the one heading toward Dingpu, and ride it one stop to Ximending station.

How to Get from Ximending to Taoyuan Airport

Going from Ximending back to Taipei Airport, all the instructions I described above are the same, but in reverse.

By Taxi or Private Vehicle

Arranging a private vehicle back to the airport can be a very nice way to end your trip. It will be stress-free and you won’t have to worry about hauling all your luggage, souvenirs, and Taiwanese snacks you bought onto the MRT or bus.  

You may also choose this if you flight departs later than about 2:30 AM, or earlier than about 8:30 AM. For 2:30 to 8:30 AM departures, the Airport MRT won’t get you there on time. The Airport bus will, but it’s less convenient.

Most hotels in Ximending can arrange a taxi to the airport for you. If you have a very early or late departure, it’s better if the hotel has a 24-hour front desk for this option, just in case the taxi they order doesn’t show up.

It’s also very easy to flag any taxi on the street in Ximending. Just go to any main road, at any time of day or night, and you won’t have to wait long. Available taxis have a little red light in the front window.

However, not every taxi will be willing to go to the airport, some taxis are a little dirty, and this won’t be a great option if you have a lot of luggage.

Uber is yet another option for going to the airport. Ubers in Taipei are generally very nice and clean, but their prices will go up at peak times.

You can also try this shared transfer deal from Ximending to Taoyuan Airport.

By Airport MRT

As I described above, you can walk to Taipei Main Station Airport MRT station in 10 to 20 minutes from most hotels in Ximending.

The first MRT to the airport departs Taipei Main Station at 6:00 AM and arrives at the airport at 6:36 AM / 6:39 AM (T1 / T2).

The last MRT to the airport departs Taipei Main Station at 11:36 PM and arrives at the airport at 12: 25 AM / 12:27 AM (T1 / T2). Both cost TWD 150 per person, and under 6 is free. See the times here. You can book your ticket online here or swipe EasyCard.

Arriving two hours early is enough for departing flights at Taoyuan International Airport. So if your flight is departing from 8:30 AM or later, or before 2:30 AM, you will be fine.

Arriving at the airport MRT station, you can take the escalators or elevator up to the Departure Hall on the 3rd floor.

By Airport Bus

As I mentioned above, there’s no direct bus from Ximending to Taoyuan International Airport.

You’ll need to walk to Kuo Kuang Bus Station, which is 20 to 30 minutes from most hotels in Ximending. In the daytime or evening, you can ride the MRT one stop to Taipei Main Station.

Budget around 15 minutes to find your way from the MRT station to the Kuo Kuang Bus Station, and a little time to buy your ticket, too. You can buy also your ticket online in advance.  

The ride to the airport takes around one hour and the ticket costs TWD 135. You can see the bus times here. Click “Timetable” then see them times under “To Taoyuan Airport Terminal 2”. If you’re going to Terminal 1, the times are the same, and the bus will stop at T1 first.

I only recommend taking the bus to the airport if you have a flight departing between 2:30 AM and 8:30 AM, when the Airport MRT isn’t running, and you don’t want to spend the money on a taxi or private vehicle from Ximending.

Other Tips for Travel Between Ximen and Taoyuan

  • Few hotels in Ximending allow early check in. You’ll have to pay for an extra night or wait until check-in time (usually 2 to 4 PM).
  • If you need to store your luggage until check in time, ask your hotel if they will take it. There are also many luggage storage lockers in Taipei Main Station – try the ground floor and B1 of the main train station building. The price is TWD 20 to 70 per 3 hours, depending on the size (largest size is 90 X 90 X 40 inches).
  • If you need to check out from your hotel but your flight isn’t until late at night, you can self check in your luggage at Taipei Main Station’s Airport MRT station, but only for certain airlines. The luggage will be sent to the airport for you.
  • You can only do this from 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM for flights departing that day. You’ll need to do self-check in first online and check the luggage in at least three hours before your flight. Only hard case luggage is allowed.
  • Airlines that currently do this are Eva Air (see guidelines), China Airlines (see guidelines and video), Cathay Pacific, Air Asia, Starlux, and domestic carriers Mandarin Airline and Uni Air.

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