Taoyuan Airport Guide: How to Tackle TPE Like a Boss

The covered outdoor drop-off area of T2 of Taoyuan Airport, with the tops of many cars visible at the bottom, huge canopy of metal beams and glass above, some hanging shiny decorative disks, Taiwan flags along the road, and billboard advertisement for StarluxAirlines

Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) is the largest airport in Taiwan and main airport serving the capital city, Taipei.

Like any major international airport, Taoyuan Airport is sprawling and at times confusing. I’ve prepared this guide based on many years of flying in and out of TPE while living in Taiwan.

Below you’ll find answers to many common airport questions, like what to do in Taoyuan Airport, where to find food and 24-hour convenience stores, how to find the all the Hello Kitty and LEGO spots, where to sleep in the airport, what to find on each floor, how to get to the city, and other FAQs.

This guide is bible-sized – use the table of contents to jump to the info you need.

Useful Links

Taoyuan International Airport Introduction

Glass roofed entrance to Taoyuan Airport at night, with flowing red lights of a car driving up the entrance
The newer Terminal 2

Taoyuan Airport is not in Taipei but in Dayuan district of sprawling Taoyuan City. It lies about 30 kilometers (as the bird flies) west of Taipei City, or about one hour’s drive.

The airport first opened in 1979 as Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, after Taipei’s city center Songshan Airport (TSA) was getting too busy (Songshan Airport still operates mainly domestic and a limited number of international flights today).

The airport’s Terminal 1 was modelled on Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

Exterior slanted roof of Taoyuan Airport T1 with some taxis parked on the road in front
Older Terminal 1 of Taoyuan Airport (I shot this from the Skytrain between terminals)

T2 opened in 2000 and the airport was renamed Taoyuan International Airport in 2006. T1 underwent a major renovation in 2012, as did T2 in 2020. Today, T2 is the nicer and newer of the two terminals.

Prior to COVID, Taoyuan Airport was the 36th busiest airport in the world, with around 49 million passengers per year. That number dropped significantly as the country closed its borders to tourists for for 2.5 years.

In 2023, it still hadn’t fully recovered yet, with 35 million passengers per year, but in late 2023 and early 2024, the airport seems just as busy as before.

A large hall for arriving passengers at Taoyuan International Airport, with sloping white ceiling
Interior of T1 following renovations

Terminal 3, which will be the largest, is expected to open in 2026. The project is halfway finished now, with a staggering budget of US$2.3 billion (for comparison’s sake, Taipei 101 cost 1.9 billion). See the T2 design plans here.

T3 will be able to handle more passengers than the current T1 and T2 combined. It will be southwest of the current T2, between T2 and Novotel Hotel (the official airport hotel).

Service highlights in both terminals include 24-hour convenience stores, free WiFi, public artworks, a free 24-hour skytrain between terminals, cool themed waiting lounges, free wheelchairs (ask your airline when checking in), fun dining options, and MRT connections to Taipei and Taoyuan cities.

Airport Layout

A map of Taoyuan International Airport showing the locations of T1, T2, parking, roads to/from Taipei, and Airport MRT to/from Taipei
Tilted oval shape of the airport

As you can see in the above Taoyuan Airport map, the airport forms a tilted oval shape. On the top right is the older Terminal 1, with large parking lots on either side of it.

You can see the lines of the Airport MRT express (purple) and slower commuter (blue) lines heading off to Taipei City.

On the bottom left is the newer Terminal 2, also with parking lots on either side of it. Traffic from Taipei (including cars and airport buses) comes in, does a loop around both terminals, then goes out again from the bottom left.

Also note at the bottom left that only the commuter (blue) line of the Airport MRT continues to Taoyuan City, where Taoyuan High Speed Rail (HSR) station is located, for reaching other major cities in Taiwan. There is no HSR station at the airport.

Airport Concourses (red) and Skytrains (green)

In the next map, I’ve indicated the arrival and boarding gate areas of the airport in red. These are the gates where your flight will arrive or depart from. Once checking in at the airport, you can walk everywhere in red.

The airport has four concourses (A, B, C, D). On the north side, T2’s Concourse D (China Airlines) is connected to T1’s Concourse A (more China Airlines). On the south side, T2’s Concourse C (Eva Airlines) is connected to T1’s Concourse B (Cathay Pacific).

Passengers who have checked in can freely walk from the North to South concourses through either T1 or T2.

Budget at least 30 minutes to walk in a full circle (i.e. the whole red rectangle on my map), if you walk non-stop. But finding the way can be confusing/disorienting than you might imagine. Make it a full hour if you want to walk to the end of all four concourses and back to the same spot.

One empty blue and white car of the Taoyuan Airport Skytrain looking at it from the back as it travels outside and above ground to Terminal 1, which is visible at the end of the road on the left side of the picture
Free Skytrain between terminals

Two 24-hour Skytrain or “People Mover” lines run between the two terminals, indicated in green on my map. The South Line is available to the public (non-controlled area) as well as checked in passengers (controlled area). Each train car is divided in the middle two separate the two types of passengers.

The North Line is in the departures (controlled) area only, so only passengers who have checked-in and passed through immigration can ride it.

Floor Guide

An airport space with three elevator doors and the ground and walls are painted to look like a traditional Taiwanese market scene
“Taiwan Temple Avenue” on 5th floor (South Deck) of T2

When you land at Taoyuan Airport, you’ll land at one of the gates on the second floor. After clearing immigration, getting your luggage, and passing customs, you’ll go into the Arrivals Hall (ground floor of T1 and T2).

Departing from the Airport, T1 Departures Hall is also on the ground floor.

In T2, it is on 3F. After checking in and going through immigration, you will proceed to the Departure Gates on the 3rd floor for both terminals.

Terminal 1

Taoyuan Airport T1 has 5 floors of note to passengers, as follows:

LevelNon-Controlled AreaControlled Area
B1– Under Departures Hall: Airport MRT, Food Court
– Under Arrivals Hall: Two 24-hour 7-Elevens, Bus Station
1F– Arrivals Hall (west side)
– Departures Hall (east side)
– Access to Skytrain (South Line) in hallway between Halls
2FAdmin area
– Arrival Concourses
– Skytrain (North Line near gate A7, South Line near Gate B6)
3FRestaurants– Security, Immigration
– Departure Concourses
4FVIP Lounges

Terminal 2

Taoyuan Airport T2 has 6 floors of note to passengers, as follows:

LevelNon-Controlled AreaControlled Area
B2Food Court, Airport MRT
1FArrivals Hall
2F– Arrival Concourses
– Skytrains (North Line near gate D5, South Line near Gate C6)
3F– Departures Hall
– Access to Skytrain (South Line)
– Access to 5F North Deck (near check-in counter 1) and 5F South Deck (near check-in counter 22)
Departure Concourses
4FRestaurantsRestaurants, showers, spa, massage, VIP lounges
5F– North Deck: North Airplane Observation Deck, 24-hr 7-11, quiet waiting area
– South Deck: South Airplane Observation Deck, 24-hr FamilyMart, quiet waiting area

Here’s a detailed map of every floor of the airport on the official airport site, but it’s slow and hard to use.

Taoyuan Arriving Procedure: What to Expect

A large airport arrivals hall with lots of people sitting in chairs and large sign board above showing incoming flights
Terminal 2 Arrivals Hall

Let’s say you have a flight landing at Taoyuan International Airport and you’re entering Taiwan. Here are the order of steps you can expect to go through:

  • Register for the Taiwan Lucky Draw before your trip (see next section). Also make sure to check whether you need a visa for Taiwan and make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months.
  • Before landing, fill in the Arrival Card which they will pass out on the plane (or do it online before your trip).
  • After landing, turn on your eSIM and connect to the local network (if you’ve already bought one on Airalo – see my Taiwan eSIM guide) or log in to the free WiFi at Taoyuan International Airport.
  • After getting off the plane, you may be given a form that says you do or don’t need to Asian Swine Flu (ASF) inspection. If you do have to, this will add a little more time to your arrival procedure.
  • Proceed to Immigration and line up in the line for foreign arrivals (always the longest), Taiwanese citizens, or Taiwanese residents (ARC holders). There’s also a special line for parents of young children – it’s always very short. Taiwanese citizens/residents or Singapore passport holders can also enrol for the eGates here. Note: you may pass a Duty Free shop before immigration, for you last chance to buy booze before entering – but only during opening hours (roughly 9 AM to 10 PM).
  • After clearing immigration, proceed to the conveyor belts for picking up checked-in luggage. (note: there are often police dogs here sniffing for banned items such as meat – don’t bring any in!)
  • With your luggage, proceed through Customs – just walk through the green line if you have nothing to declare or red line if you have something to declare.
A Klook and SIM card counter at Taoyuan International Airport
Counter for picking up Klook SIM cards in T2
  • You’ll then enter the Arrivals Hall, where you can find SIM card vendors (see my guide to picking up your Taiwan SIM), Klook desks (for picking up WiFi devices, SIM cards, or EasyCards that you ordered), ATMs, currency exchange booths, luggage storage lockers, luggage shipping services, and so on.
  • Also don’t forget to do the Taiwan Lucky Draw before you leave (see below).
  • If you’ve ordered a private transfer to the city, the driver will meet you in the Arrivals Hall. For taxis, just step outside to the designated taxi area. For Airport MRT to the city, take the escalators down to B2 under the Arrivals Hall (in Terminal 2) or to B1 under the Departures Hall (in Terminal 1) – just follow the signs. For bus to Taipei (24 hours), turn right and right again when you enter T2 Arrivals Hall or go to B1 below T1 Arrivals Hall.

Doing the Taiwan Lucky Draw

An orange station in an airport with two large vertical screens with the option to choose language on them, and two ipads at little counters at each one for doing the Taiwan Lucky Draw
Taiwan Lucky Draw station

As an incentive to draw tourists back after Taiwan closed its borders to tourists for 2.5 years during COVID, the government launched the Taiwan the Lucky Land Draw campaign on May 1, 2023, for a period of 2 years, until June 30, 2025.

The draw is open to all incoming non-citizens who are staying in Taiwan for 3 to 90 days, except for those on package tours.

All you have to do is register on the website 1 to 7 days before your trip and you’ll receive a code to use at the airport.

Close up of a vertical, upright iPad with the words "Taiwan Lucky Land" on it, a cute cartoon Formosan Black bear cheering, and an orange Start button.
The Formosan black bear will guide you.

When registering, you’ll need to choose the option to win an “e-ticket” (which will be an EasyCard or the similar iPass or iCash card loaded with TWD 5000) or an accommodation voucher of the same value, which can only be used if you are staying at one of these hotels.

When you exit into the Arrivals Hall, simply go to the Lucky Draw Station (watch for the orange booth to your right as you come into the hall), go to one of the tablets, enter your code, click one of the floating buttons, and the Formosan Black Bear will tell you if you won or not.

If you win, go to the Luck Prize collection counter to collect your prize. Note that the draw station is open for all incoming flights.

A service desk in an airport, with a maroon sign above that says "Taiwan the Lucky Land" and similar orange sign below it.
Lucky Draw prize collection counter

In 2023, the chances of winning were quite high (500,000 cards given away in only 8 months, with a lower number of tourists coming in). But in 2024, only 250,000 will be given away in one full year, and in 2025, only 100,000 will be given away in 6 months.

Therefore, the chances of winning are getting lower, especially as tourist numbers keep rising (and the lines are getting longer!) Also, if one year’s quota runs out, there won’t be any more that year.

But for a decent chance to win a prize with over USD150 value, I would say it’s still worth a shot!

Because you have a chance to win an EasyCard (or similar iPass/iCash) loaded with 5000, some arriving passengers are holding off on ordering their EasyCard before they arrive in Taiwan. If they don’t win, THEN they proceed to buy their EasyCard in the Airport MRT station (or any MRT station or convenience store).

Transiting at Taoyuan Airport

An escalator going up in an airport, with some beautiful, shiny, abstract art on the wall beside it
Exploring Taoyuan Airport while in transit

If you are transiting at Taoyuan International Airport, see my Taoyuan layover guide for more info than I’ll give here.

If you don’t plan to go through immigration and actually enter Taiwan, you don’t need to apply for a visa. You will arrive at one of the 2F Arrival Concourses and you will simply need to find your new gate at one of the 3F Concourses.

If you need to travel from T1 to T2 or vice versa, you can walk (around 10-20 minutes between terminals, depending on the exact gates) or you can make use of the two Skytrain lines inside departures area.

Inside terminal 1 of Taoyuan airport, with a white roof sloping down to the left, a walkway with glass railing, and shops on the right
Arriving at Terminal 1

If you want to go through immigration and enter Taiwan on your layover, you’ll need to check if you need a visa to enter Taiwan (65 countries don’t need one).

It usually takes about one hour from landing time to Arrivals Hall – I’ve done it in only 30 minutes, but that’s bu using the eGate (I’m a resident) and no check-in luggage.

Things to Do While Transiting

If you’re stuck at the airport while transiting between flights, there are still some ways to pass the time. Here are a few ideas.

Controlled Area

If you have less than 5 or 6 hours for your layover, or if your layover is in the middle of the night, then you probably won’t bother leaving the controlled area (i.e. go through immigration and enter Taiwan).

Here are some ideas for things to do in the controlled (departures) area. Keep in mind that you can walk or take the free Skytrain between terminals and access all four concourses.

Duty Free Shopping
Picture of a Saint Laurent duty free shop inside Taoyuan Airport, with some expensive purses on display on the wall and no one in it
Duty free shopping

The coolest collection of shops is around Gate C2 in T2 (AKA the Hello Kitty boarding gate). Keep in mind you can walk here from any other gate in the airport. Most shops close around 10 PM.

Shops around Gate C2 include:

Storefront of an airport Sanrio shop with Hello Kitty flying an airplane on the front
Sanrio Shop at Gate C2
  • Sanrio (Hello Kitty) Store: Cuteness overload, used to have a playground beside it, but not anymore
  • LEGO store: The only duty free one in Taiwan
  • Taoli Bookstore: With floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a huge 3.8-meter lamp
  • Everrich Liquor Store: A nicely designed liquor store with chandelier of golden wine bottles
  • Read a news release about this new collection of shops here.
A life-sized pilot made out of LEGO with a sign behind him that says Taiwan Taoyuan Airport and the LEGO symbol
Duty free LEGO store
A bookstore with a huge (3.8 meter) white lamp in the middle of it and floor to ceiling bookshelves behind it
Huge lamp and bookshelves at Taoli bookstore
Inside an airport liquor store with a large chandelier made of golden wine bottles
Cool new Everrich Liquor Store

On other concourses of T1 and T2, you can also find:

  • Famous brand names – In T1 there’s Omega, Coach, Hermes, Saint Laurent, Polo Ralph Lauren. In T2 Concourse D, there are sports-themed ones like North Face, Puma, and Adidas.
  • General Duty Free shops are on every concourse, for buying Taiwanese snack souvenirs, liquor, and so on. Most close around 10 PM.
Themed Gates

Both T1 and T2 have a variety of themed gates, but the ones in T2 are newer and especially cool. Watch for these:

A colorful brick wall with Hello Kitty and her friend with their luggage below a Hello Kitty Bus stop sign
Hello Kitty Gate (C2)
  • Concourse C in T2 has the famous Hello Kitty Gate (C2).
  • Next to it, the wood/forest-themed Wooderful Land (C1) is done by Wooderful Life, a Taiwanese wood-focused craft and DIY activity shop with locations at Huashan Creative Park (Taipei), Lihpao Theme Park (Taichung), and Pier 2 (Kaohsiung).
Gate C1 in Taoyuan Airport, decorated to look like a forest with trees and wooden benches, with some passengers sitting around waiting for their flight
Wooderful Land gate (C2)
  • Concourse D in T2 has some cool Taiwan-themed waiting lounges, including, Taroko Gorge (D4), traditional Taiwanese puppets (D7), Alishan (D8), and Orchid Island (D9).
A collage of 4 images of gates at Taoyuan International Airport, each one themed on a region of Taiwan
Alishan, Taroko Gorge, Shifen Old Street, and Orchid Island themed gates
  • In T1, both concourses (A & B) have themed gates but they are older and not as exciting. Most of T1’s waiting lounges are separate rooms that you have to walks down stairs into.
Some colorful artistic designs on the wall in a waiting lounger in Taoyuan Airport T1, with the gate number B8 on the wall
“Textile art” themed gate in T1
Two pictures side by side of the same bottle of beer, with Mandarin words on it and the English words "Taoyuan Airport Limited" and "Session IPA" on an orange label, pic on left is a hand holding up the beer, pic on the right is close up of the label
Taoyuan Airport has its own branded beer!
  • Restaurants: There’s a small food court (roughly 8 AM to 9 PM) on 4F of T1, where there are also showers and VIP lounges. Every concourse also has at least one restaurant. See the “where to eat at Taoyuan Airport” section below for my most recommended ones.
  • Get airport drunk: Sunmai (a Taiwanese craft beer brand) on Concourse B (but only a short walk from Concourse C) is open till around 9 PM. Some restaurants also serve liquor – most close around 10 or 11 PM. Watch for the beer made specifically for Taoyuan International Airport.
  • After around 11 PM, your only option will be vending machines (Taiwan cash only).
Other Cool Things to Do
Close up of a red and black Virtual Reality (VR) station, with screen, headphones, and instructions
Free VR consoles
  • VR area: There’s a small virtual reality area between gates D2 and D3.
  • Libraries and E-libraries: There are several throughout the departures concourses.
  • Exercise machines: Far end of Concourse D
  • Other services like showers, spa, and blind massage on 4F of T2 terminal building (between the two concourses)
Inside of a library, with some chairs, bookshelves, and one person sitting reading at a bench
Free library
An airport phone charging station consisting of a wall of mini lockers with phone chargers in them and the words "free charging"
Free phone charging station – you can even lock them

Non-Controlled Area

Whether you’ve arrived too early for your flight or have enough time on your layover (5+ hours) to go through immigration, there are a few more things to do in the public (non-controlled) areas of Taoyuan International Airport.

Hello Kitty Check-In
A room with three fake airline check in machines themed like Hello Kitty, with cute pink bowties painted on the walls and the words "have a nice trip" with Hello Kitty holding an airplane logo
Eva Airlines’ Hello Kitty check-in counter

Probably the cutest attraction at Taoyuan Airport’s non-controlled area is the Eva Airlines Hello Kitty-themed check-in area. It’s purely decorative – you can’t actually check in here – but selfies are a must.

You’ll find the Hello Kitty check in area at the back of the T2 Departures Hall (3F), behind gates 16 and 17.

North and South Airplane Observation Decks
An airplane taking off in the sky at Taoyuan airport, with some more airplanes on the runways with green and white design and the name Eva Air on them, viewed from a passenger viewing platform
Watching an airplane taking off at Taoyuan Airport

Probably the best thing to do at Taoyuan Airport’s non-controlled side is the North and South Airplane Observation Decks on the 5F of T2.

From these two outdoor decks, you can watch planes taking off and landing at Taoyuan International Airport. Both are on 5F but they are not connected and are accessed from different ends of the huge Departures Hall (3F).

Terminal 2’s two 24-hr convenience stores are located on the 5F near these observation decks.

Statues of Formosan black bears carrying luggage at Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan
Formosan black bear statues on the Northern Airport Observation Deck

The better one is the North Deck, from where you can see all the way to the sea, including Zhuwei Fish Harbor’s Rainbow Bridge and some coastal wind turbines.

It also has some cute Formosan black bear statues. Inside, the 5F is the most chill (non-controlled) area of the airport to hang out.

Looking down on a LEGO model of an airport runway
Lego model of Taoyuan Airport on the Southern Observation Deck area
A long horizontal board covered in LEGO pieces, with some of them formed into a whale shape, and four slow wooden stools in front of it
Free children’s LEGO play area

The North side 5F has It has a 24-hour 7-Eleven, a few restaurants, a super cool LEGO model of the entire airport, plus a small station where kids can play with LEGOs.

You can find an elevator and escalator up to the 5F North Deck from the far northern end of the 3F Departures Hall, near check-in counter 1.

Some artworks on a large wooden deck connected to an airport, with some airplanes visible on the runway below
South Airplane Observation Deck

The 5F South Airplane Observation Deck also has a good view of the airplane runways and a few artworks outside.

Inside, it also has a very chill waiting area with 24-hour FamilyMart, Cho Capsule Hotel (see more info below), shower rooms (buy a small towel at FamilyMart if you need it), and a few restaurants.

Note that both airplane observation decks are open from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM. A security guard may ask to check your luggage before you go out. The indoor areas of 5F (including convenience store and lots of chairs for seating) are open 24 hours.

Public Artworks
Looking up at the expansive ceiling of an airport, with many beams and panels, and some large hanging black and white abstract artworks
Hanging artworks in T2 Departures Hall (3F)

There are some beautiful public artworks throughout Taoyuan International Airport, in both the controlled and non-controlled sides of both terminals.

The airport’s official site has a list of major artworks if you’re interested to learn more about them. There are more than what you’ll see listed.

One more I want to point out is the replica of the two Taiwan post mailboxes which were famously tilted due to the force of the wind during Typhoon Soudelor (2015) in Taipei city. You’ll see these in T2 Arrivals Hall in front of Imei store – it’s to the right when you arrive into the hall.

Two taiwanese mailboxes (one red, one green) tilting to the left side, inside an airport
Watch for the famous tilting mailboxes (from a strong typhoon)
24-hour convenience stores
An airport 7-11 shot from the front with many products visible
24-hr 7-Eleven in T2

T1 has two 24-hour 7-Elevens on B1 (below the Arrivals Hall). These are relatively small 7-11s, but you can still find plenty of snacks, drinks, and other things in them.

T2 has a bigger 24-hour 7-Eleven (5F North Lounge, access: elevator/escalator beside check-in counter 1 in 3F Departures Hall) and 24-hour FamilyMart (5F South Lounge, elevator/escalator beside check-in counter 1 in 3F Departures Hall). All of these have snacks, meals, liquor, daily essentials, etc.

Food Courts and other Restaurants

Each terminal has a food court with better (and cheaper) variety of foods than in the airport’s controlled areas.

In T1, the food court is at B1 under the Departures Hall. In T2, it is at B2, under the Arrivals Hall. A few restaurants in both may open as early as 6 AM. T2’s food court has a 24-hour McDonalds.

T2 has more restaurants and cafés on 4F, such as Mos Burger and Starbucks.

Free layover Tours

The front of Longshan Temple with some large hanging red lanterns
Visit Longshan Temple, Taipei’s most famous temple, on a free tour

If you have a 7 to 24-hour layover at Taoyuan Airport, the airport offers free half-day layover tours to Taoyuan or Taipei city.

These are a great option because you don’t have to stress about the details or getting back to the airport on time. Plus, free!!!

The tours last from 4 to 4.5 hours. Here are the different tours and their relevant details. As I write this, there’s a morning tour (8:00 to 12:30), afternoon tour (1:30 to 5:30), and an evening tour (6:00 to 10:30 PM).

Of course, you’ll need to be back at the airport in time to check in for your flight (they suggest 2.5 hours before your flight).

Sleeping in the Airport

If you are just transiting at Taoyuan International Airport, your two options will be to find a cozy spot to rest of pay for a VIP lounge.

Sleeping Spots (controlled area)

A large metallic butterfly statue with plants around it in an airport
Chill out in the “Butterfly Garden” (Gate A4)

There are many waiting lounges with a variety of reclining chairs or soft benches suitable for laying down. In T1, the central area (between the two concourses) has the best options, as many of the departure gate waiting areas are not so comfortable.

There are prayer rooms next to the Butterfly Garden (statues, not real butterflies) around Gate A4. There are also showers at 4F, which is also where the VIP lounges are located.

In T2, try the cute themed gates on Concourse C (including the Hello Kitty gate at C2!). Alternatively, the gates on Concourse D may be quieter. Most of them have comfortable chairs or benches. Head to 4F for free showers and VIP lounges.

The airport is very safe and quiet (as far as airports go) for sleeping, but it does get cold at night due to strong AC. Bring a blanket or sleeping bag if you can. You may get woken up by security in the morning.

VIP Lounges

A sign that says VIP Lounge and is pointing to a room with soft chairs to the right
There are several VIP lounges in both terminals

The VIP lounges are mainly on 4F of either terminal. You can book Plaza Premium Lounge here (either terminal). Some airlines, like Starlux, China Airlines, Thai Airways, and Cathay Pacific, have their own.

Sleeping Spots (non-controlled area)

A soft, green, double-sided bench in an airport waiting room
Soft benches at T1 Arrivals Area

On the non-controlled (public) side of the airport, there aren’t many great sleeping spots. In T1, I saw only a few green soft benches in a little waiting area in the Arrivals Hall next to Subway and Hsin Tung Yang (a famous dried meat shop).

In T2, your best option is going up to the North or South Decks on 5F. Each of them has a 24-hour convenience store and many chairs at tables.

The chairs aren’t the comfiest, but you could rest with your head on the table. These are the quietest waiting areas in the non-controlled area of the airport.

The 5F South Lounge also has Cho Capsule Hotel (see below), but this needs to be reserved well in advance and is often full.

Airport Hotels

The front of a very Japanese-looking capsule hotel inside and airport, with the name Cho on the front window in green
Cho Capsule Hotel in T2

Cho Capsule Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda) is the only hotel that is really inside the Taoyuan Airport. It’s on 5F of T2 (non-controlled area), near the 24-hr FamilyMart and South Airplane Observation Deck.

Take the escalator or elevator beside check-in counter 22 in the 3F Departures Hall to find it. Advance reservation is necessary and it’s often fully booked for weeks in advance.

A hotel room with two beds with white sheets, a few chairs, blue painting on the wall, and a view of airplanes on the runway outside the window
Rooms with runway views

The airport’s official hotel, Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (see on Booking / Agoda) is a short drive (or one stop on the Airport MRT to “Airport Hotel” stop).

This is a 4-star hotel with spa, pool, children’s playcenter, and rooms overlooking the runways.

For cheaper options near the airport, see my guide to the best hotels around Taoyuan Airport.

Where to Eat in the Airport

As can be expected, there are tons of place to eat at Taoyuan International Airport. Options will be more limited at night but there are still a few.

To find all the possible eating options and their locations in the airport, click here, select “Dining”, then filter by terminal and departure area, arrival area (controlled areas) or non-controlled area.

Terminal 1

An airport food court, with people sitting and eating and a luggage cart in the foreground
T1 Food Court at B1

In the non-controlled area, most dining options are in the B1 Food Court, which is below the Departures Hall. Take the same escalators which go down to the Airport MRT.

Options in the food court include ramen, fresh juice, Korean food, Southeast Asian food, and of course Taiwanese food. Most open around 10 AM to 9 PM. There’s a bakery from 5 AM and Burger King from 5:30.

After checking in at T1, passengers take escalators up to the 3F. The 3F also has a few restaurants before security, including a Mos Burger (7 AM to 6 PM), Hanlin Tea Room, Hakka Restaurant, and Starbucks.

Looking down a long wall painted with taiwan 7-11 characters and red lanterns, leading to a 7-11 at the end
24-hour 7-Eleven under the Arrivals Hall of T1

Also at B1 but on the other side of the airport (take escalators down from the Arrivals Hall), there are two 24-hour 7-Elevens (on either side of the bus station), which sell a variety of snacks, small meals, and drinks (including alcohol).

In the controlled area (after going through immigration), T1 Departures only has about half a dozen food options, including fried chicken and a few cafés, spread out on both concourses. Most open around 6 AM and close around 9 to 11 PM. For better options, walk or ride the Skytrain to T2.

The main highlight in T1 departures area is Sunmai Bar (Taiwanese craft beer), open from 6 AM to 9 PM. It’s near Gate B7 on the south side of the terminal and not a far walk from Concourse C in Terminal 2.

Terminal 2

A food court with information desk in the middle with some decorative symbols of Taiwan like Taipei 101
T2’s Food Court is at B2

In T2, there’s a Food Court at B2 – take the escalators down from the Arrivals Hall. There’s a 24-hour McDonalds, while options like curry, Taiwanese food, ramen, Korean, open anywhere from 7 to 11 AM and close around 9 to 10 PM. Try Xiao Nan Men, a famous Taiwanese douhua (tofu pudding) and braised pork rice chain.

On the ground floor (where you will arrive), Imei has a few packaged cookies and sandwiches – turn right after you come out, and watch for the famous tilted mailboxes in front of it.

The 1F also has a small dim sim place called Chengmeng (C’est Bon Cafe, see pic below).

An airport restaurant counter with sign above
The only restaurant on the ground floor of T2 where you will arrive

For more food options, take the escalators up to 4F (one floor above the huge Departures Hall, and looking down on it). There you’ll find a Starbucks, Mos Burger, Burger King, ramen, and more.

Last but not least, there are two 24-hour convenience stores on the 5F of T2, near the North and South Airplane Observation Decks.

A convenience store drink fridge with rows of different beers
Cheap beer selection at 24-hour FamilyMart on 5F

To access the North Deck, take the elevator or escalator near check-in gate 1 of the 3F Departures Hall. There you’ll find a Starbucks, a few restaurants, and a 24-hour 7-Eleven.

To access the South Deck, take the elevator or escalator near check-in gate 22 of the 3F Departures Hall. It has a few restaurants and a 24-hour FamilyMart.

Some neon green cactus statues with an airport waiting area and 7-Eleven in background
5F waiting area with restaurants and 24-hr 7-Eleven

In the controlled area, T2 Departures has around two dozen restaurants to choose from, with overall better options and variety than T1 Departures. Some of these are in the concourses while the highest concentration are on 4F – watch for the escalators going up as soon as you pass through immigration.

On 4F, highlights include:

  • Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles: A Michelin-rated beef noodle shop in Taipei
  • Chun Shui Tang: the chain whose Taichung branch invented bubble tea
  • Xiao Nan Men: tofu pudding and braised pork rice
Close up of a large bowl of stew with cabbage, tofu, mushrooms, and cilantro, and a deep fried fish head on the side
Famous fish head soup from Chiayi featured on Netflix, also available at the airport

In the concourse (gate boarding) areas, you may want to seek out:

Visiting Taoyuan or Taipei on Your Layover

To visit the city during your stopover, you’ll need to make sure you have visa-free entry or a valid visa for Taiwan. Your passport will also need to be valid for at least six months.

The absolute minimum layover time I recommend for leaving the airport is six hours. Even with that, you won’t have time to see much, so 7+ hours is better.

A group of people in silhouette at the bottom standing before a huge glass wall, which is the side of a large water tank, with hundred of fish, rays, and sharks swimming around in it
Xpark Aquarium in Taoyuan

If your time is short, consider visiting Taoyuan city instead of Taipei. You can ride the Airport MRT to Taoyuan HSR station in only 20 minutes. There, you can go shopping at Gloria Outlets or visit Xpark Aquarium. Learn more in my Taoyuan city guide.

To visit Taipei city, that will be a 35 to 50-minute (commuter/express) ride on the Airport MRT to reach Taipei Main Station. Every second one is express.

In my Taipei layover guide, I give recommendations for what you can see and do in Taipei if you have a 6- to 12-hour layover. Also see my guide to spending 24 hours, 2 days, or 3 days in Taipei.

Looking down the narrow aisle of a night market with lots of signs and people, just as it's starting to get dark out
Ningxia is the closest night market to Taipei Main Station

When checking in for your flight to Taoyuan, make sure to confirm whether you’ll need to pick up your luggage during your stopover or not. If you do need to, you can store it in a locker during your stopover (see below).

Make sure to come back to the airport in time for your departure flight. If you need to check in for the next flight, I find that two hours before your flight is enough, but some people prefer a safer and more relaxing 3 hours.

If you already have a boarding pass for your next flight, you’ll only need to go through security and immigration to re-enter, so 90 minutes is sufficient.

Storing Luggage at the Airport

A set of white luggage lockers in an airport
Luggage storage lockers at the airport

If you plan to visit the city during your layover, you may want to store your luggage at the airport. There are luggage storage lockers in both terminals. You can store luggage in them for up to 3 days.

In T1, you’ll find these at the back (southwest corner) of 1F Departures Hall, near the hallway which leads to the Arrivals Hall.

In T2, you’ll find these in 1F Arrivals Hall, in the hallways on the north or south side. When I last visited, the south ones were not working, so use the ones on the north – turn right after you enter the Arrivals hall, then right again down the hallways towards the bus station.

A Pelican Express Baggage Storage and Packing center
Pelican Express luggage storage and delivery

To use these lockers, you’ll need either Taiwanese cash or an EasyCard with a positive balance. You can pre-order a loaded EasyCard for pickup when you arrive, with option to add a SIM card.

Both terminals also have longer storage and luggage shipping options at Pelican Express luggage services. In T1, find it at the northeast corner of the Departures Hall. In T2, find it in the hallway on the south side of the Arrivals Hall or at the front (street side) of the Departures Hall.

Taoyuan Airport Transportation

Here’s more info about the Airport Skytrain and options for getting to the city.

Skytrain Between Terminals

Looking up at a small skytrain running on an overhead track between terminals at Taoyuan Airport, with barbed wire fence below
The free Skytrain between terminals

There are two free 24-hour Skytrains or “people movers” (North and South line) between terminals 1 and 2 of Taoyuan International Airport.

The North Line is in the controlled area, so only passengers who have checked in can use it. It connects Concourse A (near gate A7) of T1 to Concourse D (near gate D5) of T2.

The South Line can be accessed from both non-controlled (public) areas and controlled (after check-in) areas of the airport. It’s the same train, but with divider in the middle to separate the public from checked-in passengers.

For the non-controlled areas, access it from the 3F Departures Hall of T2 (around gates 22 to 26) or from the hallway between Arrivals and Departures on the south side of 1F of T1.

The Skytrains come every 2 to 6 minutes. From midnight to 5 AM, you have to push a button to make it come.

Getting to Taipei

Large luggage storage racks on the Taoyuan Airport MRT
Taoyuan Airport MRT with luggage racks

There are multiple options for getting to Taipei, with many things to know about each of them, so it’s best if you click over to my guide to getting to Taipei from Taoyuan Airport.

To summarize the options here:

  1. The Airport MRT is the fastest and easiest way. It runs from 6 AM to midnight (search times here), costs TWD 150 per adult, takes 35 minutes (express Purple Line) or 50 minutes (commuter Blue Line). Each terminal has a station at B1 (below Departures Hall in T1 and below Arrivals Hall in T2). You can pay in cash or swipe an EasyCard. You can order an EasyCard for pickup on Arrival, buy one in the station with cash, or buy one from EZFly counter (at entrance to Airport MRT station) with credit card. The Airport MRT arrives here in Taipei.
  2. There are 24-hour buses from either terminal to Taipei. The ride takes 1 hour and costs TWD 135 per adult. Departures are limited in the middle of the night (search the times here). The bus will arrive here beside Taipei Main Station. T1’s bus station is at B1 under the Arrivals Hall. T2’s bus station is on the 1F – after exiting into the Arrivals Hall, turn right, walk to end, turn right and follow hallway to the end. Buy a ticket in cash from the Kuo Kuang ticket window before boarding.
  3. Taxis are available 24-hours outside of either terminal. They are safe and will use a meter. The price to Taipei ranges from TWD 1200 to 1400 for a normal sized car, or more for a van. It’s best to show your destination address in Mandarin.
  4. Private transfers such as this are usually a little cheaper (1000 to 1200). The driver watch your flight arrival time and meet you at the airport. A child seat can be requested.
  5. You could also rent a car from the airport (try here). However, I recommend exploring Taipei by MRT and then stating your car rental once you leave Taipei, such as from taichung or Hualien. Read my guide to renting a car in Taiwan.
Kuo Kuang Bus Company ticket window at Taoyuan Airport bus station
Buy your bus ticket to Taipei from the Kuo Kuang Bus Window (#7 in T1, #2 in T2)

Getting to Taoyuan City

A large covered escalator and staircase leads into the Taoyuan Airport MRT station
Taoyuan HSR station in Taoyuan City (for getting quickly to other cities in Taiwan)

Taoyuan International Airport is in Taoyuan city, but this “city” is a sprawling area with different urban centers.

These include Zhongli (which has Taoyuan High Speed Rail Station and Airport MRT Line) and Taoyuan city center (which has the regular TRA train station but no Airport MRT).

Many travelers ride the Airport MRT (commuter Blue Line) to Taoyuan HSR station (20 minutes, opposite direction from Taipei) for visiting Gloria Outlets (right beside the station) or Xpark Aquarium (10 minutes walk from station).

View from above looking down and many street food vendors in Zhongli Night Market
Zhongli Night Market is the closest night market to Taoyuan Airport

Others ride to Taoyuan HSR station to transfer to the High Speed Rail for getting to other cities in Taiwan. The MRT and HSR stations are connected.

You can also ride the Airport MRT to Laojie River station (the last stop) for getting to Zhongli Night Market, one of the best night markets in Taiwan.

If you need to go from the airport to Zhongli Station or Taoyuan Station on the regular (TRA) train lines, it’s best to take a taxi from the airport (about 20 minutes).

None of Taoyuan’s TRA train stations are on the Airport MRT line. If you are planning to ride the TRA train as soon as arriving in Taiwan, either take a taxi to one of those stations or ride the Airport MRT to Taipei Main Station and catch your train there.

FAQs about Taoyuan International Airport

A decoration that looks like Taipei 101 on a wall inside Taoyuan Airport, with signs of various famous brand name duty free stores beside it
Taipei 101 in Taoyuan Airport

Here are some more commonly asked questions about Taoyuan Airport.

How long does it take to get through the airport?

Depending on many factors, the average time it takes passengers to get through the airport is about 60 to 90 minutes.

It have gotten through the airport in only 30 minutes, but this is with no Asian Swine Flu inspection, using the eGate (I’m a resident), no check-in luggage, and no SIM or EasyCard to pick up.

If you’re a regular visitor, have check-in luggage, and need to pick up some things like SIM card, EasyCard, and cash in the Arrivals Hall, then expect the whole arrival process to take 90 minutes or more.

Does the airport have free WiFi?

Yes, both controlled and non-controlled areas of the airport have free WiFi. There are also plenty of chargers throughout airport.

Are any vaccinations needed for entering Taiwan?

None are required, but some are recommended. Even at the height of the pandemic, COVID vaccines were never a requirement for entering Taiwan.

Depending on where you are flying in from, you may have to undergo Asian Swine Flu inspection when arriving at Taoyuan Airport. You’ll be given a card when you land. There’s nothing you need to do to prepare for it.

You have to walk through heat scanners when arriving, so if you’re running a fever, you may be stopped and tested.

Are there free wheelchairs and strollers in the airport?

Three folded up but upright wheelchairs in an airport
Wheelchairs at Taoyuan Airport

Yes, there are free wheelchairs for use upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport. It is advised to inform your airline when checking in that you’ll need one upon arrival, so they can prepare it for you when you get off the plane.

If you want to rent a wheelchair for your trip for use outside the airport, contact Duofu (多扶) at 886-2-8663-9398 (within Taiwan 02-8663-9398) or via their website (Mandarin only).

Taoyuan Airport does not have free strollers for use, so bring your own if you need one. If you want to rent strollers, baby carriers, or baby beds for your trip, you can try any of these: Ecomami, AOK, Didibao, or Lotsofbaby.

Also see my guide to visiting Taipei and Taiwan with kids.

Where can I get an EasyCard at Taoyuan Airport?

An EasyCard kiosk at Taoyuan Airport MRT station
EZFly Counter at Taoyuan Airport MRT station

Don’t forget you might win an EasyCard in the Taiwan Lucky Draw on arrival.

If you pre-order your EasyCard, you can pick it up in the Arrivals Hall. The exact opening times and pick up locations with map and indicated in the “package details” after you select the card.

If you proceed to the Airport MRT station, there are three ways to buy your EasyCard there: from the EZfly counter at the entrance to the station (TWD 300 card available, the only place that takes credit card), from the machine in the station (TWD 500 card available), or from the MRT station service counter (can put any amount).

For cutely designed EasyCards, buy them at 7-Eleven or FamilyMart in the airport or anywhere in Taiwan.

Are there any playgrounds in the airport?

There used to be a couple, but last time I visited, unfortunately it seemed like the last one was closed and I didn’t see any new ones.

On the non-controlled side (before checking in), I recommend taking your kids to the 5F North Airplane Observation Deck in T2 (access from 3F Departures Hall beside check-in counter 1). Besides watching planes taking off, there’s a free LEGO playing area.

On the controlled side, you can check out the Sanrio (Hello Kitty) store at gate (C2), free VR center (D2), or one of the free libraries.

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