What to Do in Tamsui, Taipei

What to Do in Tamsui, Taipei

For people in the city, it is a good place for weekends and holidays.

Tamsui(淡水) is one of the must-visit attractions for tourists to Taipei.

In addition to the delicious street food in Tamsui Old Street, Tamsui has a rich history and many must-see historical sites.

Today we will tell you what to do in Tamsui so that you can easily plan a day trip to Tamsui.

*Cover image credit: @tamsuihistoricalmuseum

How to Get There

Take MRT Red Line (Tamsui -Xinyi Line) to Tamsui Station [R28], Exit No.1 and you will get there.

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What to Do in Tamsui

#1 Eat your way through the Tamsui old street

There are plenty of delicious street snacks along the Tamsui Old Street, you must try these foods when coming here:


A-gei is a popular food in Tamsui, it is steamed hollow tofu stuffed with cellophane noodles and sealed off with fish paste, which is Tamsui’s iconic food and can be found everywhere in Tamsui.

Three famous stores are providing delicious A-gei: Original A-gei(老牌阿給), Wenhua A-gei(文化阿給), and Three Sisters A-gei(三姊妹阿給), each store has its feature and follower.

Original A-gei(老牌阿給)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$40 ($1.4)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-1785
  • Hours:Tue 05:00~13:30 | Wed – Sun 05:00~14:00 | Mon Closed

Wenhua A-gei(文化阿給)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$40 ($1.4)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-3004
  • Hours:Mon – Fri 06:30~18:30 | Sat – Sun 18:30~19:30

Three Sisters A-gei(三姊妹阿給)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$40 ($1.4)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-8072
  • Hours:Mon – Sun 06:00~17:30

Shrimp Roll(蝦捲)

Shrimp roll is one of the most renowned traditional local snacks in Taiwan, it is made from fish paste, shrimps, ground pork, celery, cabbage, green onions, and were wrapped up with pig peritoneum to a roll shape, then deep fry it until golden crispy outside and tender inside.

Don’t forget to spread shrimp rolls with sweet chili sauce, make it more flavorful.

A Xiang Shrimp Roll(阿香蝦捲)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$15 ($0.5)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2623-3042
  • Hours:Mon – Sun 10:30~19:00

Fried Quail Eggs with Larval Fish(魩仔魚烤鳥蛋)

Fried Quail Eggs is a simple Taiwanese snack but delicious, using takoyaki style pan to fried quail eggs and stuffed with larval fishes, the good taste would let you want to order one more skewer.

A Xiang Fried Quail Eggs with Larval Fish(阿香魩仔魚烤鳥蛋)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$25 ($0.85)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 910-448-966
  • Hours:Tue – Sun 12:00~20:00 | Mon Closed

Fish Ball(魚丸)

Fish Balls are one of the popular delicacies in Asia, Tamsui’s Keko Fish Balls is a well-known shop with a history of 40 years, the fish balls are made from shark meat and Mahimahi, so the texture is firm and chewy.

Besides fish balls, the homemade Bao is also popular, many people have come to the bowl of fish ball soup and bao, which has become a classic match for customers.

Keko Fish Ball(可口魚丸)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$45 ($1.5)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2623-3579
  • Hours:Mon – Sat 07:00~20:00 | Sun 07:00~19:00

Iron Egg(鐵蛋)

Iron Egg is a specialty snacks originated from Tamsui, the skin of eggs are black that just like the iron because the egg has been repeatedly braised in soy sauce and air-dried.

The texture is chewy and a little sweet and salty, you can try it.

Ti Hua Master Iron Egg(醍醐大師鐵蛋)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$100 ($3.4)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2625-9867
  • Hours:Mon – Sun 10:00~22:00

Fish Cracker(魚酥)

Fish Cracker is made from fresh fish paste and deep fry it to golden on the outside, the crispy texture makes you can’t stop to eat, it is suitable to be the beer snacks or souvenir.

Hsu Yi Fish Cracker(許義魚酥)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$100 ($3.4)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-1414
  • Hours:Mon – Sun 07:00~18:00

Tower Ice Cream(巨無霸冰淇淋

The last one you can’t miss Tower Ice Cream, you can have a long and tall ice cream cone at a cheap price, but you better eat fast before it melts. 

Tower Ice Cream(巨無霸冰淇淋)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$25 ($0.85)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 8631-7588
  • Hours:Mon – Fri 10:00~21:00 | Sat 10:00~23:00 | Sun 10:00~22:00

#2 Explore historic buildings

There have been many large and small historical events in Tamsui, and these historical events have also left the footprints.

Fort San Domingo(紅毛城)

Established by Spanish in 1629, Fort San Domingo has a history of more than 300 years.

It is now a national monument and one of the oldest buildings in Taiwan.  

It records the ruled history of Taiwan, there are 9 national flags flying outside the building that symbolize this island had ever been ruled by 9 countries.

Next to the Fort San Domingo, you will see an elegant red brick building which is Former British Consular Residence.

Since the Qing Dynasty leased Fort Santo Domingo to the British as a consulate, the British government built this Bungalow style building to accommodate their families.

The castle-like red brick fort and the western consulate are very distinctive.

Here you can also watch the amazing views and enjoy the beauty of the sunset in the afternoon.

Fort San Domingo(紅毛城)

  • Admission Fee:NT$80 ($2.7)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2623-1001
  • Hours:Mon – Fri 09:30~17:00 | Sat – Sun 09:30~18:00

Hobe Fort(滬尾礮臺)

The Hobe Fort was built by Qing Dynasty first governor Liu Mingchuan for defense Taiwan’s coastal after the Sino-French War.

It was finished in 1888 and has located at the highest point in Tamsui for more than a century.

Although the fort has never involved in any battles, you still can learn about history by old buildings and displays.

Hobe Fort(滬尾礮臺)

  • Admission Fee:NT$80 ($2.7)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2629-5390
  • Hours:Mon – Fri 09:30~17:00 | Sat – Sun 09:30~18:00

Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence(小白宮)

After the Qing dynasty lost the Second Opium War, Taiwan was forced to open the ports for foreign trade, so the government built the Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence in 1869 for foreign officers.

The residence is a white building with colonial style, is also nicknamed Little White House.

The house comes with a courtyard and magnificent view, so it is a peaceful place to escape the crowded Tamsui Old Street.

Tamsui Customs Officers’ Residence(小白宮)

  • Admission Fee:NT$80 ($2.7)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2628-2865
  • Hours:Mon – Fri 09:30~17:00 | Sat – Sun 09:30~18:00

Skip the line with YOUR online ticket!

You can go to Fort San Domingo, Hobe Fort, and Customs Officers’ Residence with a same one ticket!
Buy tickets online ahead of time, although these tickets are usually sold at the same price as regular tickets, you can spend your time doing something else instead of waiting in ticket-buying line!

#3 Take a ferry to Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf

When you come to Tamsui, you should take the ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf. 

The most famous in Fisherman’s Wharf is the Lover’s Bridge, a romantic white bridge always draws many people coming for sunset, night view, and take a picture.

Now you can book tickets online to avoid the long queue, and you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of this harbor town from the ferry.

Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf(淡水漁人碼頭)

#4 Learn about George Leslie MacKay

100 years ago, Canada Reverend George Leslie MacKay traveled to Tamsui for medical missions. 

He established church, school, and hospital to help local people.

Come to these places so that you can learn more about this hero.

Huwei Mackay Hospital(滬尾偕醫館)

The Hobe MacKay Hospital is the first western-style hospital in northern Taiwan.

Mackay spent his life in this hospital, the hospital still remains the medical equipment and operating table he used, so you can learn more about Mackay ’s story that he saved countless lives.

Huwei Mackay Hospital(滬尾偕醫館)

  • Admission Fee:Free
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-4043
  • Hours:Mon – Fri Closed | Sat 11:00~17:00 | Sun 13:00~17:00

Tamsui Presbyterian Church(淡水禮拜堂)

The church next to the Hobe Mackay Hospital is the place where Mackay once preached in Tamsui. 

The Tamsui Presbyterian Church with a gothic bell tower has a very beautiful appearance and the atmosphere around here just like coming to Europe.

Tamsui Presbyterian Church(淡水禮拜堂)

Reverend Mackay’s Residence(馬偕故居/馬偕紀念館)

The residence is an elegant Spanish style white bungalow with round arches that was designed and built by Mackay himself in 1875.  

Here is a place that Mackay started his family and devoted to his missionary life until he passed away in 1901.

Reverend Mackay’s Residence(馬偕故居/馬偕紀念館)

  • Admission Fee:Free
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-2121
  • Hours:Mon Closed | Tue – Sun 10:00~12:00 / 13:00~16:00

Oxford College(牛津學院)

The Oxford School was found by Mackay in 1882, is a first western school in Taiwan.

The school has a traditional Chinese architectural style and was an important place for training missionaries, medical and educational personnel at that time.

Oxford College(牛津學院)

  • Admission Fee:Free
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-2121
  • Hours:Sun – Mon Closed | Tue – Sat 10:00~12:00 / 13:00~16:00

#5 Watch the sunset from the riverfront

The best thing to do in Tamsui is to find a place to sit near the riverside and enjoy the stunning sunset, here are some recommended place you can go.

LB Café(淡水長堤)

LB Café is a popular place own indoor and outdoor seating, the speciality for LB Café is the outdoor seating area on the second floor where you can own gorgeous river views.

LB Café(淡水長堤 )

  • Avg. Cost:NT$450 ($15)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2622-2652
  • Hours:Mon – Sun 11:00~24:00

Water Front Restaurant(榕堤水灣)

Water Front Restaurant is a romantic restaurant with villa style, you can relax and enjoy the sunset with a cup of drink.

Water Front Restaurant(榕堤水灣)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$980 ($33)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2629-0052
  • Hours:Mon – Fri 12:00~21:30 | Sat – Sun 11:30~21:30

La Vie Rêvée Des Anges Cafe(天使熱愛的生活)

It’s hidden in an inconspicuous location and no obvious signboard, If you don’t look carefully, it’s hard to find it is a coffee shop.

There is only a two-seat downstairs, but when you go upstairs, the ambiance of outdoor seating is so comfortable and good to relax.

La Vie Rêvée Des Anges Cafe(天使熱愛的生活)

  • Avg. Cost:NT$150 ($5)
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 8631-2928
  • Hours:Mon – Fri 14:00~24:00 | Sat 13:00~02:00 | Sun 13:00~24:00

#6 Stroll through the Tamsui Customs Wharf

The Tamsui Customs Wharf was established by the Qing Dynasty in 1861, it was one of the important commercial ports in Taiwan.  

Today, there still remains a western-style building and two red-brick warehouses, both are used for art exhibitions.

In addition, there is also a good place to enjoy the sunset.

Tamsui Customs Wharf(淡水海關碼頭)

  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2621-2830
  • Hours:Mon – Sun 09:30~19:30

#7 Admire the Cloud Gate Theater

The Cloud Gate Theatre is the headquarter of Taiwan’s renowned dance group: Cloud Gate Dance group.

They reconstructed this theatre after a fire destroyed the previous theater’s studio.

The spectacular theatre can capacity a 450 seat indoor and a 1,500 person outdoor seat.

Cloud Gate Theater(雲門 Cloud Gate)

  • Admission Fee:Free
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2629-8558
  • Hours:Mon Closed | Tue – Sun 10:00~17:00

#8 Visit Drop of Water Memorial Hall

The Drop of Water Memorial Hall is a Japanese wooden house that miraculously survived in the earthquake.

Since Taiwan has ever experienced a severe earthquake, Japan decided to donate the whole house to Taiwan which symbolize strong bonds between Taiwan and Japan.

Drop of Water Memorial Hall(一滴水紀念館)

  • Admission Fee:Free
  • Get Location
  • Tel:+886 2 2626-3350
  • Hours:Mon Closed | Tue – Sun 09:00~16:30

What Else Fun near Tamsui


Bali is a district opposite of Tamsui, there are fewer people than Tamsui but also fun here, you can enjoy beautiful river views, taste seafood, and ride the bike along the riverbank, you can take a ferry from Tamsui to here.

Get Location


There is nothing better than soaking in the hot spring during the cold weather or after a tired of trip, not only can relieve the fatigue, relax body and mind but also some hot springs have the benefits for the skin.

Fortunately in Taipei also have a place to take hot springs, Beitou is the most famous area for hot springs, add it to your last destination before leaving Taiwan, for eliminating your tired body and mind after getting around Taiwan.


I hope you enjoyed reading this post, in this post, you’ve known what to do in Tamsui, tell me which one you prefer, and what you would like to try first?

Finally, If you still have any questions on your trip to Tamsui, please leave in the comments below, I will be more than happy to help you out:)

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