[Where to Go Tonight] Gongguan Commercial District
Text and Photos: Vision
Taipei’s bustling Gongguan Commercial District is close to the campuses of National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University. The area offers fun, arts, music, and food all-in-one, the vibrant atmosphere of this part of the city attracting many young people and foreign visitors. Here, the coming together of an old Taipei settlement and modern art can be witnessed, and live performances of jazz, rock, punk, house, and other music styles can be enjoyed at various venues. Lazy evenings can be spent in the cafés and eateries, where excellent, reasonably priced food is served. Vigorous and vibrant Gongguan Commercial District is one of the best places to experience the charm of Taipei by night.
Treasure Hill Artist Village (寶藏巖國際藝術村)
Treasure Hill is a historic settlement spread out over a hill slope in the rear of the main Gongguan area adjacent to the Xindian River. It is now home to artists as well as ordinary residents. At present, the artists-in-residence village has 14 artist studios, a rehearsal room, exhibition rooms, and an outdoor performance space. The outdoor art installations take on a different charm when illuminated at night.
Add: No. 2, Aly. 14, Ln. 230, Sec. 3, Tingzhou Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2364-5313
Hours: 11am ~ 9pm; 1F Village Café 11am~11pm (closed Mon.)
Museum of Drinking Water (自來水博物館)
Originally a waterworks pumping facility, built in 1908, this museum displays pumps, electric gauges, and other equipment. The building’s exterior features a mix of ancient Greek, Roman, and Baroque architectural influences. An air of romance is added to the exterior when it is illuminated at night, making the place popular with avid photographers.
Add: No. 1, Siyuan St., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 8369-5104
Hours: June to August, 9am ~ 8pm, September to May, 9am ~ 6pm (closed Mon.)
Music and Art
The Wall Music
Located in the basement of a building on the periphery of the Gongguan Commercial District, this indie-music live house has a performance space, rehearsal room for bands, record shop, and bar. Besides being a venue for international bands, it also plays an important role in the nurturing of Taiwanese bands and in promoting live music.
Add: B1, No. 200, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2930-0162
Hours: 3pm ~ 11pm
Riverside Music Café
This is the godfather of live music performance venues in Taipei. Located between the Taipei Metro’s Gongguan and Taipower stations, this café has been the venue for over 8,000 live performances by local and foreign bands. Besides music performances, art lectures are also staged here. This is a great place to relax, enjoy live music, and learn about the arts.
Add: B1, No. 2, Ln. 244, Sec. 3, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2368-7310
Hours: 7pm ~ 0:30am
Kafka by the Sea
Coffee, snacks, and drinks can be enjoyed here, and there is also an independent bookshop and independent-label record shop. Arts events, unplugged music performances, and free exhibitions are regularly held. Travelers can soak up the artistic atmosphere while enjoying relaxing music.
Add: 2F, No. 2, Ln. 244, Sec. 3, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2364-1996
Hours: Mon. ~ Thu. 11:30am ~ 10:30pm, Fri. ~ Sun. 12 noon ~ 12 midnight
Restaurants & Cafés
This café’s meals are all highly creative, as well as substantial. A great example is the whopping 38cm-long Streetlight 38 Hotdog Burger. As for coffee, selected fresh beans are expertly roasted on-site. Have a sip and you will appreciate the seriousness with which the proprietors regard the food and drink they serve.
Add: No. 19, Aly. 10, Ln. 244, Sec. 3, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2367-7272
Hours: 11am ~ 11pm
AGCT is a clothes brand created by two designers. After jointly staging events with many friends in the food-service business and arts community, they decided to set aside part of their studio to share with others. Snacks and drinks are served. In the evenings, the Taipei alley night scene can be viewed through the single-pane windows.
Add: No. 2-2, Ln. 49, Wenzhou St., Da’an District, Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2369-6659
Hours: 12 noon ~ 10:30pm
Hidden down along an alley, with a white main door and simple interior design, Picnic is a suitable place to hide away alone in a corner and relax. Italian coffee, tea, and fresh-squeezed juice are served; as for food, handmade quiche, scones, salads, and other snacks and desserts are offered.
Add: No. 75, Wenzhou St., Da’an District, Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2368-7798
Hours: Mon. ~ Fri. 1pm~11:30pm, Sat. ~ Sun. 12 noon ~ 11:30pm
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Experience the Charm of Taipei by Night