If you plan on visiting Taichung, Taiwan soon, you might be asking yourself: Should you visit the National Taichung Theater? I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, you need to buy show tickets to enjoy a theater, right? Well, yes and no. There is plenty to do in this theater without tickets. In fact, the theater should really be called a museum with a theater. You can easily spend hours inside and the admission is free. While here, you’ll get to view art exhibits, peruse unusual souvenir shops, enjoy facilities such as a play area, a cafe – and more. On my list of things to do in Taichung, the theater is very near the top. The National Taichung Theater is delightful, and you should definitely visit it if you are coming to Taichung, Taiwan.
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How Do You Get To National Taichung Theater?
If you are staying by Taichung Station, it is easy to get to the National Taichung Theater. From the station, take one of the following buses: 309 shuttle, 324, 75 or 27. Remember, you’ll need an Easy Card to take a bus in Taiwan. You can purchase and refill this card from any convenience store (such as a 7-11). The ride is about 45 minutes. If in doubt, check to google maps set for public transport option.
The most convenient area to stay in Taichung is Taichung Station. These are hotels next to the station:
- Tripadvisor – Taichung Station Hotels
- Agoda – Taichung Station Hotels
- Hotels.Com – Taichung Station Hotels
- Booking.com – Taichung Station Hotels
Also Read: The complete Taichung Travel Guide
On A Day Trip from Taipei To Taichung:
If you are taking a day trip from Taipei to Taichung, take the high-speed rail from Taipei’s Main Station to Taichung HSR Station (NOT to Taichung Railway Station). The HSR trains are twice as fast, and a better choice for a day trip. From the high-speed station, take the 161 bus directly to the theater.
How Much Time Do You Need To Visit National Taichung Theater?
The building is huge. In addition to the sheer size of the space, there is so much to do inside. Art exhibits, unique souvenir shops, an outdoor roof space, a cafe, and a restaurant will all keep you busy for hours. Even if you are not seeing a show, leave yourself at least 2 to 3 hours to explore the National Taichung Theater. The best time to visit is during midday when Taichung’s heat is at its worst. This public space is a delightful and cool refugee, and you probably will not want to rush out.
History Of The National Taichung Theater
National Taichung Theater officially opened in 2016. However, you can trace the idea for the theater back to the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in the early 20th century. Originally composed of a few scattered villages, Taichung became one city under Japanese rule. At the time, the government wanted to create a model city here. They invested heavily in infrastructure and developed the arts. As a result, Taichung was nicknamed the Kyoto of Formosa, for its beauty and art culture. It makes sense that this city, arguably the most beautiful in Taiwan would be home to the thriving opera house – the National Taichung Theater.
Things To Do in National Taichung Theater
The first floor of the National Taichung Theater is dominated by a large souvenir shop. This store is designed as an exhibit for local artists. Here you can find unique, handmade goods not available anywhere else.
The large cafe dominates the second half of the first floor.
The second floor of the National Taichung Theater hosts the Play House and the Grand Theater, where many performances take place. Even if you do not have tickets, you can walk through here to enjoy the architectural grandeur.
As you rise past the third and fourth floors (which are open for performances only) you’ll notice the impressive staircase.
The fifth floor is home to the children’s play area and the Tutu Gallery.
The Tutu gallery is a space where artists can present interactive and audiovisual work, such as this light exhibit. Entry is also free.
The fifth floor of the National Taichung Theater is also the home of the theater’s high-end restaurant – VVG Food Play. Reservations are suggested.
The open concept book store (VVG Book Play) completes the fifth floor.
From here, proceed to the sixth floor to the rooftop. This is an open air space and a garden.
Things To Bring With You
Taichung Packing List:
- Light Rainjacket (1)
- Hiking sneakers (1)
- Bikini (1 to 2)
- Cute around the city sneakers (1)
- Ballet Flats (1)
- Tank Tops (2 to 4)
- Shorts (1 to 2)
- Day time dresses (3 to 4)
- Evening dresses (3 to 4)
- Short hiking pants (1 to 2)
- Jogging Bra (1)
- Hiking Top (1)
- A Light Backpack (1)
- A cute purse big enough to fit the essentials (1)
- Sweatshirt for air-conditioned spaces (1)
Maple Gardens are located right next door to the theater. The gardens are an ideal place to stroll as the sun sets. To learn more about the Maple Gardens as well as other things to do in Taichung, check out “Things To Do in Taichung.”