Taipei 101: Reach for the sky

The Taipei 101 skyscraper was completed in 2004 and remained the world’s highest building, at a height of 508 metres, until it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. It offers visitors magnificent views over Taipei and the surrounding area.

It has 101 floors, hence its name, with both an indoor and outdoor observatory (open weather permitting). The two high-speed elevators whisk their visitors up to the Observatory on the 89th floor in 37 seconds at a speed of 60 m/sec. You will also see one of the three enormous wind-vibration dampers that weigh over 600 metric tonnes and reduce the sway of the building from wind. A film showing the story of Taipei 101 is shown every 15 minutes in the theatre on the 91st floor.

Shops at the Observatory sell coral and gold jewellery along with other goods, and there is also a café serving drinks and snacks. Various souvenir photograph services are available as well as powerful binoculars to enhance the view.

Two restaurants can be found on the 85th floor, with one offering traditional Taiwanese cuisine and the other serving Chinese and Japanese food. There is also the top-class Ding Xian restaurant on the 86th floor providing an haute-cuisine menu.

The entrance to the tower can be found on the fifth floor of the Taipei 101 Shopping Mall, which also has good shopping. The Tower is open daily from 10am to 10pm (last entry at 9:15pm) and is well served by buses from all around the city. There is also a shuttle service operating between the tower and the MRT metro station, City Hall.