Taiwan (officially the Republic of China) is an island located in East Asia. The currency of Taiwan is called New Taiwan Dollar or NTD, the symbol is NT$ and ISO Code is TWD.
Taiwan is emerging fast as a tourist destination in Asia and attracting tourists from all over the world.
Is Taiwan expensive? Should you choose Taiwan as your next travel destination?
Compared to Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong, Taiwan is a cheaper alternative but it is more expensive than Mainland China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and many other Asian countries.
You can easily find various options in Taiwan for almost everything like food, accommodation, transport, etc catering to the travelers of every budget and making it a good choice for a travel destination. I have personally found Taiwan very safe and easy on the pocket.
In Taiwan, the local markets, small shops, stalls, night-markets accept only the local currency.
Based on my personal experience of traveling and living in Taiwan, in this post I am sharing my knowledge about the currency, money, and costs in Taiwan.
Some people may assume that the currency of Taiwan and China is the same which is not true. Chinese currency is called Renminbi or RMB.
The name of the central bank of Taiwan is ‘Central Bank of the Republic of China’.
Denominations of Coins and Notes
NT$ 1 coin is the smallest and copper-colored.
NT$ 5 coin is a little bigger than 1 NT$ coin and silver in color.
NT$ 10 coin is bigger than 1 and 5, silver in color.
NT$ 20 coin is bigger than 1,5,10 and has silver color at the center with golden edges.
NT$ 50 coin is the biggest one and golden in color.
Coins can be used to pay for Bus fare, MRT fare, entry fee at various tourist places and to buy knickknacks. It is good to carry a few coins of high denominations like NT$10, 20 and 50 with you.
Taiwanese notes come in varying colors and sizes.
NT$100 note is red in color and smallest in size.
NT$200 note is green in color.
NT$500 note is brownish in color.
NT$1000 note is blue in color.
NT$2000 note is purple in color.
Coin of denomination NT$20 and notes of denomination NT$200 and NT$2000 are very rare.
Pronunciation of currency in local language
NT$100 – Yībǎi táibì (ee-bai taae-bee)
NT$200 – Èrbǎi táibì (ar-bai taae-bee)
NT$500 – Wǔbǎi táibì (woo-bai taae-bee)
NT$1000 – Yīqiān táibì (ee che-an taae-bee)
NT$2000 – Liǎng qiān táibì (li-aang che-an taae-bee)
Some basic useful words
Money – Qián (She-en)
How much – Duōshǎo (Duh-Shaw)
Yes – Shì (Sheh)
No – Bù shì (Bu-sheh)
Taiwan is a developing economy. It offers many amenities at fairly good prices.
Using Credit Cards in Taiwan
Most of the high-end restaurants, hotel, malls, showrooms, etc accept payments through major International Cards like Visa, American Express, Master Card. It is always a good idea to inform your bank about your foreign travel if you plan to use your card.
Currency Exchange in Taiwan
US dollar can be easily exchanged at the Airport, major Banks, International hotels and authorized Money changers.
Travelers’ checks may be cashed at designated banks and authorized tourist-oriented businesses.
Exchange rates for NT$
|US (USD)||US$1||31.3848 NT$|
|UK (GBP)||UK£1||37.8760 NT$|
|Europe (EUR)||€1||35.1544 NT$|
|Australia (AUD)||A$1||21.3515 NT$|
|Canada (CAD)||1C$||23.7338 NT$|
|China (CNY)||1CNY||4.4452 NT$|
|India (INR)||INR1||0.4433 NT$|
Click here for current rates.
ATMs in Taiwan
ATMs are easily accessible and you can find these at Banks, MRT Stations, Shopping Malls, Convenience stores, etc. Money can be withdrawn using an international card which will charge you a fee.
While the majority of ATMs accept international cards, it is good to check ATM for stickers- VISA, PLUS, CIRRUS, etc.
By default, the user interface is in the local language but there is an option to change the language to English.
While withdrawing, you would be asked to choose the currency notes you want.
There is a limit of NT$20000 or NT$30000 cash withdrawal from ATM per transaction depending upon the bank.
A very good option is to get an Easy-Card from a convenience store like Family Mart and Seven- Eleven that can help you pay at multiple places without cash.
You can pay for MRT, Visiting fee at tourist places, convenience stores, UBike (Youbike), Local bus, etc using the balance in this card.
This card is as good as money but can’t be used at stalls and local night markets. You can get the refund of any balance in this card from the convenience stores.
General Idea of Various costs at Taiwan-
- Dormitory bed in Hostel Taipei NT$ 600- 1000
- Standard Double Room in Budget Hotel NT$ 1500- 2500
- Room in 4-star Hotel NT$ 3000- 10000
- Local street food NT$ 100-300
- Beverages/Snacks NT$ 50-200
- Lunch/Dinner at a restaurant NT$ 500-1000
- Meal at a top restaurant (or Special cuisine) NT$ 1000-2000
- Local Taxi tariff starts at NT$ 70-100 (different for different cities) and further NT$20 for every kilometer.
- One-day MRT pass costs NT$150. The pass can be purchased for 2, 3, 5 days for NT$310, NT$440, NT$700 respectively.
- Tickets can be purchased at MRT station, in you don’t possess EasyCard or MRT Pass. It can cost around NT$20 to NT$65 based on the distance.
Uber and Ubike (YouBike)
Uber is available in Taiwan making transportation more convenient.
UBike or YouBike is an economical option if you choose to bicycle through the city. Almost all major cities have many bike stations where you can take these using EasyCard.
Carry EasyCard and Cash
Local and City buses run in Taiwan
Carrying an EasyCard or sufficient change comes handy as often these buses have EasyCard slots and cash collection boxes. where you have to deposit the fare and waiting for change is a hassle.
How to buy a Sim Card?
You can buy a sim card at the shops when you exit the Airport. Your Passport would be required for it and would cost you around NT$300-1000 depending upon the plans and validity period.
Get VAT Refund
Foreign Travelers are eligible to claim VAT refund on ‘Tax refund eligible’ items purchased from authorized stores in Taiwan. I personally haven’t claimed it because shopping is not my priority while traveling and also because of many terms and conditions applied. If that’s not the case with you, you can get some of your money back. Details regarding this can be found HERE.
To Tip or Not to Tip!?
Tipping the drivers and staff in restaurants, hotels is not customary but you may do so if you are very happy with the services. If you choose the services of top-end hotels, then porters or other assistance may expect a tip.
The language used in Restaurant Menu & availability of Free Wi-Fi
Many restaurants in major tourists cities display their menu outside so that people can get an idea about the kind of food served and the prices beforehand. Most of the restaurants, cafes, and hotels in Taiwan provide free Wi-Fi.
Should you bargain?
Bargaining skills may come handy at the night markets, stalls or small shops but not at other places.
MRT, High-Speed Rail, Super-Markets, budget-friendly restaurants and hotels, Public facilities, Convenience stores serving 24 hours, all these add to making Taiwan a tourist-friendly place.
Local people in Taiwan are very kind and helpful.
Hope this post helps you in planning your Taiwan trip.
If this is your first trip to India you will find these posts helpful:-
- When is the best time to Visit India?
- 30 Breathtakingly Beautiful Destinations in India that you should not miss visiting!
- 15 Most Popular Festivals in India (with 2019 dates).
- Visiting India? Here’s What should tourists wear in India?
- Should you tip in India? Read when, whom & how much to tip.
- 13 tried and tested Safety Tips for Train Travel in India
- Curious about Indian Culture? Learn how to drape a perfect Saree – Step By Step Tutorial.