Cost of Living in Taiwan

April 20 , 2021 by: Amanda Goh

As compared to other metropolitan cities in South East Asia such as Singapore and Hong Kong, Taiwan is relatively affordable. That being said, this also depends on where you decide to reside in and what lifestyle you choose to lead.

Despite Taiwan being small, costs may differ widely depending on which area you live in. For example, the cost of living in Taipei is definitely higher than Kaohsiung.

Read on to find out more about the cost of living in Taiwan.

Matsu Islands on Pixabay

Accommodation in Taiwan

Most of the housing in Taiwan is expensive and small, with only basic amenities provided. As mentioned, depending on where you decide to reside in will also cause housing prices to differ. The closer you are to the city centre, the more expensive apartment rents get.

In Taipei, the cost of a small one-bedroom studio may cost up NT10,000 ($350 USD) a month. However, at this price, the apartment may be old and cramped. You should set aside between NT14,000 to NT16,000 a month for rent towards a comfier apartment. If you are looking for comfort, you should be ready to pay up to NT30,000 a month for rent.

Taipei, Taiwan on Pixabay

Transport in Taiwan

Travelling around Taiwan is easy and efficient with the Taipei Metro. The Taipei MRT is known to be one of the world’s best subway systems, covering almost the entire city. Other than the MRT, you can also take the bus to get around the city.

Taiwan’s public transport system is fairly affordable. The MRT typically costs NT20 ($0.67 USD) per trip. You can also save even more by getting a Taipei pass that offers discounts when taking the public transport.

As mentioned, public transport in Taiwan is reliable and affordable — both locals and expats tend to make us of their public transport than getting a car. This is also because owning a car is expensive due to high insurance costs and parking fees.

Alternatively, you can also get a motorcycle or a bicycle which allows you a quick and easy way to get around.

Healthcare in Taiwan

Taiwan’s healthcare system is affordable for locals and expats alike. They are well-equipped with quality and up to date technology and doctors. Whether you decide to go for private or public hospitals, you can be assured that you will receive high quality medical care.

In Taiwan, it is legally required that employers subsidise the health insurance of their employees. Regardless of whether you are an expat employee or a local employee, everyone receives the same benefits in terms of healthcare.

Regardless, it is important to have medical insurance. This will help subsidise any other costs where medical assistance is needed.


Taipei market by Markus Winkler on Pixabay

Food in Taiwan

Taiwan has multiple day and night markets offering cheap food and produce. Local day markets tend to offer large amounts of affordable fruits and vegetables for you to purchase

There are also many options to choose from if you decide to eat out. Taiwan offers a range of restaurants from affordable to expensive. Taiwan’s local food is often healthy and cheap too. On an average, meals cost around NT120 ($4 USD) for regular restaurants.

However, alcohol is relatively expensive in Taiwan. As they do not have a drinking culture, alcohol may cost more.

Overall, the cost of living in Taiwan is low and affordable if you are planning to reside here on a budget. As mentioned, the cost of living will depend on your lifestyle and where you reside. With a relatively lower cost of living, it is enough to get by on a budget.

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