Originally built as a bathhouse by the Japanese Colonial Government in 1913, today’s Beitou Hot Spring Museum was the largest bathhouse in East Asia at the time, and the first public bathhouse in Taiwan. Abandoned after World War II, it was renovated and reopened in 1998 as a museum documenting Beitou’s hot spring history and culture.
A mix of Victorian and Japanese architectural styles, the museum occupies more than 25,000 square feet (2,323 square meters) over two floors. The second floor features different exhibition areas, including exhibits on the history of the Beitou area, the reconstruction of the museum, and the importance of Beitou on Taiwanese cinema. The first floor features the original large and small baths as well as a rare piece of Hokutolite mineral weighing 1,763 pounds (800 kilograms). Don’t miss the elegant stained glass windows along the building’s arcade and the beautiful views from the second-floor balcony.
Many people combine a visit to the museum with a soak in a nearby hot spring. Tours combining a trip to Beitou with other top Taipei attractions such as Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, or the National Palace Museum are also popular.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Admission to the museum is free.
- Visitors must remove their shoes at the entrance and change into provided indoor slippers or purchase cloth slippers.
- Photos for personal use only are allowed, but tripods are not permitted.
- The corridors are very narrow and not recommended for wheelchairs or strollers.
How to Get There
The Beitou Hot Spring Museum is located in the Beitou district, about 30 minutes north of central Taipei. Take the MRT’s Red Line to Beitou Station, transfer to the Pink Line, and get off at Xinbeitou Station. The museum is located just behind Beitou Park. You can also take city bus 216, 218, 266, or S22 to the Beitou Park stop.
When to Get There
The museum is open 9am to 5pm Tuesday through Sunday, and is closed on public holidays (unless the holiday falls on a weekend, in which case the museum is open).
There are several noteworthy sights near the Beitou Hot Spring Museum. Plum Garden, formerly the summer home of famed calligrapher Yu You-ren, is a museum dedicated to his works and the history of local architecture. Farther up the hill is the Taiwan Folk Arts Museum, which features exhibits on early Taiwanese life and culture as well as Taiwanese and Japanese folk art. If you’re interested in aboriginal culture, check out the Ketagalan Cultural Center, which also features a museum dedicated to the various indigenous tribes of Taiwan, including the Ketagalan. All three museums offer free admission.