Songzhi Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
As Taipei's most upscale shopping quarter, the Xinyi Commercial District (信義商圈) offers endless hours of fun and adventure for visitors. It's hard to keep track of just how many malls are here as new ones have been springing up at breakneck pace since the opening of Taipei 101(台北101) in 2004. The rapid development comes as no surprise, as the allure of the world's second tallest building has brought a massive increase in tourism to this area. Unlike many other metropolises in the world, it's hard to pinpoint the true downtown of Taipei. However, with the beacon that Taipei 101 has become and the skyscrapers and malls that have gathered in its spectacular shadow, it's no wonder that the Xinyi Commercial District of Taipei is now known as the unofficial downtown of the city. Also noteworthy is Taipei City Hall, which sits to the west of the main shopping core.
A mainstay of the Taiwan shopping scene, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (新光三越) has a commanding presence here, occupying four separate buildings northeast of Taipei 101. This Japanese-Taiwanese department store partnership houses top designer brands from around the world, including Gucci, Chanel, and Coach as well as homegrown Taiwanese boutique shops. In addition, an abundance of tastes from around the world are on hand at the various food courts within. Or a visit to the recently opened Bellavita Mall is sure to impress with its extravagantly designed interior that will make you believe you've landed in a royal court of Europe.
The literati will certainly be impressed by the crowds Eslite's flagship bookstore welcomes and the modernist take on shopping and eating the additional six floors present. For the younger crowds, ATT 4 Fun and Neo19 offer all the color and flair hip shoppers could want, sporting styles on the cutting edge of Asian fashion. And when some downtime from your shopping pursuits is needed, the popular Vieshow Cinemas and its 17 screens offers the newest world releases.
Not just a shopping area, Xinyi District, as it known in Chinese, is also the financial capital of Taiwan and political seat of Taipei City. The Taipei World Trade Center and some of the most important international trade shows call this district home, so it's not uncommon to see throngs of foreign business people and journalists hitting the streets during convention season. So perhaps unsurprisingly, a range of restaurants serving Western cuisine have taken up residence in these various buildings to cater to the recent internationalization of the area. Last but certainly not the least: sitting to the west of the main shopping core, Taipei City Hall is a conspicuous presence here, for as many say, whoever controls this building will soon be the next president of the country.
- For an excellent, unencumbered view of Taipei 101 and Taipei World Trade Center try the southern side of the top floors at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi's A9 building along Songshou Rd. Galleries and elegant Japanese and Taiwanese restaurants provide a nice respite in this area as well.
- Xinyi Commercial District is served by the blue line of Taipei's MRT system at Taipei City Hall Station at the north end, and a soon-to-open station along the south of the district at Taipei 101/World Trade Center on the new Xinyi Line. Numerous bus lines also service the area.