Taipei 101 and the Highest Starbucks in the World
It is like an obligation; to see the tallest buildings in almost every country we visit. The structures usually come with a dedicated viewing platform for the public to access that is why while most tourists are satisfied with admiring the construction from the outside, others spend cash and take the time to queue to get to the top. After all, views from above are often breathtaking.
In my recent trip to Taipei in Taiwan, I was battling with myself if I would go up the observation deck of the Taipei 101 building or not. Even after being dethroned by Burj Khalifa in 2010 as the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 remains to be popular until today. Currently, 101 floors comprise as the Tallest Green Building in the Word.
There are many options for those who are not fans of observatories, though. One of the best views of Taipei 101 is seen from the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall where visitors can also witness the changing of guards every hour. And although there is a bit of trekking required to get to the top of the Elephant Mountain, it makes all the sweat worth it. Whether it be sunrise, in the middle of the day, or sunset; the Taipei 101 tower makes an excellent backdrop for photos.
Taipei 101 is within a reasonable walking distance from the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. The stroll allowed us to take more beautiful photos than what we had right below Taipei 101 itself, to be honest.
What to see in Taipei 101
In front of the Taipei 101 building is a LOVE sign commonly found in many landmarks and tourist spots around the world.
What caught me the most, though, was the sculpture called Infinite Life by Kang Muxiang. Retired steel cables from the World's Fastest Elevator from January 2005 to May 2010 were used to make this artwork. It was coiled tightly to form a steel embryo that has been reborn from the green building.
The Highest Starbucks in the World
Many travelers or even locals do not know about this; but if you do not want to shell out money for an entrance fee to the 91st floor of Taipei 101, you can have coffee inside the Highest Starbucks in the World instead. Yes, the Highest Starbucks Coffee in the world is inside Taipei 101 in Taiwan. It is only on the 35th floor of Taipei 101, but it still offers a pretty great view up there, most especially on a bright sunny day.
How to reserve seats in Taipei 101 Starbucks
There used to be a free pass dispensed in the lobby of Taipei 101 to get to the 35th Floor. But now, a seat reservation on Starbucks Coffee at least one to two days before your visit is a must. As I was not in Taipei before my desired date, I sought help from the fantastic Oxygen Hostel staff to book a breakfast slot for me in Starbucks Coffee.
The earliest time to go is nine o’clock in the morning. It is just the perfect time to get breakfast while enjoying the gorgeous scenery. You only have to be in the lobby at least five minutes before your time slot, and there will be a crew who will guide you as you go up then give you a number to present to the barista when you order.
What to wear in Taipei 101 Starbucks
For the dress code in the Taipei 101 Starbucks, there are just a couple of things to consider. No slippers and short pants are allowed. Also, each guest should consume food and beverages amounting to a minimum of Two Hundred Taiwan Dollars (200 NTD) during your stay in the cafe. They accept EasyCard, which is a good thing if you are trying to max out your card balance. That is what I did, and it was a smooth transaction.
Even though the branch in Taipei 101 is the Highest Starbucks in the World, the menu was still typical, and the place is pretty simple. Space is smaller than the usual cafes, but they try to accommodate as many people as possible. There was nothing spectacular about the interior, but before I even let myself feel disappointed, I remembered that the overlooking view of Taipei is what makes this branch so special and unique.
The best spot in Taipei 101 Starbucks
Most people want to get the seats under the counter height table so be sure to be the first person to get out of the elevator so you can reserve the spot for you and your companions. The combination of buildings and mountains surrounding the island is such a pleasant view to enjoy while on a coffee date or even during an alone time.
Overall, I would recommend visiting this branch of Starbucks if you want to take lovely pictures of the city from Taipei 101. It is such an excellent alternative for those who want to make the most out of their budget when visiting Taipei. But then again, if the greens and skyscrapers cannot convince you enough, having a cup of coffee with a friend, family or by yourself is always a good reason to go.
How about you? Would you go?
1. If you cannot make a reservation for your desired visit, seek assistance from your hotel staff, and they would happily make a reservation for you.
2. Morning reservations tend to be a bit quieter. If you can, book the nine o’ clock slot in the morning.
3. Use your EasyCard in Starbucks Coffee establishments if you have overloaded yours or just wish to make a cashless transaction- this is also possible in other stores in Taiwan.
4. Pick the seat near the windows as they have the best views of Taipei.
5. Hike the Elephant Mountain and visit Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall to complete your Taipei 101 experience.
6. You can book your Taipei 101 Observatory Ticket and other activities in Taiwan via KKDayPH in this link.
7. Still struggling to decide where to stay in Taipei? Check out Agoda's rates here.
Disclaimer: I will be earning a little amount from each of your booking but no additional cost will be charged to you.