In recent years nightlife in Taipei has expanded from a small cluster of mainly expat pubs and local beerhouses to a variety of lounge bars and a decent selection of live music venues. Taipei’s nightclubs have also taken off in a big way – though the situation is constantly changing, the scene here is as good as any in Asia, regularly attracting top DJs from Japan, North America and Europe.
Taipei’s bars and clubs are scattered throughout the city in much the same way as everything else, but there are enough clusters to allow some stumbling around on foot. For years the area around Shuangcheng Street north of Minquan Road (in Zhongshan district), was considered the centre of Taipei nightlife, particularly for foreigners. US soldiers on R&R frequented the area until the late 1970s and it’s still known as the “Combat Zone” today. Though it’s packed with over twenty pubs it’s decidedly tired compared to more hip parts of the city and tends to be frequented by an older crowd. The university districts of Shida and Gongguan in the southwestern half of the city are funkier hunting grounds for cheaper pubs and clubs, while upscale East Taipei is where you’ll find many of Taipei’s top lounge bars and clubs. Taipei’s live music scene continues to evolve, with a growing number of venues hosting everything from local rock bands and Mando-pop to international jazz and blues acts.