City God Temple

Top choice in Northern Taiwan

First built in 1748, and masterfully restored in 1924, this Hsinchu landmark has the highest rank of all the city god temples in Taiwan, and is a splendid example of the fine work local artisans were capable of in the early 20th century. A wide selection of food stalls fills the courtyard by the temple entrance.

Examples of this work include the elegant structure itself, with sweeping swallowtail eaves, the shallow but vivid plafond ceiling, and the wealth of carved wooden brackets and beams: look for dragons, phoenixes and melons, as well as panels of birds and flowers (auspicious symbols when placed together). The jiǎnniàn (mosaic-like temple decoration) dragons on the roof are superb.

The temple is most lively during the seventh lunar month and on the 29th day of the 11th month, when the birthday of the temple god is celebrated.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Taiwan attractions

1. Image Museum


This classical Roman-style building with Arabic details was Taiwan's first air-conditioned luxury cinema when it opened under Japanese rule in 1933. It…

2. Hsinchu City Hall

0.24 MILES

A fine example of government architecture in colonial Taiwan, this dignified western-style monument was built in 1925 and features red and grey reinforced…

3. Eastern Gate

0.26 MILES

Hsinchu's central landmark is this traditional Chinese stone gate (c 1829) with double-tiered roof. Stranded in a traffic island, it used to be a portal…

4. Art Gallery & Reclamation Hall

0.29 MILES

This 1920s building with a traditional Japanese roof atop a modern Western-style structure features artworks ranging from classical ink-and-brush…

5. Hsin Chih-Ping Residence


With tatami floors, sliding screen doors and antique furnishings, this beautifully preserved Japanese house was the residence of school principal Hsin…

6. Municipal Glass Museum

0.78 MILES

In a heritage building on the edge of a pleasant wooded park, this newly renovated museum is dedicated to the local history of glassmaking, an industry…

7. Confucius Temple

0.81 MILES

First built in 1810, this is one of Taiwan's most elegant wooden structures. As with any temple, don't rush through: stand in place and tiny treasures…

8. Guqifeng Gallery

1.83 MILES

If you're in Hsinchu on a weekend, don't miss this fantastic collection of treasures, which includes a four-poster bed of pure jade, dragon boats made of…