The Taiwan currency is called "New Taiwan Dollar", shortened as NTD or NT$.
At the time of this update (December 2010) the currency rate ranges between 32-34 NTD for 1 USD and 39-42 NTD for 1 euro.
But those rate are changing quickly on these days of economic turmoil ... so I suggest you to check often ...
You can check the current Taiwan dollar rates in the small form provided on the right column of all the pages of this website. Can you see it? It shows a small header with the words "Currency Converter" and it is just below the Weather in Taiwan sticker.
In chinese language the Taiwan currency is called "yuán" - as the People's Republic currency - and is written as 元.In everyday talking the Taiwanese call their money "kuài". It means "pieces" (of money) so it can be loosely translated as "bucks". So, for example, if the restaurant bill is 800 NTD, the waiter will ask for 800 kuài.
Taiwan currency is issued in 1000, 500 and 100 NTD notes and 50, 10, 5 e 1 NTD coins.
2000 and 200 NTD notes are also issued but they are very rare, I have never had the chance to see one of them.
In just a few years i had to get used to the euro, and then to the Taiwan dollar .... really too much! A simple rule helps me:
Taiwan is a modern country so is quite simple to change your own in Taiwan currency or withdraw at ATM machines.
I normally use a credit card to withdraw money from ATMs.
Of course this has a cost in credit card fees that can be quite high, as much as 5%. If you travel regularly you should have a credit card with a low cash advance fee, such as the australian NAB Gold Card.
You have to look for an ATM showing stickers of the different credit cards, not all the ATMs can provide cash advances to foreign cards.
For example you cannot use the ATMs of the Taiwan Post Offices.
Good places for the "right" ATM are the large shopping malls as Mitsukoshi and Sogo.
Look also for "convenience stores" as 7/11, Family Mart, etc.
For the europeans: convenience stores are small supermarkets that can be found virtually everywhere and open 24 hours. More and more convenience stores have ATM machine that are hence very safe since there is always an employee in the shop.
Don't withdraw cash at the ATM outside the banks. "ATM thieves" that install tiny cameras inside the ATM are not so uncommon.
After several attempts made, I have found Chinatrust Bank ATMs the most reliable and convenient. I never had a problem with them. Several 7/11 convenience stores host Chinatrust ATMs.
Based on my experience, ATMs in Taiwan normally have daily and monthly limit to how much money you can withdraw. These limits are often 20,000 NTD a day.
The problem is that they don't give you any warning or explanation.
So if your credit card apparently does not work anymore, just try with another bank ATM.
Don't be afraid of the chinese language. The ATM recognizes a foreign credit card and it will let you choose the language, normally english or chinese.
Of course you can change cash in the banks or at the airport. I have not done it often. Anyway i remember once i was not able to change 20 euro notes at my local bank.
So if you want to bring cash just bring 10 and 50 euro notes since they are the most accepted.
Of course if you bring other currencies your mileage may vary.
By the way Taiwan does not have strange limits on import and export of cash.
You can import up to 60.000 NTD without any custom requirement.
The limit for the other currencies, euro included, is the equivalent of 10,000 american dollars. You can import more but in that case you have to fill a declaration to the custom officers
This not because the local Tax Police will fine you, as was happening in Italy not long time ago, but because each receipt, from whatever shop, is also a government lottery ticket.
You can win prizes up to 2,000,000 NTD (42.000 euro). Hence everybody gives the receipt without even asking for it. Newspapers and websites provide list of the winning numbers.
here to check if you have the winning number.