Home Things To Do (Indoor & Outdoor Activities) 24 Things To Do in NYC for Tourists & Locals Things To Do and See in Chinatown

Things To Do and See in Chinatown

Chinatown in New York is presently the largest enclave of Chinese people in the United States; the population is between 70,000 to 150,000. It came into existence in the 1870s since then; the Chinese immigrant population of New York has increased significantly over the past years.

Over the years, Chinatown has continued to grow and several Asian culture and tradition have popped up. Although it is a crowded place but it remains one of the best neighborhoods in the city with incredible restaurants, diners, shops and markets. Here is a list of the top things to do in Chinatown, New York City.

1. Check out Chinatown Restaurants with a chef (from USD 70.0)


Check out the Chinese cuisines in New York Chinatown, whether you are alone or with group of friends, you can set out on a journey led by a seasoned chef to all the fast food chain restaurants in Chinatown, this is the best way to experience the food of Manhattan’s Chinatown. This journey starts in Columbus Park which was the home of the famous Five Points immigrant neighborhood. At Chinatown you will taste iconic Chinese foods like pan-fried dumplings of Hong Kong or Cantonese barbecue. At the end of the journey, you will get a Peking duck sesame pancake from a favored neighborhood spot.

2. Take a picture of the beautiful Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonnade

Manhattan Bridge Arch

Address: Manhattan Bridge Lower Roadway, New York, NY 10002, United States
Website: Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonnade

You should save the memory of your visit to Chinatown, New York City by taking a picture at the beautiful Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonnade. The Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonnade was finished in 1909 but not until 2001, the bridge was off-limit to walk-in so you could not take a picture unless you are in a speedy car or train. This was the fourth bridge to cross the East River from Manhattan to Long Island.

One of the ways to make your trip to Chinatown, NYC memorable is to take a souvenir photo at any of the magnificent architecture.

3. Learn more about Chinese-American history and culture at MOCA

Address: 215 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013
Price: Free Admission
Opening hours: Thurs: 11am – 9pm; Fri – Sun: 11am – 6pm (closed on Mon, Tues, & Wed)


Learning is part of life and at the Museum of Chinese in America or MOCA, a non-profit educational and cultural institution, you will learn about the Chinese-Americans heritage, culture and history through exhibitions, seminars, dialogues and various educational programs. This institute was established with the aim to better educate and instill in people a deeper understanding of Chinese-Americans history

The Museum was founded in 1980 by activist Charles Lai and historian John Kuo Wei Tchen. At the museum, there is a large collection of artifacts, memorabilia, photos, documents, artworks and oral histories. MOCA receives lots of donations from both private and public institutions.

4. Exercise with the locals at Columbus Park

Address: Mulberry Street &, Baxter St, New York, NY 10013, United States
Opening hours: 6am – 10pm (daily)
Website: Columbus Park

Columbus Park

Columbus Park is a place where locals exercise together; they do things like freeletics and bodyweight exercise. At the Calisthenics Park as it is often called, there are wall bars, pull-up bars, low bars and monkey bars. This is one of the ways the locals keep themselves healthy.

The Columbus Park is well-kept and it a fun place to be just watching people exercising and doing their thing. It’s a safe place and if you want to exercise this is not a bad place to go. The locals are friendly and they will be glad to show you around.

5. Take a walk through Doyers Street

Doyers Street

Talking a walk through the Doyer Street is like traveling back in time. The street which is known as The Bloody Angle is 200-foot long. The nick name, The Bloody Angle, was derived from its long history of violence from the beginning until the 30s. Doyers Street is famous for the wars between the Tong Gangs where hatchets were used to fight and maim others leaving a bloody scene.

Now, on this street, there are several restaurants surviving Chinese cuisines; there are also barbershops and salons.

6. Take a walk through the soul of Manhattan’s iconic Chinatown

Manhattan’s iconic Chinatown

The main street of New York City Chinatown is Mott Street, it runs from Bleecker Street to Chatham Square and it is where you’d find everything and anything Chinatown has to offer from teahouses and noodle house to designer boutiques and souvenir shops. The Mott Street General Store is another amazing place to check out. This is a 100 year old store where you’d see authentic Chinese-American Architectural designs, paintings, woodwork etc.

7. Enjoy retro video games at Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center

Address: 8 Mott St, New York, NY 10038, United States
Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 11am – 12am; Fri – Sat: 11am – 2am
Website: Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center


Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center is located on Mott Street; it is indeed a place of fun as the name implies. They have variety of games from Maximum Tune 5, Down the Clown, Quick Drop, Mario Kart to Scarlet Dawn, House of the Dead 5, Halo: Fireteam Rave and Jurassic Park. In 1944, the Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center was opened but was closed in 2011 and was reopened again in 2012 with different management. It is also known as a place of retro arcade games like Tekken or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you are a game person, you do not want to miss this place in Chinatown, New York.

8. Get a magical experience at Magic Jewelry NYC

At the Magic Jewelry NYC, you can know about your energy field with an aura photo and reading. You can shop for all sorts of jewelry including necklaces, pendants, wands or bracelets of all kinds of substances and colors. You can also shop for jade bangles which signify a noble person with grace and harmony. For those who believe in magic, you will be told how to use different elements to help you romantically and financially. These consultations are not free; you will have to pay for it so get some extra bucks ready.

9. Explore the collections at Mmuseumm

Address: 4 Cortlandt Alley, New York, NY 10013
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Website: www.mmuseumm.com

This is a modern natural history museum and it is located at the center of Chinatown. The first two museums are situated on Cortlandt Alley between White Street and Franklin Street which is called Mmuseumm Alley. The museum main focus is on curating and displaying contemporary art so as illuminate the modern world.

The museums are in two different locations, the first one was opened in 2012 while the other was opened in 2015. There you can learn so much history of Chinatown and the culture of the people. They are open 24 hours a day so you can stop by at any time when you are in Chinatown

10. Buy souvenirs and gifts at different shops along Canal Street

This is one of the ways to make your visit to Chinatown memorable and it’s one of the best things to do in Chinatown; you can visit the Mini Mall at Canal Street and buy some jewelry, mug or plate. You can also go to the market and engage with the people of Chinatown, you can be sure of learning a thing or two.

Chinatown is a place full of activities, if you want to have a taste of some Chinese cuisine there are several restaurants. They also have teahouses. And there are shops if you are looking for things to buy from jewelry to bracelets, etc.

11. Learn about Chinese culture at Mahayana Temple Buddhist Association

Address: 133 Canal St, New York, NY 10002
Opening hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm (daily)
Website: Mahayana Temple Buddhist Association

The Mahayana Temple Buddhist Association is located on Chinatown’s Main Street which is the famous Canal Street or Mott Street. At the temple you can learn about Buddhist monks from Chinatown, the place is open every day of the week and the people there are friendly. Several tourists go there to learn things about Buddhism; they have a meditation and mindfulness class where you are taught how to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the busy life.

You will learn the nature of Chinatown and the culture of the Chinese people; they are open every day from 8:30am all through to 6:00pm

12. Enjoy a wonderful time at Meow Parlour

Address: 46 Hester St, New York, NY 10002
Opening hours: Mon – Tue: 12pm – 8pm; Thurs – Fri: 12pm – 8pm; Sat – Sun: 11am – 8pm (closed on Wed)
Website: www.meowparlour.com

This is a fun place to be, they serve coffee, tea and pastries at the Meow Parlour. And aside that, every cat person would love this place because they also have by-the-hour petting and playing with cats. These cats are owned and are well taking care of by the Christina. She has an NYC certificate in animal care and handling, she also has a culinary degree.

They are open almost all the days of the week except Wednesdays. You can stop by and check this place out, if you are not a cat person you can still be rest assured of having a nice time.

There are limitless things to do in New York City, to have an experience of a large portion of the immigrant history of the city, then Chinatown is a must visit for you. There are so many fun places to go in Chinatown, we believe with this list you can have a direction of the fun activities and places to explore when you visit Chinatown.