Boston's Chinatown is one of the largest in the country, and offers a plethora of shops and eateries. You can walk through the Chinatown Gate to spot its protective lions, visit shops along the winding streets, and encounter Asian-American cultural history at the Pao Arts Center.
Beyond strolling, this is a prime Boston destination for savoring pan-Asian cuisine. Find everything from pho shops serving Vietnamese soup to dumpling houses and late-night hot pot restaurants. To learn about Chinatown's history, take a guided tour of Boston's old red light district, and add on stops at nearby colonial sights like Boston Common and the Granary Burying Ground.
Things to know before you go
- This very walkable neighborhood is best explored on foot; wear comfy shoes and plan to let your feet lead the way.
- Save money on a self-guided tour of the area by using a free itinerary provided by the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail.
- This is a great place to find a reasonably priced meal, so arrive with an appetite.
How to get there
The heart of Chinatown is Beach Street, which is easily accessible via the Chinatown stop of the Orange Line MBTA train. You can also take the B, C, D, or E light rail service to Boylston Street, which is situated just west of Chinatown, or walk from the nearby shopping corridors in Downtown Boston. Hop-on hop-off tours also typically stop nearby.
When to get there
To enjoy a spirited excursion to Chinatown, visit during Chinese New Year for a more complete experience of the neighborhood's cultural traditions. The festive Chinese New Year parade usually takes place the second Sunday after the beginning of the New Year. You can spot lion dancers, drummers, firecrackers, and more.
Exploring Boston by Bike
Even if you don't want to commit to a full-day bike rental, you can still explore Boston by bike if you try the city's Bluebikes bike share service. You can pay per trip, or try a 24-hour pass if you want to pedal your way across the city. You can easily pick up and dock bikes at over 300 stations across Metro Boston, including Chinatown.
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