An image of a street scene at Pell Street in Chinatown / New York City / Manhattan with the setting sun.

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Top choice in SoHo & Chinatown

A walk through Manhattan's most colorful, cramped neighborhood is never the same, no matter how many times you hit the pavement. Peek inside temples and exotic storefronts. Catch the whiff of ripe persimmons, hear the clacking of mah-jongg tiles on makeshift tables, eye dangling duck roasts swinging in store windows and shop for anything from rice-paper lanterns and ‘faux-lex’ watches to tire irons and a pound of pressed nutmeg. America’s largest congregation of Chinese immigrants is your oyster.

The area has its own tourist information kiosk with local volunteers giving out free maps, at the intersection of Walker, Baxter and Canal Sts (11am to 5pm, 10am to 6pm in summer).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby SoHo & Chinatown attractions

1. Church of the Transfiguration

0.08 MILES

It's been serving New York's immigrant communities since 1801, and the Church of the Transfiguration doesn't stop adapting. First it was the Irish, then…

2. Eastern States Buddhist Temple


This storefront temple smack in the middle of Chinatown's bustle is a quiet little refuge lined with hundreds of Buddhas. You can buy a souvenir or…

3. Columbus Park

0.13 MILES

Mah-jongg meisters, slow-motion tai-chi practitioners and old aunties gossiping over homemade dumplings: it might feel like Shanghai, but this leafy oasis…

4. Mahayana Temple

0.17 MILES

Mahayana is the biggest Buddhist temple in Chinatown and its magnificent 16ft-high Buddha statue – sitting on a lotus and edged with offerings of fresh…

5. Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue

0.22 MILES

This landmark house of worship, built in 1887, was a center of Jewish life before suffering a decline in the congregation in the late 1920s. After WWII,…

6. Little Italy

0.28 MILES

This once-strong Italian neighborhood (film director Martin Scorsese grew up on Elizabeth St) saw an exodus in the mid-20th century when many of its…

7. Mulberry Street


Named for the mulberry farms that once stood here, Mulberry St is now better known as the meat in Little Italy's sauce. It's an animated strip, packed…

8. Artists Space

0.32 MILES

One of the first alternative spaces in New York, Artists Space made its debut in 1972 with a mission to support contemporary artists working in the visual…