Chinese Culture Center

North Beach & Chinatown

You can see all the way to China from the Hilton's 3rd floor inside this cultural center, which hosts exhibits ranging from showcases of contemporary Chinese ink-brush painters to installations of kung-fu punching bags studded with fighting words. In odd-numbered years, don't miss Present Tense Biennial, where 30-plus Bay Area artists present personal takes on Chinese culture. Visit the Center's satellite gallery at 41 Ross Alley for contemporary collaborations; for local historical perspectives, book the Center's Chinatown Heritage Walking Tours.

Check the online schedule for upcoming concerts, hands-on arts workshops for adults and children, Mandarin classes and genealogy services.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North Beach & Chinatown attractions

1. Portsmouth Square

0.04 MILES

Chinatown's unofficial living room is named after John B Montgomery's sloop, which staked the US claim on San Francisco in 1846. SF's first city hall…

2. Wentworth Place

0.08 MILES

Dragons bring this shadowy brick byway roaring to life. The narrow entryway is illuminated with 'Dragon Boats Chasing Moonlight,' a new mosaic mural…

3. Chinese Telephone Exchange

0.08 MILES

California's earliest high-tech adopters weren't 1970s Silicon Valley programmers – they were Chinatown switchboard operators c 1894. To connect callers,…

4. Commercial Street


Back when the red lights of Commercial St could be seen from the waterfront, this strip provided many provocative answers to the age-old question: what do…

5. Columbus Tower


If these copper-clad walls could talk, they'd name-drop shamelessly. The tower's original occupant was political boss Abe Ruef, ousted in 1907 and sent to…

6. Transamerica Pyramid & Redwood Park

0.11 MILES

The defining feature of San Francisco's skyline is this 1972 pyramid, built atop a whaling ship abandoned in the gold rush. A half-acre redwood grove…

7. Waverly Place

0.12 MILES

Grant Ave is Chinatown's economic heart, but its soul is Waverly Place, lined with flag-festooned, colorful temple balconies and family-run businesses…

8. Tin How Temple

0.13 MILES

There was no place to go but up in Chinatown in the 19th century, when laws restricted where Chinese San Franciscans could live and work. Atop barber…