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San Francisco Chinatown Tours and Activities

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168 Reviews
San Francisco’s Chinatown, one of North America’s oldest and largest, has long been one of the city’s top attractions. Visitors can browse the many shops, dim sum restaurants, temples, and markets in this bustling neighborhood that dates back to the California Gold Rush.  
 
The Basics
Nearly all city tours include a stop or drive through Chinatown. For history, check out the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum and Portsmouth Square. Or book a Chinatown walking or Segway tour for insight into the neighborhood’s food and culture. A stop in the area is often combined with a visit to nearby North Beach or a tasty, traditional lunch. Chinatown food tours are especially popular.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • This is a neighborhood to explore on foot, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • Chinatown bumps right into North Beach, another favorite San Francisco neighborhood, so it’s easy to visit both.
  • Grab cash before you go, as many of the small shops and food venues only accept cash or have credit card minimums.
 
How to Get There
Chinatown covers about 24 city blocks in northeast San Francisco between Powell, Kearny, Bush, and Broadway streets. Enter properly through the Dragon Gate at Bush and Grant, walking north into the crowd to find souvenir shops and eateries. Located in the densest area of the city between Nob Hill, Union Square, and the Financial District, Chinatown is easy to reach by walking, city bus, and the Powell Street Cable Car. Driving is not recommended on the traffic- and pedestrian-heavy streets.
 
When to Get There
For shopping, go in the late morning when the shops are open but many visitors haven’t yet arrived. Otherwise, the evening hours offer a lively atmosphere, when locals head to Chinatown for drinks and dinner. To see the neighborhood at its best, visit during Chinese New Year, which falls in January or February.
 
Chinatown’s Fortune Cookie Factory
For a look at the making of fortune cookies, visit Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Co., in business since 1962. Located on Ross Alley, off Jackson Street, the factory offers a free tour that allows you to watch how the cookies go from hot, flat dough to their iconic shape.
Address: Grant Avenue at Bush Street, San Francisco, California 94133, USA
Admission: Free
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74 Tours and Activities to Experience San Francisco Chinatown

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Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour

Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour

star-4
2097
Explore San Francisco and Alcatraz on this 2-in-1 tour. Hop aboard a ferry for a scenic ride to Alcatraz and enjoy the award-winning audio walking tour. Plus, enjoy a coach tour with a knowledgeable local guide. Learn about the City by the Bay through visits to top attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the Presidio, and the Palace of Fine Arts.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.00
From
$120.00
Taking safety measures

San Francisco Love Tour

San Francisco Love Tour

star-5
860
Hop on a ‘70s-era VW bus and get to know the hippie past and hipster vibe that make up San Francisco today. Starting and ending at Fisherman’s Wharf, this 2-hour sightseeing tour takes you around the city, including Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. See the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. So settle into a neon-blue seat and dig your shoes into groovy shag carpet. Each bus accommodates up to just six people.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
From
$80.00
Taking safety measures

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Tour

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Tour

star-4
2201
Ride a double-decker sightseeing bus to San Francisco's most famous landmarks with a choice of 2 different passes. Explore the city's 49 square miles, including stops at big-name attractions like Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts and Union Square. Go at your own pace, hopping off at any of 16 stops, exploring at your leisure, and then hopping back on when you're done. Choose the Premium pass to include a night tour or a Deluxe pass for an additional 24 hours of hop-on-hop-off and a night tour.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.00
From
$36.00
Taking safety measures

Painted Ladies San Francisco City Tour

Painted Ladies San Francisco City Tour

star-5
430
Take a journey around San Francisco's top sights in a retro way with this "painted ladies" tour by vintage Volkswagen bus decorated with long gorgeous eyelashes so you can't miss your tour vehicle. You'll pass by neighborhoods like Chinatown, Union Square, Pacific Heights, North Beach, Haight-Ashbury, the Marina, and the Castro, plus see the Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks, and more.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.00
Price varies by group size
From
$85.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch

San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour with Optional Lunch

star-5
565
Dive deep into one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods on this Chinatown walking tour. From paper lanterns to medicinal herbs to a fortune cookie factory, explore both popular and lesser-known gems in this bustling district with an in-the-know guide. See sights including a Buddhist temple, and upgrade, if you wish, to include a 9-course lunch of dim sum for an even more memorable experience.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.00
From
$75.00
Taking safety measures

Small Group San Francisco Half-Day City Tour

Small Group San Francisco Half-Day City Tour

star-4.5
47
Being a tourist can be exhausting. Throw in some of San Francisco's infamous hills, constant consultation of guide books, and the lure of tourist traps, and you might want to return to your lodgings in haste. However, this San Francisco sightseeing experience includes a hotel pickup and a coach tour that allows the city to unfold before you from atop your air-conditioned perch. It's a great way to keep your eyes on the real jewels of the city by the bay.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Van Tour

Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Van Tour

star-5
145
Avoid the crowds, confusion, and limitations of large buses and discover San Francisco by luxury minivan. This half-day tour takes you to numerous parts of the city for the perfect overview. Enjoy fascinating facts provided by your guide's live commentary. Stop for photo opportunities at some of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$89.00
From
$89.00

San Francisco Grand City Tour Including Free Walking Tour

San Francisco Grand City Tour Including Free Walking Tour

star-4
478
Take a San Francisco half-day tour to pack in the city’s top sights in a convenient way that leaves you with plenty of time to spare so you can enjoy the city however you wish. With a driver-guide, travel the city by bus, stopping at major attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks and neighborhoods like North Beach and Chinatown. Plus, you can upgrade to include a San Francisco Bay cruise, a half-day bike rental, or admission to Aquarium of the Bay.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$58.00
From
$58.00
Taking safety measures

San Francisco Chinatown Ghost Walking Tour

San Francisco Chinatown Ghost Walking Tour

star-4.5
65
Experience the supernatural side of one of the city’s most famous neighborhoods on this San Francisco ghost tour. During this evening walking tour, you’ll explore the streets of Chinatown with a guide, who fills you in on the spirits said to haunt this historic area. Hear chilling tales and mysteries, and enjoy an alternative way to discover Chinatown.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures

The One Day in San Francisco Tour with Alcatraz

The One Day in San Francisco Tour with Alcatraz

star-5
147
See the best of San Francisco in one day on this guided tour that includes all transportation and admission to Alcatraz. Visit multiple locations in the city, including Castro, Presidio, Fisherman's Wharf, and Twin Peaks, with plenty of stops for photo ops. Take the ferry to Alcatraz Island where you can explore with an award-winning audio-guided tour of the former federal prison.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.00
From
$150.00
Taking safety measures

Chinatown and North Beach Walking Tour

Chinatown and North Beach Walking Tour

star-4.5
153
Stroll through North Beach and Chinatown, two of San Francisco's most vibrant neighborhoods, by night on this food and walking tour. Discover the spots only locals know for dim sum, coffee, and other treats while you learn about the history and culture of these diverse districts from your knowledgeable guide. Samples make up enough for a meal so come hungry!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.60
From
$73.60
Taking safety measures

Painted Ladies Wine Country Tour

Painted Ladies Wine Country Tour

star-5
157
The Sonoma Valley is one of California’s oldest and most renowned wine regions. On this full-day tour, travel around the Sonoma Valley in a Vintage VW bus and visit award-winning wineries. Learn all about the winemaking process as you tour a wine cave, sample a variety of Californian wines during guided wine tastings, and tuck into a gourmet Italian-style lunch at a winery restaurant.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$139.00
Price varies by group size
From
$139.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Tour: San Francisco City Tour Including Muir Woods and Sausalito

Small-Group Tour: San Francisco City Tour Including Muir Woods and Sausalito

star-4
20
Spend your day exploring the ‘City by the Bay’ before a scenic drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods National Monument and the nearby waterfront of charming Sausalito. This narrated small-group tour takes in all of the San Francisco highlights, from Golden Gate Park and Haight-Ashbury to the Palace of Fine Arts and Presidio. Then wander on foot under California’s giant coastal redwoods before exploring the gift shops and galleries of Sausalito.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$129.00
From
$129.00
Taking safety measures

Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

star-5
38
Stroll the narrow streets and back alleys of San Francisco's Chinatown on this walking tour with a small group. Stop by shops selling authentic Chinese crafts and pottery, as well as hard-to-find herbs and produce. A variety of tastings add up to a full lunch, including tea, fortune cookies, dim sum, and other treats. Listen to guided commentary and ask plenty of questions as you explore.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

San Francisco Food Tour with a Local: A Feast for Foodies 100% Personalized

San Francisco Food Tour with a Local: A Feast for Foodies 100% Personalized

star-4.5
5
Eat your way through San Francisco’s famous Chinatown on this 4-hour private walking tour and food tasting experience. Sample Canton, Mandarin and Szechuan cuisines as you get local insights and tips from your personal guide. Wind your way though Chinatown’s colorful streets and stop to taste authentic dim sum, moon cakes, steamed sesame balls, Peking Duck, craft beer, and coffee. Experience the must-see spots and local secrets and come away with a thorough understanding of the area.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.31
Price varies by group size
From
$150.31
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Art and Architecture Walking Tour of Union Square and Chinatown

Art and Architecture Walking Tour of Union Square and Chinatown

star-4.5
13
Explore two of San Francisco's most distinctive neighborhoods side-by-side on a walking tour of Chinatown and Union Square. Learn the fascinating history behind the oldest Chinatown in the United States, and be immersed in the city’s contrasting cultures as you stroll alongside cable cars through Union Square’s chic hotels, architectural landmarks, and luxury boutiques.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.00
From
$35.00
Taking safety measures

Vantigo San Francisco City Tour

Vantigo San Francisco City Tour

star-5
298
Step aboard a vintage Volkswagen bus for a San Francisco city tour. Travel down streets a typical tour bus can't access while your guide fills you in on the history of the City by the Bay, from the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley. Get views of landmarks such as Twin Peaks, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Painted Ladies as you travel through distinct city districts.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$65.00
From
$65.00

Private Tour: Personal Travel Photographer Tour in San Francisco

Private Tour: Personal Travel Photographer Tour in San Francisco

star-5
2
Explore San Francisco in the company of a professional photographer on this private tour. Choose a custom route through the city that is tailored to your interests. As you stroll, your photographer-guide will capture candid moments of you on your vacation. After the tour, all your images are available to download.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$282.19
per group
From
$282.19
per group

San Francisco Private Sightseeing Tour

San Francisco Private Sightseeing Tour

star-5
4
Make your visit to San Francisco easy by taking this private sightseeing tour that includes round-trip transport in a luxury vehicle of your choice and bridge tolls. See some of the city’s most famous and memorable areas as this tour takes away the stress of maneuvering through the streets and parking in congested areas. Walk down Pier 39, stop for a cannoli in North Beach, see historic cable cars at the San Francisco Cable Car Museum, and take photos of the windmills in Golden Gate Park. Whatever you choose to do, it's up to you when and where to stop.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$269.00
per group
From
$269.00
per group
Taking safety measures

City and Sea Adventure: 1 Day Hop-On Hop Off Pass and San Francisco Bay Cruise

City and Sea Adventure: 1 Day Hop-On Hop Off Pass and San Francisco Bay Cruise

star-4.5
14
In just one day, experience the best of San Francisco by land and sea with this combo package that includes two hop-on hop-off bus tours and a cruise. Check out the top attractions of San Francisco, wind through the downtown streets, and cross over the Golden Gate Bridge. Each hop-on hop-off bus tour lasts 60 minutes to 2 hours and offers live commentary. The 1-hour boat cruise takes you through San Francisco Bay, giving you prime views of Crissy Fields, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$79.99
From
$79.99
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Craft Brews and Bike Tour in San Francisco

Small-Group Craft Brews and Bike Tour in San Francisco

star-5
10
This small-group beer and bike tour of San Francisco introduces you to a variety of unique neighborhoods, with stops at three local bars or breweries along the way. Enjoy craft brews (first pint included) and discover the cultural history of each characteristic area, including SOMA, SF's Arts District and the quirky Mission District. Numbers are limited to 12 people for a more personalized experience with your informative guide on this leisurely ride.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.27
From
$84.27

Classic Chinatown Tour and Optional Hosted Dim Sum Tasting Luncheon

Classic Chinatown Tour and Optional Hosted Dim Sum Tasting Luncheon

star-4.5
55
Experience the distinctive architecture, history and culture of San Francisco’s Chinatown with a 3-hour guided walking tour through this thriving, colorful community. Explore Chinatown alongside a knowledgeable guide, visit an exclusive teashop that specializes in fine Chinese teas and browse traditional remedies at a Chinese herbal shop. Learn how the neighborhood was founded and built then get a glimpse inside the area’s elaborate Taoist and Buddhist temples. Stay after the tour for an optional meal, and enjoy a sumptuous dim sum tasting menu followed by an entrée, side dish and dessert.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$39.67
From
$39.67

San Francisco Private Love Tour

San Francisco Private Love Tour

star-5
27
If you’re going to do a sightseeing tour of San Francisco by bus, make it a memorable one. Book a 1970s-era Volkswagen bus for your private party of six and wind through the city’s top attractions with a personalized guide on a 4-hour tour. Travel into streets that larger vehicles cannot pass through as you explore Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. See the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. Hotel transport included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$528.00
per group
From
$528.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Private San Francisco Urban Adventure Tour

Private San Francisco Urban Adventure Tour

star-5
12
There’s plenty to see on the streets of San Francisco, and this half-day ‘safari’ through the wilds of SF makes sure you experience it all. The San Francisco Urban Adventure is a four-hour expedition that takes place in your own custom, open-air game-viewing vehicle. Wind through the city streets on a hunt for the best hidden gems and well-known attractions. You’ll track colorful murals and film locations, meander down alleyways and keep an eye out for historic architectural sites on this fun, good-humored tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$250.00
Price varies by group size
From
$250.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience San Francisco Chinatown?