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Chinatown hotels

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What you should know about Chinatown

Chinatown in San Francisco is a truly unique neighborhood, with an amazing history, exciting events, and fantastic food waiting to be discovered. The most visited tourist attraction in all of San Francisco, it draws more visitors each year than the Golden Gate Bridge. One step through the Dragon Gate and you’re transported 6,000 miles away to China, with bustling streets capped with pagoda-tiled roofs, bursting at the seams with all the unique shops and authentic Chinese food waiting to be discovered.

Hotels in Chinatown

Although largely a residential area, there’s a good selection of hotels in Chinatown, varying from the most basic discount hotel all the way up to luxury 5-star. The Ritz-Carlton is one of the most impressive hotels in San Francisco, and receives some of the best hotel reviews in Chinatown. This upscale hotel, designed with a classic European style in mind, features top-class amenities including spa treatments and a house car to take you short distances. For something more modestly priced consider one of the many 3-star Chinatown Hotels, such as Executive Hotel Vintage Court. It has all the basic amenities you’d require, plus extra flourishes such as a free wine reception each evening.

Things to see in Chinatown

Anyone who likes to walk around and explore new neighborhoods will absolutely love Chinatown. You can start with the Dragon Gate. It’s the only authentic Chinatown gate in the US, built from materials donated by China in 1969. It sits over the entrance to Grant Avenue, a road full of great shops and restaurants to explore. A couple of blocks away lies Stockton St, which is similar but a bit less touristy, retaining a more authentic feel with its live produce markets and shops geared towards locals. Finally, rest your legs at Portsmouth Square. This unassuming, bustling park is full of music, elderly folk whiling away the hours with a game of mahjong, or people relaxing with some Tai Chi. It’s the social hub of Chinatown and offers a true taste of China. You can also pay a visit to the Chinese Historical Society of America, a small but fascinating museum that will open your eyes to the history of Chinese people in America.

Good for solo travelers

Chinatown is an excellent neighborhood for many types of traveler, but particularly those travelling solo. Visiting this area on your own gives you the freedom to explore the bustling streets and alleyways in your own time, dipping in and out of the original shops and authentic restaurants, and taking in the atmosphere of the place without distraction. The area is also great for families as there are many family-friendly hotels in Chinatown, and you have easy access to neighboring districts featuring lots of museums and big attractions. Union Square, with its upmarket shopping outlets, is also just a few blocks away.

How to get to Chinatown

Situated in the northeast of San Francisco, this neighborhood lies just a few blocks from Interstate 80 and Route 101, making it easy to reach by car. With these two roads available it’s easy to travel to Chinatown from other Californian cities such as San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento (all less than a 2-hour drive). Alternatively, San Francisco International Airport is just 15 miles away. The airport serves all the major American airlines so travelling from any point in the US is straightforward. It’s also a major international airport—perfect if you’re arriving from Asia or Europe.

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