Chinatown Walking Tour (Self Guided), Chicago

Tucked away just south of the Loop, the Chinatown of Chicago was established in 1912 and is considered one of the best examples of American Chinatown. Here, you will find a wide range of unique boutiques, specialty shops, amazing religious sights, Chinese medicine stores and restaurants. This self-guided walking tour takes you to discover Chicago's Chinatown.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Chinatown Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Chinatown Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Chicago (See other walking tours in Chicago)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Chinatown Gate
  • Pui Tak Building
  • St. Therese Church
  • Chinese-American Museum of Chicago
  • Chinese Christian Union Church
  • Nine Dragon Wall
  • Chinatown Square Plaza
  • Ping Tom Memorial Park
1
Chinatown Gate

1) Chinatown Gate

Chinatown Gate is one the most prominent landmarks to be seen in Chicago's Chinatown. The gate marks the entrance to the Chinatown and was installed in 1975. It was designed by architect Peter Fung based on a gate in Beijing. The hand-painted characters on the ornamental tiles at the top of the gate translate as “The world belongs to the commonwealth”, a saying dating back to the early part of the 20th century when China was transitioning into a republic.

The gate stands on South Wentworth Avenue, the main boulevard of the Chinatown. On this street you will find numerous restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and Chinese medicine shops. In addition to the abundant Chinese restaurants in the area, there are also lots of eateries serving Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese cuisine.
2
Pui Tak Building

2) Pui Tak Building

The Pui Tak Center, formerly known as the On Leong Merchants Association, is a building located in Chicago's Chinatown. Designed by architects Christian S. Michaelsen and Sigurd A. Rognstad, the property was built for the On Leong Merchants Association and opened in 1928. The Association used it as an immigrant assistance center at which point it was informally referred to as Chinatown's "city hall."

Later, the building was purchased by the Chinese Christian Union Church (CCUC) and renamed Pui Tak Center in 1993. The Center now hosts various religious, community and educational programs, such as adult education and training, youth programs, music programs and new immigrant services. The Pui Tak Center is a historical landmark of the Chinatown. The name “Pui Tak” is the Chinese for “building character” or “cultivating virtue.”
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
St. Therese Church

3) St. Therese Church

St. Therese Church was founded in 1963. It is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Chicago’s Archdiocese. Renowned for its architecture, the building features remarkable interior with statues and stained glass windows suggesting Italian roots, although with prominent Chinese influences as well. The parish’s main statement, located on the keystone above the altar, is written in Chinese.
4
Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

4) Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

The Chinese-American Museum of Chicago opened in 2005, whereas the building itself dates back to 1896. The museum is a non-profit corporation aimed at promoting – through exhibitions – education and research relating to the Chinese-American culture and history in the Midwestern United States.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9:30 am - 1:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
5
Chinese Christian Union Church

5) Chinese Christian Union Church

Founded in 1903, the Chinese Christian Union Church is housed in the building constructed in 1950 and, for years, has been Chinatown's most important religious and social venue. The church's exterior features Asian style with beautiful brickwork. Services are held in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
6
Nine Dragon Wall

6) Nine Dragon Wall

The Nine Dragon Wall was built in 2004 and soon proved to be one of the key landmarks of Chicago's Chinatown. This Wall is one of the four replicas of the Beijing original found in the world. It is made of glazed tiles delivered from China, and features one large and over 500 smaller dragons painted in red, gold and blue, signifying good fortune.
7
Chinatown Square Plaza

7) Chinatown Square Plaza

Chinatown Square is a two-story outdoor mall replete with restaurants, retail stores, boutiques, banks, clinics, beauty shops, and a handful of offices. This is the largest Chinese mall in the US east of San Francisco and west of New York City.

Statues representing twelve Chinese zodiac animals grace the three sides of the square. These works of art were commissioned to the Xiamen University Art Department in Xiamen, Fujian, China. Other landmarks within the mall include twin pagodas. The mall opened in 1993 and has since been a busy place frequented by locals and visitors alike for cultural performances and celebrations.
8
Ping Tom Memorial Park

8) Ping Tom Memorial Park

Ping Tom Memorial Park is a public urban park in Chicago's Chinatown. Located on the south bank of the Chicago River, it is divided into three sections by Santa Fe rail track and 18th Street, and features a pagoda-style pavilion, bamboo gardens and a playground.

The park is named after the prominent Chinatown's businessman and civic leader, Ping Tom, whose bronze bust is installed near the park's pavilion. The park's original design called for walled plazas inspired by traditional Chinese gardens in Suzhou, China. A pagoda-style pavilion based on a structure that Wong had seen in Suzhou is located near the park's eastern boundary—the Chicago River. The park's entrance is marked by four 20-feet-tall columns, each etched with Chinese dragons, and is modeled after a traditional Chinese courtyard.

Tom Ping Park is a hidden gem of Chicago. It is beautiful in all seasons and provides a great vista to view the skyline from the south. Be sure to bring your camera with you because the place is quite picturesque and it would be a shame not to capture it!
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Chicago, Illinois

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Creating your own self-guided walk in Chicago is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Millennium and Grant Parks Walking Tour

Millennium and Grant Parks Walking Tour

The city of Chicago is renowned for its outdoor green spaces. One such “forever free and open” space, is called Grant Park and was established in 1844. In fact, upon foundation, it was called Lake Park, but was renamed in 1901 after the American Civil War General and United States President, Ulysses S. Grant.

Popularly referred to as “Chicago's front lawn,” this lakefront park is...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Old Town Walk

Old Town Walk

Settled in 1850 by German immigrants, Chicago's Old Town neighborhood is a popular destination for locals and visitors who cater to the entertainment venues, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and boutiques that have turned an area once referred to as a "Cabbage Patch" into an attraction that rivals Navy Pier, Wrigley Field and the Magnificent Mile. Take a self-guided walk through this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
The Magnificent Mile Walk

The Magnificent Mile Walk

The stretch of Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Lake Shore Drive, otherwise known as the Magnificent Mile, is regarded as one of the world's great avenues, being Chicago's version of the Fifth Avenue. Take this self guided walk to explore the Magnificent Mile and the surrounding area, that features a wide selection of amazing stores/malls, world-known museums, restaurants and...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Sitting on the shore of Lake Michigan in Illinois, Chicago is the third most populous metropolis in the United States, whereas when incorporated on August 12, 1833, the town had a population of only about 200 people. In the course of the 18th century, the area of Chicago was successively inhabited by various Native American tribes who, following several victorious military campaigns of the United...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 Km or 3.9 Miles
Navy Pier Walk

Navy Pier Walk

Additional to scenic views of the lake, the boats, and the city skyline, the Navy Pier offers a variety of attractions on the waterfront – for kids as well as adults – that draw nearly ten million people annually, making this Chicago's most visited spot. Yes, some may see it as a "tourist trap", but it is worth the time and money to spend some time here, so take this self-guided...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Architectural Walking Tour in The Loop District

Architectural Walking Tour in The Loop District

Chicago features an outstanding architectural legacy. This city has long been connected with some of architecture's most important names: Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and Holabird & Root. The Loop District offers an extensive number of Chicago's famous architectural "must-see" buildings such as Aqua Tower, Willis Tower, Chicago Theatre, or Rookery...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Chicago Souvenirs: 15 Distinct Local Products to Bring Home

Chicago Souvenirs: 15 Distinct Local Products to Bring Home

One of the most fascinating cities in the U.S., if not the whole world, Chicago has no shortage of things closely associated with it, often due to their direct origin (blues, gangstership, etc.), so one might literally be spoiled for choice as to what to choose as a "piece" of Chicago to...