Opportunities to understand China, Chinese culture and Chinatown


All tour places must be booked in advance. We cannot accept walk-ups on the day. Places must be booked at least 48 hours in advance. Our tours often sell out so do book ahead.

Tours are led by the Chinatown History Champions, a group of dedicated volunteers who have undergone significant training to share the heritage of our neighbourhood. We have 15 trained guides who commit their time and energy to delivering tours for you to enjoy. If you want to request a specific guide, please email us and we can let you know when their next tour is running.

We have 15 trained guides who commit their time and energy to delivering tours for you to enjoy. You can let us know if you have a specific guide and we can advise the next date available with them. Each of our guides offers something fantastic.

We keep our tour groups small so that you have a more personal experience and so that we respect the businesses in our neighbourhood by not blocking doorways or making it difficult for people to pass by. We prefer each guide to take a maximum of 11 people.

Our tours are in English. Mandarin and Cantonese tours are available for private groups by request. Please email info@chinaexchange.uk.

With such a wealth of knowledge and stories to draw from, we can make some adjustments to the focus of our tours to connect with your curriculum (if a school group) or relevant interests on request. We also can ensure that the content of tours are suitable for younger age groups. We do not offer tours in the afternoons or evenings and we do not run a food tasting tour.

The experience is 2.5 hours long and is made up of a walking tour followed by lunch. Our public tours are not designed specifically for young children but that does not mean a child would not enjoy the experience. If history and culture are topics that your children will enjoy, they are welcome to come.

We are also experienced in delivering private tours for school groups and families with children. The material we use in these tours is adapted to make it more relevant and suitable for younger audiences and is suitable for young people aged 11+.

The lunch is a family-style seasonal menu, with dishes selected by the restaurant on the day. We can accommodate vegan and vegetarian requests. Let us know at least 24 hours in advance if there are food allergies that need to be accommodated. Lunch includes a selection of freshly prepared dishes, rice, and tea. Additional drinks can be purchased individually at the restaurant if desired.

This experience is a walking tour. The routes can be adapted to accommodate those with wheelchairs, mobility vehicles and pushchairs. There is very limited public seating in Chinatown, which may make the experience less comfortable and accessible for those with difficulty walking. The restaurant does not have a lift. 

The tour is accessible for people who are Blind or visually impaired. Let us know if there are specific requirements that our guides can help with to welcome you to the tour. 

We do not have any guides who are trained in sign language. We can accommodate guests who are hard of hearing who can lip read. Please let us know your needs and we will work with our guides to welcome you.

 Please contact us to let us know your needs, help us understand who we need to accommodate and we’ll work with you to do so. If you need to bring a carer with you, please contact us. There will be no ticket charge for carers.

  • Community led for the benefit of the community – all guides are trained community volunteers and a donation from each ticket supports charities operating in the area
  • We cover an in-depth history of the area as well as the buildings and the symbols of Chinatown. You will hear stories of migration, entrepreneurship, family histories and transformation. 
  • We keep our groups small for a more personal experience and the chance to ask plenty of questions
  • These tours are designed to support our community. A donation from each ticket is made to the following UK registered charities: London Chinese Community Centre, China Exchange and the Chinese Information and Advice Centre.

For public tours, full refunds will be given when requested in writing to info@chinaexchange.uk up to 5 working days before the tour date. After this deadline has passed, a 50% refund will be made.

Yes, you can. Just write to let us know. 

We can offer tours in Mandarin and Cantonese by arrangement. These would be private tours and would need to meet the requirements for a private group (minimum five people).

Our tours start in the morning to allow us to pass through Chinatown before the area becomes too crowded. This leaves us confident in providing you with a unique and positive experience. We are not able to offer afternoon or evening walking tours.

The lunch is a family-style seasonal menu, with the menu chosen and arranged in advance by the restaurant. Lunch includes a selection of freshly prepared Cantonese dishes, rice, and tea. We are not able to offer you the chance to order your own food. 

You may order your own drinks and any other menu dishes you wish and pay for these directly at the restaurant.

When events are listed as closed, this means that tickets have now sold out. We sometimes have people drop out closer to the date of the tour, so please email us to be added to a waiting list. You can find available dates here.

If travelling via coach or taxi, we recommend stopping off on Macclesfield Street (30 seconds’ walk away), on Shaftesbury Avenue (1 minute’s walk away) or on Rupert Street (5 minute’s walk away).

You can still enjoy the lunch if you have food allergies. When booking your tour with us, please let us know of any allergies and we will communicate these to our partner restaurant. We take this part of our guest experience very seriously.  For severe allergies, we cannot guarantee that food will come from a completely allergen free area, and traces might still be present. Contact us to discuss your needs and we will advise whether the restaurant meal and setting will be suitable. 

The Chinatown Stories walking tour is a 2.5 hour experience. Starting with a guided tour of Chinatown, sharing the area’s rich, layered and complex history on a walk through the neighbourhood. The experience ends with a traditional Cantonese-style lunch served family style and allowing guests and hosts to understand more about Chinatown.

The guides are part of our close knit China Exchange ‘History Champions’ volunteer team. Each guide has been fully trained to deliver guided tours focussing on the area’s history. The content of the tours is rich and all thoroughly researched and recorded by people who are passionate about the history of this area.

Rain, sunshine or snow, our walking tours will continue whatever the weather. Do check the weather forecasts beforehand and come prepared!

Our walking tours are predominantly an outside based activity, with no public toilets available on the walking route. There will be bathrooms at the restaurant where you will arrive at 1pm. Please be prepared!

Private tours must have a minimum of five guests. A 10% discount is available for five tickets or more booked in the same transaction. There is no limit on how large a private group can be, we can accommodate larger groups by request in advance. Email us to find out more: info@chinaexchange.uk

Dogs and furry friends are more than welcome to come along to the outside part of the tour, however they would not be allowed into the restaurant for the lunch part of the tour.

Public tours are exactly that, open to the public! We ensure that our tour groups are further split into smaller groups of around 8 to 10 per guide to ensure that they are not too large. You will have the opportunity to chat and get to know your fellow guests and guide during lunch.

Yes! Everyone is welcome to our walking tours, whether as part of a group or attending by yourself. Our guides are a team of friendly and welcoming faces, and friendships have been formed amongst our guests.

Do not feel that you have to use chopsticks during lunch. If you are more comfortable in using other cutlery then please do so, the restaurant is happy to cater for this. 

The meal served at the restaurant is Cantonese Chinese food with a selection of freshly prepared dishes, rice and tea followed by fresh fruit. There are a variety of dishes and flavours to try.

Cancellations are possible. For public tours, full refunds will be given when requested in writing to info@chinaexchange.uk up to 5 working days before the tour day. After this deadline, a refund of 50% will be given to guests.

Once purchased, tickets can be transferred once to another date if you can no longer attend the original date. We accept transfer requests by email (info@chinaexchange.uk) up to 48 hours before the booked tour date. Please see our event listings here for the upcoming walking tour dates. Once transferred, tickets become non-refundable.

Gift vouchers can be purchased directly from us. Once purchased, these can be used for any of our upcoming tours all year round. Gift vouchers can be purchased here.

Please email us at info@chinaexchange.uk if you have any further questions.

The walking segment of the tour is a busy, information packed 1.5 hours where there is no opportunity to shop. We recommend hanging around Chinatown after your tour and visiting the local businesses, there may even be some shopping recommendations in your tour!

Being located in the heart of central London, there are plenty of souvenir shops in and around Chinatown. If you would prefer something unique, here at China Exchange we have worked with artists, a team of dedicated volunteers and community members to develop a range of products rooted in the heritage of London’s Chinatown. Our Made in Chinatown collection can be viewed here. Tour attendees also receive a discount that can be applied when purchasing any of our items.

Chinatown and the surrounding area is one of the most fascinating and lively areas of the capital. There are many ways to enjoy our neighbourhood for a few more hours after our tour. We recommend that visitors:

Our guides are very knowledgeable about the area, ask them for some suggestions, the official Chinatown website has regular updates about events that are happening in the area, as well as information on local businesses

All guides are committed to sharing Chinatown’s heritage with you. Most tours include Gerrard Street, the Chinatown gates, Newport Place and Lisle Street. They will often include other smaller streets including Dansey Place, Rupert Court, and details about Horse and Dolphin Yard as well as other landmarks.

On public tours, tickets always include lunch. Tours without lunch are available for private groups by arrangement. Contact us to discuss your arrangements (info@chinaexchange.uk

Yes, if we know you’d like to be together, we can allocate you to the same group with the same guide. Email us or complete the details in the request for information in the booking form online.

Providing the weather doesn’t present a danger (high winds or a national red weather warning), the tour will still go ahead whatever the weather. This is London so we enjoy many different seasons during the 2.5 hour tour experience! The walking tour involves spending 90 minutes outside. We recommend comfortable shoes and layers of clothing to keep you comfortable. Guides will adapt their routes to find more shelter or shade as necessary.

We are keen to ensure that groups are not too large – most groups are 11 guests per guide. We do not allow more than 50 people to book tours at any one time to ensure safety. 

There are vegan options available for guests. If you select the vegan option while purchasing your tickets, there will be a variety of vegan dishes and rice.

For every walking tour ticket that we sell, we donate to three different Chinatown charities (the Chinese Community Centre, the Chinese Information and Advice Centre and China Exchange) that support the neighbourhood.

  • Chinatown Stories are led for the benefit of the community – all guides are trained volunteers and tickets include donations to three Chinatown charities supporting the neighbourhood.
  • The 2.5 hour experience includes a family-style lunch.
  • Tours are in-depth and thoroughly researched – you won’t hear these unique stories anywhere else!
  • You will hear stories of migration, entrepreneurship, family histories and transformation. We provide our guests with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of London’s Chinatown and the history and significance of the ESEA diaspora in the UK.

We will try to accommodate larger groups of people by request, however this is not always possible. The longer we know in advance for large groups, the more likely it is we are able to have enough volunteer guides available for your requested date. Previously, we have also split groups of 60 or more into two different dates. For large private requests, please email us at info@chinaexchange.uk

Yes. Wheelchair access is to the ground floor of the restaurant only.

Yes, a 10% discount is available for five tickets or more booked in the same transaction. We can accommodate private larger groups by request. Please get in touch.

These would be private tours and would need to meet the requirements for a private group (minimum spend of five people). 

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