A walk around Chinatown on Manchester's Tourist Trail


Dancer dressed in traditional red costume in front of Manchester Central Library

Behind Manchester Art Gallery is one of the largest Chinatowns in Europe. The Chinese Arch, restaurants, bakeries and shops make this a worthwhile visit any time of year but the area is transformed during the Chinese New Year.

Map from St Peter's Square to Chinese Arch and Guardian Telephone exchange
Chinatown directions from St Peter's Square (Google Maps)

From St Peters Square Metrolink stop (A) walk down Mosley Street in front of Manchester Art Gallery and directly after the gallery turn right down Nicholas Street (B). 

Art Gallery with columns lit up in the evening
Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street

Keep walking until you reach Faulkner Street and you will see the arch on your left. The square you passed on your left is the centre of Chinatown.

The arch marks the twinning of Manchester with Wuhan and is perfect frame for photos.

Chinese Arch with brightly decorated tiles
Chinese Arch, Faulkner Street. Chinese New Year 2021

The best time to visit the area is over the Chinese New Year. 

Celebrations around the city were cancelled in 2021. 

The Year of the Tiger in 2022 should see a welcome return of the street and dragon parades with a mixture of sights, smells and sounds that are a feast for the senses.

Yellow and red dragon with man stroking its head
Dragon Dancer in the crowd at Chinese New Year 2019

Celebrations will take place over an extended weekend in 2022 with New Year falling on 1st February 2022. 

The city is decorated in the weeks leading up to the New Year and the parade is held on Saturday and Sunday.

Giant pig puppet sat in front of pink building
Year of the Pig 2019. St Ann's Square

If you're in the area, close to the square in Chinatown is the entrance to a Cold War underground bunker. The Guardian Telephone Exchange is on George Street which runs through Chinatown. 

On map at the top of the page this is point (C). From the Chinese arch walk back the way you came down Nicholas Street. George street runs across the other side of the square. Turn left down George Street. 

Built in secret in the 1950s and 30 metres below ground, a bunker and tunnel system extends across the city. 

This was designed to protect telecommunications and provide basic communication in the event of nuclear war. Today internet cables run though the tunnels.

Black gates and barbed wire with derelict building behind
A Cold War relic on the edge of Chinatown

Chinatown is a great place to eat in the evening and really comes alive at Chinese New Year. It's so central that it's worth a quick visit at any time of year. The square also doubles as a small car park.

In the Northern Quarter you can find the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. 

To get there take an interesting one kilometre walk through the heart of the Northern Quarter. The website CFCCA also has directions from various starting points. You will also find details of New Year events and exhibitions as they happen. CFCCCA


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