Canal Street - NYC Tourist Tour

Canal Street - New York City

Overwhelming at times, exciting always, a visit to Canal Street in NYC is an experience like none other. The crowded sidewalks along Canal Street are constantly abuzz with merchants touting low-priced, high-quality offerings and shoppers searching for the best deals in NYC. Bordering Tribeca to the north and SoHo to the south, Canal Street is not only Manhattan's main thoroughfare between Brooklyn and New Jersey, it is a refreshing taste of authentic New York City. 

Tourists and locals alike flock to the lively sidewalks of Canal Street where outdoor vendors hawk bargain goodies, novelty knickknacks, fine jewelery, unique souvenirs, and cheap eats from around the world. At the south end of Canal Street, produce stands line the sidewalk, tempting passersby with a colorful array of exotic fruits and vegetables. Further north, bargain-hunters rifle through the vast assortment of designer knockoff handbags for sale along this New York City artery dividing Chinatown and Little Italy.

Although the sale of counterfeit products is illegal, there is no shortage of fakes being peddled up and down the crowded sidewalks along Canal Street at any given time. Louis Vuitton, Prada, Coach, Gucci, Chanel - name a popular purse designer and you can surely find an affordable knockoff version of the expensive original for sale on Canal Street.

Purses aren't the only knockoff goods being hustled along Canal Street in NYC. Vendors sell counterfeit DVDs, watches, sunglasses, perfume and other bargain merchandise from open storefronts, small wooden stalls, folding tables, and even out of suitcases they carry in their arms up and down Canal Street. Some peddlers stand on street corners and in front of subway stations on Canal Street, whispering, "Prada? Coach? Gucci?" Interested parties are offered catalogs featuring photographs of the fakes, then led off down the street or through a storefront to a makeshift showroom where the sale takes place.

Not every merchant on Canal Street is hawking counterfeit goods. Yellow or blue licenses adorn the stalls and shops of legitimate Canal Street vendors who are regulated by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. It's pretty easy to spot those without a license, though, especially when they set off running at the first sign of the police.

A Brief History of Canal Street NYC

Hundreds of years ago, the intersection of Centre and Leonard Streets in downtown Manhattan was home to a small body of water where New Yorkers would come to cool off, kick back, and enjoy picturesque scenery. Collect Pond, as it was known, was a popular retreat until the early 1800s when it became so polluted that the city dug a canal to drain the contaminated water into the Hudson River. The canal was eventually covered up by the city and Canal Street now stands where the water once flowed.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information and helpful hints about visiting Canal Street in NYC!

NYCTourist Travel Info

Hotels near Canal Street

...
More Hotels...
NYCTourist Travel Info

Attractions near Canal Street

  Tour Info
1. NYC Police Museum


ActiveFamily FriendlyScenicHistoricArtsyHoliday FunSportsCulturalMuseumBroadwayNightlifeNYC SightsRomanticShoppingTV and MoviesCentral Park
Location
Financial DistrictDetails
3.35
1 Reviews
2. Museum of Finance


ActiveFamily FriendlyScenicHistoricArtsyHoliday FunSportsCulturalMuseumBroadwayNightlifeNYC SightsRomanticShoppingTV and MoviesCentral Park
Location
Financial DistrictDetails
0
0 Reviews
3. Eldridge St. Museum


ActiveFamily FriendlyScenicHistoricArtsyHoliday FunSportsCulturalMuseumBroadwayNightlifeNYC SightsRomanticShoppingTV and MoviesCentral Park
Location
Lower East SideDetails
0
0 Reviews
4. Trinity Church


ActiveFamily FriendlyScenicHistoricArtsyHoliday FunSportsCulturalMuseumBroadwayNightlifeNYC SightsRomanticShoppingTV and MoviesCentral Park
Location
Financial DistrictDetails
0
0 Reviews
5. New York City Center


ActiveFamily FriendlyScenicHistoricArtsyHoliday FunSportsCulturalMuseumBroadwayNightlifeNYC SightsRomanticShoppingTV and MoviesCentral Park
Location
Midtown WestDetails
0
0 Reviews
More Tours...
NYCTourist Travel Info

Transportation Rates in Manhattan

Transportation Info
Royal Way Limousine

Reservation
Information
DetailsMore Info
5
1 Reviews
More Transportations...


*Terms & Conditions: Offers, promotions and rates subject to change and may vary based upon date, length of stay and other factors. Some offers do not include taxes and fees. All offers based on availability and are subject to change without notice.

Canal Street Shopping Tips

  • For the quintessential NYC Canal Street shopping experience, take the A, C, or E subway trains to Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas, then walk east along Canal Street towards Chinatown.
  • Most Canal Street stores and vendors don't accept credit cards or checks, so come prepared with cash.
  • The majority of vendors selling handbags on Canal Street can be found between Lafayette and Bowery Streets.
  • Bargaining is customary on Canal Street NYC. Vendors typically oblige when shoppers haggle for a better deal.
  • Keep a close eye on your money. The crowds of shoppers armed with cash along Canal Street are a pickpocket's dream.
  • The saying "you get what you pay for" applies when it comes to buying cheap DVDs on Canal Street. Blank discs and DVDs with terrible sound and picture quality are the standard, not the exception.
  • Be smart about what you buy and who you buy it from. If a merchant takes you to a hidden showroom and you're not impressed with their product, it's okay to change your mind about the purchase. More importantly, if you feel unsafe or in danger at any time during the transaction, trust your instinct and hightail it out of there.

Hotels Near Canal Street

Hotels near Canal Street are often much more affordable than Midtown Manhattan hotels or hotels in Times Square. There are a number of great NYC hotels in SoHo, Chinatown, Tribeca, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side that are just a short walk away from the excitement of Canal Street. Check out some of these popular hotels near Canal Street, or click on the names of the aforementioned neighborhoods to find out about more conveniently located Canal Street hotels in NYC.