The best shopping spots in Beijing

Wangfujing Street, photo by Jorje Lascar

The Chinese capital is just what you’d expect from such a huge and diverse country like China. Of course, when it comes to sights and places where you can eat and drink, few cities in the world can compare to it – there are just so many to choose from! But if shopping is also one of the activities you like to do when you are traveling, then Beijing will definitely not disappoint you either. There are more than enough shopping centers, markets, shops and even roadside stalls in Beijing to send a shopping-astraight to heaven. So if you are in the n mood to spend some money in the Chinese capital (or perhaps just to window shop), here are some of the best shopping spots in Beijing.

Nanluoguoxiang, Dongcheng District

Nanluoguoxiang is a restored hutong – an area with narrow streets, old buildings and winding alleys that channels the China of yore – and on top of that it is the most active shopping area in Dongcheng District. The small streets are virtually lined with shops and boutiques selling every imaginable thing in China. Unlike at markets, this is no place to find markets, but instead you will find many unique items and great souvenirs.

Wangfujing, Dongcheng District

photo by Glenn Strong

Wangfujing is the most famous shopping district in Beijing, and one that could fit right into every large metropolis in the world. The street is lined with famous brand shops and shopping malls, and since parts of it are pedestrianized, there is no better place for gawking and window shopping in the whole city. Malls like Oriental Plaza and Sun Dong An Plaza are large enough that you need an entire afternoon to explore them.

Panjiayuan, Chaoyang District

Panjiayua, as opposed to the clean and air-conditioned tourist-oriented markets, it the biggest, messiest, most chaotic and most amazing market in China. This weekend flea-market is heaven for bargain hunters and for those who are hoping to find something unique. You will find a fair number of fake antiques, textiles from the provinces, goods from Tibet, used books, porcelain and jade. Haggling is compulsory!

Hong Qiao Market, Chongwen District

Qianmen Dajie, photo by IvanWalsh.com

Hong Qiao ┬áMarket is the state-run silk market of Beijing and it has a huge section where jewelry and precious stones are sold. In fact, there is no better place in China to buy pearls, coral, and various semi-precious stones. You can buy ready-made jewelry as well, but the stalls selling stones have the best bargains, but you will need to haggle like there’s no tomorrow.

Qianmen Dajie Pedestrian Street, Xuanwu District

Qianmen Dajie Pedestrian Street is one of the oldest shopping streets is China, and it is more than 500 years old. Better yet. restorations work is being done on the street to make it look like it did in the 1920’s, including trolleys! Qianmen is not only one of the best shopping spots in Beijing, but also one of the most scenic!

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