MARKETS AND SHOPS

TopTen

1. Hong Qiao Market

Google Map

Hong Qiao is best known for pearls (hence its alternative name, the “Pearl Market”), with a huge range of freshwater and seawater ones available on the third floor. The floors below are a tight compress of clothing, shoes, electronics, and more. The basement is a pungent, but fascinating, market for fish, frogs, and snakes.

TopTen

Pearls at Hong Qiao Market

2. Oriental Plaza

Google Map

A large mall (see Oriental Plaza) that stretches a whole city block and features several levels of top-end retailers including Paul Smith, Swarovski, Sisley, Max Mara, and Apple. There is also a Watsons drugstore, a big CD and DVD store, and an excellent food court.

3. Chongwenmen Market

prac_info Guangqumenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District • Subway: Guangqumennei • 6701 8014 • Open 8am–9pm daily

Google Map

Located to the east of the Temple of Heaven, this is one of the oldest food markets in the city and offers an authentic Chinese experience. It is also surprisingly clean.

4. Plastered T-Shirts

prac_info 61 Nan Luogu Xiang, Dongcheng District • 6406 4872 • Open 9:30am–11pm daily

Google Map

A great place for gifts, Plastered offers quirky Beijing style in the form of T-shirts and tote bags. Founder Dominic Johnson Hill works with Chinese designers, and everything is manufactured in the capital. There is another shop in the 798 Art District.

5. Three Stone Kite Shop

prac_info 25A Di’an Men Xi Dajie, Xicheng District • 8404 4505 • Open 9am–9pm daily • www.cnkites.com

Google Map

Owner and craftsman, Liu Bin, comes from a long line of kite makers, some of whom once served the royal family. His kites are true works of art. Sturdy enough for Beijing breezes, they also make for exquisite, lightweight gifts. The shop runs kite-making classes, too.

6. Taikoo Li Sanlitun

Google Map

This hip shopping, dining, and entertainment center (see Taikoo Li Sanlitun) in Sanlitun has numerous colored glass buildings housing over 200 stores, including global brand flagships such as the Apple Store and Nike, plus some of downtown Beijing’s best bars and cafés.

TopTen

Taikoo Li Sanlitun shopping center

7. Panjiayuan Antique Market

Google Map

As much a tourist attraction as a shopping experience, Panjiayuan is home to around 3,000 dealers peddling everything from broken bicycles to family heirlooms. Come here for Mao memorabilia, a Qing-dynasty vase, or Tintin comics in Chinese. Panjiayuan Market is at its busiest and best on weekends. Serious collectors swoop at dawn, but it’s fun any time of the day.

TopTen

Antiques on display at Panjiayuan

8. Cathay Bookshop (Zhongguo Shudian)

prac_info Liulichang Xi Jie • 6317 3805 • Open 9am–5pm daily

Google Map

A bookstore with a vast selection of modern Chinese art books, as well as classic second-hand, vintage, and antique collections.

9. Beijing Postcards

prac_info 97 Yangmeizhuxiejie • 156 1145 3992 • www.bjpostcards.com

Google Map

This fascinating shop sells historic Beijing postcards, maps, calendars, and prints from the 1870s–1940s, all purchased at auction or from descendants of missionaries. See the website for information on their lectures and historical walking tours.

10. Silk Market

Google Map

Properly known as Xiushui, this market is reportedly one the city’s most popular tourist attractions, after the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. The bargains are not what they used to be, but some 100,000 shoppers a day still visit to snap up famous brand goods.

TopTen

Colorful fabrics at the Silk Market

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