Forget sight-seeing, you could spend a week shopping in Beijing. From frenzied markets stacked on several floors selling everything from cheap clothing to cheap pearls to lovely laid-back alleys full of quaint shops, Beijing has it all.
Today, Beijing has 10 famous shopping streets including the Wangfujing, Dongdanbei, Longfusi, Xidanbei, Qianmen and Xiusuhi streets, and Liulichang Cultural Street. These streets boast modern malls and boutiques or special articles shops and provide various kinds of services.
The goods tourists to Beijing prefer to buy are unique handicrafts and cultural relics full of Beijing flavor, such as cloisonne, jade ware, bronzes and stone tablets with inscriptions, writing brushes, ink sticks, paper and ink slabs, antiques, paintings, calligraphic works and handicrafts including dough figurines, facial masks and kites unique to Beijing.
As the most famous shopping center in Beijing, it boasts many reputed shops such as New Dong'an Bazaar, Department Store, Arts and Crafts Mansion, Foreign Language Bookstore, Shengxifu Hat Store, Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant and Vegetarian Restaurant. Wangfujing is a fairly long street. A walk from end to end would take you about 30 minutes, and that's without looking at any shops.
Liulichang Cultural Street
It is lined by shops including Rongbaozhai Studio, Cultural Relics Shop, Yanjiang Calligraphic Work and Painting Studio, Zhenyun Building for selling jewelry, Yide Building for selling ink sticks and red ink paste used for seals, Four Treasures of the Study for selling writing brushes, Jigu Building for Duplicating cultural relics and Cuiwen Building for selling seals.
Xiushui Street is one of the famous clothing markets in Beijing. It attracts domestic and foreign tourists with varied styles, colors and materials as well as a cheap price. Now, Xiushui Street is in reconstruction.
Ruifuxiang Silk and Cotton Fabrics Shop
The shop was opened in the first year of the reign of the Qing Emperor Tongzhi and has a history of more than 120 years. It has branches in Beijing and Tianjin. The shop handles 10,000 kinds of silk, woolen and cotton textiles.Address: 5 Dashilar, Qianmenwai. Tel: 86-10-63032880.
It is well known at home and abroad and has a history of more than 300 years. A drugstore of the imperial court in the Qing Dynasty, the pharmacy today mainly handles more than 3,000 kinds of traditional Chinese medicines, medical herbs and tablets and liquid medicines.Address: 24 Dashilar, Qianmenwai. Tel: 86-10-63014883.
Rongbaozhai Studio has a history of more than 200 years. It deals paintings, calligraphic works, carvings and seals by famous figures, especially the watercolor block prints. Today it has preserved a dozen of valuable works including a Tianhuang seal and a piece of Tianhuang stone weighing 4,275 grams, the heaviest of its kind in the world.Address: 19 Liulichang W. St. Tel: 86-10-63012177.
Qianmen Shopping Street
This is an ancient shopping street outside Qianmen Gate. It is sided by shops and restaurants. Especially the Dashilar Tourist and Pedestrian Street have many old shops such as Tongrentang Pharmacy, Neiliansheng Shoe Shop, Ruifuxiang Silk and Cotton Fabrics Shop, Quanyechang, Zhang Yiyuan Tea Store and Majuyuan Hat Store.
Arts and Crafts World Mansion
Beijing Arts and Crafts World Mansion is China's largest of its kind. Its business scope: gold and silver jewelry, jade, stone and wood carvings, cloisonne, lacquerware, pottery or porcelain lamps, silk fabrics, wax printings, glassware, bamboo and straw woven articles, writing brush, ink sticks, paper and ink slabs, paintings, calligraphic works and seals.Address: 200 Wangfujing St. Tel: 86-10-65288866.
Beijing Antique City
This city is the largest antique exchange center in Asia and handles more than 1,000 kinds of antiques including paintings, calligraphic works, jewelry and jade goods. It has sponsored regular exhibitions and auctions.Address: 21 E. Third Ring S. Rd. Tel: 86-10-67747711.