Beijing is a megacity of overwhelming proportions. Getting there is easy and there's something for everyone, from unmissable UNESCO world heritage sites to scrumptious street food and superb shopping.
Much like the city itself, Beijing's shopping options feature a delightful fusion of old and new - traditional markets and modern high-rise malls side by side. Let the masses of people sweep you up in their tide and discover some of the city's best shopping malls and markets. Don't even try to resist.
Shop with the trendy crowd at Taikoo Li Sanlitun
This contemporary shopping destination is a staple among Beijing's stylish young set. The brightly coloured complex mimics the city's traditional hutong lanes, and multiple buildings, installations and pathways lead visitors from store to store.
Taikoo Li Sanlitun houses many different brands, from casual to luxury. Check out Pop Mart, Apple, Uniqlo, Benefit, Chanel, Too Cool for School, H&M, Vera Wang and much more. You could easily spend an entire day here - there's a lot on offer including a cinema and an excellent selection of restaurants and cafes.
People-watch as fashionistas peruse independent designer labels and boutique stores, stopping to chat in the spacious open courtyard, which occasionally plays host to fashion shows, brand launches, exhibitions and performances.
- Hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm
- Location: Taikoo Li Sanlitun is located between the East Second and East Third ring roads and is adjacent to the embassy district and Sanlitun Bar Street.
- Subway: Take Line 10 to Tuanjiehu Station, and walk west from Exit A or Line 2 to Dongsishitiao Station.
Explore Beijing's famed Silk Street
Once a bustling outdoor market for locals, Silk Street, also known as Silk Market or Xiushui Street, is one of Beijing's most famous and unique shopping destinations. It's now a multi-level complex with over 500 shops and thousands of enthusiastic vendors.
Browse delicate silk products, handmade leather goods and souvenirs - don't forget your haggling skills!
Visitors from all over China and the world come to look at the vast range of traditional and contemporary silk products, cashmere garments, electronics, shoes, watches and handmade items.
Pirated and counterfeit goods are popular here so make sure you bargain. Don't ask how much an item is off the bat - offer about 30 per cent less than what you're willing to pay, then let the haggling commence!
Currency exchange offices are located throughout the complex, while gift packaging, leather care and jewellery processing services can be found on the ground floor.
- Hours: 9:30am to 9:00pm
- Location: No. 8 East Xiushui Street, Chaoyang District.
- Subway: Take Line 1 to Yonganli Station.
Visit the vast Panjiayuan Flea Market
The Panjiayuan Flea Market is the largest antique market in China, and on weekends over 70,000 people flock to the area. Although it's known for Chinese folk antiques, hand-crafted collectibles and ornaments, pretty much anything and everything can be found in one of the market's thousands of shops and stalls.
Founded in 1992, Panjiayuan covers an area of 48,500 square metres and is divided into six sections - roadside stands, ancient architecture, classical furniture, modern works, sculpture and stone engraving and cuisine. Visitors are unlikely to walk away empty-handed as they stroll the streets and alleys lined with stalls selling classical furniture, bone carvings, writing tools, handmade paper, paintings, pottery, porcelain and even relics from the Cultural Revolution.
- Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:00pm // Saturday and Sunday 4:30am to 6:00pm
- Location: No.18 Hua Weili, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
- Subway: Line 10 to Panjiayuan station. From Exit B, head left out of the station along the bridge for about 100 meters.
Lose yourself on Wangfujing Street
You could spend an entire day on Wangfujing street and still not see everything on offer. At around 1.6 km long, this packed shopping street features vast modern department stores, open-air markets, luxury brand name shops, restaurants, cafes and boutique retail stores.
Three of the largest malls on the street are the Beijing APM complex, which features big-name international brands such as Zara and Nike, Intime Lotte Department Store, which houses luxury brands such as Prada and Gucci, and Oriental Plaza, where you will find the Apple flagship store as well as restaurants, fashion, entertainment and jewellery galore.
If you manage to venture outside the epic, sprawling malls, take some time to check out the array of food stalls on offer on Wangfujing Snack Street, which comes alive at night. You can try unique offerings from fried or toasted silkworms and scorpions to beetles and tarantulas. Or refuel with some of Beijing's world-famous Peking duck and a side of crispy dumplings or grilled corn on the cob before you continue your shopping extravaganza.
- Hours: Vary by store.
- Location: The entire length of Wangfujing street runs from Wusi St near the National Art Museum of China south to Changan Avenue. The pedestrian section starts at the southern end and runs for about 800 m.
- Subway: Wangfujing St Station on Line 1.
Shop in comfort and style at Parkview Green
With its striking exterior, Beijing's Parkview Green needs to be visited not only for its plethora of shopping options but also for its architectural style. As the name suggests, Parkview Green is an environmentally friendly structure, which is located in the heart of the Central Business District, with office towers, a shopping mall, an art centre and a boutique hotel.
When the weather/air quality outside is frightful, you can comfortably spend the day shopping in Parkview Green which was designed to provide a microclimate free from Beijing's extreme seasonal changes. Explore the mall's plethora of international fashion brands, homeware and lifestyle stores or beauty and personal care offerings. You can even do your grocery shopping or visit the art gallery.
- Hours: 10am to 10pm
- Location: No.9, Dongdaqiao Road.
- Subway: Line 1: Yong'anli Station, Exit A, then walk north for 15 minutes // Line 6: Dongdaqiao Station, Exit A, then walk south for about 400 meters // Line 10: Hujialou Station, Exit A, then take Nos. 126 or 440 and get off at Dongdaqiao bus stop.
With shops to cater to a population of over 20 million people, shopping in Beijing is unsurpassable, and no matter what kind of a consumer experience you're looking for you'll find it in this fast-paced city.
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