Hongqiao Pearl Market
The Hongqiao Pearl Market is a really popular Market for tourists. It is a heaven for shoppers who would like to buy great things such as the pearl jewelry, cheap costume jewelry, clothing, silk scarf, luggage, purse, digital objects and various souvenirs. The sole thing you need to be sure about is that you remember to bargain hard because you don’t want to buy something for a great deal of amount and later realize it wasn’t worth it and it is a sport to test your bargaining skills here. I would suggest that you should pay between 10% to 20% of the initial price demanded by the seller even if you feel intimidated by the sellers as they are usually very aggressive. The best skill for bargaining is that offer your price and then walk away after which they will ask you to come back. The Hongqiao Market is famous for its treasure of fake substitutes of original products but the really top quality fake duplicates are available in the hidden stores, not this market.
Silk Street (Silk Market)
The Silk Street is the largest and most popular market for tourists in Beijing. It’s quite similar to the Hongqiao Market but it’s bigger and offers a wider selection of goods. A few years ago, the market was redeveloped significantly which has made the stall holders pay higher rents. Due to this, bargaining is tough and they start with a higher price if someone intends to bargain, and the shop owners are more aggressive. The layout of Hongqiao Market is more open-plan than Silk Street, making it easier to browse quickly between stalls. The sellers get grumpy or aggressive or rude and will make you a little uncomfortable by giving off a vibe which is unwelcoming . If you want top quality fakes of prestigous brands, they are certainly available but are not displayed at the market, and for finding those gems, you have to look for the hidden stores where those stuffs are available.
The Wangfujing Street
The Wangfujing Street , famously known as the “Gold street” is basically a pedestrian shopping street that was the first modern commercial street in Beijing. It’s about 800 m long , stretching from the south to the north. There are several fancy shopping malls, such as the Oriental Plaza, the Wangfujing Department store,WF Central, Snack street (closed since 2019.8. Not sure when will it open again), the Apm Mall and etc.. It’s a good place to hang around as a tourist for a breezy time and it also abounds in a lot of good restaurants in the shopping malls for pleasurable eating.
The hidden Stores for knock-off goods
Do you know where the local foreigners who are living and working in Beijing go for shopping? Do you know where do the airline staff go for shopping when they stay in Beijing, to get some amazing products? There are some nice hidden stores at the back of Hongqiao Pearl Market. You can find cheap souvenirs, digital objects, top quality knock-off purses, clothes, shoes and watches. The shop owners have a trademark of doing business with old clients or friends mostly so everything is fixed at a reasonable price. You don’t have to worry about bargaining here. Honestly, without a local person like me, the entire area would seem like a puzzle to you and you won't be able to find the hidden stores by yourself.
The Panjiayuan Flea Market
The Panjiayuan Flea Market, also known the Panjiayuan Weekend Market, opens from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm during the weekdays and from 4:30 am to 6:00 pm on weekends. 100% of stalls are open on weekends and only around 70% during the weekdays which make it a visiting place even for the locals . An array of goods are available at the Panjiayuan Market which makes it seem like a museum. Most of the visitors here are local people. You can find antiques (99% are fake), handicrafts, calligraphy, Chinese paintings, writing brushes, stone carvings, porcelain, traditional furniture, jewels & jade, stamps, second-hand books, packing materiel and etc.. It’s the largest flea Market at the northern China and it should definitely be on your travel list.
The Nanluoguxiang Alley
The Nanluoguxiang is a trendy alley in the old Beijing that is famous for its boutiques, restaurants, snack stalls and bars. The 800 meters long pedestrian alley has 8 best preserved Hutongs on each side from the south to the north and has historical marks that can be found in every Hutong here since lots of officials, celebs lived here since Ming & Qing Dynasty. With its impressive historical reputation and cultural influences, Nanluoguxiang has become a popular tourist attraction in Beijing.
The Qianmen Street
The Qianmen Street is located at the central axis of Beijing City which proudly states of being a famous pedestrian street for shopping and sightseeing. It’s just located at the south of the Tian’anmen Square. Qianmen Street has more than 570 years history. It was called Zhengyangmen Street during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and finally got the present name in 1965. During the Qing Dynasty, there were many local markets in this area, such as a meat market, cloth market, jewelry market, pig market and etc.. So there are many time-honored local brands in Qianmen Street today which enables visitors to enjoy a traditional Chinese way of life here. Dashilar is a must-see street on the west of the Qianmen Street. There are cheap souvenirs stores, time-honored brand stores for shoes, silk, hat, tea and herbal medicines, restaurants and etc.. Hanging around at the Qianmen Dashilar street will bring you back to the real Beijing and allow you to unwind yourself in the strrets of Beijing, a story you can pass to your next generation!