April 2, 2023

Where to find souvenirs, designer duds, and authentic goods in China’s capital

Cash is the best currency in Beijing – international credit cards may be accepted, but can come with service fees.
Shopping in Beijing can be rewarding – there are many opportunities to find Chinese products such as carpets, silk, jade, pearls, and embroidery, as well as designer goods and fashion. However, the process can also be frustrating due to overpricing and counterfeit brands. Here are a few reliable places to find good quality items at the right prices.

For Souvenirs
Panjiayuan Market is perhaps the best place in the city to shop for crafts and antiques, selling items ranging from calligraphy and Cultural Revolution memorabilia to ceramics and Tibetan carpets. Remember that the market only takes place on weekends, so plan accordingly if you want to go. The Arts & Crafts Emporium may look like a department store, but it’s much more of souvenir market. The quality of goods here is better than most other tourist markets, and it is well known for selling certified jade. Other goods for sale include vases, jewelry, and crafts. Another option is the Beijing Arts & Crafts Central Store, with a huge selection of tourist-minded products and more certified jade.

For Brand-Name Merchandise
Guomao (China World Trade Center Shopping Mall) is a super-modern mall with high-end designer boutiques, a food court, and even an ice skating rink. One of Beijing’s largest malls, Oriental Plaza, offers a selection of both recognizable brand-name stores and local favorites. Western consumers will also find familiar brands at the five-story Sanlitun Village, including the world’s largest Adidas retail outlet and the first Apple store in China. More than 100 international designer brands are on hand at the six-story Shin Kong Place mall, as well as restaurants and cafes that are part of a larger development.

For Chinese Goods
Hongqiao Market, also known as the Pearl Market, is a good go-to for antiques, produce, clothing, porcelain, and a huge range of pearls. The third floor sells good cloisonné, while Cultural Revolution items can be found on the top floor. Head to Nanluoguxiang for a hip shopping experience, with its funky Tibetan shops, jewelry stores, and Chinese designer boutiques. A handful of specialty shops on Maliandao Tea Street sell – as the name suggests – teapots, tea sets, and teas from all over China for a unique and authentic shopping experience.

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