Long a place for artists and craftspeople to hone their skills and for traders to ply their wares, Beijing remains a wonderful place to find art, antiques, and handicrafts—as well as the bounty of modern China's churning factories.
Shops and markets hold a wealth of Chinese calligraphy, paintings, carpets, embroidered silk, jewelry, stone chops, Chinese musical instruments, furniture and Mao memorabilia. There's also a plethora of real and knock-off luxury watches, bags and clothing, pirated DVDs and sports equipment of top quality as well as questionable provenance.
Beijing's Qianmen Lu houses many traditional stores including Chinese medicine shops, silk shops, teashops, and some great Chinese snack shops, including Duyichu, famous for its steamed shaomai (meat-flavored sticky rice). Xidan's night market is a great place for souvenirs. Liulichang is Beijing's antique district, with more than 100 vendors selling antique rugs, tapestries, art and historical memorabilia.
Xiushui Silk Alley in Jianguomenwai offers a maze of hawkers selling Mao-emblazoned goods and clothing. Modern shopping malls filled with international brands line Qianmen Lu, and the city's recent boom has given rise to a number of modern malls and high-end shopping complexes.
Beijing also has several amazing flea markets. Bargain for knick-knacks on the weekends at the Yashuo Market in Sanlitun and Panjiayuan Market near the Panjiayuan Bridge or explore the three floors of clothes, electronics, pearls and artwork at the Hongqiao Market (aka Pearl Market), located near the Temple of Heaven.
Only a 70 km (44 mi) drive from Beijing, Badaling (Bādálǐng, 八达岭) is the most visited section of the Great Wall. Constructed during the Ming Dynasty, Badaling underwent extensive..
Beihai Park (Běihǎi Gōngyuán, 北海公园) lies just to the west of the Forbidden City and until 1925, it was considered part of the imperial complex and therefore off-limits to..
Along with the Great Wall, the Forbidden City (Zǐjìn Chéng, 紫禁城), or "former palace" (Gù Gōng, 故宫), is one of the must-see sights in Beijing. In the..
Fragrant Hills Park (Xiāngshān Gōngyuán, 香山公园) is located some 20 km (12 mi) northwest of Beijing, not far from the Summer Palace. Though the name could easily refer to..