Souvenir Shopping Guide (Self Guided), Beijing

It would be a pity to leave Beijing without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Beijing, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Guide Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Guide
Guide Location: China » Beijing (See other walking tours in Beijing)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Neiliansheng Shoes Store
  • Liulichang Antiques Street
  • Rongbaozhai Bookshop
  • Xidan Area
  • Yu Chen Hand Painting Store
Neiliansheng Shoes Store

1) Neiliansheng Shoes Store

What to buy here: Neiliansheng Cloth Shoes.

All-cloth shoes, sole included, have been traditionally worn by most Chinese officials for centuries; and for the last 150 or so years Neiliansheng has made, what is considered by most, the best cloth shoes. Neiliansheng was established in 1853 and specializes in producing and selling cloth shoes, their footwear was highly appreciated by top officials from the imperial court of the past and by the now leaders of China alike. The shoes were popular due to their bright black satin and 32 layers of cloth used for the sole. Neiliansheng shoes have been considered luxury items during imperial times, and nowadays are considered a form of art. Even if these kind of shoes are usually more expensive than others (prices range between $23 and $51), they are still very popular.

Operation hours: Monday-Sunday: 9:00-21:00
Liulichang Antiques Street

2) Liulichang Antiques Street

If you love collecting antiques, the best place to find the very essence of Chinese culture is Liulichang Street in Beijing. Tourists flock this street to find exquisite Chinese paintings, handicrafts, antiques and calligraphy works.

This street is close to Xicheng District’s Peace Gate. Liulichang was popular for its glaze materials. Right from 1271, as early as in Yuan Dynasty, supply of glazed tiles for palace decorations went from the glaze factories in this area.

In fact, Liulichang has provided the glaze materials for Yuan, Ming and Ling dynasties. Glazed tiles from here were used to decorate mansions, palaces and gardens including the famous Summer Palace and Forbidden City.

A lot of antiques from the palaces came into the market after the collapse of Qing Dynasty in 1911. Liulichang became one of the most famous distribution centers of calligraphy works, antiques, handicrafts and Chinese paintings. At the Liulichang Antiques Street, you will find many Chinese featured items such as ink-stick, calligraphy brush, rice paper and ink-slab.

Liulichang Street as you find it today was renovated in 1980s. Tourists flock this street to purchase exquisite Chinese artifacts at some of the most renowned shops. The oldest shops here are in existence for the past 100 years and they employ professionals who are trained at identifying original and authentic antiques. Most of the vendors on this street work between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Rongbaozhai Bookshop

3) Rongbaozhai Bookshop

What to buy here: Chinese calligraphy wall scrolls | Eight Treasures Inkpad.

-Chinese calligraphy wall scrolls. In China, calligraphy is considered a true form of art, similar to painting, and can sometimes be more expensive than paintings. Calligraphy has developed since the appearance of Chinese characters (approximately 4000 BCE) and has been permanently improved over the centuries. Since calligraphy was considered an art form, it was only natural that works were produced in order to showcase it, often in the form of wall hanging scrolls. Typically wall scrolls may have one or several Chinese characters painted on them, or they may have signs of the Chinese zodiac. They are available at affordable prices, starting at $10-$30, but may be more expensive – over $100.

-Eight Treasures Inkpad was invented in 1683, it is made with eight valuable ingredients, such as musk, plum, cinnabar, vermillion hue, natural jade and preserved oils. It was special use stationery at the imperial court, as well as being preferred by painters and calligraphy professionals. The Eight Treasures Inkpad has kept the characteristics of ancient Chinese inkpads, the process of production still involves over 30 separate steps and when ready, it is left to sit for 6-10 months before being used. Nowadays, these inkpads are used for historical records or signing of important contracts. The prices for an Eight Treasure Inkpad range from $20 to $80.

Operation hours: Monday-Sunday: 9:00-17:30
Xidan Area

4) Xidan Area

One of the most popular shopping areas frequented by locals and tourists is Xidan Area. There are at least 6 huge shopping malls here that sell a variety of interesting things at affordable rates. The malls resemble US departmental stores and are constructed in old fashioned, traditional Chinese style.

Almost all the malls have a total of six to seven floors. The topmost floor usually has shops that sell high fashion clothing, accessories and electronics. You will find an extensive selection of electronic items such as Hi-fi, DVD and TV here.

You will also find a giant mobile phone mall in addition to the main malls. Here you will find a stunning range of mobile phones in all three floors. Xidan Area also features two of the largest book stores in Beijing namely the Xinhua Book Store and Beijing Books Building. Though most of the books here are Chinese, you can also find a section selling foreign language books.

Main Street that connects the malls to the station features a lot of clothing stores. Here you can find mid-quality, mid-range, highly affordable Hong Kong and Chinese brands. On your visit to the main Xidan mall, go to the upper floors where you will find women’s fashion accessory stores. You can shop to your heart’s content for a variety of attractive accessories such as necklaces, sunglasses, belts, earrings, watches and scarves.

Most of the stores here open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Yu Chen Hand Painting Store

5) Yu Chen Hand Painting Store

The Yu Chen Hand Painting Store sells unique hand-painted T-shirts, ties, undergarmets, masks, sneakers, bags and socks. Yu Chen is located between the famous Xidan shopping street and Zhongnanhai, a beautiful artificial lake that surrounds the municipal government.

Walking Tours in Beijing, China

Create Your Own Walk in Beijing

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Beijing is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Antiques Hunting Tour

Antiques Hunting Tour

While enjoying the city, make sure to check out our amazing tour, comprised of handpicked antique markets, filled with original, rare and beautiful items. Discover both the work of local craftsmen and articles that traveled from other countries and cultures.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Walking Tour: Popular Markets in Beijing

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Markets in Beijing are great places to get acquainted with locals. Many markets operate through the night so if you are out late enjoying the nightlife, don't forget to stop by to purchase unique items that are not found in shops or malls. Take the following tour to discover the most popular markets in Beijing:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Walking Tour: Beijing’s Modern Architecture

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Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Walking Tour: Chaoyang District

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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Walking Tour: Shopping in Downtown Beijing

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The downtown section of Beijing is famous for its shopping areas. You will be impressed with the diverse selection of stores on each street, ranging from flea markets to specialty shops offering authentic Chinese products. Take the following tour to discover the most popular and prominent shopping spots in Beijing:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 Km or 4.6 Miles
Self-guided Tour: Places of Worship, South-West Beijing

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Beijing’s places of worship are some of the best links to the city's history. The unique churches, Buddhist and Taoist Temples, and beautiful Muslim Mosques all tell great tales of the history of Beijing. Many of them have been partially or completely destroyed over the years either structurally by wars, or internally by the changes of political power. Visit the most beautiful places of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 Km or 4.8 Miles

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