Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

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:
  • Qian Xiang Yi
  • Neiliansheng Shoes Store
  • Liulichang Antiques Street
  • Rongbaozhai Bookshop
  • Xidan Area
Qian Xiang Yi

1) Qian Xiang Yi

What to buy here: Chinese silk.

The history of silk began in ancient China, when according to legend, empress Leizu made the discovery as a silk cocoon fell into her tea. At first, silk was only reserved for use at the imperial court and, on occasion, as gifts from them. Later, it spread rapidly and became a very popular luxury fabric. Silk was in great demand and for a while China was the only country to supply it. However, in time, production began in neighboring Korea and India as well. Nowadays, there are a great variety of silk-made articles available, from clothing to household items; and while sometimes buying genuine silk garments may prove to be quite expensive, it is always a good idea to buy silk household accessories, like cushions or bags. Silk items cost from $40.

Operation hours: Monday-Sunday: 9:00-20:30
Neiliansheng Shoes Store

2) 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

3) 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

4) 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.
Xidan Area

5) 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.

Walking Tours in Beijing, China

Create Your Own Walk in Beijing

Create Your Own Walk in Beijing

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.
Walking Tour: Olympic Park, Beijing

Walking Tour: Olympic Park, Beijing

Olympic Park was built in Beijing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2008. This complex of modern buildings boasts a unique architectural approach compared to the more traditional builings that fill the city. A multicolored rainbow illuminates the park, making it the perfect place for an evening walk. Take the following tour to discover the unique buildings of Olympic Park that represent...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Shopping in North Beijing

Shopping in North Beijing

Northern Beijing is home to the famous historic Shichahai area. This picturesque area between Forbidden City and Olympic Park consists of three lakes, the Confucius and Lama Temples and is a great illustration of a traditional Chinese district. Check out the most popular shopping places in North Beijing in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Walking Tour: Beijing’s Modern Architecture

Walking Tour: Beijing’s Modern Architecture

Beijing is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a great history of more than 2000 years. The majority of buildings in the city preserve that history, though you will notice a fast rising number of modern buildings emerging with impressive design, size and shape. Check out the famous modern architecture of Beijing in the next self-guided tour:

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Walking Tour: Beijing Temples

Walking Tour: Beijing Temples

Chinese temples are of unique beauty and have withstood many dynasties, beginning with the Qin Dynasty. Because the temples have always been connected to the imperial families, many of them were destroyed by 1949 when the last dynasty ended. Nevertheless, a great number of beautiful temples with great history still stand in Beijing. Take the following tour to discover the most famous temples in...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.4 Km or 5.8 Miles
Walking Tour: Xicheng District, Beijing

Walking Tour: Xicheng District, Beijing

Xicheng District includes the largest part of the old city. In this part of Beijing, you will find fascinating Chinese architecture, the oldest standing Catholic Church and beautiful parks. Take the following tour to discover the most popular and prominent attractions in Xicheng District of Beijing.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.4 Km or 5.2 Miles
Beijing City Center Walk

Beijing City Center Walk

Beijing has been a political, educational, cultural and economic center for centuries. Today, it is one of the greatest remnants of the Chinese Imperial past. Along with its famous City Wall and Forbidden City, this sightseeing tour will guide you through Beijing's most popular attractions in the heart of the city:

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles

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