Shopper’s Guide to Beijing & Shanghai
- Beijing’s Best Sights
- Beijing’s Best Restaurants
- Beijing’s Best Nightlife
- Beijing’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Beijing’s Best Shops
- Beijing’s Best Hotels
- Best of the Great Wall
- Shanghai’s Best Sights
- Shanghai’s Best Restaurants
- Shanghai’s Best Nightlife
- Shanghai’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Shanghai’s Best Shops
- Shanghai’s Best Hotels
- Shanghai’s Best Excursions
Shanghai is well-known as a shopping destination, and Beijing is making a name for itself as a shopping mecca as well. With a mix of traditional wares, trendy fashions, and incredibly quirky gifts, both Beijing and Shanghai have a plethora of goods to offer you on your trip, if only you know where to look.
- • The Malls at Oriental Plaza sell luxury labels like Boss and Burberry alongside mid-range brands.
- • The Place is a local landmark, thanks its LED “sky screen.” Tourneau, the largest watch shop in China, is located here.
- • Sanlitun Village is a contemporary development containing Western brands like Armani, Adidas, Mango, Apple, and Diesel. Split into North and South Villages, it’s been designed to echo the hutong (alleys) that were once on the site of Sanlitun Village.
- • The ifc Mall in Pudong’s Lujiazui district sits among the skyscrapers, and is home to international designer brands and upscale restaurants, as well as Shanghai’s flagship Apple store.
- • The Super Brand Mall is an astonishing 13 stories tall and houses mid-range brands like Uniqlo and H&M.
- • In the center of the busy Xujiahui commercial district sits the Grand Gateway mall with its distinctive glass exterior, which resembles a golf ball. Grand Gateway is home to international brands and a multiplex cinema.
- • Beijing’s most famous antique market is Panjiayuan, which sells everything from Mao memorabilia to Buddha statues.
- • The Hongqiao Market is best known for its pearls, so head straight to the third floor to purchase some, but be sure to avoid the obviously fake ones.
- • Choose from over 1,700 stalls selling clothes, fake bags and watches, jewelry, fabric, electronics, and more at Silk Street Market.
- • A great place to bargain for “antiques” and knick-knacks is the Dongtai Road Antiques Market close to the Old City.
- • Enliven your wardrobe with some bespoke threads from the South Bund Fabric Market with its many booths and tailors.
- • Brave the crowds at the Yu Garden Bazaar and pick up some “traditional” Chinese fans, chopsticks, and postcards to take home.
- • Witness Beijing’s love of all things retro at Mega Mega Vintage, where the inventory of leather jackets, knitted sweaters, and accessories are carefully selected.
- • Take home an ironicly sloganed T-shirt from China’s famous Plastered T-shirts.
- • Treat yourself to a piece of Beijing’s high fashion at candy&caviar, an innovative brand run by Californian designer Candy Lin.
- • Culture Matters is the best place to pick up a pair of ever-popular Huili or Feiyue sneakers. They’ll even customize your new Huilis for an extra fee.
- • Mayumi Sato is a boutique whose owner, Mayumi Sato, designs gorgeous, contemporary silk and cotton clothing that typifies cool Shanghai.
- • If you’re looking to buy some eco-friendly garments, try NuoMi, a label that uses natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo.
Gifts and Souvenirs
- • Quirky Old-Toxin Tin Toys sells reproductions of the toys that every Beijing kid played with before the arrival of plastic action figures.
- • Browse handmade items from local designers at Fengguo Box Store, where indie designers show their goods in a clear display box.
- • Pretty, handcrafted notebooks abound at Xing Mu’s Handicrafts, made from a special type of paper called “niupi.”
- • Pick up some kitschy, retro souvenirs like ceramics, propaganda art, and old postcards at Madame Mao’s Dowry.
- • Recycled felt is used to craft mrkt’s funky, functional accessories and houseware.
- • A different kind of tea shop, Song Fang Maison de Thé is run by a French expat, and is famous for its pastel-blue tin caddies.
© Susie Gordon from Moon Beijing & Shanghai, 2nd Edition