The best places in Beijing to pick up trinkets, stroll through glistening white malls or find fine dining

Beijing's malls offer a firm contradiction to the country's communist leaning. Name brand stores from around the globe like Prada, Versace, Lamborghini and MiuMiu line the exterior of the malls, with advertising soaking up much of the structure's exterior. The irony is entirely lost on the locals, who dress to impress from head to toe in either real or fake Armani, Gucci and Dior. Still, if your in the market for fancy garb and accessories you've come to the right place.

Sanlitun Village is, perhaps, the most common meeting point in Beijing for expats and foreigners. You'll find a white wave at the mall, attracted by the dazzle of western cinema, restaurants that cater to the western palate and of course an active and vibrant nightlife scene. Nearby you'll find clubs, bars and entertainment of all sorts, making this one of the best places to hang out on a weekend evening.

But other malls cater to the locals, like the fancy Shin Kong Place, which boats designer gear and is the place to see and be seen for locals. You'll find men draped in cell phone cases escorting beautiful women as they spend their money. You'll find wealthy teens, trying on the latest fashions from Italy and France. And you'll find overpriced tea, furniture and clothing of all varieties.

There are also exciting fakes markets out there to browse, including the most famous called the Silk Market. You'll find knock-offs from every major brand and any popular designer and all at reasonable prices. Although you're expected to bargain hard if you want to get anywhere less than what you'd pay for the real deal.

Silk Market
Photo courtesy of Silk Market

One of the city's largest fakes markets, you'll find everything from fake Nike to Dior to a few authentic local items. Be prepared to bargain hard or get ripped off. Essentially, cut the asking price by half before you begin to consider an item....  Read More

Jinmao Shopping Center
Photo courtesy of Xizhimen

The largest shopping mall in the west of the city, this mega center offers office buildings, school, clinics, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in addition to one of the larger collection of shops in the city. You'll find everything from lingerie...  Read More

The Gate City Mall
Photo courtesy of Malls

The three domed peaks of this mega shopping center is a landmark for the north-west corner of the city, and home to one of the western area's largest malls and office buildings. It's locate smack at the hub of three major subway lines, and is...  Read More

Chao Yang District
Solana Mall
Photo courtesy of Solana Mall

Solana Mall boasts impressive dining, nightlife and strolling opportunities in addition to the wide swath of amazing shopping options like Zara, MotherCare and Nike. Dining options abound, but the real outdoor attractions are the bars, ColdStone and cafes.

Oriental Plaza

Situated just east of the Forbidden City at the corner of Wangfujing Street is Asia's second largest shopping mall. Oriental Plaza is bright and spacious and offers fashion stores, jewelers, health and beauty outlets, a launderette, supermarket,...  Read More

Beijing Yintai Center
Photo courtesy of Yintai Center

The Yintai Center is located in the CBD (central business district) which makes it a prime place for the city's businessmen to congregate for drinks, dinner or a place to stroll. For shoppers, the place features designer gear, name-brand shops...  Read More

China World Trade Center Shopping Mall

A Beijing landmark, the China World Trade Center, locally known simply as "Guomao," is an impressive modern shopping center where you can buy almost anything. Designer stores include Louis Vuitton, Celine, Prada, Gucci and Hermes. Banks with...  Read More

Panjiayuan Market

The Great Flea Market of China � this is the place to get in among the crowds and haggle. Panjiayuan Market has over 3000 stalls, selling everything from Tibetan carpets to porcelain tea sets to medicinal herbs to pirated DVDs. It's...  Read More

Sanlitun Village
Photo courtesy of Sanlitun Village

Beijing's go-to shopping area for expats, westerners and tourists. The facility boasts international brands, a theaters, restaurants, bars and much more.

The Place
Photo courtesy of The Place

The Place is one of Beijing's most fancy malls. You'll find all the high-end, designer brands here plus a tasty selection of restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs.


Meet Lauren Johnson

Lauren has been living in Asia for the past five years. She holds a master's degree in Asian history. Lauren spends her free time reading, writing and traveling and visiting zoos in every city possible.