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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Most Amazing Markets in Beijing – An Urban Adventure in the Heart of Beijing!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Most Amazing Markets in Beijing – An Urban Adventure in the Heart of Beijing!

Don't miss out on Beijing's many unique markets! Explore these urban treasure troves while you're touring China's bustling capital city in the north.


Odd Pets for the Curious Collector

The citizens of Beijing seem to have a penchant for the queer – a fact which the Guanyuan Market exemplifies. This pet market features a weird collection of creatures of both the creepy crawly and winged variety. Check out the assortment of small reptiles, such as snakes and lizards, as well as the spiders and birds, which are sold here. Some of the birds at the market are really quite exotic; keep an eye out for the dazzling array of rainbow-coloured plumages that are the norm at Guanyuan Market!


Sample the Bugs, They're Good for You!

Scour the stalls lining Wangfujing Street in the Donghuamen district for a mind-boggling array of local delicacies. Discover exotic snacks such as fried scorpion and silkworm pupae! Before you shy away completely from the latter, you should know that they are one of the most nutritional bugs alive. Silkworms are low in fat and high in protein and other vitamins and nutrients. The stalls also serve other exotic treats such as skewered fried snakes, starfish and seahorses.

Never fear, however, if bugs or other unusual delicacies just aren't your thing! The stalls feature a wide selection of more conservative foods as well. Stuff your face with tasty Chinese treats such as rice rolls filled with sweet bean paste, pumpkin cakes and traditional candies.

While open all-day, from 10:00am to 10:00pm, this street food market really comes alive in the evenings. Visit after the sun goes down, when hoards of hungry Beijing denizens and curious tourists alike, descend upon its stalls.


Out With the New, In with the Old

Check out the Panjiayuan Antique Market in Beijing. Here, you can pick up anything from jade trinkets, lacquerware and teapots, to antiquated statuettes of the Buddha; both the Lord Buddha and the Laughing Buddha or 'Budai', as he is known in Mandarin Chinese.

You can also stock up on some calligraphy scrolls to hang on your living room wall. Calligraphy is a very intricate and beautiful art form. Did you know that the Chinese language has over 80,000 different characters? Thankfully not all of them are in use today –some are antiquated characters which belonged to the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties of yore. However, to be able to read a modern-day Chinese newspaper, you still need to know at least 3,000!

The market is open from 08:30am to 06:00pm. The best times to visit are on the weekends when local vendors from far and wide temporarily set up shop at the market. All the prices are up for negotiation so remember to brush up on your bargaining skills.


Purchase the Finest Quality Silk

China was once the heart of the global silk trade. Take a closer look at its modern offering of silken wares at the Silk Street Market in Beijing. Open from midday until midnight, this multi-storied shopping complex offers reel after reel of magnificent silk fabrics and traditional Chinese silk garments. The Silk Street Market is located down East Xiushui Street. It is around a 20-minute drive from Beijing serviced apartments in the city such as Ascott Raffles City Beijing and other nearby tourist accommodation options.


Shopping Galore

For more a more conventional shopping experience, head to Xidan Street. It is chock-full of shops, malls and eateries, and is a prime venue for shopaholics in China's capital. As an added bonus, the street is also conveniently located near attractions such as the Beijing Concert Hall and local museums and cultural centres.