About the Ranking
Many foreigners coming to Beijing are interested in the Chinese culture and want to buy some souvenir with Chinese culture, such as silk, antique and so on. The following will offer you some information about the streets which sell the special Chinese products.
For collectors of antiques, Liulichang Culture Street is a place you should not miss. It only needs a few minutes' walk from the south of Hepingmen subway station. It is a traditional cultural market selling jewelry, antiques and ancient calligraphies and paintings. Note that antiques over one hundred years old are marked with a red seal and an export license must be signed in order to take them out of the country.
The best-known shop in this street is Rong Bao Zhai, which was opened about three hundred years ago, and it sells authentic works of paintings and calligraphies. There are also shops with old watches and furniture.
The oldest commercial street in Beijing is Dasilan, the most famous and peculiar prosperous street. Its history can be traced back to five hundred and eighty years ago when the Emperor ordered to build fences to prevent thieves from hiding. The fences built here were quite peculiar and kept for a long time. Later, Big Fences became the name of this Street: Dashilan.
Dashilan is situated on south of Tiananmen Square, west of QianmenDajie, where many century-old shops and restaurants stand. You can buy some traditional handcrafts as well. Note that bargaining is always needed.
Silk Alley lies in Xiushuidong Jie off Jianguomenwai Dajie, near US Embassy. It is a good place to buy cheaper goods and the resident foreigners in Beijing come here frequently. Whatever you want to buy, like bags, shoes, handicrafts or sweaters, you can bargain with the owners.