Top 10 Famous Shopping Streets In China
- On August 10, 2017
- By Shannon Ullman
- In General
Shopping in China is one of those activities that need to be on your itinerary. The natural scenery and famous landmarks are fantastic, but the famous shopping streets can’t be missed. These shopping hubs are located all over the country, but there are a few popular streets that are better than the rest for getting some retail therapy.
Even if you don’t like to hand over your cash in exchange for designer goods, you’ll still get a kick from just watching others. These famous shopping streets in China are some of the top places for people watching, as they’re bustling with tourists and locals. The energy of these places alone is enough reason to add one on to your afternoon itinerary. And, while these shopping streets are quite the sight during the day, they really come alive at night with neon signs, street performers, and food vendors well into the evening.
Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (Guangzhou)
Located in Guangzhou’s Liwan District, this was the city’s first shopping street, opened in 1995. It’s part of what would be considered ‘old town’ and runs from Dishifu Lu in the west to Xiajiu Lu in the east for 1200 meters. Pedestrians on this street will have their choice between 300 shops and vendors.
The street is famous for both its architecture and its storefronts. Building designs here are a mix between Chinese and European, many of which are based on tea houses and Tong Lau. Some well-known restaurants to check out include Wenchang Chicken, Guangzhou Restaurant, and Taotao Ginger and Onion Chicken. Shoppers should check out the Guangzhou Garment Store, Dalu Watch and Clock store, and the Herring Shoes and Hats Store.
Some of the best souvenirs to leave with include:
- Wood, ivory, and jade sculptures.
- Colorful pottery.
- Canton embroidery.
- Wang Laoji herbal tea.
Wangfujing Street (Beijing)
While there are quite a few famous shopping streets in Beijing, this one may just be the most popular. It’s bustling with people and lined with thriving businesses, especially those in the high-end fashion world.
Here is where one of the best shopping streets in the world can found; near the city center in Dongcheng District, stretching for one mile. It can be found running south from Changan Avenue to the north at the National Art Museum of China. The street is quite historic as it has 700 years of history, including the period when there were eight regal mansions lining the road. The street’s name actually means, royal mansion, and well, because there used to be a well with sweet water located on site.
Some popular stores to visit include Tongshenghe Shoes Store, Shengxifu Hat Store, Sun Dong An Plaza, and Xinhua Bookstore. Before you leave, make sure to get:
- Tea from Wuyutai tea house.
- Skewered insects from the snack street portion of the area.
- A hat from Shengxifu hat store.
Barkhor Street (Lhasa)
Locals of Lhasa, the main city in Tibet, are extremely proud of Barkhor street. The street is ancient, and it functions as a symbol of the city as it surrounds the beautiful Jokhang Temple. Because the temple was so impressive, it’s said to have attracted many Buddhists, which is how the street gained popularity in the first place.
Visitors won’t find high-end department stores or shopping malls here. Instead, expect locally made arts, crafts, and religious relics. There will also be religious centers and monasteries to visit too.
Before you leave, make sure to buy:
- A Thangka scroll painting.
- Aprons and hats.
- Tibetan medicine.
- Silver jewelry.
Chunxi Road (Chengdu)
This famous shopping street can be found in the Jinjiang District, covering an area of around 2,150,000 square feet. In an effort to connect two commercial centers, the street was constructed back in 1924. Now, this road is the city’s center for everything fashion, as well as a foodie haven.
Visitors here can wander down the street to get a look at elegant statues and more than 700 commercial stores. Make sure to check out Yat-sen Square, Wangfujing Department Store, Isetan Shopping Mall, Parkson Shopping Center, Chengdu Arts and Crafts Emporium, and Jingyi Glasses Store. Before you leave, make sure to window shop in the high-end stores, grab yourself a bargain in the discount stores, and try some of the street snacks.
Central Avenue (Harbin)
Located in the city’s downtown area, this street has been the most prosperous for over one hundred years. It is also referred to Zhongyang Pedestrian street and stretches from Xinyang Square in the south to the Harbin Flood Prevention Cenotaph Square in the north.
This shopping street was built all the way back in the 1800s, stretches for 1400 meters, is split into various sections, and only allows pedestrians. The architecture here is quite notable as it resembles that of Rome and Russia more than China.
Wander along the street at night to see colorful light displays while you shop at the numerous boutiques. Pop into one of the fine dining restaurants when you want to warm up.
Before heading home, make sure to buy:
- French perfume.
- German medicine.
- Russian furs.
- Russian nesting dolls.
Nanjing Road (Shanghai)
Not only is this the main shopping street in the city, but it’s also one of the busiest in the world. Its eastern section is found in Huangpu District and runs from the west of The Bund to People’s Square.
While the street has a history that dates back to the 1800s, it was the 20th Century that brought along the department stores and high-end shops. It now stretches for about 1,200 meters and is pedestrian-only.
It’s East Nanjing Road where you’ll find European restaurants and cafes, Central Market, historic department stores, and retail outlets. West Nanjing Road is where you can find more upscale shopping, top tier hotels, and office space.
Old Street (Fuzhou)
Located in the downtown area of the city, Old Street is one of the largest historical centers in the whole country. In fact, it has over 260 ancient homes that date all the way back to the Qing and Ming Dynasties
Since 2007, many of the homes have been restored and now function as museums. Aside from learning about Chinese history, visitors can shop for traditional Chinese souvenirs and gifts as well as some high-end clothing, jewelry, and home furnishings.
Make sure to dine in one of the restaurants that line the canal or get some drinks at the nearby bars.
There are a few notable shopping streets in Nanjing, but this one happens to be the most popular. It’s the central landmark in the city and can be found in the busy area of downtown. Aside from shopping, this region of the city is seen as a center for business and transport.
Malls and department stores are full of high-end, brand-name goods, which is one of the largest draws for shoppers. Just popping into a restaurant while you watch the shopping frenzy happen around you is a great way to spend an evening here.
Before you leave, make sure to buy some:
- Ivory carvings
- Yuhua Pebble
Causeway Bay (Hong Kong)
When you see photos of Hong Kong, Causeway Bay is probably what you associate the city with. It’s absolutely brimming with stylish people, all on their way to somewhere seemingly important. There are electric signs everywhere, and photos from after dark show a wildly colorful city, lit up with them.
Shoppers can find almost anything here, especially high-end goods. The rent on this street is so high that it even surpassed Fifth Avenue in NYC. If you can make your way through the crowds, try shopping at Sogo, Hysan Place, Windsor House, and Fashion Island.
While visiting Hong Kong, you’ll probably need more than one day exploring Causeway Bay. Window shop, swipe your credit card, explore the luxury restaurants, and stay in one of the top-tier hotels if you can afford it.
Huangxing Road (Changsha)
Starting from Jiefang Road and stretching south to Chengnan Road, the city center in Changsha revolves around this shopping street. Just walking along the path, visitors will find sculptures, concerts, snack stalls and plenty of shoppers to watch.
Some popular stores to visit include; Friendship Shopping Center, Spring Department Store, Apollo Commercial Store, and Wangfujing Department Store.
If you’re lucky, you may even see the COSPLAY fans who dress up and roam the walking street to show off their costumes.
Before leaving, make sure to buy:
- Xiang embroidery
- Liuyang fireworks
- Chrysanthemum Stone
China is full of bustling shopping streets that will capture your attention and maybe even your entire budget. From high-end boutiques and fancy restaurants to street food vendors, outlet malls, and ethnic crafts, you can find almost anything when you visit China’s best shopping destinations.