Qianmen Street Shopping in Beijing
Qianmen Street, after one-year-long reconstruction, has been reopened in 2009, and it has reproduced the old Beijings look and feel.
Located at the center of Beijing near Tiananmen Square, Qianmen Street, no more than 2 km long, has been a prosperous area for more than 600 years and has accumulated some long-standing stores.
Many well-known Chinese stores started their operations there. The reconstruction project aims to preserve the Qianmen Street’s history in its entirety. Streetcars, decorated archway and bird cages as well as bronze drums and candied haws, all familiar to Beijing people reappear on the street.
Location: located at the central axis of Beijing, just south of Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City, running from the watchtower of the Zhengyangmen Gate in the north to the Tiantian Road (Temple of Heaven Road) in the south.
How to get there
- Subway: Line 2 (get off at Qianmen Stop)
- Bus Route: 5, 17, 20, 22, 48, 59, 66, 120, 126, 203, 301, 646, 723, 726, 729, 744, 803, 819, 826 (get off at Qianmen Stop)
A Virtual Roaming along the Qianmen Street
Among all the stores on the street the roast duck restaurant Quanjude might be the most famous. Together with the Great Wall, it is one of the “must-see” places listed in many tourist guides. Opened in 1864, the Qianmen branch of the restaurant is the original. The price of a roast duck varies from dozens of yuan to 200 yuan, according to the different roasting process and materials used. Besides roast duck, Quanjude is also known for its all-duck banquet and over 400 dishes with Quanjude’s characteristic flavor.
Dashilan is a business street with more than 580 years of history in the Qianmen area. Regarded as the “essence of Beijing” it depicts a vivid and prosperous picture of old Beijing. After reconstruction, this 1.26-km area will retain many buildings and their antique flavor.
For older residents of Beijing there are areas of the city clearly known for certain products. For cloth, one would go to Ruifuxiang Store; for shoes, to Neiliansheng Store; for hats, to Majuyuan Store; for watches, to Hengdeli Store (Hope Brother’s & Co.); and for tea, to Zhangyiyuan Store. All these stores are located in Dashanlan.
Ruifuxiang has a history of over 110 years, and is famous for its silk and satin. It provided material for the first national flag of the People’s Republic of China raised in Tiananmen Square. The founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton, revealed that the idea of opening a chain store for “small profits and good sales” came from Ruifuxiang.
Neiliansheng Store is famous for making cloth shoes and is now the biggest producer of handmade cloth shoes in China. The average price of a pair of shoes is around 100 yuan. The cloth shoes have become increasingly popular as people around the world have become more interested in ecological issues.
What to See nearby
- Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City to the north;
- The Temple of Heaven, some 2 km to the south.
- Liulichang Culture Street, some 2 km to the west.
Where to spend time in the evenings
- Go to the Lao She Tea House to see the Peking Opera, sip Chinese tea and taste imperial and local snacks.
- Go to the Red Theater to see its Kung Fu show, The Legend of Kung Fu, which starts at 7:30 PM every evening prices from 280-880 yuan.
- Go to the Liyuan Theater on the first floor of the Qianmen Jianguo Hotel to watch Peking Opera; Prices from 200-580 yuan; opens 7:30-8:40 PM daily.
- To Qianmen Photos Page to enjoy the street more