Cookies help us to deliver our services. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Things to Do in Silk Market of Beijing

The Silk Market is one of the main attractions of Beijing and one of the traditional sites of the Chinese capital. In this article I tell you everything you need to know to enjoy your visit to the site during your trip.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

7 min read

Things to Do in Silk Market of Beijing

Silk Market | ©Phil_James

Beijing is the city of street markets. There are more than 100 distributed in the city and many of them are very famous. There are food markets, antique markets and variety markets and among them there is a very well known one, the Silk Market, which has more than 2000 stalls and stands out for the wide variety of products offered in its aisles.

Visiting the Silk Market is one of the best activities you can see and do in Beijing, but to enjoy your visit you need to know at least part of the idiosyncrasy of this place, which is a fundamental part of Chinese culture. Here I tell you everything you need to know so that you are aware of everything you can expect during your visit to this famous market.

Taste the local cuisine

Silk Market| ©Wendy Stirba
Silk Market| ©Wendy Stirba

The Beijing Silk Market is famous for its stores and stalls offering a wide variety of products, including different food options. Among them you can opt for typical or traditional Chinese dishes, such as dumplings, kebabs, which are a fast food alternative, or jianbing, a famous Chinese crepe filled with vegetables and meat.

If you plan to visit Beijing during the winter you will discover the typical foods of the season, including hot pot, which is a hot broth, wonton soup, Nanjing-style duck soup and glutinous rice with stuffing, but you can also choose noodles, which are typical egg and wheat noodles accompanied by different sauces and vegetables, and fresh fruits and juices. In all cases you can choose from different alternatives of stalls, which in most cases are included in the tours of the best food tours in Beijing.

Book a gastronomic tuk tuk tour

Bargain for your favorite products

Market produce| ©Rob
Market produce| ©Rob

One of the golden rules of Chinese markets is that you must bargain for all products. For a good bargaining we advise you:

  • First you should research the price of the product you want to get, to be aware of how much you should pay and not be tricked with inflated prices. And that applies for market items, but also for the best tours in Beijing.
  • Then you should insist with conviction on the price offered and finally you should be polite and respectful, and take special care that the initial offer is not too low.
  • You should keep in mind that even negotiating a price is considered polite, so haggling is actually a widespread practice in China and one that sellers are expecting. It might even be fun and even an enriching experience. Are you ready to bid for your products?

Book a gastronomic tuk tuk tour

Get the best local souvenirs

Market corridors| ©Rob
Market corridors| ©Rob

In Beijing you can get souvenirs in many places and it may be cheaper to find them outside the Silk Market, but it is in its stalls where you can buy some gifts and souvenirs that are not available on the street or in other markets, so it is important that you analyze the situation well before formalizing the purchase.

The flea market may be the ideal place to get clothes, jewelry, handicrafts and leather goods, but it may not be very economical for souvenirs, unless you find some gifts that are not available elsewhere. Some of the popular souvenirs to be found at the Beijing Silk Market include cups and plates with traditional Chinese designs, fridge magnets, Buddha statues, paper fans, Chinese opera masks and traditional Chinese clothing such as qipaos and Mao jackets, as well as replicas of historic buildings, such as those in the Forbidden City.

Book the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Tour

Learn about the making of silk products

Market fabrics| ©Tex Texin
Market fabrics| ©Tex Texin

The Silk Market is so named because originally the stall vendors received the raw material arriving from the Silk Road, mainly from Mongolia, and from this they made the clothes that they then sold to the public.

The custom of the vendors working the silk in their stalls became a tradition and nowadays it is possible to learn about the elaboration of these products by watching the artisans.

In some cases, you might even opt for full-day excursions to the outskirts of Beijing to learn about the path that silk goes through from its importation or processing to its conversion into products that are made available to the public at the Silk Market stalls.

Tour the market during the night

Silk Market at night| ©Yi Zhao
Silk Market at night| ©Yi Zhao

The market is lit up with lights and has music, making it a very lively and vibrant space. You can stroll around and enjoy the nighttime atmosphere, watching tourists and locals shopping, having fun and socializing in the market, in one of the best nighttime activities in the city.

Overall, the Beijing Silk Market offers a wealth of nighttime activities to suit all tastes. Whether you like to shop, sample the local food or just enjoy the atmosphere, the Silk Market is a place you can't miss if you are in Beijing.

Enjoy a typically Chinese experience

Market artifacts| ©steeliee
Market artifacts| ©steeliee

The Beijing Silk Market is a typically Chinese experience because it is known for its silk products, which is one of China's main export commodities since ancient times. Silk is an important material in the local culture and is closely linked to its history and traditions. Visiting the silk market is a unique opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of the Asian giant.

Overall, the Beijing Silk Market is a typically Chinese experience because it offers a unique opportunity to experience Chinese idiosyncrasies and customs through its traditional products, especially if you plan to visit Beijing during the summer, which is when the silk business flourishes.

Find jade jewelry and products

Shopping aisle| ©Ian Riley
Shopping aisle| ©Ian Riley

Jade is a precious stone highly valued in Chinese culture for its beauty and cultural significance. The Silk Market is one of the most popular places to find products made of this material, from jewelry and art objects to small statuettes and amulets, which are not only present in private homes, but also in Beijing's finest temples.

Jade jewelry is one of the most popular choices among market visitors. Not only because there is a wide variety of jewelry designs, from bracelets and necklaces to earrings and rings, but because this material comes in different shades, from a dark green to a lighter shade, allowing a wide variety of options for buyers' tastes.

Take some of the best pictures of your trip

At the market| ©Irma Tjahjadi
At the market| ©Irma Tjahjadi

The Silk Market is a vibrant and colorful place that offers plenty of opportunities to take stunning photographs. From the silk products to the small side streets, there are many sites in the market that are almost as photo-worthy as the Old Summer Palace or the Great Wall of China. One of the most striking things about the market are the colors of the silk products.

The small side streets of the market, which resemble the best hutongs in Beijing, can provide a unique backdrop for interesting photographs. These narrow streets are lined with stores and stalls and can be an excellent opportunity to capture the daily life of the city.

Avoid buying technology

Touring the market| ©star5112
Touring the market| ©star5112

The Beijing Silk Market is known for offering electronics at very low prices, but there are several reasons why you shouldn't buy technology there.

  • First, the authenticity of the products is questionable. Many of the products sold at this flea market are counterfeits or illegal copies of popular brands, so the items may be of low quality and may not work properly.
  • Secondly, the lack of warranty is another important reason why you should not buy technology from the marketplace. If the product you bought does not work properly, you will not be able to return it and you will have no way to get your money back. This is especially worrisome in the case of electronic items, which can have unforeseen technical problems after a short period of use.
  • Third, safety is a concern when it comes to electronics purchased from the Silk Market. Some products may be dangerous due to the lack of regulation and quality controls, and there could also be data privacy violations and the risk of viruses and malware in devices purchased there.

For these reasons, it is best to buy technology from trusted and known sources that offer warranties and consumer protection, such as the trading posts located in the Olympic Village area. Avoid buying technology at the Silk Market!

If you visit the Silk Market... buy silk!

Silk| ©Tex Texin
Silk| ©Tex Texin

The Silk Market is a popular destination for tourists interested in buying authentic silk products. One of the most popular products that can be found at the market is silk clothing. Visitors can find a wide variety of garments such as dresses, shirts, blouses, scarves and ties, all with elegant and sophisticated designs.

Another popular silk product at this market is quilts and blankets. These products are soft, light and very comfortable, and are ideal for cold weather. You can also buy scarves, bags, purses, handbags, hats and gloves. These products are made with high quality silk.

In conclusion, if you visit the market, be sure to buy silk, and don't forget to enjoy one of the great attractions of Beijing!