Street markets

These types of markets are very common in China at any time of the year. China has still a traditional habit about selling fresh products to cook at home or to eat directly there. Traditional Chinese food can be found in practically all stalls and especially in the old and small Hutongs around the city.

It is also important to say that in Beijing, eating in restaurants or stalls is mostly cheaper than buying food in supermarkets or cook by yourself at home.

Some markets are not very clean but it is normal for people in Beijing so do not worry about this. You will find different types of meat and fish to taste the typical Chinese flavor. Enjoy it!


In China you will be able to find big supermarkets in most every part of the city, very similar to those in Europe or in the United States. The Supermarkets sell Chinese products but also some from the western part like English bread or Spanish cookies. The packets are written in Chinese characters but it is very easy to understand. Mostly all have pictures in the wrapper so you just have to look where it is located and decide which one to buy. A useful advice when buying is, to try to find an international brand to compare prices and buy a product you already know. Inside every supermarket there are also stalls with noodles, meat, lamb, chicken, veal and other fresh products. If you really want to buy European products, you will be able to find in some cities a chain of supermarkets called “April’s Gourmet” or “Jenny Lou’s”. They only sell European/US food and international cosmetic brands. It can be easier to buy there but it is also more expensive. You should pay with Chinese cash but credit cards are also allowed. We recommend you to pay always in cash to avoid problems because sometimes credit cards are not valid in some shops (It depends on the credit card type you are using). Supermarkets open from 10am-10pm but you can find others 24h.  

Little Chinese shops

It is common to find little shops managed by Chinese people in mostly all streets.

They usually sell foodstuff and other products like mobile phones, SIM cards and cosmetics. We recommend you to avoid buying food in small shops because of health measures and fake products but it may be a good choice if you want to have a cheap mobile phone during your stay. The choice of the phone number is also very curious:

If your number contains the 4, it will be cheaper because it’s the bad luck number in China.


Sanlitun Village (Beijing)

Shopping Malls

Chinese people love to go shopping so in all big cities you will find very big and modern shopping Malls with a lot of western brands. If you want to get some clothes, accessories, cosmetics, bathroom fittings or electronics, these malls are perfect. Prices are not cheap if we compared them with other Chinese products but for foreigners they are affordable. Shopping malls are normally located in central areas and have well connected access by public transport.


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