One of my favorite things to do when traveling is visit the markets. It’s one of the quickest ways to learn about the culture of a city and get acquainted with locals while picking up some souvenirs of the place you’re visiting.
The Hongqiao Pearl market is one of Beijing’s most famous indoor markets with five floors of local (and imported) goods. As the name suggests, the Hongqiao market is pretty famous for its pearls. With more than 1 500 000 visitors every year, all of them coming just for pearls, it’s no surprise that you’re going to see a lot of them inside. That being said, the market offers a lot more than just pearls. From jewellery to cameras, to scarves to watches to handbags, you can be sure to find something that you’ll want to buy.
On the ground floor you will find a range of electronic items, from MP3 players to memory cards, mini disc players, camcorders and DVD players. You’ll find pretty much any kind of electronic item or tech gadget here.
On the second floor you will find women’s jewelry, traditional clothes, silk ties, shoes, handbags and suitcases. All kinds of hair accessories, wigs, cushion covers, Chinese printed table clothes and place mats can all be found here.
The third floor contains a range of traditional Chinese art, ornaments, porcelain and chopsticks as well as the all famous pearl section which stretches from the third floor to the fifth floor. Here you will find a variety of pearls from sea water pearls to freshwater pearls and in a wide range of colors, sizes and smoothness. These can range in prices from just a few yuan to tens of thousands of yuan.
Most shop keepers speak English but like all markets, the prices are usually marked up quite a bit. Be sure to brush up on your bargaining skills before visiting.
Daily 8.30 am – 7 pm
Location: No. 46, Tiantan Dong Lu, Chongwen District. You will find the market opposite Tiantan Park and to the east of the Temple of Heaven
Best Time to Shop
Any time between operating hours but early mornings are the best because many shop owners want to make their first sale. Bear in mind that Hongqiao Market is quite crowded in the afternoons.
How to get to there
Option 1: Take subway line 5 to Tiantan Dongmen Station and take exit A. Hongqiao Pearl Market will be straight ahead on your right. You will need to cross the street to enter.
Option 2: Take Bus No. 6, 34, 35, 36, 39, 41, 43, 60, 106, 116, 723, 743, 821 and get off at Fahuasi Stop.
Option 3: By Taxi (Show the following mandarin characters)
Hongqiao Pearl Market: 红桥市场