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Wangfujing Avenue Guide

Wangfujing Avenue (Chinese: 王府井 pinyin: Wáng fǔ jǐng), which means “prince mansion's well”, is one of Beijing’s most famous streets. It is the original shopping street in Beijing China. It is located on the north side of East Chang’an Jie and is sometimes referred to as “Golden Street” because of its 700 year history.

This street has many stores located on this half mile (810 meters) stretch of road. Many famous Chinese brand department stores, large bookstores, tea shops, and many other small shops line this street. Over 280 stores are currently located here. The Church of St Joseph Beijing can also be found here.

This famous street gets very busy. On any given day, 600,000 people will come though this area. On holidays, this can double! There are a few streets that branch off the main avenue where tourist can buy cheap souvenirs and can even barter with the sellers for lower prices.

History

This famous street has over 700 years of history. During the Qing Dynasty, there were eight mansions of princes and princesses living here. During this time, a well was dug to supply sweet water for the mansions. This is how it Wangfujing got its name "prince mansion well".

Up until the late 1990’s, cars were permitted on this street. That changed after renovations in 1999 and 2000. Now only pedestrians are allowed on this street, with an occasional car here and there.

Today this street is alive with both tourist and Chinese people alike. Every day it is becoming more and more well known internationally.

Famous stores

Beijing Department Store

The Beijing Department Store was established in 1955 and is referred to as the “first store of New China”. After over 50 years in business, it’s one of the biggest retail stores in China.

Beijing China Arts & Crafts Store

The Beijing Arts & Crafts building is the oldest store on Wangfujing Avenue which sells the most diverse selections of arts and crafts. The popular items are jadeite, bronze, silk, agate, satin, and embroidery, ivory figurines, cloisonné, jade, and lacquer figures.

Shengxifu Hat Store

The Shengxifu Hat Store was established in 1911 by Liu Xishan in Shangdong Province. In 1937, a store was opened in Beijing on Qianmen Avenue. They manufacture hats with unique characteristics. Today the hats are popular all over the world.

Wangfujing Snack Market

One of the best things about this place is the night market (above). These stands line the street and sell delicious BBQ foods, drinks, sandwiches, kebobs, fish, tofu, fruit, deserts, and so much more. They also have exotic foods such as king spiders, seahorses, scorpions, and silkworms. I’m not sure how these taste, however!

Location

The night market is a little hard to find. Visitors traveling by subway can walk from the subway, all the way down Wang Fu Jing Avenue to the first traffic light. Turn left at the light, and visitors will see the night market.

Hours Open:

5:30 pm to 10:00 pm daily

Directions

By Subway:

Take Subway line 1 to Wang Fu Jing Station. Exit the station and cross the street.

By Bus:

For Wangfujing Station - take bus 10, 20, 37, 41, 59, 120, 126, 203, 205, 420, 802

Wangfujing Street Map

wangfujing map beijing china 王府井地图

Click on the map above for a larger view.

Tips

1. Stores on the main street can be very expensive, especially the malls and large shopping stores. Stick to the streets that branch off the main street. Here visitors can find cheaper shops.

2. There is a great place to buy souvenirs on a street just of here. It is called "xiao chi jie" which means "small eats (or snacks) street". It’s across from the McDonald's restaurant. There is a blue arch way marking the entrance (picture below). With a large selection to choose from, and being able to barter with the shop keepers, this area is great for gifts and mementos without busting your wallet.

3. Church of St Joseph Beijing China can be found north of Wang Fu Jing Avenue. The Church of St Joseph Beijing is a beautiful church, and if you like old churches, then you should check this out.

4. More Beijing Travel Guides below:

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Tiananmen Square Temple of Heaven Forbidden City Summer Palace Beijing Hotels

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