Most Beijingner prefer go to Xidan to Wangfujing, especially young guys. Zhongyou is a ideal department store for girls. There are thousands clothes including modern, career, sport and so on. Compare with nearby stores, Zhongyou sale clothes what are more fashion. In addition, it often hold some rebate activities.
What to buy: I'm not sure. It baseindividual's taste. Maybe some Chinese traditional clothes made in fashion style is not better.
What to pay: Cash, Credit card
whatever books you want to look for just go to Books building. If you can not find the book there, it is mean that you almost won't find the book anywhere.
Famous publisher always like publish their work there because it located in the centre of Beijing and beside Xidan shopping centre. It is seems publish work there stand for that the work will popular.
What to buy: whatever books you want to find.......surely It is indicated Chinese books
Shopping in Xidan can be a bit overwhelming due to the large crowds especially on weekends but this is more non-touristy shopping compared to Wangfujing and as a result, prices can be lower.
You can get a glimpse of how the locals shop and what they buy.
There are a few department stores such as TImes Square, besides the shops on the streets. We also went into a multi-level market type store selling clothings and bric-a-bracs. It is somewhere in Xidan (in Xidan, it is sometimes hard to know which direction you are in amongst the sea of people)
One thing we found intersting about the department stores in Beijing is that the number of floor levels is unbelievable, at least 4-5 levels for a standard store. You'd think you have arrived at the last level after 4 up-escalators to find that there is still another escalator leading up!
What to buy: Anything you fancy..there is no should.
What to pay: Things can be cheap but can be expensive too. Shop around before actual purchase to get an idea of the price because you might find that thing you just bought to be 50% cheaper somewhere else.
Another area modelled for your shopping pleasure, with your usual spread of boutiques, malls and stores. Mercifully, a little less touristy; a little more local flair than the brochure-touted Wang Fu Jing; you actually see locals buying stuff here.
Meander your way through the streets around Xidan. There are hidden gems of eateries to be stumbled upon here. Smell heavily fermented tofu. There's a drain next to it for you to retch up. Smell heavenly cumin dusted pita bread. There is a side street somewhere for you to tuck into it.
People watch if you are into it. See what is the latest fashion fad in Beijing.
Social watch if you are keen. Me & my mates saw policemen breaking up gangs of lads harassing young ladies. See busy Beijing office workers rush from point to point, all a blur before you.
What to buy: Anything money can buy.
What to pay: How deep is your wallet/purse?
Xidan Market (north of Entrance A to Xidan Subway Station) is the shopping paradise for the locals (beijingers).
There a department store (with Starbuck and McDonalds) visible from the Entrance A. The shopping centre is crowded.
Further north (about 100m) is the Xidan Market and bargain here is required. The store assistants speaks little or no english.
What to buy: Same as XiuShui Market
Xidan has many shops that sell cheap men and women's casual clothing. Quality of clothing varies though.
Also there is a large store that sells misc. Chinese sweets & tea, good for presents to take home.
The Beijing Dushu Dasha arguably has the most collection of books in Beijing.
What to buy: All kinds of Chinese language books including an extensive range of English learning books and local Chinese dialects.
One of the oldest market in Xindan
What to buy: Local Craft
Toys and Games
What to pay: 1$ to 50$