BJ-WK02: See Old Beijing by Walk
Route: Qianmen Street - Dashilar Street - Yangmeizhu Skew Street - Liulichang Cultural Street
There is a subway station, Qianmen right nearby. Considering the frequent traffic jams, the guide will very possiblely lead you there by subway. On arrival, leave from Exit B or C and go through the Qianmen Arrow Tower to start this walking tour. If city bus is the better means of transport, then the guide will choose it. The buses stopping there include 5, 8, 9, 20, 22, 44 Inner-Ring Line, 44 Outer-Ring Line, 67, 137, 142, 332, 599, and 622.
This is a guided tour by eco-friendly public transport and walk. If you need a private car, feel free to contact our travel consultants to arrange it for you.
The over 600-year-old Qianmen Street is a famous business street of Beijing, lined with time-honored stores. It lies along the central axis of the city, stretching for about 845 meters (925 yards) from Qianmen Arrow Tower in the north to Zhushikou West and East Avenues in the south. A leisurely walk along this pedestrian street is a good way to feel its prosperity.
It has also been a prosperous commercial block for around 500 years. Along it, you will find many ancient stores selling local specialties like shoes, silk products, Chinese medicine, and tea. You are also recommended to taste some local snacks in those old style restaurants here.
First, walking forward for a few meters and turn south at the first crossing into Zhubaoshi Street to find the Liubiju Pickles Store. It started business from 1530 and has spent hundreds of years refining its only product, pickles, which have always been an important dish on the dining tables of the natives.
Near Liubiju is the 200-year-old Zhonghe Theater. Many famous actors performed here in ancient days, and now visitors can still appreciate some traditional Peking Opera pieces, storytelling, and some other kinds of folk arts while enjoying a cup of fragrant tea.
Then walk back to go along the Dashilar Business Street and visit the well-known stores one by one. The first old brand is Ruifuxiang Silk Store with a history of around 150 years. The superior quality and elaborate design have won a good reputation for it. Tailor-making is the characteristic of Ruifuxiang. If you are interested in Chinese traditional clothing, you can customize your own clothes there.
Not far west is the well-known pharmacy, Tongrentang. With a long history of around 350 years, Tongrentang is still the first choice for buying traditional Chinese medicine due to its good quality and satisfying curative effect.
Walking a few yards ahead and you will arrive at the Neiliansheng Cloth Shoes Store, which was opened in 1853 to tailor-make cloth boots for royal families and officials during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). Later Neiliansheng extended the range to cloth shoes for ordinary people, as well as all kinds of leather shoes. The cloth shoes are light, comfortable, and of good breathability, so you are recommended to try.
Adjacent to Neiliansheng Cloth Shoes Store is the Daguanlou Theater, the memorial place of the naissance of China movies, and also a good place to recapture the course of China movie. Although facilities in Daguanlou cannot be compared with some modern cinemas, it remains unshakable to locals as it reminds them of the old times and their childhood.
Continue to go west across the crossing to reach Zhangyiyuan Tea Store, where you can find all kinds of high quality tea and the most popular is the Jasmine Tea.
It is the most famous cultural block divided by the South Xinhua Street into eastern and western sections. The street smacks of antiquity and is full of fragrance of ink. Stroll along the street and you may find all of the stores with their own style. The most famous one is Cuiwenge on the eastern section, a few minutes after you stepping into the street and on your left. It specializes in calligraphy, paintings, seal cuttings, and the four treasures of the study, namely brush, ink, paper, and ink stone.
Another famous store is Yidege along the South Xinhua Street, which is renowned for its various kinds of high-quality ink. Sometimes, there are exhibitions of traditional Chinese paintings.
To the south of Yidege stands the building of Huaxia Calligraphy and Painting Society. Regarded as the landmark of Liulichang Street, it attracts visitors with its unique constructional style that demonstrates the traditional architecture and painting arts. It is also a good place to delve into the unique world of Chinese painting and calligraphy with plenty of simple but elegant works on display or sell. Continue to walk westwards along the street, you may find time-honored stores, like Rongbaozhai and China Bookstore.
- Private English-speaking guide
- Public transport
- Entrance fees to tourist sites
- Hotels & meals
- Personal expenses
- Gratuities for guide
Other Beijing Walking Tours:
Central Axis Hiking: A classic south-north route from Qianmen Street to Bell and Drum Towers.
Walking from Wangfujing to CBD: Discover the city's metropolitan and historical charm.
Peking University Walking Tour: Explore one of the best universities in China.
Hiking from Xiangshan Post Office to Badachu Park: One of the most classic hiking routes in Beijing locally known as "Xiang Ba La".
Hiking on the Jingxi Ancient Road: Walk on the ancient roads in the west suburb of Beijing