For a uniquely local shopping experience, plan to spend a few hours at Beijing’s Pearl Market (Hongqiao Market). The market is famous for its three floors of dealers selling pearl strands from around the world and is the largest pearl market in the country, where you'll find freshwater and salt water items in nearly every shape, size, color and price point imaginable. If you’re planning to purchase higher quality pearls, know what you’re looking for before you go, since quality varies widely.
Contrary to the name, the Pearl Market does offer more than just pearls. The three basement floors house a massive seafood market where many of Beijing’s major hotels and restaurants come to bid on fresh seafood. On the ground floor, you’ll find electronics and watches, and the second floor houses silks, brand name clothing, shoes, handbags and luggage. Haggling is expected throughout the market.