Finding some of the world’s top designer brands in a city like Xi’an isn’t necessarily the easiest task in life, nor is finding affordable, trendy fashion if you don’t even know where to start looking. Like all other major cities in China, Xi’an does have its fair share of malls and department stores, but in a city most famed for its souvenirs and tourist junk, a little know-how and guidance is the key to turning a mediocre shopping trip into an unforgettable retail sensation. Here is your starting point for all things retail: a guide to the best major shopping areas in Xi’an.
Xidajie a.k.a. West Avenue 西大街
A thriving and well-known shopping street in Xi’an, Xidajie is a fairly new street (construction started in 2001 and lasted for over four years) dedicated entirely to retail. 2088 metres long and peppered with numerous shopping malls containing international fashion brands, restaurants and entertainment amenities, Xidajie has fast become one of the top shopping destinations among both locals and visitors to the city. In 2007, the street was even bestowed with the title “Famous Chinese Commercial Street”, together with Taiyuan Jie in Shenyang, Confucius Temple in Nanjing and 35 other famous streets in China. Shopping malls like the Parkson Shopping Centre and Century Ginwa are popular department stores on West Avenue, but the choice is extensive and certainly not limited to just these two.
During the street’s construction, a bunch of old buildings were flattened and a brand new avenue of buildings imitating Tang Dynasty architecture was erected in its place. While it’s unfortunate for the history and culture of the city, it does mean more choice for filling those lovely plastic shopping bags. That being said, managers in charge of the project were generous enough to leave behind some key historical landmarks, such as the Bell Tower, Drum Tower and the Chenghuang Temple, all of which are found along the “old-style” street. Shoppers in need of a break will be happy to know that Xidajie also has not one, but nine public squares – perfect for getting a breather from the hustle and bustle of the stores.
Parkson Shopping Centre百盛购物中心 View In Map
Add: No 119 West Avenue, Lianhu District, Xian
Tel:029 8721 8888
Century Ginwa世纪金花购物中心View In Map
Add: No 1 West Avenue, Lianhu District, Xi’an
Tel: 029 8763 1700
West Avenue then and now. Photo: picturechina.com.cn & travel.cnwest.com
Running east from the Clock Tower to Changle Gate, East Avenue and Jiefang Road also has numerous classy shopping centres and brand stores. The street also includes Kai Yuan Shopping Mall – one of the biggest in Xian －as well as Luomashi Clothing Market.
Kai Yuan Shoppping Mall西安开元商城购物中心 View In Map
Add: No 6 Jiefang Market Place, East Avenue, Xi’an
Luomashi Clothing Market View In Map
Add: Luomashi Clothing Market, Beilin District, Xian
Opening hours: 11:30am – 10pm
South Avenue (南大街)is the liveliest of the large avenues. It’s lined with designer stores like Louis Vuitton and Prada, along with more affordable stores. It’s also crowded with restaurants (western and Chinese), bars and clubs. It’s a good place to come to catch a glimpse of Xian’s nightlife.
Located in the university area outside the south gate, Xiaozhai, nick named, ‘Student City,’ is popular with the students who study in the many universities located close by. Xiaozhai is one of the most developed areas outside the city gates and gives an indication of what’s hip and happening in Xian. Come here to see fashionable Chinese youths parading about with their extreme haircuts and mobile phone accessories or to shop. If you are coming for the latter, then you will find Xiaozhai to be a bargain paradise. While the area does have the same flashy clothing outlets that can be in the centre of the city, it largely consists of maze like subterranean shopping malls and markets. Baihui Market (百汇市 场) is the place to go for bargain hunters – but be aware; all the goods here are fake, and should be priced accordingly. Bargaining is expected in the stores and stalls of these markets, so don’t be afraid to haggle.
Other popular shopping streets include Chengle Lu (长乐路) and includes the Qinggong Wholesale Market (轻工批发广场) – one of the biggest markets for household and electrical goods in northern China, the Yiwu Small Commodities Shopping Market (义乌小商品购物市场), Huadong Wholesale Market (华东批发市场) and many more cheap markets for every day needs. Wenyi Lu (文艺路), Youyi Lu (友谊路), Zhuque Avenue (朱雀大街) and Fen Xiang (粉巷) are other good streets for picking up foreign export clothing.
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Keywords: Shopping in Xi’an best shopping streets Xi’an Xi’an shopping guide where to shop Xi’an
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