Qianmen Dajie and Dazhalan 前门大街, 大栅栏
This has been a shopping strip for more than 500 years, and remains one of the most memorable experiences in the city. Flashy lights, neon signs and cheap clothing stores vie for space amongst the Chinese restaurants and hutongs that snake off to the side. The street is under renovation marked for completion by the time the Olympics start, which will hopefully make it cleaner. Qianmen Dajie runs north to south from the bottom of Tiananmen Square and is intersected by the famous Dazhalan Hutong, where ancient Chinese medicine shops, fine silk clothing and age-old handicrafts are crowded together. The red lanterns and bustle along both streets make for a quintessential Chinese experience, especially after dark. Shops are open daily from 08:30 to 18:00.