This five-floor bookstore is an easy place to get lost. Foreign language books dominate the top floor and includes a travel section. There is also a good selection of music from international and pop artists on the fifth floor. The fourth floor is a children's paradise, with not only books but a play area with toys and Legos. The bookstore also stocks a wide selection of stationary and calligraphy supplies, school accessories and fun kitschy items. Located on Hunan Road, a dip into Phoenix is tempting before or after hitting up some of the food stalls or bars in Gulou. With a coffee shop on the first floor and easy-going clerks who will let you browse for hours, you'll enjoy loosing track of time at Phoenix.
This underground mall covering two floors is completely devoted, as the name suggests, to women's fashion. Small stalls crowd each floor, roughly organized by product, creating mini alleyways to meander through. Inside is an absolute assault on the senses - colorful clothing and accessories of every kind await your selection. The proprietors are willing to make a deal so try out your bargaining skills if you see something you like. Unfortunately, sizes tend to stay in the petite to medium range and shoes above 38 (US 8) are very difficult to find. Some hard-to-find and hard-to-believe accessories can be found at Fashion Lady as well.
Thai, Vietnamese and regional Chinese restaurants dot the street, which is packed with people as much as bicycle traffic. Cars are prohibited on this street between North Yunnan Road and Hunan Road, which means you can browse at your own pace. This is another epic dining destination in Nanjing where visitors can sample a wide variety of local foods for pennies. Loyal patrons rave about the Golden Harvest Thai Opera Cafe and the Shizi Lou Chinese restaurant. The nearby Matajie Night Market is another great place to people watch and soak up a vibrant evening atmosphere in the summer.
The Jinling Department Store is located on the first 6 floors of the Jinling Hotel, which dominates an entire city block at Xinjiekou. Men's, women's and children's fashions can be found here. If you are looking beyond clothing, the center also has a leatherwork boutique, several jewelry stores including fine jade, watches and cosmetics.
Librairie Avant-Garde is more than just a bookshop, it's a literary destination. The sprawling underground bunker turned bookstore welcomes visitors to linger over their books, offering exhibitions of local art and even a cafe, besides their eclectic book collection. Social science and humanities feature highly on their list of books and students from the neighboring university often stop by this pseudo library for research materials. The decor is striking, and books are at the forefront even here, with furniture made from old books, like the cash counter. There is a black cross mounted on the wall, a reflection of the owner's personal faith that lends the space an almost church-like quality. Popular with both locals and tourists, featured in several "best of" lists, this is a must-add to your Nanjing itinerary if you love books.
This open-air market has dozens of sellers offering antiques to the many shoppers that come looking for a good deal. Opened in 2009, the Stone City Antique Market has openly stated it wants to be the best antique market in Nanjing. So while many of the items are fakes, they're usually high-quality fakes. Although, there are real antiques to be had by careful shoppers. Bargaining is a must when shopping here, and the sellers are willing to bargain with foreigners. Sellers set up shop at different times in the morning and will usually stay open as long as there are customers. -Daniel Clarke
Nanjing's answer to Beijing's Zhongguancun district, where every and any electronic device can be purchased, is found along Zhujiang Road. Whether you are in the market for the latest digital camera, a pocket translator, cell phone, laptop, or peripherals and accessories to any of those items, it is certain to be had in one of the shopping centers here, often for a significant discount from retail.
The distinct steel gray buildings with flashes of celebratory red dominate this entertainment complex near the Presidential Palace. Every night of the week feels like Friday as young urban professionals come out to play. Featuring some of Nanjing's most lively dancing and drinking, there is an excellent selection of dining options among the courtyards and archways of Nanjing 1912. Often compared to Shanghai's Xintiandi dining and shopping district, Nanjing 1912 is named for the year the Republic of China was established, with Dr. Sun Yat-sen as China's first president, an homage to the zeitgeist of the era's optimism and hope for change. Some popular spots include Blue Marlin, Scarlet and Mazzo.
Just one block north of the commercial bustle of Xinjiekou is Changjiang Street. While some want to shop, other might want to check out the cultural treasures that line this boulevard, including Xuyuan Garden, the Provincial Art Museum, Great Hall of the People and the City Arts and Culture Centre.
Not far from the Presidential Palace, this walking street is full of small eateries where for less than CNY10 walkers can get a feast of Xinjiang-style roasted lamb, scallion pancakes, baozi and hand-pulled noodles. Hanfu Street is busiest around the lunch hour, but the early evening is also a good time to stop by and eat your fill. Pack your smile and plenty of lose change, not many proprietors speak English and all operate on a strictly-cash basis.
Running from the Drum Tower to Zhonghua Gate at the beginning of Yuhuatai, Zhongshan Road runs through the exact center of town, passing through Xuanwu and Baixia districts and bordering Gulou, including the commercial center Xinjiekou. Visitors exploring Nanjing on foot and by subway will do well to keep their bearings aligned with Zhongshan Road as it passes not only most of the sights, shopping and dining in downtown, but also because it is the path that subway line 1 follows north and south through town. Wherever you are along Zhongshan Road, you are likely within walking distance of a subway station.
Originally established to to offer an academic selection of foreign language learning materials, the Foreign Languages Bookstore has evolved into a hot spot to collect novels, short stories and more in a variety of languages from Japanese and Russian to Italian and English. Students of Chinese language will find a variety of dictionary, text books, practice guides and HSK study materials here. Those looking for something to read in their mother tongue will find a good selection of major books. Downstairs also includes as extensive selection of Chinese calligraphy materials, including a wide selection of brushes.