Wangfujing

This central shopping district is popular with both Beijing residents and tourists alike.

This central area is close to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. There are many major hotels in this area, and a few malls. Plus, the merchants in this area are used to tourists and might understand some English.

PROS: A major shopping district, close to important sites.

CONS: A tourist trap, lousy food in the street market, large and without charm.