Although nothing remains to connect this tourist institution to its evocative name beyond a proliferation of competent tailors who'll remake clothes to your specifications
, the Silk Market is still worth a try for bits 'n' bobs and all manner of souvenirs. This behemoth draws an unbelievable 20,000 visitors a day – 60,000 at weekends – and all you need do is venture inside to believe it.
It plays home to seven floors packed with clothes, fabrics, jewellery, shoes, bedclothes, and souvenirs, with stacks of reasonable-quality fakes in case you need to convince your auntie that you're drawing in the big bucks and thus can afford a Tom Ford handbag or Burberry scarf. It's a little over-regulated, with sanitised rows of neat stalls and very little haggling, but it's a nice soft intro to the wonderful world of Beijing markets for newbies.