Beijing's best art and stationery shops

The city's top spots for art supplies and stationery needs

There's an artist inside all of us. You might not know it yet, or at least not until you visit Markmeda – arguably the gold standard in Beijing art shops, whose comprehensive dungeon of supplies is enough inspiration to bring out the latent artist in anyone. In any case, there's definitely a pen user in all of us, and fortunately Beijing has a whole load of quality suppliers to pick up pens, papers and stationery galore.

Markmeda (麦克美迪画材)

Markmeda has seemingly imported all the wares of every major art brand from every corner of the planet, with a comprehensive inventory of pencils, pastels, charcoals, brushes, watercolours, a mind-boggling array of oils and acrylics and more; onto the harder stuff, there are easels, paper and canvas of all shapes and sizes, and even prefab Caesar busts. Prices are impressively cheap for imported goods.

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Huajiadi Nan Jie (Lido, --select--)

Gehua Bai Hua

There are plenty of little arts and crafts stores on the strip opposite the National Art Museum – some peddling basics, others selling trophies and statues – but Gehua Bai Hua remains its oldest and best art supply spot, with everything from easels (250-1,200RMB) to brushes (2-200RMB), to myriad kinds of papers, sprays, paints and craft materials, all for a few kuai. The city's best selection of busts, too.

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12 Wusi Dajie (Dongsi, Dongcheng)


It's not the most comprehensive (or tidiest), but there's definitely a charm to the cramped aisles at Quanshunhang, and it's worth a stop if you can't find what you're looking for in other shops along Wusi Dajie. Quanshunhang stocks mostly Chinese brands, and has one aisle focused on materials for traditional Chinese arts, including calligraphy brushes.

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8 Wusi Dajie (Dongsi, Dongcheng)

Jingren's Paperlogue (敬人纸语)

A colourful spectrum of papers and card (4-15RMB per A3 sheet) lines one wall of this charming paper store, while the space opposite hosts a delightful selection of notebooks, postcards, craft works, books and calligraphy works. It’s also a reliable stop to pick up plain and printed wrapping papers (from 15RMB per A3 sheet) during the festive season.

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13 Fuxiang Hutong (Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng)


Some of the wares may be a little cutesy, but the cheap notebooks and pens available at every Miniso far and wide are a good solution to your stationery needs, with plenty of other bits and bobs on offer to make an office a home, if that's what you dream of. Multiple locations across Beijing.

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8 Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)


It's tough to mention Miniso without mentioning its slicker 'Nordic' cousin, Nome. Functional and affordable, its stationery range includes rainbow-coloured markers, exercise books (mostly A5-sized), pens and sticky notes, plus pen holders, trays and acrylic organisers to deck your desk out with. Multiple locations across Beijing.

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And it's tough to mention Nome without mentioning the shop that has seemingly defined the art of selling stylish basics – MUJI. Less is more, is what they'd have you believe, but you will of course be paying more for your design-free, extremely functional stationery and organisation solutions; its notebooks and pens are, however, of a particularly good standard. Multiple locations across Beijing.

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13 Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)


M&G, or Chenguang (晨光文具) is a reliable chain with hundreds of stores in the city. Some are small outlets featuring just the essentials, some are a little bit chaotic, but larger stores, such as this one at Zhangzizhong Lu, feature a comprehensive range with every variant of notebook imaginable, basic art gear and even ping-pong and badminton sets. Multiple locations across Beijing.

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2-1 Zhangzizhong Lu (Dongsi, Dongcheng)

Page One (Qianmen)

The Dashilar outlet of Page One is a work of art in itself. Sleek staircases snake around multi-storey bookshelves, with all manner of stylish fittings throughout and an amazing view to Tiananmen Square. Suitably, its range of art and design books is the best in the city, and it has a selection of classy stationery and giftables.

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Langfang Toutiao (Xicheng, Xicheng)

Moleskine Café

Moleskine brought the sexy back to the ordinary notebook. While most of their Sanlitun shop has now made way for a café, you'll still find a selection of sleek notebooks, journals and diaries, with laptop bags, camera shells, pens and pencils also available.

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19 Sanlitun Lu (Chaoyang, --select--)

Kubrick Bookstore (库布里克)

Kubrick is a quirky little space, which primarily stocks classic and off-piste Chinese-language books, as well as a limited English-language selection. Beyond the books, though, there are specialist magazines from around the world, plus a cute range of stationery. Not the spot for your essentials, but you might find something fun.

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1 Xiangheyuan Lu (Miyun county)

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