7 Best Bookstores in China to Find Chinese Language Learning Books

best bookstores in china for Chinese learning

If you or your kids are learning Chinese, you might want to grab some Chinese books for learning purposes while in China. They are of good quality and great value. However, trying to find a place that specifically sells these books can be more difficult than it seems.

Luckily for you, we have put together our 7 favorite bookstores to visit in China where you can find rows of Chinese language learning books and materials. These bookshops are located in China’s big 4 cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

If you can figure out how to input book names and your address in Chinese, many Chinese learning books can actually be purchased through the Chinese online shopping website Taobao.com, and can take 24 hours to deliver, depending on the seller. This is a good option if you want something specific. You can pay with bank cards or Alipay.

A similar website is JD.com, Taobao’s biggest competitor. They don’t accept Alipay but allow payment with WeChat Wallet as well as cash on arrival in some cases.

If your Chinese skills are still on the low end, you can opt for Baopals.com. It’s an online shopping website built by foreigners for foreigners in China, and you can find a good selection of Chinese language books on their platform in English. Their accepted payment options are WeChat Wallet, China UnionPay, Alipay, and PayPal.

If you don’t have a specific book in mind, check out these bookshops:

Best Bookstores in Shanghai

#1. Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore | 上海外文书店

Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore

Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore has a large section on the first floor dedicated to Chinese language learning. The store on Fuzhou Road, the “book and culture” street of Shanghai stocks a wide variety of books and teaching materials for Chinese learners of all levels, from beginners to advanced.

If you are studying or living in Shanghai and need to polish your Chinese language skills, then Shanghai Foreign Bookstore is a good place to start. There, you can find everything from HSK textbooks, business Chinese books, grammar books, character books, dictionaries to books for learning Shanghainese and other Chinese dialects. There is also a selection of Chinese language books for kids. While the variety can get overwhelming, their friendly, English-speaking staff will be happy to assist you with recommendations.

Address: No 390 Fuzhou Road, Near South Shanxi Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai | 上海市黄浦区福州路390号, 近山西南路
Closest Metro Stop: East Nanjing Road (line 2 & 10), 10-minute walk.
Open: 10:00-18:30 daily

#2. Shanghai Book City | 上海书城

Shanghai Book City

Not far from Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore, the mega 7-floor Shanghai Book City could be considered the Barnes and Noble of Shanghai. Being a bookstore opened primarily for local Chinese readers, most of the publications are in Chinese, but there is a sizable collection of Chinese language learning books on the fourth floor, which could be a good complement to Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore when the latter is out of stock. There is also a Starbucks inside where you can read your books whenever you stop by.  

Address: No 465 Fuzhou Road, Near Middle Fujian Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai | 上海市黄浦区福州路465号, 近福建中路
Closest Metro Stop: East Nanjing Road (line 2 & 10), 10-minute walk.
Open: 9:30-21:00 daily

Fuzhou Road features a high concentration of well-known book shops, publishing houses, and time-honored stationery shops dealing in Chinese calligraphy and painting. It’s worth a wander around the area even if you’re not in the market for books.

Best Bookstores in Beijing

#3. Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore | 北京外文书店

Beijing Foreign Language Bookstore

Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore is a peaceful oasis in the hustle and bustle of Beijing. This old, 90s style bookstore has been a mainstay for foreigners in Beijing for decades. It has a big section of Chinese language learning books and is perfect for anyone seeking to hone their Mandarin skills. Many of their books are published by the renowned Beijing Language and Culture University Press, and are very reasonably priced. You can also find books on Chinese art, culture, history, literature, religion, philosophy.

Address: No 235 Wangfujing Street, near Dong’anmen Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing | 北京市东城区王府井大街235号, 近东安门大街
Closest Metro Stop: Wangfujing (line 1), 15-minute walk
Open: 9:30-22:00 daily

#4. Wangfujing Bookstore | 王府井书店

Wangfujing Bookstore

Wangfujing Bookstore is the best-known book shop in Beijing with over 70 years of history. Most of the books are written for native Chinese readers. However, you will find a few rows of Chinese language learning books in stock. The 4th floor of the store caters entirely to children and has all the Chinese storybooks, comics, picture books (written in either easy-to-read pinyin or big text) that you can think of to improve your kid’s Mandarin. There are chairs on every floor where you can sit and read before you decide whether to buy a book or not. There is also a food court in this huge book mall.

Address: No 218 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing | 北京市东城区王府井大街218号
Closest Metro Stop: Wangfujing (line 1)
Open: 9:30-22:00 daily

Best Bookstores in Guangzhou

#5. New Page Bookstore

new page bookstore guangzhou

Located on the B1 floor of the Guangzhou Book Center, the trendy New Page Foreign Language Bookstore is the best place to shop for Chinese language textbooks in Guangzhou. You will find books on subjects such as Chinese characters, slang, HSK test prep, business Chinese, vocabulary, grammar, as well as English-Chinese dictionaries. There is also a pretty robust children’s section if you need something to improve your kid’s Chinese. Don’t miss out on the charming tea house inside the book shop.

Address: No 123 Tianhe Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou | 广州市天河区天河路123号
Closest Metro Stop: Tiyuxi Road (line 1 & 2)
Open hours: 10:00-21:30 Mon-Fri & 9:30-21:30 Sat-Sun

Best Bookstores in Shenzhen

#6. Shenzhen Book Mall (CBD Store)  | 深圳书城 (中心城店)

Shenzhen Book Mall CBD store

The massive CBD Store of Shenzhen Book Mall (also called Futian Book City) located next to Shenzhen Library is supposedly the biggest bookstore in China and the world with a stock of over three million books (wow!) You can find any book you can imagine including rows of textbooks and materials for learning Chinese in the center. It’s a pretty cool place featuring many cafes and restaurants. Shenzhen Book Mall is owned and operated by the respected Shenzhen Publishing Group.

Address: 2014, No 1 Fuzhong Road, Futian District | 深圳市福田区福中一路2014号
Closest Metro Stop: Children’s Palace (line 3 & 4)
Open: 10:00-22:00 Mon-Thu, 10:00-22:30 Fri, 09:30-22:30 Sat, 9:30-22:00 Sun

#7. Shenzhen Book Mall (Luohu Store)  | 深圳书城 (罗湖总店)

The Luohu store of Shenzhen Book Mall has a relatively small range of Chinese books for those who have an academic or personal interest in learning the language. The store was primarily set up as a textbook hub for schools, colleges, and universities, and continues to do so for students. Join the many foreign exchange students and Chinese students in Shenzhen who shop at Luohu.

Address: 5033 East Shennan Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen | 深圳市罗湖区深南东路5033号
Closest Metro Stop: Grand Theater (line 1 & line 2)
Open: Spring & Winter: 09:30-21:00 Thu-Sun; Summer & Fall: 09:30-21:30 Mon-Sun