My 5: Galaxy Soho Mall, Beijing.

Galaxy SOHO Mall Beijing

1. September 2018. If you’re planning a trip to Beijing, you might not even consider a visit to the city’s largest shopping mall. But whatever you’re doing in the Chinese capital, a half an hour diversion to the amazing sight of Galaxy Soho Mall is well worth it! Designed by the acclaimed British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, this spectacular building is like something out of a sci-fi flick.

Galaxy SOHO Mall Beijing

2. September 2018. I had no interest in actually shopping here and dear lord was that just as well, with the order of the day being mostly five star luxury brand boutiques with frankly disgusting price tags. Instead, I just took a stroll around the complex taking in all its extraterrestrial angles.

Galaxy SOHO Mall Beijing

3. September 2018. A stunning amalgamation of futuristic balconies, bridges, towers, fountains and streams, I loved the whole design, but the mall is wildly unpopular with many people who have branded it an eyesore. Locals have also complained that it’s a blot on Beijing’s cultural and traditional heritage. It certainly didn’t help matters that a large section of residential hutong was bulldozed to make way for its creation.

Galaxy SOHO Mall Beijing

4. September 2018. Galaxy Soho is home to over four hundred thousand square meters of retail space, but it’s nowhere near fully occupied and indeed as you walk about you’ll see lots of empty storefronts and gaping spaces boarded up with advertising posters.

Muay Thai Boot Camp Galaxy SOHO Beijing

5. September 2018. After much poking around I did find a handful of curiosities. There’s a cosy cat café on the ground floor with felines sprawled all about the place and a menu featuring reasonably priced western dishes. Elsewhere why not pop your head into The Beijing Hungarian Cultural Institute (!?) or sign up for boxing classes at this second floor Muay Thai boot camp with instructors from The UK and The Philippines. Galaxy Soho Mall is open daily from 10:00-22:00 and is best accessed from Chaoyangmen Subway Station (lines 2 & 6). Take exit 1, from there it’s just a few minutes on foot.

Like this? Why not take a look at more My 5s from around Beijing.

Want to delve further afield? I’ve written stacks of travel reports from all over China.

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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