- ON THIS PAGE
Shopping in Manila
It is a common belief that Bangkok and Hong Kong are the best shopping destinations in Asia, but travellers to the region will be pleasantly surprised to find they are greatly mistaken; as the mall capital of Asia, and possibly the whole world, Manila is Asia's shopping mecca with a mall on every block or two of Metrol Manila.
Shopping isn't just a national pastime for the Filipinos, it is a real passion. Bargaining skills are perfected early on in life and the average Filipino has raised it to an art form!
Our Manila Shopping Guide is a handy source of information for details about shopping in Manila. We have listed the contact details for some great Manila shops and have also provided details about some of the great things to buy and places to shop in Manila. Whilst browsing through the marketplaces, shopping precincts and malls in Manila, taste some of the tasty Manila cuisine. Take a look at our Philippines Shopping Guide for links to other destinations within Philippines and general information about shopping in Philippines.
Manila Shopping Guide
What to Buy in Manila
Handicrafts, shell work and wooden artefacts are popular purchases for visitors shopping in Manila.
Baskets with a variety of functional and decorative uses are retailed around the city. For something quirky, pick up the locust baskets or fish traps. They'll be quite the talking point in your living room back home. Another fun Manila souvenir is the miniature jeepney replica.
Art aficionados may also like to take home a work of art or two by local painters. Galleries run regular shows and international names like Sothebys too have been snapping up works by Filipino artists.
Mats from pandan leaves are attractively designed with geometric patterns covering every inch. They're also an inexpensive item to pick up as a reminder of your trip.
Beautiful hand embroidered clothes are a worthwhile indulgence. Women shoppers find the lure of the richly decorated barong dress hard to resist. Team them up with exquisite shell jewellery for a uniquely Filipino look.
The chaos and clutter of a flea market in Manila may overpower your senses when you first get there. But after the initial sensory overload of seeing vegetables, fruit, pirated DVDs, clothes, handicrafts and even medicines being peddled by enthusiastic vendors, you will be drawn into the excitement of interactive shopping! Bargain with the vendors and come away with armloads of great gifts and wonderful keepsakes.
Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan is one of the biggest "organized" markets in Manila, selling everything at light prices that can still be haggled down. For the rock bottom prices, Quiapo, Baclaran and Divisoria have the biggest and best markets where you will even find lovely little knick knacks for your home.
Even in regular malls in Manila you will often find that everything is so much cheaper than in your home country. From clothes, shoes, bags and accessories to local handicrafts, Manila's large malls have it all.
Malate and Ermita have the pick of the crop. The SM City Manila chain of malls has a branch near Manila City Hall. Robinson's Place in Ermita is another favourite with the locals. For Manila's oldest mall, head to Malate to Harrison Plaza.
Ayala Center in Makati and Greenbelt are good for a day of shopping in Manila since the many eateries in the malls make a good place to grab a bite between shops. You can sample Filipino cuisine, Japanese food, Chinese food as well as some divine desserts. If you're so inclined, you can even watch a movie!
Manila Shopping Tips
As a visitor, you'd do well to test your own skills in the area each time you make a purchase or prepare to pay far more than what the product is worth. If you're a first-timer at bargaining, watch a local in action and pick up some tips. The shopkeepers are friendly, the goods well crafted and this makes shopping in Manila a pleasure.
How to pay
The local currency in Manila is the Peso denoted with a PhP sign comes in bills of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 as well as coins of 1 and 5 pesos.
Remember to exchange your currency for pesos at a bank, money changer or your Manila hotel. Some large department stores in Manila may have money changing facilities but don't count on it. Credit cards from all major issuers are accepted at hotels, restaurants and big stores. Everywhere else, especially in flea markets and small shops in Manila only local currency is accepted.
Ayala Center, Makati
Ayala Center, Makati
Landmark Department Store
Ayala Center, Makati City
SM City North EDSA SM City Sta. Mesa SM Megamall Ortigas SM Southmall SM City Bacoor, Cavite SM City Fairview SM City Manila SM Sucat SM Bicutan SM Supercenter Pasig SM Megamall SM Mall of Asia
SM Mall of Asia
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay Road
Alabang Town Center
Alabang-Zapote Road, Muntinlupa
Branches can be found in: Ayala Center, Makati Alabang Town Center Shangri-La EDSA Harrison Plaza Robinson's Place
Greenhills Shopping Center
Ortigas Avenue, San Juan, Metro Manila
Tel: 722 6795
Powerplant Mall (Rockwell)
Bonifacio High Street and Serendra
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
EDSA cor North Avenue, Quezon City
Along EDSA and Ortigas Avenue
Robinson's Place Manila
Pedro Gil cor. Adriatico St.
Branches can be found at: http://www.nbsstores.com/ourstores.asp
Crossings Department Store
North Avenue, Quezon City
Branches in: SM Southmall Glorietta Rockwell EDSA Central Robinsons Place Galleria SM Megamall Alabang Town Center Mall of Asia SM Sucat Festival Mall Robinson's Place Pasig Greenhills Market! Market! Trinoma
168 Shopping Mall
3rd flr. 168 Shopping Mall, Sta. Elena St. Binondo, Manila