Manila is considered to be a shoppers paradise, and it is one of the cities in the world that has the most number of malls per head of population. In addition to these gleaming, air-conditioned mini-cities, which provide a welcome break from the stifling tropical heat, Manila is also home to a number of more down-to-earth markets, providing you with a completely different shopping experience.
Mall of Asia
The largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the seventh largest in the world, the Mall of Asia features over 600 shops in addition to their hypermart and sprawling department store. The main downside to this mall is that, since it caters largely to tourists, prices can often be quite steep, especially when compared to the more local shopping areas a short distance away. However, with an ice rink, cinemas, bars and nightclubs, the Mall of Asia will always be able to provide much more than just your standard shopping experience.
Divisoria is a shopping destination that is a favorite amongst locals, but is definitely not for the faint of heart, with the immense crowds sometimes making any movement seem near impossible. While Divisoria stocks similar goods to that of Greenhills, the variety that you will find here is unbelievable, and the prices are among some of the lowest in Manila. Divisoria is also located nearby to Chinatown, meaning that you can head over there for another shopping, and dining, experience once you are done.
A trendy mall situated in Makati, Glorietta has a fantastic range of both local and international shops. At the center of the mall lies an open circular atrium, which is frequently used for fashion shows, trade shows and concerts, and it is rare to find the area lying empty. After browsing the stores, shoppers can stop at one of the many fine dining restaurants for a bite to eat, or even play a few games in the colorful arcade. Each mall in the Philippines has been designed to offer something unique and distinct, and the upmarket ambiance at Glorietta definitely helps this mall to stand out.
Greenhills is busy, loud and bursting with energy, offering a one-of-a-kind experience. While this no-frills shopping center, filled with over 100 stalls, may not seem as sophisticated as some of the city’s malls, Greenhills still caters to tourists, but gives them the chance to bag some great bargains. Whether you are after stylish sunglasses or kitchen utensils, this is also a great place to practice your haggling, preparing you for the more local Manila markets.
While price bargaining may be a big no-no in shopping malls, it is quite the norm in markets and on the streets, and is usually recommended that the buyer offer 50% of the starting price to begin with, before haggling their way up. Whether you choose to shop in Manila’s sprawling malls or bustling markets, you will soon see why the city is considered to be one of the very best in Asia when it comes to shopping.