Shopping is a national obsession in the Asian powerhouse that is the Philippines and nowhere is this trait more evident than in its capital city Manila. With every city block in metro Manila housing at least one sky-piercing mall this shopping complex saturated locale is a shopaholic’s dream come true. As the commercial and financial centre of the city and the country’s economy Manila truly packs in a punch in terms of its touristic value as a shopper’s haven. Littered with towering malls, bustling local markets and fantastic bargains, retail fanatics rate this vibrant corner of the country as one of Asia’s premier shopping Meccas.

Manila’s mallscape is anything but mediocre with the third largest shopping complex in the world and the second largest in Asia to its name. Shoppers with a flair for designer brands and luxury goods are typically found at these exclusive and chic venues across the city. Manila’s premier mall is of course SM Mall of Asia which is the third biggest mall complex in the world according to Forbes. Spread out over 4.2 million square feet of shopping space the venue offers visitors everything under the sun all under one roof. The SM Mall of Asia is a one-stop shop for retail therapy, high-end goods, cineplexes, salons, restaurants and entertainment. The Glorietta and Greenbelt shopping complexes offer similar distractions and world renowned labels while Trinoma is another fantastic department store which offers similar goods at less exorbitant prices.

Other must-shop venues for mall lovers include the Shangri La Plaza Mall which houses the country’s flagship Crossings, Marks & Spencer and Ruston’s Tower outlets as well as a plethora of designer stores such as Cerruti and Armani. Known for its high fashion store conglomerate the mall also features fantastic restaurants and entertainment venues.

Las Tiendesitas down C5 Road is another Manila shopping icon as this 30,000sqm collection of small boutiques resembles the Thai capital’s famed Chatachak Market. Littered with authentic Philippine–made items, antiques, accessories, handicrafts and furniture this bustling market is also a haven for native food, fashion items, plants and personal care products.  St Francis Square is another highlight while the Cloverleaf Market, Central Market, Navotas Port Market and Quezon City market are also great open-air retail venues with all the trappings of a busy local marketplace; however the famed  Divisoria Market is the best place for bargains.  Selling every item conceivable with up to 50% discounts this one of a kind bargain market offers a steal of a deal on most goods.

Travellers in search of luxury Makati accommodation in the heart of Manila’s retail capital should look no further than the Somerset Millennium Makati.   Ideally located in the centre of the city’s business district these stylish living spaces are some of the most conveniently located serviced apartments Manila has to offer.