Shopping in Cebu can be an unforgettable experience. The city does not lack anything you would want or need. It is a fantastic hunting ground for antiques with religious relics that are centuries-old. Gastronomic delicacies overflow the city with dried mango preserves, otap, turrons, danggit and fresh tropical fruits. And did we mention that Cebu is actually the top exporter of rattan products? The craftsmanship of the Cebu locals is impeccable and they have even received international recognition for their work. Cebu provides great bargains for handicraft items, hand-woven fabrics and abaca bags.
We gathered some of the key shopping places to visit when in Cebu:
- SM City Cebu – SM City Cebu is the biggest shopping mall in the area. It sports a 4-level building with a department store, supermarket, movie theaters, an amusement center, a bowling center, trade hall and hundreds of restaurants and retail outlets. It is not surprising to know that SM City is flocked to by local shoppers every day.
- Ayala Mall – Although not as big as SM City Cebu, the Ayala Mall is considered the best mall in Cebu as it caters to more international standards targeted to foreign tourists. It offers similar facilities as SM City Cebu but retail outlets carry more Western products and restaurants offer various international cuisines and delicacies.
- Robinson’s Place - As one of the original mall settlers in the city, Robinson’s place lost its popularity upon the entrance of other grand malls. It is still frequented by loyal locals within the area, though.
- Carbon Market – The Carbon Market is the city’s biggest public market. Thrifty shoppers will enjoy this area the most with its food items, fresh fruit and handicrafts.
- Tabian Market – The Tabian market is the haven for dried food products. It has the best choices of pork rinds, dried fishes and dried mangoes. They have the best diles, tuyo and danggit products which are local favorite delicacies. Make sure to haggle your way to the lowest possible price.
- Colon Street - Once the most popular shopping district in Cebu, Colon Street has yet reclaimed its glory by providing a haven for bargain hunters. Locals and tourists alike can haggle to their heart’s content, making Colon the primary destination for most shoppers.
- Alegre Guitar Factory – Shopping in Cebu may not be complete without dragging a guitar with you on your way home. Well-crafted guitars can be found at the Alegre Guitar Factory, where they also sell other string instruments such as mandolins and ukuleles. The factory cannot ship your purchase so you’ll have to carry-on your purchase back home, however. The Opon area of Mactan is another great place to look for hand-made guitars.
- Airport Stall – Just didn’t have enough time to tour the entire city? You can always visit the airport stalls for your last minute shopping needs. Great souvenir items and local products are sold here.
Other notable malls that unfortunately did not make our top list include Gaisano Country Mall, E-Mall, JY Square Mall, and Marina Mall. The only way you can indulge in the lifestyle of the Cebuanos is when you visit their shopping malls and local markets. Learn how to haggle for prices in markets as it comes with the entire shopping in Cebu experience.