Robinsons is the big downtown mall, while SM City beyond Smallville on Benigno Aquino Ave is at least twice as large and has more upscale shops. There are a couple of good local markets and a few places selling high-quality handicrafts outside the city centre.

La Paz Market

In addition to the fascinating sights and smells of a rambling public market, La Paz Market contains two local legends. Batchoy, a popular concoction of broth, onion, rice noodles, beef, pork and liver, was invented here, and Netong's Bachoy is the place to try some. Just around the corner, Madge Cafe has been serving roasted Iloilo coffee since the 1940s. The pictures of visiting local celebs and the personal coffee mugs of the president and other notable figures tell the tale.

Like markets? Check out the chaotic Central Market too. The dried-fish stalls go on forever.