Shopping Panama has it all

This post is also available in: Spanish

visitor19-16_suple_Page_20_Image_0001Welcome to the Isthmus of Panama, an internationally-renowned shopping mecca that attracts tourists and visitors from all over the world to find the best deals on electronics, clothing, and countless other goods… It’s all here.

The Malls:

Each one of the malls in Panama is a retail wonderland, bustling with shoppers on budgets big and small, whisking in and out of stores that have it all.

Metromall is located in the eastern part of Panama City, close to Tocumen International Airport.  The offer ranges from upscale to economical. Metromall is popular with ladies who can always find a fresh new look at a reasonable price. Metromall’s Free Airport Shuttle opens up the world of Panamanian shopping to passengers making connections at the Hub of the Americas.

Mall Multiplaza Pacific in the upscale Punta Pacifica neighborhood offers high-end goods, and has the most brand-name stores. A high-fashion section boasts boutiques like Carolina Herrera and Cartier. The Las Terrazas open-air restaurant area is an ideal spot for a bite or a drink after some serious retail therapy.

Albrook Mall is Panama’s largest mall. It is located in the former Canal Zone and was strategically built adjacent to the Grand National Transport Terminal bus station. This mall has the largest selection of goods under one roof. Covering it all in one swoop requires a game plan.

Multicentro on Avenida Balboa is connected by a sky bridge to the Radisson Decapolis Hotel and next to the Hard Rock Megapolis Panama Hotel. The offer is varied, with a wide range of merchandise at all price levels. This mall is also home to Panama’s own Hard Rock Cafe.

Centro Comercial Los Pueblos is in the eastern part of the capital near Metromall and the airport. It is widely regarded among Panamanian shoppers as the place to go and get what you need at the best possible price. Sprawling and massive, it is an open-air strip-mall where hiring a car is recommended as the grounds are expansive.

Beyond the Malls:

A guide to Panama’s most notable shopping spots outside of the malls.

Avenida Central is a pedestrian boulevard. Not for the meek, this bustling area offers a chance to walk among Panama’s melting pot population and to purchase products that are priced for the low-income market. Also called “La Central”, it runs from Plaza Cinco de Mayo to the Santa Ana Park.

Casco Antiguo has many new shops offering one-of-a-kind products like Reprosa’s jewelry reproductions of pre-Colombian gold pieces. Find souvenirs, crafts, art, decorations and trinkets throughout this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also a sure-fire spot to find a Panama Hat.

Duty Free Shopping:

Visitors can take advantage of the opportunity to make individual purchases in the Colon Free Zone. In Panama City Amador Duty Free on the Amador Causeway sells souvenirs, jewelry, handicrafts, leather goods, cigars and perfumes. It is adjacent to restaurants that overlook the mega-yachts at Flamenco Marina. Tocumen airport also doubles as a duty free mall.

Reserve a shopping tour:

People have been coming to Panama over the centuries in search of merchandise. Today, as the tourism industry takes off in the country, travel operators are beginning to market shopping tours. Ask your travel agent, hotel desk or tour operator about a shopping tour or a personal shopper who can identify one´s style, budget and needs to make the most of a trip to the mall.