The Best Places to Shop in Panama

Panama's privileged geographical location has allowed its small stature to grow into an ever more important crossroad of the world; since before Columbus discovered America, then for the Spanish Conquistadors and now as a universally recognized trading and business center.

Panama City is home to all things shopping in Panama. Outside of the city there are a few malls, particularly in David, but if you want a wide selection of stores and choices, then Panama City is the place to be. In Panama City there are various locations other than malls where you can find stores, such as on Via España near to Hotel El Panama, as well as in Marbella and Plaza New York near the financial district. If you are looking for handcrafts and souvenirs it is best to visit the crafts makret located in Balboa. The neighborhood Obarrio also offers some decent shopping, and no list of places would be complete without mentioning Avenida Central, which a section of the avenue is pedestrian only and is full of discount stores and various shops offering a wide selection of things, mostly inexpensive items and orientals bazaars that sell table linen, oriental crafts, carpets, clothes and all kinds of souvenirs.

In all of these shopping areas you can find boutiques, gift shops, jewelry stores, restaurants, and much more. But if you are looking for a one-stop shop for all your needs in Panama, then malls are definitely the way to go.

The following is a list of the malls in Panama City:

Multiplaza Mall

Multiplaza is located in the upscale neighborhood of Punta Pacifica and offers high-end goods and many name-brand stores. Walking through Multiplaza will give you a sense of shopping in the US or Canada in a new, modern mall. The mall is also home to the "5th Ave. of Panama." There is a section of the mall with high-fashion boutiques, and also an area called Las Terrazas which boasts open air dinning and drinks.

Albrook Mall

Albrook Mall is the biggest mall in Panama and it is even currently expanding. It is located in the former canal zone near the domestic airport and adjacent to the national bus terminal. The mall has 100s of stores and can become very crowded. Go with a game plan so you know what part of the mall to travel through. It has a few food courts, movie theater (as do most of the malls), bowling alley, climbing wall, and stores galore.


Metromall is relatively new and resides close to the International Airport. The mall offers shoppers choices in all budgets, from inexpensive to upscale. The mall also offers shoppers a free shuttle to the nearby international airport.


Mulitcentro is on Avendia Balboa across the street from the Pacific ocean. The mall is also attached to the neighboring Radisson Decapolis Hotel and is home to the Hard Rock Cafe. Moreover, the mall also touts a casino, movie theater and supermarket.

Centro Comercial El Dorado

The mall in El Dorado provides shoppers with a wide selection of goods at usually low prices. The mall has become known for its majority Chinese owned and operated stores selling unique products. The mall has a supermarket, food court, bowling alley, and a discount retailer, plus many other stores.

At either one, shoppers can enjoy an entire day of shopping with a large number of shops and stores and a great variety of merchandise at excellent prices. In addition, there are many different restaurants, from fast food, to local and international flavors in the malls. If you are visiting the city of David, capital of the province of Chiriqui, you will want to check out the Chiriqui Mall.

Duty Free Shopping

The Free Zone, located in Colon, 45 minutes from Panama City by car, is the largest free trade zone in the Western hemisphere. However, shopping in the free trade zone is usually done on a wholesale basis, but smaller volume purchases are possible. There is a catch: no merchandise may leave the zone in the buyers possession. All purchased goods are sent to the Tocumen International Airport and can be collected there by the buyer prior to departure of the coutry.

The Amador Causeway in Panama City also has some duty free shops. Not even close to the size of the Free Trade zone, but nonetheless the area has stores selling souvenirs, jewelry, handcrafts, leather goods, cigars and perfumes. The duty free center on the causeway is adjacent to restaurants overlooking the mega yachts of Flamenco Marina.

In Panama City Visitors will be able to find supermarkets, pharmacies, and restaurants strategically located, even some which are open 24 hours a day. Panama City has always been a paradise for shopping where visitors can access and choose products from a varied selection with good quality and excellent prices. Even the most exclusive and sophisticated items can be found in Panama Stores.

Usually stores, Malls and restaurants open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, some of them open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm from Monday through Sunday.

All large stores and any located in malls accept credit cards and the legal currency of Panama is the US dollar.