Shopping is one of my favourite hobbies. Is that even considered a hobby? lol I am sure you can tell that one of my favourite shops is Forever21.
Throughout my work life saving money has never been so hard until I landed in Panama City. As I call it: The city of Skyscrapers and Shopping Malls. There are countless Malls and some Outlet Stores here. Usually when people speak about Panama, they associate it with mainly 2 things, the Panama Canal (which makes up part of the country’s multicultural history) and Shopping.
Shopping in Panama vs Miami
I picked up this really cute Camo Jacket in Forever 21, Dolphin Mall, Miami.
My experience is that it is cheaper to shop in Miami and the United States as opposed to the Panama. I am not saying that you don’t get good bargains or quality stuff; but if you were to spend the same money there, you would definitely get more for your dollar.
ZARA, Alta Plaza Mall, Panama
Where to shop
Panama is still a shopper’s paradise for some people. They have some of the most popular European and American Brands such as Zara, Forever 21, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Bershka, American Eagle, Levis, Gap, Top Shop, ALDO, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Nine West, Clarks, Steven Madden, Payless, MAC Cosmetics, Conway, Aeropostale etc. You would also find high end Brands like Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Carolina Herrera, Ted Baker, Bulova, Swarovski, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, etc.
H&M, Dolphin Mall, Miami
They do not have US Department Stores like Marshalls, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Ross Dress for Less, Home Goods, Burlington. This is a major disadvantage for me. I have noted that the merchandise sold at these Departments Stores are not sold in Panama.
Dolphin Mall, Miami
Coffee Shops & Ice-cream
Down to Coffee Shops, the most popular of them all being Starbucks are located in some of the Malls and at strategic locations around the city.
Popular Restaurants & Dessert Shops include: Mc Donalds, Dominos, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, KFC, Wendy’s, Chuck-e-Cheese’s, TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, Häagen-Dazs, DQ, Auntie Annie’s, Cinnabon, etc etc.
Bershka & Estampa, Alta Plaza Mall
Dolphin Mall, Miami
Side Note: I wish there was an H&M Store here in Panama City. So far ZARA is close enough to make do.
The American and European based Stores sell more expensive in Panama than their US Stores. Particularly Nine West, Clarks & ALDO are ridiculously priced in comparison to the prices in their US Stores.
Local Department Stores for household and general items: