When Holly and I arrived in Panama City, we had some extra time and went to Albrook Mall which is conveniently located next to the Albrook Bus Terminal. I heard it was a big mall but my goodness, it was HUGE! We walked and walked but never seemed to run out of new sections to explore. There are hundreds of stores, very attractive common areas with interesting and variable decor, and lots of food and entertainment options. I would have to spend a few days there with a map to do a decent report on this mall. But, I did manage to get some photos to give you just a taste of what it’s like there.
There is a huge two story food court with a merry go round in the middle
Another view of the food court, and this is only one food court of quite a few we found.
One of many common areas
Cool decorations at the bottom of this escalator
There was a lot of free WiFi, though I couldn’t get it to work on my iPad
Food and Music – is this the magic? or is it even more magical than that?
Careful going in here!
The bowling ally
Another place to sit down with a snack
Holly with her backpack is ahead because I am lagging behind and taking photos
Check out the cool train that takes shoppers around
I like the balloons above
The merry go round from the ground floor
Cool colors, and notice the “Space Playworld” above.
We check out the giraffes. The movie theater is in the background.
Holly can almost hide under a giraffe
We ate at this food court above and looked down at this t-Rex on guard below
Holly looks small under the t-Rex. There is a Super 99 doorway there which gives no clue how big that store really is. It’s like a super Walmart with groceries and pretty much anything else you can think of.
If you need to shop, I can certainly see the advantages of living in Panama City. And, this is only one mall. There are a number of others and tons of individual stores, and everything else that one finds in a big, busy, international city. Parts of Panama have very third world aspects but other parts of Panama are definitely modern and first world and we pretty much lack for nothing.
I have quite a few photos of other things – the zoo, historical parts of the city, and general city photos so I’d better get busy before we take off on our next excursion and amass even more photos and stories!
About Kris Cunningham
We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
Albrook is the closest shopping mall to Veracruz, the pueblo where I live. It is an amazing mall with high-end shops and several budget-friendly places where you will find me shopping. Don’t forget the Terminal shops, either – lots to see and do there, plus, the brand new Metro subway stops there!
It definitely is quite the mall! I have seen the terminal shops, though I’ve never taken the time to explore them much. Usually I’m just catching a bus. I did take the metro to Albrook to catch my bus home and it was great, very easy.
Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂 I definitely need to spend more time in your side of Panama to get to know it better.
You can say that again, about the range of prosperity in Panama (third world, ranging to frank opulence!). I refer to yet MORE malls in the city of Panama that make the Albrook Mall seem like a commoner’s mall. And, there is the new MegaMall soon to open just next to Tocumen (Panama Airport), which will be just as big as Albrook Mall. MegaMall will solve the traffic on the East side trying to come into the city to shop. It is also serviced by a brand new hospital.
I was recently at the MetroPlaza (not the MultiPlaza or MetroMall where most of the other “commoners” go). MetroPlaza is located near the Convention Hall. MetroPlaza is smaller, but has seven restaurants and the only ice cream you can buy is over $4 for a small cup. I was screened by security to see if I was “worthy” to shop in the mall. Given my typical casual appearance that our culture is accustomed, I stood out against the designer outfits all the Panamanians were wearing in the mall. MetroPlaza is home to Panama’s wealthiest of shoppers with price points in the nauseating range. They have some USA-connected stores, but the prices are nothing like I would recognize! So, for those who think Panama is just for poor hicks who don’t have any cash flow… think again.
I’ve heard about MetroPlaza but I don’t think I’d be worthy to shop there wither. There is definitely money in Panama. I know it isn’t cheap to live in the city, and there are some very nice cars out and about. And, you know all those expensive stores can’t exist if people don’t have money to shop there. I had a discussion with a local friend about this not long ago. In the country people don’t care so much about appearance, but in the cities there is more and more keeping up appearances and looking as good as your neighbors, and that costs money. Some even overextend themselves in this effort.
I Hate to admit this, But I do like to shop, Bargains are my Specialty.
Ahh good, you can do my shopping then. This was very interesting to see and i enjoyed it but shopping in general, no thanks. I want to walk in, immediately see what I need, buy it, and get out.
Now, you sound like My wife. LOL
There are advantages to this 😉
I need to Clarify, shopping is fun if Needed Bargains are found at reasonable prices .
I’m still leaving the shopping to you, even with bargains
I like Allbrook because it has an easy to find Sushi Express and the Do It and Novey are all in one place. And don’t you just love how you just need to find the door with the same animal that you saw when you came in? Great pics once again amiga!
Sushi Express?? Oh my, maybe i need to go back there and explore further. I did find the mall website and they name the halls and sections after the animals too. It’s such a fun place that even I could do better with shopping 😉
And the Darian store is muy excellente for all sorts of bargains. Just the kind of store I like!
Hmm, I’ll have to add that to my list of things to find. I’m sure we’re going back to explore a number of things in the city and the mall, so I’ll have quite an agenda by then 😀
They have Premier in Albrook Mall, which is a discount appliance store. The Panamanians may consider products from Premier to be their equivalent to Radio Shack, but it is more like Best Buy. The products are just as good as the “name” brand items like Samsung and they have a network of service people throughout the country. Each of the larger items, such as refrigerators, televisions, air conditioners, and ranges come with their own service contracts in the discounted price! I have used the service contractors and they are responsive. They get all the “bugs” (to use another recent blog topic entry) out before the service contract expires. So, it pays to find someone with a pick-up or van and have them haul your booty to your place the one time when you have settled (or put it underneath in the bus). I have to admit their split-section air conditioners are half the price of all the competitors and quite efficient! The smallest one can operate at practically the same electricity output as a dehumidifier.
Thanks for the tip! I don’t think we have a Premier here but I’ll keep my eye out in case we ever need to buy anything. Who cares about brand if the thing does what it is supposed to and the price is right?
Reblogged this on Let The Adventure Begin! and commented:
Kris & I did indeed have fun exploring the mall when we went to Panama City to get Mariah. It was a first for both Kris and I and we were very surprised by how huge the place was. Unfortunately we were both tired from our travel day and we were both wieghted down with our backpacks so we didnt get to do much shopping. Although Kris did manage to find a really cute pair of yoga pants to purchase , oh, I found a great pair of earrings too! Well, we couldnt very well leave empty handed! Kris got some really great photos…
I wore those pants yesterday when I was out much of the day and though they are black, they are very comfortable, light, and breathable. There were definitely a good find and will get a lot of use!
When my husband and I were at Albrook last week, it took us a while to figure out (duh) that the animals marked the different wings of the mall. Then we asked where a certain store was and were told to “go to the dolphins” and it sure helped us find our way. We hade a great day exploring though, like you, I am not a shopper. Used to be years ago but living a “stuff free” life style has really made a big change in habits. Great photos Holly. Love your blog.
I just realized that too about the animals. What an interesting way to find your way around the mall. Thanks, glad you enjoyed the photos. It’s a fun place to photograph.
Great pictures. It kind of reminds me of Mall of America in Minneapolis with the amusement rides. I could care less about malls either. But I do want to visit just to see it in person. But I do hear sushi calling my name 🙂
It’s definitely something to see at least once. I didn’t see sushi but I know it’s there somewhere!