Guatemala City has some excellent shopping malls carrying the most basic or most exclusive items one could need, in addition to fashionable boutiques and department stores. None of the latter (curiously) seem to result from Guatemalan investment.
These include Simán (El Salvador), Carrion (Honduras) and Sears (United States). The city’s largest shopping mall is Pradera Concepción (Km. 17.5 Carretera a El Salvador, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Thurs. and 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat.), with a variety of familiar stores and restaurant chains including Sears and T.G.I. Friday’s.
Opened in 2003 and expanded in 2006, the large Galerías Miraflores (21 Avenida 4-32 Zona 11, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) also harbors some of Guatemala’s most exclusive stores, including a Simán department store, the international Zara boutique, a L’Occitane store, and an Apple Store.
Across the way is the Las Majadas shopping center with a Sears, Fetiche perfume store, and a T.G.I. Friday’s.
In Zona 10, east up the hill toward the Carretera a El Salvador, is Galerías La Pradera (20 Calle 25-85 Zona 10, tel. 2367-4136, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat. and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sun.), an upscale shopping mall scheduled for remodel in 2010–2011.
Though not as upscale as its Zona Viva location might suggest, Gran Centro Los Próceres (16 Calle 2-00 Zona 10, tel. 2332-8742) nonetheless has some good shops and eateries and is conveniently situated near the major Zona 10 hotels.
Zona 10’s newest and most upscale shopping mall is also Guatemala City’s nicest. Oakland Mall (Diagonal 6, 13-01 Zona 10, www.oaklandmall.com.gt , 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat. and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sun.) features 170 stores spread across three floors, in addition to several movie theaters. Among its stores and restaurants you’ll find a large aquarium, towering waterfall, and even a carousel imported from Italy.
Also in this sector is the very pleasant Plaza Fontabella (4a Ave. 12-59 Zona 10, tel. 6628-8600, www.plazafontabella.com ), built as an outdoor mall in neo-colonial style, where you can enjoy Guatemala’s spring-like climate and a decent selection of stores and restaurants while strolling the cobblestone pedestrian walkways.