Panama City  certainly has no shortage of shopping malls and commercial centers—at last count there were more than two dozen of various sizes. Many of these, however, look better-stocked from the outside than they do on closer inspection, and the city is not the best place to look for the latest fashions (many better-off Panamanians fly up to Miami for their shopping).
However, those in the market for cosmetics and perfumes can find better deals than they would in the United States at the nicer department stores, such as the Stevens, Collins, Felix B. Maduro, and Dante chains. There are branches of these on Vía España, on Tumba Muerto (Avenida Ricardo J. Alfaro) in El Dorado, and in some of the malls.
One of the newer and glitzier malls is the upscale Multiplaza Pacific, in Punta Pacífica. The youth-oriented Multicentro is on the west end of Avenida Balboa near Punta Paitilla. There’s a gringo-style food court on the top floor that has a great view of the city and the bay.
Another new and growing complex is the Albrook Mall, sometimes also called Los Pueblos II, next to the Gran Terminal de Transportes, the main bus terminal, which is near the domestic airport in Albrook, a former U.S. Air Force base. It’s many locals’ favorite.
The newest ritzy shopping center is Metro Mall, about halfway between downtown and the international airport on Vía Tocumen, the old road (not the highway) to the airport. However, it’s too far from town to be of much interest to visitors.
Other upscale shopping destinations include the Bal Harbour minimall (mainly for food, especially kosher food) in the Punta Paitilla area, the designer-name shops along Calle 53 in Marbella (especially in the World Trade Center), and the tony jewelry stores and galleries on Avenida 2 Sur/Samuel Lewis in Obarrio. More bargain-oriented stores are on Vía España and in the malls and strip malls of the El Dorado neighborhood, though both places have higher-end shops as well.