Asuncion may not be the world’s most prestigious shopping destination as very few tourists make it to this part of the continent. Nevertheless, travelers who find themselves in Paraguay’s capital do have a number of extravagant shopping options to choose from, many of which stock the latest luxury items and designer brands. Here are the best spots for some upmarket retail therapy in the city.
In an effort to keep up with Paseo la Galeria, Shopping del Sol has undergone large scale renovations in recent years and is now on par with its glamorous counterparts in the United States. It may not be quite as high-end as La Galeria, but it does boast a vast selection of stylish boutiques as well as a buzzing al fresco dining space. Be sure to take advantage of their tourist card which offers gringos a 10% discount at selected designer stores.
Not wanting to fall behind the game, the Mariscal Lopez Shopping Center have done their own recent renovations to add an entire new tower to their complex which is accessed through an above-ground walkway with panoramic views. The new area is packed full of trendy restaurants and boutique shops, while the tried-and-tested fresh produce market in the old mall is still one of the best places to shop for fruit and veg in the city.
Granted, Paseo Carmelitas is more of a place to wine and dine thanks to its exquisite selection of top-end restaurants and bars. Nevertheless, a few shops can be found throughout this pleasant open-air boulevard which is characterized by well-manicured ivy that scales its marble-clad walls. As the center of the city’s social scene, it’s best to drop by in the evening to unwind with a drink or two.
Right across the road from Paseo Carmelitas lies Via Allegra, a palm tree fringed European style outdoor shopping strip that may well be the most glamorous in the city. Featuring just nine high-end boutiques, it’s an exclusive place to shop for Rolex watches, perfume, or a fancy new pair of shoes. Just be prepared to max out your credit card because this is not going to be cheap.
Acunsion’s very first shopping mall may have lost some of its cache in recent years, but it’s still a solid option for those looking to shop in trendy Villa Mora. Expect to find more local and smaller designer brands rather than the big international names, although there are a few familiar outlets spread throughout. The food court has an excellent value pay-per-kilo restaurant while the upstairs bowling alley is a favorite weekend hangout.
Don’t be fooled by the name, for this is no fare but a department store in the city center. Expect to find everything from kids toys to couches and flat screen TVs in a multileveled space that stocks both budget and high-end brands. It’s not exactly a chic cultural experience, but rather a convenient spot to pick up a variety of different things.