Shopping malls have become an iconic part of American culture. However, they can be found far beyond the borders of the United States, in seemingly every country on Earth. Although there are countless places that offer a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options under a single roof, these five malls are definitely must-visit attractions.
1. Dubai Mall — Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Although second to the South China Mall in terms of leasable space, the Dubai Mall is the largest in terms of total area. Shopaholics descend on the mall to browse its luxury boutiques such as Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, and others, particularly in January during the annual Dubai Shopping Festival. However, there is more to the Dubai Mall than just shopping. The mall plays host to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, where brave guests can descend into the deep for an up-close-and-personal shark encounter at feeding time. Furthermore, Dubai Mall is home to the SEGA Republic indoor amusement park, along with an Airbus A380 flight simulator and a reconstructed dinosaur skeleton. With all these options under one roof, Dubai Mall is most definitely a city unto itself.
2. VivoCity — Singapore
Singapore is known as a world-class shopping destination, and VivoCity, the country’s largest mall, is no exception. In addition to tenants such as Brooks Brothers and Levi’s, VivoCity boasts larger-than-life sculptures crafted by renowned international artists. The rooftop park complete with amphitheater provides visitors with entertainment galore, including performances by Singaporean and international acts. For those who need a break from the frenzied shopping environment, VivoCity’s outdoor promenade is a great place for casual strolling.
3. West Edmonton Mall — Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The largest shopping mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall is home to around 800 unique stores and a variety of restaurants, including three themed neighborhoods: Bourbon Street, Europa Boulevard, and Chinatown, each with its own unique charm. Also, the mall is home to Galaxyland, the world’s second-largest indoor amusement park, as well as World Waterpark, Marine Life Aquarium, and two miniature-golf courses along with a replica of Christopher Columbus’s flagship, Santa Maria. For guests who wish to spend the night in a grand style, the mall’s Fantasyland Hotel offers deluxe accommodations, including a suite themed after a Roman palace, and another reminiscent of the Polynesian islands. In short, West Edmonton Mall is not to be missed.
4. Centro Comercial Arenas de Barcelona — Barcelona, Spain
Originally constructed as a bullfighting ring around 1900, Barcelona’s Centro Comercial de Arenas has quickly become one of the city’s premier shopping destinations. There are six levels of shopping and dining, including a store devoted entirely to F.C. Barcelona merchandise – a must for soccer fans worldwide. In addition to stores and restaurants, including tapas bars along with Mediterranean- and Asian-inspired eateries, the mall also houses the Museo de Flamenco, a museum dedicated to the fiery, emotional dance iconic in Spanish culture.