Make Every Minute Of Shopping In Downtown Oranjestad Count



Of course, there are more shopping facilities in Aruba than downtown alone. The high rise area flourishes because of its top resorts, fine restaurants, exclusive shops and prestigious malls. But, for visitors who have only a couple of hours available to get to know the island, do some shopping and mingle with the locals, Oranjestad is perfect.

A great way to explore the capital of Aruba is by tramcar. This solar-powered vehicle is waiting at the cruise ship terminal to take passengers for a scenic city tour. Make a stop at the Caya G.F. Betico Croes (main street) for a real local shopping experience, including typical Aruban snacks and a fresh fruit smoothy to recharge the batteries. Visit some of the island’s oldest stores, like Aruba Trading Company, Maggy’s and La Linda Department Store. For Dutch linen, high quality souvenirs and Delft Blue, check out ECCO. 

For upscale shopping in Aruba, there’s the Renaissance Mall with high end brands like Cartier, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, among other top quality stores. The Royal Plaza is known for its extensive and varied collection of unique gift and specialty shops like FantaSea and Bula Surf Shop. Browsers will enjoy haggling and sniffing out the best bargains at the Wharfside Flea Market. Whatever the catch, don’t forget to breathe in some of the island’s history and culture. The National Archeological Museum and the Historical Museum Of Aruba are both around the corner.



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Super Food Plaza
Photo courtesy of Albert Braamskamp


 

Once located on the L.G. Smith Boulevard, surrounded by all the island's bigger supermarkets in Oranjestad, Super Food has come a long way. From grocery store filled with fresh produce and Dutch brands to the new and growing Super Food Plaza shopping complex in Bubali, where customers can do their daily groceries, have a delicious lunch in Jack's Cafe, pick out the finest wines and liquors at Cheers, buy the freshest fish and seafood at Daily Fish, shop for home appliances and decor at Casa, browse for top quality toys at Intertoys, or get an eye exam and new glasses at Optica Sun Specs. This is not a supermarket, it's Super Food Plaza!


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Downtown
Post Aruba
Photo courtesy of Albert Braamskamp


 

For downtown shoppers, the nearest postal office is located in one of the harbor malls in Weststraat, right next to the cruise ship terminal gate. Aruba Post not only offers regular postal services and products, but also money transfer options via Western Union. Their philatelic department was founded on January 1, 1986. Since then they've issued a colorful and assorted collection of stamps that represents the beautiful island of Aruba and that's being showcased at the Post Aruba office. The Personal Stamps consist of a souvenir sheet with a design of Aruba's map and distinctive objects of the island such as historical landmarks, cultural traditions and natural treasures.


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Botica Kibrahacha
Photo courtesy of Botica Kibrahacha


 

Bad sunburn? Stomach flu? Anti-allergic deodorant? Extra strong hairgel? For all your health care needs, beauty and personal care products, Botica Kibrahacha is just around the corner. The shortest route to get to this local pharmacy is by walking straight through the Royal Plaza Mall to reach the Havenstraat and there it is: right across the street. Botica Kibrahacha also carries a nice selection of Aruba Aloe products and other local remedies, treats and cosmetics that are unique gift ideas to bring back home. Not sure about a product or brand? Just ask the pharmacists at Botica Kibrahacha, they'll be happy to help out.


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Boolchand's Digital World
Photo courtesy of Albert Braamskamp


 

Mr. Doulatram Boolchand Nandwani started this incredible journey called Boolchand's more than eighty years ago. Today, the Boolchand's family is conquering the Caribbean with their primary focus: the happiness of their customers. At Boolchand's Digital World in Havenstraat, the street right behind the Royal Plaza Mall, high quality cameras, electronics, computers and watches are the main draw. The experts at this specialized retailer are ready to assist customers with any information on the latest technology and gadgets like Apple iPods, Bose theater systems or top rated video game consoles. Boolchand's reasonable prices top off their great service and top product lines.


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Downtown


 

ECCO opened its doors in 1978 specializing in high quality merchandise like hand decorated linen, Dutch Delft Blue pottery, unique gifts and local handicrafts, men's and women's clothing plus a big assortment of accessories. Located at the front end of the main street, ECCO is one of those department stores that may not seem appealing on the outside, but are definitely worth a look – if not only for a nostalgic shop browsing experience. ECCO also offers a great selection of t-shirts, beachwear, men's sportswear, the popular Guayabera shirts and panama hats. Too much to bring along? Ship the shopping goods back home.


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Palm Beach


 

Maggy Abrahams started her first beauty salon at the age of 18, this is how Maggy's was born - one of Aruba's first beauty emporiums with six store branches on the island, up till now. As a local favorite, Maggy's not only specializes in the retail of duty free perfumes & cosmetics, but houses full service salons in most of her stores and is an active promoter of many beauty events on the island. Maggy's salons offer a variety of services including hair, nail, reflexology, waxing, bridal, facial, and massage services. Customers can even have their hair product orders ready for pick at Maggy's, upon arrival.


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Wharfside Flea Market
Photo courtesy of Albert Braamskamp


 

Bring your best haggling tricks and get ready to bargain for T-shirts, local arts, crafts and delicacies. This flea market at the dock of Oranjestad's harbor used to be Aruba's first public market. Years ago, before the big supermarkets started to pop up everywhere, farmers and fishermen brought their fresh fruits, vegetables and fish here, at these open-air kiosks along the harbor, for locals to barter and buy. The Waf (wharf) was desolated for a while, but one day it picked up its trading habits and resuscitated as a flea market, bringing tourists closer to the island's culture and traditions.


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Aruba's main shopping street, Caya G.F. Betico Croes (named after ex-member of parliament Croes, who was responsible for setting Aruba's independence from the Dutch Antilles, back in 1986) is a half-mile long smorgasbord of international and local shops, snack bars, art galleries and department stores. Good buys include European fashion, quality electronics, French perfume, Swiss watches and local artisan gifts and delicacies. Aruba has no sales tax, and the duty is low (usually around 3-4%), so plan to buy your souvenirs here. The Caya G.F. Betico Croes and surroundings just underwent a major renovation, including the solar-powered tramcars (transporting visitors from the cruise-ship terminal to several points downtown), the revamped Parliament House, new art sculptures and commemorative statues.


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Royal Plaza Mall
Photo courtesy of Albert Braamskamp

 

This very pink and ornate building houses an attractive collection of shops that offers a little bit of everything. Buy souvenirs from the colorful kiosks spread across the Royal Plaza square, or browse the finer gift stores and surf shops on the second floor. If it's exquisite jewelry and apparel you're looking for, stay on the main floor to find the prominent Little Switzerland. Many name designers have shops here including Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Benetton. This mall is conveniently located across from the cruise ship terminal and right in the middle of downtown Oranjestad, with the bus station, flea markets, museums, shopping malls and the main street within walking distance.


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Renaissance means "revival", a time when interest in art, literature, education and other cultures, was reborn. That's exactly the atmosphere the Renaissance Mall & Marketplace wants to create with its wide variety of trendy shops, high-end retailers, riveting entertainment and international eateries. With two different locations to explore, visitors can choose from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci at the Mall, including a foot massage at the Okeanos Spa. Or, they can cross the street for a stroll along the harbor to get to Renaissance Marketplace where exclusive local souvenirs and art, Dutch cafes, Asian delights, Cuban entertainment, the Seaport Casino, and other exciting adventures await.


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Meet Liliana Erasmus

Born and raised in Aruba, Liliana moved to the Netherlands to continue her college education in Marketing. Since 1998 she’s been back on her beloved island, where she is working as a...  More About Liliana

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