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America's largest shopping centre

Located just 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis is the Mecca for all shopaholics: The Mall of America. The largest shopping centre in the United States is home to 520 shops and more than 50 restaurants. Even those who are not that fond of shopping will have a great time here; in addition to a shopping centre, The Mall of America also includes an amusement park and many other attractions.

It takes a while to walk around an entire floor of the shopping centre: the distance is more than half a mile. To give you an idea of the size of the mall, it can accommodate 7 football stadiums or 32 Boeing 747s. However, don’t expect to see women browsing the stores of The Mall of America with whining children or bored husbands in tow. Children will be happy to amuse themselves for hours at the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, Legoland or the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium. And men who are tired of shopping can escape to the A.C.E.S. Flight Simulation Center.

The Minneapolis skyline
The Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis

86 hours of shopping

If you were to spend 10 minutes in each store, it would take 86 hours to visit every shop in the mall. So you may want to plan ahead, make a selection of the shops you wish to visit and choose a logical route to avoid endlessly walking back and forth. Virtually every known brand can be found in this giant shopping paradise. The shopping centre also boasts 3 major department stores: Macy's, Sears and Nordstrom. Tip: the mall also features a Nordstrom outlet store, Nordstrom Rack, which is very popular among bargain hunters.

The glass tunnel in the aquarium

Swimming with sharks

No other shopping centre in the United States gives you the option of shopping for new shoes and swimming with the sharks, but The Mall of America does. Experienced scuba divers may swim among these dangerous predators at the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium. A less nerve-racking alternative is to admire the sharks from a safe distance in the 328-foot-long glass tunnel that runs underneath the shark habitat. Children will enjoy exploring the quiz route to discover interesting facts; various touch pools allow you to actually touch starfish and other underwater creatures.

Inside Barbie's closet

One of the world's best known toy icons has also moved into The Mall of America: Barbie lives here in her giant Barbie Dreamhouse. The 30,000 square foot house is every little girl’s dream come true. It took 100 gallons of paint to colour the entire house pink. Visitors can wander through Barbie's walk-in closet and admire a collection of 350 special Barbies. The house is full of interactive features: play digital dress-up by trying on one of Barbie's many outfits.

The Barbie Dreamhouse - a girl’s dream come true

Photo credits

  • The glass tunnel in the aquarium: Dwayne, Flickr
  • The Barbie Dreamhouse - a girl’s dream come true: Mark Serota/Mattel