Prices on clothing, handicrafts, and emeralds tend to be higher in Cartagena than in other parts of the country. Plenty of attractive boutique shops are in the historic center, as well as shopping malls in El Laguito and Bocagrande.
If you are looking for handicrafts, head to Las Bóvedas -- former jail cells turned souvenir shops. In the historic center are also plenty of high-end boutique shops selling Colombian designer clothing, leather goods, and emeralds. For discount shopping, head to Getsemaní, where you can buy cheap clothing, shoes, and just about anything else you can imagine; just don't count on top-notch quality. For a shopping mall, your best bet is El Pueblito, Carrera 2 no. 4, in Bocagrande, La Matuna, Carrera 8 no. 40, in El Centro, or Pierino Gallo, Calle 1L no. 1-12A, in El Laguito.
Tip: It seems everyone in Cartagena's Old Town wants to sell you emeralds; if you decide to purchase Colombia's favorite stone, do so because you love the look of emeralds, not because you think you're getting a good deal. Unless you're an expert, it's hard to know the quality of your purchase.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.