Panama City

thumb|350px|Panama city at night

36 things to do

All Places Panama

Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo is the historic part of town, where you will find many colonial style government buildings, cathedrals and museums including a Canal Museum or a small [ Panama History Museum] (price is $1 for adult). It is currently under massive renovation, with crumbling shacks next to beautifully restored colonial buildings. There are a number of accommodation options in Casco ranging from hostel pricing up to very expensive colonial suites. The area hosts a large number of eclectic events ranging from operas and musicals at the national theatre to block parties and fashion catwalks in the open plazas. Casco Viejo also offers some of the finest dining options in Panama City. Getting here from the airport by Metro bus, you can get off at 5 de Mayo stop (popular stop under a highway) then walk about 15-20min heading south towards the water on Avenida Central, a pedestrian mall with many shops and markets, which leads directly to the old town.

SEE   —  Map

Luna's Castle Hostel

Set in a Spanish colonial mansion built upon the water´s edge in Casco Viejo, Luna´s Castle Hostel attracts those who seek the ideal Panama City backpacking experience. Amenities include a modern communal kitchen, free breakfast, free coffee, the legendary movie theatre, a spacious outdoor courtyard, free internet, and sweeping views of the Bay of Panama and the modern city skyline and a great social atmosphere. Information is also available for sailing boat departures between Panamá and Cartagena in Colombia. Keep in mind, these rooms above the bar are LOUD! They don't take reservations for privates and it's a popular place, so be prepared to find an alternative.

SLEEP   —  +507 262-1540 —  Calle 9na Este

Panama Canal

An absolute must if you're in Panama City. The most visited place on the canal is the Miraflores locks, where you can watch the huge boats go by and visit the air-conditioned visitor center with a museum, a movie theater and a fancy restaurant (USD25 for the lunch buffet). A one way cab to Miraflores locks should cost around 6 USD. It is also possible to take a local bus from the Albrook bus terminal for less than $1 or new metrobus line Albrook-Miraflores from 'D - Via España' platform at Albrook (though not very frequent, probably only one bus per hour). You can also take a luxury train along the canal to Colón, or obviously take a boat!

SEE   —  Map

Las Clementinas Chambers, Café & Bar

A small boutique hotel located in Panama's exciting historic district, Casco Viejo. Las Clementinas has just six rooms, each of which is a full apartment with kitchen, 12-foot ceilings and wrap around balconies, some with plaza views, some with ocean views. Above the rooms is a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Panama City, the Pacific Ocean, the entrance to the Canal and the rooftops of the historic district. Below the rooms is the Cafe & Bar. Las Clementinas is managed by The Canal House and leisure and business travelers can expect the same excellent and personalized service that defines The Canal House.

Jungla House Hostel and B & B

"Tree Top" level rooms overlook the hotel/casino district of the city. Dorm rooms and private rooms come with and without AC; communal area with TV, movies, free internet with decent wireless signal throughout facility. Walking distance from bars/clubs, restaurants, shopping, casinos, and supermarkets. VIP entrance for the guests in several of the city's clubs. There is a huge communal kitchen. Equipment rental for excursions, airport transfers and reputable boats to Colombia through San Blas can all be arranged. Mirador Adventures ( tour office on site.

The Canal House

An intimate hotel located in a Colonial mansion in the heart of Panama City's historic district. The Canal House was selected by the New York Times as its Editor's Pick for Panama City hotels and is the country's first Green Globe Certified Hotel. The Canal House has three rooms and a staff of six, including two English speaking managers. It is located just to the side of the Canal Museum, walking distance from some of the city's best bars, restaurants and cafes.

Panama Marriott Hotel

Calle 52 y Ricardo Arias, Area Bancaria Panama City, Panama. As cosmopolitan as the city surrounding it, the Marriott Panama City Hotel offers the elegance, outstanding service and amenities that you'd expect from a luxury Panama City hotel. Soaring 20 stories above the financial district, and considered among the best Panama City hotels, it offers an ideal location for business or leisure travelers near shopping, entertainment and vibrant night life.

SLEEP   —  +507 2 109100 —  Map

Panama Viejo

The site of the ruins of the original city of Panama that was sacked by the pirate Henry Morgan in the 1600s. The city was later moved to Casco Viejo. Today Panama Viejo is home to one of Panama's national parks with the buildings left in unrestored states. It is well worth the visit but read the safety warnings and ask park employees about where it is safe to visit as the park is surrounded outside by one of the city's dangerous areas.

SEE   —  Map

Tribe Panama

Located in historic Casco Antiquo(Viejo) on Plaza Simon Bolivar; there are 4 suites with each having two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and wonderful views of the sea and Plaza Simon Bolivar. There are over 20 restaurants and Bars within walking distance. Free internet and satellite TV. The building sits across the street from the Presidential Palace grounds which provides for the best security and neighbor that Panama has to offer.

SLEEP   —  Map

Magnolia Inn - Casco Vieo

Magnolia Inn offers comfortable and spacious deluxe private rooms as well as luxury hostel rooms. The restored French colonial mansion is full of historic character, as well as modern conveniences such as A/C, orthopedic beds, free Wi-Fi Internet and safe deposit boxes. The Inn has a stylish social areas to relax and meet fellow guests. A fully equipped kitchen and sunbathed dinning room is available for guest use.

SLEEP   —  +507 202-0872 —  818 Calle Boquete

Casa Las Americas

There are six rooms in this very nice Bed & Breakfast in Betania. You cannot beat the location for peace and quiet in a lush setting. There is a large pool and lovely terrace with a city view. Centrally located and easy access by inexpensive taxi to shopping, restaurants, and proximity to the sights of the city. Also a big plus -- the pool is large and lovely, very quiet and private and surrounded by lush greenery.

SLEEP   —  Map

Hospedaje Casco Viejo

This hostel is in the heart of the old quarter in a beautifully restored historic building. Most of the rooms have their own bathroom and balcony and very comfortable beds. Friendly and knowledgable staff, kitchen, free wifi and coffee! Definitely the best deal in Panama. They also take reservations online.

La Casa de Carmen

This hostel is in a cute house located on a busy street. Try to get a room further in the back to get away from the traffic noise. Breakfast is included, which involves toast, cereal, coffee and orange juice. Two computers with internet access are also free for guests. Accommodations are clean and spacious.

SLEEP   —  Calle 1a de Carmen 32

Casco Antiguo Spanish School

Casco Antiguo Spanish School's 1 on 1 and small group Spanish classes provide real world language skills, allowing you to put down the textbook and experience Panama first-hand. Offers a "Survival Spanish" Course for Expats, Crash Course for Travels, private lessons, Intensive Courses, and business Spanish.

Spanish Panama Spanish language school

Learn Spanish in Panama City’s central and expat friendly neighborhood at Spanish Panama. Spanish language immersion programs include airport pickup, tours and ecotourism, cultural activities, Spanish classes, and salsa dance classes. Business Spanish for Panama is also offered.

Courtyard by Marriott Panama Real Hotel

The Courtyard by Marriott Panama Real Hotel offers guests 120 rooms with high speed internet, restaurant, bar, gym, pool, four banquet halls and a meeting room, as well as laundry service, laundry and shop.

InterContinental Miramar

Av. Balboa. Luxury high-rise hotel overlooking Panama Bay. Facilities include upscale dining, large swimming pool, tennis courts, full-service marina, helicopter landing pad.

SLEEP   —  +507-206-8888 —  Map

Voyager Hostel

The air conditioning doesn't work well because of missing window panes. The employees hog the TV and watch Mexican soap operas during the day and soccer games at night.

SLEEP   —  Map

Manolo Caracol

Is an excellent restaurant in the Casco Viejo that serves tapas. Each day the chef invents a new fixed menu with seasonal ingredients. Meals are $30 without drinks.

EAT   —  Map

Las Vegas Hotel

Suites are clean, safe, centrally located and relatively affordable. There's also a nice little Italian restaurant and a wine bar attached to the hotel.

SLEEP   —  Map

Los Pueblos Mall

The first mall built in the city. very local, very cheap, and outdoor. It's across the main street from Metro Mall but is inaccessible on foot.

BUY   —  Map

Albrook Shopping Mall

Has good value and high quality clothes and more as well as a cinema, arcade, and bowling alley. Right next to the Albrook bus terminal

BUY   —  Map

Casa Del Marisco

Seafood restaurant located in the banking area walking distance away from the Marriott. The food here is quite good but also pricey.

EAT   —  Map

Zuly's Backpackers

Now operating under new management as "Casa Rica"; They do not honor anything on the Zuly's website, which appears to be obsolete.

SLEEP   —  Map

Hostal Miami

New hostel opened in 2010. Some floors are still under refurbishment. Shared kitchen, internet and wi-fi. Friendly employees.

SLEEP   —  Avenida Central 18-18

The Bristol Hotel

Luxurious modern hotel in the heart of Panama City. Outstanding bar and restaurant on site. First-class service.

SLEEP   —  +507 264-0000 —  Map

Hostel Mamallena

Information is also available for sailing boat departures between Panamá and Cartagena in Colombia.

MultiPlaza Mall

Upmarket mall, higher prices, better quality products. It has an adjacent Marriott Courtyard hotel.

BUY   —  Map

Capital Bistró Panamá

Amazing views of the city's skyline. Chillout music and large sofas on the upper terrace.

MultiCentro Mall

Upmarket mall, not as popular as MultiPlaza and Albrook

BUY   —  Map

Hostal Urraca

A Peace Corps hangout.

About Panama City

Panama City is a very multicultural place, with large populations from many different parts of the world. Spanish is spoken by most, and many speak some form of English. Customer service is slowly improving, and surprisingly dismal in hotels. However, on the streets, Panamanians are for the most part extremely friendly and helpful and would love to give you some advice. There's great shopping, from high-end stores in the malls around Paitilla and in the banking district around Via Espana, to veritable bargains around La Central (Central Avenue, now turned into a pedestrian walkway) and the Los Pueblos outdoor mall. You can also find many ethnic stores (mostly Chinese and Indian), in certain parts of the City.

Source: wikivoyage