Get surprised by Panama City

Between us

Don’t be fooled by the image you might have of Panama City. You will meet very few people who have visited Panama. Unlike its neighbor Costa Rica, Panama is not as trendy. But being less popular means fewer tourists while Panama is full of wonderful landscapes, has a rich culture, and offers many delights: food, paradise places, and amazing people.

With the gorgeous old district of Casco Viejo that will make you feel you're in Cuba, Panama City is a very vibrant and fun city even if it can be as expensive as a city like New York.

Panama City, between luxury building skyline and poor fishermen.

Panama City in a few words

Casco Viejo, great seafood, history of the Panama Canal, islands very close, bars, clubs, reggaeton, dance, parties, pricy.

 

Panama City Wander List

Click on the image or  this link  to add me on  Mapstr  (@jmsaponaro) and access my Wander List maps

Click on the image or this link to add me on Mapstr (@jmsaponaro) and access my Wander List maps

Seafood, bars, and dance are on the menu in this Panama Wander List.

As always: only the gems, nothing more.

As you will see, most of the fun places are located in the old district of Casco Viejo.

Best Panama City bars for a drink (or two)

  • The rooftop bar of the Tántalo Hotel in Casco Viejo: Enjoying a beer with a 360° view on the bay of Panama City. Perfect to start the night.

  • The Relic Bar has a very cool outdoor terrace/backyard that will make you feel you are in the middle of Mayan ruins. Perfect for a few drinks to start the night.

  • Casa Jaguar was one of the best places I went to. It's a restaurant in the evening, then turns into a bar, then into a crazy dance club. Get some drinks and go sit on the leather couch of their cozy balcony. You can also come back later when the music hit the place for a fun night in the rhythm of reggaeton.

Best Panama City restaurants

  • How about a combo of delicious tapas, seafood, in a restaurant entirely built inside old stone ruins? Go to Soroco for an unforgettable dinner.
    Bonus points: they have some jazz live music on weekday evenings.

  • As mentioned above, Casa Jaguar is also a restaurant during the day and proposes very good meals.

  • For a good brunch, NINA is a cool hipster place that is also a concept store.

Siroco restaurant

Seafood tapas at Siroco

Seafood tapas at Siroco

The Siroco restaurant is fully integrated into ruins.

Casco Viejo

As you've figured out by now, Casco Viejo is the heart of Panama City and should be at the top of your lists of things to visit. The colors of the buildings are gorgeous, it's full of small shops, restaurants, and nice bars.

Make sure to check its history punctuated by pirate invasions.

Colors of Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo streets

 

 

 

When going there at night, don't adventure yourself too much on the west as it becomes quickly unsafe outside of the center of the district.

Also, order rides through Uber as it's safer than normal taxi cabs.

Lil' gangsta on the edge of Casco Viejo

San Blas Islands escape - Photo series

From Panama City you can escape the city for 48 hours in the archipelago of San Blas. That's an experience you will never forget. You can easily find tours that will take care of everything.
Follow our photo series in this dedicated post, you won't be disappointed.

San Blas Islands

Have you ever been to Panama? Let us know if you have any recommendations.

You can find all the photos from this trip on Instagram and Pinterest.