The best neighborhoods in Panama City

The best neighborhoods in Panama City

From the cobbled streets of Casco Viejo to the smooth skyscrapers of the downtown company district, Panama’s cosmopolitan money has a lot of faces. Panama City is a vibrant hub for historical past, enterprise and society – there’s even a rainforest within the metropolis limits.

But in which ought to you base yourself in Panama Metropolis? Whether you happen to be wanting for a occasion night, locavore treats, relatives-pleasant enjoyable, a slice of colonial history, or the comforts of a modern day metropolis, you can locate it in the subsequent 5 neighborhoods.

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Casco Viejo

Greatest for colonial architecture, tradition and cocktails

Dating back again to 1673, compact Casco Viejo is the city’s cultural coronary heart – if you only go to 1 community, make it this 1! At the time a no-go zone, Casco Viejo’s historic, pastel-coloured mansions have been restored and now household attractive boutiques this kind of as the American Trade Hotel and hip hostels these kinds of as Selina.

Casco’s cobbled streets were being manufactured for idle wandering. Dip into the incense-scented Iglesia de San José and marvel at its glittering golden altar, or people-look at in the Plaza de la Independencia while slurping an artisan ice cream from Benissimo.

Discover Panama’s exceptional textile artwork at the Museo de la Mola and shop for regionally manufactured crafts at the Karavan Gallery, then split for a Geisha espresso – a single of the world’s finest and most costly brews – at the vegan-friendly Sisu Coffee Studio.

At sundown, head to a rooftop bar – Tántalo is a very long-time beloved for a content-hour cocktail – prior to some artistic Panamanian fusion fare at Fonda Lo Que Hay. Then dance the evening away at CasaCasco or Teatro Amador.

The Frank Gehry-intended Biomuseo in Amador is a placing jumble of designs and colours © GoGri / Shutterstock


Most effective for loved ones-welcoming things to do and planet-class museums

To the south of the town, Amador’s namesake causeway juts into the bay, with sights around the skyscraping city skyline on just one facet, and sights of supersized ships sailing underneath the Bridge of the Americas as they enter and exit the Panama Canal on the other. 

Established from rocks unearthed for the duration of the canal’s development, this skinny sliver of land has been revitalized and is now a agency favored with nearby people and a bridge to the pocket-sized islands of Culebra, Perico, Naos and Flamenco.

Get started your journey along the 6km (3.7-mile) causeway by leasing a bike from Bicicletas Moses. Drop into the striking, Frank Gehry-intended BioMuseo to learn about Panama’s stunning biodiversity, prior to halting off for a seafood feast at the at any time-common Mi Ranchito on Isla Naos while you consume in the sights.

To get lively, acquire to the h2o with StandUp Panama which caters to paddle boarders of all concentrations, which includes folks with disabilities. Alternatively, hop on the ferry for the 30-moment journey to volcanic Isla Taboga, the historic Island of Flowers, for a flavor of tropical island existence (set up functions at Taboga Tour Center).

Ceviche served in a coconut shell in Panama
The community of San Francisco is a good put to sample area treats this sort of as ceviche © ScarletRE / Shutterstock

San Francisco

Greatest for foodies and regional flavors

In the middle of the metropolis, sprawling San Francisco is a favorite prevent for community foodies. It is the residence foundation for many of the city’s leading food items trucks, and at the city’s 1st selected food truck park, Urbano67, you will find everything from sticky ribs to effectively-stuffed tacos, craft beer to cocktails, and are living new music to artisan market stalls.

For far more delicious eats, food truck-turned-cafe Esa Flaca Rica serves up flavorful meaty and veggie burgers. There’s also a department of El Trapiche serving its well-liked menu of reasonably priced and filling Panamanian fare. In the meantime caffeine-enthusiasts can sample the country’s best coffee at Cafe Unido.

You can burn off off those added energy at the alfresco gyms and on the jogging trails of Parque Recreativo Omar, one particular of the city’s environmentally friendly lungs, which hosts free open-air live shows and artwork exhibitions in summer months.

Woman look at the Panama City skyline from Cerro Ancon
Cerro Ancón offers sweeping sights around the skyscrapers of downtown Panama Metropolis © DavorLovincic / iStockphoto / Getty Illustrations or photos


Most effective for green spaces and up to date artwork

Portion of the former Canal Zone, the tranquil household community of Ancón is property to the city’s optimum stage, Cerro Ancón which rises to 200m (650ft) previously mentioned sea stage, with an legendary Panama flag – explained to be greater than a basketball court – fluttering at its peak.

Established your alarm and hit the paved path to the summit, winding up slopes thick with rainforest vegetation and sprinkled with tropical flowers. Continue to keep your eyes peeled for sluggish-going sloths, diminutive Geoffroy’s tamarin monkeys and raccoon-like coatis. Alongside wildlife encounters, you are going to be rewarded with panoramic sights above the tiled rooftops of Casco and downtown’s sparkling steel-and-glass towers.

For an art take care of, end off at the imposing Panama Canal Administration Setting up on the hill’s western slope to see the impressive murals depicting the epic struggle to develop the canal. Then head east to the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC Panamá), which showcases neighborhood and Latin American artwork, with an exciting line-up of short term exhibitions. 

A woman exercising on the Cinta Costera in Panama City
Locals obtain on the Cinta Costera each morning to physical exercise and soak up the views © diego_cervo / iStockphoto / Getty Pictures

Punta Pacifica

Finest for glitzy lodges and glam retailers

Punta Pacifica is one particular of the city’s latest and most exceptional neighborhoods, where eye-wateringly high priced higher-increase condos stand shoulder-to-shoulder on a petite peninsula overlooking the ocean. There are leading-notch shopping and intercontinental dining places to match, but alongside designer retailers, the Multiplaza Shopping mall has all around 50 eateries to match all budgets.

For sea sights, wander down to Cinta Costera, which hugs the coastline as much as Casco Viejo, and operates parallel to Avenida Balboa. Each Sunday early morning, the beltway is transformed into a ciclovía (cycleway), so retain the services of a bike and sign up for the throng of riders. Guiding Punta Pacific are the lively, multicultural barrios of Obarrio and El Cangrejo, presenting a lot more wallet-friendly lodging.

If you are not being at the sail-shaped JW Marriott, you can get a taste of the showstopping sights at Panaviera, reported to be the maximum rooftop bar in Central America. Alternatively, test to bag by yourself a luxe Airbnb, wherever you can check out the twinkling lights of ships as they hold out to enter the canal.

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