Panama City is the most modern city in Central America. Popular with visitors and expats alike, there are many reasons why people continue to be drawn to the capital city of Panama.
Prices are relatively cheap and the city is a booming place, with soaring skyscrapers towering along its beautiful coastline and an abundance of things to do and see. It is also a city that is rich with history, architecture, culture, and archaeology.
Some top things to do in Panama City include:
Seeing the Famous Panama Canal
Often said to be an absolute must if you’re in town, many people say that if you’ve never been to the canal, you’ve never been to Panama City! The best place to see the Canal is at the Miraflores Visitors’ Centre at the Miraflores Locks. Located just 20 minutes from the heart of Panama City, your visit will be much more interesting than you may think! The construction of the canal was one of the biggest and most challenging engineering projects of its time. It made an enormous impact on the region’s shipping industry.
Enjoying Mi Pueblitos
At the foot of Cerro Ancon, towards the western side of town, Mi Pueblito features life-sized replicas of charming rural villages. A fascinating open-air museum on the slopes, it really helps you to see what life is like outside of the bustling city and learn more about the different ethnic groups that call Panama home. You will also see a number of local artisans at work, delightfully crafting an array of items.
Exploring Casco Viejo
The 341 year old Spanish colonial sector is a major city attraction. Filled with character and bursting with atmosphere, this historic part of the city dates back to the 1670s. Casco Viejo showcases Panama’s Spanish Colonial and Canal-Era history and it is close to many grand colonial style government buildings, cathedrals, and museums. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, part of Casco Viejo’s appeal is taking a wander along the cobblestone streets and soaking up the somewhat sorry sights that sit juxtaposed alongside lovingly restored architecture. Many buildings are past their best and are hauntingly run down. The area was featured in the James Bond Quantum of Solace film.
Relax on Pretty Islands
You can easily reach three nearby islands by way of the Amador Causeway. Boat trips can be arranged to even more. Boasting lovely sandy beaches, a laid-back vibe, and interesting nature, they are excellent for enjoying some R and R away from the bright lights and energetic atmosphere of the city. The restaurants and bars offer plenty of opportunities for drinking and dining with excellent views right in front of you.
Other top things to do in Panama City include visiting museums such as the informative Canal Museum and the ground-breaking Biomuseo, spending a few hours at the theatre, day-tripping to nearby national parks, chatting with friendly locals, and dining on fresh locally-caught seafood.