Where to stay in Panama City [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

“Where should I stay in Panama City?” If you’re sitting here asking this question then you have come to the right place. Panama City, located in Panama, Central America, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination that offers a mix of modernity and history, making it an excellent choice for travelers exploring Panama. 

This big, beautiful city has a fascinating history dating back to the Spanish colonial era. You can explore a lot of it in some of the best areas in Panama City, like Casco Viejo. A UNESCO World Heritage site and also known as the Old Town.

Filled with well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and charming plazas. You’ll find historic landmarks, museums, and art galleries that showcase the cultural heritage. During your visit, you will notice how friendly the locals are. Panamanians are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness.

The city offers a diverse range of shopping options, from upscale malls to local markets and artisan shops. The culinary scene is just as exciting, with a variety of restaurants and street food stalls offering delicious local and international cuisine.

PANAMA CITY,PANAMA -  View at the Downtown of Panama City. Panama City is Capital of Panama.

You will also find a large variety of rentals, airbnb’s, guesthouses, hostels and hotels in Panama City. The city comes alive at night with a thriving nightlife scene.

Whilst deciding where to stay in Panama City Panama, keep in mind that there is a well-connected international airport and an efficient public transportation system, making it a convenient base for exploring other parts of Panama.

One of the main attractions of Panama City is the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Witnessing the canal’s operation and learning about its history at the Miraflores Visitor Center is a must-do experience whilst visiting Panama City. 

Boasting a stunning modern skyline with towering skyscrapers, particularly in the financial district, you will experience the contrast between the contemporary architecture and the city’s historic neighborhoods.

Whether you’re interested in zip-lining through the rainforest, exploring underground caves, or hiking to scenic viewpoints, Panama City offers plenty of adventure activities to satiate your wanderlust. While Panama City is a bustling urban center, it’s also a gateway to beautiful beaches and natural wonders. 

Overall, Panama City offers a well-rounded travel experience with a blend of history, modernity, culture, nature, and adventure. It’s a city where you can immerse yourself in diverse experiences and create lasting memories during your travels in Panama.

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Marbella – Where to stay in Panama City for Tourists (first timers)

If you’re traveling to Central Panama City for the first time, staying in Marbella offers many advantages for a convenient and enjoyable experience.

The bustling Avenue Balboa, with its cocktail lounges, expansive sea views, central location, array of amenities, and proximity to major attractions make it an ideal base for exploring the city while providing a safe and pleasant stay. 

Why stay in Marbella?

Nestled in the heart of it all, and one of the best places to stay in Panama City, Marbella is centrally located in Panama City, making it a strategic base for exploring the rest of the city and its attractions.

It’s close to major highways and public transportation hubs, allowing easy access to various points of interest. This area is not far from Panama Bay, and you can enjoy slow walks along the waterfront or visit nearby parks for relaxation. 

You can easily reach other popular areas of Panama City, such as the financial district, Punta Pacifica, and the Cinta Costera (coastal beltway), all providing scenic views and recreational activities.

Marbella is considered a safe and well-maintained area of Panama City. It’s a popular destination for tourists and expatriates alike, and you can explore the neighborhood with a sense of security.

Marbella offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to mid-range and budget-friendly choices. The neighborhood is known for its diverse dining options, including restaurants serving both local and international cuisines.

You’ll find plenty of cafes, bars, and entertainment venues to relax and enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife. Home to a handful of shopping centers and boutiques, making it convenient for shopping and picking up souvenirs. While Marbella itself is not a historic neighborhood, it is close to attractions like Casco Viejo.

Many establishments in Marbella cater to tourists and expats, so English is commonly spoken, making it easier to communicate and navigate the area, especially if you’re not fluent in Spanish.

Staying here allows you to experience the daily life of Panama City’s residents and immerse yourself in the local culture while still enjoying the comforts and conveniences of a bustling urban neighborhood.

Things to do in Marbella:

  • Stroll along the scenic Panama Bay waterfront.
  • Sample delicious Panamanian dishes at local restaurants.
  • Explore Multicentro Mall, a popular shopping destination in Marbella.
  • Head to Parque Urraca, a green oasis in the heart of Marbella. Great for picnics and walks.
  • Marbella is conveniently close to the Miraflores Locks, where you can visit the Miraflores Visitor Center and watch the Panama Canal in action.
  • Shop at Balboa Boutiques.
  • Discover the unique biodiversity of Panama at Biomuseo, a fascinating museum designed by Frank Gehry.
  • Marbella has a couple of great wellness centers and spas where you can indulge in massages and other rejuvenating treatments.
  • Join a city tour that covers the major attractions of Panama City.
  • Visit Cinta Costera, a coastal park with walking and biking paths, green spaces, and beautiful views of the ocean and the city skyline.
  • Check the local events calendar for festivals, concerts, and cultural events.
  • Learn more about the history of the Panama Canal at the Museo del Canal Interoceánico.

Best places to stay in Marbella

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Marbella

Budget accommodation in Marbella

Mid range accommodation in Marbella

Family Friendly accommodation in Marbella

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Marbella

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA- View of skyline and waterfront at Panama Bay, Panama City

Campo Alegre – Where to stay in Panama City with family

Campo Alegre, one of the safe places to stay in Panama City, and a neighborhood located in the heart of the city.

While it may have a reputation for being an adult entertainment district, it is essential to clarify that it also offers family-friendly accommodations and attractions.

While Campo Alegre may have its reputation, it is possible to have a family-focused experience in the neighborhood by selecting appropriate accommodations and exploring the nearby family-focused attractions.

Why stay in Campo Alegre?

Campo Alegre is centrally located in Panama City, making it convenient for exploring various attractions in the city.

It is close to major highways and public transportation, allowing easy access to other parts of Panama City and beyond with the family in tow. There are various hotels and accommodations suitable for families.

While some hotels in the area cater to business travelers, you can find family-friendly options that provide comfortable stays and amenities suitable for children as well.

This neighborhood is close to shopping malls and dining options, allowing your family to indulge in local and international cuisines and explore Panama’s diverse culinary scene.

The neighborhood is near many parks and green spaces, providing opportunities for families to enjoy outdoor activities, picnics, and walks.

While Campo Alegre itself may not offer specific family-focused attractions, its central location allows you to easily access family-friendly activities and attractions in other parts of the city.

You can organize day trips and excursions from Campo Alegre to destinations outside the city, such as the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Soberanía National Park, or nearby beaches.

Campo Alegre’s central location makes it one of the best places to stay in Panama City, Panama. You’ll be close to city landmarks and attractions, such as the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo (Old Town), the Biomuseo, and the Amador Causeway.

While Campo Alegre is generally safe during the day, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially when exploring at night. Staying in reputable hotels and resorts can add an extra layer of security and peace of mind for your family.

You will find accommodations that offer amenities and services catering to the needs of children, such as swimming pools, play areas, and babysitting services.

Things to do in Campo Alegre:

  • No trip to Panama is complete without visiting the famous Panama Canal
  • Visit the Biomuseo, a museum designed by Frank Gehry, dedicated to the unique biodiversity of Panama and its role in global ecosystems.
  • Enjoy a stroll or bike ride along the Amador Causeway, a scenic road connecting four islands in Panama Bay.
  • Take a nature walk in the Metropolitan Natural Park, located close to Panama City.
  • Hike up Ancon Hill for panoramic views of Panama City and the surrounding rainforest.
  • Located on a small peninsula, this nature center showcases Panama’s marine biodiversity with interactive exhibits and touch pools.
  • Consider taking a guided city tour to cover the main highlights of Panama City.
  • Explore shopping malls like Multiplaza and Metromall.
  • Visit the ruins of the original Panama City, destroyed by pirate Henry Morgan in the 17th century.

Best places to stay in Campo Alegre

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Campo Alegre

Budget accommodation in Campo Alegre

Mid range accommodation in Campo Alegre

Family Friendly accommodation in Campo Alegre

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Campo Alegre

Panama city Panama -  aerial view districts of Bella Vista, Campo Alegre and Obarrio Panama City at sunset This area is full of commercial activities and the biggest companies are based here.

Obarrio – Where to stay in Panama City for shopping

Obarrio is a bustling commercial and financial district and one of the best places to stay in Panama City thanks to its convenient location for shopping.

Choosing Obarrio during your travels around Panama, gives you the advantage of being close to a wide range of shopping options and easy access to other attractions in the city.

Whether you’re looking for luxury brands, unique souvenirs, or simply love shopping, Obarrio offers a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience.

Why stay in Obarrio?

Whilst you’re figuring out the perfect spot for a great shopping experience and possibly wondering where to stay in Panama City, Panama for just that, you may want to sit and look into Obarrio. It’s strategically situated in the heart of it all, making it a central and easily accessible area to explore the city’s shopping options.

It’s well-connected to major roads and public transportation, allowing you to navigate the city with ease.  Staying in Obarrio allows you to have quick access to other popular shopping areas, such as the Avenida Balboa and Punta Pacifica, where you can find additional shopping opportunities. 

Obarrio is surrounded by shopping malls that cater to various tastes and preferences. For instance, you can visit the renowned Multiplaza Pacific Mall, a high-end shopping destination with a wide range of international luxury brands and boutiques.

One of the largest and most luxurious shopping centers in Panama City, with over 300 stores. Obarrio also boasts numerous retail stores, boutiques, and shops offering a diverse array of products.

Many of these shopping centers provide a modern and comfortable shopping environment, with air-conditioned spaces and amenities for visitors.

This area in downtown Panama City, is abundant in restaurants, cafes, and eateries, providing ample opportunities to relax and refuel during your shopping sprees.

You will also find many options for accommodation that cater to your preferences and budget. Obarrio is generally considered a safe and well-maintained neighborhood, making it a comfortable place for shopping and exploring.

Things to do in Obarrio:

  • Visit Multiplaza Pacific Mall, one of Panama City’s premier shopping destinations.
  • Obarrio is home to numerous restaurants and eateries offering a variety of cuisines. 
  • Take a stroll through the district and admire the modern skyline.
  • Visit the Parroquia Santuario Nacional, the San Francisco Church of Casco Viejo.
  • Located in the heart of Obarrio, Parque Andrés Bello is a small green space perfect for relaxing.
  • Walk along Avenida Balboa, a scenic waterfront boulevard offering stunning views of Panama Bay and the city skyline.
  • Check local event listings for concerts, art exhibitions, and cultural events happening in nearby areas.
  • Explore nearby markets like Mercado de Mariscos (Seafood Market)
  • Take a short taxi or Uber ride to Casco Viejo.

Best places to stay in Obarrio

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Obarrio

Budget accommodation in Obarrio

Mid range accommodation in Obarrio

Family Friendly accommodation in Obarrio

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Obarrio

Panama city Panama -  panoramic view of Obarrio district in Panama with blue sky. This area is full of commercial activities and the biggest companies are based here.

El Cangrejo – Where to stay in Panama City for Nightlife

Looking for the best clubs in Panama City, Panama? Well you found it. El Cangrejo is an energetic neighborhood, renowned for its lively nightlife scene.

This neighborhood offers a dynamic mix of activities and experiences, from cultural delights to meeting friendly locals. While it’s most famous for its vibrant nightlife, there are also plenty of things to do in El Cangrejo during the daytime.

Why stay in El Cangrejo?

One of Panama City’s loved neighborhoods, El Cangrejo is one of the most popular nightlife districts in Panama City. It boasts a wide range of bars, clubs, lounges, and live music venues that cater to various tastes and preferences, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Enjoy live music performances, salsa dancing, and other entertainment options that contribute to the energetic nightlife ambiance.  After a night of partying, El Cangrejo provides various late-night food options, from food trucks to local eateries, ensuring you can satisfy those post-party cravings.

Out of all the Panama City’s Suburbs, this neighborhood is a top choice for its diverse range of comfortable accommodation options, including hotels, hostels, and vacation rentals, making it convenient to find a place to stay that suits your budget and preferences.

It is centrally located in Panama City, making it easy to access other neighborhoods and attractions during the day and return for a fun-filled evening. El Cangrejo is generally considered safe for nightlife activities. However, it’s essential to practice common sense and take typical precautions while enjoying the nightlife scene.

Many nightlife spots in El Cangrejo are within walking distance of each other, allowing you to easily hop from one venue to another and explore the diverse offerings. Engaging with locals and fellow travelers in the on-going nightlife of El Cangrejo, offers a unique cultural experience and a chance to make new friends. 

This hip area is known for its international atmosphere, attracting a diverse crowd of locals and expatriates. English is widely spoken in this area, making communication with locals and fellow travelers easier.

Things to do in El Cangrejo:

  • Wander through the streets of El Cangrejo and admire the colorful and creative street art murals that adorn the walls of buildings.
  • Relax at Plaza Einstein, a small park located in the heart of El Cangrejo.
  • Stroll along Via Argentina, the main street in El Cangrejo, which is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants.
  • As the sun sets, El Cangrejo comes alive with its lively nightlife scene. 
  • Many places in El Cangrejo offer salsa lessons, giving you the opportunity to learn some moves and dance the night away.
  • Head to Soho Mall.
  • Unwind at one of the cozy coffee shops in the neighborhood.
  • Try some of the delicious street food options available, from food trucks to small stands.
  • Pamper Yourself at Spas.
  • Enjoy some green space and fresh air at Parque Andres Bello.
  • Check out local bars and venues for live music performances.

Best places to stay in El Cangrejo

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in El Cangrejo

Budget accommodation in El Cangrejo

Mid range accommodation in El Cangrejo

Family Friendly accommodation in El Cangrejo

Affordable Luxury accommodation in El Cangrejo

This is the entrance to the Via Argentina subway station in Panama City. It is located in the central area of the city where the shops are located offices, restaurants and the most prestigious residential buildings

San Francisco – Where to stay in Panama City on a budget

San Francisco is one of Panama’s residential neighborhoods. If you’re traveling on a budget, staying in San Francisco can offer many advantages that will make your trip more cost-effective. 

It provides a budget-friendly experience for travelers looking to explore the City without overspending.

Its central location, affordable accommodations, and local eateries make it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers who want to experience the city’s attractions and culture without breaking the bank.

Why stay in San Francisco?

One of the best areas to stay in Panama City, Panama, thanks to its affordability and convenience. San Francisco offers a variety of budget-friendly accommodation options, including budget hotels, hostels, and guesthouses.

You can find affordable places to stay without compromising on comfort and convenience. It’s centrally located, providing easy access to various attractions and amenities without spending much on transportation.

Apart from street food, you can find budget-friendly restaurants and cafes that offer value meals and local specials. The neighborhood is home to numerous local eateries and street food stalls, offering affordable and delicious meals.

You can try traditional Panamanian dishes and snacks without breaking the bank. Explore local markets in the area for affordable souvenirs, clothes, and handicrafts. Bargaining is common in Panama’s markets, so you may be able to find good deals on various items.

San Francisco is well-served by public transportation, including buses and the metro. Using public transportation in Panama City is relatively inexpensive, allowing you to explore the city without high transportation costs.

Many attractions and amenities are within walking distance, making it convenient to explore the neighborhood on foot and save on transportation expenses.

You have a couple of free and low-cost activities in the area, like the many parks and green spaces where you can relax and enjoy nature without spending money on entrance fees.

You can choose to walk around the local neighborhood or visit the public art displays. Staying here allows you to experience Panama City from a local perspective and immerse yourself in the local culture and way of life.

Things to do in San Francisco:

  • Explore the local eateries.
  • Check out Cinta Costera and get some exercise in. It’s a beltway that runs along the neighborhood’s edge.
  • Purchase some tickets and head to the cinema to check the latest movies.
  • San Francisco has some vibrant street art and murals adorning its walls.
  • Visit the Iglesia del Carmen, a beautiful Catholic church.
  • Explore nearby markets like Mercado de Mariscos.
  • If there’s a local sports event happening, consider attending.
  • Parque Recreativo Omar is a popular park with walking trails, a playground, and exercise equipment.
  • If you’re interested in meeting locals and practicing your language skills, look for language exchange meetups that may be happening in the area.
  • Look into the free monthly meditation session.
  • Check out events at Atlapa Convention Center.

Best places to stay in San Francisco

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in San Francisco

Budget accommodation in San Francisco

Mid range accommodation in San Francisco

Family Friendly accommodation in San Francisco

Affordable Luxury accommodation in San Francisco

Historic Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

Punta Pacifica – Where to stay in Panama City for luxury

Punta Pacifica is an upscale neighborhood, a favorite of many and the best place to stay in Panama City if you are looking for a session of full-on luxury. It offers a relaxed, sophisticated ambiance and an exclusive environment with upscale amenities and services.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation, high-end shopping, gourmet dining, or waterfront living, this neighborhood promises to provide a memorable and lavish holiday experience during your travels in Panama City.

The neighborhood’s proximity to other areas like Casco Viejo and Bella Vista allows you to easily access more diverse attractions and cultural experiences during your stay as well.

Why stay in Punta Pacifica?

Punta Pacifica is one of the most prestigious and exclusive neighborhoods in Panama City. It is known for its luxurious residential towers, high-end shopping centers, and upscale amenities.

The neighborhood’s prime location along the Panama Bay provides stunning waterfront views and a serene ambiance, making it an ideal destination for a luxurious and relaxing holiday. 

If you enjoy yachting or want to experience it during your holiday, Punta Pacifica offers access to marina facilities and yacht clubs. While this neighborhood is known for its peaceful ambiance, nearby areas like Casco Viejo and Calle Uruguay offer a much more fiery nightlife scene with trendy bars and clubs.

Punta Pacifica offers a range of luxury accommodations, including high-end hotels and luxury apartment rentals with top-notch amenities and services. The Multiplaza Pacific Mall, one of Panama City’s finest shopping centers, is just a short distance away.

It features luxury boutiques, international brands, gourmet dining options, and entertainment facilities. It also boasts a variety of upscale restaurants and dining options, serving gourmet cuisine from around the world.

While Punta Pacifica exudes exclusivity, it’s conveniently located close to modern conveniences like high-end shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

The neighborhood is close to exclusive golf courses and country clubs, providing opportunities for leisure and sports activities. Punta Pacifica is considered a safe and well-guarded neighborhood, providing peace of mind during your stay.

Things to do in Punta Pacifica:

  • Wander along the waterfront promenade.
  • Explore the high-end shopping centers in Punta Pacifica, such as Multiplaza Pacific Mall.
  • Punta Pacifica is home to some of the city’s best restaurants and upscale dining establishments.
  • If you enjoy gaming and entertainment, Ocean Sun Casino is located in the JW Marriott Panama hotel.
  • Many luxury hotels in the area offer spa and wellness facilities.
  • Enjoy a round of golf at nearby golf courses, such as the Panama Golf Club and the Club de Golf de Panamá.
  • If you have access to yacht facilities, consider taking a yacht tour or spending time at one of the nearby marinas.
  • While Punta Pacifica doesn’t have its own beaches, you can easily access nearby beaches like Veracruz.
  • For a unique and exhilarating experience, consider taking a helicopter tour.

Best places to stay in Punta Pacifica

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Punta Pacifica

Budget accommodation in Punta Pacifica

Mid range accommodation in Punta Pacifica

Family Friendly accommodation in Punta Pacifica

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Punta Pacifica

The Causeway in Panama City in Panama.

Punta Paitilla – Where to stay in Panama City for couples

Punta Paitilla is one of the best neighborhoods in Panama City, Panama, that offers an excellent choice for couples looking for a luxurious and romantic stay during their travels around Panama.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway with stunning views, fine dining experiences, or luxurious accommodations, Punta Paitilla provides the perfect setting for couples to create lasting memories. 

While it may be more known for its luxury lifestyle and residential appeal, this pretty spot offers a peaceful and sophisticated setting for couples looking for a relaxing and indulgent experience during their stay in Panama City.

Why stay in Punta Paitilla?

Home to a variety of luxury hotels and resorts, Punta Paitilla offers upscale amenities and services, making it an ideal choice for a romantic and comfortable stay. The neighborhood is known for its beautiful views of the Panama Bay and the city skyline. 

You can enjoy romantic walks along the waterfront and watch the sunset with your partner after a good meal in an elegant setting, at the many and diverse fine-dining restaurants in Panama City. Punta Paitilla is a high-end residential area known for its safety and security, offering peace of mind for couples during their stay.

Close to shopping malls and boutiques, Punta Paitilla provides the opportunity to indulge in retail therapy and find some unique souvenirs or gifts for each other. Many luxury hotels and resorts in the area offer luxurious spa services, providing you and your partner with a chance to relax and rejuvenate together. 

While Punta Paitilla itself doesn’t have a beach, it is in close proximity to the famous Amador Causeway, where you can find beautiful beaches for a romantic day by the sea. Visit the scenic road connecting four islands in Panama Bay.

Enjoy romantic bike rides or take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, with views of the Panama Canal and Bridge of the Americas. From Punta Paitilla, you can easily arrange romantic boat cruises or sailing trips around Panama Bay.

Things to do in Punta Paitilla:

  • Take a walk along the waterfront promenade in Punta Paitilla, it’s a perfect spot for a romantic evening stroll.
  • Indulge in fine dining experiences at the upscale restaurants in Punta Paitilla.
  • Treat yourself and your partner to a luxurious spa experience.
  • Take a short walk to Punta Pacifica.
  • Head to the nearby Amador Causeway, where you can rent bikes or take a stroll along the waterfront.
  • Arrange for a romantic boat ride or sunset cruise on Panama Bay.
  • Although Punta Paitilla itself doesn’t have beaches, it is close to a couple of beautiful beaches along the Amador Causeway.
  • Check for art galleries and cultural events happening in nearby neighborhoods.
  • Capture stunning photos of the impressive skyline and waterfront scenery.

Best places to stay in Punta Paitilla

Budget accommodation in Punta Paitilla

Mid range accommodation in Punta Paitilla

Calidonia – Where to stay in Panama City for Culture

Rich in culture and one of the best neighborhoods in Panama City, Calidonia is a busy  neighborhood located centrally. If you’re seeking a cultural experience during your travels around Panama, Calidonia offers many reasons for it.

The neighborhood’s energetic atmosphere, proximity to cultural landmarks, and local authentic experiences make it an excellent choice for travelers seeking an authentic cultural immersion during their stay in Panama.

Why stay in Calidonia?

Picture a lively and authentic area where you can immerse yourself in the daily life of Panama City’s residents. Calidonia’s central location allows for easy access to many of Panama City’s cultural attractions and landmarks.

You’ll be within reach of historic sites, museums, art galleries, and other cultural hotspots. There are a range of modern and architectural options for accommodation in Panama’s City’s cultural corner. 

There are a variety of local eateries and food stalls where you can try authentic Panamanian dishes. From street food to traditional restaurants, you’ll have plenty of options to savor the local flavors.

Explore local markets and vendors to find unique souvenirs, handicrafts, and other goods that reflect the cultural heritage. This particular neighborhood is a lively and authentic area where you can immerse yourself in the daily life of Panama City’s residents. 

Calidonia is home to the Mercado de Mariscos (Seafood Market), a popular local market where you can experience the vibrant seafood culture of Panama. Taste fresh ceviche and other delicious seafood dishes at affordable prices.

Adorned with colorful street art and murals that showcase Panama’s urban art scene, stroll through the neighborhood and discover the creativity of local artists. Calidonia is situated close to Casco Viejo, Panama City’s historic district.

Visit Parque Cervantes, a small green space where you can relax, enjoy the local ambiance, and perhaps even witness cultural events or performances.

Engage with locals and fellow travelers, providing an opportunity to practice your Spanish and learn more about Panamanian culture.

Keep an eye out for local festivals and cultural events that may take place in Calidonia during your visit. These events often showcase traditional music, dance, and cuisine.

Things to do in Calidonia:

  • Visit the Mercado de Mariscos, a bustling Seafood Market, and indulge in fresh seafood dishes.
  • Wander through the streets of Calidonia and admire the colorful street art and murals.
  • Spend some time at Parque Cervantes.
  • Try various street food options available throughout Calidonia.
  • Engage with locals to learn more about Panamanian culture, traditions, and daily life.
  • Join a walking tour of Calidonia to learn about the neighborhood’s history, architecture, and urban art.
  • Discover Avenida Central.

Best places to stay in Calidonia

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Calidonia

Budget accommodation in Calidonia

Mid range accommodation in Calidonia

Family Friendly accommodation in Calidonia

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA -  Various eateries at Mercado de Mariscos Seafood Market in Panama City

Casco Viejo – Where to stay in Panama City for foodies

Casco Viejo, also known as the Casco Antiguo or Old Quarter, is a historic neighborhood and a well-known part of town for all the local foodies in the area.

Exploring the Old Town is like stepping back in time while embracing the modern charm of Panama City. Deciding where to stay in Casco Viejo, Panama, won’t be hard with the range of accommodation options available.

You will be immersed in Panama City’s rich culinary heritage and experience a collection of dishes that reflect the country’s cultural influences.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Panamanian cuisine or looking to explore innovative fusion dishes, Casco Viejo has a culinary adventure waiting for every food enthusiast and the best area to stay in Panama City for diving into the world of taste.

Why stay in Casco Viejo?

Casco Viejo, Panama City’s historic neighborhood, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a cultural treasure filled with charm and history. Its rich history, diverse culture, and lively atmosphere make it a must-visit destination during your travels to Panama.

A melting pot of flavors, offering a wide variety of cuisines that cater to different tastes and preferences. From traditional Panamanian dishes to international fare, the neighborhood has something to satisfy every foodie’s palate.

Casco Viejo is a fantastic place to indulge in authentic Panamanian food, where you can try local specialties like sancocho (traditional chicken soup), ceviche, arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), and patacones (fried plantains).

Its proximity to the ocean ensures you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes, including ceviche and seafood platters.

Casco Viejo boasts a bunch of rooftop restaurants and bars that offer not only delectable dishes but also stunning views of the city’s skyline and the bay.

Many restaurants focus on using locally sourced and fresh ingredients, providing farm-to-table dining experiences that highlight the region’s culinary offerings.

Consider joining a food tour in Casco Viejo to discover the best culinary gems, learn about the neighborhood’s history, and meet local chefs and food artisans.

Renowned for its colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved buildings that date back to the 17th century. The neighborhood is home to numerous cultural attractions and the area transforms into a hub of nightlife with trendy bars and entertainment venues.

It is relatively close to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center, where you can witness the functioning of the Panama Canal and learn about its history and significance. 

Things to do in Casco Viejo:

  • Wander through the narrow streets of Casco Viejo and admire the historical colonial architecture.
  • Visit the main square Plaza de la Independencia, also known as Plaza Mayor.
  • Check out the iconic Iglesia San José, known for its stunning Golden Altar (Altar de Oro). 
  • Explore Plaza Bolívar, a beautiful square with a statue of Simón Bolívar, the South American liberator.
  • Take a long stroll along Paseo Las Bóvedas.
  • Visit the Interoceanic Canal Museum to learn about the history and construction of the Panama Canal.
  • Home to various art galleries showcasing contemporary and traditional Panamanian art, such as Diablo Rosso art gallery.
  • Admire the beautifully restored Teatro Nacional, Panama’s national theater.
  • Shop for souvenirs and handicrafts at the various craft shops in Casco Viejo.
  • Enjoy a beautiful sunset from one of the rooftop bars or restaurants.
  • Join a guided walking tour to learn about the neighborhood’s history, architecture, and cultural significance.
  • Oro Moreno is a charming tropical chocolate café, offering Panama’s finest signature chocolate.
  • Head to Danilo’s Jazz Bar, for the best jazz music in the city.
  • Take a guided tour by the NGO Fortaleza, led by ex-gang members who used to rule the streets.
  • Taste some of Panama’s locally brewed beer at La Rana Dorada.

Best places to stay in Casco Viejo

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Casco Viejo

Budget accommodation in Casco Viejo

Mid range accommodation in Casco Viejo

Family Friendly accommodation in Casco Viejo

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Casco Viejo

the heart of the historic part of the capital is Independence Square with its old gazdebo and Metropolitan Cathedral.

Albrook Gelabert Airport – Where to stay in Panama City near the airport

Albrook ‘Marcos A. Gelabert’ International Airport, commonly known as Albrook Gelabert Airport, is a domestic airport.

If you are primarily traveling within Panama and want the convenience of quick access to domestic flights, staying in the Albrook area can be a strategic choice.

Take advantage of the airport’s convenient location to explore the diverse attractions and experiences that Panama City has to offer.

Why stay near Albrook Gelabert Airport?

The main advantage of staying in the Albrook area is its proximity to the airport. If you plan to explore different regions within Panama during your trip, staying near Albrook Gelabert Airport allows you to easily access domestic flights, saving you time and effort in commuting to and from the airport.

It also means you can minimize travel time and stress on the day of your departure or arrival. This is particularly useful for early morning or late-night flights. 

While you’re in the Albrook area, you can explore nearby attractions such as the Albrook Mall, the largest shopping mall in Panama, and the Albrook Zoo, a popular family-friendly destination. It provides access to a range of accommodation options catering to different budgets, including budget hotels and guesthouses.

Being in close proximity to the airport helps you to make last-minute preparations for your departure or have a smooth transition upon your arrival in Panama. You will find a couple of cost-effective and easily accessible places to stay in Panama City, near the airport.

Things to do near Albrook Gelabert Airport:

  • Albrook Mall is the largest shopping mall in Panama.
  • The Summit Municipal Park, which houses the Albrook Zoo, is just a short drive from the airport. 
  • Explore the Rainforest Discovery Center.
  • Take a taxi to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center to witness the impressive Panama Canal in action.
  • Visit the National Craft Market (Mercado Nacional de Artesanías).
  • Head to the Amador Causeway, where you can walk or bike along the waterfront.
  • Located nearby, Parque Metropolitano is a large urban park where you can hike, birdwatch, and enjoy nature.

Best places to stay near Albrook Gelabert Airport

Mid range accommodation near Albrook Gelabert Airport

Parked aircraft on City Panama airport through the gate window. Travel concept

Tocumen International Airport -Where to stay in Panama City near the International airport

Deciding where to stay in Panama City near the airport can really help you experience the area better, within a short period of time.

Tocumen International Airport is the main international airport in Panama and serves as the primary gateway for travelers arriving and departing from the country.

While it’s located a bit further from the city center, it is well-connected to major roads, making it easy to reach various attractions and destinations in Panama City and beyond. 

Staying in the Tocumen area offers a practical choice for travelers who value proximity to an international airport and want to make the most of their time exploring Panama and its diverse offerings.

Why stay near Tocumen International Airport?

The main advantage, of course, is the proximity to the international airport. It minimizes travel time and stress on the day of your departure or arrival.

If you have a late-night arrival or an early-morning departure, staying near the airport allows you to rest and relax without having to travel far after a long journey. It is well-connected to other parts of Panama City and various regions in the country through public transportation.

The Tocumen area offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences.

You can find mid-range lodgings, budget-friendly options and some of the best luxury hotels in Panama City close by. It has shopping malls, restaurants, and eateries, allowing you to indulge in some last-minute shopping or enjoy a meal before or after your flight. 

If you have a short layover in Panama City between international flights, you can save time and offer more flexibility in your travel plans.

Accommodation near an international airport provides convenience and peace of mind, particularly for travelers with early morning or late-night flights, and those who prefer to minimize travel time during their journey.

Things to do near Tocumen International Airport:

  • Located just a short drive from the airport, Metromall is a modern shopping center .
  • Visit Plaza Tocumen, a local market.
  • Head to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center to witness the functioning of the Panama Canal’s Miraflores Locks.
  • Take a taxi to the Amador Causeway.
  • If you have a longer layover, consider traveling to nearby beaches.

Best places to stay near Tocumen International Airport

Budget accommodation near Tocumen International Airport

Mid range accommodation near Tocumen International Airport

Family Friendly accommodation near Tocumen International Airport

behind this circular mall of Panama City passes the Panamercana an elevated highway that connects the city with the international airport

Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Panama City

We wouldn’t say there are bad neighborhoods in Panama City but like any other major hub, there are certain areas that travelers should exercise caution and just be aware of their surroundings. 

El Chorrillo is a neighborhood with a reputation for dodgy possibilites, particularly in certain areas.

San Miguelito is another area known for higher crime rates. 

Curundú is considered one of the poorest and more dangerous areas in Panama City. It’s best for tourists to avoid this neighborhood, particularly at night.

While parts of Santa Ana are safe, certain areas can be less secure, especially after dark. 

Be cautious around the bus terminals and avoid lingering in these areas, as they can be targets for petty theft and pickpocketing.

Some remote or less-developed areas outside the city center might have fewer security measures, so it’s best to avoid wandering off into isolated areas.

Like in any city, be mindful when enjoying the nightlife. Stick to well-known and reputable establishments and avoid accepting drinks from strangers.

If there are demonstrations or protests happening during your visit, it’s best to steer clear of these areas to avoid any potential risks or disruptions.

Hopefully, whilst you decide where is the best place to stay in Panama City is for you and your travel plans, you will exercise common sense and take precautions when exploring any new area.

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA - skyline of panama city, the capital of the republic of panama

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Panama City 

❤️ Best Area first timersMarbella – Panama City
💸 Best Luxury HotelRiu Plaza Panamá
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesTryp by Wyndham Panama Centro
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelHampton by Hilton Panama
🛏️ Best Budget HotelHotel Milan Panama
✨ Best HostelBodhi Panama City

FAQs About best neighborhoods in panama city panama

What are the best areas to stay in Panama City?

One of the most popular areas to stay is Casco Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area has lots of historical buildings and a lively nightlife scene.

Other great options include Obarrio and El Cangrejo which are both centrally located and provide easy access to shopping centers and restaurants.

What type of accommodation is available in Panama City?

There is a great variety of accommodations available for travellers in Panama City. There are hotels, hostels, Airbnbs, apartments for rent, and more!

Is it easy to get around Panama City using public transport?

Yes! The public transportation system in Panama City is very efficient with buses, taxis, and metro lines running regularly throughout the day.

Final Thoughts: best places to stay in panama city panama

Your trip to Panama City doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With the right knowledge and trusted advice, you can make it an extraordinary one.

These recommended hotels ensure that your stay in Panama City will be comfortable, luxurious and full of exciting activities.

Don’t hesitate and book one of these great hotels today for the perfect Panama City getaway! So take advantage of these great hotel deals and start planning your trip to Panama City now!

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