Central AmericaThe Ultimate Guide To Panama City & Best Things To Do
Panama City best things to do

The Ultimate Guide To Panama City & Best Things To Do

Welcome to Panama City, the vibrant, ever-blossoming capital of Panama—a small tropical country that bridges North and South America. Since its founding, Panama City has been a prized possession, fought over for its strategic and economic significance. Today, it’s a bustling metropolis known for its iconic canal, flashy highrises, and a culinary landscape as diverse as its history.

From its rich historical narratives to its modern architectural marvels, Panama City offers a unique blend of experiences. Ready to explore? Here are the best things to do in this cosmopolitan hub.

Let’s dive in and discover the best things to do in Panama City!

Amador Causeway

  • Bike the Causeway: Rent a bike from Moses Bike Rentals (only $4 an hour!) and cruise along this man-made peninsula. It offers stunning views and connects a series of small islands.
  • Punta Culebra Nature Center: A lesser-known gem run by the Smithsonian. Explore acres of tropical dry forests with sloths, iguanas, and crab-eating raccoons. Don’t miss the indoor exhibits featuring moray eels and Panama’s famous golden frog.
  • Capitán Bahía: Make a fish pit stop at this beloved ceviche spot on Flamenco Island. Try the robalo ceviche marinated in passion fruit and pair it with a refreshing coconut and pineapple lager.

Casco Viejo: Circumnavigate the Old Town

  • Historic Architecture: Walk through this UNESCO World Heritage Site and marvel at the Spanish Colonial, French, and Caribbean architecture.
  • Paseo de las Bóvedas: Enjoy a stroll at dusk along the walled waterfront, taking in the chorus of birds competing with urban traffic.
  • Mayda Bar: Stop by this new hotel bar in the Sofitel Legend for a drink and admire the floor-to-ceiling, hand-painted tile mural of the Panama Canal project.

Taste the Panamanian Story

  • Fonda Lo Que Hay: This bustling restaurant in Casco Viejo offers a menu full of shareable dishes. Highlights include cassava tostada with tuna carpaccio, pork belly guacho with airy chicharrón, and fried chicken with silky mashed potatoes and gravy.

Panamá Viejo

  • Archaeological Site: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and explore the ruins of the original city of Panama. It’s a journey back in time with stunning views of the modern skyline in the distance.

Getting Around Panama City

Navigating Panama City is relatively easy. Here are your main options:

  • Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Readily available and affordable.
  • Metro: Modern and efficient, with air-conditioned trains.
  • Buses: An extensive network, but can be confusing for newcomers.
  • Biking: Ideal for exploring areas like the Amador Causeway.

Now that we’ve got the logistics covered, let’s get to the fun part: things to do in Panama City!

Top Things to Do in Panama City

1. Cruise Along Amador Causeway

  • Bike rentals at Moses Bike Rentals: Just $4 an hour for a scenic ride.
  • Punta Culebra Nature Center: Spot sloths, iguanas, and more.
  • Capitán Bahía: Savor fresh ceviche and local brews.

2. Explore Casco Viejo

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Stunning colonial architecture.
  • Mayda Bar at Sofitel Legend: Sip cocktails in a historic setting.
  • Fonda Lo Que Hay: Enjoy casual yet creative Panamanian cuisine.

3. Visit the Panama Canal

  • Museo del Canal: Learn the fascinating history of this engineering marvel.
  • Miraflores Locks: Watch massive ships navigate the canal.

4. Wander through Panamá Viejo

  • Archeological Site: Ruins of the original city founded in 1519.
  • Viewing Platforms: Get panoramic views of the modern skyline.

5. Taste Local Delicacies

  • Robalo Ceviche: A bass-like white fish marinated in passion fruit.
  • Cassava Tostada: Topped with tuna carpaccio at Fonda Lo Que Hay.
  • Pork Belly Guacho: A Panamanian rice porridge with chicharrón.
  • Fried Chicken: Served with silky mashed potatoes and gravy.

Safety Tips

While Panama City is generally safe, it’s always good to be cautious:

  • Stay in well-known areas: Especially at night.
  • Use reputable transportation: Stick to known taxi services or ride-sharing apps.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings: Especially in crowded places.
  • Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen: It can get quite hot.
Best Time to Visit Panama City

Let’s talk about the best time to visit Panama City. The dry season, which runs from December to April, is the most popular time to visit. During these months, you’ll enjoy sunny skies and warm temperatures, perfect for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions. The wet season, from May to November, sees frequent rain showers, but it’s also less crowded and lushly green.


Panama City is a vibrant, eclectic city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern attractions. Whether you’re cycling along the Amador Causeway, exploring the historic streets of Casco Viejo, or marveling at the Panama Canal, you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime. So pack your bags, put on your explorer hat, and get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Panama City!

Ready to embark on your Panama City adventure? Share your experiences and photos with us—we’d love to hear from you!

I believe that you can travel the world without quitting your job. I believe that you can experience all the magic, the foodies and the cultures of the world while having a normal life. And, perhaps, two dogs. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 15 years. This is exactly what my blog is about. Love, Lilia

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