When you think about Panama City you probably imagine the skyline with all the skyscapersy in front of you. This skyline is certainly impressive, but Panama also has a different side. Don’t miss a visit to the historic Casco Viejo neighborhood. Here you can wander through the narrow streets. Also walk into Calle 3a or Calle 5a to get to a hidden beach. Do not forget your camera if you go that way because you will find beautiful colonial buildings and pleasant squares. These neighborhood also deservedly has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Do you like a delicious ‘coconut curry’ or just like a fun party? Then take a look at the rooftop bar Tantaloo. Casco Viejo is easily accessible by Uber or metro.
When we think about Panama we also all think about the Panama Canal, right? And that is not surprising because it is one of the best known water projects in the world. The canal is a total of 80 km long and it costs an average 120,000 euros for a boat to sail through. There are some viewpoints in Panama City that you can visit and the best known (and easiest to reach) is Miraflores Locks. You have a fantastic view of the locks from the observation deck. In the ‘visitor center’ you will find an extensive exhibition about the history of the Panama Canal and you can watch the documentary every half hour. The entrance to Miraflores Locks is $ 20 per person(1-2019). The Panama Canal is easily accessible by bus from the Albrook station or with an Uber ($ 6-8 for a single ticket).
Panama City is surrounded by rain forests and that creates spectacular pictures. If you love nature like we do, you should visit the Metropolitan Natural Park! You can take various walks here with a beautiful 180º view of Panama City as the end point. The entrance fee is 4 $ and bring enough drinking water and mosquito repellent. The large trail lasts around 3 hours in total. You will come across some hills along the way, but with a little condition this is easy to do.
We have done almost everything with Ubers in Panama City. This is especially interesting if you are traveling with several people. They usually arrive within five minutes! If you want to use Uber, it is handy to have a local SIM card. We paid $ 14 for an Uber from the airport to the city and about $ 3.50 from the old to the new part. If you use Uber you know in advance what the fare is and you do not have to negotiate. You can also decide for yourself whether to give the driver a tip online after the ride. Panama City also has a good metro network so if you want to travel cheaper, the metro is also a good option.
Sleeping in Panama City
In Panama City you will find many good hotels for interesting prices. We initially searched for accommodation in the Casco Viejo district, but because we booked last-minute, we had few options left. That is why we chose to stay in the La Cresta neighborhood and we liked it. For a few dollars you can travel around the city with Uber so I would mainly look for the accommodation that suits you. We really enjoyed the more luxurious DoubleTree by Hilton Panama City, but the Lunas Castle Hostel is also a nice option to eat and / or sleep.
Prices in Panama City
In Panama City you can make it as expensive as you want. The prices in restaurants and on the terraces differ considerably. The price for a beer in a restaurant is on average somewhat higher ($ 2.5 to $ 3.5) than in the other cities in Panama. Tip: we therefore recommend keeping an eye on the ‘Happy Hours’. In contrast, the prices in the supermarkets in this city are significantly lower than in Bocas del Toro and Boquete. For a basic double room you pay between $ 30-40.