Panama City is the capital of the Republic of Panama and is its largest city to boot, with 1.3 million residents. Since the Spanish invaded centuries earlier, the country and the City is Spanish speaking, with Spanish and Latin American cultural overtones. The climate is tropical, so expect it to be warm all year round, but wet a lot of the time too. Bring shorts, sun cream.
Panama City is an extremely diverse place in terms of ethnicity, wealth, architecture and cuisine – and the place is richer for it. Shantytowns sit shoulder to shoulder with skyscrapers that litter the city centre. What’s more, a dense circle of tropical rainforest, begging to be explored if you can break away from the centre for a day, surrounds the city.
While many consider the city to have been ‘reborn’ in the 90’s, which is when Panama City gained its independence, the history of the settlement goes back 100’s of years. You can even visit the blackened ruins of Panama Viejo - the former site of the city that was pillaged and set aflame by pirates in 1671.
Whether you’re just passing through or have a week in Panama City, there are always new things to discover. Panama City has some of the most diverse wildlife in the world, some of the most diverse food in the world, and some of the most diverse people in the world. A booming city great for business, with everything to offer to a discerning tourist or traveller.
Where is Panama City?
Panama City is located on the coast of the Gulf of Panama, the city is fairly central to the country and it’s where a lot of the commerce and banking for the country takes place.
How to get to Panama City?
Panama City's International Airport is just a short journey eastwards from the city; this is the largest and most used airport in Central America, with regular flights to countless international destinations.
Getting to the city centre from the airport can take a while, cabs are around $30, and the time it takes can vary by up to an hour depending on the traffic. Alternatively, Panama’s comfortable and air-conditioned buses can take you there for $1.50.
Attractions in Panama City
The number and types of attractions in Panama City is more than you may come across to in other South American country. Name what you would like to try or see, you will get it this magnificient city.
Sightseeing & Museums in Panama City
If you have an afternoon, to spare the old walled city centre is great for a stroll - it’s a beautiful labyrinth of lanes steeped in history, and dotted with old palaces and churches. Make sure to see Panama Canal; it is a complete must for everyone. Casco Viejo, Amador Causeway and Mi Pueblitos are the other 3 places that are visited by the travelers in the city. You can finish your day in the bustling city by watching the sunset and taking in the amazing views from Ancon Hill, an unmissable experience.
Shopping in Panama City
While the old quarter can offer you the quaint and traditional, the large, modern, shopping malls here offer you both local and international goods and brands, but prices are more or less the same as in The States. Vía España is the main shopping street here, where you can find everything from groceries to garments.
Dining & Nightlife in Panama City
If you’re looking for some traditional cuisine, one of Panama City’s most esteemed restaurants is Maito; while it may be underwhelming at first, the food here is cooked to perfection, and you can even see lots of the produce growing outside. While Panamanian cuisine can be quite hit and miss, the chef at Maito is committed to serving up great dishes. The price is reasonable too.
Another place to experience authentic, gourmet, Panamanian food is La Posta, a more upmarket, contemporary place that cooks and produces ethically, which is great for some of the poorer fishing villages on the outskirts of the city. Though busy, this place is great for business lunches or romantic dinners. It’s also right in the ‘Calle Uruguay’ area – expect things to get exciting here after sunset.
If roadside revelling isn’t your style, and you’d rather don a suit that khaki shorts, Panama City’s towering skyscrapers and beachside stoops will have the perfect place for you. Find something a bit sleeker in one of Panama City’s many modern cocktail joints; ‘Barlovento’ is just the place. Frequented by the city’s rich and famous, the upper terrace of the bar boats a fantastic atmosphere and views - reserve a great spot and go by taxi to avoid a parking nightmare. Grab a plate of tapas, enjoy the music, and order a mean Whisky Sours.
Excursions in Panama City
From the ruins of the old city, to the famous Panama Canal, there are plenty of day trips and excursions to keep you occupied if you find yourself with some free time.
Hiking, trekking, o visiting conservations in the depths of the rainforest, hitting the highway and visiting the indigenous Panamanian tribes, or heading out of town for one of the large markets, full of local produce, are great ways to spend a day.
Event Tourism in Panama City
It’s never been a better time to be a business tourist in Panama City - the industry is booming, with over 15,000 new hotel rooms springing up since the turn of the century. The beautiful atmosphere of the city and the expertise of the organizers turn the event attendee's trip into a leisure holiday. And this helps the city's being considered as a top place when it comes where to host large scale conferences, congresses, symposiums, exhibitions, trade shows and fairs in.