Panama is the regional center of trade and immigration. Not surprisingly then, Panama City, being the Capital of the country, is home to a multitude of races, religions, and cultures from around the world. This is very much visible in its skyline with skyscrapers of Punta Paitilla and the Area Bancária, the banking district, sticking out dramatically. However, at the same time, Panama City has retained a link to nature and its past. Especially the charming peninsula of Casco Viejo lures visitors with its cobblestone streets and colonial houses. In short, Panama City is a place full of contrast just waiting for you to come and explore it.
Panama City is so diverse, it can easily supply any traveler with a big dose of art, culture, or history. Start your adventures at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo to marvel at the world’s best collection of Panamanian art. With its temporary exhibitions you can expect local and international talents. Next, Panama City’s 300-year old Spanish colonial sector Casco Viejo features many architectural styles, from Spanish colonial buildings to French and Antillean townhouses. Also, there is the original part of the city, Panama Viejo. The current extensive ruins are the result of an attack by English pirate Henry Morgan. More cultural sights include Las Bóvedas, Teatro Nacional, and Museo del Canal Interoceánico.
Alternatively, you can spend the day shopping and treating yourself to a good meal at the local foodie hotspots, retail stores, or handicraft markets. In case you want to admire the on-water traffic of the famous Panama Canal, choose your view point from either within or outside of the city. Afterwards, you can watch pelicans dive into the sea while sipping a sunset drink at one of the restaurants at Amador. Nightlife in the city is centered around Calle Urugay and Casco Viejo neighborhoods.
Once you have enough of city life, grab your towel and head for the beach. Why not plan a day-trip to sandy beaches? You have both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean coastline to choose from. The rainforest is also nearby if hiking is more up your alley. Here, you can find toucans, howler monkeys, and sloths. The city’s proximity to tropical nature is a true blessing. Even within the very city limits, you already have access to large parts of protected forests, such as on Cerro Ancón (Ancón Hill) and in Parque Metropolitano. Also, there are the national parks of Camino de Cruces and Soberanía. Enter them in the northwest to take a hike to watch parrots in their natural habitat.
Although Panama City is a vibrant metropolis, it has the downsides that go with this label. The coastline is very polluted and city traffic is often clogged. Also, crime can be a problem in some neighborhoods. Therefore, we advise care when walking by yourself, especially at night. However, the city is generally quite safe, especially the downtown area, where hotels, restaurants, and bars are located. So, there is no need to worry when staying in a location within popular tourist areas.
What is the right travel style for you? We at Orbitz have the perfect car to fit your needs and budget. Whether you are a party of one or more people, our fleet is readily awaiting you so that you can explore Panama City with ease, starting as soon as you arrive at Tocumen International Airport. To make everything as smooth as possible, reserve your car prior to your trip and pick it up at the airport.