Panama City owes its cosmopolitan culture to its heritage as a major trading center. Today, visitors can marvel at the Panama Canal, as well as enjoying the beautiful colonial buildings of the old center.
Once in Panama City, many visitors head straight for the canal. The informative visitor center at Miraflores locks is also a good place to start, and of course a boat trip is the ideal way to experience the canal. Casco Viejo is the old part of Panama City, and here you'll find many historic buildings as well as new and fashionable boutiques, shows, and restaurants like Super Gourmet, which serves up deli style cuisine.
Following your flight into Tocumen International Airport (PTY), you'll need to get to the city center, some 15 miles away. This isn't always easy, as taxis are expensive, and buses require a fare card, which is not always readily available. Be prepared for the journey to take well over an hour at peak times.
Hints and Tips
Don't miss Panama Viejo; situated in the suburbs, this was the original site of the city, before it was ransacked by the pirate Henry Morgan in 1671. Now a World Heritage Site, it's a fascinating place to explore.