Panama City is a place that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. For me, it’s one of the most exciting cities in the world and I’m always excited to go back. The city has so much history, culture, and adventure that you could spend weeks exploring it all. However, if you’re only going for a few days, here are some tips for making sure you get the most out of them!
Your first stop
After you’ve finished your breakfast, it’s time to hit the road. You’ll want to make sure that you get an early start so that you can see as much as possible in one day. The first stop on your itinerary should be the old town, which is located just minutes from your hotel.
While there are many attractions in this area, there are three places that we recommend seeing:
- The Panama Canal – This is an engineering marvel and it offers visitors a glimpse into history with its locks and massive ships passing through them.
- Casco Viejo – This is where most of Panama City’s historical buildings were built during colonial times (and rebuilt after being destroyed by earthquakes). It’s also home to several museums, restaurants and shops where you can buy souvenirs for family members back home! If possible try taking a tour while here so that someone else does all the driving around town instead!
- Museum de Bellas Artes Nacionales – Located within Casco Viejo this museum showcases both contemporary art pieces along with those created centuries ago by Spanish masters who once lived here during their conquest days before becoming independent from Spain in 1821.”
From Panama City
To get from the city to the beaches, you can take one of the many buses that leave from Isla Colon and go directly to your destination. Use Google Maps to find out which bus will get you there fastest, or just ask a local. There are also taxis that will take you anywhere in town for about $3-5 USD depending on how far away it is.
If you’re visiting Panamá City during a holiday or festival, expect traffic jams and delays (which is why we recommend getting there early). Try not to stress about it too much—the locals all seem pretty relaxed about their commutes!
The best beaches around Panama City
Panama City beaches are some of the most beautiful and pristine in Central America. The best ones to visit are:
- Bocas del Toro – 90 minutes from Panama City, this is a great place to go if you want to get away from it all and just relax on the beach. There’s nothing else around except a few resorts and restaurants, so if you’re looking for something more lively then this isn’t it!
- Veraguas – 20 minutes away by car, this is one of my favorites because of its proximity to Panama City as well as being right next door to Parque Nacional Coiba (the largest national park in Panama). You can’t swim here but there are lots of other activities such as snorkeling or hiking through caves with thousands-year-old stalactites.
- Isla Taboga – an island off Panama City with good beaches that’s perfect for swimming! It only takes about 30 minutes by ferry from Balboa Ferry Terminal which means no driving at all 🙂
Travel tip #1 – My favorite routes in Panama City
When you’re not exploring the museums, restaurants, and shops of Panama City, you’ll want to get out and see some of the sights. Some of my favorite routes include:
- The Amador Causeway. This causeway is a great place to start your day because it offers views of both sides of Panama City while providing easy access to other parts of town. It’s also home to many hotels, so if you’re looking for a good beachside stay during your trip, this may be a good option for both convenience and price reasons. *There are also some great restaurants here too!*
- Casco Viejo (Old Town). If you’re looking for an old-fashioned experience with lots of history and culture mixed in (and who isn’t?), then this area will fit nicely into anyone’s itinerary. Its narrow streets offer plenty of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that bring together colonial charm with modern amenities like wifi; they also house interesting museums like The Museum Of Contemporary Art And Design (MAC) which showcases modern works by Panamanian artists as well as international ones too.*This is definitely one place where we didn’t want our visit limited only by time constraints!*
If you ever get the chance to visit Panama City, don’t let it pass. It’s one of those cities that has a lot to offer, with a beautiful beach and fun attractions. If you want to experience Panama City in its fullest potential, then take my advice and travel around by bus or foot. It would also be wise to take an organized tour through the different neighborhoods as well as get acquainted with their history by visiting museums like Museum of Fine Arts or Museum of Modern Art.