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Things to do in Panama City

Panama City is the capital of Panama and an enchanting place with great shopping, excellent local cuisine and plenty of historical sites to check out.

See the Panama Canal

This is a must-do activity while in Panama City . Go to the Miraflores locks and visit the museum to learn more about the Canal. While you are here you can choose to take the luxury train along the Canal. Or , obviously, you can take a boat.

Visit the old part of the town – Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo is the old part of Panama City and comprises many colonial style buildings. There are some good dining options in the area but prices for accommodation are high here.

Visit the site of the original city

Panama Viejo is what it’s left of the old city of Panama which has been sacked by the pirate Henry Morgan in the 1600s. As a result, the city moved to Casco Viejo. Entrance to the site is US$11 for an adult.

See the city from above

Cerro Ancón is the highest peak in Panama City and offers lovely panoramic views. There are marked walking paths and make sure to bring your camera as you’ll be able to do some bird watching while here.

Visit the San Jose Cathedral

Iglesia de San Jose (San Jose Cathedral) is known for its Baroque golden altar. Admission is free.

Bike or jog on Amador Causeway

Amador Causeway connects three islands to the mainland and is used as breakwater to protect the Canal. You can walk, jog or ride a bike here. Also, enjoy a meal with a lovely view of the city.

Learn Spanish

If you always wanted to learn Spanish or you want to improve your skills, Panama City is a great place to do that. Immersion programs include salsa dance lessons and cultural activities.

Soak up the sun on the beaches of Portobelo

Portobelo is located just 1 h (by bus) from Panama City. It is a port city and offers a lot of interesting things to do. Soak up the sun on the beach, visit the forts or try horseback riding.


The native handicrafts rival Mexico’s in beauty, so you really shouldn’t leave Panama without buying something to remind you of the trip. Molas are made by the Kuna Indian tribe and are intricate reverse appliqué embroidery. The hand-woven baskets and the tagua nut sculptures are also interesting things to pick up.

Photo credits: Panama Canal , Casco Viejo , Panama Viejo , San Jose Cathedral , Amador Causeway , Portobelo , Souvenirs