Top attractions in Panama City, Panama
The 7 Best Sightseeing Opportunities in Panama City
A truly eclectic destination, Panama City offers all the attractions you'd expect of Latin America, and more. Tourism here means dancing between rainforests, tropical islands and cityscapes, to the beat of Salsa!
1. Panama Canal
Visit the Panama Canal to learn how it has connected the world for a century. Best enjoyed with boat tours, but Panama history buffs also shouldn't miss the comprehensive museum.
2. Panamá Viejo
Walk around the ruins and be prepared to read Spanish to enjoy the small museum. An hour or so is long enough to snap great views of the city from here on a clear day.
3. Bridge of the Americas
Proudly spanning the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal is this feat of engineering, completed in 1962 by the U.S. Most impressive at night during a festival, for the fireworks.
4. Ancon Hill
A hike up this lush green hillscape is rewarded with fantastic views across Panama City. Grab a tasty picnic lunch from one of the city's many food stands before you depart.
5. Metropolitan Natural Park
The two hiking trails through this beautiful park may be relatively simple underfoot, but take the heat and humidity into account. Plenty of water and regular rests are a must!
Frank Gehry's Biomuseo is a riot of color you won't be able to resist photographing! Eight galleries explore the biodiversity of the world, in a celebration of all living things.
7. Casco Viejo
This is perhaps the most charming place to see in Panama City, and a great base for exploring, with plenty to do. Walking tours are a great way to enjoy the area.
Planning Your Visit
When should I visit?
The high season in Panama, when the weather is most pleasant, is December to April. This period has the least rain, but can also be the busiest. Carneval, which takes place 40 days before Easter, is another popular and vibrant time to visit the city. Book accommodation well in advance and come prepared to dance!
South America is a popular destination with backpackers, who are well-served in Panama by many hostels, cheap food, and heaps of culture to explore. Visit the islands for total relaxation, and to make those working away back home very jealous.
Get your groove on
Can't dance, won't dance? You haven't yet been to Panama City! Take a taxi to the three key areas of Panama City nightlife - the business district, Casca Viejo, and the Amador Causeway.
Good to know
- Panamanian balboa (B/)
- Time Zone
- UTC (-05:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- December to April is the busiest, but also the nicest time to visit. Known as the dry season, there will be plenty of crowds out, but also much more on offer.
Other Sightseeing Options in Panama City, Panama
Want to discover all there is to do in Panama City, Panama? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Panama City, Panama
My husband and I had a great day with our guide, Mario, and his spotter Julietta (she was on the lookout for monkeys, sloths, etc.) I learned a lot about the history & geography of Panama. Saw the Aqua Clara locks, watched the short movie there and watched a large ship move through the locks from Gatun Lake. We loved seeing Fort Lorenzo and reading about the history there. Mario was a fun and knowledgeable host and guide. We saw both a two & thee toed sloth and a family of howler monkeys in the tree tops, two types of hawks and an iguana. Our group was small, 6 guests, and were picked up at our hotel. Perfect day!
This tour was wonderful - Cesar, our guide, followed all safety protocols which made us feel at ease. Cesar gave us extensive history and facts on the Panama Canal, the Canal Zone, and other interesting tidbits on Panamanian history throughout the tour. He was also very knowledgeable about the different animal and plant species we encountered on the tour, and made sure our Monkey Island visit was memorable! We boated by different locales searching for different species, and he and our boat captain did a great job spotting different animals and giving us facts about each one.
people over 60, beware, you will have to jump in and out of a boat without a ladder or rail. Good sunscreen is a must. Road is bumpy and long. The Islands are Paradise, the people are very friendly, the tour was well organized, everything ran in time. We enjoyed it very much. Of course, some comments in English about history and customs would be nice.
My guide was so nice and I got to learn so much about Panama. Edwado (May be spelled wrong) went above and beyond his job to make the tour very enjoyable. I was going to buy water at museum but he said it was expensive and he would take me to a store. Got my water for 80 cents This was just one of the extras he did. I would recommend this tour
Great tour and very informative. Food and beverage was average for such an expensive tour. Certain other members on our tour showed no respect to others in regard to viewing and photos by standing in front of many others.