Panama City is a large and interesting city that you’ll definitely travel during a itinerary in Panama. There’s still a lot to experience in this big city. There are plenty of places of interest in Panama City, but because I stayed there for three days, I was unable to see everything. For example, I didn’t visit the Panama Canal because this simply doesn’t appeal to me.
Below I’ll give you an overview of what we’ve visited in three days and I’ll give my personal top 5 sights in Panama City.
For helpful information and tips about this capital, I refer you to my article on top travel tips for Panama City.
Top 5 sights in Panama City
1. Metropolitan National Park
The Metropolitan National Park is one of the best sights in Panama City. This national park is located on the outskirts of the city and can be reached quickly and easily by taxi or bus. The national park is very nice if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Panama City. There’s definitely a chance of spotting wildlife! Read more about the Metropolitan National Park.
2. Soberania National Park
Soberania national park is a 45 minutes’ drive from Panama City. The Soberania National Park is one of the most suitable sights in Panama City for wildlife spotting.
The national park is very large and you can spot many birds. More than 500 species of birds are found here. Read more about Soberania National Park in this article.
3. The Casco Viejo district
Casco Viejo is the city’s historic district and most likely the nicest neighborhood in Panama City. The district can be recognized by the Cinta Costera viaduct built around the city. Here there aren’t skyscrapers and other tall buildings, but many nice cafes, restaurants, squares, statues, churches and beautiful old buildings.
There’re also quite a few rooftop bars where you can have a drink in the evening. We visited the rooftop bar of hotel Tantalo. This bar is open 7 days a week. Unfortunately, there is not that much seating, so come early or prepare to stand.
In Casco Viejo it’s full of restaurants, most of them geared to tourists. For delicious Peruvian food, visit Nazca 21. It’s not cheap, but you do get great food in return. If you want something cheaper and eat between the locals, visit the oldest café in town; Café Coca Cola.
Check out the Tripadvisor map for more things to see and do in Casco Viejo.
4. Amador Causeway
The amador Causeway is a long road that is connected to a number of islands. You can choose to rent bicycles at the beginning of the causeway, or to do this at the level of the first island. If you do this at the beginning, it will take a few hours for the bike ride because you also have to go all the way back.
If you rent bicycles at the height of the first island, then calculate an hour at most. I did the last option and were tired of the islands quite quickly. Unfortunately I couldn’t go up the hills because this was private property.
In good weather you have a nice view of the city from the causeway. Choose to do this activity in the late afternoon due to the heat but also for a better view of the city with the sunset.
5. San Blas eilanden
Okay, these islands aren’t in Panama City and may not quite be one of the attractions in Panama City, but the city is the perfect base for a (multi-day) trip to the beautiful San Blas islands. So, if you are tired of the sights in Panama City and the busy city, head to the tropical San Blas islands!
Various tour operators offer their tours to these paradise islands. You can opt for a day trip, but I recommend to spend at leat an few days here. Don’t skip these paradises during your visit to the capital! Read more about my trip to the San Blas islands.