7 Best Things to Do in Panama City, Panama

by shortgirlontour

Panama City is the capital of Panama and the heart of the country. From nature to man-made wonders, Panama City offers something for everyone! This post covers the 7 best things to do in Panama City, Panama.

1. Visit Panama Viejo

Panama Viejo or Old Panama is the original Panama City and the former capital of the country. This city was destroyed in 1671 by the privateer Henry Morgan. Today, you can still see remnants of the city and the ruins of some of the buildings. You need to purchase a ticket to visit which can be bought at the gate.

2. Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo is known by many names including Casco Antiguo and San Felipe. It is the historic district of Panama City. This area was built following the near-total destruction of the original Panama city, Panama Viejo. Today, Casco Viejo is a colorful and vibrant corner of Panama City. The area is very walkable and has so many awesome resturants, places to stay and places of interest and historic significance. In fact, this is a great area to use as a base while in Panama City.

Check out my post on things to see and do in Casco Viejo HERE

3. Visit the Panama Canal

No visit to Panama City is complete without a visit to the Panama Canal. It was really one of the most fascinating mechanisms I have ever seen. I was lucky to see a massive cruise ship navigate the locks (which I thought was more interesting than a cargo ship). I visited the Agua Clara locks on the Atlantic side. The Miraflores locks however, are the closest to Panama City (on the Pacific).

Check out opening times HERE

4. Gamboa Rainforest

Located just 45 minutes from Panama City, the Gamboa rainforest is home to a massive range of birds and wildlife. You can tour the rainforest in different ways. You can take a boat or kayak tour along the Chagres river or a night safari. You can also take an aerial tram, which is a 600 meter-long tram that rises above the rainforest giving you a different perspective over the rainforest.

5. Visit Monkey Island

See a wide variety of different monkeys at Monkey Island. These monkeys are so tame, they will come right inside the boat for food!

6. Climb Ancon Hill

Enjoy panoramic views of Panama City from Ancon hill. It’s a 30-minute walk to get to the summit of the hill. You may even be able to see sloths, deer, armadillos, toucans, butterflies on the hill.

7. Day Trip to San Blas

If you are only visiting Panama City on your trip to the country, I highly recommend spending one day at San Blas. San Blas is a remote area of Panama that consists of several small islands. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited!

See HERE for my detailed post on San Blas Islands!


Like the idea of exploring Panama City with a tour? Check out these great options below!

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salsaworldtraveler January 28, 2023 - 9:24 am

More Americans should visit Panama! It is a great country with the benefits of a modern city like Panama City and beautiful beaches and forests. Plus you don’t have the jet lag involved in going to Europe or Asia. I think those monkeys may be more hungry than tame. 😄

shortgirlontour January 29, 2023 - 5:53 am

I fully agree! It’s an easy flight and they even use USD! haha those monkeys were crazy! One stole a juice box off our boat!
Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂


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About Me

Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting! Believe it or not this blog is not my full time job! I work 8-5 in Supply Chain and run this blog after work!  I’ve dreamed of traveling the world since I was a child and at 44 countries and counting, I am so grateful to get to live that dream.

To say travel is my passion is truly an understatement! What I love most about travel is that I get to connect with locals and meet with fellow travelers from around the world. In addition, travel also enables all my other interests like photography, architecture, art, music and food! Please feel free to share any posts or leave me feedback on how I can improve. Thank you and happy travels!


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