A surprisingly modern city, with hints of the third world at the base of huge skyscrapers.
Fantastic view of the city across the water from lots of bars and restaurants. The Causeway was recently widened to four traffic lanes (two in each direction) and dedicated observation points and public facilities have been constructed.
A new Amador convention centre is nearly completed, perhaps opening in 2020. A new cruise ship terminal on Isla Perico is also aiming for 2020.
Bus, taxi, walk, or rent bikes. Amador Causeway
Bridge of the Americas
Spans the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. Bridge of the Americas
Although it is no longer possible to drive up Ancon Hill, you can walk up the road or climb the trail for a magnificent view of the city and possible animal sightings.
Large visitor centre, museum, and terrace where you can watch the ships. Get there on the HOHO, in a taxi, or on the local bus.
Casco Antiguo (Canal Museum)
The original site of Panama City from 1519. A few old ruins with limited information available. The museum is quite good, but otherwise a drive-by on the HOHO is almost enough.
ACP administration building
Contains four murals that depict various aspects of the building of the Panama Canal. ACP Administration
The Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated territory of the United States from 1903 to 1979. Balboa was an important town at the Pacific end of the Canal, housing the administrative centre.
Old Balboa High School (library)
A little-known collection of photographs and memorabilia from the canal construction days is contained within the old Balboa High School.
On the west side of the Bridge of the Americas, a monument dedicated to the Chinese community which has resided in Panama for more than 150 years.
Punta Culebra Nature Center
Punta Culebra is a small island on the Causeway run by the Smithsonian Institute. It has a nature trail where you should see sloths and maybe anteaters and raccoons, a touching pool with sea cucumbers and starfish, turtle and shark pools, and a frog exhibit. Website
If you want to really work up a sweat, this is a jungle park right in the city with some nice walking trails. Plenty of animals (usually sloths and monkeys), and a magnificent view of the city when you finally make it to the top of the hill. More information or the official Website
Centro Municipal de Artesanías Panameñas
Small souvenir market close to Ancon Hill. Most of the stands are owned by Kuna women, who are often sewing molas as they wait for customers.
Mock village depicting three Panamanian cultures: Afro-Caribbean, the interior region, and indigenous groups.
The Mercado del Marisco was donated by the Japanese government. There are impressive market displays of local fish and seafood, and restaurants and ceviche stalls all around. It is located close to Casco Antiguo.
The largest mall in Central America, it claims anywhere up to 700 shops. Easy to get to as it is the central bus and train terminal for the city and beyond. The website is in Spanish but Google translate fixes that.
Panaviera Bar at Sun Casino (ex-Trump Tower)
Panaviera is located on the 66th floor of the Sun Casino and offers stunning city and ocean views.
Mingle with the locals on the pedestrian street of Avenida Central, that leads into Casco Antiguo.