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.
The Amador convention center was completed in 2022.
The cruise terminal on Isla Perico started operating in 2022 despite appearing far from completed.
Bus, taxi, walk, or rent bikes. Amador Causeway
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.
The original site of Panama City from 1519.
Some impressive ruins with reasonable information available on sign boards. Climb the old cathedral bell tower for a view of the new and the old cities.
The museum is very good (and air-conditioned!).
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 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.