Where to stay in Panama City

What is the best area to stay in Panama City?

Panama City is the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America, where many worlds coexist and different cultures can be experienced. The Panama skyline is one that boasts a familiar and tremendous array of high-rise buildings and at the foot of these structures is a vibrant and exciting city life that can be seen throughout day and night.


The Panamanians are exceptionally friendly and always want to help, which lays the foundations as you can view the magnificent Panama Canal along with various other amazing attractions, which make for an extra special holiday.


The best area to stay in the city of Panama is the downtown area as it has all the tourist amenities covered including some of the most luxurious hotels, a brilliant choice of restaurants and is the main shopping area as well as being extremely close to major attractions. It is the ideal location for travellers, tourists and business travellers as you are in the safest neighbourhood to stay in and you don’t have to go too far to see the best of what the city has to offer and with an exciting nightlife close by, you are in the prime area for really experiencing the city’s authenticity.

Hotel   Price per night
Toscana Inn Hotel
Via España, Calle D
54€ - 60$
Holiday Inn Express Panama
Calle 53 Este
75€ - 84$
Hotel   Price per night
The Executive Hotel
Avenida Aquilino de la Guardia
74€ - 83$
Panama Marriott Hotel
Calle 50
154€ - 172$
Hotel   Price per night
Bristol Panama
Avenida Aquilino de la Guardia
151€ - 169$
Waldorf Astoria Panama
Calle 47 Este
181€ - 203$


If you are interested in where to stay in Panama City, you may also be interested in where to stay in Belize and where to stay in Costa Rica.

Downtown area, the best area to stay in Panama City

The first thing to note is that the downtown area is by far the safest neighbourhood in the city, which is subtlety heavy guarded but the atmosphere of the district is one of calmness and many positive vibes. The area is one of the best places to get to as the majority of buses come to this part as well as departing it for other neighbourhoods and the downtown district is one of the closest areas to the airport, which has frequent shuttle buses that go to and fro from the airport.


The streets in this part of the city are generally narrow, which are lined with tropical leafy trees that offer fabulous views of the financial district with its high-rise office and bank buildings, which provide some amazing photos and are sure to impress your family back home. One of the major tourist highlights in this area is the La Cinta Costera, which is a busy waterfront boulevard, which has extraordinary views of the bay and is a popular cycle and running route.


You will walk past some famous landmarks like the Miramar Towers and the Yacht Club before coming to the Monumento a Balboa, which is a steel statue that was given by Spain’s King Alfonso XIII in the early 20th century and represents the first European, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who set eyes on the Pacific Ocean. Another particular highlight of the downtown area is the Natural Metropolitan Park, which is the only protected tropical forest in the city and lets the public delve into thick jungle. Here you will see 200 species of birds as well as 40 species of mammals and the park hosts a couple of museums that have various exhibitions about the park and the jungle as well as the different ethnicities of Panama.


You are blessed with shopping options in this neighbourhood, where you can pretty much get anything and everything with the best malls being MultiPlaza Mall and MultiCentro Plaza. Restaurants, pubs, clubs and hotels are in abundance in this district with many of each being found on Via Argentina and Calle 50.

Trip Panama Centro

Other neighbourhoods to stay in


This area does it exactly what it says in the name, which has beautiful views and happens to be one of the most famous and safest neighbourhoods in the city, which is well connected to the rest of Panama City and is very central. This area has some of the most expensive places to stay at though this is because of the beautiful vista that welcomes you when you enter your hotel. There are parks and gardens that offer some rest bite from the stresses of city life and the area surrounding the street, Calle Uruguay, is home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels.



Marbella is another highly-praised neighbourhood that has decent views of the bay and is located right in the heart of the city, which makes it a perfect place to stay in as it is a safe area too. You will notice a lot of the architecture is of Spanish Colonial times and there are many interesting winding streets that are home to numerous bars, clubs, hotels and shops. If you like to feel that you are part of a community then Marbella is one of the best as there are many residential houses that have local pubs and community shops with most people in the neighbourhood knowing each other. There are also a few museums, gardens, parks and cinemas with excellent connections to the rest of the city.


Casco Viejo

This is Panama’s historic quarter, which is an exceptionally charming and important area of the city to stay in, as there are a number of narrow streets that are home to many buildings that have been influenced by Spain, Italy and France. It is a splendid and safe neighbourhood to walk around and feels like you have been teleported back to 19th century Europe though renovation is becoming increasingly popular. There are numerous government buildings, cathedrals, museums, churches, art galleries to explore as well as plenty of theatres and concerts to check out. For the best restaurants, pubs, clubs, shops and hotels, the recommended areas are the Plaza de la Independencia or Avenida Central.