When we drove from Costa Rica to Panama the journey to the small country which connects South America with North America was already a real experience. After one had so far in completely central America always a certain pleasant calm atmosphere, it changes abruptly at the border of Costa Rica to Panama. Suddenly the clocks ticked faster again. Here one noticed fast that the country with transport and logistics a large part of its GDP earns itself.
We stood at the border and within seconds were loaded onto a bus that would take us to David. A pleasant bus ride without a long search for the bus stop and svery pleasant ride for 2 USD $ per person. What more could you ask for?
After we then stayed one night in David and here us the not particularly worth seeing city in Panama had looked – it was time to go to Panama City.
Arrival to Panama City
We sat here in a well air-conditioned bus that stopped at a few stalls before we finally arrived after about 7 hours atthe Albrook Mall bus station in Panama City. We had to pay USD $16 per person for the bus ride – a real bargain compared to the expensive and costly transportation in Costa Rica. The bus from David to Panama City runs during the day almost every hour – at night there is also the possibility to get on an express bus which then runs without stop to Panama City. The price for this is USD $ 24 per person.
How to get to. Panama City?
Who does not enter now overland by bus from Costa Rica to Panama has of course other possibilities to come to Panama City. The International Airport Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen is a large airport which is approached by many different airlines. Thus, it is no problem to come from Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia or even from Miami to Panama City. Moreover, the airport is also the home airport of Copa Airlines..
What accommodations. are there in Panama City?
The city actually has something to offer for every budget. Whether you want a 5 star hotel or a cheap hostel. Also, the chain Selina Hostels directly offers accommodation in the old town of Panama.
We paid a fair 72 euros a night for our accommodation in downtown Panama City at the Eurostars Hotel with 5 stars including breakfast. For that we had a very pleasant and delicious stay in a very good area. In addition, we had a super view over the skyline of Panama City.
However, if you don’t want to spend so much money on accommodation in Panama City you also have the possibility from 12$ USD the night to sleep in dorms. A mid-range hotel is available at Booking from about 35$ USD in a double room with breakfast.
We chose a high quality hotel in the city because we wanted to relax for a few days and just get SOMETHING done. Many Airbnbs we had inquired, unfortunately only offered an internet with 10 MBIT, which is often too slow for fast and effective work. Therefore, we decided to invest SOMETHING more in the hotel.
Food and restaurants. in Panama City
Whoever wants to eat well and internationally in Panama City has here unbelievably many possibility, who would like to go on the other hand favorably meal must look here relatively long.
We were really surprised when we had to determine in the first 2 days of our stay in Panama City, the food (even in the supermarket) in Panama is not cheap. A meal is depending on the restaurant with pleasure between 8 – 18 USD $ per person. For soft drinks on average 1 – 3 USD $ per drink are due. Who wants to drink a beer gladly pays up to 5$ USD and who wants to have a cocktail gladly pays once up to 15$ USD.
However, the quality of the food in the city is relatively high. You get here really very tasty food that invites you to feast. Whether you prefer Asian, Indian or Italian food in Panama City are for all tastes something there.
Here are some tips from us where to eat very well in Panama City.
Address: Ricardo Arias St, Panama City, Panama
Information: Very good Arabic food, not quite cheap but very tasty! Pizza there we can not recommend!
Restaurant: Onze Panama
Address: Mar Plaza, calle 53 este, al lado near the Burger King.
Information: This is a chain that offers very tasty bowls, salads and burritos at a fair price. Depending on the type and meal, you pay about $5 – $8 USD per person here.
Restaurant: Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine
Address: Calle P de Obarrio, Bella Vista, Panama City 0802, Panama
Information: Since it is always relatively difficult for Martina to find really great meals for vegetarians we decided to visit an Indian. The Indian food at the Taj Mahal was super tasty – however, the portions were relatively small for $35 USD for two people and the price was very high. If you have a big wallet you can definitely eat really tasty here.
Restaurant: La Vespa
Address:Calle Manuel Icaza, Obarrio, Panama City 0833, Panama
Information: If you’re in the mood for some really good italenic cuisine, La Vespa in Panam City is definitely the place to go. The prices are not cheap but the quality of the food is excellent.
Skybars or. Rooftop bars in Panama City
When you are out and about in Panama City and see the tall Skyscraper in such a way one becomes fast clear that itself there somewhere far above in the 30 – 50 floor surely somewhere great Skybars hide. Already in our Hotel the Eurostars was on the 27 floor a beautiful outdoor area but only one floor below also a nice bar – here you could take your drink with you to the roof and have your very own skybar above the rooftops of Panama City. City.
We can still recommend 2 more rooftop bars in Panama City that are definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, however, it is like so often – the higher the bar the higher the prices of the drinks…
The Panaviera Rooftop Bar with a beautiful infinity pool offers a wonderful view over the city. Another rooftop bar that was just a few feet from our hotel was the Rooftop Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel in Panama City – again, it had a gigantic view of the city.
Also in the old city there are some bars which are installed on the old city buildings and offer a gigantic view with view on the sea and on the skyscrapers of the financial district. However, the prices here are again a lot higher than at the rooftop bars of the Skyscrapers – so we have waived a visit here.
Sights in. Panama City
The Panama Canal with the Miraflores Locks
When you think of Panama the first thought is probably immediately the Panama Canal of course we also made an extensive trip there. made. For it there is however still another extra travel report there we here still all kinds of information about the Panama Canal purely packed.
Here we go to our article of the Miraflores. Visitors Center near Panama City.
The old town of Panama City
A real feast for the eyes is probably the old town of Panama City. By the bypass which is led out into the sea, it is also tried to keep the traffic as far as possible from the old town, but this is only partially successful.
The Plaza de la Independencia with Basílica Metropolitana de Santa María la Antigua are the center of the old town. Around it you will find a variety of great stores and small restaurants.
Those looking for a genuine Panama hat should stop by Victors Panama Hats. Here you can get real Panama hats starting at $30 USD. Naturally, I also got myself a real Panama hat!
Going straight to Albrook Mall to shop
If you want to store in Panama, the Albrook Mall is probably the place to go. This mall is huge. We spent a whole day in the mall because I needed new shoes and wanted to have a look around. Of course there are in the mall numerous Foodcorner, stores from Adidas to Zara and of course also of all Panamanian souvenirs which are waiting to be bought.
The Allbrook Mall is not exactly in the center of Panama City but at the Bus Depot of the capital. The exact address where the navi also immediately strikes is the: Avenida Marginal Universidad Nacional de Curundu Albrook Local X-43, Panama City, Panama
The city in general
We totally underestimated Panama City. We thought it is a city like San Jose or Kingston might be – but Panama City is an international world metropolis with many facets. Already the beach promenade shows the true face of Panama City. A modern metropolis that is very much interested in lifestyle and safety of its citizens. work.
The city invites you to stay and enjoy! Just try it just try it!
Safety in Panama. City
Security in Panama City is probably hard to describe. Wenever felt at risk as tourists, though after 7 months in Central America our skin is also a bit thicker than other tourists. There are of course corners where you should probably not go at a later hour. But you have to ask yourself of course here also quite clearly – “What has one lost as a tourist here?”. Basically, life for us tourists takes place in the area of the Financal District, Downtown, the beach promenade and the old town. Outside you don’t really need ANYTHING as a tourist either.
A theme that we in Panama is increasingly noticed, are probably the beggars who come directly to the table in the restaurant and beg for money and food.This behavior seemed in the first Momentan strange – but you get used to it. If you give the beggars a small amount they are usually quite happy and thank you. However, at no time do they seem somehow threatening to a person.
There was one area that struck us as a bit gloomy during the day (nothing happened to us there, but there were a lot of people on the street who, in our opinion, were very often involved in violence, drugs and alcohol). The area between old town, new town and the transition to the beach promenade was a bit strange and run down. Seemed somehow as if this part of the city was deliberately forgotten during the planning.
But basically you can move well and freely in Panama City but of course you should stick to the basic rules for tourists.
Oh how beautiful is Panama
We were now 10 days in Panama City and we can definitely confirm this statement of Janosch. Panama City has far exceeded our expectations. We had not expected so a multifaceted city the culture, modernity, tradition and culinary so great combined. Our expectations were exceeded by far. Panama City has presented itself to us as a modern city with more unsightly corners. Especially the Financial District with the beach promenade is really a beautiful part of the city.
The Old Town of Panama City boasts great buildings and a beautiful location. The transition between Old Town and the Financial area seems a bit run down – but the people are very friendly and open and happy to help with finding desired destinations..