Panama is a city steeped in colonial history wrapped in modern cosmopolitan charm. As we’ve visited over the years and have observed an ever-expanding skyline, this hub of the Americas offers loads of hospitality, tourism and leisure for the business and relaxed traveler alike.
Whether one is seeking Panama City as a destination or a stopover due to its well connected hub for Latin America transit and beyond, the city is a rewarding spot for short and long term tourism. Here one will be impressed by the ongoing renovations of the historic old city, the glamorous upscale skyscrapers and the pedestrian friendly parks, seawalks and massive infrastructure along the Panama canal. These are some of the best hotels, sites and vistas in the city:
Panama Canal: Miraflores Locks
The focal point of Panama’s modern history and success hinges upon this very famous traffic point. The Miraflores Locks is a spot well suited for visitors because it has a great observation deck coupled with being quite accessible from the city. The entrance fee is 5 dollars for visitors, 8 dollars to have access to some displays and educational resources. A good visitors center and gift shop also provide nice things to explore.
The Hard Rock Hotel, Casino and Restaurant
As one of the highest towers in the city, with all of the Hard Rock brand delights rolled into one location, this hotel is definitely Panama’s best urban resort. Four Restaurants, Six Bars and Two pools make this an ideal spot for couples and holiday makers to set up base camp in the heart of urban indulgence.
In addition to all the urban expansion and splendid cityscapes, this rustic retreat is a scenic park that occupies a major hill. It is the best and highest elevated panoramas of the town and it is a great spot for hiking and seeing native animals who live here. Also Mi Pueblitos Museum is a local curiosity on the slopes of the hill worth exploring showcasing the various ethnicities of the country.
These are the ruins of the more ancient site of Spaniard colonization. It was once the site of great commerce, but historical conflict and a sacking have left it in the ruins one beholds today. It sits in the suburbs of the modern city and it is the single oldest colonial establishment on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It is the site of ongoing historic education and research about the earliest precious metals industry and processing in the new world.
JW Marriott Panama
At 70 stories high this is the biggest building in Panama and in all of Central America. It is a monolith of the city’s skyline and has one of the most memorable pool decks of any hotel anywhere. With over 180 degrees of Pacific facing views and high enough to leave the city sprawl far below, it is an iconic place to indulge the city.
This is the historic part of town, here you will find many colonial style buildings, including government centers cathedrals and museums It is also the site of culture with the national theatre, exhibitions and public displays always going on in the open squares. It is the location of some of the best hotels and restaurants in the city.
This bridge and causeway connects three islands at the entrance of the canal to the city. It is a popular and panoramic spot from which to view the city and the famed Puente de las Americas. It is a very popular spot for locals and tourists to stroll, exercise and cycle especially on the weekends. It connects well to ferries and other transit services.
This is a self-described exclusive sector of Panama City on a peninsula facing the Pacific. The area is noted for its amazing towers which often arrive to 70 stories in height. These are lofty hotels, exclusive apartments and designer studios. There are around fifty-five towers and the streets below are a labyrinth of gourmet shops, attractive and high end shopping for all sorts of brands and labels.
This is a pedestrian only area of downtown Panama City that is known for its bargain shopping variety. It is a crowded and bustling place where one can find furniture stores, fabric stores, jewelry shops, pawnshops, clothing stores, bargain department stores and electronics stores. Hang on to your wallet as it is a busy and outdoor place, but it can be a place for good treasure hunting.
Just steps from the central ocean promenade, this stylish center of hospitality sits next to the heartbeat of the financial district. The decor is neo-vintage, the hotel exudes privacy and it feels like the ultimate hangout for the modern jet set.