Panama City has plenty of must-see landmarks and things to do, but getting to visit them all in one trip can be a challenge. Whether it’s a taste of old world Panama in Casco, or a day spent at the majestic Miraflores Locks, there truly is something for every taste and every budget. So, when you plan your next trip to Panama City, it’s important to know what’s in store for you, and where you should go to get the most out of your time spent there. Here’s a quick list of five of the best must-see landmarks in and around Panama City:
1. Casco Viejo:
No trip to Panama is complete without a trip to Casco, and as far as must-see landmarks, this has to top the list. Casco is an old, Spanish Colonial-style neighborhood with some of the most antique and interesting architecture around. It’s also the city’s busiest tourist area with top boutique hotels, shops, and restaurants adorning nearly every street in this quaint, walk-able neighborhood. If you’re not staying there, it’s a quick and inexpensive ride from downtown and the financial district.
2. The Biomuseo (Bio Museum):
Panama’s Biomuseo is one of its newest landmark attractions, and already it’s a must-see. This Frank Gehry-designed museum showcases the natural biodiversity of the region through interactive exhibits and educational tours. The museum is located on the Amador Causway, which is minutes from the center of the city, and a nice area to walk around before and after your museum trip.
3. Ancon Hill:
The iconic Ancon Hill is not only a must-see landmark, but also one of Panama City’s most visible. The hill rests at the eastern edge of the Panama Canal, and can be seen from nearly all parts of the city; especially visible is it’s enormous Panamanian flag that rests at the top. Ancon is also a natural treasure, containing the world’s only rainforest land within the city limits of a national capital. It’s a fun place to hike, observe local wildlife, and get unparalleled views of Panama City’s famous skyline.
4. Miraflores Locks:
The Panama Canal is the country’s biggest tourist attraction, and the Miraflores Locks are its most popular, must-see point of interest. This is where you can see the magic of Canal engineering lift megaships up through water lock gates and transport them from ocean to ocean. There is also a great museum and observation deck, which highlight the experience. It’s easy to get to by taxi, or drive if you’ve got a car. This is considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a can’t miss when you’re in town.
5. Panama Viejo:
Not to be confused with Casco Viejo, Panama Viejo is actually the oldest settlement in Panama City. It’s a few miles east of downtown, where you will find well-preserved colonial-era ruins, and a walk-able look into the historic site. There are guided tours available and a large area to explore on your own, including a stunning observation tower, which resides in the center of the historical landmark site.
While this list should keep you busy, there are also plenty of other great must-see landmarks in the city. To get a full list of the best tips and activities for visiting or relocating to Panama, check out our FREE downloadable guide!