If you’re visiting Panama City for fun, work in Panama City, or here for work, chances are you’ll have some downtime. People all need time off, and when you’re not familiar with a new place, it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out how to spend it. Don’t worry! In Panama City, there’s plenty to do when you’ve got nothing to do at all. With many types of attractions and diversions, you’ll find that your vacation day, day off work, or time visiting friends and family will be full of local fun. Here’s a quick guide to how you can enjoy a full day of leisure in the big city.
Walk/Bike/Run the Cinta Costera
If you’re an early riser, this is the best way to start your adventurous day off. The “Cinta Costera” is Panama’s urban coastal parkway that stretches from the tip of Punta Paitilla all the way to the entrance of Casco Viejo (the old city). Morning temperatures are ideal here, and you’ll have plenty of space (car free!) to run, walk, bike, or board in the tropical ocean breeze. This is a great way to see the city skyline, and get from the more urban core of the city to Casco Viejo.
Check out Casco Viejo by foot:
If you’ve started your day on the Cinta Costera, you can get here by foot too. If not, Casco is an easy taxi or Uber ride from most parts of the city, especially where the main hotel and condo concentration is. Casco is Panama City’s most visited area, with colonial Spanish-era architecture at every turn, boutique shopping, and great foodie favorites with some of the best bars, restaurants, and cafes in the country. If you’re looking for a historic experience, go early in the day and take a walking tour. If you want to party, go after 9pm, but remember that traffic heading in can be thick thanks to the area’s popularity.
Shop ‘til you drop at Multiplaza Mall:
No shopping experience in Panama City is complete without at least browsing the shops at Multiplaza, or even spending an entire day there picking up gifts to spoil yourself with. This mall is on par with some of the best in the world and is well reputed in Panama by anyone who enjoys shopping. There are top brands, discount stores, electronics stores, a movie theatre, and a number of upscale, casual, and fast food restaurants. Multiplaza is very centrally located, so you can get in and out quickly and pack more activities into your day!
Take the ferry to Isla Taboga:
If you’re looking to get away from the urban jungle for the day but don’t want to make a long drive, Isla Taboga is the perfect place for you. You can take a morning ferry from the Balboa area, which takes about 30 minutes, and come back early afternoon. The island is small, but has a cute village and swimmable beaches, plus some of the best views around from the water itself. The island tends to get busy on holidays and weekends, so if you can pull off a mid-week trip, even better.
No matter what you decide to do, remember to not overdue it. Panama is a very fun, yet relaxing place, and you will feel that energy as soon as you arrive. Take your time, enjoy your day off, and have some fun!