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Address: Plaza de Francia | Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Description: Called the “French Plaza” in English, this pleasant spot offers great...
Called the “French Plaza” in English, this pleasant spot offers great views and a leisurely spot in which to purchase and savor raspados (fruity snow cones) on hot, humid days. Housed in this plaza is the elegant Instituto Nacional de Cultura (National Institute of Culture), which was among the sites used for “Quantum of Solace,” a 2008 James Bond film that supposedly took place in Bolivia and Haiti but was filmed in Panama. Formerly the Supreme Court building, the Instituto now houses a small theater and hosts cultural events.
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Top Rated
$105*
and up
Panama City and Canal Sightseeing Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 171 reviews
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  • 54
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 32
    Average
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    Terrible
Most recent review
Check out the birds in the trees

If you're staying in Casco Viejo, go by this plaza early in the morning, say before 8 am, to check out all the birds in the trees. I especially enjoyed the pelican tree.

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 17, 2015
juliethefirehorse
,
Denver, Colorado
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171 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
29 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

If you're staying in Casco Viejo, go by this plaza early in the morning, say before 8 am, to check out all the birds in the trees. I especially enjoyed the pelican tree.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Winchester, Virginia
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
48 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

We visited the plaza before an early dinner in Old Town on Sunday. We were amazed by this large tree dominating the plaza filled with Pelicans. We returned later in the week to have found half of the tree had been removed. Liked it better the original way. Walkway provides a pretty view of new Panama City.

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Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

This plaza is really charming with beautiful trees, and tons of birds. The sound is so wonderful, I wish we could have bottled it. If you walk up the steps behind the plaza, you can get a great view of the ships waiting to enter the canal. The artisans' area is behind this plaza and is fun to walk through.... More 

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Anchorage, Alaska
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
80 attraction reviews
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015

We walked the outer walk way around the Casco Viejo just before dinner and loved the many spectacular views out towards the high rise buildings and lights at night of Pansma's skyline. At the outer end, the Plaza de Francia is a lovely, historic stop. The French Embassy is near the plaza. Both are testaments to the early French attempts... More 

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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015

Just a beautiful place to take a stroll and get to know the history of the old city. Beautiful views from Panama skyscrapers can be seen from here!

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Brentwood, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

Has been kept the way it was, the descriptions and history panels are very interesting, Las Bovedas surrounding are great, love the jazz!

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Lausanne, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
12 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2015

A nice spot to walk to and enjoy the view of Panama City's skyscrappers, also plenty of bars around to discover

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
426 reviews 426 reviews
194 attraction reviews
150 helpful votes 150 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2015

You will certainly want to go to Casco Viejo. This monument to the Frenchmen who helped build the Canal is at the far end of Casco Viejo surrounded on the top by multiple vendor stalls. On the Lower level is a plaque commemorating the doctor who discovered the link between mosquitos and yellow fever. There are also 10 huge plaques... More 

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Panama Cit,y, Panama
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
14 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

Built to honor the Frenchmen that risked life and fortunes to build the first attempt at an Interocenic Canal, this charming plaza sits in the inside circuit of the old Spanish Bastion that served as the sea anchor of the wall defenses of Old Town Panama. You can walk from the walls down an integrated staircase where you will see... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2015

Inevitable, if you go to Casco Viejo you will end up walking around Plaza de Francia. The area is dense with good restaurants, merchants and sights to see. Plaza de Francia is stunning old architecture with an amazing view of the ocean and downtown. Local merchants line up for an outdoor flea market.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?