We spent the weekend in Casco Viejo (aka Casco Antigua or San Felipe). This is the 2nd Panama City after the first one was burned. It is the remaining historical area of the city with Spanish colonial influence. As with many historical areas, it has gone into an state of disrepair. The good thing is that over the past several years the area has gone under an renovation and is still a mix of very nice hotels, restaurants, shops etc, and buildings that are in a serious need of repair. There is still a large number of families living in the area among the renvations and this gives the area an authentic feel. Because of all of the money coming into this neighborhood, the area is very safe to walk in - both day and night. The manager of the apartment we stayed in (Los Quatro Cuplianos - highly recommended) said it was safe to explore, however as you get around 10th street, things begin to change. We never encountered any issues. There are several little vendor markets around to pick up unique souveniers. Definitely worth spending some time here during your visit.
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