Things to Do in Panama City

Things to Do in Panama City, Panama - Panama City Attractions

Things to Do in Panama City

Top Attractions in Panama City


*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travelers are saying

  • ajnavy04
    Denver, CO212 contributions
    Of course go see the canal if you are in Panama. I had the opportunity to board a work boat while on the canal, which is a different perspective. Definitely visit the canal.
    Written May 16, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, MN1,364 contributions
    The neighborhood of Casco Viejo is the historical center of Panama City and is the most beautiful and interesting part of the city. Plan to spend half the day wandering the narrow streets where you can find numerous churches and monuments to visit and plenty of shopping and dining options. I followed a self-guided walking tour on Frommer's and found this very helpful. One of the highlights in the neighborhood and the place to begin your tour is the historic Plaza de la Independencia where the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Panama Canal Museum are located. The museum is excellent, and you can easily spend a couple hours here looking at all the exhibits. Another highlight is strolling along the Plaza de Francia with views of the ocean and downtown Panama City in the distance. Many vendors set up their stalls here selling an assortment of items for purchase providing an opportunity to find a nice souvenir to take back home. Many places to eat and drink. Tantalo Kitchen stood out as they have a great covered rooftop bar with nice views. Finca del Mar was one of the few places I saw offering sidewalk dining with views of the water and was a nice place to grab a drink. I felt very safe walking around this part of town alone including at night. It is well policed as the neighborhood adjoining Casco Viejo to the north is notorious as one of the more dangerous places in the city so don't wander in the wrong direction.
    Written May 15, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • lightningboy
    Surrey, Canada2,735 contributions
    Fellow TripAdvisors recommended 8am was the best time for Atlantic bound ships and 2pm for Pacific bound ships. We made an online reservation for 8am and when we showed up, we were told there are no ships passing through until the afternoon. I had read in the forums that one could view a schedule of ships passing through, but I searched everywhere and could not find such a list. So we went back to Panama City and returned in the afternoon. They never asked to see our reservation and just bought our tickets and entered. Parts of the Visitor’s Center were closed due to Covid. But the observation deck was really what I came for.

    It is an amazing site to see the locks in operation. I debated whether going through the locks by boat would be better than viewing the locks from land. After experiencing the Miraflores Visitors Center, I feel it was a good choice after taking into consideration the time and cost of the boat trip. We spent a little over 2 hours there and watched three ships pass through. It was a fascinating experience and should not be missed. I would have given a 5 Excellent rating if the full Visitor Center was open and if I could view the schedule of ships passing through.
    Written April 8, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • watersprite716
    Eugene, OR13 contributions
    I used the Metro to get around in Panama City. Note that it IS possible to get from the PTY airport to downtown, but there requires a short bus ride from the airport to take you to the Metro station. Fellow passengers were friendly and willing to help with directions in Spanish or English. They all wanted me to enjoy Panama City!
    Written March 9, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Marcia H
    Panama130 contributions
    This place is amazing! Something for everyone, from restaurants, hotel, bike/running path, yatch club. The view is spectacular from several angles, and spots.
    Written May 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, MN1,364 contributions
    Visiting Gatun Lake and Monkey Island is a must-see experience when visiting Panama City. There are many tour operators that offer this trip, and I had a good experience with Safe Transportation and their Monkey Island and Panama Canal Eco Tour. I had a terrific guide who was very knowledgeable and was a great communicator. On the way to Gatun Lake, we made a brief stop at the Pedro Miguel Locks for some viewing of ships as they navigate the canal. After hopping on a small speedboat, we headed out on Gatun Lake and to Monkey Island. Our guide knew several spots to find the monkeys and we had a couple different species including the white-faced capuchin monkeys climbing onto our boat enjoying taking the food that we offered from our hands. We additionally saw and heard some howler monkeys and spotted a crocodile. Getting close up to the huge container ships in the lake was pretty cool as well. 4 hours was plenty of time needed to enjoy this experience.
    Written May 11, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • PuffyTracy
    Allen, TX19 contributions
    The Cinta Costera is a great thing to experience while you're in Panama City. The scenery is very nice and if you're a people watcher, you get to see a wide assortment of locals and tourists. We did it late on a Friday afternoon so while it was humid, it was somewhat overcast and we didn't have the sun beating down on us. We had a taxi drop us off at the PANAMA sign and then we walked back towards our hotel so I think we did maybe half of it. I highly recommend it for any visitors to Panama City. The one issue that you should be aware of is what confronted us; we got started on our walk and my wife felt nature's call. While there are public bathrooms located along the path, we found out that these were not only closed but locked shut. Apparently, the local authorities decided to do that for some reason. We were able to get a tip from a local vendor to cross Avenida Balboa and ask to use the bathroom at the Children's Hospital which we did. It's hard for my gringo mind to fathom why Panamanian authorities have done this at such a popular tourist attraction but that is the current state of affairs. Plan accordingly to avoid any uncomfortableness!
    Written May 3, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • tyagi
    New York City, NY378 contributions
    Designated bike lane next to the pedestrian lane. Great to run, walk, or ride along the ocean. Many shady places, with benches to stop and enjoy the views.
    Written May 9, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Mdryovage
    San Francisco, California4 contributions
    This museum has a description of environmental issues explaining climate change and biological history of species evolution between North America and South America. It was well paced for all ages.
    Written May 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • ajnavy04
    Denver, CO212 contributions
    Standard Western style shopping mall. Has all the big brands and a large food court. This is one of the largest malls on earth, so if malls are your thing, this is worth a visit.
    Written May 16, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Mademoiselle
    Liege, Belgium42 contributions
    The longest way is the best one (1h +-) for animals cause i heard 5 monkeys in 16h! The access of the park is +- easy by bus from Albrook Mal!
    Written September 2, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, MN1,364 contributions
    Gatun Lake was created by the flooding of the area by the Chagres River during the construction of the Panama Canal and is where ships traverse after going through the locks at each end of the Canal. There are many tour operators that offer trips to Gatun Lake and Monkey Island. I had a good experience with Safe Transportation and their Monkey Island and Panama Canal Eco Tour. I had a terrific guide who was very knowledgeable and was a great communicator. On the 4-hour tour, we stopped along the canal at the Pedro Miguel Locks and then continued to Gatun Lake on a speedboat. In addition to seeing the wildlife on Monkey Island, this is also an opportunity to get close to several container ships as they make their way between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

    On the way to Gatun Lake, we made a brief stop at the Pedro Miguel Locks for some viewing of ships as they navigate the canal. After hopping on a small speedboat, we headed out on Gatun Lake and to Monkey Island. Our guide knew several spots to find the monkeys and we had a couple different species including the white-faced capuchin monkeys climbing onto our boat enjoying taking the food that we offered from our hands. We additionally saw and heard some howler monkeys and spotted a crocodile. Getting close up to the huge container ships in the lake was pretty cool as well. 4 hours was plenty of time needed to enjoy this experience.
    Written May 17, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • lizakq
    Naguabo1,055 contributions
    I'm not one to go to malls that much but I can say this one is pretty big and with lots of high quality stores. It didn't feel crowded.
    Written April 9, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Katelin
    St. Petersburg, FL10 contributions
    This was my favorite thing that we did on our 12 day Panama trip. I was really surprised at just how many animals we saw, and got pretty close to! If you're any kind of a nature fan, this is a must-do!! We did a full day tour and loved every minute.
    Written March 22, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Bruce A
    Washington DC, DC681 contributions
    We did this at 9 AM on our first full day in Panama and I do recommend it. The site is not that big. The old cathedral is by far the top attraction: by walking up to the tippy-top you get a great view of both the site itself and modern Panama City. The other buildings are in far worse shape: many are just a few rows of bricks sticking out of the ground. Angkor Wat this is not.

    But what really makes this sight is the abundance of NATURAL beauty. We saw big iguanas, small yellow finches, and even a pair of nesting vultures. There were also leafcutter ants everywhere. Some of the plant life growing in and out of the ruins was also beautiful. Man has abandoned this site but nature has given it new life.
    Written April 17, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frequently Asked Questions about Panama City