Collected by Sarah Zapiler
Calle Miller, Panamá, Panama
One of Panama City's oldest bars, the Balboa Yacht Club sits just before the Amador Causeway. It's an institution in the community, and locals frequent here. Chill with a cerveza Balboa on the covered wooden terrace, and take in views of the...
Av Central, Panamá, Panama
To get a glimpse of authentic Panamanian life, stroll down Central Avenue, which is within walking distance of Casco Viejo. In the morning the street comes alive with pedestrians heading to work and shops opening for business. Buy bananas at a...
Calle 3a, Panamá, Panama
Passing by the Karavan Gallery, it's impossible not to take a peek at the beautifully stylized displays: a gallery of local art, baskets of home accessories, and hanging artisan jewelry. Offerings also include gorgeous mola textile pieces made by...
Calle 51 Este, Panamá, Panama
An old colonial home is a fitting location for Tinajas, a small restaurant serving simple, local fare (rice and chicken, yucca salad, and garlic shrimp with plantains are all on the menu). But what truly brings local culture to life are the...
Calle República de Uruguay, Panamá, Panama
Sit down for a meal at La Posta, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been seated on the private verandah of a local who’s about to share some wonderful stories as well as fine food. With sweeping vegetation, exposed-wood ceilings, woven chairs and warm...
Calle 48 Este, Panamá, Panama
With New York strip steaks, macaroni and cheese, chicken with couscous, and salmon buerre, Market’s menu is global, but its clientele is local and friendly. A lunch stop here will fulfill whatever international cuisine you’re craving, but make...
Vía Veneto, Panamá, Panama
You’ll see fluttering molas—colorful blouses handcrafted in the tradition of Panama’s Kuna community—hanging in shop windows all over the city. Skip the modest selection at your hotel’s gift shop and make your way to Flory Saltzman Molas, which...
Calle Ricardo Arias, Panamá, Panama
A creamy complement to coffee, the tres leche at Costa Azul is addictive. This small, local cafeteria serves Spanish dishes, continental breakfasts, coffee, and, of course, tres leche. It's a good thing Costa Azul, in the thriving banking...
Calle Isaac Hanono Missri, Panamá, Panama
Travelers who prefer books and other cultural reminders of their travels to dust-collecting tchotchkes can shop for a literary souvenir at El Hombre de la Mancha, a bookstore inside the Multiplaza Pacific Mall. This bookstore has titles published...
La Alameda, Panamá, Panama
City parks are often urban oases of natural life, but few offer the ecological drama of Panama City's Parque Natural Metropolitano, the city's largest park. While residents stroll, play sports, and relax within its leafy acres, travelers often...
Calz. de Amador 136, Panamá, Panama
The Frank Gehry Museum of Biodiversity is finally finished. The guide on the Panama Canal called it a building from someone who has done too much partying in Panama. I guess he hadn’t been to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.(view from the Panama...
Avenida Punta Culebra, Ciudad de Panama, Panama
This thatched-roof, open-air restaurant serves up local dishes such as langostinos a la plancha (grilled prawns). Enjoy breezes from the Bay of Panama while enjoying breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Live music is sometimes offered.
Cerro Sonsonate, San Miguelito, Panama
This was one of the most beautiful views that I witnessed in the charming country of Panama, while visiting my best friend from college that was living and working there. The dome of the temple resembles some sort of spacecraft, and while the...
Calle 7a Este, Panamá, Panama
Take a break from the heat and grab a frozen coconut-based drink at Crazy Coco. Add a little cinnamon and condensed milk, and you'll find yourself in tropical heaven. I also recommend the flan and, for a stronger drink, the piña colada. Crazy Coco...
Calle 8a Oeste, Panamá, Panama
Arco Chato (the Flat Arch) on Avenida A, an architectural ruin in the old quarter near Iglesia de Santo Domingo, houses an outdoor gallery of intriguing and modern sculptural works and art installations. The ruins, the rustic stone, and the...
Avenida A., Calle 6a Oeste, Panamá, Panama
I'm obsessed with this little gem. Part store, part gallery, part café, Diablo Rosso likely has anything you're looking for. The store is stocked with locally made clothing, books, music, and accessories suitable for any young creative, and just...
Av. B 7, Panamá, Panama
Cafe Sucre was a perfect spot to grab an americano to help power me through a jetlag-induced stint in Panama City. I tipped the lady behind the counter (a jovial and motherly woman from San Francisco) well, and she said she needs to make coffee...
San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
Wine bar DiVino’s mission is simple: pop the cork on the world of fine wines and pour it for the residents of Panama City. The enoteca has a huge selection of vintages from around the world, and offers wine tasting seminars and trainings in its...
Av. Central, entre calle 3era y 4ta, Panama City, Panama
Chill out on balmy Panama City days and nights thanks to Granclément, an artisanal ice cream parlor located in the city's historic heart. The ice cream architects here blend the region’s abundance of tropical fruits (think guanabana, mango, lime,...
Al lado de la Policía de Turismo, Av Central 7, Panamá, Panama
The menu at Diablico not only features staples of Panamanian cuisine (roasted pork and ceviche top the list) but frequent folkloric performances representing several of the country’s cultures. In the main show—appropriately known as diablicos—...
Panama City, Panama
Mostaza offers an upscale, formal setting for an intimate dinner in the heart of Casco Viejo, yet it's tucked away in a discreet corner. Take advantage of the outdoor ambience and dine at an al fresco table in front of the historic ruin Arco Chato...
Panama City, Panama
Coffee lovers go to the Bajareque Coffee House & Roastery, where the owner grows, dries, roasts, and grinds his own beans. World-renowned geisha beans are sourced from the owner's family farm in the Boquete region. Buy a bag or two to savor a...
Calle 3a Este, Panamá, Panama
As an art gallery and cultural center, Los Del Patio’s mission is manifold: provide emerging artists with a space to conceptualize and create their work, and provide visitors a place to admire and explore local arts (perhaps after enjoying a...
Avenida 8, Panamá, Panama
Old world theaters exude glamour and grandeur, and this one is exceptional—from the gold facade and brass door fixtures, to the interior wooden foyer, painted ceiling frescos, gilded tiered balconies, and posh chandelier. Tour inside and view the...
Calle 15 Este, Panamá, Panama
What better way to understand a city’s tastes, personality and priorities than by wandering through its food markets? And what better food to sample in a country that is bordered by two oceans than its seafood? The Mercado de Mariscos in Panama...
El Marañón, Panamá, Panama
Panama City is best known for its fish market, but a few blocks away on Avenue B near the Chinatown Gates lies the equally interesting Mercado Público. The market is divided into four main sections: meat, produce, dried goods, and a court full of...
Av. A, Panamá, Panama
If you'd rather pass on trendy bars but want to enjoy a beer in Casco Viejo, then perhaps La Bencidad, with its outdoor patio, would be more up your alley. It's very popular with locals for live music and dancing. It's at Avenida A, between Calle...
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