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Panama City

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Panama City has a personality that separates it from other Central American capitals. While at one time a certain canal was its big draw, the projected opening of the Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo promises to lure more travelers here, who will stay for beaches, biodiversity, and the chance to be a part of a growing urban scene.
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Av Central, Panamá, Panama
Avenida Central was the city’s great commercial core in the first half of the 20th century; though its heyday has ended, the swarm of humanity packing into its various shops, bars, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses attest to ongoing...
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San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
Head to Casco Viejo, the old part of Panama City, a stunning mix of Art deco, Caribbean, French and Colonial architectural styles. Hungry? Look for the Havana Club. I thought I'd walked onto a set. 'Buena Vista Social Club’ was playing on a small...
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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...
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San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
Walking the narrow, cobbled streets of Casco Viejo—Panama City’s colonial quarter—is, these days, like exploring a vibrant art gallery. The neighborhood has suffered a bad reputation as dangerous since it became inhabited by undesirables after the...
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San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
In the heart of Casco Viejo, Bajareque provided a perfect location for a timely break in the day. The outdoor seating combined with a fresh cup of coffee (or wine) created a lovely afternoon.
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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...
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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...
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Panama City, Panama
The public buses on the streets of Panama City are recycled school buses which used to chug along suburban streets in the United States some thirty years ago. Plain yellow has been traded up for brilliantly multicolored designs of birds, flowers,...
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Ancon Hill, Panama City, Panama
Cerro Ancon (Ancon Hill) is a beautiful promontory, which offers incredible views of Panama City. It has a large Panamanian flag that you can see from anywhere in the city. You can take a cab uphill—it's only about $5 (and otherwise it's a bit of...
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Punta Culebra, Panamá, Panama
You are (almost) guaranteed the sight many an iguana and at least one sloth while on a visit to Punta Culebra. This small treasure is a Smithsonian museum outpost on Amador Causeway. The grounds are made of a forest and beach, as well as...
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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...
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Panama City, 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...
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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...
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Calle 49, Panamá, Panama
From the same team behind Market and La Posta, La Chesa restaurant distinguishes itself by serving warm Tuscan cuisine in the heart of Panama. Pappardelle, panzanella, and pollo cacciatorre may satisfy those whose enthusiasm for plantains and...
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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—...
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Calle Tercera, Panamá, Panama
The artists whose works grace the walls of the Karavan Gallery have exhibited around the world, but the rich colors, textures, and subjects of their work convey that they're quintessentially Panamanian. The women behind this gallery in the Casco...
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Calle Abel Bravo, Panamá, Panama
For visitors with extra time (and an extended budget), Breebaart Boutique—the operation of Hélène Breebaart, a French expatriate who first arrived in Panama as a representative for Dior—offers a unique opportunity to take home a custom-made...
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Av Central, Panamá, Panama
Savor a slice (or, rather, a cup) of Panamanian daily life at the Café Coca-Cola, which bills itself as the country’s oldest café. Whether or not this is true, the practice of sitting down for a coffee, a newspaper, and conversation about current...
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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...
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Local 1 20, Vía Argentina, Panama City, Panama
Corona Lite, it is not: cerveceria La Rana Dorada (“The Golden Frog”) is a craft-brewing operation that’s distinctly Panamanian. Their four distinct beers—a pilsner, a pale ale, a white beer, and a porter—are created at its Casco Viejo location,...
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Casa Blanca, Panamá, Panama
Casa Blanca’s location on the edge of the Plaza Bolivar makes it one of the city’s best choices for outdoor dining, and the rustic décor lends a slow-paced, convivial atmosphere. Beneath umbrellas and gently drooping palms, sample a selection of...
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Panama City, Panama
Manolo Caracol may be Panama City’s best-loved restaurant, and each of its creative tapas dishes provides sufficient reason. Spanish-born chef Manuel Madoro—alias Manolo Caracol—draws culinary inspiration from his heritage and his travels, and...
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Casco Antiguo, Panama City, Panama
Ambiance is the key to this Panama City restaurant's popularity—surprising given that the restaurant’s setting is in a former dungeon. During the early days of Casco Viejo, the structure did, indeed, serve as a jail; now, the cells serve French...
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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...
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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...
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Calle 48, Panamá, Panama
In Weil Art & Auctions’ bright, inviting showroom, sculptures that explore important themes of 21st-century Latin American art stand alongside antique maps and turn-of-the-century paintings. In addition to contemporary and traditional art, the...
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Panama Canal, Panama
A great love for Panama’s biodiversity and culture is palpable in all tours offered by Ancon Expeditions of Panamá. Based in Panama City, Ancon is one of the country’s leading operators, and Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler, and other...
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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...
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Panama City, Panama
Visitors to Panama City in January are especially lucky to be able to celebrate one of the world’s most upbeat music styles in one of Central America’s most upbeat cities. In 2013, the festival marked 10 years of welcoming prominent jazz musicians...
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Pack your dancing shoes to Panama City if only for one night at Habana Panamá, an over-the-top celebration of Havana’s golden age in the middle of Casco Viejo. There’s a live orchestra every weekend, and bands play salsa, son, and jazz until the...
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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...
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Casco Viejo Panama, Calle 4 Este con Avenida B, Edificio Hotel Colombia Frente a Plaza Bolivar, Panama City, Panama
Papiro Y Yo is a modern-day tale of spinning straw into (figurative) gold. After living in the United States, designer Zaira returned to Panama City determined to boost the country’s traditional craft techniques—and Papiro Y Yo, a purveyor of fine...
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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...
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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,...
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Calle 48 Este, 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...
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Panama City, Panama
Not far from the natural wonders of the Parque Metropolitano, the Museo Antropológico Reina Torres de Araúz presents Panama’s cultural wonders. Pre-Columbian gold, ancient stone sculptures, and colorful ceramics are among the priceless artifacts...
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Costa del Este, Panamá, Panama
Gone are the days when Caribbean cuisine meant coconuts and rum. You’ll find both of those ingredients at La Vitrola, but the spirited vibe at this modern restaurant is “contemporary Caribbean” as opposed to shore shack. Chef José Miguel de la...
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Av. Belisario Porras, Panamá, Panama
The Parque Recreativo Omar Torrijos—often simply referred to as Parque Omar—is Panama City’s second-largest green space and one of the town’s shared backyards. Although people-watching is one of the park’s primary draws, a visit here can be turned...
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Vía Cincuentenario, Panamá, Panama
These impressive stone ruins are all that remain of the original Panama City, founded in 1519 by the feared conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila. Although the Panamá Viejo (or Panamá La Vieja) remains are now skeletal, a tour of the site is a crash...
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Avenida A., Calle 6a Oeste, Panamá, Panama
Step into Panama City’s Diablo Rosso and you’ll find yourself in a “creative think tank” and gallery that would fit comfortably into any of the world’s headliner art scenes. Diablo Rosso was founded in 2006 to promote emerging talent in the area,...
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Calz. de Amador 136, Panamá, Panama
The Biomuseo, or Museo de la Biodiversidad, is one of Panama City’s contemporary gems and the first Latin American project by Frank Gehry. As befits the architect’s unusual and innovative eye, the museum is itself an abstract...
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Av. Samuel Lewis & Calle 54 Este, Panamá, Panama
Gold is a dominant theme in Central American history, and Panama’s pre-Columbian metals rival those of anywhere else in the world. The founders of Reprosa, a Panama City metal workshop, decided that rather than mourn the loss of traditional...
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Fes El Bali, Fes, Morocco
I found an oasis at Dar Seffarine, located in a quiet medina neighborhood and hosted by locals. Upon arrival, Zuhair, who had grown up next door, led me to one of the graceful salons surrounding the interior courtyard and offered water and tea. I...