A Sassy Panama City Guide

If you follow me on the ‘gram, then you know I just took a massive 2 week trip to Peru, but I started my travels with a short 22 hours in Panama City, Panama.

Panama is a huge travel hub for South America so a lot of flights will have layovers in Panama City and we just happened to find one that was just short of a 24 hour layover so we could enjoy some time there before we jaunted off to Peru. If you are ever in Panama City, is a very easy city to see in a short amount of time. However, we really want to go back now because they have some great beaches and it’s only a 3 hour flight from Chicago!

Things to See 

We had a short amount of time, so we actually got a tour guide to take us around the city. We also booked this really last minute so we found the cheapest option which was a group tour. A lot of the tour companies I found online were private tour options which would have been great if we had more time and were willing to spend the money, but our tour was with Tony’s Panama Tours and we really enjoyed him. Another reason to all of the below with a guide is mainly because none of these things are near one another, so having a car is key.

  • Panama Canal: This is an obvious must. I’m not really a modern wonder of the world kind of girl, but I actually really liked the museum attached to the canal itself. It was about the construction, the wildlife and gave some good facts. It’s older and needs an update for sure (some of the mannequins are literal paper maiche and creepy AF), but it was cool. Watching the locks open and close themselves was like watching paint dry for me, but I’m glad we saw it.
  • Casco Viejo: We spent most of our time touring the old town of Panama City, which was my favorite part. They are currently in a major revamp of the old town area so the contrast of old vs. new is fascinating. We stopped by many renovated hotels, churches and saw some of the original architecture as well.
  • Amador Causeway: So this used to just be tarmac connecting some islands and the capital, but it’s now become this hot spot boardwalk. It’s a super gorgeous area overlooking the city and the ocean and has restaurants, bars, outdoor sports and of course the famous PANAMA sign. We had lunch here and loved it.


Ocho y Medio: Literally the best ceviche we had was in Panama and Peru is kind of known for it. This place has the most gorgeous garden and it’s in Casco Viejo so near a lot of hotels and other hot spots.

Restaurante Mi Ranchito: We went here for lunch with our tour guide so to be fair it’s a little touristy, but the food was really good and classic Panamanian and the view was of the ocean and on the Amador Causeway. This place also had a swim up pool and stand up paddle boarding so it’s like a little random in a good way ha.

Stay tuned for my Peru guides coming later this week!