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Guide to Panama City for Families

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From its famous canal to its rich history and culture, Panama City is an ideal place to visit for families traveling in Central America.

Good for
  • Family
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

9 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

9 Places

Panama Canal

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Miraflores Visitor Center

Visitor Centres

Casco Viejo

Neighbourhoods, Historic Walking Areas

Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitan)

Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings

Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama

History Museums

Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador)

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Bridge of the Americas

Bridges

Avenida Balboa

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas

Panama La Vieja

Ancient Ruins

sarahafrica's City Tips

  • The Summit Garden & Zoo is a great place for the kids to get acquainted with monkeys, jaguars, tapirs, and Panama's many other animals.
  • While visiting the Panama Canal, hire bicycles and experience surrounding rainforest up close.
  • The easiest way for families to get around Panama City is by taxi or rental car.
  • Panama Canal
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    You can't visit Panama City without visiting the Panama Canal! This historic sight and engineering wonder will fascinate visitors of all ages, and there are a wide range of tour options (at a variety of price points) available. Pick one that includes a trip through the locks for an awe-inspiring first-person view.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Half- and full-day tours are available, so you may choose based on the ages of your children.
    • To really marvel at the canal, try to watch a ship pass through. There is no fixed schedule, but ships usually cross before 10am or after 2pm. Call the info center before your arrival to see what's expected for the day.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best seen from a boat with an end-to-end cruise 11/12/2018
    • ONe of the wonders of the world. 11/12/2018
    • Panama Canal
    Address:
    Gatun Lakee
    Panama City
    Panama
    Phone:
    +507 272-3165
    Other:
  • Miraflores Visitor Center
    Visitor Centres
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    An interesting way to explore the Panama Canal is to check out the Miraflores Visitors Center, located just outside Panama City. Here you'll find a large, four-floor interactive museum with a viewing platform on the top floor.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Stay for lunch at the delicious international restaurant on site.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Museum 11/12/2018
    • Great Museum 11/12/2018
    • Miraflores Visitor Center
    Phone:
    +507 276-8325
    Other:
  • Casco Viejo
    Neighbourhoods, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    Casco Viejo is the historic section of Panama City. Take a wander through this carefully restored area to appreciate the beauty of the colonial architecture. You will find plenty of quaint little shops, restaurants, and cafes along the way.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Casco Viejo is a neighborhood under continuous construction and restoration, so walk carefully and always be mindful of what's happening around you.
    • Kids will love a stop at one of the many shaved ice (or "raspao") vendors in the area.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Old city with European Feel. 11/12/2018
    • Wonderful historic place to have fun with family and friends 11/12/2018
    • Casco Viejo
    Address:
    Avenida Central
    Panama City
    Panama
    Phone:
    +507 228-9828
    Other:
  • Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitan)
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    The Metropolitan Cathedral is located on the Plaza Catedral in Casco Viejo and is a beautiful example of Panama’s colonial architecture.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The cathedral is easily accessible on foot when walking around Casco Viejo.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    • Impressive 18/11/2018
    • Great photo op 28/09/2018
    • Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitan)
    Address:
    Av Central 7-30 E
    Panama City
    Panama
  • Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama
    History Museums
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum tells the story of the construction of the Panama Canal through a series of colorful displays that both adults and kids will enjoy. You'll find the museum in a historic building-turned-museum very near the grand Plaza de la Independencia.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • On Sunday mornings, admission is free for residents of Panama, and the museum can get quite crowded at this time.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good overview of the Canal and the history of Panama 11/12/2018
    • Not impressed!!! 01/12/2018
    • Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama
    Address:
    Avenida Central
    Plaza de la Independencia. San Felipe
    Panama City 0816
    Panama
    Phone:
    +507 211-1649
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador)
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    The six-kilometer Amador Causeway links four small islands at the entrance to the Panama Canal. The strip is always bustling with pedestrians and bikers, and shops and restaurants provide plenty of places to stop along the way. Kids will love exploring this area by bike or on foo.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Enjoy a meal on one of the islands and take in the views of Panama City.
    • Bring along bathing suits. This is also a popular place to swim!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great views and a wonderful walk! 11/12/2018
    • We loved the bike ride 11/12/2018
    • Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador)
    Address:
    Av Amador
    Panama City
    Panama
    Other:
  • Bridge of the Americas
    Bridges
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    The Bridge of the Americas was built in 1962 along the Pan-American Highway. It effectively connects North and South America, where the Canal cut the continent in half. Take a moment to appreciate the historic importance of this impressive structure.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Drive over the bridge for another unique and interesting view of the Panama Canal.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Major landmark. 30/11/2018
    • Great Uber outing- drive from north to south America 28/11/2018
    • Bridge of the Americas
    Address:
    Balboa
    Panama City
    Panama
  • Avenida Balboa
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    Avenida Balboa is the biggest and most luxurious development in downtown Panama City. Here, you'll find plenty of real estate to admire, as well as a wealth of shops and restaurants.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Avenida Balboa is a great place to choose as a base for your stay in Panama City, as it's easy to move around from here.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not much of a Tourist Attraction 26/11/2018
    • Always a Cool Drive 26/11/2018
    • Avenida Balboa
    Other:
  • Panama La Vieja
    Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    sarahafrica Says:

    This important archeological site is what remains of the original Panama city, which was founded in 1519 by Pedro Arias Dávila. Panama La Vieja is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and makes for a nice outing for the whole family.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The trek to the top of the lookout might not be suitable for very young children.
    • Plan to spend around two hours visiting the monuments and the small museum nearby.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 127 things to do in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Roam the old ruins and soak in the history! 26/11/2018
    • Frintkn 20/11/2018
    • Panama La Vieja
    Address:
    Via Cinquantenaire
    Panama City
    Panama
    Phone:
    +507 226-8915
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    08:30 - 16:30
    Other:
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