To be in the center of the action, book a room at the American Trade Hotel. Nestled in a beautifully restored building in the desirable Casco Viejo neighborhood—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the luxury boutique hotel blends old-world elegance with modern design. Spend your days lounging at the rooftop pool deck, sipping a cold brew at Café Unido, or enjoying live music and craft cocktails at Danilo’s Jazz Club.
Also in the neighborhood is La Isabela Suites, another boutique favorite known for its authentic Panamanian art, classic Colonial architecture, and spacious suites—all of which come with balconies. The larger, two-bedroom suites also have access to a greenery-filled internal courtyard.
Locals love Mentiritas Blancas, which serves bracing cups of Panamanian coffee and nutritious dishes like colorful quinoa bowls and avocado toast with eggs.
Return to Casco Viejo for dinner at Tantalo Kitchen in the trendy Tantalo Hotel. The menu fuses flavors from around the globe with offerings like steamed mussels with pineapple green curry, ginger-sesame tuna tartare, and Cuban-style pulled pork. Once the sun has set, head to the Roofbar, where you can dance surrounded by panoramic views of the Old Quarter.
Enjoy a leisurely morning at the Papaya Planet café. Try their green shakshuka with kale and feta, sample a fruit salad, or order the smoked salmon plate with pumpernickel and arugula salad. Afterwards, weave through their on-site bookstore, art gallery, and gift shop, perhaps picking up some collectible wares or reading material to bring back.
Don’t leave Panama City without a meal at Donde Jose—it’s an exclusive spot, so be sure to make a reservation at least a month in advance. The restaurant boasts an ever-changing, eight-course tasting menu of elevated Panamanian fare prepared using seasonal ingredients. If you’re feeling celebratory, book seats at the chef’s table for an unforgettable dining experience.