An in depth guide to visiting Casco Viejo, Panama.
Casco Viejo is an old historic neighborhood in Panama City. In fact, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This area is in the midst of a renaissance. There are so many construction and renovation projects going on here; it’s actually nice to see! Don’t let the construction discourage you from coming here though, there are still plenty of freshly renovated shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels to visit. Follow us along below for our recommendations for having an awesome stay in Casco Viejo! Get the scoop on where to stay, where to eat and what to do in Casco Viejo.
Where To Stay
As mentioned in our Panama City blog, there are many hotels and places to stay within the neighborhood, however our recommendation is to book an AirBnB (use this link to get $55 off your first stay) by Roombook and Mauricio. They have a bunch of recently remodeled and beautifully decorated apartments to stay at. Also, the price of these places beats the already cheap hotel accommodation market in the area. Just take a look at these pictures from our stay!
Where to Drink
This category will pretty much dominate the rest of this post because its pretty much the only thing to do in Casco Viejo! With rooftops galore in this little neighborhood, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. It just comes down to what you’re in the mood for.
We can’t recommend this spot enough! Right in the heart of Casco Viejo, there are three floors of fun here (four if you count the rooftop). They have a restaurant with outdoor street level seating, or first level indoor seating. However if you’re looking to maximize your time here, just head straight for the rooftop. You will have 360-degree views of everything around including the downtown city skyline, Bridge of Americas, the water, and the rest of the neighborhood. This is probably the best place in town to catch the sunset. So grab a delicious mojito and enjoy the views.
Tacos La Neta
As the name suggests, yes, there are tacos here too lol. Another great spot here in Casco Viejo, especially at night. There is a bar downstairs on the street level but take the elevators straight to the rooftop. Enjoy delicious tacos with a side of margarita. The views of downtown Panama City are incredible. It’s like you have a front row seat. Good music, good vibes, great time here. You won’t regret it!
Pedro Mandinga Rum Bar
Come here if you love carefully crafted cocktails and rum. The rum here is delicious. Our favorite was the blanco and the coffee one was really good too. The mood here is very cozy, laidback, and chill. If you pick a seat at the bar, prepare for a show. The bartender’s prepare cocktails in such a classic and perfect way. We couldn’t stop staring! All-in-all this is the perfect spot to come to for a night cap.
Where to Eat
There are tasty places to eat just about everywhere you look. We didn’t visit all of the restaurants in this neighborhood but the ones we did eat at, we can definitely recommend.
If you’re looking for some comfort food, this is the spot. The pizza is SO good here, we were pleasantly surprised! You can customize or order one of their menu. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Chase it down with a Panama Beer for the full experience lol.
This restaurant opened its doors back in 1875, making it the oldest restaurant in the area for sure. It’s a very casual, laid-back, and affordable eatery. Come here for lunch and to get that local feel of the area. The food is delicious!
We love Italian food, so finding a decent Italian restaurant can be difficult at times. So we were lucky to come across this spot for a lovely Italian meal. The pasta was fantastic and we loved the ambiance of the place. Come here for more of an intimate and romantic setting. Great place for a chill night.
Casa Sucre Coffee House
Come here for breakfast! The food is delicious and the coffee is strong! Both the hot and iced coffees were delicious. This is a great spot to start your day or for that afternoon pick-me-up.
In Summary – Why You Should Visit Casco Viejo
There are a ton of great places in this neighborhood, and who knows, our list of recommendations may be already outdated because of new establishments coming online. So, go walk around this lovely neighborhood and explore! We’re sure you’ll find something you love here.
Check out our other post here for more helpful travel guides and tips.