Is Panama City safe for tourists?
I'm planning a trip in February and have heard that Panama has a lot of crime. Is this true?
Any recommendations for must-see, must-visit places while I'm there?
- SeryanLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Panama City is the safest city in Central America. You can walk the streets late at night and not worry about being accosted. Just like any city in the world, there are parts you would want to stay away from. But, Panamanians are so friendly and courteous, if someone sees you walking into a risky area, they will warn you. That has happened to me a lot, because, in my quest to learn the city, I have walked all around it in the day time, at night and in the early hours. Never had a problem and I can't say that about other cities in Cen.America.
As for the "must-see" places, first on the list is the Mira Flores locks of the Panama Canal. It will be about a six dollar taxi ride from most hotels out there and back. There is an admission fee to get into the museum and see the ten minute film in English that shows how the canal was built. If you just want to see ships passing through, then tell them you want the restaurant. You will get in free, but not to the film or the museum. Then take the elevator to the 2nd or 3rd floor. On the 2nd is a nice restaurant, with a veranda. You can sit there, eat and drink and watch the ships go by. On the roof floor it is open air and you can see from way up. It's great. I like to go at night, as there is more ship traffic then and you can dine outdoors on the veranda and watch the ships.
Also worth seeing is Casco Antiguo, the original Panama City that was built in the 1500s and burned down by the English Pirate Henry Morgan. It is incredible how much of the ruins are still there.
The Amador Causeway is cool. Get a taxi to go out there and see the view of the city's skyline. There are a lot of bars and restaurants out there. You can rent a bike and drive along the sidewalk.
The Allbrook Mall is Panama's largest and growing. You will be amazed by all the people and the budget prices on things.
KASC Viejo is the location where the city moved following the burning of the original city. It is heavy with clubs and restaurants too and some scenes from the latest James Bond movie were shot there.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I wouldn't say it's a lot of crime....probably not much worse than most other central american cities.
Panama City is generally pretty safe when you're in the tourist-friendly areas, but it can be quite risky if you stray from where you should be. Do not just go walking off into a neighborhood you don't know or you could very well get robbed. That's sometimes easy to do: in Casco Viejo, there are is a fairly small area where a tourist is pretty safe, but walk too far outside that area, and I'm sure you'll meet some interesting locals who would love to chat with you at knifepoint as they convince you that your wallet is now their wallet. Be cautious, use taxis, and you'll be fine.
I feel pretty safe around all the tourist attractions, no matter where they are, I feel safe walking in the downtown areas where the international hotels and restaurants are located, I feel safe out on the Amador Causeway area, and I use taxis to get between the areas where I belong.
- 4 years ago
I have no idea what drugs you people are on but Panama is very violent. It was 1989 that we invaded. Most Panamanians hate Americans. The drivers are very dangerous and actually will run you over or smash your car as they cut you off.
In fact if you look at Panama City you will see more police, military and federal armed to the hilt. They are actually working and stopping the bad guys rather than write speeding tickets. Every building neighborhood is guarded by armed security police or military. Almost every neighborhood is gated and has razor wire. Even the bad ones. Panama is beautiful but it is not safe at all. You have the well off and the very poor. Nothing in between.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Panama, as well as Costa Rica and Nicaragua is considered one of Central Americas safest countries.
A lot of American people retire in Panama, so that shows that crime cannot be bad enough to drive away American retired people