The Top 10 Museums in Panama City

Museum of Contemporary Art of Panama
Museum of Contemporary Art of Panama | Courtesy of MAC
Brittney Schering

Panama is home to an extraordinary array of history, art, and stories to be told. These are the top 10 museums in Panama City that will immerse you in everything Panama has to offer.

1. Afro-Antillean Museum

Museum

Located near the Cinco de Mayo metro stop and not far from the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Afro-Antillean Museum is a small and often-missed place full of historically astounding information about the first African Americans to colonize Panama, who they were, and what they contributed to the country’s rich history.

2. MAC Panama

Museum

If you can only visit one museum during your stay in Panama City, it should definitely be the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s basically free with a donation-based entrance fee and its exhibits change out often. The museum also frequently hosts free events to feature new art—make sure to check out its events calendar because free exhibits also generally mean free drinks and a chance to mingle with the artsy crowd of Panama City, a treat in and of itself.

Museum of Contemporary Art Panama, Calle San Blas, Panama City, Panama, +507 262 3380

Museum of Contemporary Art of Panama | Courtesy of MAC

3. Biomuseo

Museum

3. Biomuseo
© Visit Panama

An incredible and interactive place dedicated to the evolution of biodiversity, this Frank Gehry-designed museum is a spectacle not to be missed. Dedicate an afternoon to exploring its many wonder-filled exhibits and learn a thing or two about how the world came to be what it is today.

Biomuseo, Edificio 136, Calzada de Amador, Amador Causeway 136, Panama City, Panama, +507 830 6700

View from above of the Biomuseo in Amador, Panama City | Courtesy of Visit Panama

4. Panama Canal Museum

Museum

This history museum opened in 1997 to share the marvelous story of the planning, construction, and present-day operations of the extraordinary, world-famous Panama Canal. The museum is located near Avenida Central in the heart of Casco Viejo in Panama City.

5. Museo de Panama Viejo

Museum, Ruins

This unique specialty museum offers sightseeing tours through the ruins of the Panama Viejo archaeological site and is a cultural landmark—it’s small, quiet, and colorful with much history to share.

Museo de Panama Viejo, Avenida Cincuentenario, Panama City, Panama, +507 226 8915

Torre de la Catedral in the Panama Viejo ruins | © Magela Cabrera Arias/Wikimedia Commons | © Magela Cabrera Arias / WikiCommons

6. Weil Art Gallery

Art Gallery

Located in Panama City’s lovely Bella Vista neighborhood, the delightful Weil Art Gallery is a unique, refreshing, and inspiring gallery full of beautiful paintings that express Panamanian culture. It features local artists and their signature perspectives.

7. Natural Science Museum

Museum

Blue-and-yellow macaw
© Lacie Slezak/Unsplash
Said to be magnificent, the Natural Science Museum has been integral to Panama City since opening its doors in 1975 and is a beautiful place to explore the mysteries of planet Earth. It features extensive research, collections, and classifications of conserved geological and paleontological specimens and the local and foreign animal life it houses is made relevant to Panama’s natural resources. The museum also takes great care and places an emphasis on endangered plants and animals.

8. Museo de la Esmeralda

Building, Museum

A unique specialty museum located in Casco Viejo, Museo de la Esmeralda is often referred to as a pavement café. The building is beautiful and historic with a great location and surrounding scenery.

Museo de la Esmeralda, Calle Pedro J. Sosa, Panama City, Panama, +507 262 1665

9. Punta Culebra Nature Center

Forest

The Punta Culebra Nature Center is located on an island connected to Panama City by the Amador Causeway. Operated by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, it focuses mainly on marine and terrestrial science and education, conservation, and interpretation of marine coastal environments in the tropics. Among its attractions are the Fabulous Frogs of Panama, a tank full of starfish and other echinoderms, and a tropical dry forest with free roaming animals such as sloths, green iguanas, and beautiful birds.

Punta Culebra Nature Center, Panama City, Panama, +507 212 8793

10. Karavan Gallery

Art Gallery

This Casco Viejo art gallery is small but interesting and a great place to find unique gifts for friends and family—you’ll find incredible local crafts as well as art.

Karavan Gallery, Casco Antiguo, lateral al Arco Chato, Calle 3a, Panama City, Panama, +507 228 7177

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