Top 10 Things to See and Do for Free in Panama City
Isla Iguana, Panama | © José Manuel Castrellón / WikiCommons
Panama has a world of wonderful sights to see, and a lot of them are free! You’ll need your walking shoes for our list of top 10 free things to see and do in Panama City.
Quite possibly the most gorgeous seaside walk in Panama City is the majestic Cinta Costera and it won’t cost you a thing to visit. Grab a seat on a park bench or, if you have kids, let them have fun on the nearby playground while you catch the sunset over the ocean. Cinta Costera runs along the ever-trendy, upscale Avenida Balboa so when you’re ready to pull your wallet out, you can walk over for a bite to eat on one of the balconies overlooking the ocean.
Panama City Skyline | © Michael G. Mill/Shutterstock
Parque Omar is a favorite among locals and expats, as well as travelers. Throughout this large, lush park are many free activities to partake in or plenty of scenery that will mesmerize you as you people-watch the passersby and other park goers go by.
Often overlooked amidst the many featured spectacles of Panama City is the area known as Panama Viejo. This area is full of history-rich stories of a time before Panama was almost erased in 1671 by Captain Henry Morgan. Wander through its ruins and join up with a tour for just a few dollars if you wish to learn more about the extraordinary history of Panama.
Metropolitan Cathedral, Panama | © Alejandro Bolivar Ayala / WikiCommons
There is no charge for wandering through Casco Viejo’s winding, narrow roads of historical architecture. With walls that whisper stories of what Panama once was and still, in some ways, is, Casco Viejo offers a wonderful chance to get lost in the magic of its streets and discover a beautiful part of Panama City.
Casco Viejo, Panama City | © Kent MacElwee/Flickr
Another option for a free spectacle in Panama City along the water is the beloved Amador Causeway. Mostly favored by locals, this one often gets overlooked by travelers and expats until a local Panamanian informs them on what they’re missing out. Many folks love to walk and bike what is lovingly referred to as “the Causeway”. Should you wish to spend a little money, it’s lined with many small cafés and Panamanian boutiques as well as bike rentals.
The Amador Causeway | © TravelingOtter/Flickr
A sweet escape amidst the hustle and bustle of the city center is Parque Andres Bello. This lovely, lush pocket of paradise in El Cangrejo is completely free to enjoy and has everything for a perfect day in the park: a designated area for small children, a fitness area for those who wish to work out, and even an area for dogs to go leash-free and play fetch without worry.
Full Moon Meditation
In the heart of the snazzy area of San Francisco is the beloved meditation center, El Arte de Vivir (“The Art of Living” in English). This peaceful safe haven offers a monthly free meditation evening to honor the energy of the full moon, and it is absolutely extraordinary. All are welcome to attend, from expert yogis to those who’ve never even tried to meditate.
Fundación El Arte de Vivir, Calle 67 Este 30, Panama City, Panama, +507 226 9541
Another free event in honor of the full moon is the monthly Full Moon Drum Circle that takes place in various parts of Panama. Though the location varies from month to month, one thing remains constant: it is always a joyful celebration that brings together people of all ages, uniting them in community and love for music under the brightly shining full moon.
Happy full moon! | © Stephanie Carter/Flickr
If you are lucky enough to be in Panama during this annual dance show, don’t miss it. Free shows pop up around the city in various, popular locations such as the Albrook Bus Terminal or the Cinta Costera. Incredibly talented professional dancers put on a totally free show that is an extraordinary expression of art in the form of dance.
One freebie that is always on offer is a beach day. It costs nothing to lay out your towel on the beach and lose yourself in the therapeutic sound of the crashing waves while the bright sun washes over you. Coronado Beach is not too far from Panama City and is hardly ever busy as it’s often overlooked for more popular locations like Taboga Island. Revel in the feel of a seemingly private oceanside paradise, with your feet in the sand, and without a dent to your wallet.