Panama City

Panama City is the capital and largest city of the country. By being the most modern city in Central America, the rapid flood of skyscrapers and increasing number of wealthy people in the city, Panama City has earned the unofficial title of The Dubai of Latin America.


See others cities in Panama

Is Panama City a Safe or Dangerous City?

Panama City, along with other provinces, has a high crime rate; however, you can still enjoy this beautiful city and what it has to offer as long as you take care of your personal belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings. If you decide to rent a car, remove all valuables from your car, and keep windows up and doors locked while driving. Make sure to use only licensed taxis (regular licensed taxis are yellow) and tell your driver not to pick up additional passengers on your way to your destination. Be careful in the Panama la Vieja ruins area. There is tourist police, but it is best not to wander into adjacent neighborhoods alone, especially at night. Casco Viejo is relatively safe after dusk, but avoid poor neighborhoods like El Chorillo. Avoid Santa Ana, Curundu, and San Miguel. The safest neighborhoods are in the center: Marbella, El Cangrejo, Obarrio, San Francisco, and the Banking Area. However, keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK :

Standard safety precautions are recommended in Panama. Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour as you would in any other country. Watch out for petty crime in tourist areas and protect your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK :

Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK :

Muggings have happened in urban areas. People walking alone are often the targets, especially at night. In case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK :

As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you like a tap on the shoulder, spitting or getting something spilled on you. Credit card skimming is also common.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK :

Overall, taxis and public transportation are safe. Make sure you book a ride or use radio taxis from places like a hotel when possible as there have been reports of traveler being robbed and assaulted by taxi drivers. Picking up multiple travelers in Panama is common, but you should insist that taxi drivers not to do this.


Flooding and landslides can happen during heavy rains and may result in public transportation disruptions. Western Panama is located in an active seismic zone. The hurricane season extends from June to November. Monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK :

There is no recent history of terrorism in Panama. However, they should not be ruled out, so remain vigilant for suspicious activity.


Many women travel safely without any issues. However, there have been reports of sexual assault throughout the country. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Remain extra vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis.


Useful Information

Some countries may need a visa to enter Panama like AustraliaCanadaJapan, and the US. The tourist visa is stamped on arrival, and the cost is automatically included in your airfare and is valid for 180 days as of August 2010.  Your passport must be valid for at least the next six months. is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Panama is the balboa, which is fixed at a rate of 1:1 with the US dollar. ATMs are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in main cities, but be careful of possible scamming and never leave your card out of sight. Due to counterfeit problems, it is recommended to carry small bills; hotels and shops will only accept US$20 notes or require an ID for use of larger bills.
Panama has a tropical climate. There is little seasonal variation; temperatures are high and humid. On a typical dry-season day in Panama City, the early morning minimum may be 24 °C (75.2 °F) and the afternoon maximum 30 °C (86.0 °F).
The busiest international airport in Panama is Tocumen Interantional Airport (PTY). If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page