Panama City, Panama – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

Updated in 2022.

Often mistaken by Google for Panama City, Florida in my online searches, Panama City is the largest city and capital of the Central American country of Panama.

It is an important international financial and commercial hub, and home to one of the largest Carnival celebrations outside of Brazil. Has similar vibe and layout to American cities.

POPULATION: 1,300,000


Skip the guesswork and develop your ideal Latin Life Plan with our consultation services:

Schedule Your Personal Consultation With My Latin Life


RENT AN APARTMENT IN PANAMA CITY

$600.00 can be done in a safe neighbourhood like Rio Abajo (predominantly West Indian community), but if you want to rent anywhere close to the seawall or Calle Argentina, you’re looking at $700 at the least.

 

THINGS TO DO IN PANAMA CITY

Get out of the city! Seriously, the nature in Panama is stunning and unique.

You’ll want to check out Bocas del Toro, Boquete, and Pedasi.

 

NIGHTLIFE IN PANAMA CITY

8.5/10 

Most clubs are on or around Calle Uruguay. There are some classy spots around Casco Viejo and Calle Argentina as well.

The nightlife on Calle Uruguay is a phenomenal mix of locals and internationals. What it isn’t, however, is cheap or inclusive, so dress accordingly. You’re looking at a $10 cover to get into most bars, but once you’re in, it’s a good time.

Nightlife in Panama is a good time — don’t miss out.

I recommend: MoodsBecause they play music that isn’t all top 40, and it’s a bit less bourgeois than Prive.Girls are hotter at Prive and other places, but I don’t own clothes that nice.

 

IS PANAMA CITY SAFE?

Panama is one of the safer Central American cities. But, there are a few slums that have a reputation for gang violence. El Chorrillo is reportedly one of these slums and borders Casco Viejo, a popular tourist destination. I walked through El Chorrillo many times with no issues.

 

COST OF LIVING IN PANAMA CITY

The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.

*Figures are listed in USD

You’ll need a minimum of $1708 USD/month to live in Panama City, Panama

cost-of-living-panama-city-panama

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Banking. I’m sure many major America banks are up to no good here in Panama City, so if you work for one, you could aim for a transfer.

I knew a guy who worked as a private English teacher here, and there is a market considering the business environment and amount of tourism, but you’d have to work for yourself. Panamanians look after their own first when it comes to work, so getting a work visa will be tough.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

A good time. Panama City has decent food, relatively cheap living costs and a pretty good airport.

Try to come during Carnival in March if you can. All the rich people flee for Las Tablas because they think that the Panama City Carnival is too dangerous. That gets all of the prudes out of your way so you can really enjoy yourself. The lineup to get into the fairgrounds can be about 1 km long, but don’t let that intimidate you; It moves fast.

Panama City would be worth an extended stay if you can find affordable housing in a good location.

 

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10

 

Skip the guesswork and develop your ideal Latin Life Plan with our consultation services:

Schedule Your Personal Consultation With My Latin Life