Planning Your Time

Panama City is a large metropolis with a variety of noteworthy neighborhoods and daunting traffic. You can explore some areas on foot, but many neighborhoods are quite far apart, making a taxi necessary to travel between them. It's best to group your preferred activities and attractions by neighborhood and tackle one area of the city at a time. Start early and plan for lunch during the hottest midday hours, then head out again. The Casco Viejo is a destination unto itself and should be treated as such, whereas it's easy to combine visits to the parks and the Miraflores locks visitor center in a day trip. Panamá Viejo is a bit removed from other attractions, so plan it as a separate morning or afternoon excursion. Shopping, dining, and nightlife are easy to squeeze in no matter the weather, thanks to large malls like MultiPlaza, Albrook, MultiCentro, and Soho. If you're here during the rainy season, you can expect downpours nearly every afternoon; they usually only last for about 20 minutes, so you can duck into a restaurant and have a cup of coffee or a drink until the deluge subsides. Most, though not all, museums are closed on Monday. Farmacia Arrocha has a dozen large pharmacies scattered around the city that are open 24 hours. Maps, brochures, and basic information are available at the Autoridad de Turismo Panama stands in the the Tocumen and Allbrook airports.

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