27 Best Bars in Panama City, Panama

Danilo's Jazz Club

Panama City Fodor's choice
Named for Panamanian jazz legend Danilo Pérez, this 50-seat venue has quickly become one of Panama City's premier live music venues. Small and intimate, Danilo's serves an array of cocktails and hosts a steady rotation of local and international talent.

Ego y Narciso

Casco Viejo Fodor's choice

This tapas restaurant has tables on Plaza Bolívar, with views of the illuminated Iglesia de San Francisco and other historic structures, making it one of the city's most romantic spots for a drink.

Calle 3 Este on Plaza Bolívar, Panama City, Panama
507-262--2045

Tántalo

Fodor's choice

The rooftop bar of this hip hotel has a great view of the city's skyline beyond the ancient roofs of Casco Viejo. Weekends vibrate with the boom-boom of deafening house music, though the quality of the DJs varies. You can get a relatively quiet drink here Sunday through Wednesday.

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Altabar

One of Panama's hottest dance clubs, Altabar has DJs from Wednesday to Saturday and a sleek decor of white sofas and a black tile floor. There's a mezzanine for those who prefer to watch the bodies moving to the techno beat from a safe distance.

Azul

This pool bar and grill on the 13th floor of the Trump Hotel is a popular weekend spot, thanks to its impressive view of the sea and the skycrapers of Costa del Este. An elevator at the back of the building offers access to the bar for nonguests.

Bora Bora Panamá

This spacious dance hall (formerly known as Habana Panamá) hosts a variety of DJs, live music, and musical styles, from rap to salsa to electronica. They also screen sports events, so call or check their Facebook page to find out what's happening. Musical groups and DJs perform on a large stage at the end of a long dance floor lined with plush booths, at the opposite end of which is a massive bar stocked with a wide variety of alcoholic refreshments.

Casablanca

Casco Viejo

Casablanca, on the ground floor of the old Hotel Colombia, has tables on beautiful Plaza Bolívar, which is a great spot for a drink and conversation at night. They have live Latin music Thursday through Saturday, when this place really hops.

Cielo

The pool bar on the roof of the Manrey Hotel is a popular weekend spot. DJs pump the crowd up and the danger of somebody falling into the pool increases with every martini served. The glowing-blue lap pool is surrounded by canopy couches, arm chairs, and tables, beyond which twinkle the city lights, making it a splendid spot for a drink any night.

El Panamá

El Cangrejo

The Hotel El Panamá is home to a large Crown Casino that is popular with Panamanians. It includes a bar that regularly hosts live music and DJs, and also offers decent lunch specials during the day.

Vía Veneto and Calle Eusebio Morales, Panama City, Panama
507-213--1274

El Pavo Real Panamá

El Pavo Real Panamá is an attractive, British-inspired pub on a quiet stretch of Vía Argentina. It has a long bar, indoor and outdoor seating, two pool tables, and serves bar food including fish-and-chips. They often have live music, mostly rock, on weekends, but you can always get a quiet drink on the front terrace.

Habibi's

Bella Vista

Habibi's is mainly a restaurant, and there are better dining options nearby, but its covered terrace is a good spot for a late-night drink on weekends, since it sits at the center of the Calle Uruguay action, and they serve till well past midnight.

Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megalopolis

Paitilla

The second floor of this massive hotel has two bars that are sometimes extremely crowded: Bling, a dance club, and Stage Bar, which hosts live bands. On the 62nd floor is Bits, a bar with indoor and outdoor seating.

Istmo Brew Pub

Istmo Brew Pub, next to Sevilla Suites hotel, serves several overpriced home brews, as well as the city's best selection of imported beers. It's a popular spot, with seating out front, inside, and on a back patio. There are pool tables and music. Sample the beers before ordering a house brew.

Jeronimo

Panama City
This attractive venue in Casco Viejo features art exhibits in the front, comfortable seating, and a bar in back, with live jazz by local groups like the talented young Alex Testa Quartet. Every month features different talent, so call or drop by to check the schedule.

Kayuco

Kayuco is a popular open-air bar and restaurant on the southwest corner of the marina on Isla Flamenco, with a view of the boats and the city's skyline in the distance. It's one of the few spots on the causeway for a drink by the water, and they serve fried seafood and other snacks into the wee hours.

La Rana Dorada

Casco Viejo

This popular microbrewery at the edge of Casco Viejo offers half a dozen home brews and a small menu. You can sit indoors or on the front terrace, which has a view of the modern skyline across the bay.

Las Bóvedas

This French restaurant on Plaza Francia has tables on the plaza and a bar inside one of the Bóvedas (arched, brick chambers dating from the colonial era) that often features live jazz on Friday night and salsa music on Saturday. Call to confirm the evening's entertainment.

Las Bóvedas

The bar at the French restaurant Las Bóvedas, on Plaza Francia, usually has live jazz on Friday night. There's a mellower atmosphere than the Latin vibe at nearby Platea, and they play earlier, starting around 7 pm. Call to confirm that the band is playing.

Manolo's

El Cangrejo

Manolo's is a café and restaurant on busy Vía Veneto with a wraparound terrace cooled by ceiling fans. There are better places to eat, but the terrace is a great place for people watching, a quiet drink, or a late-night snack, like an emparedado (sandwich).

Calle 55, Panama City, Panama
507-269--4514

Martini Bar

This large lounge, located in the Radisson Decapolis hotel, was once one of the city's hottest lounges, but it's now a nice spot for a quiet drink.

Mojitos Sin Mojitos

Casco Viejo

This funky little place on the southeast corner of Plaza Herrera looks like a construction site from the street, but at night the ancient walls and tropical foliage create a very cool atmosphere, which is complemented by the music of DJs and live bands, and the young crowd, which frequently spills out into the street and plaza.

Panama Marriott

Area Bancária

The Panama Marriott has a two-story Royal Casino next door that is quite popular with locals. It has live music most nights, and sometimes hosts concerts by the country's most popular groups.

Platea

Located on the ground floor of a restored colonial building, Platea sometimes hosts live Latin jazz; the venue is only open on Friday and Saturday nights. Call to confirm.

Platea

Casco Viejo

Platea may not have much of a dance floor, but the club—which is open only on Friday and Saturday nights—books hot salsa bands and is packed most Friday nights, when people dance in the aisles or wherever else there's room. The bartenders and waiters, dressed in black with Panama hats, are part of the show, as they dance while delivering mojitos and Cuba libres. On Saturday, Latin jazz, rock, and other types of live music are featured, so call ahead.

The Wine Bar

El Cangrejo

The Wine Bar, located on the ground floor of the Las Vegas Hotel Suites, has live Latin music nightly, mostly mellow duos or a guitarist. They have a decent selection of wines by the glass and serve good pizza and other snacks till late.

Calle Eusebio Morales, Panama City, Panama
507-265--4701

Veneto Hotel and Casino

El Cangrejo

The Veneto Hotel and Casino has one of the city's biggest and most popular casinos, which includes craps and poker, and a sea of slot machines. Expect live music, Panamanians and foreigners who simply come to party, and lots of Colombian prostitutes.

Vieja Havana

Cuban music, a massive, hardwood bar, and walls covered with photos and paintings of Cuba make it easy to imagine you're in Havana's old quarter as you sip a mojito.