I have never been a fan of big cities but I enjoy a few days wandering in an old city inside a bigger city. Panama City lies on Pacific side of Panama and is large, maybe a million people. But is is a city with lots of color, noises, smells, old and new standing side by side and vibrant people of all ages.
Rooftop view from a nearby restaurant to across the bay and modern PC .
The old mingled with new buildings. There may be 300 years age difference here ( or more)
We stayed in a hostel/hotel in the old city called the Magnolia Inn which was beautiful. We chose to go into a dorm room for 6 people with 3 sets of bunkbeds. Cost was $13 each per night and other than freezing when someone turned the AC to max, it was great. The hostel is used by many Peace Corp workers so we met lots of interesting young people, many Americans doing interesting things. We felt safe enough in this part of town but recieved many warnings about where NOT to go. The hostel provided coffee in the morning and had a kitchen for use by all. It was an old beautiful building with high ceilings, dark old wood aand stone staircase and stone walls.
We spent a day sightseeing on the Hop On Hop Off bus. It took us to the Panama Canal Mira Flores Lock where we watched ships passing through the locks. You could see off in the distance the construction of the new bigger locks that should be ready for use next year. We went to the Albrook Mall, the largest mall in Panama with so many stores and people. Very modern mall. We toured the ring road out to Flamenco Marina and wandered the new waterfront on a sunday morning. It was so busy with runners, walkers, bikers, families playing together enjoying the well thought out waterfront. But those pictures are lost for now.