Nestled within the bustling metropolis of Panama City lies a true gem – Casco Viejo, a vibrant historic district with an allure all its own. Known for its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, colonial architecture, lively dining, and an ever-evolving nightlife scene, Casco Viejo has reemerged as a must-visit destination. Here, we’ll guide you through the neighborhood’s revitalization and introduce you to some of the hottest new spots in town.
A Historic Haven: Casco Viejo’s Timeless Charm
Casco Viejo, also known as Casco Antiguo, paints a beautiful picture of Panama’s history and culture. It’s the heart of the old city, characterized by narrow streets, historic squares, and striking colonial buildings. A leisurely stroll along these charming cobblestone streets takes you on a journey through time, as you admire the architectural treasures that have stood for centuries.
A Culinary Renaissance in Casco Viejo
In recent years, Casco Viejo has seen a resurgence in its culinary scene, with a plethora of new restaurants offering delectable dishes. Here are a few that should be on your gastronomic radar:
Donde José is a popular restaurant in Casco Viejo that serves Panamanian tasting menus. The restaurant is known for its creative and innovative cuisine and is a great place to try Panamanian food at its best.
Casco Antiguo is a popular restaurant in Casco Viejo that serves Latin American cuisine. The restaurant called “La Pulperia” has a lively atmosphere, and is known for its delicious food and cocktails.
Fonda Lo Que Hay
Fonda Lo Que Hay is a popular restaurant in Casco Viejo that serves Panamanian and Latin American cuisine. The menu changes daily, but you can expect to find dishes such as ceviche, empanadas, and grilled fish. The restaurant is known for its fresh ingredients and delicious food.
Restaurante Santa Rita
Restaurante Santa Rita is a popular restaurant in Casco Viejo that serves Argentinian and Spanish cuisine. The restaurant has a romantic atmosphere, and is known for its excellent steaks and tapas.
Rooftop Bars with a View
The allure of Casco Viejo doesn’t end with its restaurants; its skyline bars provide equally mesmerizing experiences. For an unforgettable night, consider these rooftop bars:
Sama Sky Lounge
This rooftop bar Sama Sky Lounge boasts an enchanting ambiance and captivating city views. Enjoy the creative cocktail menu as you bask in the night’s splendor.
Isaki Casco Rooftop
Located in the Casa de Oro hotel, Isaki Casco Rooftop offers a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to sip classic cocktails and soak in the surroundings.
A Diverse Array of Hotel Accommodations
If you decide to extend your stay in this enchanting neighborhood, you’ll find a variety of accommodations to choose from:
Central Hotel Panamá Casco Viejo: Nestled in a lovingly restored colonial building, this hotel offers luxurious accommodation and a rooftop pool. Immerse yourself in colonial elegance with a modern twist.
Selina Casco Viejo Panama City & Cowork: This hostel provides a range of room types, from dorms to private rooms. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace with a pool and bar/restaurant for a relaxed and social atmosphere.
La Concordia Boutique Hotel Casco Viejo: Housed in an 1800s building, this elegant hotel boasts a rooftop bar and eatery with breathtaking views of the bay and city. Immerse yourself in history with the luxuries of the present.
Planning Your Visit to Casco Viejo
Before you embark on your journey to Casco Viejo, here are some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:
- Optimal Timing: The best time to visit Casco Viejo is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. This period offers pleasant weather and clear skies for exploring the neighborhood.
- Explore on Foot: Casco Viejo is a highly walkable neighborhood. Most attractions and dining options are within walking distance, making it easy to explore at your own pace.
- Savor Local Flavors: Delight your taste buds with local Panamanian cuisine. Don’t miss out on classics like sancocho, ceviche, and arroz con pollo. These dishes are a testament to the country’s rich culinary traditions.
- Safety First: Casco Viejo is a safe neighborhood, but it’s always wise to be vigilant and take precautions against petty theft. Keep an eye on your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings.
Casco Viejo, Panama City’s historic district, is a neighborhood reborn with a lively culinary scene, rooftop bars, and a range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s taste. It’s a place where history meets modernity, and where the past and the present harmoniously coexist. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply seeking a vibrant experience, Casco Viejo has something to offer. So, pack your bags, embark on your adventure, and prepare to fall in love with the enchanting streets and flavors of this captivating district.