Panama City’s Casco Viejo district was founded in 1674 after Pirate Captain Henry Morgan ransacked and burned down the original location. This developed into a beautiful Spanish colonial town which was then abandoned over time as residents moved into modern Panama City. A little over ten years ago, much of this area was still in ruins and many of the parts you can now walk through today were former dangerous “red zones.”
The Casco Viejo that you walk through today is safe and charming. Many of the deteriorating buildings have been restored to their former glory and are filled with cafes, street art, and new brick streets. You’ll find that it’s peaceful and quiet during the day and then comes alive at night once all of Panama City’s locals head to visit Casco’s trendy rooftop bars and epic parties.
As a visitor to Panama City, I recommend staying in this neighborhood if you can (most people that didn’t wish they had). The great thing about staying here is that you also have an array of stuff to do within a 12 block radius. And luckily as a visitor, you can feel like a local by staying in an apartment in this charming neighborhood. Staying in an apartment has an array of benefits like a full kitchen, larger space, and it’s usually a lot cheaper than a hotel room (but you will have to make your own bed in the morning). Here are the most gorgeous apartments available in Casco Viejo that you can actually stay in and get a glimpse of what life is like in the historic district.
The spacious three-bedroom apartment at Casa Mallet is perfect for large groups. The interior has a huge kitchen with a full dining table, living room, and a spiral staircase leading up to the bedrooms. But you may want to spend most of your time outside at the private rooftop pool!
The Casco Viejo Penthouse has to be one of the most impressive properties I’ve seen in the neighborhood. It has two bedrooms but can fit up to seven people with sofa beds in the common areas. Each space has been creatively designed and features tons of local artwork throughout the space. The highlight is definitely the outdoor area which features a small pool (shown in the feature photo), hammocks, and plenty of seating (feel free to invite me over for a beer).
The luxurious La Isabela Suites offers the convenience of a full apartment with the amenities of a hotel. Guests can benefit from 24-hour concierge assistance, full spa services, massage, a gourmet chef that cooks in their suite, a food shopping service, and a driver.
The Casco Viejo Ocean View Apartment has been lovingly restored and decorated with old-world charm and new-world amenities. The apartment is two floors with high ceilings, making it feel spacious. Plus it has a rooftop pool, gym, and your steps away from many great restaurants. Property available via AirBnb – Sign up through THIS LINK for $25 off your first stay.
The apartments at PH Maralta have up to four units you can rent, which also makes it ideal for a group trip. The highlight would definitely have to be the small outdoor jacuzzi!
At just $55 a night, this Stylish & Affordable apartment is perfect for a solo traveler or couple looking to stay in Casco Viejo on a small budget. According to reviews, it’s located on a quiet street which can be hard to find in this busy area. Property available via AirBnb – Sign up through THIS LINK for $25 off your first stay.
Feel like you’re relaxing in the Caribbean at the colorful Bocas Style Apartment in Casco Viejo. The apartment features two bedrooms and can fit up to five people. This is located in a part of Casco that hasn’t been so restored so it’s great for people that want to be intermixed with the real locals. You also have the famous Hippies restaurant below which has some of the neighborhood’s best happy hour specials.
Feel at home in the tastefully decorated one bedroom apartment at Casa Garay. Besides the gorgeous decor, the apartment is located on a quiet street in Casco Viejo so you can actually get some sleep.
This Casco Loft apartment is also located on a quieter block and has a spacious balcony with an amazing view of the Frank Gehry Museum and the ships entering the canal. It’s equipped with a professional kitchen for food lovers.
The Hummingbird Apartment is a two-story unit equipped with two-bedrooms. It features a balcony overlooking the magnificent Plaza Central, Casco’s largest and most important plaza.