I’m back in Panama after a two week trip to Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, and Amsterdam! This was my first trip to Europe and I headed there with a group of five other friends.

Right now is actually a great time to visit Europe because of the exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar and Euro. During my trip there was only a 11% – 12% difference between the currencies so if I spent €1 on something that would convert to to $1.11, basically the same.

Cost Comparisons between Europe and Panama City

  • I found eating out to cost about the same as in Panama City. Tax and tip is normally included in the price so if something on the menu costs €8, there is nothing more you need to calculate to pay.
  • Paying cover at bars was usually around €10 BUT normally included two drinks which is something never included in Panama City cover charges. Mixed drinks were normally around €8, which has become comparable to the cost of a mixed drink in Panama City.
  • Public transportation definitely cost more than Panama City but it was actually reliable and very easy to navigate. In Barcelona I bought a T10 ticket for €10, which allowed me 10 rides on any form of public transportation.
  • Hostels were EXPENSIVE compared to places I’ve stayed in Central and South America. For the most part they started at €20 per a person to be in a dorm and went way up from there. Since we had a group of six people it was cheaper for us to rent apartments through airbnb, which was more comfortable and gave us a local experience.

I didn’t have time to work on the blog at all while I was there because we were so busy and I had to keep up with the work for the company I manage social media for, so here’s what I was up to while I was gone:


We took the direct flight on Iberia Airlines from Panama City to Madrid. We only got to spend a night here before heading to Barcelona so I hope I can return here someday to get to know the city better.



I spent six days in Barcelona and it was the city I felt the most connection with during the trip. Weather was great, it was easy to get around, nice beaches, epic parties, amazing architecture, and the list goes on.


I have to say Rome was my least favorite city during the trip. I enjoyed seeing the Colosseum and other historical sites but it was so overpacked with tourists that it took away from the experience. My favorite part was our last day there and I explored a neighborhood called Trastevere which actually had locals, good restaurants, and only a few tourists roaming around.


Amsterdam was a very cool city! There are very few cars and instead everyone gets around on bikes and the tram.

One of my favorite parts about living in Panama are the amount of international people I’ve met here. While in Amsterdam I was able to reunite with a few friends that used to live in Panama but have moved back home and were located a short distance away.

Experience Panama


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 7+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!

Leave a Reply