Panamanians always enjoy a good party! The nightlife here offers a little bit of something for everyone, from underground lairs to chic nightclubs with Panama’s “yeyecito” crowd. Most of the spots on this list are located in Casco Viejo, which in recent years has become the new epicenter of Panama City nightlife (so stay in this neighborhood if you like to party). From Sunday – Wednesday bars close at 3 am and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday bars close at 4 am. There are a few secret spots that stay open later but you’ll have to discover those for yourself 🙂
Here are the top places you have to visit to get the best experience out of Panama’s nightlife.
Panama Bar Crawl
If you’re looking to experience the best of Panama City nightclub with a fun crowd, the Panama Bar Crawl is a must-do. Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo boasts some of the capital’s hippest bars, but finding the best spots requires local know-how. With this bar crawl you’ll get one included drink at each of five happening places, joining a party crew of energetic guides and fellow travelers. The guides know the neighborhood, which means you can focus on having fun.
Noa Nikkei goes from being a trendy restaurant in the day to a trendy nightclub in the evening. This where you can avoid the kids as it attracts a 30+ crowd. Be sure to dress very nicely as this is one of the nicest spots to go out.
Selina is where you’ll find the cool kids of Panama City sipping on cocktails and craft beer. The decor is tropical chic, utilizing lots of plants and vibrant murals splashed along the walls. They organize lots of weekly events like live salsa music, electronic music DJs, acoustic concerts, and more – so you can always count on something going on. You can also stay at Selina if you want to always be in the middle of the action.
La Tana is the current hotspot locals are flocking to for a lush club experience. They typically play a mix of reggaeton, electronic, and current top 40 music and have an exclusive table and bottle service.
Stringed lights, good DJ, skyline view, and trendy Panamanians and foreigners always create the perfect party atmosphere at Tantalo’s Rooftop. On Tuesday’s they have Artes Martes where they have a live artistic performance, Wednesday is Latin Night, Thursday is Ladies Night, and on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday you’ll find a trendy crowd dancing to the latest DJ mixes.
Buena Vaina Social Club
Buena Vaina Social Club is one of the few places where you’ll find something fun going on every night. Most nights of the week (including Sunday) feature music from Panama City’s electronic music scene but just listen outside the club first to see what they’re playing before going in.
This open-air tropical bar is where you’ll find fun electronic music Djs playing on Friday or Saturday. Be sure to visit their instagram page @biergartenpanama to see the latest events. Also, this isn’t a place to come super early to as most locals won’t be there until midnight.
El Tropicana Salsa Club
El Tropicana Salsa Club is one of the best spots for salsa right now. They feature a live orchestra with amazing shows that you can watch and participate in salsa dancing in between. On Saturdays at 5 pm they offer a Cuban style salsa class for $5.
El Sotano / El Apartamento
There’s no place like home, right? El Sotano (The Basement) and El Apartamento (The Apartment) have transformed a giant yellow house in Bella Vista into a bar and event venue. You can usually find live music on the first floor or head up to El Apartamento, which literally looks like an apartment, to listen to chill indie jams and enjoy a few drinks. It’s also LGBT-friendly and hosts Ru Paul viewing parties and other events throughout the week.
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El Viejo Santana
El Viejo Santana is an upscale venue located on the edge of Casco Viejo and Santa Ana. They have parties on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mostly playing reggaeton.
Late Night Music
Late Night Music is not an actual venue but they organize some amazing electronic music parties in Panama City. Some of the best events are the boat parties and their annual event in Mi Pueblito. You can view their Instagram page @latenight_music to see if there is a special event while you’re in town.
Lazotea is a trendy rooftop bar in Casco Viejo that is perfect for relaxing with a cocktail. They often have events throughout the week with live music or reggaeton.
Chupitos is a legendary spot in Casco Viejo with other 100 shot recipes with lots of fire involved! Music here is mostly reggaeton.
So that’s my top list of nightspots to visit before you leave Panama. If you want to be steps away from the nightlife I recommend staying in Casco Viejo! Besides being able to walk home from the bar you are in the heart of the city’s cultural and dining scene. These are some of my favorite spots to stay in Casco Viejo: