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 10 places you have to visit to get the best experience out of Panama’s nightlife.
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.
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.
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.
Casa Jaguar starts as a restaurant but once the clock strikes midnight, this place gets wild! The best thing about Casa Jaguar is that it has two ambiances: a large indoor area that places a mix of music and an outdoor patio with electronic music.
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.
Patio Casco is a bohemian open-air bar with awesome happy hour specials every day from 6 pm – 11 pm.
Envy is one of the only official LGBT venues you’ll find in Panama City. They host events from Tuesday to Saturday that range from drag shows to go-go dancers with an open bar included in the cover charge.
So that’s my top 10 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:
Selina: Staying at Selina means you can be in a beautifully designed space without breaking the bank. The property features a rooftop pool, cinema, restaurants, a library, and a communal kitchen. The standard rooms start at $75/night but they even have cheaper options if you’re willing to share a bathroom or be in one of the dormitories.
Tantalo: Tantalo is one of the hippest boutique hotels in Casco Viejo with uniquely designed rooms and home to Panama City’s hottest rooftop bar.
American Trade Hotel: If trendy & chic design is what you’re after, this is the place for you. The American Trade Hotel is one of the few spots in Casco with a pool so you can spend the day meandering through the charming streets and then relax in the pool before a fun night out – plus the hotel is gorgeous.