Normally when you think of nightlife in Latin America, salsa dancing is the first thing that comes to mind. However, in Panama City, it can be difficult to uncover the salsa culture as reggaeton is the preferred genre of music. I did a bit of digging around and found that salsa lovers actually have a place to go almost every day of the week! Some places offer lessons for beginners or advanced dancers wanting to finite their skills, while others have a live band to put what you learned into action.

Here are the best spots to go salsa dancing in Panama City, Panama. 


Majestic Casino Multicentro

Every Monday & Tuesday at the Majestic Casino in Multicentro you can take a group salsa lesson for just $3. The classes start at 6:45 pm and go until 10 pm. Once you’re ready to test out your new salsa moves you can head back on Friday or Saturday after 10 pm for dancing to live salsa music.

Royal Casino Marriott

Every Tuesday at 6:30 pm you can take salsa lessons at the Royal Casino next to the Marriott Hotel for $3. They also have a live salsa orchestra every Friday & Saturday with free entry.

Casco Antiguo Spanish School

The Casco Antiguo Spanish School doubles as a salsa dancing studio every Wednesday. The class goes from 5 pm – 6 pm and is geared towards beginners. The cost is $10 / person or free for students taking Spanish lessons and you can reserve your spot via THIS LINK.

Umai Sushi Bar

Every Wednesday starting at 6 pm at Umai Sushi Bar inside the Occidental Hotel you can take a salsa dancing class for $3. For an additional $10 you can enjoy open margaritas which might better or worse your dance moves.

Paradise Banquet Hall

Every Thursday you can take salsa lessons at Paradise Banquet Hall (in the Galerias Obarrio shopping strip) for $5. Classes start at 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm and this is ideal for beginners that have never danced salsa as well as intermediate (they separate the groups). More info here…

Radisson Decapolis

Every Thursday the Radisson Decapolis hotel hosts free salsa lessons starting at 7 pm.

Zaza Lounge

Every Friday you can enjoy a live salsa band at Zaza Lounge in Casco Viejo for their weekly Latin Night. The music typically starts around 10 pm and will go until the wee hours of the night.

Star Bay Casino

Every Friday & Saturday at the Star Bay Casino next to Hilton has a free live orchestra band after 10 pm.


Potros Bar

Potros Bar is located in Plaza Concordia on Via España. They are open daily after 6 pm and play almost every type of Latin music: salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia, reggaeton, and more.



Malecón is one of the few spots that regularly offers live salsa music in the Casco Viejo area on Friday & Saturday nights after 10 pm. They do not offer lessons so this is a great spot to go to put your practice into action.


Where are your favorite spots to salsa in Panama City? Leave a comment below. 

Experience Panama City


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 10+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. I now rotate between living in Panama City, Bogotá, and Lima. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!


  1. BigDawgFan1969 Reply

    Definitely out-of-date info…
    Went to El Malecón last Fri, no live music at all.
    Went by Zaza, no live salsa music.
    Majestic Casino had a live salsa band, but only from 10pm-12am, and the scene was dead.
    Royal Casino did have a live salsa band until 1am, but then it was mostly DJ reggaetón after.
    On Sat night Star Casino at Hilton was rocking with a live salsa band and a huge crowd, so maybe that is the place to be.

  2. Gracias por sus comentarios chicos. Estarè en Panama en Julio y me encantaria aprender a bailar salsa, sè un poco ahora pero me falta mucho :). Saben si se necesita llevar un compañero para bailar o es facil de encontrar a alguien allá? Saludos Evy

  3. Janet L Sussman Reply

    Great article but these venues change with the wind. Majestic has been consistent for years but what was not mentioned is that the $3 also includes a drink both there and at the Royal. UMAI also offers a 2/1 sushi that night. The Decapolis is hit and miss and is sometimes held at the RUI poolside or other locations. There is now a Ruta de la Salsa in Casco with a variety of places. Eddy is an amazing promoter! Check out Internations Dance group as well. Bahia Alegres also has classes Wednesdays around 630 and there’s plenty of parking and right out Transistmica. Baile Latino usually gives a lists of what’s going on as well as does Salsa C & C. Parque Urraca has classes, I believe free and there is a rooftop Cuban Salsa in Cinco de Mayo. DJ Rafa posts his venues and Jose Luis has a grande following. Some also provide Bachata. If you are a musica latina addict, you can get your fix most any night of the week and some days!

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