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Neighborhoods in Panama City: The Definitive Expat Summary

No two people are alike. The same can be said for any two neighborhoods in Panama City. 
Regardless of which city you’re in, there’s always a different ‘feel’ to each neighborhood. The architecture, shops, restaurants, and the people who call a neighborhood home all contribute to its unique vibe.
So what are Panama City’s most notable and popular neighborhoods?
This article will catch you up on the neighborhoods in Panama City that are well known and what makes each one special.

Punta Pacifica

If you’re in Punta Pacifica, you’re bound to find yourself looking upwards. This small but central neighborhood overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is home to some of the city’s most impressive skyscrapers. Many of these luxurious buildings are popular residences for locals and expats alike. Which makes Punta Pacifica an important location for real estate investment. 

neighborhoods in panama city - Punta Pacifica

Aside from stunning residential offerings, Punta Pacifica offers luxury in other ways as well. The large Multiplaza Mall is nearby, as is the private Punta Pacifica hospital. What the neighborhood lacks in size it makes up for in height and services.  

Learn all you need to know about Punta Pacifica…

Casco Viejo

Panama City’s historic center oozes with history, culture, gastronomy, and charm. Efforts have been made by the government to revitalize and repair parts of the city’s once-crumbling historic center. Now, Casco Viejo is home to many of the city’s top boutique hotels, restaurants, and historic real estate.

Casco Viejo - neighborhood in panama city

Whether you’re looking for an organic café, a charming plaza, or a club where you can dance the night away, Casco Viejo has it all.

Learn all you need to know about Casco Viejo…

El Cangrejo

El Camgrejo is traditionally a residential neighborhood for middle-class Panamanians. Since then, El Cangrejo has become a diverse and vibrant neighborhood. Plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés rest along the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. (Via Argentina).


Nearby, residents take advantage of Andres Bello Park to go for a jog, relax in the shade of a tree, or spend time outdoors with friends and family.
Unlike many central neighborhoods in the capital, El Cangrejo is home to many older buildings. However, you will find some really cool new builds, such as Zaphiro, that have recently popped up in 2019.
It’s also one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Panama City lending it a charming and friendly vibe.

Learn all you need to know about El Cangrejo…

Avenue Balboa

Stretching along the Panama Bay, Avenue Balboa is one of the most sought-after addresses. This is down to its luxury buildings, stunning views, and convenient location. Here you will find some of the city’s newest and highest-profile apartment buildings. Most of which come complete with rooftop pools, and ample social areas.

Avenida Balboa neighborhood in panama

There’s plenty else along Avenue Balboa besides residential buildings, though. From the avenue, it’s easy to access the Cinta Costera for all your outdoor exercise needs.
You’ll likely pay a premium for an address on Avenue Balboa, but most residents would agree that it’s worth it.

Learn all you need to know about Avenue Balboa…


Obarrio really does have a little bit of everything to offer visitors and residents. Home to the famous screw-shaped F&F Tower, Obarrio continues to grow in popularity with young professionals. (Since it’s home to many companies and businesses)
Obarrio isn’t just about work though. The area also offers tons of great restaurants, shopping (including the popular SOHO mall), and grocery stores.

obarrio panama city

There are plenty of large hotels, casinos, and varied dining options which also makes it popular with out-of-towners as well. Whether it’s dining or apartments, and whether you’re looking for something upscale or laid-back, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Obarrio.

Check out our properties on the market in Obarrio…

Costa del Este

Costa del Este almost feels like a mini city-within-a-city. Popular with expats, many residents of Costa del Este work at corporations and send their children to schools in the area.
As a resident, you will rarely find a need to leave this little paradise on the city’s periphery. This insular feeling means that Costa del Este has a vibe that’s all its own. Many love Costa del Este for its relative peacefulness compared to some of the more centrally located areas of the city

Costa del este panama neighborhood

Learn all you need to know about Costa Del Este…


Another part of the city that you could almost confuse with somewhere in the United States is Clayton. Formerly a US military base, you may think you’re in the suburbs Miami when you’re there.
Clayton is also down the road from the City of Knowledge, a business center and collaborative space popular with tech companies and NGOs. As a result, you’ll find that most of Clayton’s residents are expats and individuals who work for said companies.

Clayton Panama City

Learn all you need to know about Clayton…

El Dorado

In the past, El Dorado may have been overlooked in favor of other more trendy or central neighborhoods. However, in more recent years this little corner of the city has become a respite for both locals and expats.

One thing that makes El Dorado unique is its vibrant Chinese community. Chinese families who had historically lived in Casco Viejo made their way to El Dorado to open their own businesses. Here they could enjoy the space and security of living outside the city’s downtown.
Today this means you will find a lot of local businesses and great Chinese restaurants. El Dorado also has plenty of shopping options (including a large mall with a movie theater), banks, offices, and supermarkets.

Check out our properties on the market in El Dorado…


Marbella is a neighborhood just off of Avenida Balboa that has great real estate and plenty of amenities and entertainment to match.
This area includes plenty of cafés, cocktail bars, and gourmet restaurants where residents and visitors flock.
It also includes the exclusive Balboa Boutiques Panama Strip Mall, which contains health spas, beauty salons, and high-fashion shopping.
Residents who enjoy spending time outdoors will head to the Cinta Costera where they can walk, jog, or bike to their heart’s content. All while they take in stunning views of the coast and city skyline.

Marbella - neighborhoods in panama

Check out our properties on the market in Marbella…

San Francisco

It’s pretty easy to see that Panama has something for everyone when it comes to different neighborhoods. But if you had to choose one area of the city that offers something for everyone, it would have to be in San Francisco.
San Francisco offers everything you could possibly need in the way of day-to-day amenities.
In addition to grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, and schools, San Francisco has a great diversity of restaurants.

San Francisco Panama

It also includes the exclusive Balboa Boutiques Panama Strip Mall, which contains health spas, beauty salons, and high-fashion shopping.
Residents who enjoy spending time outdoors will head to the Cinta Costera where they can walk, jog, or bike to their heart’s content. All while they take in stunning views of the coast and city skyline.

Check out our properties on the market in San Francisco

As you can see, the different neighborhoods in Panama City cater to all different types of residents and visitors. Whether you’re looking for hustle and bustle, quiet and relaxing, or something in between, we’ve got you covered.

Looking for real estate in Panama? Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular listings right now. If anything catches your eye, be sure to use the contact form next to the listing to request further information. One of our professional brokers will follow up with you in less than 24 hours!

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