On a hot muggy day in Panama this Epat Traveler found the latest eclectic beautiful hip district of Casco Viejo. Sun was setting with vibrant colors lighting up the old and newbuildings. What a beautiful sight to see. I knew then that for some amazing photos an early morning visit was in my future. Follow me on my travel journey through this varied eclectic historic district with my Lonely Planet Travel Book in hand.
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Brief History – Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo or San Felipe as it is also known by, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. A look back in time shows this historic district with Cathedrals, Churches, and multiple buildings that were in need for repair. Casco Viejo was founded in 1519 by the Conquistadors and is the oldest European Settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas.
The settlement was set up in a rectilinear grid which was typical of a European Town. Casco Viejo was affected by slave rebellion, fire, earthquake and pirate attacks therefore was abandoned. The replaced Historic District kept the same European Grid.
Wander this eclectic hip historic district with a unique blend of 19th-20th century architecture with French and Caribbean influences. The now restored builders are turned into museums, quaint shops, gourmet restaurants with upscale residences. These renovated buildings alongside those in need of repair, housed with poor families. Experience this eclectic mix of old and new as you walk down the streets in awe. Let us see where this beautiful city is located.
Location – Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo is located in Panama next to Panama City. Very easy to find and only a taxi ride away. Your hotel can help you with your taxi.
United, Delta, American, Copa, Avianca and other airlines offer flights to Panama City, Panama. For budget prices check the Skyscanner App for discount tickets.
Dine and Drink – Casco Viejo
Sample the wide variety of dine and drink places while there. They range from expensive to budget in Casco Viejo.
Coffee Shops, Bars and Nightclubs
- Los Del Patio [ bar & art gallery ]
- Raspados Julio [ mobile shaved ice cream cart ]
- Mojitos Sin Mojtos [ beer & BBQ spot ]
- La Casona [ unique ocean front art bar ]
- Saint Philipe Cafe [ local cafe with local dishes ]
- Vieja Habana [ enjoy a cuban cigar and drink next to the presidental guard station ]
- Relic [ bar located in the center of Luna’s Castle, hostel ]
- Habana Panama [ dance floor, bar with menu ]
- Casablanca [ extensive menu with outdoor seating ]
- Cedros [ outdoor seating and tavern style ]
- Los Cementinas Cafe and Bar
- DiVino Enoteca [ specializes in wine]
- Ciao Pescao [ Peruvian style seafood ]
- Platea Jazz Bar [ salsa Friday and Saturday ]
Top Tourist Attractions – Casco Viejo
The historic district is rich with history that dates back centuries. Wander the streets and see this eclectic hip district come to life. Here is a list of attractions and monuments to aid in your journey. Also make sure to visit the fine shops and souvenirs places.
- History Museum of Panama
- Canal Museum
- El Altar de Oro of San Jose Church
- El Arco Chato
- Las Bovedas Monument
- Presidential Palace
- The Emerald Museum
- Plaza Bolivar
- Plaza de Independencia
- Casa Gongora
Travel Tips – Casco Viejo
Lonely Planet – great books that I recommend and use!
Casco Viejo, Panama is a great day trip from Panama City. Another great day trip is to the Panama Canal. These both are must do’s when you are in town. Enjoy your trip to Panama and look for more blogs of my Expat Travel Adventures there.
Life is short go out and have an adventure!
Have you traveled to Panama? Please leave me a comment on any recommendations you have on your visit to Panama.
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