Casco Viejo Tourist Attractions & Monuments

Casco Viejo is Disneyworld for history buffs. The neighborhood's rich and sordid history dates back centuries and a sharp eye can still find vestiges of every phase of growth on display. From the original colonial wall, to beautiful Art Deco building facades to the excellent Canal Museum, experiencing everything this neighborhood has to offer can take days even though its all packed neatly into only a few squares blocks. So drop the map, get your camera, and spend some quality time wandering the vibrant streets.

Name Description Photo
Antiguo Club Union Once the playground for Manuel Noriega and the Panamanian elite, this amazing structure fell into disrepair in recent years thanks to neglect and a military invasion. The ruins of the building have b...
Antiguo Club Union
Plaza Herrera Plaza Herra sits on the edge of the more gentrified area of Casco Viejo and its clear it has seen more illustrious times. The surrounding buildings, many large residences originally, have beautiful fa...
Plaza Herrera
Iglesia Santo Domingo and the Flat Arch (Arco Chato) Originally constructed in the 17th century, the church and convent of Santo Domingo were never rebuilt after a fire that destroyed them in 1756. The only thing that did survive – for centuries – w...
Iglesia Santo Domingo and the Flat Arch (Arco Chato)
La Iglesia de La Merced The construction of Iglesia de la Merced dates back 1680 and the beautiful baroque facade was brought over stone by stone from Panamá Vieja, the original city center founded by the Spaniards. It is b...
La Iglesia de La Merced
Palacio and Salon Bolivar Salón Bolívar is part of beautifully renovated colonial building Palacio Bolivar on the Plaza. Lucky visitors of the palace that now serves as Panama’s Foreign Ministry offices are afforded a wate...
Palacio and Salon Bolivar
Plaza Bolivar Plaza Bolívar is a small plaza surrounded by 19th-century architecture and is one of the most pleasant places in Casco Viejo, day or night. The plaza gets little road traffic and is trimmed with cafe...
Plaza Bolivar
La Iglesia San Felipe Neri San Felipe de Neri was inaugurated in 1688 and is considered one of the oldest churches in the city. It has been home to many things over time, including a school, a seminary and a center for Catholic...
La Iglesia San Felipe Neri
Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus The Iglesia de la Compania de Jesús and surrounding buildings were constructed around 1741 to accommodate a school and were later turned into a university. The church was destroyed by a fire in 1781 ...
Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus
Museum of Colonial Religious Art (Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial) Next to the ruins of the Iglesia Santo Domingo and the Flat Arch (Arco Chato) sits the Museum of Colonial Religious Art (Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial), a small museum that displays a collection of...
Museum of Colonial Religious Art (Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial)
Presidential Palace (Palacio de las Garzas) Palacio de las Garzas is the official residence of the President and bears its name because of resident African herons who were brought as a gift in 1922 after the final renovations were completed und...
Presidential Palace (Palacio de las Garzas)
The Emerald Museum Admission to this museum is free but you must pass through their tempting emerald jewelry store on the way out. The museum is small but gives a good overview of the emerald mining industry and its his...
The Emerald Museum
Las Bovedas Monument Las Bóvedas, the vaults or dungeons, originally formed part of the fortification wall around Casco Viejo and create a border around Plaza Francia. They were restored in 1983 and are now home to galle...
Las Bovedas Monument
Iglesia San Jose The main attraction at the Iglesia de San José is the famous Altar de Oro (Golden Altar) which was miraculously saved after the sacking of Panamá Viejo. According to local legend, when word came of ...
Iglesia San Jose
Iglesia San Francisco de Asis Iglesia San Francisco de Asis is one of the smallest but most ornate churches in Casco Viejo. It sits on Plaza Bolivar across the street from the National Theater. As were many of the buildings in the...
Iglesia San Francisco de Asis
Esteban Huertas Promenade Somewhat reminiscent of the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, walking along this promenade is the best way to end your afternoon in Casco Viejo. It's full of tourists, vendors and young couples taking in the o...
Esteban Huertas Promenade
History Museum of Panama Located on the second floor of the Municipal Palace building, the Museum of History presents documents, artifacts, paintings, sculptures and pieces from throughout Panama's history. You are certain to...
History Museum of Panama
Mercado de Mariscos The Mercado de Mariscos is the city fish market, open for business to local restaurants and the public every day except the 3rd Monday of each month when it is closed completely for thorough cleaning....
Mercado de Mariscos
Canal Museum The Panama Canal Museum is located in a beautifully restored building that was once the office space of the French Canal Company, the U.S. Isthmian Canal Commission offices and then, in 1912, the main...
Canal Museum
National Institute of Culture (Instituto Nacional de Cultural) The National Institute of Culture (Instituto Nacional de Cultura de Panama - INAC) was formerly the Supreme Court building and now houses a small theater (Anita Villalaz Theatre) and events throughout...
National Institute of Culture (Instituto Nacional de Cultural)
Casa Gongora Casa Góngora is one of the oldest houses in Panama and the last surviving example in the city of domestic colonial architecture of the 17th century. The house was built around 1760 and named after Pa...
Casa Gongora
Catedral Metropolitana The magnificent Catedral de Panamá, one of the largest in Central America, was completed in 1796 and practically abandoned until a major renovation in 2003. Today it stands over Plaza Catedral (Plaza...
Catedral Metropolitana
National Theatre (Teatro Nacional) The National Theater was inaugurated in 1908 and is built on the site of an 18th century monastery. When it was first opened, it enjoyed fame as a glamorous destination for the city's elite but it gr...
National Theatre (Teatro Nacional)
Plaza Francia Originally the main square of the walled city, Plaza Francia was designed by Leonardo de Villanueva and is dedicated to the French effort to build the Panama Canal and the thousands of people from aro...
Plaza Francia
Galería Juan Manuel Cedeno Juan Manuel Cedeño is one of the most famous Panamanian artists, along with Guillermo Trujillo and Alfredo Sinclair. He is most famous for his drawings and sketches - clean, precise, subtle and movin...
Galería Juan Manuel Cedeno
Official Office of Casco Viejo This is the official government office representing Casco Viejo. Free walking tours of the area can be arranged through the office and are available Friday-Sunday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm departing from Pla...
Official Office of Casco Viejo
Plaza de La Independencia / Plaza Catedral Plaza Independencia, also known as Plaza Mayor and Plaza Catedral, is the main square in Casco Viejo. The country's independence from both Spain and Colombia were celebrated here and busts of Panama's...
Plaza de La Independencia / Plaza Catedral

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About Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo is the historic district and cultural gem of Panama City. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, Casco Viejo was established around 1673 by the Spanish colonialists, the Catholic Church, and other settlers. Historically one of the richest and most densely... Read More »

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