Colors of Casco Viejo, Panama | - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

Colors of Casco Viejo, Panama

Casco Viejo Panama City 14
Casco Viejo Panama City 8

It has been over six months since my trip to Panama but the vivid colors of their architecture and culture are still fresh in my head. In today's post I am sharing about Casco Viejo. It has some amazing views, unique art, charming little shops, restaurants and bars.

History of Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo was once the hub of Panamanian culture and civilization. It was founded in 1673, after the former capital Panama Viejo burnt down and was looted during a pirate attack. It was however, later abandoned when modern Panama City sprouted its skyscrapers across the bay.

In 1997 the UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site and gave financial incentives for restoration projects. Twenty years later, the historic district is still a work in progress, but that’s exactly where it's charm lies. 

Walking the streets of this quarter is one of the most unique and satisfying experiences one can have: you can witness the burned-out shells of old, dilapidated, cracked buildings along-side the chic new coffee houses, gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels, and some of Panama’s hottest clubs and bars. Thankfully the restoration has been done in a way that it preserves the old architecture and feel of the existing buildings instead of demolition and building them up from scratch. 

Before the reconstruction, Casco was a place of gang wars and street violence. Now it’s relatively safer. Just make sure you don’t wander in dark alleys or alone at night, though the Tourist Police is on patrol in large numbers in Casco and will probably stop you from heading out of the safe areas.

What to do in Casco Viejo

You can easily walk all of Casco in less than a day. But there’s so much to see and do here, you should spend a couple of days exploring the churches, palaces, plazas, restaurants, cafés, markets, and streets, and alleys. 

Shopping: There are a few crafts markets which sell souvenirs and handmade crafts, as well as jewelry, pearls and colorful, traditional tapestries called molas. 

Plazas: Casco Viejo has plenty of large open-air plazas where locals and tourists alike hang out, relax, and enjoy a coffee or beer. Check out Plaza Bolívar, which is surrounded by beautifully restored buildings from the 19th century. Plaza Herrera has a more local and rough feel. And directly in front of the Catedral Metropolitana in the very heart of this barrio is the popular Plaza de la Independencia (also called Plaza de la Catedral).

Churches: Panama is a Catholic country, so you’ll find a lot of beautiful old churches here. Some are impressive from the outside (Catedral Metropolitana, San Francisco de Asis), others from the inside (San José), while others are beautiful both in and out (La Merced). 

Food: I happen to have had some of the most delicious meals here. Casco has a wide variety of great dining options. I especially enjoy my meals at The Dining Room in American Trade Hotel, CBP Capital Bistro Panama, and L'Osteria. 

Nightlife: If you like to party, Casco has a wide selection of great bars and clubs. One of the most popular one is the rooftop bar at Tantalo.

Below are few pictures taken all around Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo Panama City 1 Casco Viejo Panama City 2 Casco Viejo Panama City 4 Casco Viejo Panama City 6 Casco Viejo Panama City 5 Casco Viejo Panama City 8 Casco Viejo Panama City 10 Casco Viejo Panama City 12 Casco Viejo Panama City 13 Casco Viejo Panama City 15 Casco Viejo Panama City 17 Casco Viejo Panama City 18 Casco Viejo Panama City 19 Casco Viejo Panama City 20




  1. Tourist Police -- that's interesting. I love that even though you're wearing a black jumpsuit, your accessories are just as colorful as Panama.

  2. Tanvi! These shots are beautiful! Panama looks so rich and full of history! Love your little jumpsuit too. I have the exact same one but mine ties at the shoulders!

  3. Love the photos! I would love to visit Panama someday! And your jumpsuit is so cute!

    Belle |

  4. I'd love to go one day! I really want to stay at the Ace Hotel there.

  5. I love this easy-breezy jumpsuit! It looks so chic and comfy at the same time!

  6. Gorgeous pictures! And I love your shoes, where are your exact shoes from? The sam edelman are cute too, funky! Panama reminds me a lot of the architecture in San Juan. Definitely would like to visit someday! :)

  7. I love visiting beautiful colorful cities! These pictures are beautiful.

  8. Such a beautiful place! I must visit panama at least once :)

  9. I love Panama’s Casco Viejo. You photos remind me so much of my own stroll thru thru the narrow streets. I think I love this place so much because it reminds me a lot of Old San Juan, the place I visited so many times when I was a kid. The new part of town has changed a lot since I visited.

    Kim |


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