The 8 Best Hostels in Panama City

Updated on: June 7, 2024 by Mick

Panama City, the capital of Panama, is a dynamic metropolis blending modern skyscrapers with rich history. Known for the famous Panama Canal, the city is a major hub for both business and tourism. For travellers looking to explore this vibrant city without breaking the bank, finding the best hostels in Panama City is a great way to experience all it has to offer while meeting new people and staying within budget.

The city boasts a variety of neighbourhoods, each with its own unique charm. Casco Viejo, the historic old quarter, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and lively nightlife. Modern areas like Punta Paitilla and Marbella offer a more contemporary vibe with shopping malls, high-end restaurants, and entertainment options. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or an adventurer, Panama City has something for everyone.

Quick Introduction to Hostels in Panama City

Panama City is a diverse and vibrant destination that attracts travellers from all over the world. Its hostels are known for their affordability, friendly atmospheres, and unique character. Staying in a hostel in Panama City provides an excellent opportunity to experience the city's culture, history, and modern attractions without spending a fortune. These hostels cater to a variety of travellers, from solo adventurers to groups, offering a range of accommodation options to suit different needs and preferences.

Here are some of the things you should consider before booking a hostel in Panama City:

Price - Hostels in Panama City are very affordable, making them a popular choice among budget travellers. Prices typically range from €10 to €25 per night for a bed in a shared dormitory. Private rooms are also available and usually cost between €25 and €50 per night, depending on the hostel and the amenities offered.

Location - Many of the best hostels in Panama City are strategically located in key areas, offering easy access to the city’s main attractions. The historic district of Casco Viejo is a popular spot, known for its colonial architecture, vibrant nightlife, and cultural landmarks. Other hostels can be found in modern neighbourhoods like Marbella and Punta Paitilla, which are close to shopping centres, restaurants, and public transportation. This variety of locations allows travellers to choose a hostel that best suits their itinerary and interests.

Amenities/Services - Hostels in Panama City offer a wide range of amenities and services to ensure a comfortable stay. Common facilities include free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens, and cosy common areas where guests can relax and socialize. Many hostels also provide free breakfast, organize social events, and offer tours and activities to help guests explore the city. Some even have added perks like rooftop bars, swimming pools, and co-working spaces, catering to the needs of modern travellers.

Staff - The staff at hostels in Panama City are known for their friendliness and helpfulness. They often go out of their way to make guests feel welcome and comfortable. Hostel staff typically speak multiple languages, including English, which makes it easier for international travellers to communicate. They are also a great resource for local tips and recommendations, helping guests discover hidden gems in the city and make the most of their stay.

Best Hostels in Panama City - Quick Answers

Here's a summary of the best hostels in Panama City organised into different categories:

The Best Hostels in Panama City

Here’s my comprehensive guide to the 8 best hostels in Panama City:

1. Magnolia Inn Casco Viejo

Magnolia Inn Casco Viejo Common Area

Magnolia Inn Casco Viejo is located in the heart of Panama City's historic district, Casco Viejo, known for its charming colonial architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and bustling nightlife. The inn combines historical elegance with modern amenities, creating a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere.

Housed in a beautifully restored French colonial mansion, Magnolia Inn offers a unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary comfort. The inn’s communal spaces, including a grand lobby and cosy lounge areas, provide a welcoming environment for guests to relax and socialize.

Magnolia Inn Casco Viejo Dorm Room

Magnolia Inn offers a variety of rooms, including private suites and shared dormitories. Each room is elegantly decorated and equipped with air conditioning, ensuring a comfortable and restful stay.

Magnolia Inn provides a range of services and amenities, including free high-speed Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, laundry facilities, and 24-hour reception. Guests can also enjoy the use of stylish common areas.

A quick overview of Magnolia Inn Casco Viejo

  • Historical Charm: The inn is housed in a beautifully restored French colonial mansion, offering a unique and elegant ambience.
  • Elegant Common Areas: Guests can relax in stylish common areas, including a grand lobby and cosy lounge spaces.
  • Communal Kitchen: A fully equipped communal kitchen allows guests to prepare their meals, adding convenience and flexibility to their stay.
  • Central Location: Situated in Casco Viejo, the inn is within walking distance of cultural landmarks, restaurants, and nightlife, making it an excellent base for exploring the city.
  • 24-Hour Reception: The 24-hour reception ensures that guests have assistance and security at all times, providing peace of mind during their stay.

Dorm beds from €14, Private rooms from €83
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

2. Hostal Casa Areka

Hostal Casa Areka Pool Area

Hostal Casa Areka is situated in the Punta Paitilla district of Panama City, a neighbourhood known for its upscale residential vibe and proximity to key attractions such as shopping centres, parks, and the waterfront. The hostel exudes a laid-back and homely atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for travellers seeking a relaxed and friendly environment.

The property includes a beautiful outdoor pool and garden area where guests can unwind. Hostal Casa Areka is particularly appreciated for its welcoming staff and community feel, making it a great choice for both solo travellers and groups.

Hostal Casa Areka Dorm Room

The rooms at Hostal Casa Areka include dormitories and private rooms, all equipped with air conditioning and comfortable bedding to ensure a pleasant stay.

Hostal Casa Areka offers various services and amenities to enhance the guest experience, including complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a fully equipped communal kitchen, and a relaxed common area.

A quick overview of Hostal Casa Areka

  • Outdoor Pool: The hostel boasts a beautiful outdoor pool, perfect for relaxing and cooling off after a day of exploring.
  • Complimentary Breakfast: Guests can start their day with a free and delicious breakfast, offering a variety of options.
  • Communal Kitchen: A fully equipped communal kitchen is available, allowing guests to prepare their meals and save on dining costs.
  • Friendly Staff: The staff at Hostal Casa Areka are known for their friendliness and helpfulness, ensuring a welcoming stay.
  • Relaxed Common Area: The hostel features a cosy common area where guests can socialize, relax, and share travel stories.
  • Great Location: Located in the upscale Punta Paitilla district, the hostel is close to shopping centres, parks, and the waterfront, providing convenient access to various attractions.

Dorm beds from €11, Private rooms from €32
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

3. El Machico Hostel

El Machico Hostel Exterior

El Machico Hostel is located in the vibrant Marbella area of Panama City, known for its lively atmosphere and convenient access to the city’s nightlife, restaurants, and shopping centres. The hostel exudes a welcoming and social vibe, making it a favourite among solo travellers and groups looking to meet new people.

The property features an inviting outdoor pool and spacious common areas where guests can relax and socialize. Its combination of friendly service, excellent location, and a variety of activities make it an ideal choice for travellers seeking a fun and engaging stay in Panama City.

El Machico Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at El Machico Hostel include both dormitories and private options. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, ensuring a comfortable stay in Panama's warm climate.

El Machico Hostel offers a range of services and amenities to enhance your stay, including a complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and a game room with a pool table.

A quick overview of El Machico Hostel

  • Outdoor Pool: The hostel features an inviting outdoor pool, perfect for cooling off and relaxing after a day of exploring the city.
  • Free Breakfast: Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning, providing a great start to the day.
  • Communal Kitchen: The fully equipped communal kitchen allows guests to prepare their own meals, offering a convenient and cost-effective dining option.
  • Game Room with Pool Table: The game room, complete with a pool table, provides a fun space for guests to unwind and socialize.
  • Friendly Staff: The staff at El Machico Hostel are known for their friendliness and helpfulness, ensuring guests feel welcome and well cared for.
  • Convenient Location: Situated in the lively Marbella area, the hostel offers easy access to nightlife, restaurants, and shopping centres, making it an ideal base for exploring Panama City.

Dorm beds from €13
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

4. Panama House Bed & Breakfast

Panama House Bed Breakfast Outdoor Terrace

Panama House Bed & Breakfast is situated in the neighbourhood of El Cangrejo, right in the heart of Panama City. This area is well-known for its safety, convenience, and proximity to a variety of attractions, such as restaurants, shops, and parks. The bed and breakfast exudes a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, making it feel like a home away from home.

The property boasts a charming garden and outdoor seating area, perfect for guests to relax and unwind. The unique blend of comfort and personalized service creates a warm and friendly environment, ideal for travellers seeking an intimate lodging experience.

Panama House Bed Breakfast Dorm Room

The rooms at Panama House Bed & Breakfast are clean, comfortable, and well-maintained. Guests can choose from private rooms and shared dormitories, all equipped with air conditioning and comfortable beds to ensure a restful stay.

Panama House Bed & Breakfast provides a range of services and amenities designed to enhance your stay. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and access to a fully equipped communal kitchen.

A quick overview of Panama House Bed & Breakfast

  • Breakfast: Each morning, guests are treated to a delicious breakfast, offering a variety of options to start the day right.
  • Charming Garden and Outdoor Seating: The property features a beautiful garden and outdoor seating area, providing a tranquil space for guests to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Friendly and Helpful Staff: The staff at Panama House Bed & Breakfast are known for their friendliness and helpfulness, offering personalized service to make guests feel welcome and comfortable.
  • Convenient Location: Located in the safe and central neighbourhood of El Cangrejo, the bed and breakfast is close to various attractions, restaurants, and shops, making it an ideal base for exploring the city.
  • Fully Equipped Communal Kitchen: Guests have access to a fully equipped communal kitchen, allowing them to prepare their own meals and save on dining expenses.

Dorm beds from €14, Private rooms from €25
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

5. Mamallena Backpackers

Mamallena Backpackers Common Area

Mamallena Backpackers is located in the historic and charming neighbourhood of Casco Viejo, Panama City. This area is known for its colonial architecture, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. The hostel offers a laid-back and sociable atmosphere, perfect for travelers looking to meet new people and immerse themselves in the local culture.

The property features a beautiful courtyard where guests can relax and socialize. Mamallena Backpackers is particularly popular for its welcoming environment and the sense of community it fosters among travellers.

Mamallena Backpackers Dorm Room

The rooms at Mamallena Backpackers include both dormitories and private rooms. Each room is equipped with comfortable beds and air conditioning to ensure a restful stay.

Mamallena Backpackers offers a range of services and amenities, including a complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and a tour desk to help guests plan their adventures.

A quick overview of Mamallena Backpackers

  • Charming Courtyard: The hostel features a beautiful courtyard where guests can relax, socialize, and enjoy the outdoor ambience.
  • Communal Kitchen: A fully equipped communal kitchen is available for guests to prepare their meals, offering a budget-friendly dining option.
  • Tour Desk: The tour desk at Mamallena Backpackers provides helpful information and can assist guests in booking tours and activities.
  • Friendly Staff: The staff at the hostel are known for their friendliness and helpfulness, ensuring guests feel welcome and well taken care of.
  • Historic Location: Located in Casco Viejo, the hostel is close to numerous attractions, bars, and restaurants, making it an ideal base for exploring the historic district.

Dorm beds from €9, Private rooms from €28
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

6. Selina Casco Viejo Panama City

Selina Casco Viejo Panama City Outdoor Terrace

Selina Casco Viejo is situated in the heart of Panama City's historic district, Casco Viejo, an area known for its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and vibrant nightlife. The hostel seamlessly blends modern comfort with historical charm, creating a stylish and lively atmosphere that attracts a diverse group of travellers.

Selina Casco Viejo offers a variety of activities and amenities, making it a hub for both relaxation and social interaction. Its rooftop terrace provides stunning views of the city and the ocean, making it a standout feature of the property.

Selina Casco Viejo Panama City Dorm Room

The rooms at Selina Casco Viejo range from shared dormitories to private suites. Each room is tastefully decorated, air-conditioned, and designed to provide a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Selina Casco Viejo offers a range of services and amenities, including a rooftop bar, co-working spaces, a wellness area with yoga classes, a communal kitchen, and free Wi-Fi throughout the property.

A quick overview of Selina Casco Viejo Panama City

  • Rooftop Terrace: The rooftop terrace offers breathtaking views of the city and the ocean, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and social gatherings.
  • Stylish Decor: The hostel features modern and stylish decor that blends seamlessly with the historic charm of Casco Viejo.
  • Co-Working Spaces: Ideal for digital nomads, Selina provides well-equipped co-working spaces to ensure productivity while travelling.
  • Wellness Area: Guests can enjoy yoga classes and wellness activities, promoting relaxation and well-being during their stay.
  • Communal Kitchen: A fully equipped communal kitchen is available for guests who prefer to prepare their own meals.
  • Central Location: Located in the historic Casco Viejo, the hostel is within walking distance of many attractions, bars, and restaurants, making it an excellent base for exploring the city.

Dorm beds from €26, Private rooms from €61
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

7. Loco Coco Loco

Loco Coco Loco Common Area

Loco Coco Loco is centrally located in the bustling El Cangrejo neighbourhood of Panama City, known for its vibrant nightlife, diverse dining options, and convenient access to public transportation. The hostel has a lively and fun atmosphere, making it a favourite among young travellers and backpackers looking to socialize and have a good time.

The unique decor, featuring colourful murals and quirky design elements, adds to the hostel's energetic vibe. Loco Coco Loco also hosts regular events and activities, fostering a sense of community among guests.

Loco Coco Loco Dorm Room

The rooms at Loco Coco Loco include both dormitories and private options. Each room is equipped with air conditioning and comfortable beds, ensuring a restful night's sleep.

Loco Coco Loco offers a variety of services and amenities to enhance the guest experience, including a complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and regular social events.

A quick overview of Loco Coco Loco

  • Regular Social Events: The hostel organizes frequent events such as barbecues, movie nights, and pub crawls, providing ample opportunities for guests to socialize.
  • Colourful and Quirky Decor: The hostel's unique decor, featuring vibrant murals and creative design elements, creates a fun and inviting atmosphere.
  • Complimentary Breakfast: Guests can enjoy a free breakfast each morning, offering a range of options to start the day off right.
  • Communal Kitchen: A fully equipped communal kitchen is available for guests to prepare their meals, making it a convenient and cost-effective option.
  • Central Location: Situated in El Cangrejo, the hostel is close to nightlife, restaurants, and public transportation, making it easy to explore the city.
  • Friendly and Energetic Staff: The staff at Loco Coco Loco are known for their friendliness and energy, helping to create a welcoming and lively environment for all guests.

Dorm beds from €12, Private rooms from €29
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

8. Zebulo Hostel

Zebulo Hostel Outdoor Terrace

Zebulo Hostel is located in the El Cangrejo neighbourhood of Panama City, an area known for its vibrant streets, eclectic dining options, and convenient access to public transportation. The hostel offers a laid-back and friendly atmosphere, perfect for travellers looking to relax and socialize.

With its colourful decor and cosy common areas, Zebulo Hostel creates a welcoming environment that feels like home. The hostel also has a strong community vibe, with regular social events that encourage guests to connect and share their travel experiences.

Zebulo Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at Zebulo Hostel include both dormitories and private options. Each room is air-conditioned and features comfortable beds, ensuring a restful stay for all guests.

Zebulo Hostel provides a range of services and amenities to enhance the guest experience, including free breakfast, Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and a lounge area with hammocks.

A quick overview of Zebulo Hostel

  • Free Breakfast: Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning, offering a variety of options to start the day off right.
  • Hammock Lounge Area: The hostel features a relaxed lounge area with hammocks, perfect for unwinding and enjoying the tropical climate.
  • BBQ Facilities: Zebulo Hostel offers BBQ facilities, allowing guests to enjoy outdoor cooking and socializing.
  • Library and Book Exchange: A small library and book exchange area provide a quiet space for reading and relaxing.
  • Friendly Staff: The staff at Zebulo Hostel are known for their friendliness and helpfulness, ensuring guests feel welcome and well cared for.
  • Central Location: Situated in El Cangrejo, the hostel is close to public transportation, restaurants, and nightlife, making it an ideal base for exploring Panama City.

Dorm beds from €11, Private rooms from €23
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in Panama City

Choosing the best hostels in Panama City can significantly enhance your travel experience, offering comfort, affordability, and a chance to connect with fellow travellers. These hostels provide a unique blend of cultural immersion and modern amenities, making them an ideal choice for exploring this dynamic city. Whether you're a solo traveller looking to make new friends or a group wanting to stay together without spending too much, hostels in Panama City offer something for everyone.

Panama City's diverse neighbourhoods each offer a different flavour of the city. Staying in the historic Casco Viejo gives you a taste of Panama’s colonial past, with its beautifully preserved buildings, lively bars, and cultural landmarks. On the other hand, modern districts like Marbella and Punta Paitilla provide a contemporary urban experience, with sleek skyscrapers, upscale shopping centres, and a wide variety of dining options. This diversity ensures that no matter where you choose to stay, you'll have a unique and enriching experience.

Hostels in Panama City provide a gateway to discovering the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and modern attractions. They offer a comfortable and cost-effective lodging option that enhances your travel experience through community, convenience, and cultural immersion. Choosing the right hostel can make your visit to Panama City both memorable and budget-friendly, ensuring you get the most out of your adventure in this captivating destination.

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