Top 5 Best Hostels in Panama City

However, there are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top 5 when picking the best hostels in Panama City are

Best Hostels in Panama City

Panama City is known as the shipping and financial hub of Central America — but there’s much more to the city than that.

Panama City is a bustling, lively city with a vibrant nightlife, tons of history, and delicious food. It’s a good hub to base yourself for a few days while you plan your next steps.

Since it’s not as cheap as other cities in the region, you’ll want to save money by booking yourself a hostel while you’re here. They’re the most cost-effective (and fun) way to enjoy the city.

However, there are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top 5 when picking the best hostels in Panama City are:

1. Magnolia Inn Casa Viejo

This boutique hostel is located in Casa Viejo, the city’s beautiful Old Town. It’s clean and quiet, making it a good choice for families or travelers looking for some downtime. The hostel is an old French colonial mansion and balances historic charm with modern amenities (like AC and Wi-Fi).

The beds are basic and don’t have curtains but the mattresses are thick and comfy. There are also a few common areas where you can relax and hang out or watch TV.

Since it’s quiet here, I’d suggest staying here if you want to get a good sleep. There are several social hostels nearby where you can grab a drink and hang out, letting you enjoy being social before returning to your quiet hostel.

Magnolia Inn Casa Viejo at a glance:

  • Central location in the Old Town
  • Clean and quiet
  • Beautiful interior
  • Beds from $16 USD a night, rooms from $116 USD.

2. Hostal Casa Areka

This energetic hostel has a pool, outdoor Wi-Fi, space to barbeque, and a spacious kitchen for cooking your own meals. It’s also surrounded by bars and restaurants, making it a good choice for those who want to party.

The beds are pretty basic (no curtains for privacy) but are comfortable enough to sleep on. The dorms also only have 8 beds (or less) so you’re never crammed in with other people.

There are lots of common areas to relax in and they have female-only dorms too. It’s the cheapest hostel in the city.

Hostal Casa Areka at a glance:

  • Swimming pool
  • Super affordable
  • Free breakfast
  • Beds from $9 USD a night, rooms from $35 USD.

3. El Machio

This is a social hostel that makes it really easy to meet people here since they have a pool, a small bar, play movies outside in their outdoor cinema, and organize tons of tours (they have affordable trips to the San Blas Islands).

The beds aren’t the best. Nothing to write home about but the dorms have lockers to keep your items safe and you’re really staying here for the atmosphere.

Breakfast is included, there’s a spacious kitchen for cooking, and the surrounding neighborhood is quite safe too.

El Machio at a glance:

  • Social atmosphere makes it easy to meet people
  • Free breakfast
  • Female-only dorms for added privacy and security
  • Beds from $13 USD a night, rooms from $50 USD

4. Luna’s Castle Hostel

This is my favorite hostel in the city. Housed in an old colonial mansion overlooking the ocean, it’s a cool backpacker hostel with a laid back vibe.

Free breakfast is included, there’s a bar on-site for having fun, and the staff go above and beyond. They organize walking tours and other fun activities to ensure you have an amazing visit and meet cool people during your stay.

They only have large dorms (10 or 12 beds) but the beds have curtains and the mattresses are comfy. It’s lively, social, and an institution on the Gringo Trail around Central America.

Luna’s Castle Hostel at a glance:

  • Free breakfast
  • Easy to meet people
  • Beautiful location by the ocean
  • Beds from $16 USD a night

6. Selina Casco Viejo

Located in the picturesque Old Town (in yet another historic colonial building), Selina is a new hostel. It’s a chic, upscale hostel that’s popular with solo travelers and digital nomads.

They’ve got a spacious outdoor patio for hanging out and there are lots of bars nearby. The beds are comfy and the showers have hot water (which is a nice perk since many hostels in the city don’t have hot water).

There’s AC to keep you cool, a co-working space, a pool table, and lots of common areas for chilling out.

Selina Casco Viejo at a glance:

  • Lots of common areas to hang out in
  • Social atmosphere
  • Central location in the Old Town
  • Beds from $14 USD a night, $36 USD