3 Best Hostels in Panama City – Swimming Pools, Hostel Bar & Pod Beds

3 Best Hostels in Panama City, Panama

The wonderful thing about Panama is that it’s easy to remember the capital city, aptly named Panama City! Here we bring to you the absolute best hostels in Panama City.

This is a modern city in Central America with its very own manmade canal.

Notably the nicest area is the cobblestoned historic centre called Casco Viejo – home to some of the hostels in this collection.

Our favorite hostels in Panama City are:

  1. Magnolia Inn - best for Couples
  2. Hostal Casa Areka - best for Solo Travellers
  3. Hostel Mamallena - best for Backpackers

Find even more cool hostels in Bocas del Toro whilst you’re in the country.

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Are you ready for swimming pools, groovy design and big spaces? How about morning pancakes and privacy dorms? It’s all here, and more.

To make things even better, you’ll find some fun party hostels if you’re looking for a good time.

This guide is perfect for YOU, when …

  • tired of bad and crappy hostels
  • want to avoid the “young party kids”
  • happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience

Backpacking the Americas? Honestly, there are so many amazing hostels within reach from Panama.

Check out the best hostels in Colombia and the best hostels in Costa Rica. The hostel world here will blow you away!

What do we cover in this article?
  • cheapest hostels in Panama City
  • best hostels in Panama City for solo travellers
  • fun party hostels in Panama City
  • discounts and promo codes
  • How to book?
  • all hostel and sights on a map
  • Flights
  • FAQ
  • You can find all 5 Star Hostels here with Hostelgeeks and all guides to “Best Hostels In” here.

    Quick Introduction to Panama City

    Average price for a bed: Hostels in Panama City cost 7€ – 14€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 20€ up to 45€ per night. This is a rough average just to give you an idea.

    Prices always depend on season and holidays. Please always check exact rates on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

    Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.

    🎁 New to Hostels? Read our guide to staying in a Hostel for the First Time here. We especially recommend reading:

    The 3 Best Hostels in Panama City are …

    Let’s jump right into the coolest hostels in Panama City.

    1. Magnolia Inn – best for Couples
    2. Hostal Casa Areka – best for Solo Travellers
    3. Hostel Mamallena – best for Backpackers

    These are our favorite hostels in Panama City. We want to make your life even easier, so we put all accommodations on a map for you. We even added our own tips for favorite restaurants, things to see, and more.

    We put all three accommodation on the map, you will find the map at the end of the article.

    Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

    🦸 Solo Traveler: Selina Casco Viejo Panama City
    🙎‍♀️ best for Female Solo Traveler: Hostal Casa Areka
    🥳 Party Hostel:El Machico Hostel
    👩‍❤️‍👨Couple Hostel: Magnolia Inn
    👨‍👩‍👦 Family Hostel: Hostal Casa Areka
    👩‍💻 For Digital Nomads: Selina Casco Viejo Panama City
    🎒 For Backpackers: Hostel Mamallena

    1. Magnolia Inn

    We wanted to treat you to a very special stay in Panama City. How does sleeping in a lovingly-restored French colonial mansion sound?

    Magnolia Inn showcases its charming historic character, with no modern conveniences overlooked.

    This is a boutique hotel and hostel, with seriously beautiful shared spaces and a wide selection of rooms that we know you’re going to love.

    Because of the up-scale nature and lack of hostel events, we’d recommend this for couples and anyone travelling as part of a group.

    Over in the luxury hostel you’ll find:

    • 4 and 6-bed mixed dorms
    • The ‘Ballroom’ – 12 single beds

    This Ballroom deserves some extra attention. It’s super cool and unique!

    In the centre of this huge room there is a seating area, chairs and table and even a piano. Whilst there is no air conditioning, it has 26 windows and two small balconies.

    Every bed has a personal floor mounted fan, chair, plug socket, orthopaedic mattress, locker and free Wifi access.

    Couples and families can have a look at the hotel section.

    It has everything from king and queen privates, to rooms for 3 and 4 people. They are all super swanky and luxurious.

    When you just want to chill out, move between the fully equipped kitchen and sunbathed dining room.

    Good to know: Magnolia Inn welcomes groups including wedding parties, universities and youth groups.

    Location: In the heart of Casco Viejo (Old Town), just steps away from all you could possibly want and need during your stay.

    This is one of the best hostels in Panama City for

    • Couples
    • Groups
    Book Magnolia Inn here

    Check prices at:
    Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

    Magnolia Inn is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama Magnolia Inn is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama Magnolia Inn is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama

    2. Hostal Casa Areka

    The centrepiece of Hostal Casa Areka is easily the refreshing outdoor pool surrounded by palm trees!

    Not only that, but the pool is flanked with sun chairs, a hammock and a BBQ area.

    This is a tropical haven in the middle of Panama City and it’s calling your name.

    No matter who you are, you’ll be welcomed by the team and made to feel at home very quickly. It’s so surprise when all of this is included:

    • Free breakfast (with pancakes)
    • Organised airport shuttle & sailing trips
    • Common room w/ pool table, sofas
    • Big kitchen
    • Air-conditioned rooms

    If you need anything, just speak to the staff – they are at hand 24 hours a day.

    Grab yourself a complimentary coffee and swap your old book for a new one at the exchange.

    Particular about your room type? You’ll surely find what you’re looking for here!

    Dorm rooms include: 4, 6 and 8-bed mixed, plus a 6-bed ladies-only for female solo travellers.

    Private rooms include: Standard twin and double, plus a deluxe double with a private bathroom and TV.

    Location: In the heart of the city in the vibrant district of Calle Uruguay. There is a handy 24hr supermarket across the road, plus easy access to a bus stop which connects to Panama Canal and Casco Viejo. Many bars and restaurants are also close to the hostel. This is the closest hostel to Tocumen International Airport.

    This is one of the best hostels in Panama City for

    • Solo travellers
    • Adults
    Book Hostal Casa Areka here

    Check prices at:
    Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

    Hostal Casa Areka is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama

    Hostal Casa Areka is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama Hostal Casa Areka is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama

    3. Hostel Mamallena

    Calling all backpackers! Hostel Mamallena is a super place that is specifically designed with backpackers in mind.

    Let us tempt you right on the off by mentioning their freebies…

    1. FREE tea & coffee 24/7
    2. FREE BYO booze
    3. FREE super early check-in (from 7am)
    4. FREE huge whenever you need them

    That’s definitely a pretty good start we’d say. It’s always nice to know where you can save some money when staying at a hostel.

    Alongside the free stuff, Mamallena has a really great selection of amenities including outdoor pool, 24hr guest kitchen, pool bar, lounge w/ movies and luggage storage for up to 3 weeks.

    Another handy aspect of staying here is that reception is open 24/7.

    There is also an onsite travel agency that can help you with booking must-do trips in the area.

    Good to know: This is not a party hostel and quiet time starts at 11pm.

    Choose between mixed dorms and private rooms. The dorms come with 6, 8 and 12-beds (the 6-bed has an ensuite so we recommend this one).

    Location: In a handy area closeby to plenty of restaurants and handy public transport. The MiBus Stop and Metro is less than a 5 minute walk. A handy supermarket is also just a 10-minute walk away. Paitilla Airport is 2km away from Mamallena.

    This is one of the best hostels in Panama City for

    • Backpackers
    Book Hostel Mamallena here

    Check prices at:
    Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

    Hostel Mamallena is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama Hostel Mamallena is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama Hostel Mamallena is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama Hostel Mamallena is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama

    What about the cheapest hostels in Panama City?

    Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Panama City.

    1. Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Panama City
    2. add your dates
    3. Order the listings by price

    Simple as that.

    Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.

    Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.

    Best Hostels in Panama City for Solo Travellers?

    What is seriously the best hostel in Panama City for solo-travellers?

    We’d like to add one more hostel to the mix: Selina Casco Viejo Panama City aka Selina Hostel Panama City.

    It could be argued that this is a great party hostel option, but because of the balance of shared and private rooms, plus the upscale design, we want to recommend this for solo travellers.

    Having said that, there is a hostel bar and an awesome rooftop which is perfect for creating those fun vibes.

    It really is a hostel that has it all. Other amenities include:

    • Co-working spaces (+ Wifi)
    • Daily classes
    • Organised activities
    • Rooftop swimming pool
    • Shared kitchen

    The rooms are stunning, simple as that. Reception is open 24/7 & children and groups are welcome.

    This is certainly an ideal choice for solo travellers that want to meet new people in a relaxed, easy fashion. The staff here makes it super easy for you.

    To top it off you’ll be located in Casco Viejo. That means bohemian vibes, hip eateries, and happening nightlife awaits you.

    Book Selina Casco Viejo here

    Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

    Selina Casco Viejo Panama City is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama Selina Casco Viejo Panama City is one of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama

    Party Hostels in Panama City

    As long as you’re staying in the Casco Viejo area, you’ll never be too far away from some great nightlife. This is the area where you will find the more crazy party hostels.

    So even if you do not stay in a party hostel, you will have the option to enjoy the local bars in the Old Town, and take advantage of not having a curfew (check this with your hostel).

    The next section is specifically for travellers in search of the best party hostels in Panama City that avoid the ‘young party kids’.

    El Machico Hostel

    El Machico Hostel is a large house in the Marbella zone that boasts an epic outdoor swimming pool.

    At night time there is an open-air cinema over the pool, and a small bar to enjoy some drinks.

    It’s all about the freebies here, including breakfast (pancakes, coffee), pool table, linen, free parking, Playstation 4 and so much more.

    These guys are the leaders in Panama City for tours, so make sure you book with them and save money.

    Hard Rock Cafe is very close to the hostel and a great place to taking the party vibes out into the city to mix with locals.

    Book El Machico Hostel here

    Compare prices and check availability at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

    El Machico Hostel is one of the best party hostels in Panama City, Panama El Machico Hostel is one of the best party hostels in Panama City, Panama

    Los Mostros Hostel

    Come and join the friendly, laid-back atmosphere at Los Mostros Hostel.

    What is there to get excited for? How about:

    • Swimming pool
    • Games area w/ ping pong & pool
    • Outdoor terrace & BBQ
    • Onsite bar

    There is a nice selection of mixed and female only dorms with 6, 8 and 10-beds.

    Note: You will be situated near plenty of cool bars and restuarants in the area of Bella Vista. It’s best to head out into the city if you want to have a ‘crazy’ night.

    Book Los Mostros Hostel here

    Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com

    Los Mostros Hostel is one of the best party hostels in Panama City, Panama

    Any Discounts?

    You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the freshest hostel discounts directly in your inbox. We even have special discount codes we only share in the newsletter.

    It is completely free to join!

    How to book?

    The most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. On both platforms, your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.

    We included some handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.

    Read: Step-by-Step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

    We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Panama City best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.

    The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand, ask questions, and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app.

    Download the Hostelworld App here

    QR Code to Download your Hostelworld app with one scan
    Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone to download the Hostelworld App from the App Store - like a real Hostel Geek!

    The best way to find hostels: Hostelgeeks website and Hostelworld App

    Our Favorite Hostels in Panama City put on a map + sights

    Let us have a look at the map. Below we list all three best Panama City hostels on a map.

    Personally, we love to plan our trips with a map having all sights and potential hostels on it. We thought this map will help you with planning your trip too.

    Looking for things to do in Panama City and discover cultural places in Panama?

    We also included the main tourist attractions you’ve to know in this list:

    • Panama Canal
    • Metropolitan Natural Park
    • San Felipe
    • Biomuseo
    • Miraflores Locks
    • Plaza de Francia

    Any questions about hostels in Panama City? 🤔

    Join our Facebook Group!

    Ask all your questions and connect with like-minded wanderers 🔥

    Flights to Panama City?

    We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.

    Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.

    Our Step-by-Step Guide to Skyscanner

    review of Skyscanner flight searches


    Alright, you should have found your accommodation already. Below we list all the frequently asked questions. Have a look.

    More guides

    Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in Panama City.

    We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations:

    You can find all our new and updated articles for Best Hostels in here.

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    We also created a huge guide to hostels. Here we cover how to build lifetime friendships in hostels, the perfect packing list and more.

    Over to you

    Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!

    Your question will help us to improve this Panama City guide.

    Last note: Our commitment

    This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.

    Safe travels,
    The Hostelgeeks

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    A complete guide and overview to the best hostels in Panama City, Panama for solo travelers & backpackers

    CLOSED: Luna’s Castle Hostel

    Update: Our former #3 hostel has permanently closed its doors. We keep this review here for your information.

    Luna’s Castle Hostel is…

    “Housed in a creaky, colonial mansion near the waters edge, Lunas Castle blends historic Spanish architecture with funky, laid-back backpacker vibes.”

    Imagine life whereby:

    1. The ocean view is unobstructed
      2. Hammocks constantly swing and
      3. Coffee is bottomless

    You’re already clicking that book button, right?

    This gorgeously homely place offers professional service, international atmosphere and shoestring prices.

    Gosh, there’s so much to mention. For one thing, there is an outdoor courtyard with Relic, the hostel bar.

    Grab an evening cocktail rustled up by one of the bartenders and relax. Smile, meet people, chat the night away.

    If you’re hungry, you’ll appreciate the discount for next door’s restaurant.

    Start the day with a free breakfast – pancakes anyone? – and ask the staff for ideas. They can help with booking sailboats to Colombia, too.

    Tip: Make sure you ask about the Tarzan Tour with Chris!

    End the day by collapsing in either an ocean view dorm (10-12 beds) or one of the private rooms for 1, 2 or 3 people.

    Location: Situated in the wonderful Casco Viejo close to bars, restaurants and great cafes.

    We are 100% Independent: Some links on Hostelgeeks are so-called affiliate links. If you decide to book through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support allows us to keep producing high-quality, independent content free of influence from hostels or external advertisers. Learn more here. 🙏

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