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.
- Magnolia Inn – best for couples
- Hostal Casa Areka – perfect for solo travellers
- Luna’s Castle Hostel – top pick for backpackers
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.
What we cover in this article?
- 3 best hostels in detail
- 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
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.
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 full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:
- how to book hostels (and websites to use)
- 23 items for the hostel packing list
- Are hostels safe? 13 safety tips for hostels
The 3 Best Hostels in Panama City
Let’s jump right into the boutique hostels in Panama City.
We put all three accommodation on the map, you will find the map at the end of the article.
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
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
3. Luna’s Castle Hostel
“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:
- 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.
This is one of the best hostels in Panama City for
What about cheapest hostels in Panama City?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. Forget hotels!
We think, it’s not worth it to go with the cheapest hostel out there.
The difference is usually 1-2€ ($1-2) per night, and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen.
However, if you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Panama City.
- Open Hostelworld with full list of budget places to stay in Panama City
- Order the listing by price
Simple as that.
Make sure you use then the other filters and rank per price.
Also keep a close eye on the ratings, especially the “extreme ratings”. Meaning, the best and worst. These ratings can give great insight on what to expect.
Some budget hostel options to consider:
- Loco Coco Loco – basic rooms, outdoor swimming pool & free breakfast
- Hostel Villa Vento Surf – a great option for surfing in nearby Morillo, south of Panama City
- Hostal Carolina Princess Marbella – quiet, outdoor pool, friendly staff
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 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.
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.
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.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
How to book?
We recommend using Booking.com or Hostelworld for your reservations.
Hostelworld is the most popular website when it comes to hostel bookings.
Read: step-by-step guide on how to book with Hostelworld
On both platforms your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.
We included the handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.
Here is the overview:
- Magnolia Inn: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Hostal Casa Areka: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Luna’s Castle Hostel: Booking.com | 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 hostels, secure your room or bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in Panama City. I know, it’s a pity. You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts always to your inbox.
You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here.
All 3 Hostels put on a map + sights
Let us have a look on 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
- Miraflores Locks
- Plaza de Francia
Flights to Panama City?
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over Central America and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Here is our review of Kiwi.
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:
- 13 BEST hostels in Nicaragua
- best hostels in Medellin with Los Patios Hostel
- best hostels in San Jose with Fauna Luxury Hostel
- best hostels in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
- best hostels in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.
Over to you
Right then readers, which Panama City hostel have you chosen?
Was this useful? Do you have any questions, doubts?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome Panama City hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.
Your question will help me to understand what I have missed to mention.
Therefore, drop us a comment, we are keen to help you!
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 ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what.
At Hostelgeeks we will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. Our promise is to only share with you places we also recommend to our best friends and family!
Enjoy this fine hostel selection and all 5 Star Hostels.
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries