3 Best Hostels in Panama City, Panama

3 Best Hostels in Panama City – Swimming Pools, Hostel Bar & Pod Beds for Solo-Travelers

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.

Your shortcut:

  1. Magnolia Inn – best for couples
  2. Hostal Casa Areka – perfect for solo travellers
  3. Hostel Mamallena – top pick 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 we cover in this article?

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 full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:

The 3 Best Hostels in Panama City

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

  1. Magnolia Inn
  2. Hostal Casa Areka
  3. Hostel Mamallena

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

  • Couples
  • Groups
Book Magnolia Inn here

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

  1. Open Hostelworld with full list of budget places to stay in Panama City
  2. Order the listing by price

Simple as that.

Read: 15 hacks for booking hostels

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:

  1. Loco Coco Loco – basic rooms, outdoor swimming pool & free breakfast
  2. Hostel Villa Vento Surf – a great option for surfing in nearby Morillo, south of Panama City
  3. 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

Read: Selina CoLive – live, work & play in Selina hostels around the world!

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.

5% Promo Code for Selina

We got you an exclusive 5% promo code for Selina Hostels and Hotels on all reservations. This discount code is valid for reservations made in 2022 .

5% Promo Code for all Selina Locations

Discount Code: HOSTEL-GEEKS

valid at Selina.com

How to apply?

  1. Visit the official website selina.com
  2. Choose your date
  3. Copy-Paste the discount on the payment page

That’s it! 🤓 🎉

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

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:

  1. Magnolia Inn: Booking.com | Hostelworld
  2. Hostal Casa Areka: Booking.com | Hostelworld
  3. Hostel Mamallena: 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.

Any Discounts?

Currently, we have a special hostel discounts in Panama City for Selina Casco Viejo (in the city center). 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
  • Biomuseo
  • Miraflores Locks
  • Plaza de Francia

Flights to Panama City?

We enjoy Omio.com and Kiwi.com to find cheap flights all over 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.

Cheap Flights around the world

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 updates articles for Best Hostels in here.

NEW: 24 Best Hostels in Ecuador

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

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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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.

Discounts for Hostels in Panama City, Panama

How about a discount for any of the Panama City, Panama hostels mentioned? Sure thing. Since you are a Hostelgeeks reader and part of the community, you can get access to discounts and special promo codes.

You can find all our fresh and valid hostel promo codes here. We also share the latest up-to-date discounts by Hostelworld here.

How about we let you know once we get fresh promo codes? Simply leave your email and subscribe here to our newsletter. It it easy, free and you save real money.

Hostel Discounts Promo Codes

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(Fresh Update 2022)

Booking Hostels and Discounts 👏👏👏

As a user of Hostelgeeks, you also have access to exclusive hostel discounts. For booking hostels, there are three sites you need to use:

We also recommend installing the Hostelworld App. It is very handy!

How to find cheaper Flights ✈️

The first websites you should check are Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, and Google Flights.

In our review about Skyscanner we walk you through the entire process how to find cheaper flights and how to reserve.

Travel Insurance made easy 🤒

We have used World Nomads on our travels around South East Asia and Europe.

We are currently using Safetywing and Iati Seguros. We wrote detailed guides about these insurances:

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