Panama City's Old Quarter, also known as Casco Viejo, is one of three cities inside Panama (the others being Panamá Viejo or Old Panama, and the new city). Casco Viejo is a UNSECO World Heritage Site.
Casco Viejo's narrow cobbled streets contrast greatly to the cityscape across the bay where eighty-story tower blocks touch the sky. Further away is Panama Viejo, which was destroyed by Captain Henry Morgan and Casco Viejo was built as a walled city to prevent against further attacks.
The government have invested heavily in recent years in turning Casco Viejo into a tourist attraction with a lot of building restoration (while maintaining the original facades) and renovating existing buildings into restaurants, bars, and hotels. Large open squares are perfect places to spend some time relaxing or drinking a Balboa or Panama beer. Scenes from the James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace" depicting Haiti and Bolivia were filmed in Panama; the National Institute of Culture of Panama in Casco Viejo is seen in the movie.
The area is very safe during the day and still quite safe at night, however tourists should take care not to stray too far from the clean tidy streets of Casco Viejo as there are some less salubrious neighbourhoods nearby. During the day it is not uncommon to be approached by a local offering to give you a tour of the area.
Temperatures in Panama City usually hit more than thirty degrees Celsius each day. With a nine-month rainy season, it is advisable to do research before booking a trip to Panama City. If you decide to go, Casco Viejo is a recommended area to stay. You should book ahead for your Panama City hostel.
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