With epic beaches close by and great nightlife year round, Panama City is becoming one of the biggest up-and-coming backpacker cities not only in Central America but in the world.

Which is why we published this Insider Guide to the best hostels in Panama City, Panama. Panama city has dozens of hostels, and we put together this list of make it as easy for you as possible.

We’ve taken the highest reviewed hostels and organized them into different categories, so you can easily identify which is the best for your particular travel needs, and you can book your hostel quickly!

Let’s dive into the 20 best hostels in Panama City, Panama.

Quick answer: the best hostels in Panama City

Best Hostels in Panama City

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The 20 Best Hostels in Panama City

Our list of the best hostels in Panama City, Panama is designed to do one thing – help you book a hostel as quickly as possible!

Whether you are backpacking Panama alone or traveling solo or with a partner, whether you are looking to party or chill, or maybe you are just looking for the cheapest hostel in Panama City.

Make sure you know where you want to stay in Panama City before you book your accommodation. You should choose the location depending on the attractions you want to visit – don’t end up miles away from your preferred hotspots!

Whatever your travel-style, we have a hostel for you!

Overall Best Hostel in Panama City – El Machico

El Machico Best Hostels in Panama City
Pool, bar, cinema, sweet location and a solid price… how could El Machico not be our best hostel in Panama City?

The overall best hostel in Panama City is El Machico, located in the most exclusive neighborhood of the city, Marbella. As the best hostel in Panama City in 2021, El Machico offers everything the modern backpacker could need, plus a swimming pool, outdoor terrace, and their own bar. The El Machico team are super clued up about travel in Panama and are always on hand to help. El Machico has a resident dog called Bruno who is always super excited to greet new arrivals at check-in. El Machico even has an open-air cinema which could make it the coolest hostel in Panama City too!

Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Panama City – Zebulo Hostel

Zebulo Best Hostels for Solo Traveller in Panama City
Super social vibes make Zebulo one of the best hostels in Panama City for Solo Travelers

The best hostel for solo travellers in Panama City is Zebulo Hostel for there are just so many opportunities to break the ice and make new friends! Out in the garden and outdoor terrace, they have a micro badminton court, BBQ area and plenty of places to sit and chat. Zebulo is a top hostel in Panama City for solo travellers as they offer comfy and spacious dorm rooms complete with power sockets for each guest as well as lockers available for cents. The Zebulo staff are super friendly and are always more than happy to help in any way they can.

Mamallena Backpackers

Mamallena Backpackers Best Hostels in Panama City
A cheap hostel in Panama City with great vibes, Mamallena is a great backpacker’s hostel in Panama City

Mamallena Backpackers is an ideal youth hostel in Panama City for solo travellers on a tight budget. This small, intimate hostel is friendly, welcoming and super chilled. The Mamallena team offer travellers use of their great guest kitchen and you’re allowed to bring your own booze too, saving you that bit more money to spend on exploring Panama City. As a highly recommended hostel in Panama City Mamellena has the best of both worlds, a party vibe when its called for and chilled out the rest of the time. Perfect for introvert solo travellers looking to push themselves!

Best Hostel for Couples in Panama City – Magnolia Inn

Magnolia Inn Best Hostels for Couple in Panama City
Awesome for all types of travelers, Magnolia Inn is especially great for couples

The best hostel for couples in Panama City is Magnolia Inn. For couples seeking a cute and cosy private room while being able to mix and mingle with fellow backpackers while in Panama City, Magnolia Inn is the ideal place. Located in the heart of Casco Viejo Magnolia Inn is a highly recommended hostel in Panama City for their hostel is bright, clean and housed in a charming, restored French colonial mansion. The private rooms at Magnolia Inn get booked up quickly so be sure to snap ’em up fast!

Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Panama City – Hostal Casa Areka

Hostal Casa Areka Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Panama City
While no substitute for a co-working space, Hostal Casa Areka is a great hostel for all travelers, but has a bit of room for Digital Nomads to get some work done

The best hostel for digital nomads in Panama City is Hostal Casa Areka, particularly for digital nomads who have got the work-life balance sussed out! Casa Areka offers travellers a decent breakfast and a reliable internet connection in their nightly dorm rate. If you fancy working while dangling your feet in the pool, you sure can! If you need a little quiet space to work in there is a cosy lounge area perfect for working in while your hostel mates are off exploring. Casa Areka is a brilliant Panama City backpackers hostel for those working on the road.

Best Party Hostel in Panama City – Hostel Villa Vento Surf

Hostel Villa Vento Surf Best Party Hostel in Panama City
Cheap drinks + emapanadas + pool all open late = Hostel Villa Vento Surf is the best party hostel in Panama City, Panama

Choosing the best party hostel in Panama City was easy, of course, it’s Hostel Villa Vento Surf. Their Makanao Cafe team whip up a mean (and cheap!) selection of cocktails each night and serve up kick-ass empanadas until midnight daily. If you’re looking for a chilled out hostel where drinking is the ‘done thing’ then Villa Vento Surf is for you. The combination of their swimming pool, perfect backpacker bar and bright graffitied walls makes Villa Vento Surf the second coolest hostel in Panama City too.

Best Cheap Hostel in Panama City – Hostel Danicole

Hostel Danicole Best Cheap Hostels in Panama City
Hostel Danicole has the lowest dorm rates in the city, making it our pick for best budget/cheap hostel in Panama City

The best cheap hostel in Panama City is Hostel Danicole as they offer the cheapest dorm rates in all of the city. As the best budget hostel in Panama City, Danicole hasn’t skimped on service or cleanliness. Although the dorm rooms are basic they are more than ample for a traveller who is keen to get out exploring and just needs a place to crash. Danicole has a ‘fitness centre’ which consists of a punching bag and a few dumbells but defo enough to get a good training session in! They have a ping-pong and pool table too.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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Mochila & Art Hostel

Mochilla & Art Hostal Best Hostels in Panama City
Basic but efficient, Mochilla & Art Hostal is a top budget/cheap hostel in Panama City

As a top budget hostel in Panama City, Mochila & Art Hostel is basic but bang on. With a good selection of dorm rooms in a clean and bright hostel building, as cheap and cheerful hostels go Mochila is on the money. Their dorm rooms have both fans and A/C to suit everyone’s preference. Although Mochila doesn’t have a guest kitchen they are in a great neighbourhood for foodies! Within a short walk of the front door, you’ll find Chinese, Italian and local restaurants serving up a decent feed for a few dollars a pop.

Luna’s Castle Hostel

Lunas Castle Best Hostels in Panama City

Proclaiming to be the best hostel in Panama City bar none, Luna’s Castle is certainly up there and deserving of its spot on the shortlist! Luna’s Castle offers a cracking breakfast of pancakes and coffee, the perfect way to get fuelled up and ready to explore. Their bar, called the Relic, is a true backpackers bar with truly backpacker friendly drinks prices. There are hammocks and sofas throughout the hostel and a solid WiFi connection too, making Luna’s a great hangout for digital nomads. The Luna’s team are super lovely!

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Best Hostels in Panama City

Not quite happy with the selection yet? Don’t worry, we’ve got even more coming your way!

Loco Coco Loco

Loco Coco Loco Best Hostels in Panama City

Loco Coco Loco is a top hostel in Panama City, offering guests the chance to hang out, meet and mingle in their own bar complete with a pool table. The team are super helpful and multilingual, they can converse in English, Spanish, French and Hebrew! They always go above and beyond for their guests so if you need anything don’t be shy, just holla! Loco Coco Loco is a classic Panama City backpackers hostel with an on-point hostel vibe for a great price.

The Panama Hat

The Panama Hat Best Hostels in Panama

The Panama Hat is a top hostel in Panama City for backpackers of all kinds. They have their own bar and cafe where they serve a mean pizza and an ice cold beer. This is the perfect place to hang out and get chatting with your fellow backpackers, share a pizza and perhaps a beer or two. The Panama Hat is a cute and cosy hostel who greet every guest like an old friend. The Panama Hat offers private dorm rooms, ideal for groups of friends travelling together who want a bit of space to themselves.

Hostel Siriri

Hostel Siriri Best Hostels in Panama City

Hostel Siriri is a top hostel in Panama City, especially for those who are in town to chill out and just soak up the vibes of Central America. Hostel Siriri is one of those hostels that make you forget there is an outside world to explore, in a good way! With their own bar and cafe, as well as swimming pool with chill-out terrace, you could spend days upon days just hanging out at Siriri. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for in a Panama City backpackers hostel? Siriri is a great hostel to book if you need a few days R&R!

Sophia’s Hostel

Sophias Best Hostels in Panama City

Sophia’s Hostel is a cracking little youth hostel in Panama City. Offering dead cheap dorm rooms, a free breakfast and free WiFi, Sophia’s team have created an on-point hostel vibe loved by all who visit. The Parque Recreativo Omar Torrijos, the Old Harbour and Hard Rock Cafe are all within a 5-minute walk of Sophia’s Hostel. The team are always around to help give you directions or local insights on how to make the most of every moment of your time in Panama City.

Los Mostros

Los Mostros Best Hostels in Panama City

Back in 2014, Los Mostros was voted as the best hostel in Panama City, in fact, all of Panama and they haven’t let their high standards slip since. Los Mostros is one of the coolest hostels in Panama City as they have their own backpacker bar and swimming pool. Los Mostros is the best hostel in Panama City close to the airport, they’re only a 10-minute drive away. If you’re looking for a hostel to hang out in before you fly Los Mostros is the place for you, the team can help arrange an airport transfer for you.

Hospedaje Casco Viejo

Hospedaje Casco Viejo Best Hostels in Panama City

Hospedaje Casco Viejo is a brilliant budget hostel in Panama City, offering cheap dorm beds throughout the year. Hospedaje Casco Viejo has a great rooftop terrace, perfect for sunbathing, complete with comfy sun loungers too. Museum of Colonial Religious Art, the Panama Canal Museum and the Presidential Palace are all within walking distance of Hospedaje Casco Viejo. If you’re trying to stick to the food budget be sure to pick up some veggies at the corner store and cook up and storm in the guest kitchen.

Casa MonaLisa

Casa MonalLisa PTY Best Hostels in Panama City

Casa MonaLisa is a highly recommended hostel in Panama City and for good reason! The hard-working team at Casa MonaLisa have created the perfect vibe in their hostel. Backpackers instantly feel at ease when they check-in to Casa MonaLisa. In the guest kitchen you’re welcome to refill your bottle from their water cooler and filter for free; helping your budget and the planet, no need to buy plastic bottles when you stay here. Cinta Costera is just around the corner and is a great, little-hidden gem in Panama City.

Hostal La Dolce Vita

Hostal La Dolce Vita Best Hostels in Panama City

Hostal La Dolce Vita is the preference for many long-term visitors to Panama City. Hostal La Dolce Vita is a Panama City backpackers hostel that caters for travellers who are in town for a long time and who aren’t necessarily up for a party every night. This is a quiet hostel with basic dorms and a fully equipped guest kitchen. There is free WiFi throughout the building and Hostal La Dolce Vita has a big back garden with patio and plenty of space to workout should you wish.

Dianes Hostel

Dianes Hostal Best Hostels in Panama City

Dianes Hostel is a little-known youth hostel in Panama City that ticks all the boxes. Offering comfy bunk beds in the dorm rooms and a few private doubles too Dianes Hostel has something for everyone. The free breakfast is basic but if you’re on a super tight backpacker’s budget you can’t turn down a free feed! Dianes Hostel is on the east side of Panama City near the Park Mar and Panama Viejo, the staff have limited English but always try their best to help give directions and make travel arrangements for their guests.

Hostal Casa Nativa

Hostel Casa Nativa Best Hostels in Panama City

Casa Nativa is one of the best budget hostels in Panama City offering guests everything they could ask for from a budget hostel. They have a range of dorm rooms sleeping up to 10 people at a time. Casa Nativa has a lovely little garden, lush, green and full of life. It’s the perfect place to find a shady spot to sit in and enjoy a book or catching up on your travel diary. Casa Nativa is just 5-miniutes walk from Main Bus Terminal Albrook making it super convenient for your departure…not that you want to think about that before you’ve arrived!

Paradise Hostel

Paradise Best Hostels in Panama City

Paradise is a highly recommended hostel in Panama City and it’s not hard to see why. With their own gated compound featuring the main mansion building, cafe and bar, as well as a guest swimming pool, Paradise is deserving of its name! Parque Recreativo Omar Torrijos and the bay of Panama are easily reachable from Paradise Hostel and of course, the staff will be more than happy to give you directions. The free breakfast is basic but helps you save a few Balboa each morning.

What to Pack for your Panama City Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

Why you should travel to Panama City

It’s hard to have a bad time in Panama City, and with the help of this guide, you’ll be able to quickly book a hostel in Panama City and focus on what matters – partying and working on your tan!

So which of the best hostels in Panama City are you going to book? The best party hostel in Panama City? Or how about the best hostel for solo travelers in Panama City?

If you still can’t pick, we recommend booking at El Machico. With a great location and an on-site bar, swimming pool and open-aired theatre, it’s hard to beat it!

El Machico Best Hostels in Panama City

FAQ about Hostels in Panama City

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Panama City.

How much does a hostel cost in Panama City?

It all depends on whether you prefer a private room with an ensuite bathroom or a bed in a shared dorm. The average prices start at USD$14 for a bed in a shared dorm room, heading up to USD$15+ for a private room.

What are the best hostels in Panama City for couples?

Magnolia Inn is our pick for the best hostel for couples in Panama City. It’s comfy and spacious, and close to restaurants and sights in Casco Viejo.

What are the best hostels in Panama City near the airport?

Los Mostros is the best hostel in Panama City close to the airport, they’re only a 10-minute drive away.

Travel Safety Tips for Panama City

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

More Epic Hostels in Panama and Central America

Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Panama City. If you are looking for somewhere truly unique, you could consider checking out our guide to the best eco-resorts in Panama.

Planning an epic trip all across Panama or even Central America itself?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Central America, check out:

Over to you

By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Panama City has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Panama City and Panama?