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An Expat Talks about Moving to Panama City, Panama

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Panama City

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

I would have left everything that wasn't a necessity or too expensive to replace at home. You can find EVERYTHING in any brand in Panama and at prices comparable to the US. If shipping weight is an issue, just leave it and replace it. Perhaps the only exception is personal care items which by definition are very personal and it's hard to switch brands if by some reason, it can't be found at reasonable prices

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Get a feel for the area by driving around, gauging traffic (it's terrible in Panama), checking out amenities and entertainment nearby. Stay away from the casino and nighlife streets as the noise and activity (bad and good) is constant all week. Paitilla and Pacifica are close enough so you can sleep in peace and get to your favorite club or casino in 15 minutes.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

High Rise Apartment and very typical. There was a real estate boom in the early Y2ks and high rises went up everywhere. Most of Paitilla and Punta Pacifica residents live in high rises. The views of the Panama bay are outstanding if you are lucky enough to live in an apartment that's not boxed in by other buildings

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

Realtors know where expats should live. They will probably steer you towards Punta Paitilla (Pie-TEE-ya) or Punta Pacifica, the upper class neighborhoods. El Cangrejo is a good choice too for "non-Corporate" budgets, and is a more "Soho-ish", hip part of town.

Expats living in Panama interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue. Get a Quote

Expats living in Panama interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

I would say similar to New York City prices, but much more value in Panama. I had a 3 bdroom, 4 bath, 15th fl apt with a balcony directly on top of the bay for $1200. The price went up about 50% upon me moving. Average is betweem $900-$1500 for 2 bdrooms

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Comments about this Report

guest
Mar 28, 2011 20:09

For having lived 10 months in Panama city, this report tells it like it is. But, to me paying New York City prices for real estate is padding the pockets of Foreign Developers. If you try to live in neighbourhoods where Panamanians ( good middle class ) stay, you will greatly reduce your cost of living . Good middle class Panama city neighbourhood residents( 35-year old and under young Panamanian lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc) generally live in comfortable homes. For 600-700 dollars a month, such houses can be found 25 minutes away from the city center.seando

guest
Oct 24, 2011 19:02

great input! thanks.

guest
May 30, 2012 19:17

Very honest and helpful insights.

erdocsmom
Jan 29, 2013 20:08

When you say you wouldn't bring anything metal I wondered about our adjustable Tempurpedic bed. It's n adjustable bed with a metal frame. . Also we have a Labrabor retriever and will need at least a small yard for her. How difficult will that be to find? Any idea of prices three bedroom, two bath with a small yard? Good to know if we live a bit farther out the prices aren't too bad.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Guide to Living in Panama CityGuide to Living in Panama City

Global nomads, retirees and expats are attracted to Panama City for many reasons. Our Guide to Living in Panama City, Panama covers the Best Places to Live, Schools, Healthcare, Cost of Living, Transportation and more.

Healthcare in PanamaHealthcare in Panama

Expats have differing opinions about healthcare in Panama. Many advice against public hospitals and healthcare, but some recount good experiences. This article covers public vs private healthcare, cost of healthcare, obtaining prescription medications and much more.

Best Places to Live in Panama CityBest Places to Live in Panama City

Learn which neighborhoods rank as the best places to live in Panama City according to expats. Plus, learn which two neighborhoods may not fit the bill despite one of them being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Panama City.

Cost of Living in Panama CityCost of Living in Panama City

Should you move to Panama City for a lower cost of living? The answer may surprise you.

Schools in Panama CityInternational Schools in Panama City

If you're moving to Panama City with school-aged children, living near your children's school will make life easier. There are schools in central Panama City, Clayton and elsewhere. Below you'll find information about the most popular schools for expats in Panama City.

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Support your favorite restaurants in Panama City as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

Living in Panama City

A resident of Panama city for 60 years provides a brief glimpse of life in Panama for expats. Job opportunities and the modern amenities are a few of the features described.

Retirement in Panama City

An expat retiree in Panama advises others not to move there to save money, because the cost of living is probably less in rural, small cities in the US. But, he says that you can save a lot on healthcare in Panama.

Culture Shock in Panama City

An expat in Panama City, Panama shares her experience with settling into a new culture and how the experience has been a surprise for her given her present stage of life.

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