Panama's most expensive cities

Hello everyone,

What are the most expensive cities to live in Panama? What are the costs of things such as rent, utilities, weekly groceries, dining out, etc.?

What is the lifestyle like in these cities, for expats and locals?

What are the different neighbourhoods like? Are there more affordable areas?

Do you have any experience living in any of Panama's most expensive cities? What was it like?

Which cities in Panama would you recommend? Are there any that offer particularly good value for money when it comes to cost of living?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Panama City is expensive. It seems the most unhappy people know live in Panama City. They complain mostly about the cost and the traffic.  Anywhere with lots of expats is also more expensive like Coronado, Pedasi, Boquete. If you want to spend less go to a smaller town or rural area without expats. Learn Spanish, make friends, shop at local markets, chill out, and have a great time.

Totally agree!

Cannot wait to move there...we are relocating march next year from south africa...

What are the smaller towns that would be good places to look at? We know we don’t want to be in the city (got our fill of urban life in the U.S. and while there are certain attractions, we’re ready to slow down a bit!) But we also don’t want to just be around expats. For us, part of the adventure is experiencing another culture! We’re thinking someplace in the mountains that’s a nice balance of local culture where expats are welcome. We keep reading up on the areas near Volcan Baru.

I think if you are kind, friendly, and learn some Spanish you will be welcome everywhere. We like David. Everything is here but we are close enough to Boquete to participate in things if we want. There's Volcan, Dolega, Poterillos, Concepcion, and many smaller towns in the area as well. Boquete is the big expat center so if you want more immersion you might not want to live right there, but it's not bad to have it within shouting distance because the expats have lots of activities there.

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