The cost of living in Panama is contingent upon the individual and what is important for them to spend money on every month. But compared to living in a Western country, living in Panama is quite affordable whether you are minimalist or someone who likes to spend a bit more freely. Here is a list of how much you can expect to spend per month on certain goods and services:
Souvenirs can be found in specialty shops located in many malls, but they will be pricier than souvenirs found in the smaller stores located in Panama City's center.
Common souvenirs in Panama
There are various areas of Panama City that are known for shopping, whether for electronics, clothes, appliances, etc.
The Colón Free Trade Zone is the second-largest duty-free area in the world after Dubai. Over 2,500 companies have set up stores there selling everything from perfume, jewelry, name-brand clothes, leather, home decor and more for discount prices.
The Panama Canal Zone is also home to one of the largest malls in the world called Allbrook Mall, which is known for cheap and bargain prices. It too is very big and and has hundreds of stores as it's the 14th largest mall in the world.
Balboa, Casco Viejo and Panamá Viejo are the parts of town best known for Panama's rich history, and thus they are the best areas to find formal, as well as makeshift, craft fairs and displays from local artisans.
Balboa's YMCA also features many indigenous-made crafts.
Visiting the markets is a great way to take in the authentic life and culture of Panama.
Panama City's fish market, or mercado de mariscos, is great for watching fisherman as you enjoy some ceviche. It is open everyday from 6 am -5 pm.
The National Handicraft Market, or Mercado Nacional de Artesanías is right beside Panama Viejo--the burned down old city. It is full of indigenous artifacts like jewelry, bowls, hats, and masks.
The Avenida 5 de Mayo market is the prime spot for purchasing golas, which are colorful hand-crafted fabrics from the indigenous Guna Yala people of the San Blas islands.
Just like a Western country, Panama has a number of one-stop-shop supermarkets for purchasing food, appliances, supplies and more.
Here is a list of the biggest supermarkets in Panama: