Casco Viejo parking: It’s a common question we often get here at Los Cuatro Tulipanes, whether from a future guest or just a blog reader looking for advice: “is there ample and safe parking in Casco Viejo?” The answer is yes, for the most part.
The streets of Casco Viejo, particularly those inside of 9th street, are considered safe to leave a car. You’ll occasionally hear of break-ins, the majority of which lie around Plaza Herrera where there is little round-the-clock security. This compared to the radius in which our apartments are located (from 3rd to 5th street) where there virtually hasn’t been an incident in as long as I can remember. The presence of the tourism police contributes to this as well as the roaming presidential guards.
Finding a parking space can be trickier than comforting yourself with crime statistics. The most difficult time to find a parking space is on the weekdays between the hours of 8AM and 4PM which is when the government offices are in session. Further, on weekend nights including Thursdays, many locals from downtown Panama City come into Casco Viejo for food and drink: this too can be a tricky time to find a space but the search usually doesn’t take more than about one or two loops for one to open up.
Should you want a more reliable parking experience, there is a large paid public parking lot that sits just behind the Teatro Nacional building by the sea. This lot charges by the hour or (if you’re staying for longer) by the day. It can be a comforting remedy to any guest’s parking concerns. These being said, we here at Los Cuatro Tulipanes have our own cars and we park them on the street. We have done so for the past several years without ever an issue of crime or availability. Oftentimes, you’ll attract the attention of a local “watchiman” who chooses to help you park and look after your vehicle in exchange for a few coins at the end. These watchimen are all neighborhood characters we’ve come to know and love: so don’t feel uncomfortable in tossing them some change for a job well done!
On the rare occasion that there is a special event in Casco Viejo and the streets are blocked off, all guests of Los Cuatro Tulipanes are granted a neighborhood parking pass which will whisk you through the barricades. We will be sure to make you aware of this if your reservation happens to land on these dates (which only really happen several times per year).