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Top choice in Panama City

Celebrating Panama as the land bridge that has permitted astonishing biodiversity in the region, this world-class museum is a visual feast. Exhibits tell the story of Panama's rich biodiversity through engaging, oversized visuals, examining human presence throughout time, how the Atlantic and Pacific evolved differently, and the interconnectedness of all species. A more abstract than literal approach creates a fresh view. World-renowned architect Frank Gehry, who created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain), designed this landmark museum of crumpled multicolor forms.

Audio guides come in five languages. There's also a botanical gardens of native plants in the works.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Panama City attractions

1. Estadio Maracaná


Inaugurated in April 2014, this is the home stadium of Chorrillo FC and Club Deportivo Plaza Amador. It was named after the legendary Maracanã Stadium in…

2. Iglesia de San José

1.49 MILES

This Casco Viejo church protects the famous Altar de Oro (Golden Altar), the sole relic salvaged after privateer Henry Morgan sacked Panamá Viejo.

3. Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús

1.52 MILES

These days only a shell, this 1741 convent and church in Casco Viejo was destroyed in a fire and further damaged in an earthquake but remains a thing of…

4. American Trade Hall

1.52 MILES

Once the headquarters of the First National City Bank of New York, this is where much of the financing of the Panama Canal took place. Today the American…

5. Plaza de Francia

1.53 MILES

At the tip of the southern point of Casco Viejo, this beautiful plaza pays homage to the French role in the construction of the canal. Its large stone…

6. Casa de la Municipalidad

1.54 MILES

This 1881 neoclassical townhouse in Casco Viejo was built on top of the castle gatehouse of the city.

7. Museo de Historia de Panamá

1.55 MILES

The modest Museo de Historia de Panamá has a small selection of exhibits covering Panamanian history from the colonial period to the modern era.

8. Iglesia de La Merced

1.55 MILES

An example of the baroque style in Panama, this Casco Viejo church was built in 1673 with a facade transferred from Panamá Viejo.