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Plaza de Francia Tours

Plaza de Francia
When visiting Panama’s Old City (Casco Antiguo), check out the Plaza de Francia on the far southeast side. This public square stands as a testimony to the people who worked on—and gave their lives for—the Panama Canal.

Built in 1921 by Leonardo Villanueva Meyer, the square's main attraction is a 60-foot (18-meter) obelisk. The monument outlines the history of the canal and honors those 22,000 workers and engineers who died, mainly due to disease, while building it. The statues surrounding it show prominent people who participated in the construction at the time of the French involvement, and the Gallic rooster sitting on top of the obelisk is one of the national emblems of France.

Besides the monument, near this plaza you will find the France Embassy and the Esteban Huertas Promenade. There’s also an impressive view of the Panama City bay, the Bridge of the Americas and the Amador Causeway.

The plaza is also near the former Supreme Court building, which now serves as the National Institute of Culture and is home to the Anita Villalaz Theater, where theater performances, concerts and conferences take place throughout the year. In fact, you might recognize the building from some scenes in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace.

On one side of the plaza, vaults known as Las Bóvedas, which were originally part of the fortified wall around the Old City, are the source of legends and urban myths. Stop in at any of the stores in the area and listen to the shopkeepers tell you about the experiences prisoners once had in these dark recesses. In recent decades, the vaults have been restored and are now home to galleries, shops and a French restaurant.

Practical Info

This plaza is at the end of Calle 1 Este in the Old City, which is accessible by car and taxi.
Address: Calle 1 Este, Casco Antiguo, Panama City, Panama
Hours: Daily
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4 Tours and Activities to Experience Plaza de Francia

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Historical Walking Tour in the Old Town

Historical Walking Tour in the Old Town

star-4.5
Narrow streets and intimate squares mean that Casco Viejo in Panama City can be tricky to navigate in a vehicle, so it’s the perfect place to explore on foot. Set out with a local guide for a walking tour of Casco Viejo’s vibrant plazas, the colonial-era architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral, and historic homes in the neighborhood, which is Panama City’s oldest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$50.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$50.00
Price varies by group size

Panama Tour of the Old Town by Electric Scooter

Panama Tour of the Old Town by Electric Scooter

It is an innovative and fun Tour, we link the latest technology with the knowledge of the History and Culture of the Old Town of Panama. Use our electric scooters to move from one point to another in a fun way and with our audio guide discover the incredible history of this beautiful site. Our Certified Guide will make your experience unforgettable.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$32.00
From
US$32.00

Party Bike: Bar Hopping

Party Bike: Bar Hopping

star-5
We will hop from one bar to another riding our exclusive Rumba Bike. Experiencing the absolute best of what the Panama nightlife has to offer through unique cocktails, awesome local beer tasting, the infamous Rumba Juice and so much more! Whether you are travelling by yourself, with your significant other, friends, colleagues or a bachelor group – The Party Bike Bar Hopping is perfect to explore the best of our awesome nightlife scene in Panama! That includes 2 Stops (Casa Bruja, Taberna Morgan, or another partner locations 45min to 1 hr) (Destinations may change without notice)
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$41.03
From
US$41.03

 Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

Walk through a beautiful maze of streets and alleys surrounded by historic architecture, connected by beautiful squares and churches, where we will travel back in time through each historic epoch that the city has lived through. Beginning with the colonial era until today’s modern times, you will learn about the history of this famous neighborhood.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$50.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$50.00
Price varies by group size

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Plaza de Francia hours of operation?
A:
Plaza de Francia hours of operation: Daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Plaza de Francia?

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