By Bus: You can take the bus from Albrook Mall terminal in Panama City to David for $12.50 a person. It's a 7 hour ride. Travelling to David by bus is probably the safest if you're travelling from Panama City. The buses usually stop in the city of Santiago on the way to David for bathroom breaks and food. Highly suggested that you try some of the food they serve at these stops. Also, you'll find a cart where they sell sweets (mini chocholate eggs and another square treat called cocada), try them out.
By car: There are stop signs at most intersections, but in spanish "Alto" means two things, 1. stop, and 2. HIGH, so there's a joke that some people think "alto" street signs means pass at a high speed. Seriously though, you have to be very DEFENSIVE if you're just driving on the same road, and very OFFENSIVE if you're making a turn, if you're trying to get to the other side of the intersection, etc...
By Bus: Most, if not all buses travel to terminal in David. Just stand on the side of the road and wave down a bus when you see it. They'll have written on the window where they go to and where they come from
- Costa Rica Executive Transportation  Chauffeur Driven Luxury Transportation and Security Service. Providing Transportation to David, Panama via Costa Rica, air charters, meet and greet services, airport transfers for all travelers to Costa Rica and David, Panama.
There's quite a bit to do in David. It all depends on what one likes. There are a few Casinos in the city that you can visit, the two most popular ones are Royal Casino, and the Fiesta Casino (Fiesta is located in the Hotel Gran Nacional). There's a few nightclubs to go to, $3 cover, no dress code, $20 for bottle service (Carta Vieja Rum), which is what most people get here. It also depends on what time of year you visit. There's different types of festivals throughout the year, but the best ones are in the beginning of the year, timed with the Carnavales in different parts of the country.
The most popular place is "Chobeca's Burgers" which is a Panamanians version of McDonald's. It's cheap, and has nothing to do with burgers. They sell fried Panamanian-type food, try it at least once. Next to the Hotel Gran Nacional (and the Fiesta Casino) is a restaurant called McPato. Now THAT is David's real version of McDonald's from way, way back. The story behind that is that they wanted to bring a McDonald's franchise, but the owner found it to expensive to buy a franchise restaurant, and decided to open his Own. The Mc in the name is obvious, and Pato in spanish means Duck, and Donald is a duck, so the owner figured Mc(obvious)Pato(Donald). Restaurante Chiriqui is a chinese restaurant located within the city. There's really a lot of place to eat at.
Carta Vieja, Panama's Rum. No matter where you go in this town to enjoy it's nightlife, you'll see Carta Vieja bottles around you. The clubs offer bottle service, which really, everyone gets. $20 will get you a bottle of Carta Vieja, bottle of coke, and ice, split that up between however many people you go with, and done. If you are the type of person who just likes to have a beer and relax with some friends, El Hangar (The Hangar) is the place to go. It's a drive-thru bar basically. You go, buy your drinks, park your car, and either pump YOUR music, or listen to the music other people are pumpin from their car. It's a nightclub where the patrons are the DJ's basically.
but for the backpacker ready for some urban action, clubs, casinos and 24 Hour shopping
There are many lodging options in the city including many fine and reasonably priced hotels. Many of the hotels are owned by families' of Spanish origin, so they have names like Hotel Toledo, Hotel Madrid, Hotel Alcala, Hotel Iberia, Hotel Galicia, etc.
For the backpacking traveler ready for some urban action, clubs, casinos and 24 Hour shopping, consider staying in one of the backpacker hostels especially geared toward the budget traveler. The famous Purple House International Backpacker Hostel which was the first hostel to open in 2002, is very popular with backpackers from all over the world and is very proudly PURPLE! http://www.purplehousehostel.com. Newly opened Bambu Hostel is located in the San Mateo District of David, Panama. It has a deluxe in ground pool, small gym and a mayan style rancho bar. The owner Gregg Lapkin is a New York City musician and is a well informed host. Bambu Hostel an International Backpackers Hostel. Another newly opened backpacker haven is the unique Waterfall Hostel which is located just outside of David City. It is a great place to relax and swim at it's beautiful river and natural swimming pools. http://www.waterfallhostel.com.
This page was last edited at 23:18, on 12 January 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by michael Est and David and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.