How Much Does It Cost to Live In Panama?

Panama is a country in Central America. Its official name is the Republic of Panama. The country is most famous for the Panama Canal.

The cost of living in Panama is cheap, and taxes are low. Salaries for foreigners are higher than locals so if you’re here to work, you should be fine.

The landscape is beautiful and there are awesome beaches all over the country, and mountains for those that prefer mild climate.

All an all Panama is a laid back country and don’t forget the best carnival, second only maybe to Brazil!

Cost of Living Index:

Panama : Cost of Living by City



When it comes to prices of restaurants, you can go out to a fancy restaurant and spend over 100$ for 2 people. The cuisine is varied and there are all kind of food and restaurants to suit your taste. The local beers are good and there are imported beers available everywhere. There are also great, world-class restaurants in Panama city, but if you want to eat cheap, you can have a decent meal for 8$.



Supermarket prices have increased quite a bit in the recent years. There’s the El Rey Supermarket and though there aren’t many alternatives, you can always go to Riba Smith which is said to be the best supermarket. If you stay away from imported and fast food, you can also get by eating inexpensively as well. You can make rice and lentils and shop tropical fruits and vegetables from local markets – it’s mostly cheap.



Transportation is one of Panama’s biggest problems. Still, as the Metro system expands, and there’s another bridge building across the canal, the traffic problem might be somewhat alleviated. Public transport is very scarce with the exception of one functioning metro line (others are being built).



Though utilities aren’t too expensive, you should count in all the malfunctions you’ll experience during the month – which will then make you think of your bills as expensive, given the service you’re getting. Internet gets cut every other week for an hour or so, even in the center, the water is off every other week for half a day or so. Power is off every other month. Electricity can be very expensive so you need to be careful not to overuse it.

Sports and leisure


Practicing sports is definitely expensive in Panama, and this country is well known for many sports opportunities such as biking, running, and many outdoor events. If you want a membership in a gym or a fitness center, it will cost you around 50$. As for leisure, it’s relatively cheap – one cinema ticket will cost you 6$.

Clothing and shoes


Shopping malls in Panama are big – almost as big as the ones in the USA. As for the prices, they are below average, but still not cheap. For example, you can buy Levi’s jeans for around 48$, while a pair of running shoes of brands like Nike cost around 65$. Lighter pieces of clothing like shirts and summer dresses are around 35$.

Rent per month


Prices of housing can differ greatly depending on what city you want to live in and the level of comfort required. Your best option is to come here to live for at least a year and check out the prices before renting long term. An apartment in the city center will cost you around 800$, while a bigger apartment for the whole family, also in the center, costs around 1500$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Panama

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $8.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $2.00
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.04
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.45
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.86
Eggs (12) $1.99
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.25
Monthly Pass $30.00
Gasoline $0.79
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $84.78
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.12
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $50.37
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $50.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $25.00
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $6.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $48.11
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $35.71
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $67.23
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $821.79
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $532.50
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $1435.37

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Panama?

An average person living in Panama spends almost the same amount of money (and the biggest part of their salary) on rent and food.

Food takes up a bit more of their salaries, but rent is definitely a huge toll in a financial sense.

Apart from rent and food, restaurants take up a huge part of overall expenses – which also makes sense because a large portion of the society eats only in restaurants.

Transportation is next, while utilities, sports and clothing draw the least amount of money from residents of Panama.


Panama: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The cost of living is relatively high in Panama and anyone coming here shouldn’t assume that living in Panama City is less expensive than living in a city of a similar size in the USA.

Panama has also become increasingly expensive over the years, especially where it concerns real estate and food costs.

Minimum wage in Panama is around 360$ which makes it acceptable to live and be sure that all expenses will be covered.

Average salary in Panama amounts to around 700$, so – considering the prices here – one can live a comfortable life in this country.

Average Salary$732.53
Minimum Wage$366.1
Mortgage Interest Rate5.16%

Cost of Living by City in Panama

City Cost of Living Index
Panama City 54.91

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