We consider parametrically excited vibrations of shallow cylindrical panels. The governing system of two coupled nonlinear partial differential equations is discretized by using the Bubnov–Galerkin method. The computations are simplified significantly by the application of computer algebra, and as a result low dimensional models of shell vibrations are readily obtained. After applying numerical continuation techniques and ideas from dynamical systems theory, complete bifurcation diagrams are constructed. Our principal aim is to investigate the interaction between different modes of shell vibrations under parametric excitation. Results for system models with four of the lowest modes are reported. We essentially investigate periodic solutions, their stability and bifurcations within the range of excitation frequency that corresponds to the parametric resonances at the lowest mode of vibration.