MetroBus

How To Explore Panama City Using Public Transportation

Why pay for a taxi when you can travel in Panama City like a local!

I’ve put together a guide on the easiest and fastest ways to get to some of Panama City’s key points of interest by using the Metro and Metro Bus. Using public transportation can save a lot of money, and it also makes a more exciting experience.

There are a lot of variables like where you will be boarding the bus from and making sure you get on the bus going in the correct direction, but I think overall this should help anyone to navigate themselves through Panama City. Below are links to the maps of each route you should use and when in doubt, ask one of the locals around you. Feel free to send an email to hola@ptylife.com if you need any further help with planning your route.

I’ve also written a detailed blog post on How To Use The Metro Bus, but the key things to remember are:

  • Purchase a Metro / Metro Bus card (the same card works for both) at any of the Metro stations or Albrook Terminal. There are other places you can purchase a card but the Metro stations are the only place that I can say will reliably have them in stock.
  • The cost to use the Metro is .35 cents for each ride, and the Metro Bus is .25 for each ride ($1.25 for routes on Corredor Sur or Norte).
  • Sometimes the labeling of same routes are different which is why some of the routes below say “And Some Other Destination.” Just pay attention to the names I mention.

Here is how to get to some of Panama City’s main touristic points using either the Metro, Metro Bus, or both!

Shopping

multiplazaparkingMultiplaza (3 ways): 

– Board any of the busses on Calle 50 that say they are going to Via España. All of these make a quick stop by Multiplaza before heading on Via Brasil and Via España.
– Take the Metro to the Via Argentina station and then board the Metro Bus that says Punta Pacifica-Via-Brasil-Estacion Via Argentina. You can get off of the bus at the first stop in Punta Pacifica and then walk 5 minutes to the mall.
– Board a Metro Bus that says Panama Viejo-Via Israel-And Some Other Destination. You can either get on the bus at the Albrook Terminal (you can take the Metro there), Avenida Balboa or Via Israel and then get off at the stop in front of Multiplaza.

Multicentro / Hard Rock Hotel: Board a Metro Bus that says Panama Viejo-Via Israel-And Some Other Destination. You can either get on the bus at the Albrook Terminal, Avenida Balboa or Via Israel and then get off at the stop in front of Multicentro.

Albrook Mall: Easiest and fastest way is to take the new Metro directly there. Almost every bus goes by there as well, but it takes a lot longer.

SOHO Mall: Take the Metro to the Via Argentina stop, and then SOHO mall is about four blocks away heading towards Calle 50.

Things to do

Panama ViejoPanama Viejo Ruins: Board a Metro Bus that says Panama Viejo-Via Israel-And Some Other Destination. You can either get on the bus at the Albrook Terminal (you can take the Metro there), Avenida Balboa or Via Israel and then get off at the stop on Via Cincuentenario in front of a building called Nautica.

 

Panama Canal Museum at the Miraflores Locks: Take the Metro to the Albrook Terminal and then get on the Metro Bus that says Albrook-Esclusas de Miraflores.

Cinta Costera park system in Panama City, PanamaCinta Costera / Fish Market / Casco Viejo (two ways): 

– Take the Metro to the 5 de Mayo Station and then it’s about a 5-minute walk to Cinta Costera, 10 minutes to the Fish Market, or 15 minutes to Casco Viejo.
– Board a Metro Bus that says Panama Viejo-Via Israel-Mariscos. You can either get on the bus at the Albrook Terminal (you can take the Metro there) and then get off at the first stop on Cinta Costera or get on the bus on Avenida Balboa or Via Israel and then get off at the last stop (you’ll notice everyone get off the bus).

The Amador Causeway: Take the Metro to the Albrook Terminal and then get on the bus that says Amador-Albrook and it will bring you right to the Causeway. Once you are at the Causeway you can ride bikes, check out the new Biodiversity Museum, or just people watch!

To And From The Tocumen International Airport

You can save a TON of money ($1.25 vs. $25) going to and from Panama City’s airport by using the bus! The journey is a little more complicated than the other routes, so CLICK HERE to check out my complete guide to getting to and from the airport using the metro bus.

If there is a destination, you would like added to the list leave a comment below, and I’ll work on finding out how to get there.



There are 55 comments

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  1. Kat

    Thank you for your post! I have a bit of a unique situation in that we will have a toddler and preschooler with us so I believe taxi and Uber are not going to work for us. We will be staying in a hotel in Casco Viejo. Does the metro go there? How long of a bus ride would it be to get to metro. We would be interested in going to the Bio Museum, zoo, Metropolitan Park…
    Thanks so much!

    • Joey Bonura

      Hi Kat, with a toddler and preschooler I would recommend using uber. The closest metro stop is about a 15-20 min walk from Casco Viejo and the bus doesn’t go directly there either. You also have to remember it’s very hot and humid so a 20 min walk for a toddler can drain them pretty quickly. Uber is extremely affordable and most of your rides will not cost more than $4.

  2. Jack

    Hi Joey ;
    Can you tell me how much taxi charge from via argentina to albrook airport or better go by metro to Albrook mall then take Taxi?
    Thank you
    Jack

    • Joey Bonura

      They should charge you no more than $5 to go there but they may try and rip you off so have the price negotiated beforehand. I recommend using uber and it should cost $4-$5 to get there.

  3. Joe

    What is the best way to get from the Marriott Courtyard Multi-plaza Mall to Summit Park where the zoo is? Bus or cab and if cab, how much would we expect to pay? If by bus, what routes, etc? Thank you so much!

  4. Anne

    Hey Joey, very useful blog, thank you so much!
    Do you know how much they charge for the Metro(bus) card? Or do I just pay the money I want to charge it with?

    • Joey Bonura

      Hi Anne! Glad you have enjoyed the blog. A metro bus card costs $2 and you can put as much money as you like on it. They are available for purchase at the Albrook terminal or inside any of the metro stations.

  5. Terri

    We are at the Westin resort, there is a local bus stop out front. What do we tell the driver if we want to come into Panama City? Specifically Casco Viejo?

    • Joey Bonura

      Hi Terri, The bus that passes by there will most likely be going to Albrook and then you can take the bus or Metro within the city. You could also download the app Uber and have a driver pick you up at your hotel and bring you to Casco. Should cost around $7 for that distance.

  6. Damyan Ivanov

    Hello Joey!

    I like so much your blog and tips you provide!
    Do you have an idea what kind of bus should I take to Estadio Rod Carew?

    I will be in Panama during the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers Final and looking for transfer options by public transport to the stadium. If there are no buses I will take a taxi, but I'm afraid that after the match everything would be so chaotic outside the stadium so prefer a fixed public transport if there is such. Also – if there is buses, what time is the last one?

    Regards

  7. Alain Saintpo

    Hi, found your post very interesting as I am going soon to PTY (second time) and this time I would like to try the metro. Unfortunately I noticed that your links pointing to the metro site are dead 🙁

  8. NZ Angelo

    hello , hola , bonjour

    im angelo, im at 8pm at tocumen airpot, i need to know any information about albrook bus
    i need to take a night bus to albrook panama city for going to boca del toro .. i have just see only 1 bus at 8pm any help please …15 /02/16

    bonjour, bien voila je suis le 15 fevrier à 8pm à l'aeroport j'ai besoin de me rendre de nuit a boca, et je ne connais pas les heures , j'ai juste vu un seul bus 8pm … merci pour l'aide.

  9. Susan Chaika

    Hi Joey, thanks for the great info. I'm planning to be in Panama City for only 2-3 days with my husband. Is it possible to share a single Metro card (i.e. I swipe myself through the turnstile and pass it back to him to swipe himself through) or is that not possible?

  10. Lee Frederick

    Joey, My wife and I will be in town at the end of February. I have a question regarding the "Amador-Albrook" bus to the Amador Causeway. Does this bus go to the end of the Causeway? We're looking to get to the Flamenco Marina to catch a canal tour.

    Thanks!

    Lee F.

  11. Gregory J. Smith

    Joey, We have a place in Bocas Del Toro. Airfare from PAC to BOC is expensive. I understand there is a bus from Almirante or Changuinola to Ciudad. Do you know where it departs from, where it arrives in Ciudad and the cost? Bob

  12. Joey Bonura

    Yeah the problem with taxis is they have been getting out of control and charging whatever they want, especially to visitors. You really shouldn't pay more than $3 for a taxi ride within Panama City if they are charging you the right price. But the metropolitan park is a little bit difficult to reach via public transport. I recommend using Uber X and this will only cost around $4-$5 to get from there to the Fish Market.

  13. Kevin Matra

    hey joey hows it goin me and my girl have been in panama for 10 days realizing we spent more on taxis then the rest of the activities is there a cheap way to get from the met nat park to the famous fish market. down town

  14. Héctor Lebrón

    Hi Joey. You helped me out in 2013, but now I need help again.
    I want to go to Presidente Remón racetrack, but the bus routes have changed. I used to take the Mañanitas-Via España-Albrook bus at Calle 50, but it appears that that route is no more.
    What do you suggest?

  15. Joey Bonura

    You won't be able to get to Panama Pacifico easily via public transit. I recommend using Uber to get there because they charge a set rate of $14 to get from Panama City to Panama Pacifico and a taxi will want $15 to $20 to go there.

  16. Joey Bonura

    I had a lot of trouble finding a basic cheap bike in Panama when I was looking for one and eventually found a used one on encuentra 24. You could try the Rally store on Avenida Balboa. I think the bikes there are a little less expensive.


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