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 60 comments

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  1. Thayra L Hausheer

    Wow! I'm impressed. I was born and raised in PTY, but have lived in the US for 34 years. I visit PTY regularly, but refuse to drive in the city. I found this article very beneficial and will be sharing it with my friends and family.
    Thanks Joey!!

  2. Ingrid Wu

    Hello!
    We would like to use the Uberx services to get to the Tocumen Airport tomorrow afternoon but we can not find on their website the cost of the trip. They only are mentioning a set rate of $25 aproximately. Any suggestions to get this information?

  3. Joey Bonura

    Thanks Ingrid! I rarely use a traditional taxi anymore because of similar problems (especially at night) so for the most part I use the bus, metro, or Uber to get around. For tourists visiting Panama I especially recommend using Uber. Once you download the app you can enter the promo code UBERPTYLIFE for a $10 credit. Also, within the app there are three types of Uber: uberX, UBER, and UberSUV. Be sure to slide it over to uberX because this is the cheapest type to use and you will pay pretty much $2.50 – $5 anywhere within the city center. If there aren't any uberX cars available you can slide it over to UBER and it will just be slightly more expensive for one of those cars.

  4. Ingrid Wu

    Dear Joey!
    My husband and I are visiting Panama and we were having problems finding a taxi and moving around, every time was more and more expensive. Last night we found your website and it was so helpful. Thank you so so much!!!!! Awesome!

  5. Joey Bonura

    Walking isn't really possible because of lack of sidewalks between the two and they aren't really close enough to walk between. I believe you can take the "ciudad del saber" bus and get off at the first stop to get to the Albrook Airport.

  6. Joey Bonura

    Good luck! Feel free to send me an email to hola@pty.life if you need help planning routes. Also, I recommend giving Uber a try in Panama especially now that they have launched their cheaper Uber X service and it's only slightly more than a taxi ($3-$5 for most rides within the city). You can use my promo code UBERPTYLIFE to get $10 off your first ride if you are a first time user.

  7. Blanca Mirones

    This is awesome!! I will be visiting Panama (where I'm from) and bringing a few friends with me that I want to take to see the sights, however, driving in Panama would be challenging for me so I am so happy to see this guide. Printing it as I type this 🙂 THANK YOU THANK YOU

  8. Pat Cuffel

    Hello Joey, I am trying to get from the international airport (PTY) to Albrook Mall. Is there a place to get a Metro card near(within walking distance) the airport?

  9. Joey Bonura

    Hi Mateo, I couldn't find a map of that route on the Metro Bus website but I believe you will need to walk over to the Parque Urraca bus stop because I think that bus passes over the Aquilino de la Guardia stop. And then just board the bus that says Costa del Este.

  10. Joey Bonura

    Hi Mateo, I couldn't find a map of that route on the Metro Bus website but I believe you will need to walk over to the Parque Urraca bus stop because I think that bus passes over the Aquilino de la Guardia stop. And then just board the bus that says Costa del Este.

  11. Mateo Arias

    Hey Joey, im trying to find a way to get to Costa del Este from the Zona Bancaria, which is by the Aquilino de la Guardia stop. I've been trying to find info on a route to CDE but no luck so far.

    thanks again for the help and the great articles!

  12. Martin Rowbory

    Thanks for the advice, just used the metro and metro bus to get to Miraflores. Might be worth adding that the bus goes from the Norte section D. You have to hang around by what looks like a large queue of people, although most of them seemed to be waiting for a different bus. Fortunately someone pointed out the one we needed which was sat there for ages before deciding to put the destination up. Also it was only listed as Albrook – Miraflores.


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