For a tourist, getting around in Panama City can take a little getting used to.

Panama City has modern, comfortable and efficient MetroBuses and soon they will have a Metro. In order to use the MetroBus or Metro, you will need a Rapi>Pass card which will work for the terminal, MetroBus and Metro. These cards are available at the Albrook Bus Terminal and can be charged and recharged with cash at the terminal and at some grocery stores and other retailers. MetroBuses congregate at the Albrook Station and go to many parts of the city. MetroBuses are not numbered, but they do show their destinations clearly on the front. Get on any bus that says, "Albrook" in its name, and you will end up at the main terminal.

Most visitors to Panama City use taxis when traveling about. Always ask about the fare before getting in the taxi. If you think it is too much, then ask another driver. You will most likely get a much better fare if you catch a taxi away from the tourist areas. Feel free to negotiate or suggest a fare to the driver; the worst that can happen is the taxi driver will say no. As of 2014, a taxi to most parts of the city should be under $10. For very short trips, expect to pay only a couple dollars. The fare might increase slightly for extra passengers. Many available taxis will honk at pedestrians as they pass by which means that they are available for a fare. Just hold out your arm to express interest. Remember to ask the driver about the fare before getting in.

If you call to have a taxi dispatched they may add an extra fee. 269-1601 and 269-7575 are two popular taxi dispatch numbers. During rush hour they may inform you that there are no taxis available in your area. They will not seem bothered, however, if you call back every five minutes until they have one. Another option is to inform them that you will hire the driver for one hour ("para una hora"). If you're planning a lot of excursions and dining out it could be worthwhile and cheaper to negotiate a weekly rate for 24/7 service. 

Taxis in Panama City are generally safe. Straying from the main strips, especially at night, can be a risky move, especially for one who clearly appears to be a visitor. Areas to definitely avoid are: Chorrillo, Santa Ana and Calidonia, all three slums are at the base of Ancon hill and all are not safe day or night for tourists.  Be very careful when visiting Casco Viejo "Old Town" as it is very easy to wander into any one of these areas.

If you plan on a boat trip to view the famous canal, try to avoid the packed, and sometimes dangerous, Kuna merchant boats and charter a private boat instead for a little more money, especially if you are traveling with children, as the merchant boats are known to traffic illegal drugs from time to time.

Renting a car is also always an option, though again, getting lost is a possibility for visitors and can become quite a hassle when asking for directions. The driving is very agressive. If you plan on visiting other Central American countries, be advised that if you plan on re-entering Panama, you must bring your passport and tourist visa, as Panama will charge an extra $5-20 to issue a new travel visa.