Though Managua's urbano bus system is cheap and frequent, it has a woeful reputation for pickpockets and robberies, and well-dressed foreigners are said to be especially targeted. In general, if you stick to the city center and take buses during daylight hours, you should be okay. The buses can also be very overcrowded during rush hour, as they are the only form of public city transportation. Buses come along every 10 minutes and charge a fare of C7.
You can get on the bus only at designated bus stops. Following are the most convenient routes: Urbano 109 travels from Plaza de la República to Mercado Roberto Huembes, passing by Plaza Inter. Urbano 110 goes from Mercado Israel Lewites (Boer) to Mercado Mayoreo, passing La UCA, Metrocentro, Rotonda de Centroamérica, Mercado Huembes, and Mercado Iván Montenegro. Urbano 116 starts at the Montoya statue and passes Plaza Inter and Mercado Oriental before ending at Rotonda Bello Horizonte. Urbano 118 goes from Parque Las Piedrecitas to Mercado Mayoreo, passing Mercado Israel Lewites (Boer), Rotonda El Güegüense, Plaza Inter, and Mercado Oriental. Urbano 119 travels from Lindavista to Mercado Huembes, passing Rotonda El Güegüense and La UCA.
Don't worry -- cabs will honk at you before you even see them. Even occupancy won't stop them from stopping, and strangers often share taxis (this is a dangerous practice at night). Offer the taxi driver extra cash if you want to travel alone. Taxis are not metered, so it is imperative that you agree on a price before boarding and make sure you determine whether the amount quoted is per person or for the group. Fares go up 50% after dark. Because of Managua's puzzling address system, you will find yourself over-dependent on drivers to get you around. Always try to have the address of your hotel in Spanish. Most hotels will recommend their own favored taxi companies, but many may charge a premium rate. Hotel taxis generally do not pick up strangers on the way to your destination. If you do find a good, reliable taxi driver (and there are many), take his telephone number. Many will gladly show you around the city for a flat day rate of approximately C1,000.
Driving in Managua is like getting lost in a huge bowl of noodle soup -- the streets are that messy and intertwined. That said, traffic is pretty light, and the roads in the city center are in fairly good condition. Just be warned, even the most advanced GPS system will still get you lost. You should get a car in this city only if you intend to live here or plan a tour of the country.
Unless you are a marathon walker, do not mind the heat, and are in absolutely no rush, don't plan on getting around Managua on foot. This city is frustrating for walkers as it is so spread out; in addition, the streets lack charm and, even worse, names. What may hurt the most are the frequent missing manhole covers. If you do insist on getting by on foot, keep your eyes peeled, or you might risk serious injury.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.