MALTA - GETTING AROUND
Getting around by foot is a great way of exploring Malta`s
scenery and culture. However, in summer when the temperatures are hot and
little shade is provided, it can be a strenuous task for many.
Walking in Malta can be very enjoyable since the Maltese countryside offers many stunning walks that are highly recommended. Public toilets are few and pavements are rarely accessible to persons with disability due to their bad condition and narrow width.
a car in Malta is a great way to see the country and inexpensive as well, so
renting a car during your stay is recommended. Having your own car allows you
to make a lot more of your trip and discover the many hidden charms these small
islands have to offer.
We recommend you book a car rental in advance online as this typically works out to be the cheapest way opposed to booking when you arrive. Be aware that, as part of its legacy under British rule, all cars drive on the left side of the road, and the steering wheel is located on the right-hand side of the car.
When renting a car, you will need your driver`s license in order to be covered for by the insurances provided by the local car rental companies.
There is GPS coverage of the Island by popular brands, however do check with your rental company as to whether they make this available to you or not. Popular opinion states that the GPS mapping of Malta isn`t altogether that accurate, where certain routes planned on the GPS, will send you up one way streets without warning, make sure to use common sense in conjunction with this technology.
Traffic in Malta can be quite bad during rush hour. Still, since the only other option to get around Malta is by bus or taxi, you`ll be stuck in traffic anyway. So, you might as well have the freedom to pull over and take photos, which you`ll definitely want to do. Public parking lots are free in Malta. Beware of parking attendants that will try to extort tips calling it a donation, they will make you feel it is obligatory, it is not. If the parking is not free (such as at the airport), there will be a sign.
the major advantages of Malta`s small size is that getting around is easy and
you won’t need much travel time to explore the country. Malta offers a modern,
relatively cheap and reliable public transport system of route buses, high-quality
taxi services and other types of transport. The Malta Public Transport website can be
found here: www.publictransport.com.mt
The bus routes, operated by Malta Public Transport can get you anywhere you want to go in Malta and Gozo between 5:30am and 11:00pm. A night service runs on Friday and Saturday nights and on public holidays.
Getting around Malta by bus might not be the fastest way, but other than walking or cycling it is surely the most economical. So if you have a little patience and are not in a hurry, consider using this service.
There are some eighty plus Malta bus routes that connect the most important destinations on the island including the Malta International Airport, the Valletta cruise liner terminal and the Ċirkewwa ferry terminal (from where you can catch the ferry to Malta`s sister island of Gozo). Buses are fairly efficient serving the major tourist areas and places of interest. The main bus terminus is located just outside of Malta`s capital city Valletta. Other major bus terminals are located at the airport, Buġibba, the Ċirkewwa ferry to Gozo and Gozo`s largest town of Victoria.
Some tips when using the local buses:
The journey planner of Malta Public Transport works alright, but you get better results by looking up the bus stop names through Google Maps and entering departure/arrival points instead of place names.
A helpful resource is the Malta Public Transport app, we recommend installing it on your smartphone. The app makes it easy to plan trips and get real-time on routes when you`re on the go.
Something to be aware of is that buses are often full, especially on weekends, on the lines passing by the tourist spots. Hence, it is almost always impossible to board at another station than the first station (the bust won`t even stop). With very low frequencies (most lines pass every 30, 60 or 90 minutes), you need to wait for the next bus, that may be full as well. So it is advised to first head to the bus station (e.g., Valletta), even if it is your opposite direction, and then take the line in the direction you wish.
Also note that, at an end station, buses often change lines. That is, do not watch the bus number before it is fully stopped and empty from its passengers, as it can change its number at that time (e.g., a bus can arrive to Valletta numbered as 51, but then depart as number 53).
The bus system is generally slow, with bus lines doing many detours and buses often stuck in traffic jams, especially around 6pm. We suggest not using the buses during this rush, or just plan to take your time.
Single ride fare is about €2.00 (€1.50 in winter) and you can buy the ticket directly from the driver. It allows you to travel within a two-hour period including changing lines (but doesn`t allow returns) until you reach your destination.
If you plan to stay and travel around Malta for one week or more the purchase of a week ticket for around €21 (€15 child) is recommended. You can buy it in kiosks close to Valetta terminus and some bus stops. You can no longer buy it directly from the driver or from vending machines.
Renting a scooter or bicycle in Malta is possible but not highly recommended unless you are a daredevil. The roads have plenty of potholes, many people do not follow traffic rules and the traffic is very heavy. Public transport or renting a car is a much safer option when getting around in Malta. However, if you are visiting Gozo a scooter or bicycle can be a nice way to enjoy and get around the island.By Ferry
A regular ferry service links Malta to Gozo, taking about 20 minutes each way. There are also regular boat services between each island and Comino. A water taxi service using traditional Maltese `dghajsa` boats is also available in Grand Harbor.By Taxi
Several private companies run
efficient (but not very cheap) taxi services in Malta. You can book different
types of vehicles depending on the number of people travelling - for example,
most companies offer both standard cars for up to 4 persons and mini-vans for
You`ll find taxi stands just outside the Malta International Airport, at City Gate in Valletta and outside the cruise liner terminal, in Sliema and St. Julian`s area, at major bus stations and in the vicinity of popular hotels and tourist resorts. Most private operators can be reached for a quick pickup as well, apart from the regular taxi stands.
Malta`s white taxis are the ones that can pick you up off the street. Figure on about €15 for short trips and not much more than around €35 for a trip across the island. There are now government approved fares for taxis from the airport ranging from about €10 to €30.
If you would like a taxi tour, it is a good idea to book it in advance with an agreed price and arrange to be picked up from your hotel. The tours are best kept short, around 3 to 4 hours should be enough time. In a car you will be able to cover Mdina, Rabat, Mosta, Valletta and the Blue Grotto.