How to Get Around Malta: Your Ultimate Transportation Guide

Navigating through Malta using Google Maps for directions.

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How to get around Malta might initially appear as a challenge. Fear not! I am here to clear things up for you. I want you to see Malta’s awesome sights, not just buses or map apps.

I’ve lived in Malta since 2011. Besides my car, I’ve used different transport options for travelling in Malta. I’m confident in getting around and would like to share some tips with you.

In this guide, I will show how you can navigate Malta. Follow these tips and you will have more time to enjoy beautiful sights and less time worrying about transportation.

How to Get Around Malta: Transportation Options

There are many ways of getting around Malta. So, let’s break them down:


Renting a car gives you the freedom to be your own travel boss. Yeah, the streets can be narrow and make you feel like you’re in a maze of roads, but no worries! Keep calm, stick to the left side, and pay attention to road signs. You can find more driving tips here.

Public transport:

If driving is not your thing, hop on public buses! They might not be Formula 1 fast, but they’ll get you where you need to be. Plus, it’s easy on the pocket. Check out the Malta public transport app that shows real-time bus arrivals, so you won’t wait at the stop for ages.


Feeling fancy? Take a taxi for door-to-door service. These options might be pricier, but you can treat yourself sometimes, right?

There are white cabs you can hail on the street or download Bolt, Uber or eCabs apps. They’re cheaper than white taxis. All services provide quick pickups and similar prices. But, the cost for the same trip can vary. So, I always check them all and pick the cheapest.


Walking is another enjoyable way to explore towns. You can see all the sights at your own pace. But remember, Malta is hilly and the sidewalks are narrow. Be ready for a workout!

Hop-on and Hop-off buses:

You can roll around the island in an open-top double-decker bus with hop-on and hop-off buses. And you get to see the whole island with 35 stops on the North and South routes.

Bus routes are planned to make it easy for you to see the top spots in Malta. Once you’re done, just hop back on to go to the next spot. There’s no rush or fuss. Get your tickets here:


Riding the ferry is a fun and easy way to soak up Malta’s charm. Below are all the places you can get to on a ferry.

Back and forth from Sliema to Valletta: Get on a ferry from Sliema to Valletta here. As you glide across the water, you’ll have great views of Valletta and Manoel Island.

From Valletta to Three Cities: Taking a ferry from Valletta to the Three Cities is another worthwhile option.

As the boat cruises through Grand Harbour, you’ll feel like you’re on a sightseeing adventure. Here‘s where the boat leaves from Valletta and here‘s where it arrives in Cospicua.

A ferry ride from Sliema to Valletta offers views of historic buildings and a cathedral by the waterfront.
Views of Valletta on the Ferry From Sliema to Valletta

Ferries to Gozo: You’ve got a couple of options. If you’re on foot, there’s a passenger ferry from Valletta. But if you’ve got a car, you’ll want to catch the ferry from Cirkewwa.

Yachts line the waters of Grand Harbour, captured from the Valletta to Three Cities Ferry. Majestic buildings and historic landmarks adorn the skyline under the clear blue sky.
Views of Grand Harbour on Valletta to Three Cities Ferry

Shuttle boat to Comino and Blue Lagoon: The shuttle boats leave from Marfa or Cirkewwa, both in Malta’s North. And if you’re in Gozo and want to hit the Blue Lagoon, look for the shuttle boat at Mgarr Harbour.

Which Transport Option is the Best?

Choosing the right transport in Malta depends on your plans.

If your trip is short, like a long weekend, things are pretty straightforward. You can rely on taxis and public transport. Valletta, Mdina, Three Cities and the biggest beaches such as Golden Bay are all easily reachable this way. 

But let’s say you’re here for a week or longer. Maybe you want to explore the hidden gems of Malta. In this case, consider renting a car. Check out Discover Cars. They have a great vehicle selection and affordable prices.

Need advice on renting a car in Malta? Here’s my guide with insider tips on everything you need to know.

How to Get Around Malta: Driving Tips in Malta

Understand the traffic rules: Stick to the left side of the road, just like the Brits do. It might feel odd at first, but you’ll adjust. Just pay attention and follow the traffic.

Don’t rush, just enjoy: In Malta, traffic hums like a busy bee hive. It’s always on the go, so don’t rush. Instead, take a deep breath and enjoy. It’s also wise to avoid peak hours.

Beware of speed cameras: You should also know that speed cameras always watch, so stick to the speed limit.

Avoid using your mobile phone while driving: In Malta, fines are hefty. So, keep that phone away until you’re safely parked.

Navigating the roads: You may think Google Maps or Waze are your best options, but they might leave you hanging in the labyrinth of narrow streets.

But if you find yourself in a pickle, don’t worry. Drive until you find a safe spot to park. And remember, Malta is small enough that you’ll always stumble upon a wider road with arrows pointing towards Valletta. The possibility of getting lost is not an option. But you might add a detour to your trip.

A narrow street in Malta with a tree growing by the side.
Narrow Streets

Cracking the parking code: White painted bays are for everyone. Yellow? Uh-uh, no parking here. Now, in Valletta, green means ‘residents only, all day’, and blue zones are for residents from 7 pm to 7 am. In some places, parking may be limited to a few hours. Check the signs.

Fuel up your car: There are many petrol stations around Malta and Gozo. During the day, pump attendants will refuel for you. Night owls, don’t worry – automated pumps are on duty 24/7. Most of them accept cashless payments.

Avoid entering Valletta: In Valletta, feel free to spin around its perimeter. But to enter its centre, you must pay. Here’s the price list.

Keep some cash in your pocket: In public parking areas, car park attendants keep vehicle comings and goings running smoothly. Their dedication deserves some gratitude, and it’s customary to show it with a 1-2 euro tip. 

People walking along a scenic road in Malta and Gozo.
Scenic Roads in Malta and Gozo

How to Get Around Malta by Public Transport

Getting around Malta by public transport is simple. Below are some tips.

To plan your day efficiently, know your routes and schedules in advance. Check out Malta bus map here. You will see that buses can take you to most places. Use this website or Google Maps for routes and schedules.

Second, get a bus pass. It’s a big money-saver if you ride often. Check this link for more info.

Third, be patient. Buses run regularly, but sometimes you have to wait. Think of it as extra time to soak in the Maltese atmosphere.

Finally, have a backup plan. Sometimes buses are late or you have no time to wait. Taxis are a viable option if buses don’t suit your schedule.

Avoid peak hours when the roads get busy, and the buses fill up.

Public transport in Malta is like a reliable old bicycle. It might not be the fastest or most exciting way to get around, but it’ll get you where you need to travel. 

Aerial view of Coral Lagoon, a hidden gem that's tricky to reach without a car.
Coral Lagoon, a Hidden Gem that is not Easily Accessible without a Car

Get a FREE Attractions Map

Planning a trip to Malta, Gozo, or Comino? Get this free interactive map filled with insider tips, Google Maps links, and more.

Getting Around Malta: FAQ

Are buses free in Malta for tourists?

No, buses in Malta are not free for tourists. But, bus fares are cheap. You can save by buying a bus pass if you plan to use public transport a lot during your stay. There is an Explore card for unlimited travel for 7 days, a 12-ticket card, or you can pay as you go and buy single journeys. Click here for more information.

What’s the best way to get around Malta?

The best way to get around Malta depends on your preferences and itinerary. If you’re staying for a short time and plan to visit the main attractions, public buses and taxis can be convenient. But, if you’re staying longer and want to explore hidden gems, renting a car might be the best option as it offers more flexibility.

What is the cheapest mode of transportation in Malta?

The cheapest mode of transportation in Malta is the public bus system. The fares start from €2.50 per trip, making it an affordable option for getting around the island. Also, you can buy a tourist card or a package of 12 journeys that gives discounted fares.

Can tourists get a Tallinja card?

Tourists can buy a prepaid bus pass that allows them to travel on all public buses in Malta. You can choose from a variety of options, including a 12 Single Day Journeys card or an Explore card that offers unlimited travel for 7 days. Click here for more information.

Are taxis expensive in Malta?

Taxis in Malta are not as expensive as in other countries, but they are more expensive compared to public buses. Yet, they offer a comfy way to get around. This is especially true if you’re travelling with luggage or want to reach your destination fast. Taxi apps like Bolt, Uber, and eCabs are generally cheaper than white taxis you can hail on the street.

Can I buy a Tallinja card at the airport?

Yes, you can purchase a Tallinja card at the Malta International Airport. Look for the Tallinja booth at arrivals, where you can buy your card and get information about public transportation in Malta.

Do Malta buses accept cash?

Yes, Malta buses accept cash payments. You can pay the driver when you board the bus. But, keep in mind that drivers may not always have change for larger bills, so it’s best to have small denominations or exact change ready.

Can I pay by card on the Malta bus?

Yes, you can pay by card on Malta buses. You can use cash, a pre-paid Tallinja card or contactless payment methods with credit or debit cards. Just tap your card on the payment reader when boarding the bus.

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to explore the island, from cruising the roads in your own rental to hopping around on public transportation. I am sure you will find something that works for you.

Ready for more? Don’t forget to check out my other posts.

Read about the best time to visit Malta, a guide to Malta in winter, budget-friendly holidays, what to pack,  7-day itinerary and other general info.

If you’re looking for authentic accommodation options, here’s my guide on where to stay in Malta and Gozo. Or, if sandy shores and crystal-clear waters are more your thing, check out my comprehensive guide to Malta’s beaches.

For those who prefer active holidays, there’s a wealth of hikes and activities to try. And of course, no visit to Malta would be complete without a visit to the historic city of Valletta.

Got more questions? Check out this guide for answers to the most common questions and my poston facts about Malta. If you still have questions, leave a comment and I will get back to you.

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