The green and white buses might not look as cute as the famous yellow bangers that they replaced but the service has improved; buses are more environmentally friendly, accessible to wheelchair users and air-conditioned. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can see the odd yellow bus taking tourists on tours or selling souvenirs.
Buses in Malta are operated solely by Malta Public Transport. Their website shows all the routes available in Malta and Gozo, including the airport express routes (which have an ‘X’ in their number) and the late night ‘disco buses’ which go between major nightlife hotspots. There’s also an app you can download to figure out what the next bus would be from your current location to your destination.
A single journey ticket (which might include an interchange) costs €1.50 in winter, €2.00 in summer (mid-June – mid-October) and €3.00 at night. If you plan to commute regularly, you can buy a ‘tallinja card’, which gives discounted prices and can be topped up with additional credit. There are different rates for children, students and Gozo residents.
There are also some good options for visitors, such as the Explore Card (€21 adults / €15 kids) which offers unlimited bus travel for seven days, and the Explore Plus (€39) which has seven days of unlimited bus travel, as well as 2 trips on the Valletta ferry and a full day on the hop on-hop off bus tour or a boat trip to Comino. It might be worth considering when you first arrive.
You can buy tickets from the bus driver or online.
You can hop on a bus between 5.30am and 11pm. There are 80 routes to choose from in Malta and 15 in Gozo.
A bus route with 1 or 2 digits (e.g. number 3 or 13) includes Valletta in the route. Routes with an X are express. Three digits routes go elsewhere on the islands. Aside from Valletta, the main hubs are the Mater Dei Hospital and the University. You need to plan in advance, as most services only run every hour or half hour.
Bus to and from the airport
Reaching the airport in Malta by bus is very straightforward thanks to four express lines designated X1, X2, X3 and X4. You can plan your journey from to and from the airport here.
Public buses are green and white. Simply find the bus stop you need and indicate to the driver (usually by waving) when the bus that you want to get on, arrives.
If you have your own car in your current country of residence, you might want to consider exporting your car to Malta or read up on motorcycling in Malta.
In theory, yes, especially if you live in a hub, like somewhere in the Sliema or Birkirkara area, with access to shops, restaurants and entertainment. Most people who live outside the main urban areas do end up buying a car for the extra flexibility but given the current levels of traffic gridlock, sticking with public transport might be a better option – at least you can read a book in the traffic jams, rather than fuming behind the wheel.What is the legal driving age?
18 years old. Most car hire companies require drivers to be over 23 or even 25.What do I need to buy a car?
Once you find a car that you want to buy, you need to transfer ownership. This can now be done online. The seller, buyer and a witness are required to sign the back of the vehicle registration certificate and present it to an authorised insurance agency or broker. They will issue a new insurance policy. You will need to show your ID card. Any fees, penalties, CVA fees and contraventions that must be paid will show up at this point. The insurance agency or broker can then issue the new registration certificate in the name of the buyer and can also renew your vehicle road licence. You may need a new Vehicle Roadworthy Test (VRT) to do that - check online here.