How To Get Around Malta? Buses vs Cars
There are ups and downs for each form of transport. The question remains. How to get around Malta?
The only type of public transport in Malta is a network of route buses.
Buying or renting a car seems like a good option, but then you should consider the heavy traffic.
(Updated March 2023)
3 Ways To Get Around Malta
1. Bus: the cheapest
Bus provider: Tallinja
There is no doubt - the bus is the cheapest way to travel around Malta. Public transport in Malta is FREE.
Maltese buses work for the most part. With Tallinija card, which is Malta’s own bus pass, each bus ride is free for all citizens of Malta.
There are also bus services on demand, charging a fee for a guaranteed seat on a minibus ride.
A great service is available only in central locations.
There is a catch. The bus ride usually takes a very long time.
Public transport in Malta isn’t bad if you have one connection to catch. If you live in the middle of nowhere or try to get to the other side of the island, then you’re in for an adventure.
It gets super busy during rush hour. The rush hour in Malta is between 7 - 8 am and then between 4 - 5 pm.
Try to plan ahead and give yourself time to be late, or to be very early at some places.
Also, the Tallinja app is not always accurate - try using Google Maps to plan your journey.
2. Car ride: most comfortable
Cost of car ride: €15 / 25min ride (fares vary depending on the time of the day and demand)
Car ride providers: Bolt, eCabs, any.cab
You can find taxi stands anywhere near tourist resorts and hotels. It’s easy to also find some in larger places such as Malta's airport, City Gate in Valletta, or St Julian and Sliema.
You don’t need to worry about car park spaces, and you get to cool down when getting a ride on a hot day.
Far more popular options in Malta are Bolts and eCabs, which you can order using your smartphone.
Both apps are easy to use. They have some great prices and options for your commute, ie. pet-friendly, eco, mini-van.
You still can’t beat the traffic, and it can get pricey if you use it every day. If you have to be somewhere on time, you should make sure that you give yourself some breathing room, ie. do some work, have a call, or read.
3. Car buying/car rental: most efficient
Cost of petrol: avg. €1.5/liter
Car rental providers/sellers: To buy: maltapark To rent: rentalcars
Renting a car might be one of the best ways to get around the island. It’s the best way to find all the hidden gems. Bonus: you get to sit in your personal AC, and petrol prices are low in comparison to the rest of Europe.
Unless you’re familiar with driving on the left-hand side, you will find it difficult to drive in Malta. Heavy traffic is also a concern whilst driving. With car accidents increasing by 60% in 20211, driving in Malta can be dangerous at times.
Make sure you and your vehicle have full insurance.
Also, car park spaces are very limited around the island, especially in touristy areas.
What is the best way to travel around Malta?
- For the price, buses are not the worst form of transport in Malta. They're inexpensive, but not always punctual and can increase travel time by a lot.
- Car rental in Malta offers you flexibility. But then buying or renting a car might get you stuck in traffic for the same amount of time.
- Renting scooters, or bikes is also an option. But you should remember that bicycle lanes are rather limited and prone to road accidents.
Can you do Malta without a car?
You don't need a car to get around Malta. There're many ways to get around the island, and with all comes adventures. We've lived here for over a year and never got the car 😉 You live, you learn.
When choosing your option for moving around Malta, try to consider all the outcomes. 😊
1 "Traffic accidents increased by almost 60% in the second quarter of year", 6 August 2021, Times of Malta.