If you think that public transport will be super straightforward, then you’re in for a surprise in Malta! For such a small island, public transport really is a big problem and it’s something you should look forward to complaining about a lot in the years you spend here!
No Trains or Metros in Malta!
We don’t have an underground system. Unfortunately it’s not physically possible in Malta, which I am so sad about as I think it’d be the ideal solution. But there you have it. No trains or railway, no underground, subway or Metro to get around with.
Busses in Malta
The main form of public transport in Malta is busses, and not the nice traditional Maltese yellow busses you’ve probably seen pictures of. We got rid of those around 2011 and it was a good thing, trust me. They look quaint but they were absolute death traps, environmental nightmares and genuinely disgusting inside.
Bus tickets are €1.50 for a Day Ticket or €1.20 for a ‘2 hour return’. Always go for the day ticket, it’s only a few cent more and you can get as many busses as you need that day.
Have the correct change handy. Please. In general, bus drivers in Malta are horrible and they will not appreciate you trying to pay with anything over a €2 coin.
Most bus stops will have a timetable stuck to them, but you can pretty much ignore this. It’s good for knowing which stops it goes to (although the stops all have names, not towns so it wont say Sliema, St Julians or Mellieha, it’ll say ‘Exiles’, ‘Ponsomby’ so it’s unlikely you’ll know where they are anyway) but the timings are not kept. Busses arrive when they arrive, just take a deep breath and expect a lengthy wait.
This happens all year round but is abominable in summer. 10 busses can go past you and refuse to stop as they are full. There has never been a year where the busy route had enough busses to keep them running smoothly, so always give yourself much more time than you need when taking the bus, as you could be waiting a while.
Taxis in Malta
There are plenty of taxi options when you’re in Malta, but a few things you must know. Firstly, they don’t run on meters. They have set prices from place to place and you should always check this with them before getting in.
DO NOT TAKE WHITE TAXIS!
In general, avoid white taxis, the ones that wait at various spots along the road. They’re the most expensive on the island, will often rip off tourists and have some very unsavoury drivers. I once thought about taking one as the other firms were busy and, because I’m English, he assumed I was a tourist and quoted me FIFTY EUROS for a trip that should be €10.
Booking Your Taxi
If you need a taxi, call a reputable firm. They are much cheaper, well staffed and rarely have lengthy waits. Plus, theres a few to choose from so if one company can’t come right away, chances are another will. I always recommend;
- Ecabs: always my top choice. They are the most professional, have the newest and cleanest cars and the friendliest and most knowledgeable drivers. You can also book online or by text which I love, or set up an account so you pay monthly.
However there are some other firms available such as;
- Yellow Cabs: I’ve never tried them myself so can’t offer my own recommendation or review.
- Wembleys: I use Wembleys usually after a night out in Paceville. They’re the cheapest on the island, and offer shared vans where they take 5+ people to different destinations and charge a few euro each for nights out. They offer individual cabs too though. Cars are super old and generally quite dirty so they’re always a last resort for me but I’ve never had any problems with them.