Getting around Malta by Car
I’m going to start with a car as I think this is definitely the best option when it comes to getting around Malta! Renting a car in Malta is actually very easy and you’ve got lots of choice. It’s also fairly inexpensive.
Benefits of renting a car in Malta
- Gives you the freedom to create your own itinerary
- No need to wait or rely on public transport which can become overcrowded in the peak months
- It’s such a small island that if you’re short on time, renting a car is the quickest way to see all the best sights in Malta
- In Malta they drive on the left, (which is the same as the UK), so this was a benefit to us!
Bradley and I rented a car with a company called Compass Car Hire. They are based in St Paul's Bay and they’re actually the highest rated company for car rental in Malta. They’re a local family run business and we had no issues with renting a car with them. Don’t expect top class cars with special features. You’ll get a car that does the job!
We paid 23 Euro a day (the price goes lower the longer you rent) and if you’re over 21 you pay a deposit of 450 Euro regardless. You don’t need a “credit card”, we used our Monzo just fine to hold the money!
We got our money back fine and had no issues with the vehicle.
One thing I’ll say is that it’s better to drive a smaller car around Malta because in general the roads are more narrow and smaller, so I think a bigger car would be prone to accidents. This is definitely the case if you’re in small towns and the cities, and defiantly the tiny roads of Valletta.
One of the unique things about renting a car in Malta is that it’s actually the local companies who are more trustworthy than the big firms (such as Hertz, Avis etc). Typically we usually go with Hertz when possible, but their reviews were crazy bad, so local is better!
But, you can also use Rental Cars to check for car rental prices online in both Malta & Gozo. They compare both national and local companies!
Also, you won’t spend a lot on fuel when driving. Simply because the island is one small size and you won’t need to travel far between sights.
Getting around Malta by Bus
If you can’t drive, or don’t have the confidence to drive, then you can rely on Malta’s public transport network. The bus network across the island of Malta is super well connected. To get to the majority of tourist sights just by getting the bus.
The bus is also cheap! In the winter months it’s 1.50 Euro per journey, and in the summer months it’s 2.00 Euro per journey.
You can also buy a Tallinja Explore Plus card which gives you unlimited bus travel on Malta and Gozo for only 39 Euro a week. It includes:
- 7 days of unlimited travel on public transport, including direct services from the airport
- 2 trips on the Valletta ferry
- full-day tour on the hop-on, hop-off buses visiting Malta’s famous attractions
- a round trip to Comino by boat
One thing to note about buses in Malta is that they don’t always run on time. You can check Google for “live” times, but honestly they’ve been quite inaccurate when we relied on them. We suggest you simply turn up to the bus station and wait for the next bus!
Also, buses can be quite slow, especially if they’re busy. This is simply because they stop frequently. You can however get on T1D plus buses (and pre book seats) and they are basically quicker because they have fewer stops.
You can find out more about bus routes and how to purchase cards and tickets on their website right here.
We used the bus quite a few times when we lived in Malta and I found it very fuss-free. Sometimes if we were travelling in rush hour, we could be stuck in traffic for a while, and that was frustrating, but if you’re laid back, and not in a rush, then the bus is a great option!
Getting around Malta by Cool & Bolt
Cool is Malta’s own version of Uber. It’s a ride sharing app and it’s the cheapest way to get a taxi on the island. They actually had a limited service for a while, but when we visited they extended their reach to most of the island which was great! We used Cool to get to the airport, and for trips into Valletta when we didn’t want to get the bus.
Cool is a “ride-sharing” app which means you might share your journey with others (this happened once for us), but you can pay extra for “private” journeys too.
It’s not overly expensive, and it’s definitely quicker. If you’re on a night out in Paceville (St Julian's), I suggest you use Cool to get home. Also, you can get sign up discount codes which gives you money off your rides!
Bolt is quite a well known app around the world, and it’s basically a taxi app. It’s more expensive than Cool and I can’t compare it to a regular taxi as we didn’t use one. But with Bolt you can order online, pay online and Bolt is available all over Malta & Gozo which is really useful!
Getting around Malta by Hop on Hop Off bus
The Hop on Hop off buses in Malta and Gozo are very well established and in Malta they have 4 different routes and services that cover the whole island. This makes it a really easy option to use for sightseeing the island. We personally haven’t used it, but I constantly see them around and I think they're fuss-free options, that are great for families too!
I would imagine that in summer they may get busy quicker, but perhaps they increase the number of buses in circulation.
Getting around Malta by other transport options
So since Malta is so small, you’ve got some other options for getting around the Island, including some unique options!
- Electric moped: you can actually rent these out on the street via an app called GoTo
- Electric car: Again, you can rent these out on the street via an app GoTo
- Quad bike: We saw quite a few places offer quad bike rental for getting around Malta...interesting to say the least!
Getting around Malta via tour
If you're the type of person who prefers to have their itinerary sorted by others, then you might like the idea of taking a tour to get around Malta & Gozo, and it's totally possible. The two top companies to book tours with in Malta are GetYourGuide & Viator. I've listed some of my favourite tours below:
- Private Highlights of Malta Full-Day Tour: It's private so it's pricey, but it really does take you to all of the best spots in Malta so perfect of you're short on time.
- Full Day Tuk Tuk Tour on Gozo: We seen these on Gozo and they looked like lots of fun! Reminded us of Sri Lanka. It's a full day Gozo sightseeing tour!
- The Malta Experience - Hidden Gems Private Tour: This is a private car tour to all the best places in Malta.
Of course this is an more expensive option, but it's a great option for solo travellers, or older couples who don't want the bother of getting from A to B.
Getting from Malta to Gozo
The only way to get from Malta to Gozo is via the public ferry. You can either go as a foot passenger, or take your car with you! The crossings run frequently every day and they take around 25 minutes. It’s quite a scenic ride and you’ll go past Comino and see some beautiful blue waters.
On board there is a cafe, toilets and lots of seating areas inside and out. You can check out the ferry schedule right here.
One thing to note is that you do not need to purchase tickets on your first journey from Malta to Gozo. You only purchase the tickets on your return journey, from Gozo!
For a passenger return journey it’s €4.65 and for a passenger and car it’s €15.70.
Getting around Gozo
Most of the options I’ve discussed above also apply to Gozo, but I’ll give you a few pointers to keep it fresh and simple.
- Car rental is possible in Gozo, you can take your car from Malta over on the ferry, or you can rent a car directly in Gozo at the ferry port. Check rental cars here.
- Gozo has its own hop on hop on bus service. It’s just one route because the island is so small. Book it here.
- Quad bike and buggy are a popular option for getting around Gozo, and since some of the sights are little off road, I think it’s a great idea!
- You can also rent out segways to get around Gozo, but I would assume this would be limited to different areas.
- Gozo also has its own bus network, but this is less developed than Malta and won’t take you to some of the sights we’ve listed on our Gozo travel guide.
- Electric car and bike: again you can rent these via the GoTo App.
- Jeep tour: These are advertised everywhere and are typically a one day tour of Gozo by jeep! They look really cool. You can book it online here.
Getting from Malta airport
Malta airport is well connected and you’ve got a couple of options;
- Rent a car: You can rent your car with pickup from the airport so you can head off right away. Check Rental Cars.
- Public transport: Buses run regularly from Malta airport to various places around Malta. You should check this website for times and routes.
- You can hire a driver to pick you up and drop you to your address. We did this via our Airbnb, and you can book a driver online right here.
So there you have it, my guide to getting around Gozo! I hope you’ve found this post useful and hopefully it will help with your planning. Any questions or comments, simply drop them below and we’ll get back to you.
Don’t forget to check out these other posts:
- Malta: Things to do in Malta
- Gozo: Things to do in Gozo
- Itinerary: Ultimate 5 day Malta itinerary (including Gozo & Comino)
- Blue Lagoon: Our Blue Lagoon Camino tour for $20!