Bus / Coach / Car, Gibraltar
As there are only nine bus routes in the whole of Gibraltar it’s very easy to get around the place.
I have walked most of the area but as I wanted to get to Europa Point and my time it was limited I had to get the local bus form the city to there. I have purchased an all day pass at £2.25 which it’s very reasonable if you are travelling around all day.
The bus station its located just on the other side of Casemates Square by the gates and opposite Ocean Village.
The buses are new, comfortable and were on time.
If you are a resident in Gibraltar and for non residents that are Club Card holders travel its free on buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 as long as they can present the correct document.
A single trip for adult it’s £1.50 and £1.20 for a child.
Adult all day pass £2.25 and child all day pass £1.80
OAP single trip75p and all day pass £1.20
Route 1 will take you to the Great Siege Tunnels
Route 2 which is the most popular it takes you all the way to Europa Point but it also goes past the cable car, Alameda Botanical Gardens, Queens Hotel and the Rock Hotel.
Route 3 is a circular route and goes to the cable car, Alameda Botanical Gardens, Queens Hotel, the Rock Hotel and the 100 ton gun.
Route 4 goes to the cable car, Alameda Botanical Gardens and 100 ton gun and it also goes past the man made beaches.
Route 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are more for local people which they take you to residential areas, the hospital and the local swimming pool.
Route 9 goes to the airport.
A single fare is now £1 on ALL services for people without a Gib ID card or bus card (eg cross-border workers)
Updated: March 2012
The bus routes and numbers were changed last year.
For people visiting Gib, the number 5 starts at the frontier/airport and goes to the Market Place and Reclamation Road. There is a charge for this service, the other buses are currently free.
The Market Place/Clock/Reloj is now the bus exchange.
No 1 goes to the Moorish Castle.
No 2 goes to Europa Point.
No 3 goes to South Barracks
No 4 goes to the eastern side
The Gibraltar Bus Company Limited runs an excellent service round the Rock. The web link below is actually to one of the Government tourist sites as the bus company web site wasn't working when I tried it.
It's cheap and it's regular. The only down side is when the roads are full of idle car drivers trying to get out of Gib, Friday evening being a prime time, when everyone is sitting in the traffic. Better to be sitting in a bus, having paid 60p than in a car though burning petrol (or diesel) and my own money. After all, when you are stuck in a jam, you are all stuck.
Times and frequencies below are for Monday to Friday. Weekend services are less frequent. All services stop at 9pm, although starting times vary slightly.
In my limited experience, the best used service is Route 3 which goes from the frontier more or less in a straight line to Europa Point to the other end of Gib. It runs every 15 mins and starts at 6.30am.
Route 9 is also handy as it goes from the frontier to the Market Place and Commercial Centre. Starts at 7am and runs every 15mins.
Route 4 goes across the Rock so is good for getting from East to West, ie Both Worlds, Catalan Bay, Eastern Beach to Morrisons and the hospital. A 20 min frequency starting at 7.15am.
Confession time - I've not tried Route 2 yet, although planned to as thought it would be good to get the bus up to the Moorish Castle and walk back down into town. It runs between the castle and Referendum House, every 20 mins starting at 7.20am.
Prices are flat fare. Currently, ie last week, single is 60p, return is 90p, and an all day pass is £1.50. There are cheaper rates for children and senior citizens. Check with the governement website below for up-to-date prices.
Drivers are bi-lingual if not multi-lingual (see my travelogue section!)
If you are spending time in Gibraltar and don't have your own transport, the local bus system will get you everywhere you want to go until about 9:00pm.
The unlimited day use bus ticket is useful if you will take more than 3 trips in any one day. www.gibraltar.gov.uk has a list of all the bus routes but you can get to almost every location (apart from up The Rock) on the bus system.
So, if like us you want to stay out of town, you can hop into town on the number 4, out to the frontier on the number 9, to the Moorish Castle on the number 2 (watch out for this one because it sometimes runs in a combi van rather than an ordinary bus), to Europa Point on the number 3.
We opted for a "shopping tour" which meant that we were picked up by a coach in front of the hotel. It took forever to pick up all the people in the various towns like Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas costa, Marbella and Estebona.
The trip took almost 4 hours one way and we had a good 4 hours in Gibraltar. We paid Euro 13.90 per person for the trip in April 2011. We booked the trip in a travel agency in La Carihuela.
Alternatively, take the public bus from Torremolinos to La Linea which is 5 minutes walk from the border. It's easy to cross the border on foot. Apparently, the proper bus takes less than 3 hours and costs a bit more than the tour. It doesn't run very often, so carefully check the timetable.
When you walk across the border into Gibralter, the first thing you notice is a craziness of buses and general pandemonium as people wander about looking for their connections.
To get to the centre, look no further than the Number 10 bus. If the one already there is full, then wait a few minutes for the next one. This bus will take you right to the entrance to the Old Town and save you a very long and very boring walk. Outside of the Old Town, Gibralter is uninspiring to say the least, so save your energy for exploring the historical parts.
I know we didn't have sterling at that point so we must have paid the bus fare with Euro. The return fare was really cheap.
To get to Gibralter we picked up a local bus on the highway at Puerto de la Duquesa. For three of us, return fare cost just under EUR 10
Rush hour traffic in/out of Gibraltar can be terrible. Midday and evenings are not so bad. I drove across in both of those and only had to wait no more than 5 minutes.
But once you are over on Gibraltar what are your plans? Parking is more limited and costly. It may be more economical to park on the Spanish side, then walk across the border/airport then take the public bus from there. I also did this for a couple days and found it to be quite simple and efficient.
We had not made any preparations at all for our short Gibraltar visit, so decided to ask the local Tourist Information office at Casemates Square what they thought our best option would be. After running through the costs and timetables of various options they convinced us that taking a couple of the local bus runs would be our best bet. Taking their advice, we immediately set out on foot for the nearest pick-up point and did not have to wait long for the #3 bus to appear. With the top of The Rock shrouded in fog, we knew that was out of the question so had decided to take the #3 at least partway to the top, stopping at Europa Point at the southern tip of Gibraltar.
The bus was smooth and clean, with not many passengers either. We enjoyed the views over both the town and the harbour below as we wound our way upward and even the short stop at Europa Point provided some interesting attractions. At only 0.60 pounds per person each way there was nothing to complain about. After returning to downtown we hopped off at another stop (with guidance from the driver) and then caught the #4 bus for a sea-level drive below the cliffs of the eastern side. Due to road-works, this one did not work out quite so well but we did at least see some Barbary Apes there! Catching a return bus, we jumped off not far from the airport and hiked back into Spain to retrieve our car - we still had driving to do before New Years Eve caught up with us!
When we travel, we like to be independent to do our own thing and it usually involves getting off the beaten path. As a result, we almost always hire a car if it makes any sense at all given the circumstances of where we are visiting. In this case, because Sue's sister was joining us from England for the first eight days of our trip in Andalusia, I had to go one size larger than normal to accommodate three suitcases. It turned out to be a diesel Ford Focus station wagon with a 5-speed manual transmission. There was enough space in the rear for the suitcases plus a few other odds and ends as well as a flap that covered-up everything from prying eyes.
We hired it from Red Ribbon Car Hire Spain but picked it up from the Goldcar desk at the Alicante airport - at a daily rate of 18.26 Euros. However, when all the extras like insurance and diesel surcharge were added in, the total for 18 days came to 618 Euros (~US$850 during the financial meltdown crisis).
Everywhere we went in Spain, we found the roads to be in excellent condition - even on small secondary roads in the Sierra Nevadas or along some 'off-the-beaten path' coastal roads. The biggest problem with this Group F-size car was in towns, trying to squeeze it into one of the few small parking spots that one might chance upon. It did not give us any mechanical problems during the 3240-km (~2000 miles) we drove it. During our brief stop at Gibraltar, we found an almost empty underground parking garage close to the border in Linea de la Conception (we could not take it across any borders) and left it there for almost 4 hours at a cost of 7 Euros before continuing to Torremolinos.
Although Gibraltar is quite small it has a local bus service, which is operated by the Gibraltar Bus Company.
The bus route between the border and the city centre (# 10) is operated by a different company which uses the typical London red double decker buses.
These buses serve this route every 15 minutes and tickets can be bought from the driver.
If you are a good walker and have enough time to explore Gibraltar you won't need any bus service on the peninsula.
There is no bus service to Gibraltar itself, but buses from Spain stop in La Linea which is the border town between Spain and Gibraltar.
Its bus station is situated only a 5 minute walk from the border. It even has left luggage facilities and some small shops.
At La Linea there are regular bus services to Sevilla, Malaga, Algeciras, Barcelona and Madrid. The timetables which are displayed in the bus station are not necessarily correct; so always ask at one of the staffed counters for your bus.
I arrived in La Linea from Marbella (5,55 Euro; 1:20 h; 2006) and left to Jerez de La Frontera to catch my flight back home to Germany.
If you are staying in Jerez/Cadiz/Arcos in Spain you can see Gibraltar as a day trip, which is what we did. Know however, the highway back to Spain is very very busy with trucks in the afternoon and your journey may turn into a much longer one than you had expected.
Although Gibraltar is a small territory, it is not an easy place to walk around. To get from the cable car lift to the southern edge of the peninsula can take 30 to 45 minutes. Instead of walking, hop on one of Gibraltar's public buses. They travel in a circle around the territory and cost one pound.
Wait for the bus to the cable cars. This saves you walking 25 minutes! The stop is near Queens Hotel, for reference.
Here, buses accept both UKP & Euros, though if you have sterling use that, as the exchange rate (bus fares in this currency) is noticeably favourable!! Eg 60 pence versus 1 euro! (when the official exchange rate was 1:1.39, ie 60p should equal 85 eurocents!)
So if u're from Britain, your home-change will come in handy.
Before June (poons) had suggested the organized bus trip, I had looked into how to get to Gibraltar via bus, there are direct connections from Marbella, Malaga and several other spots on the Costa del Sol to La Linea, the town on the Spanish side of the border. It doesn't appear that you can go directly into Gibraltar but from what I've read the bus station in La Linea is just a short walk from the border.
Since we had such a short period of time to visit, the entire gang hopped on a bus to go to and from the cable car station which is on the opposite end of Gibraltar from the border crossing.
The bus driver will take Euro or British pounds or Gibraltar pound and can make change, it was 60p or 1E each way. There's a day long bus ticket as well but the price was in excess of the 2 trips we'd end up taking.
We took Bus No. 3 to get to the cable car station, we caught it right after we had gone through passport control so we didn't get to walk over the Gibraltar airport runway.