We arrived in Mdina by bus #81 from Verdala Palace (Buskett Gardens) and we left Mdina by bus to Valletta. The route between Valetta and Mdina/Rabat is served by bus #80 and #81. A single ticket for both routes cost 0,47 Euro (November 2010).
Tickets have to be bought directly from the driver. It is highly recommended to have the exact fare ready, as the bus drivers are often too lazy to give you change or they just like to increase their earnings by a few Cents.
Malta buses are yellow and usually second hand British type of buses dating back as far as to the 1950's.
Many of them are no longer in service anywhere else in the world. This makes them a unique sight for every tourist.
Lots of horse-carriages are waiting at Howard Garden ( that is the park in front of Mdina-gate, where all the tourbuses will drop their passangers). A ride in such a carriage might make sense for elderly or handicapped people, but for ordinary tourists it is certainly the best to walk these short distances, because Mdina is really just quite a small town with only a few steets to walk through, and you might miss a lot of the fine details in architecture, lovely door-knockers etc. when you rush through Mdina in a carriage.
To Mdina take Bus 80 or 81 from Valetta
or bus 65 from Sliema!Although these vintage-buses of Malta might seem to be unreliable at a first glace, their system is really quite perfect all over Malta and riding these buses is also great fun !
Mostly the buses dont have a door at all, or the door is fixed to stand open and it is not unusual to see people jumping in or out while the bus is stoping at a traficlight.
You can use a button to tell the driver that you want to get out at the next official stop and in some of the older buses you have a string to pull and that string rings a bell for the driver, thats funny.
Mostly you pay just 47 cents for a single ride p.p. and some drivers charge extra for your luggage, some dont, and in any case you have to take your luggage inside the bus yourself. Even in the airportbus you have to take your luggage into the bus, place it on the seats or what-ever !
To Mdina & Rabat by the Hop-on & off-bus is one of the possibilities to get there. Buses are going each 30 min and for the full day you pay 15 euros. I took the very first bus, spent some time in the park of the presdident, 1 hour in the Aviation-museum,30 min in Mosta and 1,5 hour in Mdina, that was the maximum I could do in a single day. All the other places of the tour I stayed onboard and got back by the last bus in the evening.
The seats on the lower floor of the bus are simply too hot, the ones on top are great, but sometimes you are hit by branches of trees and you need a cap that will not fly away in the winds.
The fortified city of Mdina can easily be explored on foot, especially as it is closed for traffic anyway.
Just a few cars of local residents as well as emergency vehicles are allowed within Mdina. Only about 250 people live within the city walls.
Many of the cobbled alleys aren't accessible to cars as they are too narrow.
Also Mdina is rather small, so that you can go from the southern to the northern end or from the western to the eastern end within about 15 Minutes.
It is easy to get to Mdina from Valletta on the public bus. 20 minutes and €0.47.
Ask the driver to let you off as you arrive there, before he heads into Rabat. On the way back, the buses stop close to the main gate.
Services 65, 80, 81, 84 & 86 will take you. Drivers are all helpful. Try to have €0.50 or €1 for him, and not a €50 note (or he may be less happy).
New to 2008 has been the introduction of a small "train" to take you round the outskirts of Mdina. I did not see it at all through the city gates, but caught it on camera as I was waiting for the bus to go back to Sliema. Therefore I cannot give you any more information at this stage. When I do, I will update this tip.
In my opinion the best way to get to know Mdina is to walk through it's narow streets and sniff the old ancient air of the town. For those who hate to walk there is this guided Carriage tour through the town, not cheap, but a nice experience. Total tourtime stops included 1,5 hrs. the driver told me!
Anyway I prefer to walk!
The bus route 80 and 81 goes from Valetta to Mdina. However we took a so-called "direct bus" as we've been in Mosta before. This direct bus is route 86 and goes from Buggiba via Mosta to Mdina. It stops directly in front of the main gate, so that you cannot miss it!
To reach Mdina by local bus - an experience in itself! - you need to take bus number 80, 81, 83, or 84 from Valletta. Alternatively route 65 from Sliema will bring you here too. Bus stop is just outside the city walls - just a few steps away across the gardens and play area. Toilets can be found in the garden area too if you need them!
Cars are not normally allowed inside Mdina which is partly how it got one of its names - The Silent City - and definitely not allowed in th evenings. There where vehicles inside for our visit - trucks and all sorts as they were repairing/replacing the pavements:-S
Horse and Carriage rides known as Karozzin in Maltese are available but seems hardly worth a ride round in Midna though as its really small - better somewhere else like Valletta if you want one.
If you do not wish to go on organised tours, where you only get to stay for about 20 minutes or so, then take the bus to Mdina and stay a while longer.
I you are staying in the Sliema region, then take the number 65 bus from Sliema front via St. Julian's San Gwann - Naxxar centre, Mosta, Rabat - Mdina.
The number 86 bus goes from Bugibba to Mdina via Qawra and Rabat.
I suggest you pick up a bus route leaflet (as mentioned elsewhere) for reference.
Also check out the website, That is useful too.
As with everywhere on this trip, we went on one of the beautiful antique busses of Malta. The busses cannot go into Mdina so you have to get off in Rabat, its close neighbour. It's only about 2 minutes walk from the bus stop to Mdina main gate, and the busses are frequent enough.
The ubiquitous Korrazzin. In Valletta I'd say a trip is worth it - her probably not. It's so small and tight in Mdina I think it's much better just to walk around. Still, if you must, they're here for you.
Mdina is definately a walking city. I believe,( but am not certain) , that the only cars that are allowed to drive here are by the local residents. If you want to drive to arrive at Mdina, there is a large parking lot outside of the city. An alternative is a karozzin which is a horse drawn cab. You will see many karozzins and their drivers right outside the city walls.