Malta's colourful old buses, there are some newer ones, are a great way to travel around the Island. They are very cheap & quite frequent on main routes. The prices are only a few cents per journey. If you are using them a lot, it may be easier & cheaper to buy a pass.
The buses can get packed at certain times. Travelling on some of the old ones can be a bumpy ride. None of the buses have destinations on them, just a number. It's therefore advisable to get a bus timetable from the driver, tourist information or your hotel. This will help you identify each bus & give you an idea of its frequency. Mine also had a map of the Valletta Bus Terminus, handy as all the buses are parked there in a circle.
If you arrive in Valletta by cruise ship you will realize that your ship is not allowed to operate a shuttle bus due to taxi and bus unions. However a convenient bus service the line 198 operates from the cruise pier to the old upper town. Cost is around EUR 1 each way and tickets can be purchased directly on the pier.
Public buses in Valletta are quite an attraction! All are yellow, most of them older than 35 years, produced in different aprts of the world, having no doors. Those buses are so unusuall, that you have an impression like you're in Cuba or some other undeveloped exotic country.
One way ticket is 25 cents, and you can also take a daily ticket or 2,3,5 and 7 days ticket. Buses are going regulary, every few minutes. Last daily bus leaves at 23:15.
Reaching Valletta by bus is pretty easy as there is the main bus station. Almost all busses go to this bus terminus in Valletta. Most busses go about every 15 to 30 minutes and depending from where you come there are several bus routes that you can take. The bus terminus is well organized, there's a map where you'll find which bus numbers, so that also leaving Valletta by bus isn't difficult.
This in the photo is the main bus terminus, which is in Valletta. From here you can catch a bus to all parts of the island. They are not expensive and very efficient as well. You can also buy One-Day, Five-Day or Seven-Day Special Tickets.
** Have small change ready :)
The Valletta Bus terminus serves most routes for the island and is situated just outside the city gates. The buses are the old Bedford type and are amazing. They congregate around the central Triton fountain - It looks mad and chaotic but quite organised really and "entertaining" to watch various drivers being verbally hurried along to get the buses out on time. Numbers are clearly marked and info leaflets on the frequency of the services and their position on the roundabout are readily avaialble. Fares are the same no matter how far you travel too so its a really cheap way to get around Malta. Lots of kiosks are found here too selling quick snacks and drinks - always popular with the locals.
Oh word of warning - keep hold of your bus ticket for the entire journey - ticket inspectors get on regularly, sometinmes our tickets were checked twice on even short journeys! Some are quite volatile too - we witnessed a storming row with one driver - wish I new what it was all about!
The green buses featured on Valletta Homepage are no more, they have been replaced by bright orange/white ones, some relatively new.
The buses do not have destinations showing, only the number of the route, so do pick up a bus timetable which shows the number of the bus you require.
It's quite easy to get to Valletta by bus. Almost every bus on the Island ends up at Valletta at the end of its route. Bus fares are quite cheap and the services quite regular and efficient (from what we saw, and we used the busses 3 or 4 times each day).
Valletta bus station needs to be seen anyway. It's a mad affair of concentric circles of bus lanes, the busses all stood one behind another, unable to go anywhere until the one in front leaves. Flare ups between drivers are quite commonplace as one wants to leave and the other is dawdling along.
The busses are timed to leave dead on their departure time, so don't be surprised if the doors are closed on you just as you are about to board. If the busses waited till every last passenger was on, every bus in the terminus would be 1/2 hour late! Don't worry, you'll be first in the queue for the next bus.
Valleta is only 5 km from the popular tourist towns of Sliema and St. Julian's where most of the hotels are situated. So a pleasant 40 minute walk along the seafront takes you there. Abus ride takes 15 or 20 minutes and costs a few cents. From St. Paul's Bay where quite a number of hotels are situated a busride takes 35 minutes and costs less than 50cents.
Definitely on foot
Take a bus... don't bother driving in, because you will never find parking and unless you have a special permit, you cannot drive into Valletta anyway... A bus ride is a little bumpy :) but nothing beats arriving at the Triton Fountain and starting your walkabout from City Gate. [The pic shows the fountain in the background... Bus no. 40 is the one which takes you to my village, Attard :-)]
Take a horse-drawn cab. It's a novel way to see the place but haggle with the cab driver... Don't let him charge you more than Lm5 to Lm10 depending on how long the tour is going to be.
It is extremely easy to get to Valletta,because all bus routes arrive and depart from there being this is where Malta's main bus terminal is. The only exceptions to this are the direct bus routes. A bus ticket is only 15 cents Maltese and there is much more information about Malta's buses on my Malta page. If you are in Sliema, a quick scenic alternative way to Valletta is by passenger ferry. The ferry departs from Marsamexett Harbour and takes only 5 minutes. They leave from around 7:30A.M. until around 6:00 PM,(every 30 minutes)but please check the schedule because sometimes the times may vary as to the season or the day. The cost is only 35 cents Maltese and offers some very pretty views. Once you depart off the ferry,it is about a 10 minute walk uphill to the city center.I don't have a picture of the ferry itself, but it is light blue and has Lowenbrau written on the side of it. If it is a very windy day the ferry may not be able to run.
Valletta is definately a walking city!
All the buses in Malta leave their respective cities/villages and end their trip to Valletta and vice versa. Website below shows you all the information you need about the public transport.