Public transportation by bus is provided throughout Malta and Gozo by Arriva.
Typical fare: €2.60/€1.50 per day.
Arriva’s fleet of buses is new, with seating and standing space, and spaces for wheelchairs and prams/pushchairs/buggies/strollers.
Buses do not generally accept bikes, with the exception of foldable bikes, accepted only at the driver’s discretion.
You may travel with pets on the bus free of charge. Pets must be in appropriate carriers and placed on your lap at all times.
Arriva’s buses are air conditioned.
Bus timetables vary on workdays (Monday-Saturday), Sundays, and public holidays. For more information on timetables and route maps, visit Arriva’s web site.
Buses are boarded and alighted at marked bus stops. You must flag a bus to stop at a bus stop using an outstretched arm or hand gesture.
Bus fares for Gozo are different than those in Malta. Tickets purchased in Malta cannot be used in Gozo, and vice versa. For more information see here.
Bus fares in Malta and Gozo are based on a resident’s discount system. You can benefit from resident’s discount if you are a holder of a Maltese ID card, a Registration Certificate/Residence Card (EU citizens), or a Long-Term Residence Permit.
Expats are eligible to receive a Maltese ID card, valid for the duration of their residence permit, after their residence permit has been approved. To purchase tickets at the discounted resident’s rate you must present your ID card as proof of residence at the time you purchase tickets. You must carry your ID card with you during transit and present it to ticket monitor’s when requested.
Visitors to the island on visas (valid for up to 90 days) are not eligible for discounted rates. If you do not have any of this documentation you are charged at a standard rate.
A one day ticket provides unlimited rides on Arriva buses from the time you purchase your ticket until 11pm/2300 h. One day tickets in Malta cost €2.60 for non-residents and €1.50 for residents.
Tickets valid for 2 hours in Malta cost €2.20 for non-residents and €1.30 for residents.
7 day tickets in Malta cost €12.00 for non-residents and €6.50 for residents.
Residents can also purchase 30 and 90 day tickets for €26 and €72, respectively. This option is not available to non-residents.
Find more information on Arriva bus fares here.
You can purchase tickets online, from Ticket Vending Machines, or from the driver as you board the bus.
Drivers provide change if you do not have the exact amount, but avoid using large bills as change is not always available during peak hours. Drivers sell 2 hour, 1 day, and 7 day tickets.
Tickets can also be purchased from Arriva Ticket Booths, located at the major bus terminuses in Valletta, Sliema, Bugibba, and the Malta International Airport.
Ticket Vending Machines, online ticket services, and Arriva Ticket Booths accept cash, credit, and debit cards.
You can also purchase tickets from all lotto outlets, Malta Post outlets, and Agenda bookshops in Malta and Gozo, as well as hundreds of other private resellers. For a complete list of resellers, see Arriva’s web site.
Residents (ID card holders) who frequently use the bus can benefit from further reduced rates by applying for an Arriva Saver Card. Arriva Saver Cards are available free of charge.
You can load your Saver Card, topping up with 7 day, 30 day, or 90 day credits, allowing you to travel cash-free. Saver Cards can be topped up at Ticket Vending Machines, Ticket Booths, or online.
Find more information about how to apply for and use the Saver Card on Arriva’s web site.
Night buses operate on Friday and Saturdays from 11pm/2300h to 4am/0400h.
Night bus fares are €2.50 per trip (for both residents and non-residents). All previously purchased tickets and Saver Cards are invalid on night buses. You can purchase night bus tickets wherever you purchase regular service tickets.
Night buses are denoted by a ‘N’ followed by the route number, e.g. N13.
For a list of night buses, click here.
Buses on airport routes are all equipped with luggage storage space.
No special fare is required for airport buses – simply use a regular day or week ticket, or your Arriva Saver Card.
Airport routes are denoted by a ‘X’ followed by the route number, e.g. Route X2.
For a list of buses that service the Malta International Airport, click here.
For a list of buses that service Malta and Gozo’s beaches, historic sites, and museums, click here.
For a list of buses that service hotels in Malta and Gozo, click here.
Arriva increases its bus services when large or popular events are being held on the islands.
You can find a list of special events services here.
There are three Park & Ride sites in Malta: at Floriana, Marsa, and Pembroke. Ideal for commuters, parking at Park & Ride sites costs €1.50/24 hours. Read more here.
By Jess Gerrow, who traded city life in Canada for island life in the Mediterranean two years ago. She is a postgraduate marketing student, blogger, and freelance writer.