Also, it’s hard to get lost in Malta as all you need to do is ask – most people are friendly and speak English.
Believe it or not Malta did have a train line which opened in 1883, and after a brief time was closed in 1931 after buses had been introduced and became the favoured mode of transport. The railway tunnel proved to be of great value as an air-raid shelter during the siege of Malta (1940-1942), when the fight for control of this strategically important island—then a British colony—pitted the air forces and navies of Italy and Germany against the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.
The popular bus service – whilst it receives much local criticism, is heralded by those who’ve never had the privilege of public transport. The routes link most localities in Malta and neighbouring Gozo island. I have found that taking a bus is a great way to mingle with the locals while taking in the fascinating sights and sounds of this cosmopolitan country. There is an express bus route as well with fewer stops, which gets you to and from the airport, hospital and university in the best possible time.
Buses are air-conditioned and designed to allow ease of access and seating for people with mobility impairments and the elderly. The main bus terminus which has undergone an upgrade is based in the capital city, Valetta. The system works on a colour coded route system; free maps, and online and phone apps make it easy to plan your route. The Tal-Linja bus card (similar to the UK Oyster card) makes it easy not to pay and get the best rate.
There’s a large variety of cars available, in fact too many cars on the island. From big brand names to collector’s items; sports, SUVs, bakkies and still some horse drawn carts, and electric cars are being introduced.
Malta’s waterways are very popular with cruise liners, and getting around by ferry is a popular way of travelling between Malta and Gozo island, between Sliema and the capital city Valletta. And, if you’d like to pop over to Sicily or other neighbouring islands, there’s regular schedule for many.
Don’t worry about getting lost; there’s a saying in Malta that if you don’t’ know where you’re going or have been, a local will know!