First thing first, Malta is covered really good with bus routes, tickets are not expensive, buses are clean most of the time and it’s never hot inside.
Literally you can go anywhere you want. But not anytime you want.
Save your time and nerves and follow these tips:
DON’T RELY ON GOOGLE MAPS!
Simply, it’s not always working. Maybe you are without connection or the server decided to be disabled just when you need it. Even if it works the timetable can be wrong for tons of reasons. So, rely on routes and numbers but not on the timetable. Just try to go earlier to the station. Most of the time you will catch your number even before scheduled time – it’s the previous departure that is, of course, late. And relax. It’s kind of normal to be late on Malta.
WAVE! WAVE! WAVE!
And yet again, WAVE when you see your number approaching the bus stop. Otherwise the driver won’t stop and you’ll hate the whole world until the next one comes and you’ll have meltdown when the next one doesn’t stop either. Trust me, I know.
ASK THE DRIVER!
Sometimes they forget to change the number while they are parked at station. And you’ll suddenly see the “not my number” bus departing from station and magically turning to your number, your only transport to airport in that time – fading away in the horizon. So, don’t feel ashamed to ask driver at station what’s his destination. And repeat. You never know…
WEAR THE SCARF!
Crazy use of air condition on Malta will be mentioned often on this blog. It’s the case with the buses as well. During season this country is really, but really hot and yet temperatures in buses are like butcher’s departments at supermarkets. Even when it’s 50 degrees outside, have a scarf or long sleeves shirt in your bag, otherwise you’ll be sick all the time.
To foreigners, every public transport service in this world may be confusing. The good thing with Malta is that most of the time people are really kind to tourists and whole island is covered with bus routes so you’ll definitely find your way.
DON’T STRESS, PRESS!
When you finally got into that bus, you’ll be wondering how and where you are getting out, because, as we said, driver will not stop on every station you see. The STOP buttons you can see all over the buses actually do work, so when you see the name of your station on the screen or if you hear it from the speakers, just press it. Don’t worry if you miss it, stations are really close to each other, so you can always walk to previous or next.