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A student's guide to navigate public transportation in Malta

Malta is a beautiful island nation in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. With Malta's rich history, vibrant culture and excellent academic opportunities, it's no surprise that more and more students are choosing Malta as their study destination. 

From its sun-soaked beaches to the busy cities, Malta offers a unique blend of academic excellence and Mediterranean charm. This makes it an ideal place to live, learn and explore. Moreover, Malta is located at a strategic point, which makes it a gateway to Europe, attracting students from all corners of the globe.

If you are a student planning to move to Malta to pursuit higher education, this blog will be your guide to understanding the public transportation system in Malta, the different modes of transportation available, the best options and much more. Let's begin with understanding what makes Malta attractive for the students. 

Geography of Malta

Malta is a small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily. It has three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. 

The terrain is mostly rocky, with low hills and terraced fields. The climate is Mediterranean, so you will likely experience hot and dry summers with mild and wet winters.

Malta is popular for its beautiful coastline with many sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and crystal-clear waters to explore. Valletta is the capital city, famous for its historic architecture, including forts, palaces and churches.

Despite its small size, Malta has a rich cultural heritage and is a popular tourist destination. Malta has a well-developed public transportation system, which makes it easy and affordable for students like you to travel around the island.

Types of Public Transportation in Malta

Malta offers several modes of public transportation to cater to the diverse needs of students: 

1. Buses

The public bus network in Malta is wide, covering almost every corner of the island. The buses are operated by Transport Malta and offer a cost-effective way for students to travel between towns, cities and campuses. 

  • Cost: A single journey on the bus typically costs around €1.50 for students, making it one of the most affordable options for transportation. You can contact the drivers, search online or ask a co-student on the campus to understand if you can get a monthly pass if you plan a longer stay. 

  • Benefits: Buses can be convenient for you as they run frequently and cover a wide area. They also provide a chance to interact with locals and experience the culture firsthand. 

2. Ferries

Ferries are another popular mode of transportation, especially for students travelling between the main island of Malta and Gozo (a sister island). The ferry service operates regularly throughout the day. The views of the Mediterranean Sea are breathtaking while you travel to/from your campus. 

  • Cost: The cost of a ferry ticket varies depending on the route and the type of ferry. However, students are eligible for discounted fares, making it an affordable option for island hopping. Take an idea of the different options and choose the one that suits your budget. 

  • Benefits: Ferries provide a scenic and leisurely way to travel between Malta and Gozo, allowing you to explore both islands at their own pace. 

3. Taxis

Taxis are readily available in Malta. You can book one in advance or at your point of boarding immediately. Taking taxis are an expensive option over buses or ferries, but they offer a more convenient door-to-door service. This makes it an ideal choice for students travelling late at night or in groups. 

  • Cost: Taxi fares are metered and vary depending on the distance travelled and the time of day. You should expect to pay more for taxi rides, especially during peak or weekend hours. 

  • Benefits: Taxis provide a comfortable and hassle-free way to travel, especially for is you are carrying heavy bags or luggage. They also offer privacy and flexibility, allowing you to tailor your journey according to their schedule. Strictly calculate your budget before deciding to ride a taxi in Malta, as it can be an expensive option compared to the others. 

Plan your travel in Malta now!

Budget-friendly tips for public transportation in Malta

For students looking for affordability, using public transportation in Malta can be affordable and straightforward with these tips: 

  • Purchase a travel card: Consider investing in a travel card like the Tallinja Card. This offers discounted fares on buses and ferries for students. These cards can be topped up with credit, making it a convenient way to pay for transportation without the need to carry change or cash. 

  • Plan your journeys: To save money on transportation, plan your trips in advance. You should try and take advantage of off-peak fares whenever possible. A plan will help you avoid rush hour because travelling during quieter times in Malta can help reduce costs. You enjoy some peace while avoiding overcrowded buses and ferries. 

  • Explore alternative modes of transportation: In addition to public buses and ferries, consider exploring other modes of transportation. The best alternatives in Malta are cycling or walking. Malta's size makes it easy to get around on foot or by bike, allowing you to save money while staying active and environmentally friendly. 

  • Use student discounts: Many transportation providers in Malta offer special student discounts. Ask about student rates and take advantage of any available offers when purchasing tickets or travel passes. 

  • Share rides: Consider sharing a taxi ride with fellow students to split the cost of transportation. Sharing rides saves money and reduces carbon emissions and traffic on the island. 

By following these tips and making smart choices, you can enjoy hassle-free travel around Malta while keeping your transportation expenses within budget. 

Studying abroad and making a career in Malta

Studying abroad can be a new experience for many students like you. Little research about the geography of the place, accommodation and public transportation in Malta can make life easier. You can plan and budget based on the above suggestions about public transportation in Malta.  

Whether you prefer the convenience of buses, the scenic beauty of ferries or the comfort of a taxi, public transportation in Malta has something for everyone. By following these tips and making smart choices, you can enjoy hassle-free travel around the island while focusing on your studies and making a career in Malta.  

GBS Malta offers a range of bachelor's and master's courses in business and management, information technology and many other related fields. The accommodation is a 20-minute distance (on bus) from the GBS Malta campus. For more information on the courses, accommodation and student services, contact the support team at GBS Malta now. 

Frequently Asked Questions about public transportation in Malta

You can pay for bus tickets with cash when boarding or use a Tallinja Card for discounted payments. 

You can enjoy discounted fares on buses and ferries by presenting a valid student ID card. 

Getting a Tallinja Card and planning your journeys during off-peak hours when will also help you save money on transportation.

Buses run regularly throughout the day, with frequent services connecting major towns and popular destinations across the island. 

Yes, night buses run on selected routes at night, providing transportation for students and residents returning home late.

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