Open-Top Bus Tours
Visitors to Malta and Gozo have a choice of several different open top bus tours with commentary in various languages. They can be booked at various agencies or at your hotel, or you can generally pay on the bus as well. You can also buy online if you wish. What I would recommend is to buy in advance (for example from the Malta TravelNet office - see yellow panel) but get an open ticket which doesn't specify a date - the price is the same. On the day you choose to travel, you can board the bus and exchange your open ticket for a dated one. Open top bus tours run every day of the year, except Christmas Day.
There are two different operators as shown below, and tickets are not interchangeable, so make sure you board the right bus. To link to the operators' websites click on the name of the operator below. However, it's best to pick up the latest leaflets in Malta as details can change over the course of the year. Don't forget you may need a hat to avoid sunburn!
Recommended agent in Bugibba/Qawra: Malta TravelNet. See the Excursions and Tours page for further details.
Malta Open-Top Bus Tours
Operated by Supreme Travel, open top buses leave from Sliema Ferries terminus (opposite Burger King) every half an hour from 0900 to 1500 on weekdays and from 0900 to 1400 on Sundays. The whole tour takes just under three hours, but they operate on a hop-on hop-off basis with tickets valid all day, so the idea is you choose one or two places to stop off en route and make a day of it. There are two tours: the North/Blue tour and the South/Red tour. Tickets for each tour cost 20 (children aged 5 to 15 pay 13, children under 5 years travel free). Tickets are not transferable between tours. If you book in advance, return travel from any hotel in Malta to the departure/arrival point is included in the price.
In addition, free transport to the Sliema departure point is provided as follows: from Cirkewwa at 0830 and 0930, from Mellieha at 0840 and 0940, from Xemxija at 0850 and 0950, from Bugibba (Santana Hotel) every 30 minutes from 0800 to 1300, from St Julians every 30 minutes from 0830 to 1330, from Valletta every 30 minutes from 0845 to 1345.
North (Blue) Tour: depart Sliema Ferries and calls at Valletta Bus Terminus, San Anton Gardens, Mdina Glass, Ta' Qali Crafts Village, Aviation Museum, Mosta Church, Mdina Gate, Rabat Roman Villa, Mgarr Church, Golden Bay, Bugibba Square, Bugibba Santana Hotel, Bahar ic-Caghaq (Marine Park/Splash & Fun), St George's Bay, Spinola Bay, and back to Sliema.
South (Red) Tour: depart Sliema Ferries and calls at Valletta Bus Terminus, Auberge de Castille, Valletta War Museum & Fort St Elmo, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta Waterfront, Tarxien Temples and Hypogeum, Vittoriosa Waterfront, Zejtun Parish Church, Zejtun St Gregory's Church, Marsaxlokk Fishing Village, Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum, Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples, Malta Falconry Centre, Limestone Heritage, and back to Sliema.
There is also a Malta By Night tour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from March to mid-November leaving Bugibba at 1855 and lasting approximately four hours. There is a stop at Mdina for approximately an hour. The price is the same as the other tours and includes free transport from and to any Malta hotel.
City Sightseeing offers two hop-on hop-off open-top routes starting from the Valletta Waterfront terminus, the North (Blue) route and Red (South) route, running every 30 or 45 minutes, depending on the route. For detailed timings pick up a leaflet in Malta.
Tickets can be used for hop-on hop-off travel on both routes on the specified day(s), covering 34 stops around Malta. A one-day ticket costs 20, a two-day ticket is 37. Children aged 5 to 14 pay 10 for one day, 20 for two days.
Gozo Open-Top Bus Tours
Malta Sightseeing's Green Tour operates from Mgarr Harbour (where the ferry from Cirkewwa arrives) and also calls at Victoria bus station. It runs daily every 45 minutes from 0940 with the last one leaving at 1500. A detailed timetable is available in the leaflets or on the Malta Sightseeing website. It operates as a hop-on hop-off service with tickets costing 20 valid all day (children aged 5 to 15 pay 13, children under 5 years travel free). If booked in advance you can add a transfer from your hotel anywhere in Malta to the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa and back for 10 per passenger (children 9).
Route: depart from Mgarr Harbour and calls at Ramla Bay, Savina Creativity Centre (10 minute stop), Ggantija Temples and Xaghra Windmill, Calypso Cave, Marsalforn Bay, Victoria bus station, Ta Pinu Church, Ta' Dbiegi Crafts Village, Dwejra, Fontana Cottage, Xlendi Bay, Victoria bus station, Xewkija Square, and back to Mgarr Harbour.
Hop-on hop-off open top bus departures from Mgarr are at 0945, 1030, 1115, 1200, 1245, 1330, 1415, 1500 and 1545 (the last two departures may not run in winter). The timetable is a little complicated, so make sure you pick up a copy of the timetable leaflet.
There are 27 stops in Gozo, served by two bus tours, the Purple Line and the Blue Line. The ticket allows you to switch between routes. Each route serves Victoria (adjacent to the bus station) several times during the day. A one-day ticket costs 18 (children 10), and it's valid all day. Transfers from various hotels in Malta can be arranged for an extra fee.
The photo (right) was taken at Dwejra.
© Brendan Fox www.maltabybus.com 2007-2017