Routes and Timetables

The Bus Network

For such a small island, there are a large number of bus routes, and you are never very far from a bus stop. Frequencies are good on the main routes, but less so on other routes, and it often pays to check timetables.

There is some logic to the route numbering system. TD routes are branded Tallinja Direct and are non-stop or limited stop routes linking key points at a higher fare. Routes prefixed X are also limited stop but call at more places than the TD routes and normal fares are charged: X4 links Valletta with the Airport and beyond, whilst X1 to X3 link the Airport with Cirkewwa, Sliema and Bugibba respectively. Note that route X300 actually counts as as a TD route with higher fares.

Route numbers in the series 1-99 run to and from Valletta bus station, and run roughly in geographical order in an anti-clockwise direction around Valletta. Numbers in the 100s and 200s are generally routes not serving Valletta (but there are exceptions: Valletta local routes are numbered 130 and 133, whilst route 122 runs from Valletta to Mater Dei Hospital, and to confuse matters further, three routes in the 2xx series which used to terminate at Mater Dei Hospital now extend through to Valletta). Gozo bus services are numbered in the 300s.

A small number of Night Routes numbered in the N series serve the bars, clubs and restaurants of San Giljan at higher fares. On Gozo there is a single journey with an N prefix - a late evening journey on Fridays and Saturdays from Victoria to the ferry at Mgarr.

There is also a demand responsive minibus service branded Tallinja On Demand (formerly TD Plus) which links specific bus stops in the Sliema, St Julian's, Pembroke, San Gwann and Birkirkara area. Trips are booked using the Tallinja app.


MALTA & GOZO SUMMER 2024 (23 page pdf file), valid from June 9th 2024, with some further changes from July 7th. This is compiled by myself and shows bus routes in numerical order, with departure times from the start points, also approximate journey times to principal intermediate points. Note that Gozo routes TD30 and TD31 will not run this summer.

WARNING - Scheduled running times as shown on the MPT website generally vary according to the time of day and day of the week, also the time of year (and in some cases look rather suspect and inconsistent). Journey times shown in my timetable summary are based on typical winter off-peak timings (Monday to Friday early afternoon) as per the website. At quiet times, for example early morning or late evening, buses are liable to depart from intermediate points several minutes earlier, and at peak times and in summer they may run later than shown. In any case, once a bus has set off from its start point I'm not sure to what extent drivers adhere to intermediate timings en route - it's always best to arrive at the stop in plenty of time, or arm yourself with the Tallinja App which gives realtime information.

Official Timetables

OFFICIAL TIMETABLES on the MPT website show individual routes - you need to know the route number. There is no official timetable book; timetable leaflets have been produced in the past but printed information is likely to be restricted to a route map.

The Tallinja App can be downloaded to your smartphone from the iPhone App Store or the Google Play Store. This shows which routes serve your closest stop, and also shows realtime information with the estimated time of arrival of buses at your nearest stop within the next 30 minutes.

Google maps also has detailed timings from most bus stops. Particularly useful is the Google Maps app on Android and Apple devices where most stops show the next 25 departures, and individual timings can be clicked on to show the whole journey with timings at every stop served.

The official Journey Planner is getting better but it is difficult to get meaningful information from it.

Seasonal and Temporary Changes

The following routes are extended to popular beaches each summer (early-June to late September): 49 is extended from Ghadira to Armier and runs daily, 101 is extended from Mgarr to Gnejna Bay and 109 and 109A are extended from Bajjada to Ghar Lapsi, whilst 74 runs down the hill to and from Blue Grotto en route. Several routes have enhanced frequencies in summer, notably 53, 212, 221 to 223, and 225, also 322 on Gozo; some have further enhancements during the summer school holidays. The two TD routes on Gozo run during the summer timetable period only. Summer timings in 2024 commenced on Sunday June 9th, whilst the enhanced holiday services will commence on Sunday July 7th, as shown in my unofficial timetable (link above). Winter timings are expected to commence around September 25th (subject to confirmation).

For those interested in past route changes there is a list of recent changes to bus routes in Malta and Gozo.

Temporary Diversions - The nature of the road network is such that bus routes are frequently diverted because of roadworks or special events, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for weeks or months. It is beyond the scope of this website to mention all but the longest term diversions. You can find details on the Service Updates page of the Malta Public Transport website. Short notice changes are sometimes mentioned on the MPT Facebook page.

Special Events - Additional services or journeys are often laid on for festivals and even concerts. For example, a whole network of late night services operates for the annual Notte Bianca in October.