A well-connected island
Malta International Airport is the official airport of the Maltese islands with a large number of airlines operating regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Malta. The airport is the main hub for Air Malta and Medavia, and a European hub for Ryanair and its subsidiary Malta Air.
The airport is one of the best connected in its class: it links Malta to more than 100 destinations in three continents, with over four million passengers going through the airport each year.
Malta International Airport is 5km away from the capital, Valletta, and a 45-minute drive from the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa.
Gozo is connected to Malta via a 24/7 ferry service that crosses the channel in 25 minutes. The trip is a wonder in its own right – there are marvellous views of Mediterannean blue and impressive rock face to enjoy when sitting on the outer decks.
The ferry schedule may be viewed here
A daily catamaran service also connects Malta to neighbouring Sicily. An affordable 90-minute trip will take you from Valletta to Pozzallo, perfect for a weekend getaway. View the Virtu Ferries schedule via this link.
Thanks to the islands’ British heritage, the Maltese drive on the left. Driving in Malta is distinct from driving in Gozo. Malta is busier, so traffic congestion is more common. Parking can also be quite challenging. Gozo, on the other hand, is much quieter.
Having a car on the islands will undoubtedly make getting around easier. While distances are relatively short, the islands are distinctively hilly which turn cycling or walking into a real workout.
Plenty of options are available for renting a car. Rates vary according to the season. The legal minimum driving age is 18 years, but many car hire companies uphold an age requirement of 23 or 25 years. In terms of fuel costs, unleaded petrol costs €1.41 per litre and diesel €1.28 per litre (December 2019).
Non-EU nationals are allowed to drive in Malta with their national driver’s licence for a maximum of 12 months from date of entry into the country. Once this time lapses, you will need to obtain a Maltese license which will last for ten years. Nationals of the EU, EEA, Switzerland and Australia can opt to use their own licence or to exchange it to a local one. For a licence to be exchanged, the holder must have resided in Malta for a minimum of 185 days in the previous year. The request has to be made at the Licensing Office in Gozo.
Malta’s bus route network connects the airport to all major hubs, destinations, and places of interest. The network covers both Malta and Gozo and is an inexpensive and efficient way to get around the islands.
Bus tickets can be purchased on the spot from the bus driver, but there are also travel cards available which will save you money in the long run. The tallinja Student card is the best option. It is a personalised card which you can use on the public transport network, both in Malta and in Gozo. As a regular traveller using a tallinja Student card, you will not get charged more than €21 within the same calendar month. Apply for your travel card by here
A journey planner is available via this link
Public transport connects Malta International Airport to the Ferry Terminal in Mgarr. The X1 route runs approximately every 30 – 40 minutes, with a first departure at 05.20 and the last at 22.50. A one-way ticket costs €1.50 and is valid for two hours. In summer, this price increases to €2.00. Tickets can be bought from the driver or at the airport office.
A taxi from the airport to the ferry terminal costs €30. A taxi stand is available just outside the airport.
Direct transfers from the airport to QMUL Malta or student accommodation can be booked prior to your arrival. A driver will meet you at the airport, board the ferry with you and drive you straight to your destination. Costs for private transfer are in the €60 region.
You only pay for the ferry service if you’re travelling from Gozo to Malta. No tickets are needed when travelling from Malta to Gozo.
A taxi stand and bus stop are available outside the Mgarr ferry terminal in Gozo. A taxi from Mgarr to Victoria costs €10. The bus operates from 05.55 to 23.25.