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Travel Tips for Malta

St. Julian's in Malta - Valetta Car Hire - St Paul's Bay - Victoria town in Gozo - Mdina in Malta
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Maltese Lira

British drivers feel instantly at home in Malta, since the Maltese drive on the left. However, the Maltese driving style owes much to their cultural mix, since they drive hard and fast like Italians on an island whose speed limit is only 64kph! There are no motorways, and roads suddenly change from broad streets to twisting racetracks very quickly. European drivers will feel right at home, whilst those used to wider, quieter roads may need a little adjustment time.

However, a car gives you the freedom to explore Malta to the full. It only takes an hour to drive from one side to the other, 27km in total, but that’s not the point. The fun is to stop off and admire the scenery, or take a turning towards the sea just for fun, or stop by a seaside restaurant for a fine lunch. Parking is usually available: at Mdina, a twisting road through the very walls themselves brings you to a car park that sits atop the ramparts, from which it is literally a stroll to the main heart of the ancient centre. A kindly attendant will only charge you when you collect your car, and do it with a smile, too!

The one place it is almost impossible to drive is Valetta itself. The city, as Lord Byron remarked, consists of "cursed streets of stairs" and so the way to enjoy it is to walk around the historic centre. Valetta is also recommended for buying cultural gifts. The locals take the 98 bus that circles around the city.

If you want to let someone else do the driving, hop on a bright yellow Malta bus. Services run mainly from the central Valetta bus terminus, which can mean that to get from one town to another, you might have to go via Valetta. Still, that’s no hardship! Buses also run to the Gozo ferry at Mgarr harbour, and on circular routes around Gozo itself.

Malta is a popular stop-off for cruise ships, which disgorge their passengers into buses and ship them to visit the sites of Valetta and Gozo. The secret is to know when they are coming in – and go where their passengers are not.

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