The Malta International Airport is located in Luqa, around 8km from the capital city of Valletta. This is the only airport in Malta and it serves all of the Maltese islands.

If you’re arriving to Malta by air, you’ll need to arrange transportation to get to your final destination in Valletta, or anywhere else on the main island. If your final destination is Gozo, you’ll need to get to Cirkewwa, to the ferry terminal.

This article is about getting from Malta airport to Valetta.

valetta walls

Valetta’s city walls – impressive

Here are the main options for getting from Malta International Airport to Valletta, along with the pros, cons, duration, and reliability of each:

Taxi / Uber / Bolt (Rideshare)

If you aren’t on a shoestring budget, this is the best way to get from Malta airport to Valetta. Also, if you’re traveling as a group of 2 – 6 people, you’ll be better off taking a taxi or using a ridesharing service to get to your hotel, rather than trying to catch a bus at the airport.

Both Uber and Bolt operate all over Malta. They work on a dynamic fare basis. This means you’ll pay more during rush hours, as the demand is higher.

Pros: Door-to-door service, no need to handle bags yourself; they can bring you right near your hotel in Valetta, unlike buses that stop by the main gate.

Cons: Most expensive option at around €20-25 (even higher at times)

Duration: 15-30 minutes depending on traffic

Reliability: High, cars readily available outside arrivals

Bonus Tip: When you place an order for Bolt or Uber, try to find your vehicle fast or call the driver to ask for the exact location. Should you fail to find them quickly, you’ll be charged a waiting fee (only a couple of Euros, as far as I remember, but still annoying)

valetta main bus stop bays

This is the main bus hub in Valetta, just by the main gate. It is well organized, easy to navigate

Public Transport: Express Bus

There are three types of buses in Malta: regular, airport express and Tallinja Direct.

Regular ones are cheaper. They take the coastal roads and they have frequent stops. This results in longer rides and delays due to traffic jams.

There are four Airport Express bus lines, X1, X2, X3 and X4. Click here to see their official schedules.

Tallinja Direct (TD) lines provide a quicker connection, as they use the national road and they have fewer stops than regular buses.

There’s no TD bus route from Luqa Airport to Valetta, so you’ll need to take the regular bus.

Pros: Very cheap at €1.50-2 for Airport to Valetta buses

Cons: Infrequent, can take over an hour with stops

Duration: 45-75 minutes

Reliability: Medium, sometimes there’s a long waiting time for X1/X2 bus to Valletta

Pre-booked Private Transfer

Pros: Door-to-door service, good price if pre-booked

Cons: Need to book in advance

Duration: 15-20 minutes

Reliability: High if pre-booked correctly

Many hotels in Valetta, Sliema, Saint Julian’s, Saint Paul’s Bay, Gzira, Bugibba, and Qawra provide their guests with reliable hotel shuttle services.

I used this service offered by my hotel in Saint Julian’s, as my flight landed at midnight. The driver was waiting for me, holding a sign with my name on it. The transfer was smooth, and it cost me 18 Euro.

Rental Car

Pros: Freedom to stop on the way, explore at your own pace

Cons: Most expensive long-term, parking difficult in Valletta

Duration: 15-20 minutes

Reliability: High, major rental companies at airport

For a simple airport transfer, taxis or pre-booked transfers offer the fastest and most hassle-free transport from Malta Airport to your hotel or accommodation in Valletta.

The public and shuttle buses are the cheapest but less reliable and frequent options.

For more flexibility during a longer stay, renting a car allows you to take day trips from Valletta.

On a personal note, I’d never drive in Malta. The traffic is horrendous, finding parking is mission impossible, and driving on the left side of the road doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ve been using a combination of buses and Bolt or Uber both times I’ve visited the island.

st julians main road

The main road and the pedestrian promenade in St. Julian’s – Sliema – early in the morning, in April, there’s barely any traffic. Later it becomes busy and jammed

The first time in Malta I was traveling solo, so I tried to use buses as much as possible. Check out my article about Malta in April. April is the perfect month for exploring the islands, for hiking and for visiting the megalithic temples.

The second time I visited with a group of friends so we used mostly Uber and Bolt.

The very few times when we tried the buses, we had to put up with very long delays that resulted in using ride sharing services anyway. We might as well had chosen this right off the bat instead of waiting in full sunlight, in dusty bus stops.

Before you go, check out my article about Malta in June. June is perfect for the beach, for swimming and snorkeling, and for visiting the catacombs.

Violeta Matei