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 (there are plenty of agents selling tickets) 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. Leaflets are generally available with the detailed timetable. Don't forget you may need a hat to avoid sunburn!
Operated by Supreme Travel, Malta Sightseeing 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 full timetable is available on the Malta Sightseeing website and on locally available brochures. 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 tour and the South 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 Julian's every 30 minutes from 0830 to 1330, from Valletta every 30 minutes from 0845 to 1345.
North Tour: depart Sliema Ferries and calls at Valletta Bus Terminus, San Anton Gardens, Ta' Qali Crafts Village, Aviation Museum, Mosta Church, Mdina Gate, Rabat Roman Villa, Mgarr Church, Golden Bay, Bugibba Square, Malta National Aquarium, Bahar ic-Caghaq (Splash & Fun Park), Marine Park, St George's Bay, Spinola Bay, and back to Sliema.
South Tour: depart Sliema Ferries and calls at Valletta Bus Terminus, Valletta War Museum & Fort St Elmo, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Malta Experience Show, Valletta Waterfront, Tarxien Temples and Hypogeum, Vittoriosa Waterfront, Zejtun Parish Church, Zejtun St Gregory's Church, Marsaxlokk Fishing Village and Market, Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum, Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples, Malta Falconry Centre, Limestone Heritage, and back to Sliema.
Return transport is provided from Sliema Ferries to all Malta hotels at 1500, 1600 and 1800 hrs from Monday to Saturday and on Sunday at 1500 and 1700 hrs.
There is also a Malta By Night tour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from March to mid-November picking up at various points (for example Cirkewwa at 1830, Bugibba at 1855, Sliema 1955, Valletta 2015) and lasting approximately four hours. The price is the same as the other tours and includes free transport from and to any Malta hotel.
City Sightseeing Malta
City Sightseeing Malta offers two hop-on hop-off open-top routes starting from the Valletta Waterfront terminus, the North route and the South route, running every 30 or 45 minutes, depending on the route. For detailed timings see their website or 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 46 stops around Malta. One-day or two-day tickets are available, which can be purchased from local agents or on the City Sightseeing website.
The City Sightseeing terminus is only a short walk from the cruise terminal so is ideal if you are arriving on a cruise ship. City Sightseeing have an information kiosk inside the cruise terminal where you can pick up further information.
Malta Sightseeing Gozo
The Malta Sightseeing Gozo open top tour starts from Mgarr Harbour (where the ferry from Cirkewwa arrives) and also calls at Victoria bus station twice en route. 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 Bay, Fontana Cottage, Xlendi Bay, Victoria bus station, Xewkija Square, and back to Mgarr Harbour.
City Sightseeing Gozo
City Sightseeing Gozo also has hop-on hop-off open top bus departures from Mgarr, running every 45 minutes. They run daily except Christmas Day. For a detailed timetable make sure you pick up a copy of the timetable leaflet.
There are 15 stops in Gozo, served by two bus tours, the Purple Line and the Blue Line. The Purple Line departs every 45 minutes 0945 to 1545 on a 90 minute loop, whereas the Blue Line runs every 45 minutes 1135 to 1730 on a 55 minute loop.
The ticket allows you to switch between routes. Each route serves Victoria (adjacent to the bus station) several times during the day. Tickets are valid for 24 hours and are available locally or online. Transfers from various hotels in Malta can be arranged for an extra fee.
The photo was taken at Dwejra, once famous for the Azure Window rock formation which sadly collapsed in a storm in 2017.