Traffic in Malta

Hello everyone,

Which city or area do you live in in Malta, and how do you find the traffic?

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Malta?

What is parking availability and cost like?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


I live in Bugibba and the traffic from around 7am is a nightmare especially this time of year. During summer the traffic was much lighter but from October when the schools begin again it is crazy on the roads. Last Monday it took from 7am till 10am to get to Birgu which should only take 30 mins max.

Of course the driving in this country is the worst I have come across anywhere and I am not surprised there as so many accidents. Last Tuesday when it rained people were still cutting each other up and I saw 3 accidents on the same large roundabout in Marsa.

The Maltese have no regard for other road users and are often on their phones, don't use indicators or give way to other traffic...they push in, drive unsafely and at speed at weekends.

The buses are packed to capacity and often miss so as my partner has found out she is often late for work or gets pushed out of the queues or even sexually harrassed.

Which city or area do you live in in Malta, and how do you find the traffic?

The only way to avoid traffic is to start work at lunchtime so you can avoid all the main roads on the coast and around Sliema, Marsa etc. Or live very close to your employment but this is getting more difficult as the price for rentals is almost double from 1 year ago and still rising.

Parking prices are ok and when in Valletta I use the MCP and pay for a block which works out less than 4 € per day.

Overall, though the traffic is becoming one of the worst issues on the island and I have been coming for 20 years and soon the roads will become unusable if the overpopulation and use of cars keeps increasing.  The roads are a terrible condition as well so no hope there.

Sorry it is a very negative view but I have been to 70+ countries and Malta is the worst for traffic and driving that I have experienced. 

Roads are bad, traffic is bad, the parking situation is bad, the mentality of motorists is egoistic - but even in Europe, I've lived in worst places than here.
And after all: If you're clever, mobility in Malta is ridiculously cheap when it comes to insurance and road tax ... and repairs as well!

There are lots of neuralgic points, that cannot always be avoided, especially for daily commuters. But you should try whenever possible. Sometimes an extended detour brings you faster to your destination. Anyway, I still find it quite ok to drive by car outside rush hours. It's not the ideal means of transport for commuting. Going from the South to St. Julians takes you around 25 minutes - finding a free of charge parking spot: 30 minutes (I prefer to spend a few Euros for the parking lots and not wasting my time). Or I use the park&ride parking take Nextbike. Or Taxify.
The way from Marsascala to Cirkewwa is around 45 minutes ... but it also can end up in a 2-hour stop-and-go experience. Using the public bus it always takes so long ... and even longer :( .

If you are not too afraid, you can use a small motorcycle or scooter. In my tried-and-tested opinion, this is the best solution to beat the traffic on this crowded island.
During the last years, I could observe an increasing number of motorcyclists. That's a good development. And it's by far not as dangerous as many say, but of course, you have to maintain a different attitude on a bike than inside a car - and this, I think, is the problem, many here are struggling with: It's a matter of your own attitude rather than of the traffic situation itself!
Every day I see lots of car drivers making room for motorcyclists. Taking care of them, even in roundabouts. But almost every day I also see and hear from near-miss situations  - most of them happen because of the above-mentioned attitude issue  :/ .

Within the last almost 6 years I made around 25tkm on two wheels - on this tiny island - and only had one minor bump so far (knock-on-wood). That's quite a good deal for the reliable convenience of always arriving in time, not having any traffic jams and also no parking problems  :top: ... and since the 125cc-scheme was introduced in 2015, a 125 scooter/motorcycle is incredibly cheap: it only costs around 60-80 Euro per year for insurance and tax. Of course, not everybody is able to use a motorcycle, but as many as possible should try to do so (instead of sitting in a car and complaining about the traffic situation).

Every time when I'm passing the highly motorized and expensive "immovables" on the clogged roads, I'm happy that I'm riding on two wheels. And in Malta you can do this for 11 months a year - even for 12 months, if you're not afraid of getting wet  :cool:

Rush hour traffic is very heavy. Buses are frequent and go everywhere but can be crowded at times. Some roads are in a poor state of repair but slowly improving.  Quality of driving appalling -  dodgem cars come to mind. Hardly anyone uses indicators and stop signs are meaninglessness.  Speeding and dangerous overtaking are normal.

I have started turning down clients who have set up their offices without consideration for the commute. If it takes me more than 45 minutes to get there by bus, I won't accept the contract.

Traffic is terrible in Malta, The roads are too small for the amount of cars, buses are full and miss many stops leaving people late for work/ school as they are PACKED WITH PEOPLE PUSHED RIGHT UP TO THE FRONT WINDOW.

At 11pm a journey can take you 15 minutes, in rush hours (7-9 and 4-7) this same 15 minute journey can take 45 minutes to 60 minutes, if commuting 4km by bus, leave 2 hours before you wish to arrive at your destination.

If traveling by car, leave 20 minutes early than planned every time, as traffic accidents are high and cause many traffic jams and so on.

there is no other mode of transport in Malta, only road.

I live in St Paul's Bay traffic is bad no matter when morning, afternoon or evening
Example: going to Valletta from St Paul's Bay with a bit of luck might get there in
50 minutes otherwise over an hour.
One day I went by bus to the three cities from St Paul's Bay and it took over two hours. As I said traffic
just very bad .
In my opinion  the population is on the increase more and more people are using their cars.
By increasing the public transport ( buses ) will make it worse .  I was told years ago Malta used to
have trains. I think is a good idea to have trains or even trams ( Malta is not to small to run trains )
It is also good for the environment
It is about time for the government to consider and also get EU to provide some of the money
Might take years but its worth,  I can't imagine the traffic will get better years to come

singapore23 :

I was told years ago Malta used to have trains. I think is a good idea to have trains or even trams ( Malta is not to small to run trains )
It is also good for the environment It is about time for the government to consider and also get EU to provide some of the money Might take years but its worth,  I can't imagine the traffic will get better years to come

There have been trams in service and even a railway system. But they had to close down almost 100 years ago due to the strong competition of the buses. How ironic ...  :( 
There are plenty of possibilities for "alternative" public transport systems, even environmentally friendly electric buses for the overcrowded and pollutes centre areas, but besides tons of money, this requires a future-oriented government to pave the way today for future achievements. And at the moment none of both parties will have the attitude to think further than to the next election. They are busy sorting their own mess than thinking of the country. The EU would finance any important infrastructure project (as they already did many times in Malta), but this requires a professional application for any such project - and it has to be a realistic, feasible project  :unsure
At the moment the politicians do what they can do best and ask for money to improve the roads for individual traffic. Tried and tested procedure, that keeps people happy ... short-time  :cheers:

Even if they build dedicated tracks for tramways, I'm quite sure they will be clogged by private cars, like it happens with the bus lanes and even bicycle lanes. They could use free land stipes for the tracks, but all protected ODZ-land is reserved for the illegal erection of villas for corrupt investors, politicians and other "important" people.
And what's the benefit of building a fast and super-expensive monorail-system North-South and East-West (as it is one of the ideas) when most of the commuters do not even drive more than 6 km (as a recent study found out) by car from home to work? For more than 20 years there are plans for a tunnel or bridge connection Malta-Gozo, but as long as Gozu Ferries have the Monopol, it won't happen - which is good for Gozo, otherwise it will end up like Bugibba St Paul's Bay area  :dumbom: .

If you want to travel from Birzebbuga to Marsalforn, the distance of only 50 km will take up to 2,5 hours by car - and some 5 hours by bus!!!. Public transport is useless, going by car needs a lot of patience - and I cannot understand why there are not more scooters and motorcycles like on many other small islands. On a scooter, 2 persons can make the same distance in less than 1,5 hours  :cool:  ... which is still unbelievable to understand for people who do not know the situation in Malta. I remember 6 years ago there was much less traffic and even much less aggressivity on the roads, but I guess that's the price for success. If it continues like this, the traffic situation in Malta soon will end up like in Peking - and people need to wear face masks for not getting dizzy when passing the roads.  :sosad: And I'm glad that I won't be here to see this.

They introduced the 125cc motorcycle scheme, but they forgot to increase the MC parking spaces. They introduced a grant scheme for electric vehicles, but they forgot to provide charging stations and tax benefits. They wanted to boost the use of bicycles, but they forgot to provide continuous infrastructure - look at the bicycle way along the new coast road: that's ridiculous! There are even poles of traffic signs placed in the middle of the cycling lane.

I cannot remember any other 400.000 people city in Europe with such serious traffic problems - and with having absolutely no clue how to solve this. It takes experts in designing an overall traffic concept - and it takes a government, which is aware of the fact, that - even they are Maltese - they do not know everything better than everyone else. They are not even aware of possible Mafia structures in their own lines  :lol:

As you can on this 2 year old cartoon, for example, nothing has changed
But the saying is here: What can we do, it always was like this  :P

Summer is very different to this time of year. in summer certain areas i try to avoid at certain times of the day

You ought to try driving in India it is 10 times worse than Malta



Michelle Attard :

Summer is very different to this time of year. in summer certain areas i try to avoid at certain times of the day

same in winter, anywhere with a school, avoid.

Hi Pricilla,
I know live in Malta and settling down. There is a lot of running about regarding ID Cards, but once done its OK. Traffic in Malta is getting heavier since I came over ten years ago. But my advice is to use public transport when you can. Parking can be difficult so why bother.

I agree with previous posters that the traffic is horrendous. After 18 months of 3 hours per day (!  :o ) commuting between Naxxar and Sliema I quit my job there and took a contract role within 10min walking distance. I can't begin to tell you just how much the quality of my life has improved since. Not being dependent on buses or cars, simply walking to work in sunshine (most of the time :D) is so liberating.

My next job is already lined up and it's working from home with the option to come into the office. I actually gave this as a MUST during the interview and rejected other roles because WFH wasn't possible. Unless you live in walking distance from the office, I'd suggest pushing employers hard on this especially if you have a sought after skill. My previous employer preferred facetime in the office over actual work completed and would rather allow all their employees to be late every day due to traffic than letting someone work remote  :/

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