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Rent a car or rely on bus?

Harrogate, United...
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54 posts
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Rent a car or rely on bus?

I'm still debating whether it would be a smart thing to get a rental car for my upcoming 4-night stay in Malta. While I'm American, I am very used to driving a standard car on the left so that's not an issue. So far, for me personally, the pros I've identified for my situation out weigh the cons I've identified, but are they some significant negatives that I've not considered?

The pros:

Greater flexibility to get to the range of places I want to get to without needing to wait for buses. I have limited time -- really only 3 1/2 days and want to get to several places around the island -- Hagar Qim, Marsaxlokk, Mdina, Rabat, Mosta, Blue Grotto. I know I can get to everywhere I want to get to by bus, but it isn't the most time efficient.

I won't have to pay for a transfer to my hotel on arrival. I get in really late and so the bus isn't an option for transfer to the hotel.

I think I can make much better use of my last morning if I have the car since I can take my luggage out with me rather than have to spend time to go back to the hotel midday to get my luggage and transport (bus or taxi) to the airport.

The cons:

More expensive than the bus.

I'm staying in St. Julian's and my hotel doesn't have parking. The Portomaso car park apparently isn't far away, but I would of course have to pay. Can anyone confirm the price? I've been told about 7 euro per 24 hours. If so, that is very reasonable to me, and there is also the off chance I could find parking on the street.

While the company I'm considering renting from is open 24 hours at the airport, do I really want to be driving in Malta for the first time around midnight?

I likely won't use it every day, but it still makes sense to rent it for the full stay based on the pricing I've found and benefit of having it for transport from and to the airport. I've planned on focusing on Valletta for one day and will just take the bus that day.

London
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1. Re: Rent a car or rely on bus?

Hi

I'm a bus person......but I go to Malta often, so never in a hurry for anything & I like a few beers midday, which doesn't go with driving. If I were you I would hire the car, then make sure you also get over on the ferry to Gozo, the car will get you around to all the sights in a couple of hours.

You could probably find somewhere to park on the street in St Julian's but beware around midnight and well after many streets will be heaving with people having a "good time" on holiday. Driving from the airport at about midnight should be no problem. The island is well lit and has road signs like anywhere else, should take about 20 mins to get to St Julian's.

Yes don't drive to Valletta, unless you want to park somewhere in Floriana and explore there first, definitely worth doing, it's such an overlooked place, but stuffed with heritage & history too.

Have fun

Ntd

Manchester
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2. Re: Rent a car or rely on bus?

I would still take the car to Valletta - if you cannot park in the streets around the Granaries in Floriana (about a 5 minute walk to Valletta main gate), then drive down to the waterfront where the cruise liners dock, there is a massive car park along the wharf - currently 2.50 euros for the day - you then have a short walk to the Lascaris landing stage where you can take the new panoramic lift to the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - 1 euro for the return journey. If you are feeling adventurous take the ferry at the landing stage across to the three cities - 2.80 euros return including the fare for the lift when you return - ferries every 30 minutes.

Harrogate, United...
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54 posts
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3. Re: Rent a car or rely on bus?

Thanks! Good to hear more positives. I'll likely make the reservation later today unless someone adds any negatives that make me reconsider. I think my biggest fear was making that first drive at midnight, and I'm more comfortable about that now. With so little time there and what seems like not frequent bus times for some of the more remote places I want to visit, I think I'll enjoy the flexibility of having the car.

Shembo -- As an aside, do you know if the are the Lascaris War Rooms are right near the Lascaris landing stage you mentioned? It's one of the places I hope to visit and I've not found good info on location other than they are below the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Edited: 09 February 2013, 11:13
Harrogate, United...
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54 posts
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4. Re: Rent a car or rely on bus?

Ooops, I edited it and still didn't get it right. It should read:

Shembo -- As an aside, do you know if the Lascaris War Rooms are right near the Lascaris landing stage you mentioned? It's one of the places I hope to visit and I've not found good info on location other than that they are below the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Edited: 09 February 2013, 11:16
England
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for Peak District National Park
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5. Re: Rent a car or rely on bus?

No they are not. They are much higher up than that and access is from the road that leads from the bottom of the bus station to the Castile.

To quote Lonely Planet:

The rooms are a little tricky to find. Your best option is to walk south from Pjazza Kastilja along Triq Girolamo Cassar and look for the path on the right (signposted) that leads down into the Great Ditch beneath St James' Bastion and doubles back under the road to the entry.

From memory, the path they refer to is the one marked with a green arrow on this map: http://goo.gl/maps/irNgI .

P-t-B

Harrogate, United...
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6. Re: Rent a car or rely on bus?

Thanks! I had seen that bit in Lonely Planet, but I hadn't had great success finding what they were referring to on a map. Thanks so much for providing the google map.

7. Re: Rent a car or rely on bus?

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