How to get from Sliema to Mdina

[Updated 14 May 2024]

Please note the options discussed below also apply when travelling from St Julian's, Gżira, Msida, or Ta' Xbiex.

There are three main ways of getting to Mdina from this area.

1. Vintage City Bus (my favourite)

Vintage Bus City Tour image.
© Vintage Bus City Tour

For €2.50, you can travel from Sliema to Mdina, in a reliable, fun, authentic, cheap way. (It is much faster than the public transport. Less crowded. Less stops.)

It runs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

The vintage bus travels along the waterfront of Gżira, Sliema, and enters St Julian's. AIt stops at the following bus stops (links lead to the corresponding Google Maps Location): Gzira, Ponsonby, Ferries 5, Xerri, Locker, Chalet, Ghadir, Torri, Exiles, Antik, Balluta, Olivier, Spinola, Ross, and San Giljan.

Vintage Bus City Tour image.
The bus travels from the bottom of the picture (Gżira), along the Sliema waterfront, St Julian's waterfront, and finally into St Julian's itself.

Many of the aforementioned bus stops have a bus stop with the same name, but on the other side of the road. So it's very important that you wait at the bus stop on the land side, and not the sea side.

The bus is scheduled to reach Ferries 5 at 09:20 and San Giljan at 09:30. The bus will actually stop at these locations and wait to pick people up.

However, if your bus stop is not Ferries 5 or San Giljan, you have to wave the bus down. Don't worry, this is perfectly normal and the bus driver is expecting you to do this. So please don't be shy and wave the bus down.

Also please consider the time. If your bus stop is before Ferries 5, then you want to be at the bus stop before 09:20, maybe 09:10, preferably even earlier. (I really would be there 09:00 to be on the safe side, as the buses are not perfectly timed)

If your bus stop is before San Giljan then I would be there at a time before 09:30. (If it were up to me, I would be there at least 09:15)

If you want to catch my tour of Mdina using this service you must catch the 09:20 bus leaving from Sliema Ferries 5.

You can see the schedule below. Click on the image to make it larger if need be.

Vintage Bus City Tour image.
© Vintage Bus City Tour

To check whether the service is running (a must if you're going to use it) you can check their Facebook Page.

2. Taxi App (most reliable)

By Taxi Apps, I mean Bolt, eCabs, Uber. You can search for them on your mobile app store.

Bolt is a taxi app service that's been established in Malta for quite a few years now. Bolt is usually my first choice.

eCabs is a local company; if you want to support a local company you can totally use them and they're great 😊

Uber is the newcomer on the scene, and of course, the most famous. They're currently in a price war with the other companies. I steered away from them as their prices were initially higher, but they should be fine by now.

All three are really good. You can expect a taxi within minutes, from almost anywhere in the island. So really, don't hesitate to use a taxi app.

My personal rule of thumb is: use the public transport (if you like the public transport) whenever possible, however, if the estimated ride is too long (30+ mins), or it involves a change in bus, or the bus isn't showing up, or has just left you stranded as it was too full: then I use a taxi app.

A ride from Sliema to Mdina should cost around €12 or so.

3. Public Transport (least recommendable)

While I use the Public Transport bus service a lot, I don't usually recommend it travelling from Sliema to Mdina.

Overall the direct bus, bus 202, can be OK. I get some guests who say it was fine, while others complain about the length of the journey. They usually tell me it takes around 40 minutes or so. (On the journey planner it shows that the 202 takes 1 hour 17 minutes)

202 bus route.
Notice the winding route it takes through multiple towns.

So I much rather recommend you use the Vintage Bus (as described above), or the Taxi Apps.

Feel free to join me on one of my tours by returning to the main page 👇

Return to website.