Moving to Malta can be a wonderful experience, offering ample working and studying opportunities. Apart from that, the islands are home to many fun leisure activities. Check our top travel tips when moving to Malta.
If you find yourself needing healthcare, this small country has two large government hospitals, one on each of the main islands (Malta and Gozo). In addition, you will find plenty of clinics and smaller health centres, with free services for locals.
Family doctors still make home visits. In the morning, you’ll find doctors at private clinics or at larger local pharmacies, where clinic hours also take place. In the afternoon, they’ll be busy with house calls. A consultation will generally cost between €10 and €20. The healthcare system has some problems with overcrowding, and certain medication can be expensive, but overall, it’s of a high quality.
Paying for Healthcare
If you’re an EU resident and you’re only in the country temporarily, you can avail of free treatment in health centres, clinics and government hospitals. You will need your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which you must apply for in your home country. One of the best travel tips we can offer is that you should never leave home without this card while on holiday!
This is considered to be one of the safest countries at Europe, even late at night. But that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down – in particular, keep an eye out for pickpocketing and other petty crime, which is most common in tourist areas. Late nights in Paceville can be interrupted by drunken fights in the street, but as long as you don’t throw a punch, you’ll be fine.
The country is not considered to have any serious problems in relation to terrorism.
Money and Currency
Like many European countries, here you will find that the Euro is the local currency. Local banks will offer exchange services, and you can also find bureaus de change at the airport and in tourist areas. If you want to pay by card, you’ll find VISA, MasterCard and American Express are all generally accepted.
If you’re not used to the Euro, take care – notes of €100 or €200 are not common, and at times they may not be accepted. Keep this in mind when changing your currency.
When eating out, be aware that tipping is standard here, with 10% of the bill being the going rate. You will rarely find a cover charge.
Eating and Drinking
You will find supermarkets and mini-markets all over the islands, particularly in residential areas. In a country this small, prices in supermarkets are generally more or less the same wherever you go.
For the freshest and most delicious fruit and vegetables, don’t bother with the supermarkets. You’ll find street hawkers in residential areas, often parking their trucks outside supermarkets. On Tuesday and Saturday mornings, go to the Ta’ Qali farmers’ market. You might want to avoid the hawkers in the most touristy areas (St Julian’s, Sliema, Qawra, Bugibba), as they sometimes overcharge.
Although the tap water is perfectly safe to drink, many Maltese prefer to buy bottled water for the flavour. Check in your hotel, as some hotels advise against drinking their tap water, which may come from a private reservoir.
The plugs here are Type G, three pin plugs, the same as in the UK and Ireland. You can easily get hold of adapters in local supermarkets if you need one.
Phones and Internet
The main mobile phone networks on offer are Vodafone, Go and Melita. While Melita is the cheapest option, Vodafone and Go offer the best coverage and fast 4G connectivity.
Costs may vary, but you can expect to pay roughly €0.15-0.25/min for local calls, €0.05 per SMS, and €0.10 per data MB. For lower rates, look for a prepaid offer.
If you want to buy a local SIM card to keep costs down, expect to pay €10. You can top up online, at local ATMs, or by buying top up cards. You can find wi-fi in most restaurants, bars and hotels. Online security is considered to be good: hacking is not a major problem here.
Culture in Malta is very rich. It is also a very Catholic country, and it is important to dress respectfully if you plan to visit one of the many beautiful churches here. Women are expected to cover their shoulders, so avoid vest tops. Visitors should also keep the volume down when inside a church.
Men should not go shirtless when off the beach.
The Paceville area of St Julian’s is the heart of the island’s nightlife, but you’ll also have the option of going to open-air clubs in summer, too. Nightclubs are usually free or cheap. Drinks aren’t too expensive, for example; a beer is about €2.00, and a mixed drink will be around €2.50 to €3.00.