Malta is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.Read More →
Malta means "the land of honey." Locals feel more European because the island was first under Roman rule for 500 years, then under British rule.
Malta is on Central European Time (CET) during most of the year, and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during daylight savings time/the summer.
If you’re a US, Canadian, or Australian citizen, you’re allowed to stay in Malta up to 90 days for tourism or business without a visa. Ensure that you have sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months beyond your stay.
If you’re a EU citizen, you don’t need a visa since Malta is a member of the Schengen Agreement (which permits visitors to travel to all 26 countries without a visa). You also don’t need sufficient funds or a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see the Schengen fact sheet.
The eCAB is considered the Uber of Malta. The service app is specifically designed for the country’s intricate road network. Like Uber, you can choose the pickup time and vehicle. Whether you’re a solo traveler or in a group, you have 5 different options at your disposal: standard cab, executive cab, standard van, executive van, and luxury executive cab.
The exact price is given before booking and you can pay by debit, credit card, or cash. If you have a business account, just insert your pin # and you’re good to go!
The official taxis in Malta are white and fares are meter-based. Depending on what cities you are traveling from and to, the fare ranges between €20 to €35.
When traveling from Malta International Airport (MLA) to Valletta, you can take a bus or a taxi. You might opt for the Malta Airport Taxi since it takes only about 16 minutes at the cost of €15.
With low crime levels and diligent police, Malta is extremely safe for travelers. Of course, the basic rules of safe traveling still apply, so be aware of your surroundings and guard your belongings. The tourist hotspots for pickpocketing and mugging are:
For an emergency number, call 112 for the police, fire, and ambulance.
Malta has year-round mild Mediterranean weather; large fluctuations are rare, so pack tropical with a light sweater.
Spring (March – May) is warm but peak swimming season is during the summer months (June – August), which are very dry and hot.
Autumn runs a bit cooler between September and November but with plenty of sunshine to spare.
Winter (December – February) is cooler and humid with frequent drizzles. That said, the temperatures are comfortable and with fewer tourists in the winter, accommodation is cheaper.
Maltese is the native tongue and national language. Never fear, most of the population speaks English as well.
Hello = bongu
Goodbye = addiju
Yes = iva
No = le
Please = jekk jogħġbok
Thank you = grazzi
You’re welcome = ta ‘xejn
Excuse me = skużani
Do you speak English? = Taf titkellem bl-Ingliż?
Malta is a relatively conservative society. People are dressed modestly and you’ll find that some rural villages still don traditional attire. Don’t mistake them for an uptight bunch though; they’re known to be good-humored and love to converse and partake in meals together. Here are some tips on etiquette to help you navigate social situations during your trip:
- Do keep your hands above the table during meals. Also, knife in right hand, fork in left. Since Malta follows the continental dining style, these are considered basic table manners.
- Do take off your hat when entering a church or person’s home. The hats-off rule may be outdated in the U.S. but it remains to be a gesture of respect among the Maltese.
- Do bring a gift when invited to a person’s home. Chocolates, flowers, or wine will do. Many enjoy socializing in each other’s homes and an invitation to someone’s abode is always a special occasion.
- Do dress appropriately and cover your shoulders when visiting churches. It’s a sacred place and Roman Catholicism is considered an importance part of the Maltese identity.
- Do begin and end greetings with a handshake. It’s a basic formality and one you can rely on if you’re unsure where you stand relationally with someone you’ve met only a handful (pun unintended) of times.
Malta uses the euro (€) as their currency. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, some hotels, and even larger shops and restaurants. As long as your bank authorized your card for international use, debit/credit cards are accepted at ATMs. If your card logo appears on a shop window, you can use your card to purchase goods there. You’ll also find automated foreign exchange machines in various locations all over the island.
Tipping is customary in Malta.When you encounter good service, go for 5%–10%. If, however, a service charge has been included in the bill, a tip is not necessary.
In Malta, the power plugs and sockets are type G (3-prong). You cannot use your electronics in Malta without voltage converter, because the standard voltage in Malta is 230 V — higher than the US standard of 120 V. Your converter should look like this:
The tap water in Malta is safe to drink but the taste isn’t great. In fact, it might be a bit hard to stomach. Many residents and tourists rely on filters.
Although some of the older generations may not wholly embrace the gay, bisexual, and transgender community, Malta is generally LBGTQ-friendly and their rights are recognized by the state. Some locals and tourists might ogle at excessive PDA and dressing in drag but it’s not dangerous by any means. Overall, Malta is known for its hospitality and you can rest assure that the majority of people are very tolerant.
With breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean and an abundance of nature parks, Malta is a top destination to spend an eco-tourism holiday. If you’re looking for fun-filled activities in Malta that align with your desire to conserve the environment, here are a couple to get you started.
EcoBikesMalta in Bugibba, a main tourist resort, offers an eco-friendly and healthy way to explore the island’s Mediterranean scenery through back streets and rural roads. You can go on an informative cycling tour or rent a bike to uncover the island at your own pace. If you’re looking to get that heart rate up, go for the trekking bikes. If you’re hoping to relax, opt for the electric bikes that’ll make going uphill essentially effort-free!
Majjistral History & Nature Park is the largest nature park in Malta. It’s filled with unique flora and wildlife and holds educational talks, walks, and snorkeling events. You can volunteer as well, such as going on patrol walks and helping to clean up.
FOR THE PLANNERS
Earliest settlers arrived from Sicily.
Phoenicians colonized Malta by giving locals the Syro-Arabian language and culture, then used the island as an outpost for sea expansion and trade in the Mediterranean.
The Romans and the Maltese took over the island.
Malta was under Byzantine rule.
Exactly when the Arab invasion happened is unclear, but many were from the Arab-ruled Sicily.
The Normans (from Normandy) ended Malta’s Arab-rule culture, and completely re-Christianized the island by 1249.
In a perpetual lease, Charles I of Spain gave Malta to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.
Napoleon took over Maltese islands with the help of the British. Local Maltese asked the British to take over sovereignty under Declaration of Rights, stating “his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power…if he chooses to withdraw his protection, and abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, and without control.”
Treaty of Paris, transitioned Malta into a British colony.
Malta refused to integrate with the UK.
Malta became independent on September 21. Initially, Malta kept Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of Malta.
Republic Day, when Malta became a Commonwealth.
Freedom Day, when British troops and the Royal Navy withdrew from Malta. It declared itself as a neutral, non-aligned state.
Malta joined the European Union.