Malta is a small country but one that played an important part in the History of Europe and the world because of its strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. You are sure to discover just that in the Maltese architecture and landscape when you visit the main islands of Malta and Gozo but specially in the Maltese capital, La Valletta, or Victoria in Gozo. On top of all these reasons to catch the first plane or ferry to Malta, this country is very easy to travel to, since it is a part of the European Union.
Malta Travel Information
Size and Geography of Malta
The Maltese islands are only 121 sq mi (316 km2), covered by the inhabited islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, as well as the two small uninhabited islands of Cominotto and Filfla. The main island of Malta is 21×9 miles (27×14 km). Malta is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world.
Population in Malta
There are approximately 410,000 people living in Malta. The Maltese are very friendly and generous. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. The Maltese tend to speak in a loud tone of voice. That is just their way, they are not shouting at you.
Language in Malta
Both Maltese and English are Malta’s official languages. English is a legacy of the time the country belonged to the British Empire. Learn Maltese language if not just a few words before you go.
Currency and money in Malta
Since 2008, Malta adopted the Euro as its currency. Several banks like HSBC, BOV and Banif can be found in different cities and they provide the best rates to change money, since other currencies are no longer accepted. There are ATM machines around commercial or tourist areas and all major credit cards are widely accepted.
Costs and money in Malta
Food is reasonably priced and transportation is cheap by European standards. It is common practice to round up a taxi fare or restaurant bill to leave a small tip but shops have fixed prices. Hotels and car rental agencies offer reduced rates in low seasons (October to May). Malta has very low rates for car rental. There’s an 18% value-added tax on most consumer items.
Religion in Malta
Malta is a Roman Catholic country (over 90% of the population). When visiting churches in Malta, dress respectfully and take off your hat and sunglasses. Make sure your knees and shoulders are covered. The churches most visited by tourists provide shawls and skirts for any inappropriately-dressed visitors. If there is a service already going on inside a church, you may be refused entry.
Transportation in Malta
All major forms of transportation can be found in Malta. Common buses offer a good service but you can also try open top double decker buses or the famous vintage buses for sightseeing. Taxis are available too.
Renting a car in Malta is easy and cheap. It is a wonderful way to explore Malta and Gozo in your own time. There is GPS coverage of the Island by popular brands. Driving is on the left.
To travel by water use the ferries to travel between the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino or water taxis and private boat hiring for more exclusive trips.
For a scenic view of the archipelago, take a helicopter tour or a seaplane service.
Safety in Malta
Malta is generally safe. It is considered one of the safest places in the world and there is almost no violent crime or political disturbances, which makes the country the ideal place to take your family or enjoy the splendid, safe nightlife in Malta.
Documentation required into Malta
As a member of the EU Schengen Agreement, entering Malta requires only an officially approved ID card from the European Community or EFTA citizens (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland). Visitors from other countries will generally need a passport to get into Malta. In no case will they need a visa for a stay of any length.
Emergency services in Malta
Malta’s emergency services (ambulance, fire or police) can all be called dialing 112. The main Maltese hospitals are Mater Dei (+356 2545 0000) and Gozo General Hospital (+356 2156 1600).
Communications in Malta
Malta has three mobile phone networks: Vodafone, Go Mobile and Melita Mobile. They are all probably part of your mobile service provider roaming plan. You can also find white labelled cell plans such as the Bay Mobiles plan that can offer alternative rates.
Internet cafés and Wi-Fi zones are very abundant and have fast connection rates.
Electricity in Malta
In Malta, electricity has 230 Volts, 50Hz. UK-style three-pin square plugs are used
Time zone in Malta
Health tips in Malta
Tap water is safe for drinking, although the locals prefer bottled water mostly because of the taste. The Maltese sun can be quite hot. Avoid long exposures (like in every other country) and the period between 11am and 4pm; use sun lotion and drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration, specially when you’re in a wonderful beach in Malta.