Living in Malta Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Located about 50 miles south of Sicily in the Mediterranean, Malta is a small archipelago that boasts a Mediterranean climate, an enormous English-speaking population, and an excellent healthcare system. Also, if you’re a Europhile that dreams of spending retirement immersed in the rich culture, Malta is the best.
It is a tiny island nation and, as of today become a prosperous member of the EU. At a glance, this picture-perfect rocky island is a comfortable and relatively hassle-free spot to work, live and explore. But due to the iGaming and financial services industry, the demand for housing has increased rapidly in Malta.
However, before you start looking for your next European base, good think of where to resides, and your budget is essential. Not only that but knowing the cost of living to expect is better. While there are only around 5,000 British expats living in this country, the capital is a multicultural city home to people worldwide.
If you’re thinking of moving to Malta and joining the half a million residents who call it home, we have unleashed some facts. We’ll start by introducing the best places to live in the country. So, if you’re moving to take up employment or start a business, you’ll inevitably need a guide to be within a comfortable area.
In this article, we have compiled the pros and cons of living in Malta. Aside from this fact, we will walk you through the lifestyle in Malta for expats. Also, if you want to know the employment and how to find a job in the country, we’ve got you covered with the latest information. Does that sound good? Read further!
Best Places to Live in Malta
Exploring Malta can be wonderful but searching out the best places to live in the country demands a more serious approach. Also, Malta is a country where traditional and contemporary live side by side. And there’s definitely a more modern feel in the north than the south. Now, let’s look at the places.
Valletta is one of the best places for expat to reside. As Malta is a country of towns and villages, there are many things to do in the city. Despite being a capital city, Valletta is pretty quiet, and it’s one of the best places to live in the country if you value culture and heritage. However, there’s no active nightlife to speak of in Valletta. This is because; it has certain restrictions being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Harbor Area in Malta
As an expat, if you’re after a more active social life, then the best place to look out for is the Harbour Area. This place is known as a Greater Valletta, and it is situated around the Grand Harbour, one of the most fabulous natural harbours in the world. This place is very lively, and the nightlife flourishes along the seafront. Meanwhile, keep in mind that the Grand Harbour and the areas around it are favored.
The town of Madliena owes its origin to the 15th century Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene. And this town is mainly a villa residential area where you can find detached villas, bungalows, and semi-detached villas. Aside from this fact, there are also luxury apartment developments, as well as maisonettes in the area.
Gzira has also made it to the list of best cities in Malta. It is situated a short bus ride away from Valletta, and it features a picturesque promenade where one can sit and watch the day turn into the night after a long stretch at the office. Moreover, there several work opportunities in this area. And with the thriving iGaming industry booming on your doorstep, the benefits of living in this place cannot be overemphasized.
Marsaxlokk is known as Malta’s fishing village, full of life and the iconic luzzu. If you seek a respite from tourists, you should consider relocating to this area. This is due to the fact that tourists don’t usually flock there as a result of the power station and shipyards present in the area. So, as an expat, you can either totally fall in love with Marsaxlokk for its serene and quiet character or hate it because there’s not much to do.
Siggiewi and Qrendi
If you’re after a quieter living, then Siggiewi and Qrendi can be your favorite places to live in the country. Moreover, both Siggiewi and Qrendi are quiet southern villages full of rural Maltese charm and character. It is an expat community and has a lovely place with a unique L-shaped church square. One of the lovely attractions in this area includes Inquisitor’s Summer Palace, the Limestone Heritage, and more.
On the other hand, Quendi is a small southern village famous for two well-known Neolithic temples, a number of lovely traditional Maltese houses, and numerous chapels. More so, the villages are popular with new settlers, and modern suburban developments are being built to offer expat a good life.
7 Interesting Facts to Know about Malta
Malta may only be a small island nation, but if you look carefully, you’ll see that there are many things to explore. In trying to understand better what makes Malta so special, below are some of the fun facts about the country that we thought we’d share with everyone. Without further ado, check it out now.
1. Valletta Is a City Built By Gentlemen
Grand Master La Valette envisioned the city as a hub of political, cultural, and economic activity in 16th century Europe. Aside from this fact, the capital city is built by gentlemen for gentlemen. This means you can easily relocate to this country without stress. And there’s an affordable cost of living.
2. A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Undoubtedly, the entire city of Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alongside contemporary life, the city verily showcases 450 years of history on every street. Also, effectively on the open-air museum, Valletta is brimming with ornate baroque architecture, various monuments, and infinite curiosities.
3. Home to the Cleanest Bathing Water
When it comes to the cleanest bathing water in Europe, Malta is in the best position for that. However, the most popular sandy beaches are near large hotels, and it can be quite crowded in summer. Also, there are no amenities, and it’s a kilometer on foot to get to the place. Using tap water, however, for cooking and drinks will save time and money spent on bottled water in the country.
4. Be Prepared For the Mosquitoes
As the warmer evening draws in, you’ll likely going to witness mosquitoes in the country. Also common in Malta is the Asian tiger mosquito, although larger and striped, they are silent in their movements and are more likely to hunt their prey during the day. With prevention being better than cure, keep mosquito net closed and pop on a fan or some air conditioning to create a gentle draft that affects pests.
5. Britain Has a Great Influence Here
Since its inception, Great Britain has had a strong influence on this country. Aside from this fact, Malta was part of the British Empire for 150 years from the Treaty of Paris in 1814 until it declared its independence in 1964. Moreover, the English influence is still everywhere, and you can even find the traditional red British phone booths on Malta and Gozo.
6. Home to Living Movie Set
It’s no doubt that Malta has unique architecture, stunning coastline, dramatic landscapes, and many outdoor activities, to mention a few. The combination of exceptional features makes Malta the perfect stand-in for other locations modern, fanciful, and historical monuments. Meanwhile, Malta has appeared as ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome in movie roles.
7. Weather in Malta
The weather in Malta has contributed to what makes the country an expat destination. The best time for the weather to visit Malta is June through to August. And this happens when temperatures are around 25-27 degrees Celsius. Having said that, this season is super busy; that’s why you should consider traveling in the shoulder season in April or May before the rush of summer.
Pros and Cons of Living in Malta
As of today, there is no question that Malta is a popular and attractive destination for expats who are on the out for sun and easy life. Not only that, but you’ll quickly find that the island has a lot to offer in this country. In this article, we have compiled the pros and cons of why you’ll want to relocate to Malta. Without further ado, below are the benefits and the disadvantages.
Rent/Accommodation in Malta
As of today’s digital world, accommodations are easy to find in Malta. This is because; there has been a lot of development over the recent decades. And this has resulted in a huge variety of rental properties on the market. With that being said, expats should know that they can get accommodation as soon as possible in the country.
Entertainment and Nightlife in Malta
You’ll certainly enjoy the nightlife and entertainment in this country. For more sophisticated tastes, there are plenty of beaches clubs located around the Sliema and St. Julian area, with the infamous Paceville being the center of the clubbing scene. But yet again, Malta is a small country with tons of outdoor activities and excess of all types of beaches, picturesque coastal and country walks.
Adequate Healthcare System
The World Health Organization has ranked Malta 5th in the world for its excellent healthcare system. This means anyone who pays national insurance in Malta qualifies for free healthcare. However, if you’re an expat, you may need to choose between the private health sector and the available public.
Another benefit of moving to this country is the low-income tax for expats and locals. Moreover, the income tax in Malta is quite lower compared to most western countries in the world. Moreover, anyone earning more than €8.5- 14.5k must pay income tax at a 35 percent rate, which is seen to be significantly lower than other European countries.
No Language Barrier
If you’re relocating from a western country, living in Malta will give you endless opportunities to meet new friends. This is because; the English language is widely spoken in the country. Furthermore, 66 percent of the locals can speak Italian, and about 17 also speak French. This means you can be welcomed in any of the languages mentioned above.
Convenient Transport System
One of the best things about Malta is that its public transportation is cheap, fast, and efficient. Again, it doesn’t matter where you live on the island, as you’re never too far from your destination. Also, in this country, you can buy a bus ticket for only 1.5 USD, and you can use it for a whole day on the main island. When I lived in this country, I must tell you that I used the transport system and the bus ticket is affordable.
Safety and Food
The crime rates in Malta are quite low compared to some parts of the western world. Moreover, it’s actually one of the countries with the lowest crime rates in Europe. And with this fact, expats can easily reside here without disturbance. On the other hand, if there’s something that the Maltese people are passionate about, then it’s definitely cooking. More so, Pastizzi is a delicious traditional pastry that’s filled with ricotta cheese, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Those who have visited and live in Malta will definitely tell you that environmental problem is one of the disadvantages of living in the city. With many people reporting this factor, it is better to research well before relocating to the country. Besides, a lack of cleanliness can be observed throughout the island. And one could see motor vehicle pollution, sewage outflows, and construction waste around.
Laidback Attitude in Malta
A relaxed approach is usually an advantage, but not everyone living in this country would have the same outlook towards work. In fact, most of the residents accept and perhaps even expect a lack of professionalism from everyone in Malta. For instance, if you call a plumber to fix something in your home, don’t be surprised if they show up weeks after the appointment.
Cost of Living in Malta (2021)
Malta is the smallest country in the European Union, and it’s not short of fascinating. If you want to relocate for good, just spend more time there to know the cost of living. Well, to some extent, the cost of living is considered low compared to other countries in Europe. However, if we’re to compare the cost of living in the United Kingdom to Malta, you’ll see that the prices in the UK are at least twice the price of Malta.
General Living Expenses in Malta (2021)
|Living Expenses in Malta||Average Cost|
|One-bedroom apartment, 1 person||€809|
|Four bedroom apartment, 4 person||Approximately €3,000|
|Medium apartment in the city||Approximately €1,200|
|Utilities including electricity, water, and more||Approximately €250|
|Dining out and entertainment in the city||Approximately €300|
|Healthcare costs in the country||Approximately €400|
Must-Know Travel Tips for Expats in 2021
While we declare Malta as one of the top expat destinations, there are many things to know before relocating to the country. From the unique beach island vibe of Europe that meets the Middle East to the delicious cuisines, Malta has travel tips that’d make you worth visiting. Let’s walk you through it!
Where to Resides in Malta
In the long run, we’ll go in-depth to explain the best places for ex-pats to live on this platform. But for now, you can glance through some of the best places we’ve listed in this article. Depending on your budget and what you’re planning to do in the country, you can consider staying in towns like Mellieha in the northwest of the island or Marsaskala in the east.
Prepare for an Interesting Mix of Cultures
If you’re relocating to this country, ensure you prepare for an interesting mix of cultures. This is because; Malta sounds like a combination of Italian, French, British and Arab. In fact, the churches look Roman and Greek, while they also drive on the left side. So, combine all of these cultural habits, and you’ve got yourself an explosion of uniqueness.
Pastizzi Are Definition of Happiness
In-country like Malta, their favorite cuisine or dishes seem to be the definition of their happiness. Besides, the locals can tell you that the Pastizzi is the best thing if you want to experience true joy. So, expect to see this favorite’s food in nearly all bars and restaurants around the major cities and towns.
Free Hospital Care for the British (Expats or Locals)
If you’re feeling a little unwell while living in Malta, most pharmacies have their own doctors, and the healthcare is free for the British. Moreover, if you show your passport at some point during your stay, the care is free. Are you wondering why this could happen in a small country? Well, this is due to the agreement between the country and Great Britain.
2021 Visa Application in Malta
Malta is part of the Schengen system, giving total freedom of movement to Schengen Member State nationals and family members who choose to visit the country. On the flip side, other foreign nationals will have to present a valid passport for entry to Malta and may be required to obtain a visa.
Furthermore, in Malta, Visas are authorizations in the form of a sticker issued and affixed to a passport by the country’s diplomatic mission to a third-country national. Moreover, the visas authorize the bearer to stay or travel through Malta during a limited, specified period.
Foreign nationals from most EU/EEA countries, the United States, and Commonwealth countries do not require a visa to travel to Malta if they’re willing to stay up to ninety days. With all that being said, you must file your applications at Malta’s diplomatic missions if you intend to visit several Schengen states.
Types of Visas Available for Expats in Malta
Applying for a Maltese visa is relatively easy if you meet the requirements stated by the immigration service. More so, you can apply for a visa at your local Maltese Consulate or Embassy. Now, let’s quickly walk you through the types of visas available as of 2021.
Tourist Visas of Malta
Expats from non-Schengen countries who wish to visit the country will need to enter the country to obtain a tourist visa. However, with the advent of Covid-19, the government has placed a ban on some countries to enter Malta. Again, know that your tourist visa can only last for a maximum of 90 days.
Residence Permit of Malta
To stay in the country for more than 90 days and beyond, you’ll definitely need to have a residence permit. The Maltese residence permit comes in the form of an e-residence document, and it functions as a means of identification. On the other hand, there are two types of residence permits; and include the permanent residence permit and the ordinary permanent permit.
Frequently Asked Questions about Malta
Of course, if you meet the stated requirements, you can relocate to Malta without any problem. Moreover, as long as you have a confirmed job offer, your relocation will come as easy. Meanwhile, retirees will have to meet certain income, and health insurance needs before they can travel.
Well, depending on your chosen destination, Malta isn’t an expensive country to live in. Also, your dollar can go surprisingly far beyond what you think. While some retirees can live comfortably on as little as $2,700, you can even live less depending on your chosen destination and social activities.
If you want to travel to this country, we advise you to have a skill that’s in high demand. Some of the jobs that are in high demand in Malta include Blockchain developers, Accountants, iGaming experts, and IT specialists.
Malta is about history, outdoor activities like beaches, and long hot summer. You could call it a tax haven and a lovely destination for expat. If you want to visit or relocate to this country, kindly refer to this guide above for detailed information.