Pros and Cons of Malta

There’s no question that Malta is a popular and attractive destination for expats who are out on the hunt for the sun and easy life – and there’s plenty of both in stock for you when moving to Malta.

You’ll quickly find that the island has a lot to offer. But no place is a paradise, and like everywhere else, there are also some smaller and some bigger drawbacks to moving to Malta.

In this article, I’ll go through both the positives and the negatives of expat life in Malta, grouped into 14 different areas, through the eyes of someone who’s spent around 3 years on the island and has previously lived in 5 other EU countries – from East to West to South.

UPDATE (15/02/17): Since I first published this artilce, it’s gotten a lot of feedback on social media and other channels (as well as the comments below). A lot of people agree with most of it, while others have had different experiences. That’s to be expected, of course, as with mostly everything in life, ‘your mileage may vary’. But we’ve made a few updates regardless, to keep up with the promise to keep this overview up-to-date.

Cost of Living in Malta

Pro: Everyday life is relatively affordable, compared to most Western countries. A pint of beer at a small pub can go for as little as €1.50, food is very affordable, and public transportation is relatively inexpensive as well – 75 cents per journey, capped at €26 per month if you have the Tallinja card (Source: Malta Public Transport).

Con: Eating out can be rather expensive, especially for the pickier types. Whilst there’s an abundance of restaurants on the island, the really good ones know their value and charge accordingly. Prices are still nowhere near those of Lonon, Paris, or any other major European city, though.

Con: Anything to do with Internet and mobile is extremely expensive. You can expect to pay upward of €30 a month for a simple 50Mbps/3Mbps broadband, and another €35 a month for a mobile subscription – certainly a big step back for those who are used to the Internet speeds and prices of Continental Europe.

Accommodation in Malta

Pro: Rental apartments are easy to find and plentiful. There’s been a lot of development over the recent decade, resulting in a huge variety of rental properties on the market.

Pro: Cost of accommodation (both rental and house prices) is quite cheap compared to most developed countries. Moving to Malta, you can easily find a newly furnished 2-bedroom flat for as little as €500 per month, in cheaper areas.

UPDATE (15/02/17): Over the last 12 or so months, the apartment rental industry in Malta has exploded, and several people are reporting prices higher than ever before. There’s talks in the government about potentially regulating the industry, but until something is done (and it might be a while), be prepared to negotiate hard!

Pro: Utilities are dirt cheap. Unless you’re on the “foreigner rate” (see our recent article about this for more), you can expect your monthly water and electricity bill to not exceed €50 per person, even if you run air conditioning. This will, of course, be a bit higher if there’s more people living in the apartment.

“… be prepared to be treated like a criminal in all of your dealings with the bank …”

Con: Rent in popular “expat areas” can be prohibitively expensive. Where a small apartment in Mosta or Naxxar would set you back €500 a month, the price for a similar one in Sliema or St. Julian’s can easily exceed €900. Prices also tend to go up in late spring and summer, when there are more tourists and incoming expats.

Weather in Malta

Pro: It’s hard to beat 300 days of sunshine in a year. For heat lovers, Malta’s summers are as close to perfection as it gets. There’s no shortage of sun and heat between the months of June and October – just stock up on sunscreen and head out!

Con: The Maltese winters are short and not very cold, but extremely nasty nevertheless. Even though temperatures rarely fall below 10 °C (approx. 50 °F), the insulation of most houses is lacking severely, making it also 10 °C indoors! There’s also no central heating, making the only options for warmth electrical heaters or gas units.

Finding a Job in Malta

Pro: Entry level jobs are always easy to find, especially in late spring and early summer, when many tourist establishments expand their number of staff. Just walk around in the Sliema / St. Julian’s area and you’ll notice “Staff Wanted” signs on almost every other door.

Pro: There are many international companies in Malta – mostly in the fields of finance and iGaming – creating a fair number of specialist jobs that usually pay much better than most local companies. These firms are also often on the lookout for speakers of foreign languages.

Con: With the tiny size of the country, higher-paying jobs at local firms are scarce, and for various reasons, locals are often preferred to foreigners (even though no-one will officially admit it).

Crime & Safety in Malta

Pro: When it comes to violent crime, Malta is an extremely safe country. According to Eurostat, Malta has only 0.3 violent crime incidents per 1,000 inhabitants. Of other EU countries, only Cyprus compares.

Con: When it comes to non-violent crime, pick-pocketing and burglaries are unfortunately on the increase, but still nowhere near the EU average levels. This isn’t a big shock for foreigners moving to Malta, but can indeed be a significant burden for the Maltese, many of whom are still used to leaving their houses and cars unlocked.

Languages in Malta

Pro: English is an official language of Malta (alongside Maltese), and is widely spoken. You can expect to find all government forms and documents in English, as well as all road signs, restaurant menus, and other crucial bits of information.

“Drunk driving is also extremely common and the police don’t seem to care about it one notch.”

Con: Even though 88% of Malta’s population speak English, Maltese is also widely spoken and without speaking the language, you’ll never be accepted as “one of their own”. The downside to this is that Maltese – being a combination of Arabic and Italian – is an immensely difficult language to learn. But on the bright side – once you do it, it will be appreciated a lot!

Doing Business in Malta

Pro: Taxation in Malta can be very attractive, especially for International companies benefiting from one of the various “tax refund” schemes. Malta is also a relatively stable environment, with low risk of political or financial instability.

Con: Bureaucracy in Malta is mind-bobbling. Coming from elsewhere in Europe, you’ll almost certainly be very surprised – and not in a positive way. Without exaggeration, it can easily take up to 6 months to get a bank account opened for your company. And this is on top of the 2-3 months that it takes to sort out and file the incorporation paperwork.

Public Transportation in Malta

Pro: Being a small country means that most areas in Malta are connected by public transportation one way or another. Unless you want to travel to a secluded town with 20 inhabitants, there will be a bus route available for you – even if it only runs 4 times a day.

Con: Buses in Malta rarely run on schedule and due to the inefficient road network, routes are mostly long and winding, and getting from point A to point B often requires at least one connection. This can be a significant time drain, especially because most buses only run once or twice an hour, unless you travel between two very large towns.

Infrastructure in Malta

Pro: Again owing to its small size, most of the country is very well connected with water and electricity. Internet connectivity, albeit expensive and slow, is abundant as well.

Con: The road network in Malta is stagnant and apart from the main arteries, most roads are in a terrible condition. Roads also tend to be far too narrow to facilitate the ever growing traffic (Malta has the most cars per household in the EU!), resulting in big jams on and off the rush hour.

Con: Because of the long summer and the short winter, there’s no central heating anywhere in the country. One might think that it’s not even necessary, but in reality we do need heating for at least 3-4 months each year when it gets unbearably cold indoors.

Healthcare in Malta

Pro: All healthcare in Malta is free. As long as you’re employed, you can head to the Mater Day Hospital (or the Gozo General Hospital if you’re in Gozo) and get any necessary treatments free of charge. According to a 2012 report by PWC, Malta ranks amongst the top 6 in the EU for the overall quality of healthcare as well.

Pro: Private health insurance in Malta is extremely inexpensive. Where simple in-patient plans go for as low as €90 a year, a payment of around €350 a year will get you full cover, allowing you to see doctors at one of the many private clinics and hospitals and avoid the queues of the public clinics.

Con: Queues in public hospitals can be ridiculous. Unless your condition is life threatening, you can often expect to wait in the queue for several months to see a specialist, and when visiting the clinic just to see your Family Doctor (GP), it’s best to block off the whole day for queuing.

Banking in Malta

Pro: Largely due to comprehensive and strict government regulations, the banking sector in Malta is healthy, and the general consensus is that it doesn’t face the same risks that Cyprus or some other EU countries have. There are several major banks, including both local ones like the Bank of Valletta, and foreign chains like HSBC (UK) and Banif (Portugal).

“Maltese are one of the nicest and kindest people that you will ever meet.”

Con: Due to the “offshore nature” of the country, making it a prime target for money laundering, be prepared to be treated like a criminal in all of your dealings with the bank. Gone are the days when you would step into a bank, expecting them to go out of their way to get you to use their services. Nowadays, it almost feels as if you need to beg a bank to open you an account or issue you a cheque-book.

Con: Foreigners are often discriminated against by the local banks. As an example, it’s very difficult to even get a debit card carrying the VISA logo and allowing for online shopping, unless you’re willing to “pledge” a certain amount of money on a locked, zero-interest account. Credit cards or overdraft? Forget about it. Unless you’re born in Malta or have significant assets, no bank will even think about giving you a credit line. Luckily, other companies like Insignia have started to “fill in the blank” and are now offering simple credit products regardless of whether you’re Maltese or not.

UPDATE (15/02/17): Some expats have reported that they’ve successfully obtained a credit card, and have had overall positive experiences with banks, so your mileage may vary!

Traffic

Pro: Because of small distances and relatively narrow roads, speeds are generally small and overall, traffic in Malta is very forgiving. Largely because of this, Malta also ranks among the lowest in the EU in terms of fatal traffic accidents.

Con: Driving in Malta takes some getting used to. Coming from elsewhere, you need to learn defensive driving and never assume a single ounce of common sense from other drivers. It’s common for drivers to ignore even basic traffic rules, such as using turn indicators, giving way on roundabouts and not talking on mobile phones. Drunk driving is also extremely common and the police don’t seem to care about it one notch.

Con: Traffic jams are commonplace and very hard to predict. Because many places are connected with only one (usually narrow) major road and no alternatives, traffic can build up easily even if there’s just a small accident on the way. The way the road network is built, traffic blockages can often be felt tens of kilometers away.

Education in Malta

Pro: Education in Malta is generally of decent quality and state schools are free of charge. For higher education, the University of Malta offers a number of majors and the tuition is generally affordable. Private schools are also plentiful, and rather inexpensive compared to many other European countries. One can expect to fork out an average of €3,500 per annum in tuition fees.

Con: Whilst free, public education is limited to the main school in your region (so there’s no choosing), and classes are split approximately half-and-half in English and in Maltese. There are also compulsory religion classes, which may put off some expats moving to Malta. UPDATE: As informed by several readers, it is now possible to opt for “ethics” classes instead of religion classes.

Lifestyle in Malta

Pro: Laid back lifestyle, proximity to the sea and 300 days of sunshine certainly allows for a reduced stress, compared to most other places in Europe. Life in Malta is mostly very slow-paced and relaxed, suiting well to those having trouble escaping from the daily rat race.

Con: The unfortunate downside to the relaxed lifestyle is people often seeming to have a complete and total disregard towards other peoples’ time. This can be seen in nearly every step of the way – from businesses requesting to meet you in person, rather than discussing matters over email, to bus drivers taking their time having a chat with a friend whilst a queue of cars is behind them. Needless to say, for someone with a busy lifestyle, this can get very disturbing very quickly.

People in Malta

Pro: The Maltese are one of the nicest and kindest people that you will ever meet. Especially in smaller towns and villages, most people are always ready to go out of their way to help you in any way, shape or form, and unlike many other tourist destinations, foreigners are rarely taken advantage of.

Con: I hope not to offend anyone with this, but the Maltese are also some of the most stubborn people that I’ve ever met. If someone’s formed their opinion about something, then it’s virtually impossible to change this opinion – regardless of how hard you try or how many facts you have backing you up.

Bottom Line

Like any other place in the world, there are a number of both positives and negatives when it comes to moving to Malta, and a lot will depend on who you are, what are your interests and where you’re coming from.

But in general, Malta is a nice and welcoming destination for foreigners. Just keep an open mind and try to appreciate the country for what it has to offer, rather than getting carried away by the negatives – which sometimes is oh-so-easy to happen.

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72 COMMENTS

  1. There are several things that I disagree about this article. First of all, accommodation in Malta is no longer cheap. You can expect to pay more than in Rome, Helsinki or Barcelona and now nearly as much as in London in certain areas. Usually the standard is very low. You pay 900eur for an apartment with windows over looking the wall of another house. The furniture is cheap and nasty and fisnishings are shabby. Especially foreigners are exploited my landlors in every way, from paying the 0 persons rate on water and electricity, not getting back their deposit and landlords generally being greedy and even hostile. Using an aircondition or heather full on, will not out you back 50eur a month add another 0 and you will be closer to the truth.

    Many foreigners don’t know that if landlord does not pay back the deposit they can take the case to the small claims tribunal that does not cost a lot and should be a faster proces than normal court.

    If you have been screwed over by a business, on the other hand, you can take the case to the Consumer Tribunal. It does not cost you much to file the case and you don’t even need a lawyer.

    Maltese people are not friendly and helpful. They are extremely greedy and are only going to remain friendly with you as long as they can take advantage of you one way or another.

    Public transport is no longer cheap as it used to be. One trip sets you back 2eur this ticket is valid for 2 hours and after this, you need to buy another ticket. So if you travel a lot it comes expensive. Ofcourse you can apply for the “tallinja” card” but it can take several months to arrive.

    Foreigners in many ways are discriminated against. With water and electricity bills, you need to register the number of people by the form H to Arms Malta. Otherwise you may be on the most expensive rate without knowing.

    God forbid you get in problem with law or authorities. The justice system really treats foreigners as second class citizens.

    Do not open bank accounts in Malta. Anyone can garnishee (block) your account at any time. You don’t even need a court order to do this!! It might take years before the court dispute is settled and during this time, your money and accounts will be blocked for what ever amount it may be.
    Landlors do this to their tenants frequently. They have even managed to block people’s wages directly from their account without a court order. So what ever you do, don’t tell them where you work and do not open account in Malta.

    Only thing I agree with this article, is that alcohol is cheap. That comes in handy when you are trying to get over the fact that you have been screwed over by your mover company/landlord/ shop etc… Good luck and don’t be naiive. This country is not like others in the European Union.

      • Easy, we foreigners, will soon move to another country that lets you run an igaming company. I honestly cant wait to see th breakdown of maltese financial system after all expats and igaming industry leaves this rock. We are responsible for 16% of this nations Taxes. But when it comes to GDP and spending, that goes waaay over 25%.

        Thank you Mr/Mrs Grech for being such a typical local hospitality representant.

        • Stan and Mary, I think you both need a tampon. Life here as an expat is very easy. And no, us foreigneirs working here in igaming industry are not moving anywhere as quickly as you suggest, as the Maltese Government will ensure they keep the necessary incentives in order for the igaming industry to stay put here.

          To make a comment that “I honestly cant wait to see th breakdown of maltese financial system after all expats and igaming industry leaves this rock” is just narrow minded man.

          I can’t wait to have less Polish people like you here in Malta. Thank you for being such a typical Polish Poes.

    • sure this country is not like others in european union because it’s the best, envy for it will only land you in having to make way and space, please as we need a lot of it, thanks a lot

    • Shame man Mary, you and Stan seem to have the same condition where your heads and faces look like big vaginas, so people take every opportunity to screw you. That’s tough man. Hope the screwing gets easier with time.

    • 900 euros for a terrible apartment with terrible furniture and no view? You have been taken for a ride! I pay 700 for a Sliema penthouse. Yes, prices have gone up a lot in this specific area, with 800-900 becoming the norms for good appartments in the Sliema, St. Julians and Gzira area. But you can easily hit the jackpot even here, especially during the winter months.

      But that’s beyond the point. The Sliema area is incredibly tiny. If you are not afraid of driving you can easily get smaller house and maisonettes in good quality for 500-700 a month, and that with really short commuting times (and of course, you can get appartments for even less). In all other countries one would expect to drive/commute for 30 minutes, give or take (often more) to get to work. Why have other standards here?

    • There seems to be lots of things you don’t like about this country so why live here?? One major problem here is having the misfortune to meet other expats that only complain about everything here. So again I wonder why they bother. Also you are obviously to ashamed about what you have to say that you can’t even use your real name

  2. Getting a credit card is super easy in Malta. Not that one should rely on credit cards but I had mine up and running (I’m “foreign”) from Insignia in just a few days. I also got a visa card from day 1 when I moved here, no problem at all.

    • That’s great to hear! And yes – Insignia have been fantastic. I personally don’t do credit cards (apart from the few that I already have from a while back that give me miles and other benefits) so I ended up taking a prepaid Visa Black from them, and so far it’s been fantastic.

      With the kind of (often highly discriminatory) policies that high street banks have, I believe there’s a ton of room in the market for other companies similar to Insignia to come and capitalise on the market share that BOV/HSBC are flat out not interested.

    • Thanks for this! Someone on Facebook pointed this out too so I’ll definitely amend the article shortly, but waiting for some more feedback first on some other pain points, as well as “pros” to make one big amend 🙂

      • great article though 🙂 quite accurate if you ask me. Though people like me, won’t find summer that attractive. It is too hot lol.

  3. Well Malta has the most expensive electricity in Europe. An inflated housing market and expensive food when it comes to anything healthy. The price skyrockets when instead of a frozen pizza youd like to buy some veggies and cook the dinner yourself.

    Apart from that. Yes, mostly accurate.

    • Thanks for your comment, Stan!

      I’m not sure where your information about Malta having the most expensive electricity in Europe comes from, as according to the official statistics by Eurostat, that’s not even close to being the case. In fact, Malta is in the bottom half of the list, and nearly half the price of some other EU countries.

      Perhaps you’re on a ‘domestic’ tariff and are therefore overpaying? I wrote about this recently here: http://therealmalta.com/foreigner-malta-may-paying-double-utilities/

      Another consideration here that many don’t think of is the fact that in many cases it’s simply wrong to compare the price of kWh in, say, Finland to that in Malta, as at the end of the day what matters is not the price of kWh, but the actual utility bill, and due to the weather, the prevalence of gas ovens and other factors, most people simply consume less electricity here than they would in some other countries.

      With reference to the price of groceries, I suppose it again depends on what’s the comparison point. When compared to many Western European countries, groceries in Malta are incredibly cheap. But compare the prices here to say Latvia or Poland, and you’ll of course pay what seems to be a fortune.

      For someone who wants to buy their preferred brand and this brand alone, though, it can indeed be quite costly, as the cheaper stuff is mostly limited to imports from Italy, with everything that’s coming from the UK or elsewhere in mainland Europe being quite pricey due to the positioning of the country and the associated delivery costs.

      *See here for the official stats: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Electricity_price_statistics

      • One area where prices in Malta are much more expensive is when it comes to vegetarian products, say compared to UK prices, choice is also rather limited. To make up for this many vegetables, especially those in season bought from local markets, are competitively priced.

  4. This article is typical of someone who has not been in the country long and think they can give advice which could well put off future expats.

    The info on winters is exaggerated and some of the info on banking incorrect.
    We opened a bank account including debit card in 1 hour. (Only a lease agreement and passport required)
    If you rent the right property then winters are manageable and may be damp but not ‘nasty’
    We pay less for internet here than we did with BT 4 years ago and we can get all UK TV programmes for between €10 and €30 a month using IPTV (£82.00 with Sky in UK)

    As for jobs,if you can’t speak Maltese then certainly most vacancies will not be open to you, that is common sense.

    I would suggest,as you give the impression that, for you at least, the cons out way the pros that you find another country to move to very quickly!

  5. My banking experience has been in line with yours. I signed up for an online debit card through a new app-based company because in under 10 minutes I was in the system with a working MasterCard number; my Malta bank (BOV) said they would accept an application for a debit card after six months, and would only approve it with a minimum €600 locked deposit.
    Which is fine, I get it, Maltese banks have regulations to mitigate the risk of transient foreign customers – but fortunately we now have online options.

  6. Leaving her beauty apart, Malta is definitely becoming a tough place to settle in: too small place with high density and extreme high number of cars! Traffic is not easy on tiny Malta, not to mention pollution and dust everywhere. There are a lot of pros about living in Malta, but… facing reality can be a different story when considering that our minimum wage is still very low and cost of living is on the increase.

  7. But you don’t really need health insurance as the public health care is free for EU citizens. And private hospitals can’t handle your case anyway if you get seriously ill, they will send you the Mater Dei public sector anyway.

  8. You see this is what you get here. The amount of hostility from getting screwed on groceries because you are foreigner up to being called a polish poe, is what this island dwellers are about. Racist, hostile biggots. I wonder where people here got this attitude from. You can’t open a bank account easily when you are a EU citizen, you cannot get even a damn internet contract without paying the illegal in the EU special deposit because you are not Maltese. I’m lucky to work in a completely mixed environment.

    • Ah shame, do you need some tissues? Can I call your mommy?

      Don’t expect people (foreigners like me or locals) to accept you with open arms when you go and make stupid comments like you did about how you can’t wait to see the breakdown of the financial system here when companies leave, as you know how many people that will effect (you probably would have voted for Brexit if you could).

      You seem to have such a bad time in Malta and all the problems you have listed I can assure you majority of EU nationals and third party nationals (I also work in a “mixed environment”) who I work with did not have any of the problems you had. My account got opened in 2 weeks as soon as my bank back home sent back swift confirmation of validity of my account there.

      Maybe you are the problem here as all you seem to do is whine and complain, rahther than look for a solution or make any positive comments.

      Life is very easy here, but maybe it’s just too tough for your sensitive soul. Just never go to an African country for work, you will have a nervous breakdown.

    • U seem to be getting screwed over a lot here. your face probably looks like a big vagina. That’s why I called you a poes.

      • I love how you all confirm the fact its bad in here and that the only solutions is to go somewhere else where its better. Im not unhappy here, i have a lot of friends here so we can together complain about the badness of some of the thing here.

  9. I would focus about flats prices as they jump to orbit in my opinion.

    You mentioned that you can find cheaper places in other cities but than you should consider to buy a car as well. Lets be honest the public transport will work just for tourist that do not have to take care about time.
    I really love the summer time, but i realized that I cannot live in the place where quality of studio flat is like there were taken from deep communist time ( design, lack of dishwasher, tumbldryer or simple stuff like hoover) an with the price minim 550 ( if you are extremely lucky).

    This also not a place where you can just take a taxi if you are in need as it may take ages to order it and they are not working like in any other EU countries I have been leaving.

    I still think that this place could be amazing. But due to fact of changes I have observed during last 1,5 year. I can recommend it just for a students ( that would love to share an apartment wit many other people) or maybe wealthy retiree.

  10. What’s extraordinary is the number of people who tell him to move if he isn’t happy;.. without finding anything to counter what he is saying, which is basically true. No rent controls and only one or two year leases means that too many people, at the end of a year or two, are told that their rent will go up 300 Euros. How many people know that before arriving? But let’s face it, there are two soerts of people who come to Malta. Those who move here because they have tons of money and want to pay less tax don’t care about rents gong up … they can either pay or tehy have bought a house so it doesn’t matter; But for those who came as a cheap way to make tehir pensons go further? The lack of rent controls becomes a major problem. I wonder how many of teh people talking about “wonderul Malta” are on an ordinary salary rather than wealthy apartment owners?
    Polllution levels are off teh charts here. That too is true; and it isn’t gongt o get better for a long time, because half of the pollutin comes from teh constructoin sites (everywhere, now) and teh very fine dust that goes into teh atmosphere becqauxe Malta is rock, not earth for teh most part. There has been a 30% ris in cases of asthma in children in the last 10 years… anyone with respiratory problems or chldren should NOT be moving to Malta! Nobody seems to mention this “minor” detail… but I know lots of people who get a cough within days of moving here.

  11. This clown lives in cloud cookoo land.you must have spent your whole time in malta drinking beer and smoking dope to get this deluded.

  12. Nowhere is perfect – everywhere is perfect if you feel it is. Malta may well be quirky but it’s that which makes it appealing … along with the sunshine, the fantastic schooling, the amazing local food. Everywhere is what you make of it, isn’t it?

  13. Also, I would like to point out that, whereas most Maltese are super friendly, customer service in companies, hotels and restaurants is basically non-existent. When you start explaining why you have an issue, they will try to cut the conversation to give you excuses why it’s not their fault, and getting worked up. It seems to me that there is no training for customer service representatives in the island. You will hardly get a “welcome”, “hope to see you again”, and “thank you” in a shop or a restaurant, let alone a customer service line… if they ever reply. Granted, there are rude people everywhere, but customer service individuals should be trained to know better.

    • FInn Maria, with regards to customer care in shops hotels and especially restaurants, I agree with you 100% and it is a great shame. I also can tell you the reason why, just in case you cannot tell the difference. Most waiters and people working in this industry are unfortunately foreigners and they bring their sad rude ways with them. I am Maltese and spent the last 10 years in Uk. I was very shocked and disgusted that everywhere I go (in Malta) to get any service, I have to speak in English or Italian and I f I do get a service it’s always with a hostile arrogant tone. Whether it is in a restaurant, on a bus, supermarket..etc…. Very sad. Very few foreigners that chose to live in Malta have embraced the Maltese welcoming ways, and those that did I’m sure that are happy because they do get appreciated. Yes we do have a hot temper but that is everywhere in the MED. But we are also passionate in all our ways. Unfortunately again, you need to be passionate like us or you will misunderstand it.

  14. The original article’s pro’s and con’s are very well in-line with my own experiences, I lived there almost three years and spent many holidays after that.

    You could also add something about nature (forests are nonexistent basically), cleanliness (not very clean) and possibilities to different sports (pros: scuba diving, sailing, cons: cycling)

    FinnMaria also pointed out customer service, which has a lot of room to improve. They usually only take their own point-of-view (maybe something to do with that stubbornness you mentioned) and doesn’t think about customer experience about the issue. This is major issue in 95% of restaurants.

  15. Having lived in Malta for nearly 3 years we found it very easy to settle in. Bank accounts sorted while we was actually still living in another country, Tax and NI all sorted,electricity all sorted on residential rate (we are renting and not owning our own property at the moment),car ownership sorted with tax and insurance. jobs with major companies no issues Residential I.D cards sorted within 4 weeks of moving here and all the other factors to make living here in what I call home easy. You need to explore to find places like shops farms ect ect to save on expenditure dont be afraid to ask people for help they are not Ogre’s. The more you interact with the people of Malta the more you will settle in.

  16. Hi I’m moving to Malta, in a couple of months, I find some of the comments disturbing.
    I have been coming to Malta for over 30 years.
    I haven’t experienced some of the things that have been aired on here and I hope I don’t .

  17. Hi, I think some of the comments are disturbing too. On balance, I find Malta a great place to live, it’s very relaxing, all the UK ex-pats look out for each other, so you don’t find the elderly are isolated or lonely. My husband & myself have some wonderful Maltese friends who are genuine, warm and friendly and will treat people with respect – they will clam up if people who don’t try to understand or relate to the culture, then start slagging off the Maltese. Of course, there are some greedy landlords, the first two apartments we rented, we had horrible landlords – the 1st one knew the place was infected with cockroaches and did nothing about it & when there was a big leak from an adjoining apartment, that caused damp up our walls & made it uninhabitable – he refused to pay back our deposit. The 2nd landlord – a new build – he was fine but his girlfriend acted as his rotweiler and she was a proper bitch (he did actually put his hands round her neck at one point!) Our 3rd landlord’s are wonderful, very honest, fair, reasonable rent and actually appreciate us for being steady, reliable tenants (and are horrified at the way our tenants in UK wreck our flat there) All in all, I recommend Malta for being a great place to live, no TV licence, not rip off for internet, freshly baked bread everyday in most grocery stores, great history & culture, it really is like living in an open air museum that is so rich and alive. Can’t fault the medical treatment for my husband. Life is what you make it here! for us, it’s a great life.

    • Some people will probably want to flame me for saying this (as the topic of racism is quite a delicate one here), but in my experience:

      – If you speak good English, have your life sorted out, etc. then most people tend to treat you 100% equally to how they would treat anybody else.

      – If you’re from Africa, however, and can be mistaken as a refugee, the racism is one of the worst that I’ve ever seen anywhere else in Europe.

      This is a huge generalisation though, of course. There are people who express racism towards “group 1” and there are people who are extremely nice to “group 2”. Also, being white myself, I don’t have any first hand experience, so can only comment based on what I’ve observed on the streets, and when my business partner (who’s a black English guy) has been visiting.

      • I am white and lived in Uk for the past 10 years, married to black african so I mingled with both black and white. My son suffered a lot of racism and physical abuse by british people (white) and I was treated like dirt and suffered a lot of racism and emotional abuse by other black africans in UK especially black women. So there you have it.. unfortunately no matter how the majority would love to live in a world that is equal…racism still exists and it comes from all colours towards all colours. Yes the Maltese tend to be racist towards black people (I know first hand) but they do give the chance to get to know you and once you prove yourself that you are no trouble maker and no bum they will treat you just the same,but if you chose to live like a savage and cause problem to others…..then you’re going to be treated as such

  18. Learn the language well, get used to the local customs, live happily ever after. While some things changed with EU, others are as it used to be in the good old days.
    If you fail to achieve your goal the first time, try and try again. If someone refuses you a service today, try tomorrow with someone else.
    Nothing here is written in stone. While one person may treat you unkindly because you are a foreigner, another will make you a favour because you are a foreigner. Show respect and you will be treated with respect.
    Have patience, don’t rush things but do not neglect things either. Be persistent, keep pushing the tasks at hand, things will happen.
    EU brought price hikes and triple bureaucracy, we are just another southern EU country trying to survive Merkel’s dictatorship.

    • Merkel’s dictatorship – hahaha! Maybe you should get a bit educated and not extract your knowledge from tabloids. Merkel and Germany were incredibly helpful to us Irish when the US bubble burst. They, together with some other better governed countries, have bailed us all out. Now calling her dictator is outrageous. England on the other hand had us starve to death just a couple of decades earlier. Thanks for considering. Sorry for going off topic.

  19. the only issue I have:

    it´s impossible to find out the NI bank account to send them the monthly contributions

    I have an NI number, but I am obliged to pay a private health insurance though having an official NI number.
    And, just because it´s impossible to find out the NI bank account :o(

    NB: I am self employed but once was employed in Malta; in case someone might ask why my employer doesn´t pay for me. I am my own employer ;o)

  20. Hello, feel quite safe asking things on here, basically my partner and I are approaching 60 and are looking to come to buy in Malta. We won’t need to work, have significant capital, don’t want to drive so in no hurry to get anywhere. My parents have been coming to Malta for 25 years and have many friends they can introduce us to on Malta and Gozo. Been looking around and there are some lovely apartments we can afford. No landlord worries. Is there a form of Council Tax there? My partner is a painter, if he wanted to sell his paintings locally, would he need a permit? I saw “don’t open a bank account in Malta” so can one retain funds in the UK, or is it better to use a bank on the Island? 60 is hardly ancient and we are both quite fit, but with no dependents, we can stay there for many years if we like it, what sort of provision do they make for say Nursing Home care 25 years down the line, is there any?

    • I’ve lived in Malta 3 years ….I like to send u private message how can we do this .. but any way here is my mobile 07761108646

  21. I’m a white South African and I’ve been living here for nearly a year. I have found it easy to integrate with some Maltese. I agree with the pros and cons however, I disagree regarding rental amounts. I find it extremely expensive for rent and utilities including internet an tv.

    The reason I highlighted the fact that I am white, the rasicm in this country toward my fellow (might add, extremely hard working ) African neighbors is disgraceful, common and acceptable! This is one of the only things that fume me!

    • Hi DDB.I am Motswana and considering moving to Malta.i have been self employed in almost 5 years doing filming and photography.my partner and I are considering Malta but having read some comments here,i am a little undecided now.for a you black African looking to explore the world,i am a little adamant as to whether pursue the idea of moving there.i do not have a problem with accomodation pricing but more concerned with the treatment given to fellow black Africans.
      I realise you are into your 1st year.what do you recommend?

      • I am thinking of relocating with my mother and daughter
        But like that very scared after those comments
        Nobody replies either…..
        :-///

  22. We are an American couple. We’re used to island life, having lived over 30 years on Guam. We’ll soon be retiring, and are investigating various places to live approximately half time, while maintaining our home here.
    Is there anyone here who has had a similar “half-resident” sort of experience?

  23. First I agree Maltese people are friendly and welcoming. Weather is amazing,
    traffic is brutal, Police should enforce
    with drinking and driving and use of mobile
    while driving.Opening an account was very
    challenging but I understand Bank policies
    but staff was very helpful regards,any government services I used ie passport
    where very helpful.Rent has increased
    drastically,food is great,lots of fun places to go.I am Maltese Canadian I have considerd
    moving here but miss my family in Toronto.
    My experience I love Malta,the weather,entertainment,people,food the Festas.No place is perfect. Everyone is entitled to there feedback but no need to be
    rude with your comments. Perhaps if one
    has a cheap on there shoulder please drop
    the attitude,this is my native land and
    I love it. So if you don’t like living go back
    to your country. Respect and appreciate
    no matter where you live.

  24. Hi every body.
    I am a medical Doctor (GP) from out of EU. I have the experience of living in the Philippines, and I do not have any problems with these cons about Malta. But I need some information if anybody can help, it would be appreciated. How can I evaluate my degree in Malta? Is there any chance for me to work and specialize in Malta? Are specialty courses in medicine in Malta paid as they are paid positions in other parts of EU?
    I really appreciate if anybody can give me some good information.

  25. I will probably move to Malta in the next year or two and would like to know what to expect. I’m Maltese-American, but I’ve never been to Malta. Looking at this thread and various other sources, I don’t think I’ll be worse off than where I am. Rents, utilities, and public transportation here are far more expensive, and food prices (which I’ve looked up on grocery store websites) are about the same. Landlords are landlords, and banks everywhere have rules that are hard to understand. I’m a bit over 60, living on a small pension, and probably won’t get a job, though I hope to learn the Maltese language. But I want to know if I’ll fit in. What do most Maltese people think about so many people coming there? Especially people like me who won’t be contributing much but will be taking up space? An “open-air museum” with lots of sunshine is my idea of paradise, especially since it’s much safer than where I am now. But it is someone else’s home. Candid responses will be appreciated.

  26. Maltese people in a small brief.
    Regionists (racists).
    “Cosmopilitan” peasunts
    Greedy.
    Crazy.
    Animals
    Selfish.
    Reckless drivers

  27. Malta !

    By far the worse country I’ve lived in, and as the Maltese say in retalliation, don’t like it, leave ! Their attitude to everything. All the comments above are true, close minded attitude.

    Polluted and noisy streets. No nature whatsoever other than dry rock. Highest rates of obesity in the EU for children. Maltese rude greedy nationalist mentality ( every Maltese person thinks that malta is the greatest country to have ever existed ) so literally no point arguing with them. Let them keep their opinions. Poor customer service. And the way people drive is just the perfect example of the mentality. Essentially no f%#ks given 😉 Not to mention the only country I know where everyone drives drunk, not a safe place for children.

    3 years on the island and visits every year for 28 years, I’m half Maltese, would never go back unless it’s really an emergency.

    Low budget European désobstruons held together by the gaming company and tourist industry. The parts of beauty malta does have is ruined by the construction that is apsolutely everywhere. Malta 20 years ago was paradise, today you couldn’t pay me enough to vacation there let alone live there. If you want untouched meditteranean beauty with sophisticated people ( and manners !! ) stick to the Italian and French Riviera.

  28. Banking: Gosh, we have had nothing but a nightmare dealing with HSBC Malta. I would suggest all expats avoid banking there. We have been trying to access a healthy amount of money we have in our bank account there for months. It’s criminal what they are putting us through; bordering on harassment and goes far beyond vetting for criminal activities.

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