Malta is an island nation in Europe with idyllic mediaeval architecture, ancient temples and mesmerising underwater caves. This archipelago on the Mediterranean Sea is made up of 3 islands; Malta, which is the mainland, Gozo and Camina, all neighbouring Sicily and Africa. There is no shortage of awe-inspiring experiences in Malta from museums and diving opportunities to numerous cafes and eateries.
Malta is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for its great weather, beautiful coastlands and the convenience of short distances between places. No one in Malta is more than 30 minutes away from each other and wherever you are on this beautiful island, you are always approximately 20 minutes away from the scenic coast. The Malta International Airport is also easily accessible from anywhere on the island so travelling to and around Malta is effortless!
The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. English is widely spoken with 76% of the population speaking it fluently and 36% also able to speak French and Italian.
The official currency of Malta is the Euro, and has been used since January 2008. Previously, Malta used the Maltese Lira.
Withdrawing cash and exchanging currencies
There are several banks with ATMs across the island including BOV, HSBC, APS, and BNF Bank. Most of these banks have automatic currency exchange machines, especially in popular tourist attractions.
Malta has fast internet connectivity available almost everywhere. Most hotels and restaurants have wifi, and there are also wifi hotspots in outdoor public spaces.
Tap Water is safe
Drinking water from the tap in most areas in Malta is safe although locals prefer bottled water. This preference is related to taste more than health because Maltese tap water is slightly saltier because of the process it goes through.
Prepare for different traffic conditions
People in Malta drive on the left-hand side of the road which is a legacy of the British rule of Malta in the past. Traffic can be hectic in Malta but the neighbouring island, Gozo, is generally calmer.
Travelling by bus is can be an option
You can ditch your car plans and use buses to move around the island. For €2 you can travel anywhere and the tickets are valid for two hours so you can change them if you need to.
Prepare for mosquitoes
Unfortunately, in the warmer months the mosquitoes do come out in Malta. But no need to worry because they don’t carry any diseases, just uncomfortable itchiness. Your best protection is in wearing repellant, staying away from stagnant water or keeping the air conditioning on because pests can’t fly against the draft.
Valletta is the capital of Malta and has the well-known Pinto Wharf (also known as Valletta Waterfront) which was an industrious harbour in ancient times. It is now a tourist complex with lots of eccentric cafes, restaurants and retailers. There’s also a promenade where you can take a breezy walk admiring the views across the water.
Go back in time in Mdina
Mdina was the capital of Malta in ancient times. It sits on an idyllic hill in the centre of Malta, surrounded by fortification structures that will delight history-lovers. You can stroll along the streets and visit one or two museums to really get a feel of ancient Malta. There are also many picturesque cafes and eateries for some rustic Maltese food.
Spend a day in Gozo
Gozo is the sister island of Malta and is a 20-minute ferry ride away from Malta. It is relatively small and rural with many cultural activities to be enjoyed, as well as rustic coastlines and secluded beaches. The highlight of your visit will be the Citadella in Victoria, a fortified city built with Byzantine and Roman architecture.
Cave dive in Comino
Before you cross over to Gozo, you can go reef and cave diving in Comino. This small uninhabited island sits off the coast of the mainland of Malta and Gozo. The caves underneath Comino are said to glisten with a dark blue luminescence with a wide range of aquatic life to be seen..
Go to the Ġgantija Temples
Ġgantija literally translates to “gigantic.” These huge temples sit on Gozo, and are said to predate the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. The size of these temples is astounding considering they were built before the invention of the wheel.
Experience Maltese fishing culture in Marsaxlokk
Marsaxlokk is a fishing village in the south of Malta. There’s a thriving market here every day with the colourful fishing boats known as “luzzus” on the harbour. There are also many seafood eateries here making it perfect for a lunch or dinner stop.
Shop for souvenirs in Ta’ Qali Craft Village
You can find all kinds of traditional Maltese handicrafts in this quaint village located on an old airfield from World War II. You can buy hand-blown glass, leather, linen and ceramics, all of which are made by locals that you can see as they work.
Citizens of the UAE can enter Malta without a Schengen tourist visa for a stay shorter than 90 days. You just need to provide a Covid-19 PCR test certificate issued within 48 hours from the time of the sample collection. Alternatively, you can also provide a Covid-19 vaccination certificate
Malta is part of the Schengen cooperation agreement therefore if you live in the UAE you may need to apply for a schengen visa depending on your nationality.
Even if you don’t need a Schengen tourist visa, you can still benefit from having travel insurance. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing you will receive immediate help should you need it. Allianz travel can give you coverage for up to USD 50,000 in emergency medical expenses for injury, sickness and other medical-related instances. Unlike other travel insurance providers, Allianz Travel includes up to USD 300 that covers you in the event of the loss or theft of your travel documents. An additional cover of USD 5,000 is included to help you in case of personal accidents.
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