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Malta Fast Facts

beachgoers on the beach in Malta

Population: 445,426
Capital City: Valletta
Climate: Mediterranean

Waterways, docks, beaches and the Old World are combined while Living in Malta.

Language: Maltese
International Dialing Code: +356
President: George Vella

Malta: Experience Authentic Mediterranean Life In An English-Speaking Paradise

Malta is becoming both an investment and retirement hot spot—and it’s easy to see why. Taking up just 316 square kilometers in the southern Mediterranean, the Maltese archipelago (consisting of three main islands) is one of Europe’s smallest countries.

While Malta may be small, it has a lot to offer. Its rugged coastline boasts dramatic cliffs and tiny coves, dotted with ancient forts and quaint fishing harbors. Inland, stone walls separate fields cut into strips of olives, wheat, and potatoes. Wine production is popular, and vines hang heavy with grapes all over the island. From its weather and food to its history and culture, Malta is quintessential Mediterranean Europe.

Malta has a fascinating history dating back over 8,000 years. In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte swept into Malta en route to Egypt. The French didn’t stay long—they were ousted by the English, who would remain in control of the islands until 1964, when Malta secured its independence.

Malta suffered hugely during World War II, when the Axis powers decided to blitz the tiny nation into submission. During this dark time in Maltese history, the country earned the unenviable title of the most bombed place on the planet, which it held until the Vietnam War.

Nowadays, Malta is a modern, First World, European nation with a long-standing, stable democracy in place. Malta is a member of the EU, the single biggest economic bloc on the planet, and the currency used is the euro.

Msida Parish Church in Malta
Alamy/Allard Schager

Living In Malta

If you’re a fan of the sunshine but still like the idea of living somewhere with seasons, Malta has one of the best climates you’ll find. The islands enjoy low humidity, with around 12 hours of sunshine in summer, going down to five or six hours in midwinter. The Mediterranean Sea dictates Malta’s weather system, so you can expect a climate on par with what you would find in Italy and southern Spain. You see wind and quite a bit of rain in winter, but, come summer, you can bank on waking up to the sunshine every morning.

Along with Maltese, English is an official language of Malta and is widely and fluently spoken. The level of English fluency among the population is remarkable. Not only is it used in casual conversation— but business, banking, and legal affairs are also conducted through English. This makes Malta an ideal location if you aren’t interested in learning a new language. It is the only place to experience the famed Mediterranean way of life among locals who all speak perfect English.

With its position as a key trading and transport point in the Mediterranean, its popularity as a tourism hub, and its military and colonial history, the Maltese are used to having a large expat population. They are welcoming people, and with no language barrier, it’s easy to slip into life here.

Because Malta ticks so many boxes—with its beautiful natural landscape, fantastic climate, high level of English spoken, large expat communities, and friendly locals—it is a country with broad appeal. With so much going for it, Malta demands a place on your overseas shortlist.

Blue Lagoon, Comino, Gozo, Malta
Alamy/Joana Kruse

Cost Of Living In Malta

Due to a boost in tourism and expats relocating to Malta in recent years, the cost of living has increased. Depending on where you locate yourself and your lifestyle choice, your cost of living can be cheaper or more expensive than in the United States and other European countries.

Rent in trendy locations, popular amongst expats, can be the same or even more expensive than in some areas of the States. Move to a more rural setting, and rental rates will drop significantly. Rental properties almost always come fully furnished, cutting out a potential expense when relocating here.

Eating out in Malta can be cheap, and the food is delicious. Make sure to stay away from tourist areas, as restaurants here are pricier. When it comes to groceries, avoid imported products. Eat like the Maltese, and enjoy fresh, locally grown produce for a fraction of the cost of imported goods.

Cafes and restaurants in Malta
Alamy/Kees Metselaar

Health Care In Malta

According to the World Health Organization, Malta’s standard of medical care is excellent, ranking amongst the best in the world. Malta is home to several state-of-the-art public and private facilities, staffed by highly trained personnel fluent in English. In recent years, Malta has been building its reputation as a destination for medical tourism.

For Maltese and EU citizens, health care services are free. Malta’s free national health system runs alongside the private sector, which has an even higher standard of service than the public system. As a foreign resident, you are required to have private medical insurance, which usually comes as a residency requirement for foreigners. Still, expect to pay considerably less than in the United States for your health care.

Getting To Malta

Although there are no direct flights from the United States to Malta, traveling between the two countries is relatively straightforward. Fly to Europe with a transatlantic carrier, such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, or U.S. Airways, then connect to the island. The national airline, Air Malta, serves a number of major airports around the continent. You can also connect from multiple European cities to Malta with low-cost airlines Ryanair, Easyjet, or Wizzair.

Once you touch down, you can expect to find a modern, well-organized facility in Malta’s international airport. Although Malta is a small country, it gets a lot of air traffic, and the airport is well accustomed to catering to it.

Gozo, Malta
Alamy/Zoltan Gabor

Best Places To Live In Malta


View of the Auberge de Castille in Castille Square with a couple sitting on a bench in the foreground, Valletta, Malta
Alamy/a-plus image bank

Malta’s capital, Valletta, boasts a rich history with historical treasures on the corner of every winding cobblestoned street. Yet, this quaint city is also a modern European capital with great shopping by day and entertainment at night.

The city took to the world stage as the European Capital of Culture in 2018, before which, the city enjoyed a makeover, with many of its beautiful old buildings being restored and revamped. If you like having everything on your doorstep, a lot to see and do, then Valletta is for you.


A boat in Gozo, Malta
Alamy/Rick Strange

Gozo, the country’s second-largest island, is rural by nature. It’s just a 25-minute crossing from the main island, but, when you step off onto Gozo, it feels far more isolated. Gozo is home to charming small towns hidden among rolling farmland, which swings between green and lush in winter and parched in summer.

Gozo is the Mediterranean of old. A way of life long lost to most coastal regions in Southern Europe. The pace of life here is slower, and it’s a quiet location. It’s easy to see why this has long been a retirement destination for Maltese seniors. These days, retirees from further afield are beginning to set up home here. If you like the idea of a rural lifestyle where you can get away from it all on a relatively low budget, then Gozo could be for you.

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