Is Malta Expensive? A Guide to Prices in Malta in 2020


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For a long time, the idea of a holiday in Malta was only on the radar for those seeking a trip to an all-inclusive resort. Its ideal southern Mediterranean location means almost year-round sunshine and good weather and for a long time, traditional holidaymakers were willing to pay a pretty penny to enjoy the island atmosphere without having to sacrifice any of the typical comforts of home. This used to mean it was difficult to visit Malta on a budget and has many people asking the question: Is Malta expensive?

Malta is changing and it is becoming more and more attractive for independent travellers. However, with most budget information for this island nation focusing on all-inclusive holidays rather than for backpackers or budget travellers, it can be difficult to know how expensive a trip to Malta will be in 2020.

The good news is, if you’re an independent traveller, it is incredibly possible to have a low-cost vacation in Malta. Here is a break down of the most significant aspects of a travel budget, including costs for accommodation, transport, food, activities, and entertainment.

All prices are listed in Euro (€), which is the currency in Malta. To see how the Euro compares to your home currency, make sure to have a look at the current exchange rates on XE.com.

Accommodation Prices in Malta

Like anywhere else in the world, one of the first things you need to consider when planning to visit Malta on a budget is the cost of accommodation. Oftentimes, this can make the most significant dent in your travel budget.

While scouring the web to find an all-inclusive resort used to be the default for those looking to visit Malta, there is actually a lot of option for those looking to travel independently while sticking to a tight allowance.

Luckily for a new generation of more intrepid travellers who would rather explore on their own than stay safely in the compounds of a lush beach resort, there is ample budget accommodation option.

There are a few hostels in Malta’s main urban area of Sliema and also a couple in the capital of Valletta. A bed in a dorm will land somewhere around €15 – 20 per night and this can be an ideal option for a solo traveller looking to meet other, like-minded people while not breaking the bank. If you like staying in hostels, you can click here to browse the best hostels in Malta!

View of Valetta from Sliema Harbour
View of Valetta from Sliema Harbour

Another great option for finding accommodation in Malta on a budget is to opt for a private room through Airbnb. You will find some discrepancy in pricing depending on the season that you’re travelling in, however, if you’re visiting Malta in the warmer half of the year (anywhere from about April-October), expect a room in a local’s home on Airbnb to cost around €30-40 per night.

While this isn’t as cheap as some places in the world, you do get the added bonus of seeing the country from a local perspective and getting to experience the famous Maltese hospitality first hand.

If you’re after a bit more privacy but still don’t want to stay in a hotel, you will find that there are also plenty of entire apartments available on Airbnb, as well. If you’re after your own private flat, you’re obviously going to have to pay a bit more for that convenience.

Expect an entire apartment in Malta during the high season to start at around €60 per night. If you’re interested in using Airbnb at all during your time in Malta, click here to browse the best Airbnbs in Malta.

If neither hostels nor Airbnb are quite your scene and you prefer to stay in hotels, there are a number of affordable hotels and guesthouses in Malta that aren’t all-inclusive resorts.

If you would rather stay in a budget or mid-range hotel over an Airbnb while visiting Malta, expect to pay at least €50-60 per night and the nicer the hotel, the more you can expect to spend. Hotels are obviously the most expensive accommodation choice you could make, however, you can still get an affordable bed for the night that is clean and comfortable. You can click here to browse hotel choices in Malta!

Strolling the streets in Malta won't add anything to the cost of your trip!
Traditional Balconies in Rabat, Malta

Transportation Prices in Malta

Another main cost to consider when travelling to Malta independently is transportation. Fortunately for the budget traveller, Malta is very small and it doesn’t cost much to get around. Both the islands of Malta and Gozo have extensive bus networks that can take you essentially anywhere you might need to go on the islands.

If, however, you’re not fond of the bus or would rather not be at the mercy of unpredictable timetables, then renting a car in Malta is also an option. This is obviously going to work out to be significantly more expensive than relying on the bus, however, it is possible to get an affordable car hire. We recommend using RentalCars.com to find the best deal, as it compares prices across all available companies.

If you do rent a car in Malta, it is wise also to purchase third-party excess insurance. While you can always opt for the rental company’s insurance, the prices are often highly inflated and will add a lot to your overall Malta trip cost. We recommend using iCarHireInsurance for an affordable plan.

If renting a car is out of your Malta travel budget, there are a couple of options concerning bus tickets to consider. It can be worthwhile to have a think about how much you plan to travel around the archipelago before leaving on your trip so you know which option to choose.

A single fare bus ticket in Malta costs €2 in the summer months (€1.50 in November – March) and is valid for two hours after purchase. This means that, if you hold onto your ticket, you can make as many bus transfers as you need to in within that two hour period and not have to pay for another ticket.

If you're wondering "Is Malta Expensive?" Then the Sliema to Valetta Ferry won't break the bank!
Sliema to Valetta Ferry

If you don’t plan on spending more than a week in Malta or venturing far from where you are staying, than paying as you go can be a good option. You can purchase a ticket with cash directly from the bus driver, however, I would recommend that you pay in smaller banknotes or coins as the drivers rarely have enough change for anything larger than €10.

The other option would be to purchase a week-long travel card. If you plan on travelling by bus frequently and are in Malta (and Gozo) for seven or more days, this can be a cost-effective alternative to single-fare tickets. The card costs €21 for adults and with that, you would have unlimited access to the bus system for seven days.

Another common way to get around Malta is by ferry. If you plan on visiting Valletta from Sliema (or vice versa) or the Three Cities, the harbour ferry can be the fastest route. The single journey costs €1.50 and a return ticket will cost €2.80. You also need to take the ferry if you plan on visiting the smaller island of Gozo. While you don’t pay a thing for the trip to Gozo, passengers are required to pay the €4.65 fare upon returning to Malta.

Taxis are also prevalent on both Malta and Gozo and can be a good option if there are gaps in the public transport to your destination or you are trying to get to the airport at off-hours. However, like most taxi’s around the world, relying solely on them for transportation will add up quickly and it is by far the most expensive transport prices in Malta.

If you want to avoid hailing a taxi from the street and the potential scams that may happen from that, we recommend using the Bolt app. It functions much in the same way as Uber and is reliable and often cheaper than haling a taxi from the street. It also gives you the added benefit of getting a ride even if you don’t have any cash on you as you can pay via credit card through the app.

Malta to Gozo Ferry
Malta to Gozo Ferry

Food Prices in Malta

Now that we’ve covered the costs of accommodation and transport for your trip to Malta, we need to cover the other most important aspect of any Malta trip cost: food. So is Malta expensive for food and drink?

With influences from its Sicilian neighbours to the north and from Morocco and Tunisia to the south, Maltese cuisine is wonderful, complex, and definitely worth indulging in while visiting this lovely Mediterranean country. Fortunately as well, Malta has an incredibly impressive restaurant scene and it doesn’t cost much to eat out while travelling to Malta on a budget.

For a small snack or breakfast, consider heading to a local bakery where you can get a pastizzi for less than a euro. If you are staying in a hostel or Airbnb that offers self-catering facilities and really want to cut costs, it can be worth it to cook your own meals as well.

Prices in Malta won't be a concern if you stick to eating pastizzi!
Delicious pastizzi from Crystal Palace Bar in Rabat

What surprised us on our visit to Malta was that the price difference between a mid-range restaurant and a far nicer establishment was minimal so we took advantage and had many phenomenal meals at very reasonable prices. It’s also worth keeping in mind that portion sizes in Malta tend to be massive, so sharing a main dish is a fantastic way to cut costs while still enjoying a meal at a nice restaurant.

We rarely spend more than €50-60 between the two of us at a nice restaurant, including a shared starter, a main dish and some local wine. The same amount of food and wine at a mid-range or budget restaurant would cost about €10 – 15 less.

valletta restaurants
Delicious dinner from a fine-dining restaurant

Activity Prices in Malta

Malta is not lacking for things to do even on the smallest of budgets. In fact, it is entirely possible to spend an entire day exploring and sightseeing without spending anything.

Some of the best experiences in Malta are absolutely free, including wandering around the majestic streets of Mdina, strolling the city walls and the Barrakka gardens of Valetta, or swimming virtually anywhere along the coast or at the wonderful St Peter’s Pool.

If you would like to visit museums, most do charge a small admittance fee, usually around €5 – 10. One of the most popular attractions in Malta, the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni, does cost €35 to enter (though there is a €15 discount for students and seniors). While we didn’t get to tour this ourselves — I didn’t book far enough in advance — I have heard that it is well worth the price of entry.

Sliema is a popular place to stay in Malta
Strolling in Sliema won’t add to your Malta trip cost

As wine fans, we also decided to spend €20 for a vineyard tour and tasting at Tal-Massar Winery on Gozo. For a few hours, we got to taste four exquisite wines (and after the tasting, we could help ourselves to more) and some excellent snacks with only one other couple.

Another thing that can be worth spending money on is a boat tour of the islands. We went on a full-day tour of all three islands that included multiple stops at some great swimming and snorkelling spots along with a fabulous lunch all for €50 per person. This was another activity that we deemed worth the expense as we were gone for the entire day and they also picked us up from our accommodation. Click here to see prices for boat trips in Malta.

All in all, activity prices in Malta don’t have to break the bank. All you have to do is prioritise what you want to see and do and make sure you research the best options out there for your travel style.

Crysyal Lagoon on Comino in Malta
The beautiful Crystal Lagoon on the island of Comino

Entertainment Prices in Malta

Malta, and in particular the neighbourhoods of St Julian’s and Paceville, has a thriving nightlife and going out for a party can be a very affordable experience.

While Michael and I feel that our clubbing days are behind us at this stage, we did take advantage of Malta’s numerous cafe’s and wine bars, which often offer some fantastic happy hour deals.

If you do want to go out for a beer or a glass of wine, my recommendation would be to stick to the stuff produced in Malta. While drinking local not only supports the small country’s economy, Malta also has an up-and-coming wine and craft beer industry and the local equivalents to well-known imports are often significantly less expensive. For instance, a pint of local lager will only set you back about €2 and a glass of local wine lands somewhere along those same lines.

If you fancy a cocktail, many places will offer a free appetiser during their happy hour with the order of a drink. A cocktail on its own will average around €6 per drink.

Lord Chambray - Gozo's Original Craft Beer
Lord Chambray – Gozo’s Original Craft Beer

Is Malta Expensive? Average Daily Costs

So how expensive is Malta? Well, factoring in the occasional splurge on a fun activity or a meal in a fancy restaurant, expect your average trip to Malta cost to be €65-70 per person per day while visiting Malta on a budget in 2020. This is assuming you’re travelling as a couple or are solo and travelling on a shoestring budget.

These costs can be broken down as follows:

  • Accommodation: €20  / night
  • Transportation: €3 / day
  • Food: €20-30 / day
  • Activities: €10 / day
  • Entertainment: €6 / day

Of course, it is entirely possible to spend even less — I tend to prioritise eating nice meals in restaurants, for instance, while some don’t find this necessary — and some of the more expensive activities.

This average Malta travel cost doesn’t factor in pre-trip expenses such as:

Mdina, Malta
The winding streets of Mdina

So is Malta expensive? Well, it doesn’t have to be. While it certainly isn’t the most affordable country in Europe, it is accessible for travellers with smaller budgets to spend. It is entirely possible to enjoy the archipelago to its full potential without sacrificing your life savings.

Are you planning on visiting Malta on a budget? Have you already been? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie Turansky

Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. When she’s not dreaming of far-away lands, Maggie enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee, Harry Potter, and coaxing stray cats into her home.

Comments

  1. Malta is a wonderful destination and for sure can be done on a budget. Thank you for sharing the post – your tips are awesome.

    Reply
  2. My son, who is a student in India, is planning a short visit to Malta. Your article is very useful to us. He is visiting in June this year (2019). Will it be very hot as it must be summer?

    Reply
    • Hi Sridhar! Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found this article helpful! If your son is visiting Malta in June, he can expect temperatures to be fairly warm but it won’t be as hot as it is in July or August. The average high in June is 28 degrees 🙂 Hope he has a great trip!

      Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Carmen! I’m glad we could help and I hope you have an amazing trip to Malta! April will be a lovely time to visit 🙂

      Reply
  3. Thanks for the great article. We are planning a visit during the summer. I can only imagine how hot it will be then but because we are teachers, we really can’t travel any other times of the year. We chose Malta because we have never been, it looks stunning and also we had heard it is reasonably priced. This article has confirmed this for me so I’m going to rush off to book now 🙂 Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Colleen! Yeah, Malta is the perfect combination for what you are looking for, I hope you have an amazing time 🙂 It will be hot in the summer, but luckily the water is warm and clear and you can swim almost anywhere — make sure you bring your swimsuit with you when you leave for the day!

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      • Hi Maggie. I’m visiting Malta next week (hope to be a sunny week for some swim) and I have to rent a car. In your article, you talked a little bit for car insurance. Is it included from the company or it should be bought by the turist (me). Thanx again.

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        • Hi Lorenc, generally speaking, purchasing insurance through the rental company can get quite expensive so it is definitely more cost-effective to explore any third-party options available. Many credit cards will offer car-hire insurance at no extra cost (you will have to pay for the rental with that card) and if anything happens, you will make a claim through the credit card company. You can check if this applies for you. Also, certain travel insurance companies will also include car hire insurance as well. If you want t be covered for any excess, we also recommend taking out a policy through iCarHireInsurance which is very affordable.

          Reply
  4. Hi Maggie
    Thank you for the tips on Malta.
    I am planning a long stay in Tunisia in October and hope to get over to Malta for a week and a week in Sicily

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  5. Hi Maggie – what would the weather be like in Malta for the first week in March please? (Not too sure if it would be warm enough)!!! Would they have much rain???

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    • Hey Sheila, the recorded high temperatures in March average about 17°C with lows clocking in around 10°C. The month of March also gets an average of 5 days of rain. Hope this helps 🙂

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  6. Do you still have the name of the company you did the boat tour with?
    Me and my husband are going to Malta next week and found your blog post super helpful.

    Reply
  7. Hello! Thank you for the article. It is really helpful for me and my friends because it’ll be our first time travelling alone. I do have few questions :
    – Is it that safe ?
    – We’re going to visit Malta for about 6 days, do you think up to 450 euros for each of us will be enough ?
    – For our first day [in Valetta] which cheap 3* hotel would you recommend ?

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  8. Hi, the article is great! How many days would you recommend for a first timer? And how is it for a solo female traveller? Thanks!

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    • Hi Maria, thanks for your comment! I think, for the first time in Malta, one week is a good starting point for you to be able to see everything while still being able to be a bit more relaxed. If you want some help planning your route, we have a suggested one-week itinerary article that you might find helpful here: https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/malta-itinerary-seven-days/

      As for travelling solo, Malta is a very safe country and there are a few hostels in the cities where it can be easy to meet other travellers. People are also really friendly and willing to help, and everything is in English which makes getting around really easy! Hope this helps and you have a great trip 🙂

      Reply
        • Happy I could help! Weather in June will be hot and sunny, likely with highs around 30 degrees. June won’t be as hot as July or August, but it will definitely still be warm

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  9. Hi maggie
    Me and my family (2 adults 3 children) are coming over in september this year…
    Whats the weather like then..
    And how much would the average cost 3 week stay for a family be accomidation taken out of the factor as that is alreafy paid

    Reply
    • Hi Phillip! Depending on when you visit, weather in September can either be very hot (in the beginning of the month) or incredibly pleasant (near the end of the month). September is also when the water temperatures are warmest! It is a great month to visit. As for how much your specific trip will cost, it really depends on your habits — use what I have outlined above to give you a good idea on how much things cost in Malta. Hope you have a great trip!

      Reply
  10. That’s a helpful article Maggie!

    I need some advice from you. I am planning to visit Italy on my honeymoon in late November. I know it’s not a peak season for sightseeing, but would you recommend including Malta in my itinerary during that time of the year?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Ronit, so glad you found the article helpful! Depending on how much time you have, I think that adding Malta to your honeymoon itinerary would be a great option! Yes, November isn’t peak tourist season, however, Malta sees some of the warmest temperatures in Europe so the weather will likely be pleasant. Also, fewer tourist crowds usually means lower prices and more choice when it comes to accommodation. If you have the time to do it, I think heading to Malta is an excellent idea. If you need some help planning, we have a detailed one-week itinerary here: https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/malta-itinerary-seven-days/

      Hope you have a great honeymoon!

      Reply
  11. Thank you so much for taking the time to post such an informative article.
    My husband and I have retired.. we are fit in our mid 60’s. We are considering visiting Malta for a few weeks in January in the hope of eventually spending at least 6 months in the year..
    Our concerns are:
    Do we need to rent a car .
    Should we book accommodations in the same location and use it as our base or find accommodations as we change locations .
    Your advice will be greatly appreciated .
    Karen

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Karen! I personally don’t think it is necessary to rent a car while in Malta. The country is very small and very well connected via bus and you can get most everywhere using it. It is obviously more convenient to have your own vehicle, but we never found it necessary.
      As for accommodation, I would recommend finding a base on Malta for the majority of your trip (I would recommend in or around Sliema) and then another base on Gozo for a few days if you’re interested in exploring that island. Beyond that, I don’t think you need to switch accommodations every few nights. As said before, Malta is pretty small.
      Hope this helps and you have a great time!

      Reply
  12. Hi Maggie, we’re ( family of 4 ) planning Malta 3rd week of May, would we enjoy water / beaches? Which hotel would you recommend – very good service & preferrably very good big pool, with budget of 3.5 to 4 stars? Thanks, Oscar

    Reply
  13. Hello!

    I wanted to go to Malta this year, I had plans and just searching for the flight tickets before the pandemic began so now I am sad this year it won’t happen for sure.

    But, your article gave me a hope and I will save it for later for sure to follow your advice and tips for Malta trip.

    Thank you for your great post and I wish you all the best!

    Bye Renata

    Reply
    • Hi Renáta, thanks for your comment 🙂 Sorry to hear that you’re going to have to postpone visiting Malta this year, but I hope that you’re able to make the trip in 2021. Glad you found our info helpful!

      Reply
  14. Great article, can’t wait until all the current situation is over and travel can return to normal. You have put Malta on my list!

    Reply

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