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.
The good news is, if you’re an independent traveller, it is incredibly possible to have a low-cost vacation in Malta.
While Malta can be more expensive compared to other Southern European destinations, at an average cost of €58-170 per person per day, you will find it stacks up well as a holiday destination and is less expensive than many Western European options.
Here is a breakdown of the most significant aspects of a travel budget, including costs for accommodation, transport, food, activities, and entertainment.
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 start at €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!
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 €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, as well. If you’re after your own private flat, you’re obviously going to have to pay a bit more for that convenience. There are some great options available such as this central apartment in the heart of Valletta.
Expect an entire apartment in Malta during the high season to start at around €60-80 per night.
If neither hostels nor private apartments 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 while visiting Malta, expect to pay at least €60-100 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.
For those looking to stay somewhere a bit more upmarket, expect prices to clock in at around €150 per night on average – obviously these can vary depending on where you are staying and the season that you’re travelling in.
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. On average, expect the cost of a basic car with a manual transmission to land around €25 per day. We recommend using RentalCars.com to find great deals, as it compares prices across several 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. Keep in mind that you also need to factor in the cost of petrol and parking, as well.
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 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.
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.
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.
Depending on the location and quality of the restaurant, expect prices for a main meal to cost around €10-15. This means that you can have a decent meal for two people, including some wine and a shared starter for around €40-60.
If you plan to have one restaurant meal out and opt for home-cooked meals or cheap eats for other meals, budget around €20-40 per person per day on food.
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).
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.
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 cafes 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 €6-8 per drink.
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 €58-170 per person per day while visiting Malta. This is assuming you’re splitting costs such as accommodation and car hire between two people and does not include airfare.
These costs can be broken down as follows:
Accommodation: €20-75 / night
Transportation: €3-20 / day
Food: €20-40 / day
Activities: €10-20 / day
Entertainment: €5-15 / 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:
- Travel Insurance Policy: World Nomads offers flexible and simple travel insurance policies with coverage for more than 150 activities that you can buy or extend while on the road.
- Another affordable option is SafetyWing which is great for travellers on a budget – click here to get a quote from SafetyWing.
- Travel Gear: Specific items that we recommend for Malta include a beach towel, good walking sandals and sunscreen!
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!
Malta is a wonderful destination and for sure can be done on a budget. Thank you for sharing the post – your tips are awesome.
Thanks, Eve! Malta is definitely a budget-friendly destination!
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?
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!
Great article about Malta we are looking to visit in April and really appreciate your recommendations ?
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 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
Hi Anita, thanks for your comment! Sounds like a great trip and hope you have an amazing time 🙂
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???
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 🙂
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.
Hey Teresa, glad you found the article helpful! The company we did the boat tour with was called Barbarossa Excursions (http://www.barbarossa-excursions.com/) and we would highly recommend them. Hope you guys have a great trip!
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 ?
Glad you found the article helpful and hope you and your friends have a great time in Malta. Yes, Malta is a very safe nation and you should have nothing to worry about when it comes to your personal safety — just take the normal precautions that you would anywhere in the world. As for your budget, I would say that €450 each should be more than enough for less than a week in Malta. If you want more suggestions about where to stay and what to do, check out these articles on Valetta (https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/what-to-do-in-valletta/) and our Malta itinerary (https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/malta-itinerary-seven-days/)
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!
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 🙂
Thank you! I’ll check out the link. Lastly what’s the weather like in June?
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
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
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!
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!
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!
Thanks for the great tips! I managed to pay for my whole trip with the money i erned in my summer job 🙂
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 .
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!
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
Hi Oscar, late May should be absolutely lovely weather-wise and you should be able to enjoy the beach and swimming with no problem! If you want some of our top hotel recs, check out our Malta itinerary article which has lots of different options: https://www.theworldwasherefirst.com/malta-itinerary-seven-days/
Hope you have a great trip!
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!
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!
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!
Thanks for commenting! Hope you’re able to get to Malta in the future 🙂
Thank you for your most informative post on Malta! My husband and I were in Malta for 10 days in 2018 and we loved it! We hope to celebrate his 80th birthday (2024) by sharing our Malta experience with them our children and grandchildren. We usually plan ahead on family trips such as this. We would probably be 20 in all. Would it be possible find 4 airbnbs (4-5 guests each) near each other to accomodate all of
us? Or would it be simpler/cheaper to just get a 3* hotel?
We are traveling to Malta in March 2023. Our first venture since the Pandemic. This will be our fourth visit so we do like the place. It’s not too far. Not too expensive and small enough to have a relaxing time.