Real Estate
Real Estate in Malta
Life in Malta

Why Malta is a good place for living: a practical guide for expats

There are many reasons why cosmopolitans move to Malta. For example, because of the country’s climate. The average annual temperature in Malta is +23°C, and the country gets 3,000 hours of sunshine each year.

Another reason is that Malta offers high but affordable living standards. Renting a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs €1,477. It is lower than in Germany, France and the UK. The quality of medicine and education in Malta is the same as the EU average, but the prices are lower.

Expats also find Malta favourable for business and work. Maltese companies can return up to 100% of the tax amount. The unemployment rate in Malta in 2022 is 2.9%, while the average unemployment rate in the EU is 6%.

To live in Malta, expats obtain Malta permanent residence or citizenship. Malta citizens travel visa-free to 185 countries, including the USA, the UK, the Schengen, and Japan. Malta permanent residence holders visit the Schengen without visas.
Living in Malta as an expat

Malta’s climate

Malta is the southernmost state in Europe. The country receives 3,000 hours of sunshine each year. This is almost twice as much as in the countries of northwestern Europe. For comparison, in December, the sun shines in Malta for 161 hours, and in London, for 37 hours.

Malta has dry, hot summers and mild winters with precipitation. Snow on the island is scarce. The average annual temperature in Malta is +23°C. The minimum temperature in winter is +10°C. The maximum in summer is +34°C.

The Mediterranean Sea near Malta is warm and comfortable for swimming from May to December. The average annual sea temperature is +20°C. It is the highest figure in Europe. In August, the sea is the warmest — the water temperature reaches +26°C.

Rains in Malta occur in autumn and winter, and summers are usually dry. Humidity is high on the island, ranging from 69% in summer to 79% in winter.

The country covers the territory of three islands in the Mediterranean Sea: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The islands are located south of Italian Sicily

Affordable cost of living

According to Eurostat, prices in Malta are the same as in Slovenia and Portugal and lower than in Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France.

Housing costs in Malta, such as rentals, housing maintenance and repair, water, gas, electricity supply, and other domestic fuels, are the lowest in the EU. For example, it is lower than in Latvia, Greece, Estonia and Cyprus.

To better understand the cost of living in Malta, we have compared prices in Malta with prices in other countries.

Basic monthly living expenses in Malta and other countries

MaltaGermanyUKUSAIndia
AccommodationRent a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre€1,477 €1,589€1,799€2,871€410
Basic utilities for 85 m² apartment (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage)€93 €242€205€180€36
GroceriesMilk, 1 litre €1 €3.7€4€0.8€0.6
Loaf of fresh white bread€1€1.6€1€3€0.4
Eggs, one dozen€2.5 €2.6€2.3€3.3€0.9
Local cheese, 0.5 kg€4 €3€3€5€2.6
Rice, 1 kg€1 €1.6€1.4€4€0.6
Chicken fillets, 1 kg€6.8 €6.8 €5.8€5.5€3
Lettuce€1.5 €1.2 €0.8€1.8€0.5
Apples, 1 kg€1.2 €2 €1€4.5€2
Water, 1-litre bottle€0.6 €0.6 €1.3€1.3€0.3
Leisure activitiesMeal for two people, three-course€65€50€63€67€12.5
Fitness Club, monthly fee for one adult€60€31€35€39€19
Cinema, one seat€9.5€12€11€12€4
TransportationA one-way ticket for a trip on public transport€1.5€2.8€2.8€2.6€0.3
Monthly pass€26 €70€74€72€9
Taxi tariff for 1 km€2 €2 €2.3€3.6€0.3
Gasoline, 1 litre €1,2 €2€1.5€1€1
For simplicity, we gave all examples in euros. Find out the current exchange rate

Children’s education

Education in public schools and universities of the country is free for citizens of Malta and the European Union. 

Maltese diplomas and secondary or higher education certificates are recognised in other European countries. Besides, Malta is a member of the European Union. Therefore, citizens of Malta can study in any European country without obtaining a student visa or residence permit.

School education in Malta is compulsory. Children start learning at the age of five. First, training takes place in elementary school, then in secondary — eleven classes in total.

There are public, private and church schools in Malta. In private schools, education is conducted in English and state and church schools — mainly in Maltese.

To enter a Maltese university is possible after school. Education at Maltese universities consists of three stages: bachelor, master and doctoral studies. The UK has the same system.

State University or l-Università ta’ Malta, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, Institute of Tourism Studies are the most prestigious institutions of higher education in Malta.

Education in Malta
School year in Malta begins on September 26th. Students do not buy school supplies and books; they are given out at school

High-quality medicine

Citizens of Malta and holders of the country's permanent residence status can be treated in any European country without additional permits. But in Malta, one can get quality medical care as well.

Malta has public and private hospitals. Mater Dei Hospital is the main public hospital in Malta. It has one of the largest medical buildings in Europe. The European Cancer Centre operates at the hospital.

Services in public clinics are free for citizens and those who pay social insurance. The amount of social contributions depends on the level of income. The minimum amount is €6.

Foreigners who do not pay social contributions can receive medical services in any clinic under private insurance. Its cost depends on the insurance company and the age of the person.

For example, for a person over 40 years old, full insurance from Mapfre Middlesea costs €666, basic — €327. With full insurance, one can get all medical services at the clinic. Basic insurance covers emergency care only.

Public and private hospitals in Malta

  • Mater Dei Polyclinic in Msida
  • Cancer Hospital in Msida
  • Rehabilitation clinic in Pieta
  • Clinic of Oncology, Palliative Care and Dermatology in Floriana
  • Psychiatric clinic in Attard
  • Nursing Home at St. Julian’s
  • General Hospital in Gozo

Doctors in Malta work according to European standards, adhere to evidence-based medicine, regularly improve their qualifications and undergo postgraduate training.

Malta medical practitioners are members of the Malta Medical Association. Students formed their communities — the Malta Medical Students Association (MMSA) and Dental Students Association (MADS). The organisations are members of the European Communities: EMSA, IFMSA and IADS.

The government opened the Malta Foundation Program to develop medicine in the country and prevent the loss of qualified doctors to other countries. It is the equivalent of the United Kingdom Foundation Program. The Malta program offers the same learning and work opportunities as the UK.

Malta also has voluntary medical organisations: Alpha Medical, Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit (EFRU), St. John’s Ambulance and the Malta Red Cross.

Malta's main hospital — Mater Dei Hospital
Malta's main hospital is Mater Dei Hospital. Maltese medical students practice there

Favourable environment for business and work

Creditreform and Standard & Poor’s international credit agencies gave Malta’s economy an A rating. The A index means the country has high financial stability and creditworthiness and denotes expectations of low default risk. According to the official EU Economic Forecast Report, Malta’s economy will grow in the long term.

Malta's economy depends on tourism, industry, shipbuilding, fishing, agriculture and the export of goods and services.

The official minimum wage in Malta in 2022 for people over 18 is €182.83 ⁣per week. Minimum wage workers receive weekly social contributions. The average monthly salary in Malta in the first quarter of 2021 was €1,176.84.

The unemployment rate in Malta in 2022 is 2.9%. For comparison, the average unemployment rate in the European Union is 6%. Residents of Malta are looking for work in Internet channels. The state labour exchange is the Jobsplus resource, and private ones are Careerjet, Jobs in Malta, Eures, Indeed, LinkedIn, and groups on Facebook.

Average salary in Malta
Screenshot from the National Statistics Office of Malta report on employment. The highest salaries in 2022 in Financial and Insurance and Information and Communication technologies

Tax benefits and deductions

Companies in Malta do not pay taxes on dividends, interest and royalties. The main Maltese corporate taxes are income and value-added taxes.

The corporate tax rate for companies is 35%. But Maltese companies can return up to 100% of the tax amount.

The VAT rate in Malta is 18%. For comparison, the average base VAT rate in EU countries is 21%

Up to 100%
Tax refund for companies in Malta

Individuals in Malta pay income tax from 0% to 35% on a progressive scale and can refund part of the tax. The tax rate and tax deduction depend on income and marital status.

There is no annual property tax in Malta. When buying an object, one once needs to pay a tax of 5%. When selling — from 0 to 12%, the rate depends on the period of ownership and the type of property. Real estate rental income tax can be paid at a reduced rate.

Friendly locals

The Maltese are friendly and decent people. The country has a low crime rate, and residents trust and help each other.

I’ve lost my bank card in Malta several times. And every time after the loss, they called me from the bank asking me to pick up the found card. The locals had brought my card to the bank. And this is the way everyone behaves here.

Rachel,
has been living in Malta since 2018

Malta has two official languages — Maltese and English. Also, most of the locals are fluent in Italian. Foreigners often come to Malta to learn English. There are many language schools here, where courses are cheaper than in the US and UK.

The main religion in Malta is Roman Catholicism. Even though the Constitution of Malta establishes Catholicism as the state religion, the freedom of religion is guaranteed as a constitutional right and is generally respected.

The people of Malta love cultural events. From the beginning of spring to autumn, festivals of art, dance, costumes, and folk and jazz music are held in Malta.

Living in Malta

There are no military bases in Malta. On March 31st, 1979, the last British naval base was liquidated, the NATO office in Malta was closed, and the campaigns of the US Sixth Fleet in the country were stopped

Living in Malta

In Valletta, the capital of Malta, you can manoeuvre for days on end between elegant squares, palaces and temples, looking at colourful restaurants along the way

Living in Malta

Decorated streets of Malta for Saint Augustine’s Day

Living in Malta

New Year’s Eve in Malta

Best cities to live in Malta

Malta is formed by historical cities with architecture that harmoniously fits into the picturesque nature around. The country is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including an entire city, Valletta. Also, there are modern cities with a high pace of life and quiet towns-villages in Malta.

The cities of Malta are close to each other due to the small length of the country’s island — 27 km long and 14.5 km wide. From the southernmost city of the island to the northernmost one, a car ride will take 40 minutes. It allows one to quickly get to know all Malta towns and choose the one that suits the best.

Valletta is the capital and commercial centre of Malta. Despite a large number of historical monuments — 320 in an area of 0.55 km² — this city is lively and modern.

Valletta

Valletta, view of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Valletta

Valletta is one of the smallest capitals in Europe. Only Monaco is smaller than Valletta

St. John's Co-Cathedral in Malta

St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of the visiting cards of Malta. The Knights of Malta built the cathedral at the end of the 16th century

St. John's Co-Cathedral in Malta

St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Malta. The frescoes inside the cathedral were made by the Italian artist Mattia Preti

Sliema and St Julians are two of the most modern and popular cities for expats to live and do business. The cities are lively and cosmopolitan places full of shops, bars and cafes, busy all year round. Nightlife flourishes there along the seafront.

Pembroke, Swieqi and San Gwann are the best cities to live in with a family in Malta. Swieqi and San Gwann are conveniently close to Mater Dei Hospital and the University of Malta. Pembroke is Malta’s newest town, created in the 1990s. There are many international school options and a youthful vibe.

Marsascala and Marsaxlokk are two quiet towns in Malta for those looking for a quiet life by the sea. But the cities also have a range of modern leisure facilities, banks, restaurants, small shops, bars and restaurants.

Best cities to live in Malta

Spinola Bay divides St Julians and Sliema towns in Malta

Best cities to live in Malta

San Gwann, Malta

Best cities to live in Malta

Marsaxlokk, which is also known as the fishing village. The city is known for its markets, colourful luzzu boats, fish restaurants

Islands of Gozo and Comino. Gozo is greener than the island of Malta. The rhythm of life here is closer to the village. The island has many sandy beaches and seaside resorts. Gozo is considered one of the best diving spots in the Mediterranean and a centre for water sports.

Tourists come to Comino to see the picturesque scenery of the Blue and Crystal Lagoons, bays and caves.

The island of Gozo

“Gozo” means “joy” in Spanish. The island is three times smaller than Malta, more rural and calm. The population of the island is about 30,000 people

The island of Comino

Crystal-clear  blue water in the lagoons of Comino Island never becomes cloudy due to strong currents and dense, heavy and white sand

Visa-free travelling with Malta residency and citizenship

Citizens of Malta travel without visas to 185 countries around the world. For example, the USA, Great Britain, the Schengen countries, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the other 153 states.

In the European Union, the Maltese enjoy all the rights and freedoms of a citizen of a European state. They can live, study, work, do business, and receive medical care in any EU country without restrictions.

Malta residence permit allows holders to enter the Schengen Area and stay there for 90 out of 180 days without visas. Time spent in Malta does not count.

The cons of living in Malta

Overpopulation, poor transport system, long queues and bureaucracy in governmental organisations, lack of central heating and pollution are crucial for Malta’s problems.

Malta is a small and densely populated country. So, expats who like a lot of space and natural diversity may find Malta unsuitable for living. Also, one needs to be prepared for the annual influx of summer tourists in famous historic Malta districts.

Lengthy waiting times for specialist appointments are another downside of Malta’s public system. That’s why expats choose to take advantage of private services, such as private medical clinics, banks, and insurance.

There is no central heating in Malta, making the only heating options electric heaters or gas installations. Even though Maltese winters are short and not very cold, the insulation of most houses is inferior, causing the indoors also to be +10°C. 

Heavy traffic jams are commonplace in Malta. There are several reasons for that: Malta has the most cars per family in the EU, and roads also tend to be too narrow to accommodate ever-increasing traffic.

Inefficient road network. Buses in Malta rarely run on time; the routes are long and winding, and getting from point A to point B often requires at least one change. It can be a significant waste of time, especially since most buses only run once or twice an hour.

Malta is in the middle of the most polluted countries in the EU ranking. Malta has been impacted by traffic, agriculture, and industrial pollution. So, expats willing to avoid this often consider living in a rural or beach-side location instead of Malta’s big and busy cities.

How to move to Malta

To live in the country, one needs a residence permit or citizenship.

Permanent residence in Malta can be obtained in 4—6 months by participating in the Malta Permanent Residence Programme

The applicants have two options: real estate renting or buying. Along with real estate investments, MPRP’s participants fulfil other investment conditions in exchange for the Malta Permanent Residence Card.

Investment conditions under MPRP

InvesteeInvestment amount
if renting real estate
for five years
if buying real estate with a period of ownership of five years
Real estate investment€50,000+ in the south of Malta or Gozo

€60,000+ in the other Malta regions
€300,000+ in the South of Malta or Gozo

€350,000+ in the other Malta regions
State contribution€58,000
+ €7,500 for each parent and grandparent
€28,000
+ €7,500 for each parent and grandparent
Administration fee€40,000€40,000
Charitable donation to a local non‑governmental organisation€2,000€2,000
The minimal expenses under MPRP if renting a property in the south of Malta or Gozo for one investor is €154,400

Also, an investor pays taxes from 8 to 15% of the property price if buying real estate. There are other expenses both for buyers and renters: €4,000 are applicants’ costs on documents translation, apostille, and notary fees; €400 is the cost of health insurance.

The investor also confirms the existence of assets in €500,000, €150,000 of which should be liquid, such as deposits, stocks or bonds.

If choosing a buying real estate option, an investor should own an object for five years, and then they may sell it. During these five years, an investor can rent out the property.

The spouse, children and parents can also obtain permanent residence in Malta together with the investor. Relatives of the investor can also use all the rights that the permanent residence of Malta gives.

Malta Permanent Residence allows investors to live in Malta without time limits. But they will not lose status if they are not permanently in the country. Also, investors need to renew their permanent residence cards every five years. For comparison, a residence permit card is obtained anew every year.

Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investments is possible to gain after one or three years of residence in the country. Before being granted citizenship of Malta for services by direct investments, applicants get residence permits in Malta. This document gives the right to live in the country.

Applicants pass a strict Due Diligence check and fulfil several investment conditions.

Investment conditions to get Malta citizenship

InvesteeInvestment amount
Real estate investment€80,000+ —  property rent for five years

Or

€700,000+ — property purchasing and its ownership for five years
Contribution to Malta National Development and Social Fund (NDSF)€600,000 — if applying three years after obtaining residence in Malta
+ €50,000 for each family member

€750,000 — if applying one year after obtaining residence in Malta
+ €50,000 for each family member
Charitable donation to a local non‑governmental organisation€10,000

Additional costs include state fees. For example, for Due Diligence, an investor pays €15,000 for himself and $10,00 for each family member over 12. Also, investors pay health insurance, legal services and taxes if they buy properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why moving to Malta?

Malta is a country in the European Union with a comfortable climate and a high standard of living. Moreover, citizenship or permanent residence in Malta allows expats to travel without a visa to 185 countries, including the Schengen countries, the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia.

How to move to Malta?

To live in Malta legally, an expat needs a residence permit or citizenship.

Permanent residence in Malta can be obtained in 4—6 months by participating in the Malta Permanent Residence Program. Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investments is possible to gain after one or three years of residence in the country.

Applicants pass a strict Due Diligence check and fulfil several investment conditions. The minimum investment amount for participation in MPRP is 150,000. The minimum expense to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investments is €690,000.

Also, investors optionally include spouses, children and parents in the application.

Is it expensive to live in Malta?

Living in Malta is affordable in comparison to other European countries. Prices in Malta are lower than in Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

In Malta, housing maintenance and repair costs, water, gas, electricity supply and other domestic fuels are the lowest in the EU.

What is the climate in Malta?

Malta has a warm Mediterranean climate with very mild winters and warm to hot summers.

Malta receives 3,000 hours of sunshine each year.

The average annual temperature in Malta is 23°C. The minimum temperature in winter is 10°C. The maximum in summer is 34°C. Snow on the island is very rare.

What language do Maltese people speak?

Malta has two official languages — Maltese and English. Also, most of the locals are fluent in Italian. English is taught in schools early, and parents encourage their children to communicate in English.

There are also many private English language schools in Malta. Foreigners often come to Malta to learn English because English courses there are cheaper than in the US and UK.

Where to live in Malta?

Valletta is the capital and commercial centre of Malta. This lively and modern city is suitable for doing business and living with a family.

Sliema and St. Julians are the busiest and most popular cities for expats to live and do business in. 

Pembroke, Swieqi and San Gwann are the best cities to live in with a family in Malta. 

Marsascala and Marsaxlokk are two quiet towns in Malta for those looking for a quiet life by the sea.

The cities of Malta are close to each other —  from the southernmost town of the island to the northernmost one, a car ride will take 40 minutes. You can quickly get to know all of Malta’s cities and choose the one that suits you best.

Is Malta a good place to live in?

Yes. There are many reasons to choose Malta to settle in.

Malta is an EU country with high living standards, including high-quality medical services. But at the same time living in Malta is affordable compared to other European countries. Prices in Malta are lower than in Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

Malta’s climate is the Mediterranean, with very mild winters and warm summers. The average annual temperature in Malta is +23°C. The minimum temperature in winter is +10°C.

Also, Malta has high financial stability, creditworthiness and low default risk. The international credit agencies gave Malta’s economy an A rating.

The people of Malta are friendly and decent. The country has a low crime rate, and locals trust and help each other.

What are the cons of moving to Malta?

Overpopulation, poor transport system, long queues and bureaucracy in governmental organisations, lack of central heating and pollution are the most crucial Malta’s problems.

Why Malta is a good place for living: a practical guide for expats
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