Do you want to know how much does it cost to go to Malta? From ancient cities to jaw-dropping coastal views, clear blue waters, and Game of Thrones filming locations, Malta has become a popular destination for all kinds of travellers. But, it’s still somewhat reasonably priced to visit.
For the purpose of this budget, I’m proposing a 1-week trip to Malta (7 days and 6 nights). Also, note that this estimated budget has been created for one person. If you are travelling as a couple you’ll need to double these costs (except for hotels).
- Local transportation
- Food and drink
- Random spending
- Malta trip cost
- Is Malta expensive to visit?
- Is Malta cheaper than the UK?
- What should I not miss in Malta?
- How many days do you need in Malta?
- Is it easy to get around Malta without a car?
How much does it cost to go to Malta
|Food and drink||$330|
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home country. This is just a rough estimate to give you an idea of how much to budget, depending on the type of traveller you are, you may spend less or you may spend more.
While Malta may be increasing in popularity, you still won’t be able to find a direct flight to this island country from North America. There’s usually one connection in a major European city such as Frankfurt, Germany or Paris, France required. That being said, despite the multiple flights needed to get to Malta, flight costs are pretty reasonable; around $700 return depending on where you’re flying from.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a signup bonus of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $600 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.
When it comes to figuring out where to stay in Malta, you have plenty of choices depending on the type of place you want to be. If you are a first time visitor, I suggest staying either in Sliema or Valetta as both are very central and it’s easy to get around the country from both. Valetta tends to be more popular with the older crowd while younger people like Sliema thanks to the nearby St. Julians (the party area).
Where to stay in Sliema
- Luxury: Palazzo Violetta or AX The Victoria Hotel
- Midrange: Europa Hotel or The Maltese Sun
- Budget: Two Pillow Boutique Hostel
Where to stay in Valetta
- Luxury: Osborne Hotel or 66 Saint Paul’s and Spa
- Midrange: Grand Harbour Hotel or Hotel Castille
- Budget: Valettastay Hostel Accommodations
Please note that I’ve used the average of a midrange hotel during the month of May (not peak season, not low season) to estimate the cost for this budget.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $200 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus (must apply by May 15, 2021).
Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 65,000 Marriott Bonvoy when using a referral link. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $700.
When it comes to getting around Malta you can either use the local bus system or rent a car, there are pros and cons to both.
Renting a car allows for a lot more freedom to get around. It’s quicker and often easier than relying on buses, especially during peak season when it’s more crowded. That being said, finding parking in Malta can be a nightmare. In Sliema, you can expect to spend an hour looking for a free parking spot.
Alternatively, the bus system around Malta is very good, although it can be very slow. What would be a 20-minute drive is often an hour by bus thanks to all the stops. Buses in Malta are very affordable though. Tickets are about $2 and are paid in cash on board, the same goes for the ferry between Sliema and Valetta.
If you are going to Gozo (highly recommended) you can take the ferry across. It’s about $5 for a return ticket.
For the sake of this article, I’ve priced the transportation section based on public transit usage. If you do decide to rent a car, you’ll have to consider rental costs, fuel, and (possibly) insurance if you don’t have a credit card with car rental insurance.
A big draw of Malta is the natural scenery, the beaches and swimming areas, and the historic cities. These are all free to explore on your own time. Of course, there may be some paid activities you are interested in as well; perhaps a cooking class, a guided historical tour, or a boat tour. These, obviously, will all come at a price.
Additionally, there are quite a few museums around Malta, especially in Valetta. If you are not a fan of museums, then that’s an easy miss. However, if you are interested in learning about the War in Malta, of the history of Malta and the Knights of St. George, then definitely add a visit to these places in your itinerary.
I would suggest planning on spending about $200 on attractions in Malta. If you plan on doing a lot of tours, you’ll have to up that amount. Alternatively, if you are more interested in sight-seeing on your own then you can greatly reduce these costs. There’s also the hop-on, hop-off bus worth considering if you have limited time.
Scuba divers will also know that Malta, and Gozo, is one of the best dive destinations in Europe. If you plan on doing any diving here, you’ll need to increase that $200 estimate.
Food and drink
Food and drink prices can really vary throughout the country. However, for typical meals at mid-range restaurants you can expect to pay the following each day:
- Breakfast – $7
- Lunch – $15
- Dinner – $25
That works out to $47 a day. Typical meals at restaurants will cost between $12-25 per meal. If you go for something fancier, say a seafood plate, then you can expect higher prices.
That being said, there are some really affordable street-type eats in Malta as well. One of the common snacks here is called pastizzi which are sort of like little pies with various fillings. The most common filling is ricotta cheese though you can also find vegetables and meat ones as well. These are available at little pastizzerias that can be found around the cities of Malta and will cost as little as 0.75 cents each. Definitely try them, they are delicious!
Alcohol is surprisingly cheap in Malta, both at the shops and also in restaurants. A glass of wine will cost you about 3 euro in a restaurant. However, if you end up visiting one of Malta’s wineries you can buy an entire bottle for 7 euro.
As for drinking water, you technically can drink the tap water. It has been deemed safe by the government. However, due to the filtering process, it tastes heavily of chemicals so you’ll want to buy drinking water. A large bottle of water should cost you 1 euro from the shops.
As always, I suggest adding on a little extra for random spending. This could be a nicer meal out, a few extra drinks one night, an additional day trip, or some souvenir shopping. For Malta, I suggest adding an extra $100 to your budget, just in case. They have typical souvenirs (shot glasses, t-shirts, mugs etc.) but it’s also known for its blown glass and filigree jewellery which may make nice gifts for friends or family back home.
Malta trip cost
So, how much does it cost to go to Malta? Well, for one week (7 days and 6 nights) I estimate that you can expect to spend about $2,030 USD. Of course, you can either increase or decrease this budget using the tips above, but this estimate will give you a rough idea of what you will have to spend.
Malta is a great spot for a week for those looking to relax at the beach, explore old scenic towns, and maybe do some snorkelling or scuba diving. If you are looking for a more affordable vacation spot in the Mediterranean, Malta might be a good pick. Other places you may want to consider for your next vacation include Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Greece, Cyprus, Prague and Iceland.
Is Malta expensive to visit?
For a European country, Malta is pretty affordable. Yes, there are expensive restaurants, activities, and hotels. But there are also plenty of more affordable options as well. If you are concerned about the cost of Malta, know that it can be very budget-friendly as well. It’s a popular backpacker destination too.
Is Malta cheaper than the UK?
I would say this probably depends on what part of the UK you are comparing too, but from a tourist perspective, is Malta cheaper than cities like London? Absolutely. A big part of this, from a North American (especially Canadian) standpoint, is that Malta runs on the euro while the UK uses GBP. North Americans get much more value for euros and GBP so this also plays a role.
What should I not miss in Malta?
The capital, Valletta, is definitely a must-see. The architecture here is beautiful and there are some great views. I also recommend going to Mdina, the old capital which is now nicknamed the silent city. It’s a walled city that is mainly just hotels, restaurants, and touristic things now but it has an interesting history and is very beautiful if you like old European cities.
The island of Gozo is a must as well. It’s just a short ferry ride from the island of Malta. There’s a lot more natural beauty to see here. You can get around by bus (there are also tourist hop on hop off buses) but you may want to consider renting a car to explore more. If you can, I would recommend spending a night. You can go for a day trip but it will be very rushed. Gozo also has incredible scuba diving sites for divers.
For water lovers, if you are visiting during the warmer months and are looking to go swimming head to Comino, a small island between Malta and Gozo. It’s known for its blue lagoon which is a popular swimming spot.
How many days do you need in Malta?
Malta is pretty small so while you could spend a week and take things slow and have a more laid back trip, you could also go for 3-4 days and turn it into a long-weekend type trip.
Is it easy to get around Malta without a car?
Malta does have a pretty decent bus system around the island, but it is very time-consuming because the buses take so many stops and you often need to make transfers. If you have the time and don’t mind longer rides, this won’t be an issue. However, if you are someone who gets really impatient with public transit or is on a tight schedule then you might be better off renting a car.