Is Malta A Cheap Holiday Destination?
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Malta is a popular holiday destination due to its warm climate, beautiful beaches and landscapes, and historic architecture. This small European island country located in the Mediterranean Sea south of Italy receives over 2.3 million visitors each year.
Many tourists come to Malta to enjoy beaches, scuba diving, and relax in the sun at an all-inclusive resort while history buffs will also enjoy exploring ancient cities like Valletta and Mdina.
A seven-night trip to Malta for two people is likely to cost between €1,240 (£1,100) and €5,720 (£5,000) including flights from the UK. Of course, the exact amount you spend will depend on the level of luxury and experiences you wish to take part in during your trip.
If you’re travelling on a budget then it’s also worth considering the time of year in which you visit Malta too. July and August are the busiest and most expensive times of year to travel, so visiting outside of peak season is one way to save money, and with summer lasting from May until October in Malta, you can still enjoy warm and sunny weather even during the off-season.
💵 Flights from the UK: €70 (£62) – €210 (£186)
Malta is an island archipelago made up of three islands. It’s located in the Mediterranean Sea south of Italy and north of Tunisia. The country’s only international airport is located on the main island of Malta, just outside the capital Valletta.
Flights to Malta can be cheap depending on where you are coming from and the time of year that you are travelling.
For travellers from the United Kingdom and Europe, you can regularly find flights for as low as €70 (£62) round-trip on budget airlines like Ryanair. This makes Malta an affordable sunny getaway that’s just a few hours from the UK.
Flights are most expensive during July and August, the peak holiday season in Malta. The best deals can be found in the off-season, especially from October through May.
You can also find better prices on flights if you have some flexibility in your travel dates. For example, flights departing and returning on weekdays are typically cheaper than weekends.
💵 Accommodation (7 Nights / 2 Sharing): €420 (£370) – €3,100 (£2,700)
Malta is home to many all-inclusive resorts, many of which are located in the family-friendly St. Paul’s Bay area. All-inclusive resorts can be pricey, especially during the peak summer months, but they may be worth it for some travellers who want a hassle-free vacation and don’t plan on leaving the resort much.
A five-star hotel or resort in Malta can run you €300 – €450 (£265 – £345) per night in peak season. However, it’s also possible to stay in a budget hotel or Airbnb for under €100 (£90) per night.
Staying in Valletta is great for travellers who are interested in the history and culture of Malta, and are less interested in being close to beaches. There are many luxury and mid-range hotels to choose from in Valletta.
Sliema, which is just a short ferry ride away from Valletta, is a more affordable area with many budget-friendly accommodation options.
Another popular area to stay in Malta is St. Julian’s. This beachfront town is located west of Sliema and is known for its nightlife and partying. There are many accommodation options here ranging from luxury hotels to budget hostels.
Depending on what kind of accommodation you’re looking for (all-inclusive resort vs. standard hotel), what area you’re staying in, and what time of year you’re travelling (summer vs. off-peak season), you can find ways to save money on accommodation in Malta.
💵 Ground Transport: €40 (£35) – €200 (£175)
Getting around in Malta is fairly inexpensive. Taxi prices are not unreasonable, affordable car rentals are available, and there are lots of public transportation options for getting around.
When taking a taxi from Malta International Airport, here are the prices you can expect to pay based on your destination:
- To Valletta: €17 (£15)
- To St. Julian’s: €20 (£18)
- To Sliema: €20 (£18)
- To St. Paul’s Bay: €28 (£25)
Renting a car in Malta is more affordable than in many other European countries, with prices as low as €25 (£22) per day for a rental car.
It’s also possible to get around in Malta without a car. The main island of Malta is 246 square kilometres in size, making it fairly small and easy to get around.
Many smaller, local rental car companies exist in Malta, and they often receive better reviews from travellers compared to larger car hire companies you can find at the airport. Renting a car through one of these smaller companies can save you money and offer a better service.
The island of Malta and the smaller island of Gozo both have extensive bus networks. The bus fare is €2 (£1.75) during the day, and €3 (£2.65) at night. The fare for a single ticket can be paid directly to the driver onboard the bus.
It’s also possible to buy an Explore Card that offers unlimited travel. The 7-day card costs €21 (£18.50) for adults and €15 (£13.50) for children.
This is a great way to explore both Malta and Gozo, and the bus stops at many of the best beaches, towns, and historical sites around the islands. However, if you’ll only be in Malta for a few days, paying as you go may make more financial sense.
It’s also possible to get around Malta by ferry. It’s a very cost-effective and scenic way to travel. You can take the ferry from Valletta to Sliema or the Three Cities round-trip for just €2.80 (£2.50) for adults and €0.90 (£0.80) for children and seniors.
The ferry from Malta to Gozo is also very affordable, costing €4.65 (£4.10) round-trip. Renting your own car offers more flexibility in getting around in Malta, but public transportation is definitely the more budget-friendly option.
Attractions & Entertainment
💵 Attractions & Entertainment: €100 (£90) – €400 (£360)
Many of the best things to do in Malta, like visiting beaches and exploring ancient cities, are completely free. It’s possible to visit Malta and spend very little on attractions.
Some of the best free things to do in Malta include:
- Relaxing in Valletta’s Upper Barrakka Gardens
- Visiting Mdina, Malta’s ancient capital that is known as the Silent City
- Strolling along the Sliema Promenade at sunset
- Attend a local festa (village feast and party)
- Swimming or relaxing in the sun at the beautiful Golden Bay beach
Alternatively, if you have a budget available for entertainment and attractions, Malta has plenty of things you can do.
One popular day trip in Malta is visiting the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino. This popular swimming spot is known for its clear aqua-blue waters. A round-trip ferry ride from Malta to the Blue Lagoon costs around €15 (£13.30).
Another popular attraction in Malta is Popeye Village. This quirky village was originally built as a film set but has now been turned into a theme park. Admission is €20 (£18) for adults and €15 (£13.30) for children.
Other activities, like full-day boat trips, can cost anywhere from €50-100 (£44-89.) However, these types of tours are usually worth it because they allow you to see all three of Malta’s islands by boat and usually include extras like lunch and snorkelling.
Malta is number one on the ILGA Rainbow Europe list and has been for seven years running. I felt incredibly comfortable throughout my six nights in Malta as a fairly obvious member of the LGBTQ+ community (even alone at night).
In Valletta, one of the most popular attractions is St. John’s Co-Cathedral. Visiting this historic cathedral costs €10 (£8.90) for adults and €7.50 (£6.70) for children and seniors. Other museums in Valletta and around Malta typically have a small entrance fee, but it’s usually no more than €10 (£8.90.)
Food & Drink
💵 Food & Drink (Based on 7 Nights / Per Person): €200 (£180) – €500 (£450)
Maltese cuisine is unique and delicious. The main influence on the food in Malta is Italian cuisine, especially the cuisine of Southern Italy and Sicily. But food in Malta also has influence from the Spanish, French, and British.
One of the cheapest snacks to try in Malta is a pastizz (plural form pastizzi.) Pastizzi are savoury pastries that are typically filled with ricotta cheese or curried peas, and they are a very popular snack throughout Malta to eat in the morning or afternoon.
A pastizz is only €1 (£0.90) or less, making it an affordable and filling snack that you can buy from any bakery in Malta.
If you’re a foodie then we highly suggest taking a street food tour around the capital city of Valletta. During this three-hour guided experience, you’ll learn about Malta’s history and cuisine.
A meal at a mid-range restaurant in Malta will set you back around €10 – €15 (£9 – £13) for entrees, with a total cost of around €60 (£52) for two people ordering appetisers, entrees, and drinks. Restaurants in more touristic areas tend to be higher-priced than those outside of tourist hotspots in Malta.
When it comes to drinks, you can expect to pay around €7 – €9 (£6 – £8) for a cocktail, and €3-4 (£2.50-3.50) for a beer or a glass of house wine. A cappuccino is around €2 (£1.75.)
One way that you can save money on your holiday in Malta is by buying your own groceries and cooking in your accommodation. Many holiday rentals are self-catering and offer full kitchens so you can cook many of your meals on your own.
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