If you’ve ever considered living in Malta, you’ve probably wondered what the general expenses there might be. We’ve contacted some of our local partners who live in Malta, as well as other expats, and came up with a full guide regarding the cost of living in Malta. In this article, we cover:
- Understanding the cost of living in Malta
- Renting and buying property
- General costs in Malta
- The cost of utilities
- Eating and dining out in Malta
- Maltese commuting costs
- Healthcare in Malta
- The weekly shop in Malta
Malta is a small island-nation that manages to make the most out of its location in the Mediterranean sea. Those who reside in this beautiful archipelago get to enjoy its glorious weather with sunshine all year round. The country offers its residents and tourists a diverse cuisine, exquisite culture, numerous historic sites, and unimaginably beautiful views.
From the bustling and energetic lifestyle found in the capital, Valletta, to the more sedate pace of life lived on the island of Gozo, Malta has something to attract everybody. While you might think life would be expensive in a European country by the sea, you’ll be surprised to find that the cost of living in Malta for a single person or a family is actually very affordable. It is partly due to this reason that people are increasingly choosing to relocate or retire to this little Mediterranean gem.
If you have never lived in Malta before, it is advisable to rent before you buy property. This will give you the opportunity to explore the country for an ideal location, and experience the different lifestyles it has to offer as well. By exploring Malta’s islands and neighborhoods, you’ll learn all about Malta, and gain a comprehensive idea regarding the cost of living across its cities before fully committing to your relocation.
Generally speaking, rent is often much cheaper in Malta than in other countries. This is especially the case in areas outside of the city center, which is why a lot of people who choose to invest in Malta scout out those locations, especially when considering placing a foreign investment under the Malta citizenship by investment program – which is not actually a citizenship by investment scheme, rather it’s a route to Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) – more accurately referred to as the Maltese Citizenship Act Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations.
|Expense||Amount in Euros|
|One-bedroom apartment in the city center||€824.92|
|One-bedroom apartment outside the city center||€684.88|
|Utilities (including electricity, heating, internet, etc)||€127.84|
|One-way ticket (local transport)||€1.75|
|Monthly pass (regular price)||€26|
|Meal at an inexpensive restaurant||€15|
|Three-course meal for two at a mid range restaurant||€62.5|
|Domestic beer (0.5 liter draught)||€3|
Renting a place in Malta will give you a lot more for your money than you would get elsewhere. Although prices vary across the country, a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment in Valletta can be rented for as little as €970 per month. A similar property would set you back at least €2,157 in London on average, or cost upwards of €4,100 in New York, and probably wouldn’t be fully furnished.
Although prices in London are far higher on average than in the rest of the United Kingdom, rental prices in Malta are 19.03% cheaper than in the UK. Moreover, Malta’s cost of living compared to US averages is shockingly low. Rent alone is 48.62% lower than in the United States, which makes the low cost of living in Malta for international students an added charm.
Location Affects Price
A property’s location heavily affects its price. A city center or beachside apartment will cost more than a place on the edge of the city or in a more rural setting. While you get more for your money by choosing to live away from the tourist hot spots, Malta’s excellent transport links mean that you will not feel like you are missing out.
If you do decide to invest in your own place you will find that prices in Malta are slightly lower than in other parts of Europe. For example, an 85 square-meter apartment in the city center will cost just over €1,700. A similar apartment in the US will cost, on average, over €2,700. If you want to further keep the monthly costs of living down, you may choose to live in a modern apartment instead of an older building with ancient architecture so that you can avoid additional maintenance costs.
Monthly costs of utilities including electricity is a lot more affordable in the archipelago than the UK or US, which also helps in keeping the general cost of living in Malta down. On average, utilities for an 85 square-meter apartment in the US will cost around €203 euros which includes gas, electricity, and all your other services. Over the same period, a similar-sized apartment in Malta will cost a little over €92 to run.
While many aspects of the day to day life are far more affordable in Malta, communication costs can be more expensive to run here, specifically when it comes to mobile phones. If you find the price of a contract too expensive, you might want to consider using prepaid mobile tariff – or pay as you go plans.
As the Maltese tourism sector began to boom in the past few years, prices for certain luxuries increased respectively. While restaurant prices in Malta are generally 10.85% lower than in the USA, with a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costing you 25% less than it would in the US, dining out at a mid-range restaurant in Valletta might set you back 10% more than it would in Los Angeles, New York, or other cities.
Nevertheless, the major difference isn’t actually depicted in price when it comes to this aspect of living, rather is found in the quality of the food. Being a small coastal island, Malta takes advantage of the fresh food on its doorstep, and has plenty of incredible restaurants to enjoy a diverse range of cuisines at, whether they are mid-range, or street food restaurants.
Malta is a small island with a reasonably priced – and extensive – transportation system that covers almost all of its grounds. As a result, many expats find that they are able to live there without owning a car. This saves them thousands every year on insurance, MOT, and general running costs, and contributes to the overall low cost of living in Malta as well.
If you’re only visiting Malta for a short time and choose to have your commutes using local transport, you might want to buy a one-way ticket for each journey around the island, or a weekly pass, or a monthly pass, depending on the length of your stay. A one-way ticket in Malta will cost you about €1.75. This is almost two thirds the price of an equivalent journey in the US.
A monthly pass on the other hand will cost you a little over €26. It can be quite useful if you are commuting across the island on the daily. Commuters in the UK will pay about €77 for a similar pass, which means that the cost for transportation in Malta is half or more of that in the UK, and the USA.
The quality of healthcare available in Malta is excellent, and while you do have to pay for medical insurance, it is far more affordable than in other countries, particularly the United States. While Maltese residents and citizens can access the nation’s excellent healthcare system for a contribution no greater than €50 monthly, a lot of them choose to pay into private schemes as they offer a better range of options and security, and have much shorter waiting times. Others are sometimes enrolled in private healthcare schemes operated by their employers, which usually gives them extended free healthcare at a significantly discounted price.
Free Healthcare in Malta, For All?
If you are a EU citizen with an E121 form, healthcare is considered free for you in the archipelago. Which, particularly for the elderly or ill, can help in keeping the cost of living in Malta down. Simply use the E121 form to get a Certificate of Entitlement. If you are just visiting Malta, then the highly recommended European Health Insurance Card will provide the same level of cover.
While the cost of living in Malta is generally lower than in other countries, one specific aspect of living that is priced at a higher rate than it should be is the purchase of prescriptions and over the counter medicines. This is because the majority of items have to be imported.
Depending on how many people are in your household you may find yourself spending anywhere between €180 to €370 a month on food. Food prices, as well as the cost of other products such as household cleaners, may not seem that much lower here than other countries, but that does not overly increase the cost of living in Malta.
This increase is partly because of the import costs. However, there are savings to be made. You can keep the cost of living in Malta even lower by purchasing local or imported Italian products instead of familiar brand-names. Additionally, farmers markets and fresh food stalls offer great value for money as the food production and transportation costs are exponentially lower.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Cost of Living in Malta
Is the cost of living in Malta low?
The overall cost of living in Malta is significantly lower than in the United Kingdom and the United States. While some things such as prescription medicines are more expensive the overall cost is far lower.
Is it expensive to live in Malta?
When you compare the cost of living in Malta to other countries in Europe or across the world, specifically the United Kingdom and the USA, you’ll find that life is a lot more affordable in the archipelago.
How much money do you need to live in Malta?
A couple could easily live well on a monthly budget of €2600. They’ll be able to enjoy good food, nights out, and a lovely home in a gorgeous location.
How cheap is living in Malta?
On average, the cost of living is around 36.7% cheaper than in the UK, and 29% cheaper than in the USA. However, this number may not properly depict the large difference in monthly rent, which is almost half of rental costs in the USA.
How much is the monthly rent in Malta?
A fully furnished one-bedroom apartment in Valletta, the capital of Malta, can be rented for as little as €970 per month.
Is Malta tax free?
Malta’s tax system considers your domicile and residence status, and the country provides residents with the perks of double taxation treaties. Malta has a lower tax rate than in most EU nations, and has no taxes on inheritance, gift, property, or capital gains.
How much does a meal cost in Malta?
A meal at an inexpensive restaurant might be around €15 per individual, while a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two people will be upwards of €60.
Is Malta cheaper than Italy?
Yes, it is cheaper than Italy, however by a margin. The only time you would sense the difference between the two is when it comes to rental prices, as monthly rent in Italy is around 16.65% higher.
What is the average house price in Malta?
The average price for an apartment in the city center is €3,491.32 per square meter, and €2,519.02 outside of the center.
Is it cheaper to live in Malta than the UK?
Malta prices compared to the UK are a lot cheaper. The United Kingdom is actually 36.7% more expensive than Malta.