Is Malta Expensive? A Detailed Price Guide for Tourists
Malta is a great destination for sun, sea and history. However potential travellers quite frequently ask: is Malta expensive? As a local Maltese familiar with the Maltese islands I have delved into the numbers to better answer this question. To give you a quick overview:
The average cost of a hotel is €107 per night and a holiday rental is around €159. A restaurant meal of pasta, salad or pizza with water and coffee is around €20. Add €2 more for a burger and €9 more for a meat dish. Public transport is at most €2 for a 2 hour ticket, but travel cards will further reduce the cost. Activities for kids are on average €10 and €13 for adults.
Now I’m going to give you some more in-depth detail on costs and tips on where and how you can pay less. FYI, the data on this page is based on research done in September 2022, so the costs may change.
The average cost of accommodation depends on the premises, but also on the location. Here is a table with a full breakdown of the average prices you can expect to pay for various locations. This is based on a hotel rate for 1 room for a couple. Additionally the average price for a holiday rental private apartment or house with a minimum of 1 bedroom.
|Location||Average Hotel Cost||Average Airbnb Cost|
|St Paul’s Bay||€93||€166|
*the 3 historic fortified cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua in Malta.
Please note that because Malta is a small island, some towns may only have a few places for accommodation. However the information should still help you to get a good idea of cost.
As you can see, although the average rate of hotel accommodation in Malta is €107, different towns have different average prices. As a result, there are many different locations where you can get a less expensive hotel.
If you want more choice for listings, Booking.com has way more than eight times the amount of listed hotels and holiday rentals in Malta than any other travel online marketplace. Expedia on the other hand is great for booking packages, but does not have as many stays.
Things to Consider
Before you book your stay there are a couple of things you need to consider. Firstly, is the mode of transports and travelling time from wherever you are staying to places you want to visit. In this case you might want to check out the article on the best ways to get around Malta.
When you are not in a major town or city there are less options for public transport. Additionally travelling takes much longer to get to wherever you need to. There are more options for public transport from Valletta, Sliema and St Julians and their surrounding areas. There are also quite a few bus routes that pass through Mellieha and Rabat.
Secondly if you are travelling with family you may want to consider an Airbnb with more than one bedroom. Most of the time 3 bedrooms are more expensive than 1 bedroom apartments or houses.
Cost of Airbnb’s with a minimum 3 bedrooms:
|Location||Average Airbnb Cost|
San Gwann is the only town where the average cost of a minimum of 3 bedrooms is less expensive than a 1 bedroom.
Over the last couple of years the cost of restaurant food and drinks has increased quite a bit in Malta. However the price is still quite reasonable when you compare prices to Nordic countries.
Average restaurant food costs
Average restaurant drink costs
|Bottle of water||€4|
|Pint of Beer||€5|
Things to Consider
Since restaurant prices have gone up, my friends and family are not eating out as often as we used to. Additionally we noticed that at some restaurants the pasta portions are getting smaller. So we are finding a good chunk of restaurants in Malta expensive.
There are still restaurants that have more moderate prices. They are usually in the quieter, more rural villages and not in the busy cities. However you can still find some cheaper restaurants in busier towns.
The good thing is it’s not hard to find them. Unlike nearby Sicily and Sardinia, most restaurants have their menu online. So if you spend some time researching menus and reviews you will find some tasty budget friendly places.
Budget Friendly Traditional Food
You may want to try some places where to get a traditional Maltese dish like rabbit (Fenkata). Like for example Il-Barri, Mgarr United Bar and Restaurant and Ta’ l-Ingliz all in Mgarr. Usually these places aren’t that expensive. You can get several pasta dishes for under €10 and rabbit for €14 or less. However if you want to have a 4 course dinner at a traditional restaurant with a folklore show for 3 hours you can expect to pay €60.
The local band clubs are not expensive in Malta for small appetisers, snacks and beer. Usually they will give you some appetisers for free when you order drinks.
Moreover you might also want to consider signing up for Cloudigo Travel. I have a couple of friends that use Claudigo at least once a week. You can get discounts on hundreds of brands including restaurants.
Since my friends live locally they have the standard Cloudigo, but there is Cloudigo Travel for tourists. According to my friends, Cloudigo is €30 and with just 2 meals they manage to pay off the expense of the subscription.
On the other hand Cloudigo travel is €19.99. I’m not sure how much you can save with the tourist version, but it might be a good idea to look into it.
Make your own food
You could opt to make your own food and eat it along the way. Here are some ideas for some picnic food ideas if you need some inspiration.
Some locals are starting to have more bbq’s on the beach at dinner time. We have had a couple ourselves this summer also. It’s lovely watching the sun go down and it is a relaxed way of having a meal.
However there are beaches where you need a permit or can only use gas bbq’s. Here is a list of beaches where you can set up. You can use a low cost portable bbq that you can pack in your luggage. Alternatively you can buy a one-time use charcoal bbq from select local stores like these on Amazon. Just note that the disposable ones do not last long, in fact for a group of 4 to make burgers and sausages we needed 2 of them.
Public transport is not that expensive in Malta and is efficient on the whole. I’ve outlined the way the system works and the cost here on the best ways to get around Malta. However I will give you a quick overview of the cost here.
Malta and Gozo’s public transport system only consists of buses. During peak summer months, the cost of a 2 hour bus ticket is €2, but it goes down to €1.50 in winter. Night trips are €3 regardless of the season.
If you think you are going to use public transport frequently, you can get Tallija 7 or 12 day cards. To give you an idea of cost, the 12 day cards cost €15.
Alternatively you can get a ticket for the Hop-on hop-off bus in Malta which is valid for 1 to 2 days. It stops in 30 different places to drop you off at 50 different points of interest. It is €28 per person, but it might be worthwhile to use especially when you want to visit places that are further field. Like this you can spare yourself a long winded journey since public transport most of the time do not provide direct routes.
There is something for everyone in Malta. There are a huge range of amazing tours in Malta you could opt for that are on Get Your Guide. For families I have listed some fun kids activities in Malta on this site that has a mix of both free and paid activities you can do. There are also plenty of places to walk or hike or visit historical sites and locations.
The free kids activities or locations that are listed on this site are: the petting farm, Buskett, San Anton Gardens, Kitchen Garden, BOV adventure park and the Salina Park. All the others are paid for activities.
|Bird Park Malta||€5||€8|
|Mediterraneo Marine Park||€11||€16|
|Malta National Aquarium*||€7.90||€14.90|
|Horse riding, Golden Bay||€20||€20|
|Malta Fun Trains||€4||€6|
*Reduced packages for families apply
Laser tag prices work a little differently and it would depend on what games you go for. For example you could go for an indoor game which is €6 per 15minutes. Additionally the price depends on whether you are there during the week or on the weekend. If you book more than one 15 minute session discounted rates apply.
However if you want to book an outdoor session, prices start from €30 for 2 hours. One outdoor venue is the old building of the Royal Navy prison. It is both fun and interesting to see.
Historical Sites and Activities
Since Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean it is in a strategic location. As a result it has a long history of inhabitants and conquests that have left a mark on the island. A lot of people are astonished by the amount of things to see and do.
Valletta has a high concentration of things to see and do, but there are a select few highlights in Valletta that you should not miss.
Some of the more popular things tourists like to do in Malta are priced as follows. The following are the prices of entry tickets:
|The Malta Experience||€6||€16|
|St John’s Co-Cathedral||Under 12’s – Free||€15|
|Hypogeum*||12-17 yrs €20|
6-11 yrs €15
|Casa Rocca Piccola||Under 14 yrs – Free|
*Infants under 5 years old are not admitted in this underground burial complex.
These activities in Malta are not that expensive overall, except the Hypogeum. However the prices may vary out of peak season. There are also some free things you can do in Malta, like going to the Lower Barrakka Gardens in Valletta to enjoy the gardens and the view of the Grand Harbour.
There is this Malta highlights full day tour that takes you to many places and is not that expensive at €59. You get to see the fortified silent city of Mdina, the Rabat catacombs, the highest point in Malta at Dingli Cliffs, the Mosta Dome, San Anton Garden and the Ta Qali craft village.
There is also this Valletta guided walking tour that includes St John’s Co Cathedral that is really good for €18. You will get to see some of the amazing highlights of Valletta which is a UNESCO world heritage site.