Top 5 things a foreigner should know before coming to Malta

Sep 17, 2021

Malta is a destination really popular among expats and foreigners in general. These top 5 things could also be useful to almost anybody who would like to arrive on the island and stay a couple of days.

Therefore, here is the list of the top 5 things we believe a foreigner should know before coming to Malta.

1. Tap water 

If you are an island native perhaps this tip is not so useful for you, but for anyone who comes from solid land, it is an important information to know.
 Maltese tap water comes from desalination plants– which turn seawater into potable water through the process of reverse osmosis removing all silt, saltwater and organic material. Thus the water will have an unpleasant test. However, it is perfectly safe to drink.

2. Electricity outlets

One of the main concerns in our modern days is having a battery in our phone and having access to Wi-Fi. Thus, you should know that the outlets in Malta are of type G, for those who don’t know how these outlets or plugs look, there are the ones with three rectangular prongs. These kinds of outlets are also used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Arabian Peninsula, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

As you have noticed, all of the aforementioned places had a strong British influence, a fact that is good to remember which is closely related to the following tip. To wrap up this tip, if your electronics can not be used with this type of outlet, bring with you a plug adaptor (we recommend the universal one) so you can charge all your electronics with the Maltese sockets.

3. Driving on the left 

Yes, as we said before the British influence on the island is also obvious. In Malta, the road traffic drives on the left and you should be aware of it before using any kind of vehicle. The island is really small,  and the public service is cheaper than European standards, just 0.78€ for a two-hour ticket if in possession of the Tallinja card, which if you are planning to stay in Malta for a couple of months is highly recommended, apply here. Moreover, the public service was completely renewed in 2011 and every year the Maltese government is investing in new and more efficient buses. However, mainly in rush hours, the buses are late or sometimes they don’t even stop. Many foreigners who come to tourism rent a car or a motorbike for a couple of days and if you come to stay for a while, depending on your transport needs you should perhaps consider the idea of buying or renting a motorbike or a car for the needed time.

In addition to this, in Malta, car, motorbike & scooter renting per hour service is strongly established. Some companies provide these services and have cell apps for you to download. Some of these apps also have food delivery services or taxi services. At last, we advise you to be really watchful, Malta traffic can be chaotic for those who aren’t used to it. You will need all your senses once you are behind the steering wheel, which as we said before, is on the right side of the vehicle.


4. Garbage disposal

This tip is more focused on the persons who will be staying on the island for more than a couple of days. In Malta, the recycling process is something taken really seriously and there are up to four different types of waste and each of them with a specific colour bag: mixed recyclable waste (green/grey bag), mixed waste (black bag), organic waste (white bag) and glass (transparent bag). All these bags are sold in any supermarket or convenience store you go to. Or if you’re in possession of the Maltese ID you can collect them for free at your local council. 

Each of these wastes encompasses different types of products and they have a recollection calendar depending on the area you are living in.

Garbage collection schedule.

There are also containers where you can throw all your rubbish, separated as we said depending on the type of waste. However, we strongly encourage you to check the Malta website for domestic waste, that way, you can have all the information needed to dispose your household waste in the proper way. There are some proposals being considered by the Maltese government in order to enforce the appropriate waste disposal, if you want to know more, you can check them in the following document.


5. English is a co-official language 

This is for us, a cornerstone among the things you should do before arriving on the island. We communicate with each other by talking and listening for the purpose of understanding what is going on around us. The majority of the population speaks English as well as Maltese, this is fortunate and really valued because the Maltese language is the only Semitic language spoken in Europe, which makes it really hard to understand to all foreigners from other parts of the world which are not the Arabian Peninsula or speak any language from the Semitic language family.

According to the last census made by the Maltese government, the British nationality is the one with more residents in the country by far, followed by Australians, Canadians and Italians. Therefore, we can conclude that the use of English is widely extended on the island and the third language more spoken is Italian. The fact that Italian is on the podium should not be seen as a surprise, the Italian island of Sicily is less than 200 kilometres away and until 1934 it was an official language on the island. 

In a nutshell, Malta is an extraordinary place to visit or to live on. It has a vast opportunity range of activities and things to do since interesting working offers amazing landscapes to enjoy through different ventures. We know moving to a different place or just visiting it can be a challenge and many questions pop up before engaging in your trip, but we believe with these tips that would be much easier, and you, what other tips would you provide to anyone who is planning to come to the island?


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