Living in Malta as an Expat – Part 1

 Immigration News
 Malta News
Thousands of digital nomads and other expats have made the move and are successfully running their own companies or working for Maltese operations here.

If you have a plan to go live there, you might have these question:

What will it cost to live in Malta?

Do you have to worry about crime in one of Europe’s southern most countries?

Does Malta have an expat community?

Can you retire to Malta?

We’ll address these questions with special attention paid to the comparative cost of living, best places to live and details of the expat life in Malta. Read on for all you need to know about living in Malta.

Malta’s Comparatively Affordable Cost of Living

Generally, Malta is a very affordable place to live. Two factors create certain exceptions to this rule:

  • Because Malta is an island, certain imported goods may be more expensive;
  • Malta’s recent economic boom and popularity with expats has made some areas of the country much more expensive than others.

It’s fairly likely that the cost of real estate in Malta will continue to rise, so look for opportunities to buy property or sign longer-term rental contracts, to lock in current prices.

For the most part, this is a good guide to what you can expect to spend in Malta:

Rent is one of the largest and most variable costs of living in Malta.

  • If you choose an older apartment, outside of the trendy areas, a couple can find a flat for under €600/month.
  • In Sliema or St. Julian’s in a brand new complex that could go up well over €1,000/month. But, note that almost all the apartments in Malta come furnished, so that takes care of a cost.
  • The average bill for utilities (water, electricity, fuel and internet) of €100 – €150 might seem on the high side, but remember that you don’t pay any property taxes in Malta for things like sewer and infrastructure maintenance.
  • Also, keep in mind that Malta gets very hot in the summer and most buildings are poorly insulated against chilly winter days, so your utility bill may go up in January, February, July and August.

The Maltese government is striving to make the bus system better on Malta and where they’ve succeeded you can get good transit for a very low price.

  • Fares are about €0.75 each way, with unlimited transfers within two hours. Monthly bus passes costs €26.

Outside of tourist areas, a decent meal in a restaurant costs about €30 for two.

  • A local beer can be had for €1.50
  • A fancy coffee for €2.50
  • A movie ticket for €7.
  • As discussed below though, you may find yourself wanting to save some of your entertainment budget to spend on travel.

If you’re self-employed or living in Malta under certain residence permits, you’ll need to buy private health insurance.

  • This can run to €60-€100 depending on your needs and the size of your family. One-off visits to the doctor are about €15.

The cost of groceries in Malta will depend on your willingness to switch to local products and brands.

  • If your diet is pretty close to the Maltese standard, with lots of vegetables, seafood and local baked goods, you might spend €200 a month.
  • Whereas, if you need to stick to the packaged goods and the brands you recognize your monthly bill could get closer to €400 a month.
  • Note that bread and other bakery items are especially cheap on Malta, so don’t necessarily use that price as a general indicator of affordability.

What you don’t see mentioned in that list is the saving you will likely make on tax. Due to Malta’s favorable tax rates, and when working with a great tax advisor here in Malta, you can make huge savings on the tax that you pay when compared to most countries.