Cost of Living in Malta

If we range all the EU states by the cost of living, Malta will be placed in the middle of this rating. In some aspects, it can be more expensive than other Mediterranean countries. At the same time, it's cheaper than most states of Northern and Central Europe as well as North America. In this article, we'll analyze the cost of living in Malta for expats. From our guide, you'll find out how much you'll have to pay for food, housing, transport, leisure, healthcare, taxes and education on the island. In the last passage, you'll discover a table that compares the prices in Malta with other countries.


Agricultural opportunities are limited in Malta because it's a rock island. Most products are imported. Those that arrive from the EU cost more or less the same as on the mainland. This fact is easy to explain: all the EU is a free trade area.

The second factor that enables retailers to keep the prices at a low level is the means of transport. Air flights would have cost much more. Fortunately, Malta relies on daily ferries from Italy.

The products that arrive from other parts of the planet cost more than on the mainland. For instance, it's coffee.

Typically, locals spend around €200 per month on groceries.

If you stick to international standards, you can buy food at chain stores. However, expats love stalls and small markets, especially those that sell fish and seafood. The prices are more affordable there and the quality of products is usually top-notch.

Restaurants tend to be expensive in popular tourist areas and more affordable away from such areas. The most budget-friendly meal in a fine-dining venue will cost you €50 or more. In a regular restaurant, you'll pay around €34. In a fast-food cafe, you can have lunch for around €9 if it's an international chain. Yet we recommend you should try the Maltese street food: it's delicious and it costs only around €5 per portion.

It's not necessary to buy bottled water on the island. Tap water is desalinated and safe to drink. Some people avoid it only because it might have a peculiar taste.


The island is small and densely populated. Consequently, accommodation isn't cheap, especially if we talk about the capital, Sliema, St. Julian's and St. Paul's. These are the most hustling and bustling population centers.

Here are the factors that impact the price:

  1. Size. Malta offers apartments and houses of all sizes, from tiny studios to spacious villas.
  2. Age. Buyers and tenants choose from three types of accommodation: new, old and renovated. Renovated buildings have historical facades and modern interiors. It's a fantastic opportunity for those who appreciate the comfort of the 21 century and the aesthetics of bygone eras. Usually, renovated houses aren't cheap. As for new buildings, the construction quality tends to be very decent.
  3. Proximity to the sea. The closer the ocean, the more the property costs. The best variants have sea views.
  4. Infrastructure. In the capital, you'll have fast and reliable 5G, coworking spaces, shops, banks and an extensive range of leisure opportunities at your arm's reach. In the countryside, the Internet can be slower and your access to infrastructural objects can be limited.
  5. Lack or presence of construction sites nearby. The island has been undergoing a housing boom. Many new buildings are being constructed, so there might be a lot of dust and noise around.

If you'd like to rent an apartment, a small one-bedroom option will cost you less than €1,000 per month even if it's located in the city center. €700 is a fair price for a one-bedroom apartment outside of the capital, situated within 15 minutes of walking to the beach. For people with a sufficient income, that's not a big deal. International students often complain about high rental prices — even though the prices for other goods and services seem affordable to them.

For around €1,500 per sq.m, you can buy a 3-bedroom apartment. For over €2,000 per sq.m, you can get a penthouse in Sliema with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. For €300,000, you can purchase a property that would cost $1 million in Los Angeles.

New houses and apartments usually lack lighting, air conditioning, a kitchen, furniture and other amenities. Most likely, you'll get only the walls, door, windows, flooring and maybe a finished bathroom. Vendors of second-hand properties sometimes sell them together with furniture and decor items.

If you're planning to rent out your Maltese property, find out in advance whether the authorities will allow you to do so. Normally, they prevent foreigners from running such a business. If you get the permit, your income tax rate will fall within the range of between 15% and 35%.

The tax for reselling accommodation depends on how long ago you purchased it. If it was less than 5 years ago, the tax rate will be 5% — and if over 5 years ago, then, 8%.

To qualify for residency, it's necessary to invest a minimum of €220,000 into properties. In the most popular areas of the island, this limit is higher. For citizenship, the required investment threshold is €700,000. Expats can select from various investment programs.

On the one hand, Malta grants residency and citizenship to foreign investors faster than many other states in the region. Depending on the chosen program, you might need to wait from half a year to one year. On the other hand, other countries might require lower investments.

If you have a clear criminal record, are in good health and can prove that you earn your money legally, the application process should go without a hitch. Make sure to double-check the papers that you'll submit to the authorities. The lack of selected documents as well as mistakes and misprints in them are the most frequent reasons for rejecting the applications.


Malta doesn't produce cars, so all the vehicles are imported. Many come from the UK and have a steering wheel on the right. The yearly insurance costs around €1,450.

It's not absolutely necessary to buy a car. The island is small and it will cost you only around €30 to travel across it if you rent a vehicle from a ride-sharing company. You'll be able to choose from several ride-sharing apps.

If you take a regular taxi, it will charge you around €2 per 1 km. According to the normal tariff, the driver will charge you €5 for the start and €30 for one hour of waiting.

The selection of car rental companies is impressive. Depending on which model you prefer, be ready to pay from €20 to €45 per day.

Motorbikes and scooters for rent are a bit cheaper, from €20 to €35 per day. There are many bikers on the Maltese roads. It's a great vehicle for exploring scenic spots and beaches without a guide.

Bicycles for rent cost €15 per day, on average. The cheapest option should be around €10 per day. The demand for them is slightly lower than for scooters because bicycles are slower. At the same time, they enable you to reach the most remote nooks and crannies.

Buses tend to be late. But locals put up with it because there are no trains on the island. €2 is the regular price of a bus pass in the daytime. At night, it's normally €3. To cut down expenses, consider buying weekly or monthly passes which are available in multiple varieties. Children aged younger than 4 don't need a pass.

Hop-on / hop-off buses were introduced for tourists. Yet no one can prevent you from using them if you live on the island permanently. The itineraries of such buses include the most popular attractions. The ticket costs around €20 for one person.


When it comes to leisure, the prices in Malta don't differ that much from the mainland.

A family pass to the cinema costs around €20. For one adult, it's €9 and for a child, it's cheaper.

If you rent a tennis court for one hour on a weekend, be ready to pay around €21. One-month membership in a fitness club costs at least €60.

The cheapest type of boat that you can rent to have fun in the sea is a motorboat. It costs around €30 per hour. The hourly rent of a yacht costs €1,000 or more.

The most affordable entry-level course for divers costs €40. For more advanced ones, the school will charge you a few hundred euros.

Even though the island is compact, the selection of shops is pretty decent. Mass-market chain stores offer summer dresses for €20, shirts for €25 and jeans for €30. It's the lowest range of the price bracket. If you prefer more sophisticated items, it shouldn't be a problem for you to find them.


EU nationals can benefit from free public healthcare. Malta invests 10% of its GDP in this sector, which is 4% higher than the global average. Expats from other parts of the planet purchase private insurance. Its price can vary from several dozen to several hundred of euros, depending on the age and occupation of the applicant as well as the scope of services included. A consultation with a general practitioner or a dentist costs around €15, health screening — from €75 and MRI — from €250.

The quality of services is typically very high. No matter in which area of the island you live, it shouldn't be a problem for you to find a medical establishment nearby.


The tax system on the island began to shape when it was a British colony. Today, this system resembles its UK counterpart and differs from the systems of other Mediterranean states. It doesn't matter how much money you have in your bank account — the taxes are calculated based on how much you earn. This attracts wealthy individuals from all over the world to Malta.

In most EU states, VAT is 21%. Malta is one of the few lucky exceptions: it boasts a 17% VAT. Only in Luxembourg, it's lower (16%).

The maximum tax rate that businesses and individuals pay is 35%. It might seem high — but many taxpayers reduce their expenses thanks to refunds and deductions.

You won't have to pay a tax for inheriting a valuable object, receiving such an object as a gift or owning property. However, some property owners pay a tax for renting the plot where the building is situated. It can amount to up to €250 per annum.

Residents are eligible for more tax benefits than non-residents. To obtain your initial residence permit, you'll have to wait for only a couple of weeks. Most other countries make expats spend at least half of the year each year in their territories to maintain their residence statuses. Malta lacks such a requirement. After you are domiciled here, you can travel freely wherever you wish and for as long as you wish.

This island offers several residence programs for foreigners. The Global Residence Programme (GPR) is the most lucrative one from the position of taxation. If you use it, you won't have to pay in Malta taxes on the income that you generate elsewhere — provided that you keep this money away from the island. If you send these funds to your Maltese bank account, be ready to pay a tax. In exchange for this privilege, you'll need to pay €15,000 or more in taxes on the island every year. This threshold won't increase if your spouse, kids or parents apply together with you.


If you become the island's resident, your kids will be allowed to attend preschool and primary school for free. Most likely, you won't even need to pay for their textbooks and school buses. Otherwise, there are various private schools to choose from, including those that stick to an international curriculum.

A private kindergarten costs around €400 per month. The average yearly tuition fee for a private school is around €8,000.

Maltese nationals have the right to attend local universities for free. Foreigners have to pay for it. The prices differ considerably: the most affordable option should be around €5,000 per year. After you get a degree, you can use it to land a job anywhere in the EU.

Average Salary

In 2023, the minimum monthly wages on the island are €835. The medium annual salary is around €56,150, the lowest is around €12,240 and the highest is approximately €246,000. Professionals from the public sector tend to earn 7% more than their counterparts from the private sector.

If you want to boost your income, you can enhance your qualifications and find a better job. Alternatively, you can launch a business. The island provides excellent opportunities and environment for both options.

Here are the most lucrative sectors for launching a business:

  • Innovative technologies. The island boasts nationwide 5G coverage. Foreign IT companies relocate here for the sake of taxes. Plus, it's a superb environment for expanding your professional network, including partners, contractors, employees, clients and investors.
  • Education. English is one of the two official languages here. Foreigners of all ages come to Malta to study English, so it's a top location to launch language courses. Besides, expats can open branches of foreign schools and universities.
  • Medicine. EU residents visit the island to have affordable treatments of high quality.
  • Health and beauty. The demand for massage salons, beauty salons and fitness clubs is growing.
  • Tourism. Tourists never get enough of good hotels and interesting excursions as well as rentals of vehicles and accommodations.

The local economy is remarkably stable. The European laws will guarantee strong protection for your rights as a person and an entrepreneur.

Monthly Budget

For a family of four, it's enough to earn slightly less than €3,000 to lead a comfortable life on the island. For a single individual, €800 should be enough.

The utilities will cost you around €100-120 per month. The costliest expenditure item is heating. Few buildings on the island have central heating. Everyone decides by themselves how much they're ready to spend on individual heating.

Malta Cost of Living vs Other States

In this table, we'll list the prices for the most popular goods and services in Malta, compared to UK, US, Canada, Australia, Cyprus, Italy and Greece. For your convenience, we'll indicate all prices in euro.










Monthly expenses for a family of 4, rent not included









Monthly expenses for single person, rent not included









Three-course meal for a couple when eating out









Gasoline, 1l









Household bills for an apartment of 85 sq.m









Monthly kindergarten fee









Annual fee for primary school with a foreign curriculum









Monthly rent of a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center









Monthly rent of a 1-bedroom apartment not in the center









Purchase price of a square meter in the center









Purchase price of a square meter not in the center









Average monthly salary after paying taxes









As you see, life in Malta doesn't require large expenses. It's a great place to live together with your family, run a business and retire.

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