If you’re considering relocating to a beautiful Mediterranean island with a rich history, diverse culture, stunning landscapes, warm climate, countless historical sites and buoyant economy, Malta might definitely be on your radar… so it will be important to look at the average cost of living here in order to plan ahead. This will be essential so that your available budget aligns with the lifestyle you envision when you one day call Malta “home”.
As in the case of anywhere else in the world, one of the most significant expenses in Malta will be housing. Rental costs always vary depending on the location and type of accommodation you prefer. It is well known that Sliema and St. Julian’s are some of the most popular expat areas, but they do come with higher price tags. Places like St Paul’s Bay, the adjacent neighbourhoods to Sliema, the south of Malta and neighbouring Gozo are usually better priced if you intend to come to Malta long term.
On average, you can expect to pay around €800 to €1,200 per month for a furnished one-bedroom apartment in popular areas, but in Gozo furnished rental properties can be had for under €500 per month. Keep in mind that prices have been steadily rising in recent years due to an increase in demand and if you find something you like, secure it as soon as you can because it is unlikely to stay on the market for long.
Whether you rent or own, your utilities such as water, electricity and Wi-Fi can amount to approximately €150 per month for a standard apartment for two people if you are mindful of usage, but this can go up considerably during the hot summer or the cold winter months when air-conditioning is a must. One’s consumption will always be the determining factor when it comes to cost.
As Malta and Gozo are relatively small islands, it easy to get around. Public transport such as taking the bus is efficient and affordable and covers the entire country. Monthly passes are the best route to go if you need to travel every day for instance to and from work. If you prefer to drive yourself, fuel prices are slightly higher than in some other European countries but because of short distances due to the islands’ small sizes will mean that generally fuel expenses won’t break the bank.
Although it has not always been the case, the cost of groceries can be somewhat steep in Malta, especially if you opt for items that are imported. The monthly grocery bill for a single person can range anywhere from €300 upwards, depending on your eating habits and dietary preferences. Shopping at local markets and buying local products can help keep costs down.
There are plenty of restaurants to explore in both Malta and Gozo. Having a meal at an inexpensive restaurant may cost around €10 to €15 per person, while a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant can set you back about €30 to €50 per person. When it comes to having a bottle of wine with your meal, your best bet is to explore the local wines as they are a far more cost-effective option.
You will never be short for something to do or see as both Malta and Gozo offer a rich cultural and entertainment scene. A movie ticket typically costs around €7 to €10. Expect to pay anywhere from €5 to €10 for a cocktail at a local bar and keep an eye out for specials. The best thing about living in Malta is that enjoying the beautiful beaches and exploring historical sites are either very affordable or completely free.
Malta has a very good healthcare system with both public and private options available. As a working resident you will contribute to the social security system and this will provide you with access to limited basic public healthcare services. You may be expected to pay for some treatments. Private healthcare insurance is always an alternative option, with very affordable premiums varying depending on the coverage and the provider and excellent to have as a back-up.
Contracts with major service provider start from as low as €30 per month and this will give you excellent connection speeds at home: enough to watch movies, play online games and have all your family members on-line at the same time. The average broadband speed locally is about 30Mbps for a standard broadband package, but much faster broadband speeds are available with some being 1Gbps or higher, depending on your preferences. Faster connections will cost more, but are still very affordable.
One’s living expenses in Malta can be considered somewhat higher than that of neighbouring countries, but with everything in its favour has always made the country an attractive destination for especially expatriates. Being realistic about costs associated with housing, utilities, transportation and of course one’s daily expenses are crucial for a smooth transition when moving to this island nation. Be careful and meticulous when budgeting for living in Malta so you can ensure you enjoy your time living on either Malta or Gozo.