Expat life in Malta, isn’t all sun, sea, breath-taking views, and perfectly curated Instagram posts. Some days it’s calculating the cost of living and looking for a cheap place to rent.
Other days… expat life is walking through unfamiliar aisles, trying to figure out how to make the switch to a brand you’ve never heard of.
But, it’s all part of the adventure too right?
Today’s post is insanely useful for calculating the monthly cost of living in Malta. And… peppered with little-known hacks to help you budget and save money.
Cost of Living in Malta Vs London
At first glance, London’s (UK) average monthly salaries of £2,505, (€2,779.94) dwarfs the monthly average of €1,536.72 received here in Malta. (Source: National Statistics Office, Malta).
Fortunately, the cost of living in Malta is 40% cheaper than the cost of living in London.
Although rent prices here in Malta are no where near, the eye-watering £1000-2000 per month you can expect to pay to rent (a one bedroom property) in London… they have steadily been on the rise.
Similarly (to London), what you shell out each month in rent, will depend on where you choose to live.
I’ll get into rental prices in more detail later. But, you can reasonably expect to rent a one bedroom property in the central hubs of Malta for €700-€800 per month.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live In Malta?
According to Expatisan a single person’s estimated monthly costs has been calculated at: €1,858. This figure sounds about right if you live in the central areas, eat out every night, party like a rockstar (whilst getting in all the drinking rounds) and take taxis everywhere.
If this sounds like you… there’s nothing new to see here!
Joking aside, (like with anywhere you live) monthly living expenses varies from person to person and is dependent on your lifestyle. So, read on to discover more monthly expenses + money saving hacks to help you budget.
Is it Expensive to Live in Malta?
It would seem everyone wants to live in the central and “happening areas. And you’ll find many expats living in Sliema, and St Julian’s, Malta.
A combination of a booming economy and an influx of expats has sent rental prices in these areas soaring. So, expect to rent one bedroom properties in St Julians and/or Sliema from €700 to £800 per month.
Rent will likely be your biggest expense when calculating your monthly cost of living in Malta. But, by moving away from the central hub and living in areas such as Lija, Mosta, Rabat, and Attard for instance, your money will stretch much further.
Personally, I think each village/locality has its charm (reason enough to consider moving to less “trendier” and cheaper spots). In areas such as Buggiba, Balzan and Rabat, you can rent furnished one bedroom flats for between €400 and €500 per month.
Another way to get ahead of the (rental) game is to avoid agent fees by renting directly from the owner.
Save Extra Money on Rent Using FaceBook
Wondering where to find owners directly? Try Facebook.
Facebook is like Maltas 21st century Yellow Pages directory and has the highest engagement rate in Europe.
You can also:
- Ask around locally ( I did this for a friend in St Pauls and she managed to rent a sea-facing huuuuuge newly furnished 2-bedroom apartment (with walk-in wardrobe) for €550 per month)
- Check Adverts placed in Shop Windows
- Check out adverts left on MaltaPark and Just Landed
- Take advantage of Airbnbs and Local Hotel Covid-19 defying rates (To combat reduced tourism in Malta, Airbnb and local hotels are offering reduced rates for long lets. So save money through this channel, whilst you negotiate a reduced rent elsewhere).
Energise Your Cost of Living in Malta
In Malta, the management of electricity and water is handled and billed by Arms. Gas for cooking and heating is provided through propane cylinders. A 15kg cylinder costs €15 and will last you 2-3 months when used for cooking. When used for heating, this will last around a week for heating (if used regularly). This is cheaper to use than air conditioning units.
For 2 people living in 1 bedroom flat, the average cost for energy is €82.90/month Of course, this expense will vary throughout the seasons. For all the sunshine Malta receives, during the winter months homes (particularly older ones) are much harder to heat. So, you will need to take this into account, (especially, if working from home for instance) when calculating your cost of living in Malta.
If you’re renting your property on a short-term basis, it’s not unusual for the bill for utilities to remain in the name of the owner, and incorporated in the cost of the rent.
Money Saving Hack: Double check your account has been set up on:“residential tariff” for electricity and includes the correct number of residents. *This is important because if not, you can be billed up to 50% more.
Living La Vida Local? Make the Switch!
Malta prices for groceries will depend on where you choose to shop. Basic groceries such as bread cost around 0. 80 cents. When it comes to foodstuffs such as coffee, biscuits and cereals, the real potential for savings rests on your willingness to switch brands.
Even, if you are lucky in your hunt for well known (and loved) brands such as Heinz, PG Tips and (actual) Ketchup, chances are they’ll cost much more than a gold plated limited edition version.
Think: Local = cheaper
You can save money shopping for dried and canned foods shopping at Lidl (dotted in various localities throughout the Maltese islands) and supermarkets such as Valyou.
Oh Coup-On! Loyalty Saves You Money on Groceries
- (If you decide to shop at Valyou regularly, then its worth signing up for a Loyalty card and using it each time you shop. Over time, you qualify for cash-back and coupons that can be used to reduce your shopping bill next time).
- Buy your meat from the butchers, not only is it fresher, you can ask for the exact amount you need reducing wastage.
Your 5-a-day Money-Saving Hacks
- A farmer markets selling reasonably priced fresh local produce is held at Ta’Qali on Tuesdays between 7am and 1pm and Saturdays between 7am and 5pm.
- Find a local truck available in your area selling fruit and vegetables at cheaper prices. (For example in Mellieha, you’ll find one in the main square by the Parish Church). If you’re unsure where to find the truck in your locality, ask a neighbour! (if you haven’t yet thought of a way to strike up a conversation, nows your chance!)
Travel Around Malta (Cheaply) in 80 Bus Routes
Compared with the UK, and more specifically London, the cost of transportation is Malta is significantly cheaper. For instance, monthly travel set me back a whopping €170.00. Monthly bus travel in Malta (and Gozo), is capped at €26.00 a month.
Ok, so you won’t find a tube or a railway network on the Maltese islands. (The public transport system relies solely on buses and ferries).
Bus tickets cost €0.75 with a Talinja card. However, using the bus without a Talinja card will cost you more than twice that. Fares costs €2.00 per journey (June to September) and €1.50 per journey (October to May).
80 bus routes in Malta (and 15 routes in Gozo), operate between 5:30am and 11pm. This makes it fairly convenient to commute and get around the island without a car, saving money on the upkeep of a car and petrol and reducing your cost of living in Malta.
There are also eight night bus routes running during the weekend, should you need a designated driver after a night out! A night bus fare costs €3.00. and €2.50 with a Talinja card. (For senior residents, the cost is discounted by 50% with free ferry rides)
Transport Busting Money- Saving Hacks
- Get yourself a Talinja card – fast. Register for one here
- Walk more! There’s so much to see and it’s good for the environment and your mental health
The Price of Sleep: 3 Taxi Apps for Travel Around Malta (and Gozo too)
You may not consider taxi’s a necessary expense, apparently oversleeping still happens when you’re living abroad. And, with no tube or railway, you never know when you may need one. Fortunately (along with independent drivers), there are now three (worthy) contenders in the race. – ECabs, Bolt and Cool-Pool.
Bolt (as does ECabs) works in the same way as Uber. Via a dedicated app you order, track your ride and set up card payment. Similarly to Uber, the rates can be driven up or down depending on a “surge” in demand. The cost of a journey for Bolt and ECabs from St Julians to Mellieha for instance range from €17 to €25.
Coolest Surge-Busting, Traffic-Beating Taxi App of them all…
Cool-Pool works in exactly the same way as Bolt and ECabs i.e. book and pay via dedicated app. However, your ride will pick up other passengers also going your way. (Hence Cool Pool). Using Cool-Pool is fraction of the price.
- Mellieha to Sliema, Malta €12
- Valletta -Sliema, Malta €4.95
- Ta’ Xbiex (pronounced “Tashbiesh”) – Mellieha €10
With over 400,000 cars currently on the islands roads, Cool-Pool is not only cheaper but better for the environment and who knows who you might meet along the way! Most interesting person to date: An Iraqi newlywed – recently married in a same sex wedding and had just adopted a baby girl!
Warning: The Cost of These Providers Might Make you Stream!
Good news: Sorting out your broadband costs will be relatively painless. Once you are up and running, a fixed charge is payable monthly, making economising easier.
Unlike the UK, there are only three main broadband providers in Malta – Epic Melita and GO. So, there isn’t much in the way of competition. That said, we have used all services and all provide fast internet speed.
Each provider offers discounted bundles, in the way of TV, Internet, and, phone services. However… it might be an idea around in your local area, before deciding which one to go with.
Though, there isn’t a comparison site here in Malta for comparing energy like there is in the UK, I have made it easier to compare! See below for links to each broadband provider to check download speeds and prices!
And by no means least… Check out Go!
In summary: Should you simply opt for wi-fi, an average internet bill will set you back €30 per month. This is with 500Mbps which is perfect for two who like to stream, game and.. also work from home.
Entertain Fun in Your Cost of Living in Malta
From Spotify to the cost of jetting away and visiting neighbouring countries. Or getting out for a cup of coffee. When calculating your monthly cost of living in Malta, don’t forget to add fun!
Here’s a list of possible entertainment costs to include:
|Entertainment||Price of Fun||EUR|
|2 tickets to the cinema||€17|
|2 tickets to the theater (best available seats)||€72|
|Dinner for two at a restaurant in central area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert||€53|
|1 cocktail drink in Nightclub (Paceville)||€6.00|
|Cappuccino/Coffee in Central Hub||€2.00|
|1 beer in a neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.)||€3.06|
|Ipad wi-fi 128gb||€634|
|1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans)||€0.25|
|1 month of gym membership||€56|
|1 packet of cigarettes||6.00|
The ‘best things in life are free’ and the saying (and song) is never truer in Malta. There is plenty of cheap and free things to do in Malta. From exploring untouched areas of the islands, to hiking in the Maltese countryside or, just chilling by the sea with a great book. All beaches on the Maltese islands are free to the general public.
A Deal-A-Day will Keep Rising Costs of Living in Malta Away!
- Sign up for DealToday For Current Deals on online courses, pampering, shopping, Travel and more (Works very similarly to Groupon)
- A day trip walking around Mdina (including entry to palaces, churches) are free.
- Take advantage of Malta Heritage open days (free entry to Maltas’ museums and top attractions on certain days) Find out dates here.
- Grab books for €2.99 from one of the island many book fairs
- Take one the many walking tours
- Spend a day exploring Mellieha and discovering the best things to see there (Most are free)
So, How Much Does Malta Cost ( A Breakdown)
Looking for a quick and easy guide to the cost of living in Malta? Check out a handy reference table below:
|Cost of Living in Malta||EUR||Range|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||15.00 €||9.00-24.00|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||60.00 €||40.00-100.00|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||8.00 €||7.00-10.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||2.50 €||1.50-4.00|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||3.00 €||2.00-4.50|
|Cappuccino (regular)||2.17 €||1.00-3.50|
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)||1.79 €||1.40-2.50|
|Water (0.33 liter bottle)||1.17 €||1.00-2.00|
|Milk (regular), (1 litre)||0.99 €||0.80-1.30|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||1.13 €||0.80-2.00|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||2.05 €||1.00-3.00|
|Eggs (regular) (12)||2.45 €||1.20-3.60|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||8.59 €||5.00-15.00|
|Chicken Fillets (1kg)||7.13 €||4.00-10.00|
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||13.59 €||7.00-20.00|
|Apples (1kg)||2.60 €||1.50-3.50|
|Banana (1kg)||1.86 €||1.49-3.00|
|Oranges (1kg)||2.55 €||1.50-4.00|
|Tomato (1kg)||2.53 €||1.05-4.00|
|Potato (1kg)||1.70 €||0.70-3.00|
|Onion (1kg)||1.94 €||1.00-3.00|
|Lettuce (1 head)||1.47 €||1.00-2.25|
|Water (1.5 litre bottle)||0.91 €||0.45-2.00|
|Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)||6.00 €||4.00-11.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)||1.54 €||0.80-2.00|
|Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)||2.24 €||1.00-3.00|
|Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)||6.00 €||5.50-6.00|
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||1.50 €||1.50-2.00|
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||26.00 €||25.00-31.00|
|Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)||5.00 €||4.00-15.00|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||2.00 €||1.00-5.00|
|Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)||25.00 €||20.00-50.00|
|Gasoline (1 litre)||1.40 €||1.30-1.56|
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)||22,000.00 €||18,000.00-24,000.00|
|Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)||23,987.98 €||20,000.00-28,000.00|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||82.90 €||58.00-132.83|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)||0.28 €||0.10-0.35|
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||34.20 €||30.00-50.00|
|Sports And Leisure||EUR||RANGE|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||56.64 €||25.00-85.00|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)||19.04 €||12.00-25.00|
|Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat||8.50 €||7.50-12.00|
|Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child||370.87 €||208.33-500.00|
|International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child||6,958.82 €||4,000.00-9,000.00|
|Clothing And Shoes||EUR||RANGE|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)||70.04 €||25.00-110.00|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)||35.75 €||20.00-60.00|
|1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)||83.79 €||50.00-120.00|
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||92.06 €||50.00-180.00|
|Rent Per Month||EUR||RANGE|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Central||851.53 €||600.00-1,100.00|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Central Hubs||697.21 €||500.00-900.00|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Central||1,508.97 €||1,050.00-2,100.00|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre||1,136.28 €||850.00-1,650.00|
|Buy Apartment Price||EUR||RANGE|
|Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre||3,326.27 €||1,700.00-6,000.00|
|Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre||2,263.16 €||1,500.00-4,000.00|
|Salaries And Financing||EUR||RANGE|
|Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax)||1,137.11 €|
|Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate||4.07%||3.00-5.00|
I hope this helps you calculate your monthly cost of living in Malta. Still wondering whether moving to Malta is a good idea?
Check out: 10 Reasons Why Malta is a Great Place to Live! to inspire you to make that move!
Thanks for reading and if you know of any other Money-Saving Hacks, please share.