Once one of the British’ best-kept secrets, this Commonwealth country has been gaining popularity in recent years for its rich history, alluring climate, bountiful job market and relatively low cost of living.
However, despite its numerous benefits that have many-a-foreigner raving to their relatives back home, Malta is not without its own set of quirks. These will take some getting used to, if you weren’t born and raised on ‘the rock’.
Luckily, we’ve got your back, with some handy advice to keep in mind so that your experience in Malta can be as positive as possible. You’ll be glad to know these hacks which will help you save time and avoid unnecessary stress, too.
Getting Around the Bus System
The public transport system in Malta, unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired. Buses are rarely on time and the commute from one area to another, tends to take at least up to an hour due to the number of stops along the way as well as heavy traffic.
Luckily, the Malta Transport Authority is setting out to improve the system and the implementation of the handy ‘Tal-Linja’ public transport app has been quite useful; download the app to get real-time information on the timing of your buses and save on precious time waiting at bus stops.
Also, worth noting is that one needs to physically flag a bus down from the bus stop in order for said bus to actually stop. While this phenomenon isn’t unique to Malta, people coming from bigger cities may find this a bit strange. Unless you actively show the driver that his bus is the one you’ve been waiting for, they tend to keep progressing to the next stop.
Your Property Search Could be a Challenge
But it doesn’t have to be. Many people looking for property will inevitably resort to online sources to view listings. However, in Malta, it’s often the case that some of the listings displayed are no longer available, mostly due to the fact that estate agents have no exclusivity over any listing.
To make your life easier, instead of wasting hours conducting an online search only to be told that all your shortlisted properties are already take, give the handy estate agents a call and let them do the work for you. It’s a much speedier process.
Once renowned as the entertainment capital of Malta, the glory days of Paceville are well behind it. Now mostly attracting a teenage crowd looking to drink the night away for cheap, there are some much better options available to enjoy a fun night out.
Valletta and Sliema both provide a decent enough array of bars and eateries to keep any twenty-something happy but most other localities now also offer smaller and more cosy equivalents.
Meanwhile, if it’s clubbing you’re after, check out Gianpula in Rabat, Uno Village in Taqali, or Aria in San Gwann; these venues cater to a more mature crowd while still offering a good number of parties to get your weekend dance vibes on.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Making your new home in a foreign land can be both exciting and challenging all at once; luckily, you probably couldn’t have picked a more accommodating country to settle down in. Most of the locals speak good English and are generally quite helpful.
However, when at a loss on where to look for reliable sources of information, it’s worth turning to the handy social media tools at your disposal. Check out the myriad of local Facebook groups at your disposal such as the handy Are You Being Served, sister group The Salott, as well as several groups targeted specifically for expats living on the island.
While it’s only a start, we hope that with this bit of useful advice under your belt, you’ll soon find yourself settling in like a true local in no time.
This is, of course, only the beginning. There are many other things for newcomers to know about this place, but the above should get you started nicely.