When to go on your shopping spree? How to get around? Where to get money out? All these questions answered in a useful fact sheet.

Arriving in a foreign country is exciting, especially when you have never stepped foot there before. Malta is a small island which makes it easy to explore, but having some information to guide you is always useful.

General Info

Timezone
GMT+1

Shop opening hours
Most shops open between 10:00hrs and 19:00hrs. Mainly because of the Mediterranean lifestyle, especially in Summer, shop opening hours are fitted around an afternoon siesta, this means that most shops are closed between the hours of 13:00hrs and 16:00hrs. Some shops and supermarkets are also closed on Sundays. Most shops do remain open during December and most shopping malls are open from 10:00 - 20:00hrs all year round.

Electricity
Malta's electricity runs on 240V. The plugs need to have 3 pins as they do in the UK. Converters can be bought on the island to suit most International plugs.

Currency
As from 1st January 2008, Malta joined the Euro Zone and now the Euro is Malta's official currency.

Pharmacies
All pharmacies keep normal shopping hours. Should you require a pharmacy on a Sunday there is a list printed in the Maltese Sunday Times each week of pharmacies that are open. The pharmacy at the Malta International Airport is open from 7.30hrs to 22:00hrs daily.

Doctors
There are a number of poly-clinics dotted around the island should you need a doctor. Most hotels provide their own doctor too so ask at your hotel reception for more information.

Internet Cafes
They have become increasingly popular over recent years and can be found in most tourist areas. Prices start from €1.00c per hour. There are a number of squares or piazzas in Malta where you can have access to FREE WIFI. Some hotels and coffee shops offer complimentary wifi too.

Pet Travel

With a pet passport it is possible to bring an animal into the country depending on where you are coming from, for a list of countries please go to www.maltakennelclub.org. Pets being brought into the country must follow strict rules and guidelines in order to do so.

Money Matters

Banking
HSBC, Bank Of Valletta and Banif Bank are the three main banks found across the island. There are a number of automated teller machines in most areas that will also accept foreign cards. If you would like to change your currency into the Maltese Lira, then there are currency converter machines that are situated in the main tourist areas.

Exchanging money
You can exchange money at various places on the island, including ATMs, Banks and Local tourist offices. Travellers Cheques are also accepted.

Currency
The currency in Malta is the Euro; 1 Euro = 100 Cents. The highest denomination is €500 and there are notes of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5.

Exchange rates

1 EUR = 1.39 USD1 USD = 0.71 EUR
1 EUR = 0.88 GBP 1 GBP = 1.14 EUR
*rates taken on 07 Oct 2010

Public Transport

Buses
Buses run regulary throughout the island, bus stops are scattered across the island and vary from town to town. They range from small stone rooms to the more modern stainless steel bus shelters, you may also find a pale green "fare stage" sign which is also serves as a bus stop. Bus drivers are friendly and will assist you with your ticket when boarding, however please have the correct change ready for your journey.

The main bus terminal is just outside the city gate of Valletta, here you can get a bus to almost anywhere on the island. The buses run till late in certain areas. The average trip on any bus is approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Taxis
White taxis should charge government controlled prices with a meter but it is advised to agree on a price before your journey. Black taxis cannot be hailed, they need to be pre-booked and it is advisable to get a fixed price or quote. Please find below some examples of prices of taxis from the airport to a few primary destinations inclusive of 4 people + luggage:

Airport to:

Valletta €24
Paceville€24
Mellieha€28
Cirkewwa€28
Bugibba€24


Ferries

A visit to Gozo and Comino should be added to your itinerary. Both can be reached by a short ferry ride across the Channel. The Gozo ferry allows you to take your car across with you whilst the Comino ferry is a small boat that only carries passengers.

The Gozo ferry runs on a tight schedule and operates roughly every 45 minutes. Car and driver = €15.70 additional passengers @ €4.65, children under 12 @ €1.15. Your tickets are presented prior to departing the islands . For a schedule or further information please visit: www.gozochannel.com

Driving

Driving is the best way to explore the island and its beauty, so choose a little adventure and rent a car.

The maltese roads are constantly improving and some of them lead to exciting and exotic places. Driving is on the left hand side of the road and foreign licenses are accepted. Experience filling up petrol the old way, drive along side, give them your keys and sit back and relax whilst they do the filling for you. Turning up after hours or on weekends means self-service. All fuel stations have a machine that accepts €5, €10 and €20 notes.

Should you be involved in a traffic accident, it is important to call your hire car company as well as the police or traffic warden. The vehicle should not be moved regardless of the damage.

Emergency Telephone Numbers

Ambulance112
Fire112
Police112
Traffic Accident2132 0202
Rescue by Helicopter2124 4371
Rescue by Patrol Boat2123 8797
Mater Dei Hospital Malta 2545 4040
St. James Hospital Malta2133 5235
St. James Hospital Gozo2156 4781

Malta Public Holidays

2010
  • 01 Jan - New Year's Day.
  • 10 Feb - Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck.
  • 19 Mar - St Joseph's Day.
  • 31 Mar - Freedom Day.
  • Apr - Good Friday.
  • Apr - Easter Sunday.
  • 01 May - Workers Day.
  • 07 Jun - Sette Giugno (Commemoration of 1919 Riot).
  • 29 Jun - Feast of St Peter and St Paul.
  • 15 Aug - Feast of the Assumption.
  • 08 Sep - Feast of Our Lady of Victories.
  • 21 Sep - Independence Day.
  • 08 Dec - Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
  • 13 Dec - Republic Day.
  • 25 Dec - Christmas Day.

2011

  • 01 Jan - New Year's Day.
  • 10 Feb - Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck.
  • 19 Mar - St Joseph's Day.
  • 31 Mar - Freedom Day.
  • 22 Apr - Good Friday.
  • 24 Apr - Easter Sunday.
  • 01 May - Workers Day.
  • 07 Jun - Sette Giugno (Commemoration of 1919 Riot).
  • 29 Jun - Feast of St Peter and St Paul.
  • 15 Aug - Feast of the Assumption.
  • 08 Sep - Feast of Our Lady of Victories.
  • 21 Sep - Independence Day.
  • 08 Dec - Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
  • 13 Dec - Republic Day.
  • 25 Dec - Christmas Day.