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Malta Travel Guide:

     Tourism Information

Flag of Malta
  Tourism Rating    Travel Safety   Entry Requirements  Avoiding Petty Theft

 Special Note    Road Safety and Conditions   Medical Care

 
   

 


Tourism Rating   Top of Page
Two globes = Add-on destination

 

Climate Note:

Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.  Valletta Climate

Malta: Add-on Destination (two of four globes)

Malta is a small Mediterranean island nation, positioned as a cultural and political stepping-stone between Europe and North Africa. Malta joined the European Union with 9 other new member states in May of 2004. Tourist facilities of all categories are widely available.  Malta, Gozo, and Comino are attractive islands featuring beaches, bays and coastlines that invite hiking.  In addition, the islands are rife with stone megaliths and other evidence of 7,000 years of civilization.  Malta is becoming a popular cruise destination and is a great add-on destination when traveling in the Mediterranean.

  1. Malta is steeped in history, most notably the residency on the island of the Knights of St. John, known at the Knights Hospitallers.  Their epic 1565 battle with the Turkish fleet sent by Suleiman the Magnificent, assured Malta a place in the annals of history.
  2. Malta is a good place for independent travel.
  3. ThereArePlaces recommended travel destinations for Malta are located at Malta: Places To Visit.
  4. Additional information on travel in Malta can be found at the country's official tourism website  www.visitmalta.com
  5. When planning your travel, be sure to review the ThereArePlaces Travel Planning Guides for insights on how  to "travel well" and "travel safe".
 
Travel Safety   Top of Page
Green light = safe travel
Malta is a safe travel destination for tourists.
  1. No official health advisories, travel advisories, or specific terrorism warnings for Malta have been posted by the U.S. Government at this time.  Before you depart, always check with the Department of State  and CDC to insure that these conditions have not changed.  In addition, you will find that the     Foreign & Commonwealth Office  of the British Government provides excellent travel advisories.
  2. The State Department's Overseas Citizens Services call center at 1-888-407-4747 can answer general inquiries on safety and security overseas. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444 .
  3. When visiting a foreign country, avoid public demonstrations (whatever the cause) and do not broadcast either your public opinions or your nationality.
  4. Emergency numbers in Malta are 191 for the police (this number will be changed to 112 in the future, but a date has not yet been published); 199 for fire emergency and 196 for an ambulance. 
  5. The U.S. Embassy is located on the third floor of Development House, St. Anne Street, Floriana, Valletta, telephone: (356) 2561 4000. The Consular Section's telephone number is (356) 2156-4115, fax: (356) 2124-3229, website:   http://malta.usembassy.gov/.
    • The Consular Section is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 am.  The Consular Section's telephone number is (356) 2156-4115, fax: (356) 2124-3229.  See our article on how U.S. Counsels can help Americans abroad.
  6. When planning your travel, be sure to review the ThereArePlaces Travel Planning Guides for insights on how  to "travel well" and "travel safe".
 
Entry Requirements   Top of Page
 
A valid passport is required for travel in Malta. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays of up to 90 days (that period begins when entering any of the following countries which are parties to the Schengen agreement: Austria, Belgium,  the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,  Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia Spain, and Sweden).

For more information concerning entry requirements for Malta, travelers should contact the Embassy of Malta at 2017 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel: (202) 462-3611  or the Maltese Consulate in New York City, tel: (212) 725-2345.

  • Alternatively, you may wish to visit the official Malta travel site (www.visitmalta.com), which has a comprehensive section on Practical Information for visiting Malta. Select "Visas" from the drop-down list for the latest information (click here to access ).

If you do not have a passport, see our article on the Ins and Outs of Passports.  Other important travel documents, including visas are covered in our Information Guide on Passport, Visas, Customs.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parents or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure

DUAL NATIONALITY:  In addition to being subject to all Maltese  laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on   Maltese  citizens.

In some instances, dual nationality may hamper U.S. Government efforts to provide protection abroad. For additional information, please see the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at http://travel.state.gov f or an explanation of dual nationality issues.

U.S. citizens who are also citizens of  any other nation are reminded that U.S. law requires they enter and depart the United States documented as U.S. citizens.

 
Avoiding Petty Theft   Top of Page
 
Malta has a low rate of violent crime.

Before you travel, read our articles on Pickpockets, Con Artists, and ATM safety in the ThereArePlaces Information Guide on Personal Safety for travelers

Be alert and avoid the situations described below.

Incidents of pickpocketing and purse-snatching are relatively rare but on the rise in Malta, whose government has blamed the recent increase on teams of Bulgarian thieves who enter the country expressly for this purpose. Caution is urged in the Paceville nightclub area, where excessive drinking and poor crowd control have led to instances of violent behavior.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of any crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance.

If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members of friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution for the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney

 
Special Note   Top of Page
  1.  The Embassy's Consulate business hours are limited to mornings but they will discuss citizen issues by phone from 2:00 to 4:00pm daily.

2.  Buses are the primary means of public transportation. Though the bus fleet is being modernized, most buses are old, cramped, and not air-conditioned. Taxis are safe, expensive, and, generally, are not metered; it is good practice to agree with the driver in advance on the charge. If a taxi is metered, always insist that taxi drivers engage the meter.

3.  ThereArePlaces makes every attempt to ensure that the travel information we present to you is current. Before you depart, be sure to check with official government sources to determine the status of critical information relating to a particular county.

 
Road Safety and Conditions   Top of Page
 

 

 

 

 

 

Drive on the left

While  driving in Malta, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Malta is a small island and public transportation can get you to most places of interest to the tourist.

The information below concerning Malta is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance:

Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good

Driving in Malta is  on the left, requiring attentiveness and caution from visitors from right-hand drive countries such as the United States. In addition, drivers may be erratic or undisciplined. Roads flood easily. Most roads are narrow, winding, and congested, with poor visibility around curves. Traffic arteries are prone to bottlenecks and accidents.

Tourists driving rented vehicles should pay close attention to the provisions of their rental contracts.  Failure to do so could result in fines or confiscation of the car during your travels.  Make sure that you are familiar with the terms, restrictions and costs related to your car rental (see our article on Rental Car Costs).

Speed Limits in Malta:

  1. Built-up areas - 40 km/h (25 mph)
  2. Outside Built up areas (including  dual carriageways) - 64km/h (40mph) km/h

Our information on speed limits is as current as possible. Always confirm the speed limits with your rental car agent and observe the posted speeds limits whenever and wherever you drive.

ThereArePlaces recommends that you do not drink and drive.  In most foreign countries, especially in Europe and the UK, the maximum permitted blood alcohol levels are lower than those enforced in the United States. Penalties and punishments are significant. See our article on drinking and driving in foreign countries  for more information.

For specific information concerning Malta driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance contact the Malta national tourist organization offices in New York via the Internet at http://www.visitmalta.com.

For information on obtaining international drivers licenses, contact AAA or the American Automobile Touring Alliance. For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1179.html#safety .

 
Medical Care   Top of Page
 
Medical care in Malta is available through public and private hospitals. The quality of medical care in Malta is excellent.
  • Private hospitals generally offer a higher standard of service than the public hospitals.  Most of the best rated doctors practice in private medical facilities.

We strongly urge you to consult your medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, you should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing medical service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your departure, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur.

Your existing medical insurance carrier may cover "customary and reasonable" medical care while you are abroad. Usually, if reimbursement is provided, it is paid at a reduced rate (due to the use of an "out of system" provider). Check with your insurance carrier before you depart to determine the type and amount of coverage that may be provided. If coverage is provided, be sure to ask how claims should be filed and ask them to send some claim forms, in case you require any medical treatment while on vacation.

Read our article on  travel insurance to learn the factors that you should consider before you purchase or decline to purchase a travel related insurance policy.

ThereArePlaces Information Guide on Health contains valuable health related advice for the traveler considering a trip abroad.

 
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