Electricity

230 volts, 50Hz. UK-style three-pin square plugs are used.

Language

English and Maltese are the official languages; Italian is also spoken

Money

The currency was changed to the Euro (EUR) in 2008 (Maltese lira are no longer accepted). Banks, ATMs and exchange bureaux can be found all over the islands, as well as foreign exchange machines in the tourist areas.

Banks generally open mornings Monday to Saturday, but exchange bureaux at the international airport are open 24 hours a day. Most hotels and restaurants, as well as many shops, accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa.

Tipping

A gratuity of about 10 percent is expected in hotels and restaurants if a service charge is not included in the bill. Most services are tipped about five to 10 percent (including taxi drivers).

Health

There are no health risks associated with travel to Malta, and food and water are generally safe for consumption. Travellers coming from infected areas require a yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Malta. After Brexit, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance. Medication should be available in Malta but those requiring specific prescription medication should take it with them in the original packaging, accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor detailing what the medicine is and why it is needed.

Safety

Malta is very safe for tourists. Crime is rare, though theft from parked cars and handbag snatching can occur. Local driving can be challenging so exercise caution on the roads.

Local customs

The wearing of skimpy clothing away from the beaches should be avoided, and dress should be conservative when visiting churches.

Doing business

Business in Malta tends to be conducted in the same fashion as elsewhere in Europe. That is to say, both formally and politely. Punctuality is important while dress should be formal. This means a suit and tie being the norm unless the weather is hot, in which case one can forgo the jacket.

Handshakes and the exchanging of business cards take place on greeting. English is widely spoken in business and so a translator is unnecessary. Business hours can vary but are usually 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Some businesses open for a half-day on Saturdays.

Duty free

Travellers arriving in Malta from non-EU countries do not need to pay customs duty on 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco; 4 litres of wine and 2 litres of spirits. Travellers may carry personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to €430 when travelling by air or sea.

Communications

The country code for Malta is +356, with city or area codes not required. There are high mobile and broadband speeds, with mobile phone networks include Vodafone Malta, GO, Melita, SIS, Ozone, Redtouch Fone, and PING.

Passport & Visa

The borderless region known as the Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option, and which allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all the aforementioned countries. Additionally, non-EEA passengers to Malta must hold return/onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country. For visitors who are visa-exempt, extensions of stay are possible, by reporting to the Police Headquarters in Malta, no later than one week prior to the expiration of the period of visa exemption. Note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required, if arriving within six days of leaving or transiting through an infected area. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

US citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Malta. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

British citizens and those with passports endorsed 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar need to have passports valid for duration of stay. British passports with any other endorsement must be valid for three months beyond period of intended stay.

A visa is not required for passports endorsed 'British Citizen' or 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), nor for holders of identity cards issued by Gibraltar authorities, and endorsed 'Validated for EU travel purposes under the authority of the United Kingdom'. No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days within a 180 day period, for holders of British passports with any other endorsement.

Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Malta. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Malta. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Malta. A visa is required.

Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid on arrival in Malta. No visa is required.

New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Malta. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Useful contacts

Official Tourism Website of Malta: www.visitmalta.com

Emergencies: 112

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Embassy of Malta, Washington DC, United States (also responsible for Canada): +1 202 462 3611

Malta High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7292 4800

High Commission for Malta, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for New Zealand): +61 6290 1724

Malta Honorary Consulate, Johannesburg, South Africa: +27 1 1435 0463

Embassy of Malta, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1676 2340

Embassies / consulates in Malta

United States Embassy, Valletta: +356 2561 4000

British High Commission, Ta'Xbiex: +356 2323 0000

Canadian Embassy, Rome, Italy (also responsible for Malta): +356 2552 3233

Australian High Commission, Ta' Xbiex: +356 2133 8201

South African Embassy, Rome, Italy (also responsible for Malta): +39 685 2541

Embassy of Ireland, Ta' Xbiex: +356 2133 4744

New Zealand Embassy, Rome, Italy (also responsible for Malta): +39 6853 7501

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