Is Malta Expensive? A Guide to Budget-Friendly Travel

Is Malta Expensive

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Is Malta expensive or cheap to visit? An archipelago in the blue Mediterranean, promising historical riches, sun-kissed beaches, and delicious cuisine. There are plenty of people who love Instagram-worthy Maltese views but cannot afford them. The dilemma is real—how do you experience Malta without going broke?

Is Malta Expensive Compared to Other Mediterranean Vacation Spots?

You cannot call Malta budget-friendly, but it is not money-sucking either. A stay in Malta could cost anywhere between €70 and €200 per person per day. That neat sum takes care of your bed, transport, food, and the good times—everything from ancient ruins to dancing till dawn.

Here is how to live the Maltese dream on a €70 daily budget:

  • Crash Pads: You can crash in a bunk bed for €20 a night.
  • Eat, Pray, Love: And by love, we mean affordable street food.
  • Ditch Uber: The island’s public transit is reliable and budget-friendly.

Naturally, a heftier wallet unlocks a more fancy Maltese experience — sea-view suites instead of hostel bunk beds, or gourmet dinners that give you a culinary tour of the island, instead of street eats.

So, how does Malta stack up against other Mediterranean countries?

Greece: Cheap food but watch out for inter-island ferry costs.

Italy: Tourist magnets like Sardinia or Tuscany are gorgeous but pricey. Other places are okay.

Spain: It’s a mix. Barcelona and Ibiza are expensive. Meanwhile, Costa Brava and the Balearic Islands won’t break the bank.

Is travelling to Malta worth the money? It’s not just about the cost; it’s unique experiences you won’t find elsewhere. Imagine exploring ancient temples, enjoying colourful local festas, and tasting delicious pastries like pastizzi.

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Cost-Cutting Strategies and Travel Tips

Let me share some tips on travelling smart in Malta. We’re talking stylish but budget-friendly lodgings, tasty food you won’t blow your budget on, and fun entertainment that won’t cost you a fortune.

Is Malta Expensive? Slash Your Lodging Costs with These Pro Tips

The choice of lodging can make or break it. Let’s turn the ‘Is Malta expensive for tourists?’ rhetoric on its head by looking at how to save big on your sleep.

Book early, save big: Lock in Malta’s top deals by booking months ahead. Opt for free cancellation—you’ll thank yourself if plans change or a better deal pops up. Click here for the best deals.

Skip the glam: Forget the pricey districts of St. Julian’s, Sliema, and Valletta. Go for wallet-friendly areas like Msida, Gzira, Ta’Xbiex or Bugibba. Even charming villages like Zebbug, Naxxar and Rabat make the cut. A 30-minute bus ride can save you a lot. Double-check those bus connections first.

A quaint narrow street in Rabat, Malta, adorned with colourful potted plants and flowers.
Rabat, more affordable town in Malta

A week-plus hack: Planning a week or more in Malta? Spend a few nights in Gozo. It’s cheaper but also totally worth visiting.

Choose boutique hotels: Why settle for bland hotels when you can spice things up? Boutique hotels in Malta offer personalised service and unique decor without costing an arm and a leg.

Save a lot with off-peak travel: Want to cut lodging costs in half without sacrificing the Mediterranean sun? Shoulder months deliver 40-50% cheaper deals, yet still heavy on sunshine. Check out my guide on Malta travel in winter.

Affordable B&B:

100 Boutique Living, Rabat: Comfortable rooms in a prime location, just 10 minutes from Mdina. Offers a nice picnic area. Book here.

Julina Boutique Living, Mosta: Family-friendly, featuring a sun terrace and balconies with city views. Book here.

San Pawl B&B, Xaghra in Gozo: A beautifully restored traditional farmhouse with a tranquil pool, offering quiet rooms with terraces. Book here.

Is Malta Expensive? The Insider’s Guide to Eating Well for Less

The way to a traveller’s heart is through his stomach. And trust us, you’ll want to eat your way across Malta without going bankrupt.

Groceries or gourmet? Why not both? Skip the fancy brunch, stock up at local markets, and reserve your appetite (and cash) for Malta’s delicious evening meals. 

Bypass the tourist trap: Stay away from the seaside restaurants and head to local bars, cafes, or street food stalls. You will taste authentic Malta without spending a fortune.

Picnics & deliveries: How about saving money and having a romantic evening under the stars? Get your own picnic food or tap into the Bolt Food or Wolt apps for delivery. And hey, grab your drinks from a nearby shop to rack up even more savings!

Here are some picnic spots I recommend:

  • Dingli Cliffs: It’s Malta’s highest point, so the view alone will make your food taste gourmet.
  • Ghajn Tuffieha Bay: Imagine enjoying a meal as the sun dips into the sea. Perfect for a twilight swim to burn off picnic calories.
  • Exiles in Sliema: Get some snack or take out food and enjoy live music from the Exiles Bar while people-watching in this bustling hotspot.
A picnic spread laid out on a colorful striped blanket overlooking the Dingli Cliffs. The picnic includes assorted fruits, sandwiches, cookies, chips, and beverages.
Picnic on Dingli Cliffs

Street food for the win: Don’t underestimate the culinary magic happening on the sidewalks. Whether it’s a pastizzi vendor or a falafel stand, Malta’s street food scene is a treasure trove of taste without the price tag.

Feast your eyes (and stomach) on my tried-and-true, cheap eats:

  • Pastizzi: A true Maltese staple! Choose pastizzi with ricotta or peas, and trust me, you’ll live the best life for under €1! You can get them at every corner. Try the famous Crystal Palace Bar in Rabat.
A plate with two pastizzi, a traditional Maltese pastry, alongside a glass of tea. Pastizzi are a popular and affordable food in Malta, typically filled with either ricotta cheese or mushy peas.
Pastizzi with Peas or Ricotta, Cheap Food in Malta
A fatayer pastry filled with ricotta cheese, Sirian street food available in Gzira.
Street Food – Fatayer with Ricotta
  • Maxokk Bakery in Gozo: This place is known for an authentic Maltese Ftira. It is Malta’s answer to pizza but with a dough that brings a different texture and flavour. Trust me, once you’re in Gozo, you don’t want to miss Maxokk.
  • Try ftira biż-żejt: Try the Maltese iconic tuna sandwich packed with tuna, capers and veggies. You can get one at any pastizzi shop or local cafe.
A half-eaten ftira biż-żejt sandwich held against a backdrop of rocky shorelines and ocean waves. Ftira biż-żejt is a traditional Maltese snack made with bread filled with tomatoes, tuna, olives, and capers. It's a widely available and affordable food found throughout Malta and Gozo.
Ftira biż-żejt, Affordable Food Available anywhere in Malta and Gozo

Is Malta Expensive? The Budget-Friendly Guide to Entertainment in Malta

Wondering if you’ll have to break the bank to have fun in Malta? No, you don’t! Here are some tips.

Free events:

  • Notte Bianca in Valletta: Every October, Valletta transforms into an open-air museum. Live music, art installations, and cultural activities are all under the stars for free.
  • Village feasts: Happening every week in summer, these Maltese celebrations rival New Year’s Eve. Enjoy fireworks and feast on food and drinks from local stalls.
  • Find events on social media: Scroll through Facebook to discover free events you can join. Whether it’s a pop-up art gallery or a beach cleanup, your options for free and fulfilling activities are endless.

Free Natural Wonders:


  • Pack your lunch: Beachside cafes are costly. Bringing your own food to the beach saves money. So, grab a sandwich or snacks on your way.
  • Bring your drinks: Instead of buying beach drinks, bring your own to save money. Buy a cooler bag from the supermarket. This way, your drinks will stay cold and refreshing all day. You won’t need to pay more for chilled drinks.

Budget-Friendly Water Activities: 

  • Snorkelling: Who said you needed to be a millionaire to explore the underwater world? Grab a snorkel and dive in – the fishies are waiting.
  • Kayaking: Renting a kayak won’t blow your budget. Book one here and paddle your way to an adventure.

Is Malta Expensive? Your Guide to Budget-Friendly Transportation in Malta

Rent a car: Be the king of Malta’s roads. Stick to the left and take it easy. Off-season rates start at just €10 a day—now that’s a bargain, especially if you travel with friends. For the latest deals, check out Discover Cars.

Catch the bus: The bus is your frugal friend. Sure, buses are slower than snails on vacation, but they’re very cheap. Grab the Tallinja app and Explore Card, and travel like a pro!

Explore Malta on foot: Get in those walking shoes, and let the island be your treadmill. See the sights at your own speed, and yes, expect a leg workout that will make your trainer proud.

A night view of a Gzira marina filled with sailboats, their reflections shimmering on the calm water. The lights from the boats and surrounding buildings create a atmosphere, perfect for a leisurely night walk
Night Walk Views

Use ferries: The ferry is your budget-friendly option to visit Gozo, Valletta and the Three Cities. They’re cheap, but the views are worth a million dollars.

A person standing on a rocky cliff overlooking the vast blue sea. This scenic spot is ideal for hiking, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coast. Hiking is a popular and free activity in Malta, allowing visitors to explore its natural beauty.
Hiking in Malta, a free Activity in Malta

Is Malta expensive for a tourist?

Malta is not the cheapest destination, but it’s not overly expensive either. Depending on your preferences, a stay in Malta could cost between €70 and €200 per person per day, covering accommodation, transportation, food, and activities.

How much does a meal cost in Malta?

The cost of a meal in Malta varies depending on the type of cuisine and restaurant you choose. Budget-friendly options include street food like pastizzi (savory pastries with ricotta or peas) starting from around €1, as well as kebabs, pitas, and ftira (Maltese pizza). Mid-range options like pizza typically cost around €10, while pasta dishes start from approximately €12. Higher-end options such as fish or meat-based main courses are usually around €20.

Is Malta budget-friendly?

While Malta is not the most budget-friendly destination in the Mediterranean, there are ways to save money. Choosing affordable accommodation, eating at local eateries, using public transportation, and enjoying free activities can help keep costs down.

How much money do I need per day in Malta?

On a budget, you can get by with around €70 per day in Malta. This covers a hostel bed, street food, and using public transportation. However, a more comfortable experience with better accommodation and dining options could cost up to €200 per day.

Is Malta expensive for food?

Malta offers a range of dining options at different price points. While seaside restaurants can be pricey, you can find more affordable meals at local bars, cafes, and street food stalls. Opting for groceries and picnics can also help save money on food.

What is typical Maltese food?

Typical Maltese foods include pastizzi, savory pastries with ricotta or peas. There’s also ftira, like a unique pizza with various toppings. Another option is ftira biż-żejt, a tuna sandwich with capers and veggies. Popular dishes include stuffat tal-fenek, a rabbit stew served with bread or pasta. Additionally, soppa tal-armla, a vegetable and cheese soup, and bigilla, a dip made from mashed broad beans. The cuisine offers seafood dishes like lampuki pie and aljotta, a fish soup. For dessert, try imqaret, deep-fried date pastries, or kannoli, sweet ricotta in crispy tubes.

Malta doesn’t have to break the bank. Follow these savvy travel hacks and your wallet will thank you. 

Want more tips? Don’t miss my other guides on winter in Malta, solo travel, packing guide and self-guided walking tours around Valletta, the Three Cities, and Mdina.

Find out more about Malta in my posts about facts and common questions.

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