Life in Malta

Transportation, garbage collection, customer service. The daily life in Malta (for a tourist). What’s it like? I’ll share my own experiences from the past almost four weeks.

The life in Malta (for a Finnish person) feels very relaxed. When it comes to work you need to be on time and get things done, but other than that it is better to take it easy. Even if you don’t really want to. The only public transportation here are the buses, which by the way have a life of their own. No matter how many times you check the timetable, the bus will most likely be late, not come at all or be too full to take you on.

So living by a strict time table might be a bit difficult if you rely on the buses. Having a car is the second option. Not suitable for a packed and busy life are also the opening times of local (and not local) stores. Depending on where you live of course, but most shops close between 18:00 and 19:30 – yes, even on weekdays – and on Sundays they are not open at all, or only for few hours.

One big difference in everyday life here is the garbage disposal. At home you are used to just taking the trash out whenever, but here there are spesific pick up dates and times for spesicif trash. Good for the environment, but definitely something to get used to. Littering is very frowned upon, and failing to pick up after your dog can lead to a ticket!

Food and eating (at home and out) I already covered in a different post ”Food, grocery shopping and eating out”.

But after all this (complaining some might say) I have to tell you that there are a lot of positives things as well! All the locals here have been more than nice to me here. I felt very welcome in every place I went to. One day in Valletta the sidewalk was wet and I slipped and fell down – quite badly – and like four people stopped by to ask me if I was okay or needed something. Even though I was with a friend. Something you definitely wouldn’t see in Finland.

And compared to Finland the weather here has been very nice, even though it is only the start of spring. With some rain and wind, but mostly good weather and sunshine. Also because of the minimum wage being as low as it is, is also means that certain things here are more affordable. For example eating out.

To be completely honest I don’t see Malta as a place where I would necessarily want to live, but definitely as a place I want to visit again. With it’s friendly people, great weather and amazing views and history. So many places yet to uncover.

And wether it’s the easy going way of life, the never ending views of the ocean or the feeling of literally being at the edge of the world – I don’t think I have ever felt more relaxed in my life.

Thank you, Malta


Food, grocery shopping and eating out

To be completely honest with you, I haven’t tried much of the Maltese traditional foods. Aside from pastizzi, a fluffy pastry filled with cheese, meat or veggies. You can see pastizzerias in practically every street and corner here. Most of them also sell drinks such as coffee and sodas, and other salty treats like pizza. They are crazy affordable as well, which explains all the people on their way to work walking around with a pastizzi in hand.

Lunch and dinner

From local cafe’s, bistros, bars and fast food chains you can get a proper meal usually for under seven or eight euros. Maltese do a lot of fishing, so there are lots of fish dishes available. But for someone with specific diet or allergies, getting a meal might be a bit tricky, since a lot of meals have a dairy or meat in them.

In tourist areas the restaurants are obviously way more expensive, so make sure to check the prizes before going in if you are on a budget. So far nothing I have eaten has been very expensive. And with a meal coffee usually costs between 0,5 and 1,5 euros!

Grocery shopping

I was surprised to find Lidl in Malta, but most of the locals shop their food from smaller shops. From these, for example The Convenience shop you can find a lot of treats, frozen food, bread etc. but not a lot of fresh food. Most of the fruits, veggies and fresh produce are sold from little farmers market style places on the street, or from the back of a car. I’ve bought most of my fruits and veggies from a place like this in San Gwann, and they’re very good and affordable. There’s also some fruits and veggies I have never seen before. Maybe I’ll build up courage to try them as well.

There are a lot of plant placed products, nuts and legumes sold in the local food shops as well. Which was a pleasant surprise. And if there is still something you are missing (organic, health food) you can surely find it at Holland&Barrett in Valletta


The tap water in Malta is safe to drink, but since it is basically just poorly filtered sea water the taste is quite bad. That’s why everyone drinks imported bottled water. It is a nuisance to carry around huge bottles and obviously bad for the environment. But at least it’s cheap! A small bottle costs between 50c and 1€, and a six pack of 2l bottles costs between 2 and 4 euros.

And in public places down the street, there are a lot of water points where you can fill your own bottle with still or sparkling water.


Eating healthy has definitely been a challenge here. There are so many treats, sweets and chocolates that I haven’t been able to find in Finland. So of course you have to try them out! Gelato I’ve only eaten once so far, but it is to die for. Anywhere you go the tempting is real, because there are sooo many things like biscuits, donuts, croissants, salty treats, chocolate and chips available. Of course you can find all those things from Finland as well, but here most of them are cheaper.

You can definitely keep up the same diet here in than in Finland, but why not try all the amazing treats as well. Pastizzi and gelato at least are a must!

Churches and memorials

Malta, even though its tiny size, is packed with churches, cathedrals and statues, most of them built as memorials for people fallen in the war, or for when Malta became a rebuplic. Not anymore under the England colony, but its own indpendent country.

Malta became independent in 1964, a rebuplic in 1974, and joined the European Union in 2004. The British ruled Malta for over 150 years, which still shows in the culture around, the language and the left sided traffic.

Majority of the maltese people are religious, and most of them roman catholic. Catholicism is also known as the state religion, even though freedom of religion is a constitutional right. There’s also a large amount of other religions represented in the island, for example adventist, buddhist, greek catholic, jewish and islamic.

Even more noticeable than the rule of the British, is the rule of the Order, the knights of St John that lasted for 250 years. They left their mark in the architecture of the island, courtyards, gardens, forts and watch towers that still surround the island. The eight pointed cross of Malta is also an heritage from the knights, still used by the Maltese military to this day.

Sette Giugno is a national maltese holiday, still celebrated to this day. It is in the memory of the riots in 1919, considered as the first step to Malta’s independence. Especially in Valletta you can see a lot of statues like these, rich in history and reminding the maltese people and the tourists about the power of a small country. One thousandth the size of Finland!

To see and learn more, visit