Malta is considered to be one of the best hidden gems of the Mediterranean. It’s a collection of relatively small islands that, despite their size, have a lot to offer. If you’re a tourist that is considering to visit Malta, this guide might be great for you because in it, we’ll cover a few key things that everyone should know about Malta before visiting. Let’s begin!
No. 1 – Everyone (almost) speaks English!
Due to its close proximity to mainland Italy, a lot of people expect Malta to be wholly or at least majorly Italian. It’s actually not. Despite the fact that close to 67% of locals speak Italian, it’s actually only the 3rd most widely spoken language on the islands.
The two official languages of Malta are Maltese (unsurprisingly) and – English. Pretty much everyone on the island is at least bilingual, and close to a half of Maltese citizens are trilingual, speaking fluent Maltese, English and Italian. Hence, if you speak English, that’s enough to get around and to not struggle at all, when communicating with the locals.
No. 2 – It’s full of Medieval heritage
If you enjoy European history or, more specifically, Medieval heritage, visiting Malta is a great thing to do. Albeit the islands are rich with heritage from all periods, the Medieval and Renaissance period leftovers are the most prominent points of attraction.
The capital city of Valletta was first built by the famous Knights of Saint John, now known as the Maltese knights. They erected a castle, built a port and attracted merchants as well as noblemen to build businesses, start guilds and pretty much developed a bustling city from scratch. The castle, Old towns streets of local urban areas and most landmarks can be attributed to the Medieval times of Malta.
No. 3 – Ride sharing is the best way to get around
Buses are very crowded during the high season. Besides, you won’t have too much flexibility to travel around as they only stop at the most prominent locations.
The regular taxis to and from the airport are more expensive than buses. Renting your own car or motorbike, or scooter might be the utmost convenient methods but they also cost a lot. Besides, if you come to Malta from a location with left-hand drive, you will need some getting used to the traffic as it’s left-hand in the island.
Comparing costs and convenience, and by asking locals as well as tourists, we got the understanding that carpooling or ride-sharing offers the best experience overall.
No. 4 – The food is much better than you might expect
When you go to large countries like Italy, France, Mexico, Thailand – you expect the local cuisine to offer mouthwatering goodness. These expectations are much lower when you come to a small island like Malta. Well, they shouldn’t be!
Close proximity to and close cultural ties with Italy as well as the Middle East and Maghreb countries has turned the Maltese cuisine into something truly unique and exquisite. Try out seafood, local pastries and their wine to know what it’s all about!