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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in Malta. Use common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
  • There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities in recent years. See Safety and security.
  • Check your flight itinerary before booking flights to or from Malta. Do not travel via Libya. Reconsider travel via Tunisia. See Local travel.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

Malta is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with a number of other European countries. This allows you to enter Malta without a visa in some circumstances. In other circumstances, you'll need a visa.

More information: Schengen Convention

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice.

More information:

Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception.  If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

By law, you must, as soon as possible report a lost or stolen passport:

Money

Declare cash of 10,000 Euros or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling between Malta and any non-European Union (EU) country. This includes notes and coins, money orders, cheques and traveller cheques. If you fail to declare your cash or you give incorrect information on entry to, or exit from, Malta, you will be fined. You don't need to declare cash if you are travelling to or from another EU country.

The official currency of Malta is the Euro. Foreign currencies can easily be exchanged at banks, foreign exchange bureaus and special ATMs.

Safety and security

Crime

Bag snatching, pickpocketing and other petty crime occurs, particularly in areas frequented by tourists such as nightclubs, beaches, markets, hotels and rented flats. Thieves also target the main bus routes, especially the 13, 14, 15 and 16 services from Sliema, St. Julian's and Paceville to Valletta, ATM users and parked cars.

Poor crowd control and excessive drinking in and around nightclubs can lead to violence.

  • Pay close attention to your personal belongings, particularly in crowded areas and on busses.
  • Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables in a secure location.
  • Avoid ATMs that open onto the street, especially at night. Use ATMS in banks, shops and shopping centres.
  • Keep luggage and personal possessions out of sight in parked cars. 
  • Stick with people you trust in bars and nightclubs. Avoid confrontations.
  • Never accept food or drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended.

More information: Partying overseas

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world, including in Europe.

In recent years, terrorists have staged attacks in a number of European cities. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years.

  • Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
  • Exercise particular caution around locations known to be possible terrorist targets.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Keep an eye on the news for any new or emerging threats.
  • Take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so. 

More information: Terrorism threat worldwide

Civil unrest and political tension

Though rare, you could encounter protests or demonstrations in Malta.

  • Avoid all crowds, protests and demonstrations as they could become violent.
  • Keep an eye on the news and other sources for information on planned or possible unrest.
  • Follow the advice of local authorities.

Local travel

Hunting season

Hunting with firearms is common in rural Malta. Hunting areas are rarely marked and can overlap with camping areas, country walkways and other public areas.

The spring hunting season runs from mid-to-late April, and the autumn hunting season runs from 1 September until 31 January. During these periods, hunting is permitted from 2 hours before sunrise until noon but hunting may occur, outside these times and in undesignated locations.

If you visit a rural area, particularly during a hunting season:

  • be alert to the presence of hunters
  • seek local advice on how best to avoid incidents.

Road travel

Road travel is hazardous because of poor local driving standards and road conditions. Pedestrian crossings, stop signs and traffic lights are frequently ignored and locals drive excessively fast.

Some roads are narrow, congested and/or susceptible to flash flooding in heavy rain. Many roads don't have footpaths.

If you are involved in a minor front-to-rear collision and no person is injured, you don't need to contact the police or local wardens.

If you are involved in any other accident, the local wardens must be contacted on 2132 0202 and vehicles must not be moved until wardens have recorded details of the accident.

If you or others are injured in a traffic accident, the police must be contacted on 2122 4001 or 112.

More information

Driver's licence

You can use your Australian driver's licence for one year from your arrival in Malta. If you're taking up residence in Malta, you can exchange your Australian licence for an equivalent Maltese licence.

More information: Obtaining a driver's licence in Malta

Motorcycles

Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when using a motorcycle, quad bike or similar vehicle. Your policy may not cover you for accidents that occur while using these vehicles. Wear, and ensure your passenger wears, a correctly fastened and approved helmet.

Taxis

Only use registered taxis and authorised limousines, preferably those arranged through your hotel.


Public transport

 A public bus system services the main cities in Malta, which is generally reliable. Some bus routes may be very crowded, and some buses are not able to pick up passengers at all stops. Pick-pocketing occurs, particularly on the more popular tourist routes.

Passenger ferries operate between Valletta to Sliema and between Valletta to Cospicua. A car and passenger ferry operates regularly between Cirkewwa and the island of Gozo.

More information:

Sea travel

Many cruise ships on Mediterranean cruises stop in Malta. Before you travel, read our Going on a cruise page and check the Smartraveller advice for each destination you will stop at.

Air travel

Check your flight itinerary to and from Malta closely before booking.

Some airlines fly between Malta and Libya. Do not travel to or via Libya because of ongoing fighting and the deteriorating security situation. There is a high threat of terrorist attack.

Some flights between Malta and Dubai stopover in Tunisia. Reconsider travel to or via Tunisia because of the high threat of terrorist attack.

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Malta.

More information: Air travel

Laws

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Drug laws

Possessing, using or trafficking drugs is illegal in Malta. Penalties include jail sentences, heavy fines and confiscation of property. More information: Drugs

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Dual nationality is recognised in Malta. There are no military/civil service obligations for dual nationals.

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Take prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry on your person a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.

Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to.

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Health risks in Malta are similar to those in Australia. Monitor the news and other sources for any new health risks that may develop and follow the advice of local health authorities.

Medical facilities

The standard of medical facilities and care in Malta is generally good. But, if you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to the United Kingdom or another European country for treatment. Medical evacuation and treatment could be very expensive.

Malta and Australia are signatories to a reciprocal health care agreement which covers travellers for up to six months from their date of arrival in Malta. The agreement provides Australians with access to government medical facilities and care but does not provide for ongoing treatment of existing health conditions. The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement does not replace the need for private travel health insurance. See the Department of Human Services website for more information.

Decompression chambers are located at Mater Dei Hospital and Gozo General Hospital.

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergencies

  • Fire: 112
  • Medical emergencies: 112
  • Criminal issues, contact police:  112 or contact the nearest police station

Always get a police report when reporting a crime. 

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

The Visit Malta tourism office may also be able to provide advice, and you can contact them directly at one of their offices or call them on their 'freephone' service on 80 072 230 (local calls only).

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact the Australian High Commission in Malta:

Australian High Commission, Malta

Ta' Xbiex Terrace
TA' XBIEX
Telephone: + 356 21338201
Facsimile: +356 21344059
Email aushicom@onvol.net
Website: malta.highcommission.gov.au

Check the Australian High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

Additional information