Malta travel advice
Latest updates: Removal of COVID-19 information
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Malta - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Malta.
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as purse snatching and pickpocketing, occurs. Thieves could target tourists, particularly in crowded public areas such as:
- markets, particularly those of Valletta and Marsaxlokk
- public transportation hubs and facilities, particularly the main bus routes between Valletta Paceville, San Ġiljan and Sliema (lines 13, 14, 15, 16)
- hotel lobbies
- bars and nightclub areas of Paceville, San Ġiljan and Sliema
- restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
- tourist sites and attractions
- ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- don’t keep your passport and other types of ID at the same place and carry a photocopy rather than the original
- at the beach, bring only the essentials and keep valuables out of sight
- avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables
- don’t leave any luggage or valuables in the vehicle, even in the trunk
- pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in crowded and tourist areas
- be wary of unsolicited offers or advice from strangers
Although violent crime is rare, physical attacks, including sexual assault and rape, do occur.
Be particularly vigilant in nightlife areas such as Paceville, where excessive alcohol consumption and large crowds can sometimes lead to disagreements and confrontations.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Credit card and ATM fraud
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. When using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
- use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Cybercrime occurs. Criminals may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks
- Avoid making purchases on unsecured websites
- Use sound judgment when posting information on social media
- Be particularly vigilant when contacting or meeting individuals known over the internet
- Never click on suspicious links asking for your banking information in an email or text message
There are reports of apartment rental scams and difficulties when seeking reimbursement for a security deposit. When dealing with apartment or car rental agencies:
- only rent from reputable companies
- read the rental contract thoroughly
- request an inventory of the furniture
- take photos as proof of pre-existing damage and ensure they are mentioned on the contract
- avoid providing full prepayment
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during:
- sporting events
- religious holidays
- public celebrations
- major political events, such as elections
Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.
Demonstrations take place regularly, particularly in Valletta.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Many beaches in Malta are supervised and enforce excellent safety procedures.
The main warning flags used in Malta are:
- Green: calm waters, you can swim
- Yellow: agitated waters, swim with caution
- Red: dangerous waters, don’t swim
- Blue/violet: contaminated waters or presence of dangerous species, don’t swim
Tidal changes and strong winds can cause hazardous currents and riptides.
Coral, urchin, jellyfish and other aquatic life found along the coasts can poison, sting or cause infection if touched or stepped on.
- Always obey warning flags at beaches
- Ask local authorities about the presence of dangerous species and immediately seek medical assistance if you get hurt
- Wear reef shoes to protect yourself against stone and coral cuts or urchin stings
- Keep a safe distance from boats and restricted areas
- Avoid visiting beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings
- Look out for signs warning of cliff erosion and falling rocks
- Don’t dive into unknown waters, as hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death
- Exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities
If you are planning to go boating:
- know the capacity of your boat
- know and respect the navigation rules
- follow safe practices for all activities on the water
- keep a safe distance from areas reserved for certain activities such as snorkeling
- carry a marine radio that will generate your position in case of emergency
- be prepared for emergencies
Specific dates for the hunting season are determined by the government in the lead-up to the season. It generally runs from the spring until the fall.
If you travel to rural areas during this period:
- make yourself aware of hunting areas
- remain in designated camping areas
- don't wander onto private property where hunting is legally permitted
Traffic drives on the left.
Road conditions vary across the country. Narrow, winding, congested and sometimes poorly maintained roads may pose hazards. Heavy rains regularly cause flash-flooding.
Drivers may not respect traffic laws or follow safe driving practices. They may not always yield to pedestrians or bicycles. While illegal, double parking is common.
A bus system connects the main cities. Buses are reliable but are sometimes overcrowded, particularly during summer months. You can use the Tallinja official app to confirm the routes and schedules.
There are ferries connecting:
- Cirkewwa and the island of Gozo
- Valletta and Sliema
- Valletta and Cospicua
- Valletta and the island of Gozo
- Valletta and Pozzallo, Sicily, Italy
Weather conditions can lead to cancellations or delays, particularly on ferry lines to and from Gozo.
- Pay attention to pre-departure notices from your carrier
- Always reconfirm departure schedule before heading to the port
Taxis are generally safe and widely available. Ridesharing services are also available.
Taxi fares are regulated and mandatory. They may be prepaid at authorized taxi booths or calculated using a taxi meter.
- Schedules and routes - Malta public transport
- Tallinja app - Malta public transport
- Gozo channel ferry - Gozo Channel
- Taxis and Electric Mini Cabs - Transport Malta
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Maltese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Malta is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Business visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Student visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Visa and immigration services - Identity Malta
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Health services are excellent.
Payment, even for emergency services, may be requested in advance when private insurance cannot be confirmed.
In the event of a major accident or illness, medical evacuation to another European country may be necessary if the treatment required is not offered in Malta.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Judicial proceedings are usually lengthy in Malta due to long pretrial investigative periods. If you are involved in judicial proceedings in Malta, be aware that:
- you may be subject to lengthy detention periods before your trial
- you may be denied bail
- obtaining free legal aid can be complex and slow down the process
- unpredictable delays may occur before trial and between hearings
Things to Know About Justice in Malta - Ministry for Justice
Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Canada and Malta are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Malta to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Maltese authorities. This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
Authorities may request to see your ID at any time.
- Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it’s lost or seized
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Malta.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Malta, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Malta.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Malta, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Maltese court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Malta to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Recreational and commercial flying of drones is regulated.
You must register your drone to use it in the European Union. If you don’t comply, you may be fined and your drone confiscated.
Certain activities, items and behaviours are prohibited on Malta’s beaches. Make sure you are aware of the regulations.
If you fail to comply, you may be fined.
Code of Conduct for Malta’s Beaches - VisitMalta
You may drive up to one year with a valid Canadian driver’s licence. However, you should still carry an international driving permit.
- The Highway Code of Malta - Government of Malta
- More about driving in Malta - European Commission
- More about the International Driving Permit
The currency of Malta is the euro (EUR).
If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:
- banknotes and coins
- bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
- bonds, shares
- gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
- gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
- any other convertible asset
This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
EU cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
Flooding and landslides
Heavy rains and seasonal storms can cause severe flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Malta is located in an active seismic zone. However, earthquakes are rare.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Valletta - Consulate of Canada
Rome - Embassy of Canada
Albania, Malta, San Marino
For emergency consular assistance, call the consulate of Canada in Malta, in Valletta, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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