Malta travel advice

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Malta - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in Malta

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Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime

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
  • beaches
  • bars and nightclub areas of Paceville, San Ġiljan and Sliema
  • restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
  • tourist sites and attractions

While travelling:

  • 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

Violent crime

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.

Fraud

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

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

Rentals agencies

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

Overseas fraud

Terrorism

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

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

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Water activities

Swimming

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

Recreational boating

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

Water safety abroad

Hunting season

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

Road safety

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.

Public transportation

Buses

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.

Ferries

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

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.

Useful links

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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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.

Schengen area

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.

Useful links

Passport

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.

Official travel

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.

Useful links

Visas

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 more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations 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 may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

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.

Risk

  • 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.

Recommendation

  • 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.

About Yellow Fever

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

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

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.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Measles

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.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

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.

Travel health and safety

 

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.

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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

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

Transfer to a Canadian prison

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 Malta authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Identification

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

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Dual citizenship

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.

Travellers with dual citizenship

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.

Useful links

Drones

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.

Useful links

Beach etiquette

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

Driving

You may drive up to one year with a valid Canadian driver’s licence. However, you should still carry an international driving permit.

Useful links

Money

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

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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

Useful links

Earthquakes

Malta is located in an active seismic zone. However, earthquakes are rare.

Earthquakes - What to Do?

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Valletta - Honorary consul of Canada
Street AddressDemajo House, 103 Archbishop Street (Triq L-Arcisqof), Valletta VLT 09, MaltaTelephone356 2552-3233Fax356 2552-3232Emailvalletta@international.gc.caFacebookEmbassy of Canada to ItalyTwitter@CanadainItalyOther social media@CanadainItalia
Canada in Italy
Rome - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressVia Zara 30, Rome 00198, Italy (Consular)Telephone+39 06-85444-1Fax+39 06.440.3048Emailconsul.rome@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-ItalyFacebookEmbassy of Canada to ItalyTwitter@CanadainItalyOther social mediaCanada in Italy
Consular district

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.

Disclaimer

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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