Malta Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Malta
How safe is Malta?
Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel advice for Malta is to be cautious of petty crime, as with other European countries when visiting. Specific bus routes in the country may be more prone to smaller crimes such as theft, so ensure you are alert at all times. Violent crime is a rare occurrence in the country. There is no immediate threat of terrorism in Malta, but travellers are reminded to stay alert to wider proceedings.
On the 20th of February 2017, a car bomb exploded on Marina Street in Msida injuring six people. Local police believe the attack is the work of Malta’s criminal underworld.
Due to the recent attacks in Brussels, the security at Malta’s airport and seaport have been stepped up, although it is thought there are no direct threats against the country.
In December 2016, two Libyan men attempted to highjack a plane at Malta International airport. They were armed with immitation weapons and gave up after a 3-hour-long standoff.
Malta is a country situated in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and to the south of the country is North African coast, meaning that it is frequently involved in exchanges between Europe and North Africa. As such the Armed Forces of Malta regularly deal with migrants seeking refuge in Europe. 2015 saw a migrant ship capsize in the Mediterranean, leaving 24 unidentified migrants to be laid to rest in Malta.
There is no indication that any specific terrorist groups are present in Malta, however there is a general terrorism threat across Europe, so travellers are advised to remain vigilant. Research has indicated that Malta is one of the safest countries in the world, where there is very low exposure to earthquakes, floods or rising sea levels.
Tourists may be subjected to petty crimes including pickpocketing, and should ensure that money, passports and other valuable items are safeguarded at all times.
Thefts do occur in the busier areas visited by tourists such as markets in Valletta and Marsaxlokk, transport hubs, entertainment districts such as Paceville in St. Julian’s (San Ġiljan) and Sliema and also beaches.
Malta's International Relations
Malta is an active participant in the Council of Europe, OSCE, and the Commonwealth and became a full member of the European Union in 2004.
Malta previously had strong relations with the United Kingdom and other NATO countries, however after a new government had been elected in 1971, the NATO sub-headquarters in the country were closed and the US Naval Forces European ceased recreational visits to the country. Since 1992, US Navy ships have begun visits to Malta once more.
Malta has embassies in many countries and has many consulates in countries such as Italy due to its close proximity. The UK has a British High Commission in Malta, and countries including USA, Australia and Tunisia have reciprocal embassies.
Travelling around Malta
British or other European driving licences can be used to drive in Malta, for all other nations check with your local embassy before driving. Some of the roads in the country may be in poor condition, and the driving standards can often be more aggressive and different to your country’s practices. Many roads can get extremely busy, especially the narrow and winding ones, so you should take extra care when operating a vehicle.
The taxi service is generally very good, with all taxis using a meter when driving unless a price has been previously agreed.
Hire cars have the number plate dictated with a “k”, so it can be a quite obvious target for car break-ins. Please do not leave any valuables inside the vehicle, which are viewable.
Strong currents are in some locations on the coast and can make swimming in the sea dangerous, please be aware of local beach warnings and signs.
Some camping areas can overlap active hunting areas during hunting season, there are specific dates set out by the government, however this is normally between Spring and Autumn. Please check if you intend to camp that your area is safe to camp in.
Emergency services in Malta:
Police emergency: 112
Fire emergency: 112
Medical emergency: 112
Coastguard: +356 2125 7267
Religion: Christianity (Catholicism)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time now in Valletta:
Consular information for Malta
U.S. Embassy Malta,
Ta'Qali National Park Street,
Telephone: +356 2561 4000
Telephone: +356 2561 4000(Out of hours)
Ta’ Xbiex Seafront
Telephone: +356 2323 0000
Visa requirements for Malta
Most travellers can enter Malta for up to 90 days without the need for a visa as the country is part of the Schengen Agreement. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the duration of your proposed stay.
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Malta are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get a Tetanus vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Although there is no risk in Malta, you must present a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate if you are arriving from a country where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission. This also applies if your transit through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission is longer than 12 hours.
The medical services in Malta are overall very good. For European visitors, an EHIC card should entitle you to state-level treatment, however you should ensure that your health insurance covers all possible treatments, as medical evacuation to another European country for treatment may be necessary. Non-European tourists should make sure that their insurance is valid for European travel.