A Sun-soaked Island nation with a rich cultural history and a favourable geographic location, Malta has long attracted attention from around the globe. Many have considered it as a place to put down roots, drawn to its warm climate, vibrant lifestyle, and friendly communities. However, like any location, the Mediterranean archipelago presents its unique blend of benefits and challenges. The question, “Is Malta a nice place to live?” remains a subject of lively discussion and individual interpretation.
Whether one views Malta as an idyllic Mediterranean haven often depends on their personal preferences and lifestyle. The island boasts a high-quality healthcare system, a robust economy, and a strong emphasis on safety, making it an appealing destination for families and retirees alike.
English-speaking expats may find the transition easier due to the widespread use of English as one of Malta’s official languages. On the flip side, critics point out issues such as rising living costs, a limited job market for certain professions, and environmental concerns. The debate about the quality of life in Malta continues to unfold, as this dynamic island nation evolves and adapts in the face of modern challenges.
“In Malta, there is a lot to love, it’s an archipelago located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, which has been acclaimed for its luxurious accommodations, warm climate, and 7,000 years of history,” Forbes.
Rich History and Culture
Steeped in over 7,000 years of history, Malta stands as a living testament to the civilizations that have come and gone from its shores. This vibrant past has left an indelible mark on the Maltese islands, from the ancient temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra to the medieval fortifications of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture 2018.
The influence of the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, and the British can be seen in the country’s architecture, language, and traditions.
A myriad of festivals and feasts throughout the year speak to this rich culture, and the local cuisine, a delicious blend of Sicilian, Middle Eastern and British influences, reflects the island’s storied past. Malta offers countless ways to immerse oneself in its unique history and culture.
Malta is globally celebrated for its idyllic climate, offering residents the luxury of year-round outdoor activities. This stunning archipelago enjoys long, warm summers, and even in winter, the temperatures remain mild, rarely dropping below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
This gives the Maltese and their visitors the privilege of enjoying the islands’ natural beauty in almost any season. From sunbathing on the beautiful beaches of Mellieħa Bay to trekking through the scenic countryside of Gozo, Malta’s climate truly embraces an outdoor lifestyle.
This splendid weather not only boosts the tourism sector but also contributes significantly to the quality of life on the island, offering endless opportunities for both water and land-based activities throughout the year.
As a legacy of British rule which lasted until 1964, Malta has retained English as one of its two official languages alongside Maltese, making it significantly easing the transition for English-speaking expatriates.
Whether it’s in the business environment, government services, education, or day-to-day transactions, the prevalence of English ensures effective communication, thus eliminating a common hurdle for ex-pats in a new country.
This language accessibility, coupled with a familiar legal system and administrative structures, has positioned Malta as an attractive destination for relocation within the expat community, particularly for those from English-speaking nations.
Healthcare and Safety
One of Malta’s attractive features is its impressive safety record, consistently maintaining lower crime rates than the global average. The country’s crime rate is significantly below the global average, positioning it as one of the safest countries in the European Union.
In terms of healthcare, Malta’s system is robust, and its infrastructure is well-equipped to handle a range of medical needs. The country’s public healthcare system is anchored by Mater Dei Hospital, one of the largest medical facilities in Europe with a bed capacity of over 800.
It offers various specialisations including oncology, cardiology, and orthopaedics, among others. The hospital is complimented by a network of health centres spread across the island offering primary healthcare services.
Private healthcare in Malta is also of a high standard, with several well-regarded private hospitals such as St. James Hospital and the private wing of Mater Dei Hospital, known as Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre. These facilities offer highly specialized treatments, sometimes attracting medical tourists from neighbouring countries and beyond.
Malta’s geographical location places it as a gateway between Europe and Africa. This strategic position has historically given the island nation its unique blend of cultures and influences, and today, it provides residents and visitors with unparalleled ease of access to numerous European and African countries.
With several daily flights connecting Malta to major European cities and regular ferry services to nearby Sicily, the country serves as a convenient launchpad for those wishing to explore the wider region.
Additionally, its proximity to North Africa allows for unique cultural and travel experiences seldom found elsewhere in Europe. This geographical advantage not only enriches the Maltese way of life but also contributes to the island’s thriving tourism and trade sectors, truly making Malta a central hub in the Mediterranean.
However, while the allure of Malta is undeniable, some might point out certain challenges that come with living on this small but vibrant island nation. Malta’s limited resources, a reality common to many island states, often means dependence on technological solutions.
Economic growth in recent years has brought with it a rise in the cost of living, including property prices. While still lower than in some Western European countries, the trend is something that potential residents should consider as they plan their move.
Moreover, as with many popular tourist destinations, the rapid development and surge in tourism have stirred environmental concerns. From pollution to the pressure on natural habitats, these issues are increasingly in focus as the nation balances economic growth with sustainability.
Finally, while Malta’s economy is robust and diverse, the job market can pose challenges for those in certain specialized careers. The size of the island and its population inevitably limits the range of opportunities in some sectors.
Yet, despite these challenges, many have found that the benefits of life in Malta — its rich history, mild climate, and the warmth of its people — outweigh the drawbacks. Malta continues to navigate these issues, striving to provide a high quality of life for its residents while preserving its unique island charm.