A brief introduction to everything Maltese
Area: 316 km2
Name: Republic of Malta (Repubblika ta' Malta)
Population: 445,426 estimate 2014
Flag: White and red background, with the George Cross in the upper left corner of the white part.
Capital City: Valletta
Largest city: Birkikara, with a population of 26,000
Coastline: 140 m
Highest point: Ta’ Dmejrek 253m (close to Dingli)
Official Languages: Maltese and English
Ethnic groups: Maltese 95.17%, Other 4.83 %
Member of the EU: since 1st May 2004
Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
Drive: on the left
Calling code: + 356
Currency: Euro (€)
Government: Parliamentary Republic, President: Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Prime Minister: Joseph Muscat
Independence: from the United Kingdom on the 21 September 1964
Coat of Arms: Shows the flag of Malta in the form of a shield, on the top of which is a fortification with five turrets, representing all the fortifications of the island. There are two branches around the shield, and olive and a palm tree, which symbolize peace.
Pharmacies and Doctors in Malta
Internet Cafes and Wi-Fi connections around Malta
Internet Cafes are very popular in Malta and can be found all over Malta with several internet cafes in the tourist areas. Prices are usually around €2 per hour. Wi-Fi connections are mostly available in bars, restaurants and hotels. There is a free Wi-Fi connection provided by the government in a number of public gardens, and piazzas.
Changing your Money and Banking in Malta
The official currency in Malta is the Euro. The highest bill is €500 and there are notes of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5. There are several places across Malta to exchange your money such as banks, ATMs, currency exchange offices and local tourist offices. The two main banks in Malta have been Bank of Valletta (BOV) and HSBC for several years, however; recently Banif Bank and several other banks grew in popularity. Bank offices and ATMs can be found all over Malta.
Ferries to Gozo and Comino
Visiting Gozo and Comino is something you should do if you have some spare time and both islands can be reached by a short ferry ride across the Channel. A regular ferry service between Malta and Gozo is provided by Gozo Channel. They operate with three modern ferries which run all year-round between Mgarr Harbour (Gozo) and Cirkewwa (Malta). The Comino ferry is a small boat that only carries passengers and leaves from Marfa, just a few metres away from the Cirkewwa harbour. There are several private companies that provide this service, and prices might vary from one company to another.
Get more information about ferry times and prices here.
Driving around Malta
Driving is the one of the best ways to explore the Malta, so renting a car during your stay is recommended. Many places that are not accessible by public transport can now be on your “to do” list such as several beaches and temples. Be careful when driving as the roads have plenty of potholes, numerous people do not follow traffic rules and the traffic is quite heavy.
Using public transport to get around Malta
Public transport is convenient and smooth, with regular services taking you to all parts of Malta and is also quite cheap!
The direct route links the tourist resorts and larger villages with attractions and areas of tourist interest. There are several hubs, where you can change your bus to reach your final destination.
You can find more information about public transport
Emergency Numbers in Malta
Emergency, Ambulance, Police, Fire Brigade: 112
Traffic Accident: +356 2132 0202
AFM Helicopter Rescue: +356 2124 4371, +356 2182 4212
A.F.M. Patrol Boat Rescue: +356 2123 8797, +356 2122 5040
Hospital – Gozo: +356 2156 1600
Hospital – Malta Mater Dei: +356 2545 0000
Passport Office – Malta: +356 2122 2286