Living on the Islands of Malta & Gozo ∣ What to Expect
Travelers who hear of Malta and visit it for the first time are generally overwhelmed by its unique character. Mediterranean, busy, warm, welcoming, loud, electrically charged and totally surprising. Malta’s Island living is traditional, but also cosmopolitan to a certain degree. It is small so moving around allows very full and actively laden days. It is akin to one huge pulsating town where people are inter-connected and where networking happens easily, spontaneously and conveniently.
Once somebody decides to relocate in Malta, they are in for a culture shock that never actually happens. Malta can be laid back, meaning that the northerners feel they can relax whilst the others are pleasantly amused by the way things just happen. The Maltese know how to do business when it’s the right time to do it, but they also know how to sit back and enjoy life when they can. Living in Malta makes most people who land here feel as if they are perennially on holiday – evenings can be spent out on the town or alone on the beach; weekends are never lonely or quiet; and every location has its own self-inflicted autonomy so that something goes on somewhere, everywhere, constantly.
There are some aspects to be dealt with when deciding to live on Malta:
– This is an island so there are obvious limitations but there is everything one might want or need since the island has long been independent and autonomous enough to know what it requires to run smoothly according to present day EU standards.
– Major countries have embassies or offices locally so that nobody should feel stranded at any point.
– Healthcare is fantastically convenient and tax-funded. EU citizens who are permanently based in Malta can receive free healthcare if they provide the correct documentation. Non-EU citizens are required to pay the bills and medication in full.
– Driving in Malta is on the left hand side of the road following the British model. Drivers who come from EU member states must hold a valid driving licence issued by their country in order to drive here. After having resided here for a minimum of 185 days, they would be entitled to exchange their foreign driving licence for a Maltese licence. Non-EU citizens will require additional permits.
– Law and order is pretty reliable on Malta. The Maltese are a peace loving people, friendly, willing to help and accommodating towards foreigners. Although the national language is Maltese, English is the second language and many people also speak or understand Italian well.
– Shopping in Malta is wide and varied with each location having its own small shopping areas and with larger shopping spots, centres and malls distributed around the islands. Convenience stores have now also become popular allowing late night shopping for residents.
-Education levels are high. There are public, private and church schools, a state university and varied specialised colleges. Bi-lingual teaching is generally the order of the day.
– Financial services, banking services, investment brokers – all will help you manage your monies effectively whether you choose a Maltese or a foreign bank or company to care for your investment.
– Property ready to be occupied in form of long term rental property or homes for sale are available all around Malta and Gozo. Reputable Real estate agencies are reliable and well versed in specialised searches for any type of property in Malta or Gozo that will suit the individual and any specific requirements, whether as a permanent ownership or a temporary or long-term rental.