Relocation

Location Guide: Sliema

Welcome to Sliema, Malta

Malta is the most southerly European country, a tiny island situated in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Six islands make up the archipelago of Malta, but only three of them are inhabited. The island is an incredibly popular tourist destination, due no small part to it’s numerous recreational areas, architectural and historical monuments. It is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and seven Megalithic Temples, which happen to be some of the oldest free-standing structures on the entire planet. The fantastic weather helps, too. The average year round temperature is 23 degrees, and even in Winter, it rarely gets much below 13 degrees. With all that sun, it’s handy that Malta has a beautiful array of beaches and ports to enjoy the wonderful sunshine. It also offers astounding sea views, and perfect clear waters for a spot of scuba diving. The climate is enviable all year round. December in London only has around 37 hours of sunshine, while Malta has an average of 160.

Sliema is located on the Northeast coast of Malta, and is an excellent spot for shopping, restaurants and night life. It’s estimated around 15,000 live in Sliema, and it contains Malta’s largest and most modern shopping districts. Close to the capital Valleta, Sliema has emerged as an affluent resort for Valetta residents who line the coast line with townhouses and villas.

The islands in Malta cover 316 square kilometres, altogether making up an area smaller than Philadelphia. There are no permanent rivers or lakes in Malta.

Working in Malta

Citizens of full European (EFTA, EEA) Member Countries are able to live and work in Malta without a visa or work permit.This includes: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Standard of living in Malta is considered good. The permanent resident scheme entitles property owners to pay income tax at an unusually low rate of 15%.  There are no annual rates or property taxes, whilst for a non permanent resident tax rates average around 23% including tax and social security contributions (based on a salary circa €20,000 gross per year meaning a monthly net income of €1250pm.

Malta is a tax efficient location for businesses, so is home to a broad range of financial, support services and ICT companies, complimented by excellent telecommunication and air connection networks. Opportunities are excellent!

Living in Malta

Sliema, being a major tourism spot on the Northeast coast, attracts thousands of visitors as well as locals, and is extremely popular for beautiful beaches, restaurants, cafes and long walks along the promenades. The island has two principal languages, Maltese and English, and Malta has a strong cultural heritage with a number of grand architectural achievements to explore. The St. James Centre for Creativity is a recently restored fortification which displays contemporary works or art alongside the original rough walls and brickwork of the old building. These refurbished buildings blend past and present, with frequent exhibitions creating a thriving cultural scene at the heart of the island. There are cultural attractions right across the island ranging from museums, heritage sites, including art, military, crafts, churches, palaces, gardens and archaeological sites.

Crime rates are low, children can play outside in absolute safety, all areas are safe to walk or drive around at night, and it is not unusual for locals to leave their front door key in the lock!

The healthcare system is fast establishing itself as an international centre for health, medical and dental tourism. It is free for everyone in Malta and therefore no mandatory system of contribution for the state system. The educational system is also excellent, and offers numerous private, international or public schools as well as a number of institutes and a university. Education is compulsory between the ages of 5-16, expats living in Malta are able to enrol their children in a local school, but due to state schools often teaching in Maltese, parents tend to educate them privately.

The currency in Malta is the Euro, and compared with other European countries, the island is relatively inexpensive and offers good value for money. A dinner without drinks in a moderate restaurant will likely cost just sort of 20 euros. As well the range of cultural attractions, Malta’s popularity as a tourist destination means there is a wide range of bars and restaurants, and because English is a principle language, most bar and restaurant staff speak it, and menus often come in a variety of languages. 

Maltese cuisine is mostly Mediterranean, with the traditional dishes generally taking some time to prepare. For that reason, there are restaurants all over the island offering international cuisine in addition to local delicacies, so there really is something for everyone. Octopus and squid are very popular on local menus, and in the Autumn, when the rains come, many restaurants make use of the abundance of snails, serving them cooked in olive oil and butter. Another local favourite is rabbit, cooked with wine and garlic. All are definitely worth sampling, if you are feeling adventurous. Being an island, there is of course a heavy focus on fish in many of the menus, and for fans of seafood there are many fantastic restaurants to visit, the Zonqor Point Restaurant and the Bouquet Garni being two of the highest rated eateries with fantastic seafood platters on offer.

After a good meal, there’s plenty of night life to enjoy on the island. Even outside of tourist times, when the events calendar gets a bit leaner, there is still a wide range of events to enjoy. The Malta Arts Festival is a must see, and Baroque and Opera Festivals are fantastic experiences for fans. The International Jazz Festival held in July perfectly blends the wonderful weather with a long session of relaxed and chilled out jazz. There are also major music concerts every summer, attracting locals and tourists to see international artists. Classical music and Band music are both incredibly popular on the island, with a long heritage among the Maltese and a range of festivals and concerts taking place in some of the stunning historic venues the island offers. Theatre and cinema are both well represented, with the Manoel Theatre being a wonderful venue, and the Gardens of San Anton Palace hosting an open-air Shakespeare rendition every July. A range of blockbuster, art-house and re-releases feature prominently in the island’s cinemas.

For something a little louder, Malta is also home to a massive clubbing scene, with world renowned DJ’s frequently playing great weekends throughout the year. The scene thrives all year around, with a variety of venues, large and small, offering house DJs with free admission. The main action is in Paceville, where there are clubs and bars in abundance.

The small size of the island means that you are never too far away from any of these events, and if you choose to drive, it’s nearly impossible to get lost, and the friendly locals are always happy to lend a hand. Malta is 122 square miles in size, and is supported by an extensive network of buses and a range of readily available taxis. A new public transport system introduced in 2011 increased the frequency and reliability of buses, with most leaving from a vast terminal in the centre of Malta’s capital, Valletta and departing frequently to locations all over the island. The only airport that serves the island is Malta International Airport, which is only 5km from Valletta. In addition, three times a day, a floatplane service links the sea terminal in Grand Harbour to Mgarr harbour on the island of Gozo.

 Restaurants

With the incredible weather and astounding sea views, naturally there are plenty of opportunities to dine al fresco in one of the many romantic palazzos or bustling harbour restaurants. Mentioned before, Zongor Point and Bouquet Garni are both excellent spots for a quiet, relaxed atmosphere and fantastic sea food.

Not to be missed is the Tarragon, the top overall winner of the Malta 2014 Restaurant Awards. The restaurant offers fantastic sea views and a fantastic al fresco dining area.

The Medina is renowned for it’s atmosphere, a small restaurant hidden in the streets of Mdina in an original Norman residence. Outdoor dining at it’s finest.

Bars

While Malta may not be as renowned as some as it’s larger Mediterranean neighbours for wine production, the island has several wineries that regularly organise guided tours and tastings for those who are fans of wine, and who isn’t? The tours can cover the entire production and history of the wine, with opportunities to taste and buy a variety of vintages. Details on all these wineries and their tours can be found here:

The island has an abundance of bars and clubs. As well as Maltese bars, there are an unusually wide range of English and Irish pubs spread across Malta, such as The Londoner Pub and the Scotsman Pub.

Muddy Waters is an institution in Malta, standing out as a relaxed Rock and Blues club with frequent gigs and a unique atmosphere.

For something more reserved, Cafe Jubilee offers delicious food as well as a range of fine wines and beers in a quiet venue, off the beaten path.

Clubs

Malta’s thriving nightclub scene means that there are no shortage of clubs to visit. For a vodka bar mixed with a busy nightclub, check out Qube Vodka Bar.

Plush Nightclub is another busy venue in the heart Paceville, surrounded by many other clubs.

Huggins & Friends is a strange mix between a bar and a club, always busy with a young and not so young crowd, it has a terrace area out front that the crowd regularly spills out in to.

The Average Cost of Living In Malta 

The cost of living in Sliema, or Malta in general is considered very reasonable and is substantially less than living in the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Cyprus.

Restaurants

Average

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant

10.00 €

Meal for 2 with 3 courses, mid range restaurant

50.00 €

Combo meal at McDonalds, etc.

7.50 €

Drinks

                                                            Average

Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught)

                                                            2.00 €

Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)

                                                            2.00 €

Cappuccino

                                                           1.53 €

Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)

                                                           1.31 €

Water (0.33 litre bottle)

                                                           1.31 €

Transport

                                                                                           Average

One way ticket 

                                                                                           1.50 €

Monthly Pass 

                                                                                           26.00 €

Taxi Start 

                                                                                           8.00 €

Taxi 1km 

                                                                                           1.50 €

Petrol (1 litre)

                                                                                           1.45 €

Monthly Rent and Living Costs

Average

Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre

420.00 €

Apartment (1 bedroom) outside city 

307.50 €

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre

720.83 €

Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside city centre

490.83 €

Utilities (electricity, heating, water etc.

for small apartment)

99.66 €

1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff local 

0.27 €

Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

19.86 €

Sports and Leisure

                                                                Average

Fitness club/gym, monthly fee

                                                               46.10 €

Tennis court rent (1 hour)

                                                              12.50 €

Adult cinema ticket

                                                              7.00 €

Useful Links

 

A video showing a quick look at some of the best tourist destinations in Malta:

The official tourism site:

The unofficial tourism site:

Public transport information:

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