Is Malta more expensive than competing destinations?

As tourist hotspots across the Mediterranean recover from the pandemic amid a cost of living crisis, Christine Amaira compares Malta with rival destinations.

Malta appears to be less competitive than tourist destinations like Greece, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus, an exercise carried out by the Times of Malta.

Accommodation and food prices in several places are higher for a tourist going to Malta, but the cost of beer and car rental is cheaper.

As operators hope to recoup two years of losses caused by the pandemic, inflated prices risk pushing holidaymakers to other Mediterranean destinations rather than Malta.


A one-week stay for two in a basic Airbnb one-bedroom apartment in Sliema or Valletta between July 1 and July 8 will cost you at least €540.

Stays at other popular European hotspots can be found for much less.

A one-bedroom Airbnb in Nicosia, the Cypriot capital, costs €220 for the same week, while accommodation in Lisbon, Portugal can be found for €300. A one-bedroom Airbnb apartment in Athens costs around €475 in July.

Tourists can also find bargains in the Spanish capital Madrid, with Airbnb accommodation available at just over €430 for two in July.

Hotel nights in Sliema are also a bit more expensive.

A quick search on the popular booking site cites a basic three-star hotel room in Sliema at €91 for two for one night in July. Valletta is a bit cheaper at €86 for a similar stay.

Similar searches on the same site yield cheaper results for the Portuguese city. A night in a modest three-star hotel in Lisbon costs around €73.

You would expect to pay around €62 a night for a similar hotel in Nicosia and the equivalent in Athens can be as cheap as €55.

Eat outside

A basic meal in a traditional restaurant is up to 50% more expensive in Malta than in Portugal.

As of this writing, a basic meal at a low-end local restaurant costs around €15 in Malta according to, the world’s largest cost of living database. A similar meal costs €8 in Portugal, while the average in Greece is €10. In Spain, we would pay around 11€, and 12€ in Cyprus for a similar meal.

Beer: one of the few things that tourists can find cheaper in Malta than elsewhere.

Fast food is also more expensive locally.

While a Big Mac meal from McDonald’s costs around €8 in Malta, equivalent to the price in Spain, Greece and Portugal it costs an average of €6.50 while in Cyprus the price is around €6, €15.

On a positive note, on average a cappuccino costs less in Malta than in Greece and Cyprus, but it is more expensive than in Spain and Portugal.

While the average price of a cappuccino in a local restaurant hovers around €2.25, estimates the price of the same coffee in a Portuguese restaurant at €1.38 and €1.65 in a Spanish restaurant.

Greeks and Cypriots price their cappuccinos at around €3 each, making it more expensive than the €2.25 you would pay on average in a Maltese restaurant.

Priced at around €1.19, a half-litre bottle of water sold in a restaurant in Malta is equivalent to the price in Spain.

In Greece, expect to pay around 50c for a bottle in restaurants. In Cyprus the same bottle costs around 69c and 95c in Portugal.

Compared to its counterparts, Malta beer is affordably priced.

Numbeo sets the cost of half a liter of local draft beer at €2.50, which is also what you would expect to pay in Spain.

But in Cyprus the same glass of beer would cost you €3 and in Greece it costs €4.

In comparison, beer is cheaper in Portugal where you would pay around €2 a glass.


Traveling to Malta is slightly more expensive than to the other four countries.

Between June and October, the cost of a one-way bus ticket in Malta is €2.

This is what you would expect to pay in Cyprus if you use cash for your purchase, according to the official Cyprus Public Transport website. If you pay by card though, you save 50c on your ticket.

According to the Madrid bus service EMT website, a single ticket costs €1.50., listed as the official guide to Athens, says a bus ticket in the Greek capital will cost you €1.20. lists a €1.50 one-way bus, tram or metro ticket in Portugal.

Taxi services cost on average the same in Malta as in Cyprus according to The site shows that in Malta a short taxi ride with a minimum fare costs around €5, equivalent to the same price in Cyprus.

Prices are cheaper in Portugal, where a similar trip would cost €3.25, and in Spain and Greece where it costs around €3.50.

Car rental prices in Malta are relatively cheap.

According to car rental sites and, expect to pay around €26 per day in high season in Malta for a basic car.

But you would have to pay a lot more in Spain, with sites putting the price of a similar car at around €95 per day.

Car rental is also expensive in Portugal, with the best deal on these sites set at €69 for a similar car in July.

The best price per day for a car rental in Greece in high season is around €58 according to

And in Cyprus, a similar car would cost around €47 per day, making Malta the most competitive of the five countries when it comes to car hire.


According to the official MUŻA website, a standard ticket for a visitor to the Malta Museum of Fine Arts costs €10.

This is the same price you would pay to visit the Acropolis Museum in Greece in high season.

A visit to the Museo del Prado in Spain costs €15.

Meanwhile, €6 would buy you a ticket to the Portuguese National Museum of Ancient Art, but you would have to shell out €20 to visit the Cyprus Museum of Modern Art.

The entrance fee to the Acropolis Museum in Athens is equivalent to the cost of visiting the MUŻA in Valletta.The entrance fee to the Acropolis Museum in Athens is equivalent to the cost of visiting the MUŻA in Valletta.

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