Safety and security

Crime

Crime against tourists is rare although robberies, handbag snatching, pick-pocketing and theft from parked cars can occur. Safeguard passports, money and other valuables. Be vigilant when exchanging money and using ATMs, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use the hotel’s own safe if possible.

There have been instances of pick-pocketing on bus routes between Valletta and St Julian’s. Thieves are targeting crowded buses during the summer season. Be vigilant and keep sight of valuables at all times. Local police are aware of the problem and conducting investigations.

Personal attacks, including rape and sexual assault do occur. Avoid splitting up from your friends and don’t go off with people you don’t know. If you drink, take sensible precautions including buying your own drinks and keeping sight of them at all times.

Hunting season

Bird hunting is practised during the spring and autumn. Dates are movable and determined by the government in the lead up to the season. Local print and online news media normally carry the start and end dates, and times of when hunting is allowed.

Hunting with firearms is common and is normally allowed from 2 hours before sunrise until 2 hours after sunset. Hunting areas are rarely marked and can overlap with camping areas, country walkways and other public areas. Although not common, incidents involving members of the public have occurred previously. Be aware of your surroundings when visiting rural areas and nature spots during the hunting seasons.

Scams

British and Maltese nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists operating globally. The scams come in many forms (romance and friendship, business ventures, work and employment opportunities) and can pose great financial risk to victims. Be very cautious about any requests for funds, a job offer, a business venture or a face to face meeting from someone you have been in correspondence with over the internet.

Road travel

You can drive in Malta using your UK driving licence.

However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you may need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to be able to drive in Malta and other EU/EEA countries as a visitor.

There are 3 types of IDP. Check that you have the correct permits covering all countries where you will be driving - you may need more than one IDP. For full information, check this guidance page. You should also check guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit for information on other additional documents you may need to carry.

If you’re living in Malta, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.

Take care while driving as some roads are in poor condition. Keep to the speed limit. Local standards of driving are poor.

In 2017 there were 19 road deaths in Malta (source: Department of Transport). This equates to 4.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2017.

See the European Commission, AA and RAC guides to driving in Malta.

Swimming

During the summer, many beaches are patrolled by lifeguards and operate flag safety systems. You should make sure you understand the system and follow any warnings; red flags indicate dangerous or hazardous conditions. You should swim within designated swimming zones and take extra care if there are no life-guards, flags or signs. Follow local advice if jellyfish are present.

You can find more information and a general code of conduct for beaches in Malta on the Malta Tourism Authority website.