Things I’ve noticed in Malta

As my internship is coming to an end, here’s some of the things that I will remember about Malta.


Picture of a plastic-wrapped pack of bottled water with one bottle out of the back.
6-pack of fine table water

Most people in Malta do not drink tap water but buy bottled water instead. From what I’ve read, tap water is safe to drink if it’s been filtered but it also has a taste to it which is another reason for people to prefer bottled water. It was quite easy to get used to this, though carrying packs of water out of the store is sometimes annoying.


Malta has a LOT of cars. They’re everywhere. This country revolves around them. Everyone has one. So obviously there is traffic and it can seem quite chaotic at first. The streets are narrow and full of parked cars so sometimes it takes a lot of driver cooperation to pass another car. Honking is normal.
It’s also quite normal to pull your side view mirrors in after you’ve parked so they’re not sticking out of your car.

Picture with a street of parked cars. The first car has its side view mirror pulled in so as to not stick out of the car.
Pulled in to prevent anything or anyone hitting it, I presume.

Waste management

Picture of a street with multiple full garbage bags laying next to a house.
In Malta you put all of your garbage in bags and leave them outside of your house to be picked up by garbage trucks. Non-recyclables, recyclables and glass are usually put in their own bags. It was weird at first to see all the bags on the streets but you’ll get used to it.

Public transport

Picture from a Valletta bus station showing two buses and people waiting for the right one.
Waiting for a bus in Valletta

Maltas only public transport is buses. There used to be railway from Valletta to Mdina but that’s long gone. The bus system, called Tallinja, is… okay. I stopped reading the schedules a long time ago because the buses are never on schedule. I live in Birkirkara, pretty close to Valletta so there are a lot of buses going in and out of the capital, so usually I just go to a bus stop and sometimes I have to only wait a minute, sometimes as long as 15 minutes.
Sometimes the buses are almost empty, but often they are very full. It depends on the driver if/when they stop taking new people in. We all just have to deal with it, and it hasn’t been that bad, really. But if you use the bus in Malta, get ready to stand (because there are no seats available) and try not to fall when the bus turns.


You walk around Valletta and you see cups of water on the corner of a building. You might see cat food on the ground. You might see boxes with holes in them – those are all for the cats.

These cats are all around Malta, just wandering around. I don’t know it they have a home, or multiple homes or if they are ”everyone’s cats”. You can even find a Cats of Malta postcard!
Sometimes you can see one playing around in a park, but most of the time you wont see them. I’ve only met one cat in Malta that actually came to me for attention and that was in Gozo (she probably had an actual owner though). I think generally they just like to be alone and do their own thing and go where they want.

A cat sleeping outside in the sun next to 3 boxes made specifically for cats to live in.
Cat sleeping next to catboxes in Manoel island

I will be leaving in one week and after that I’ll make my final post sharing more of my Malta thoughts and reflecting everything I’ve experienced in these 10 weeks.

– Ranja


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