Local information and a few practical tips to help you during your stay, in alphabetical order...

 

Baby requirements
Baby specific items such as disposable nappies, infant formula and baby toiletries are readily available in pharmacies, and most supermarkets will stock nappies and a small range of soap, creams etc.,.

Banking facilities
Banks are normally open between 08.30am and 12.30pm from Monday to Friday, and up to 11.30 am on Saturday.  Some banks work longer hours.  Summer and winter opening hours may differ.  See our currencies page for exchange rates.  There are four banks in Victoria, APS Bank, Bank of Valletta, and HSBC, in Republic Street and Lombard Bank in Ninu Cremona Street.  Each of these banks have an ATM service and there are more ATMs with automatic exchange facilities in Marsalforn and Xlendi.  All the major credit cards are accepted in most retail outlets.

Buses on Gozo
Buses are grey with a red stripe along the side - the main bus station is in Main Gate Street Victoria.  Click here to see current bus timetable.

Business hours
Commercial centres and shops are normally open between 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. and between 4.00 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In tourist areas, many shops remain open till 10.00 p.m.  Shops are normally closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Climate
The Maltese islands have a wonderful climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, damp winters.  Bring a coat for the winter months, jacket for cooler evenings and the lightest of clothing for high summer, July to September. Following a short rainy season Gozo is a carpet of green, gold and dotted patches of wild flowers.  Sea temperatures are good into October, and some say this is the best time for swimming.  Always wear a suitable sunscreen, even on  cloudier days, and bring sunglasses and a hat.  More climate details here.

Crime
The Maltese islands are a comparatively safe place to holiday, with very little violent crime.  Common sense though, should always prevail and the usual precautions taken against pick pockets or bag snatchers in crowded places.  Any incidents should be reported directly to the Police - there is a station usually in each town.

Disabled facilities
The Maltese Islands are not easy for travellers with disabilities.  Naturally, the terrain is often hilly and pavements can be difficult to navigate easily.  The Maltese and Gozitans can always be relied upon to provide help when needed, but it is useful to check ahead regarding facilities for disabled travellers.  Tourist information offices can advise on the suitability of sites and museums, and Malta International Airport provides help to disabled travelers on arrival and on departure.

Driving
Driving is on the left, as in the United Kingdom.  Go carefully, as you would in any country whose roads are unfamiliar.  Speed limits are 40mph on highways and 25mph in built up areas.  All current driving licences and international licences are recognised.  If in doubt, check with your local licencing department before you travel.

Fuel prices reflect international prices.


In Gozo petrol stations are open daily from 7.00am - 6.00pm, only a few open Sundays and public holidays, but most station are automated.  You can find stations in Victoria or on the road the Mgarr harbour.

Parking can be difficult and fines are imposed if you leave your car blocking an exit or in a restricted zone.  Tow zones have also been introduced and Traffic Wardens now operate.  Take care to read signs carefully before you park and use a parking disc where this is required - your car hire company will explain this to you.

Electricity & Water
Malta uses the British standard three pin plug.  Electricity is run on a 220-240 volt current. If you have the round two prong style plug then you will need an adaptor.  These are widely available in hardware and electrical  stores.

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink, but may taste different than what you are used to at home.  Bottled water is inexpensive and widely available in shops and supermarkets.


Flight arrivals & departures

* Malta International Airport plc
Luqa LQA 05
Tel:
Fax: (+356) 21249 563
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Government
The Maltese Islands are an independent, constitutional republic. The President is the head of state. His role is essentially ceremonial as executive power lies with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.


There are numerous internet service providers on the islands and a number of internet cafes - in Gozo there are two in Victoria (Arcadia Centre & Aurora Opera House)  and one in Xlendi in the town square.


Gozo lending library in Saint Francis square welcomes visitors - there is also a reference library close by

Local tourist office
Tigrija Palazz, Republic Street
Victoria
Tel: (+356) 21561419
Fax: (+356) 21550254



On Gozo the days newspapers arrive the following morning, with the exception of the Sundays which arrive same day.  There is a wide selection of most European publications and a good supply of international magazines and journals.  As well as Maltese language papers there are two English language newspapers, The Times and The Malta Independent.

Opticians

Mario 57 Triq Putirjal, Victoria Gozo  +356 21556528

Joseph  28 Triq Putirjal, Victoria Gozo +356 21550099

K-Optilks Tigrija Palazz Republic Street Victoria Gozo


Pets
Malta and Gozo are free from rabies, so no animal may be imported from any country where rabies is endemic.  If you plan a longer stay and wish to bring you pet you must check the quarantine regulations applicable to your country.  Formal application should be made to:

The Director of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
14 Mickel Anton Vassallo Street
Valletta
MALTA

Postal Services
Stamps are obtainable from Post Office counters, hotels, some shops and newsagents.  Letter boxes are often built into walls or are of the red British style freestanding  pillar type.  The main Post Office in Victoria can be found at: 129 Triq ir-Repubblika Victoria Gozo.  Mon-Sat 7.30am - 5.15pm.


There is also a poste restante service available and you should write in advance to the Postmaster General at: The General Post Office Auberge d'Italie Merchants Street Valletta Malta.  You should bring along your passport or identity card when collecting post.

 

Radio & tv
TVM is the national public television channel, broadcasting programmes in Maltese and English. There are also a number of independent stations which broadcast in Maltese, but have some English programmes.  There are many commercial radio stations and it is possible to pick the BBC World Service.  See local papers for frequencies which can vary.  Satellite and cable TV is widely available.

Religious Services
Malta is a devoutly Roman Catholic country, but all religions are tolerated, and services are held in various languages for foreign visitors on a Sunday.  On entering church, women must cover bare shoulders and plunging necklines.  If considered to be unsuitably dressed they may be politely refused entrance.  A similar principal applies to men wearing shorts - this rule is strictly applied at Ta' Pinu.  Please respect these wishes.



Sunday Mass in English is held at 10.00am at The Seminary Triq Enrico Mizzi Victoria Gozo
Anglican Service First and Third Wednesday of every month at 11.15am at The Seminary Triq Enrico Mizzi Victoria Gozo

Topless and nude bathing is officially against the law and is punishable by fines.

Telephone
The telephone system on the islands is sophisticated and highly reliable.  You can dial any country on the international direct dialing system if you know the prefix.

00      International Code
356    Direct Dialling Code (Malta)
112    Emergency
196    Ambulance
199    Fire Brigade
1182  Directory Enquiries
1152  Overseas Operator
195    Time Check

Faxes may be sent from Maltacom offices located at Triq ir-Repubblika Victoria Gozo  -  many stationers shops will send and receive faxes also.


Visa & Passport information

It is always advisable to check about visa and entry requirements prior to making your travel arrangements.  If in doubt you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for further information.  Details can also be obtained from:

The Immigration Police
Police Headquarters
Floriana. Malta.
Tel (+356) 21224001
Fax (+356) 21247777 and 21235308
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Malta is a member of the EU (European Union).  Citizens of EU countries have a passport with a uniform design, and this facilitates free movement within member states.  Contact your local passport office if you need further information, and before you make any travel arrangements.