ETIAS - Traveling to Malta
U.S. citizens can travel to Malta using an ETIAS visa waiver
Country of Malta
- Euro (€)
- UTC+1 (Central European Time)
- Maltese and English
U.S. Embassy Malta
- U.S. Embassy Valletta
Ta’ Qali National Park
Attard, ATD 4000
Phone: (356) 2561 4000
Emergency Malta Telephone Numbers
112 (112 is the equivalent to 911 in the US)
Malta: An Overview
The Republic of Malta is one of the smallest countries in Europe, a rocky archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean, lying south of the Italian island of Sicily and straddled between Europe and North Africa. This popular vacation destination has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and of the Schengen Agreement since 2007. Malta has a population of almost 500,000 people and each year attracts 1.1 million tourists who come for the beaches, archeology, history, cultural pursuits, the boundless watersports, and the hip after dark scene. With breezy hot summers, mild winters and little rain, it offers year-round island activities.
The island's long history includes a cavalcade of rulers, including Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines, Arabs, Greeks, Normans, and the British, who granted independence to Malta in 1964. The many cultures that have shaped its past and present make it a fascinating place to explore. But the Mediterranean climate of course is a big part of its appeal.
No era left such a mark on the island as the 250-year rule of the Order of the Knights of St. John (also known as the Knights Hospitaller), a Catholic military order established by Pope Gregory in 603 A.D. The knights gave Malta one of its most famous symbols, the eight-pointed Maltese Cross and their history can be glimpsed in some of the buildings they left behind. In addition to the fortified capital city of Valletta, there are battlements, watchtowers, aqueducts, churches, and forts all over the island.
The Republic of Malta is comprised of three primary islands: Malta and sister islands, Gozo, and Comino. Island hopping is popular as each offers something unique to sojourners wishing to explore this Mediterranean paradise.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, ETIAS, will be in effect in 2021. Authorization for the ETIAS Visa Waiver Program for US citizens allows for visa-free travel with a generous 90-day limit to Malta and anywhere in the Schengen area. With ETIAS approval travelers from the United States can tour the small island nation to discover its many treasures.
Primary languages: Maltese, English, and some Italian.
Where to Go
The historic city of Valletta defined by Baroque charm is the country's capital, an elegant center of art, culture, and dining where many streets lead to the sea. This compact and easily walkable walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century. Historical treasures are around almost every corner, from the ramparts and turrets of the fortifications that surround the Grand Harbor to the late 16th century Saint John's Co-Cathedral and the Grand Master's Palace; a lavish building constructed between the 16th and 19th centuries which serves as the Office of the President of Malta. Visitors can explore the courtyard, palace staterooms, and armory. Highlights include Baroque ceiling paintings, 18th-century French tapestries, and 16th-century frescoes depicting the Great Siege of Malta.
Valletta's cultural credibility is built on its museums, galleries, and art spaces such as the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Malta National Community Art Museum. In 2018, the city was chosen as one of the European Capitals of Culture for that year. Other points of interest that visitors to the Maltese capital flock to includes the Valletta waterfront, a promenade in the Floriana area, the National Museum of Archaeology, the 18th-century Manoel Theater and the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
The waterfront prom, recently renovated in 2005, itself is filled with attractions, not the least of which are the eateries. Fresh from the sea is the theme, natch, here. Tables shaded by sailcloth along the promenade provide ideal people watching perches. A long reach of classic Baroque buildings with colorful doors back the prom and local artisans’ shops and boutiques ensure visitors can uncover the perfect souvenirs, whether trinket or luxe collectible. Yachts and fishing dories alike fill the harborside marina and cruise ships dot the outer Grand Harbor during high season.
Don't Miss: Fort St. Elmo, a well-preserved star-shaped fort that has defended the city for centuries. The military stronghold occupies the tip of Valletta's peninsula and played a vital role during the Great Siege of 1565. This was an ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the Ottoman Empire to take the island.
Malta Island's craggy coastline is renowned for having some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, sandy havens with clean and clear waters. And thanks to more than 300 days of sunshine per year they can be enjoyed most months of the year. Whether you want to chill out and sunbathe or are into snorkeling and kitesurfing, there are beaches for just about everyone.
Paradise Bay at the northwestern tip of the island and Wied iż-Żurrieq in eastern Malta are both excellent places for snorkeling, boasting fantastic visibility. Mellieha Bay (also called Ghadira Bay) is Malta's longest sandy beach and a big draw for water sports enthusiasts with kitesurfing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, parasailing, and waterskiing among the options. Among the good sunbathing and swimming spots are Golden Bay on the northwest coast and Saint George's Bay, which is just outside Valletta. This small, sandy beach also has a good selection of cafés and restaurants.
There are also a few hidden gems that can be difficult to reach but are well worth the effort. They include Selmun Beach with its unspoiled sands and crystalline water and St. Peter's Pool on the east coast, near the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. There is no beach as such, so sun worshippers spread out their towels on the bay's flat rocky surface. It is mostly frequented by locals and is not always busy, making it a great alternative to the more touristy areas. The island of Gozo is about the size of Manhattan, with less than 1 percent of the people! Instead it is another paradisiac spot for sun and sand. Attractions include Calypso Cave and the Ġgantija Neolithic temples. Comino is tiny. No cars, no cares. It offers one of the greatest jewels of the Mediterranean.
Don't Miss: The Blue Lagoon - a complex of seven caves along the Comino’s southern coast. The best way to experience the beauty of the clear, bright blue waters is with a boat trip inside the grotto. Diving, snorkeling, and beaching here are sublime. Neighboring Countries Malta is an archipelago south of Sicily and east of the north African coast, floating in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is a member of the Schengen Zone and will be eligible for visa-free travel with the ETIAS Visa Waiver Program beginning in 2021.
Malta is an archipelago south of Sicily and east of the north African coast, floating in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is a member of the Schengen Zone and will be eligible for visa-free travel with the ETIAS Visa Waiver Program beginning in 2021.