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

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

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

While operators are hoping to recoup two years of losses brought about by the pandemic, inflated prices risk driving holidaymakers to other Mediterranean destinations rather than Malta.

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

Stays in other popular European hotspots can be found for much cheaper.

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

Tourists can secure a good deal in the Spanish capital Madrid too, with Airbnb accommodation available at just over €430 for two in July.

Hotel nights in Sliema are also a little pricier.

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

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

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

Eating out A basic meal at a mainstream restaurant is up to 50 per cent more expensive in Malta when compared to Portugal.

At the time of 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, whereas the average for Greece is €10. In Spain, one would pay in the region of €11, and €12 in Cyprus for a similar meal.

Beer: one of the few things that tourists can find cheaper in Malta than elsewhere. 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 in the region of €8 in Malta, equivalent to the price in Spain, in Greece and in Portugal it costs an average of €6.50 whereas in Cyprus the price is around €6.15.

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

Whereas the average price of a cappuccino from a local restaurant hovers at around €2.25, puts the price for the same coffee from a Portuguese restaurant at €1.38, and at €1.65 in a Spanish one.

The Greeks and the 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 at a restaurant in Malta is equivalent to the price in Spain.

In Greece, expect to pay just about 50c for a bottle while dining out. In Cyprus the same bottle costs around 69c and 95c in Portugal.

Compared to its counterparts, Malta’s beer is well priced.

Numbeo sets the cost for a half-litre of local beer on draught 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 for the glass.

Transport Travelling around Malta is slightly costlier than the other four countries.

Between June and October, the cost for a single-trip 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 Cyprus Public Transport official website. If you pay by card however, you save 50c on your ticket.

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

Taxi services cost on average as much in Malta as they do in Cyprus according to The site shows that in Malta, a short taxi trip with a minimum charge sets you off 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 websites and, one should expect to pay around €26 per day in peak season in Malta for a basic car.

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

Car rental is pricey in Portugal too, 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 peak 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 rentals.

Culture According to MUŻA’s official website, a standard ticket for a visitor to Malta’s fine arts museum costs €10.

That is the same price you would pay to visit the Acropolis Museum in Greece in peak 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 fork out €20 to visit the Cyprus Museum of Modern Arts.



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