Malta, Tips

Finding an Apartment in Malta

Living in Malta has a lot of perks and many things are easy here, like finding a job, friends or making the residency papers.

What’s rather difficult though is finding a place to stay. As I mentioned on many occasions Malta is a small rock in the middle of the sea, so there is just a limited amount of space and apartments. There are also a lot of tourist and people moving to the island, what makes the rent expensive. It is not impossible to find a great place though, there are just things you should know about before you start looking for a place to live in Malta.

1. Don’t trust the websites.

The websites of the real estate agencies are not updated! That’s a valuable lesson we learned in our first couple of days. They show apartments that have been on the market 5 Years ago and the corresponding prices.

Since then apartment prices have been skyrocketed and places are double the price that they have been before.

The agencies keep them there to make you interested but also because they cannot update as fast as they go away or the owner rents it out. The real estate market is a shark tank here which brings me to my next point:

2. 1000 agents one apartment

I would like to have a number of how many agents are out there, but it is hard to estimate. I can say though that there are a lot of them and sometimes they are fighting to rent out the same apartment.

Some agencies, like Quicklets, do respect one agent’s clients and apartments other agencies even have competition among the same company. As there is a limited amount of apartments and the owners contact several agents you have to be fast when you see an apartment you like, it can be gone the next our.

Regarding the agents’ fees, you should know that they will get half of the amount of the rent from you and the other half from the owner. Also when you rent an apartment you will have to make a deposit to the owner. There are some owners that rent out directly without involving an agent as well.

If you share an apartment rules can be different and usually you will be in contact directly with the people who will be your flatmates. Like in many situations here in Malta Facebook is the place to search for an apartment.

3. Facebook is the way to go

All in all, there are really nice apartments and good agents, you just have to find them and be patient!

As for other important searches in Malta, like the job search, facebook groups are the best way to find updated apartment listings.

In my post about Malta and Facebook, you can find some of those groups but also feel free to ask if you need a recommendation for good agents. Since they are hard to find. I also recommend that if you find a good one keep his or her number safe, you might need it again!

Malta, Tips

Walk around in Sliema

Sliema is maybe the hippest and most busy city in Malta. It is home to many shops, restaurants and bars it is also known as a little posh or “Tal Pepe” how the Maltese call it. But Sliema has a special vibe to it and is home to many hidden gems, especially with you take the side roads and just go out to explore.

Here are some of my favorite spots in Sliema. You can combine them to a nice walk for a day of exploring or visit them individually.

1.Mint

This café is great for a fresh and tasty start in the day. They serve extremely nice, seasonal and also healthy dishes, that are prepared with love. They go great with their freshly brewed coffee or one of the smoothies or juices. Moreover, Mint is located close to the seafront and it is very cozy, even on a rainy day. Aaaand for the digital nomads and freelancers among you: it is also a great place to work from.

The Address: 30/39 Luzio Junction, Stella Maris Street

Dish, coffee sandwich and salmon salad

2. Paws 4 a Cause

Paws for a cause is a nice second-hand shop in the Stella Maris neighborhood of Sliema, not far from Mint. The two lovely British ladies, who own the shop take out the pieces with a great eye for detail and treat every customer with love. They love dogs, so they are very welcome to visit the shop with their owners. On a lucky day, you can find great deals and amazing clothes or home supplies.

The Address: 25 George Borg Oliver Street

3. Fly the Fly Vintage

In a different corner of Sliema is another unique store. The Vintage shop offers carefully restored and well presented vintage clothes and new collections that are just as unique. The young ladies that run this shop are just as friendly and always happy to help. My special tip: have a look at their collection of glasses! Just looking around is worth it, as the shop is very nicely designed and feels very welcoming.

The Address: 6a Manuel Dimech Street

4. Caffé Berry

Time for a coffee break or just a quick espresso? Caffé Berry is the place for you. Squeezed into a little corner and always full, but they offer great coffee and interesting varieties like their pistachio cappuccino and many other surprises.

The Address: 68A San Duminiku Street

5. Serafino

This family-owned Restaurant is the perfect lunch place for visitors, who want to try a great Ftira or for anyone working in the area. The takeout is a little cheaper, but also to eat in the well-styled restaurant is not that expensive. A great place for a lunch or to snack a huge Ftira, pie or pasta salad.

The Address: 67A San Duminiku Street

6. Sunset Records

The place for music lovers and vinyl fans! Sunset records is a small, hidden record store with old and new pieces of vinyl and very competent staff. If you live digging through vinyl and discover some treasures, you can skip visiting this store.

The Address: 57 San Piju V Street

7. The Soap Café

More a shop than a café, the soap café is a very nice place to buy gifts or a treat for yourself. They sell handmade and organic soaps and everything else you need to stay clean and they even fill up your travel bottles, if needed.

The Address: 46 Santa Maria Street

8. Souvenirs that don’t suck

I talked about this place on other occasions but is a must on your stroll through Sliema. The shop and coworking space just turned two and is hopefully open for a long long time. The owners supply us with great and innovative souvenirs for ourselves or for friends and family. No matter if you want a cool T-shirt, a cool beanie or a postcard for your grandma, they have a unique souvenir for everyone. Just swing by, even if it just for a chat with the lovely owners.

The Address: 108 Manuel Dimech Street

9. The Hole in the Wall

This bar has a long tradition and is a great place to finish up your walk around Sliema. The place was founded over 90 years ago and is the oldest bar in Sliema, that is hard to see now since it got a complete makeover. Nevertheless, it is a perfect hangout place for the after-work beer or a nice finish for the perfect holiday. You can even try some Maltese craft beers there.

The Address: 31 High Street

Of course, there are many more places to discover. I will dedicate a post to the best cafes in Sliema and one to best restaurants for sure. However, enjoy your walk and make sure to discover a lot in the side streets of Sliema. And of course, one dedicated to the shops being locally abroad by selling Swedish, Rumanian or other local treats. Also coming up: hidden gems in Valetta.

Enjoy!

Sunset over bay in Malta St. Julian
Malta, Tips, Uncategorized

Some ideas for the rest of the summer

It’s late August people and in many parts of the world, it is time to prepare mentally for autumn. In Malta, we are blessed with sunny days all over Summer and Autumn. But your holiday might come to an end and you are looking for some ideas to have something awesome to do in rest of the summer.

Here some ideas I thought of, to have some wonderful late summer days and a nice early autumn

1.Go Snorkeling:

We recently started Snorkeling and it is one of my favorite things to do on a warm summer day. Malta is one of the best places to try it out. If you have some days to spare, grab some goggles and go to one of the best snorkeling spots like:

St. Peter’s Pool ( south close to Marsaxlokk)

Paradise Bay (North, close to the Gozo ferry)

sea bay Malta boats
paradise Bay

Wied Il-Għasri in Gozo (North of Gozo, close to Zebbugg)

sea between rocks Malta
Wied Il Gharsi

Around Sliema, for example, the Tigne Point (Center- east, the Sliema area)

And many, many more

 

2. Visit a Festa 

You might have heard that noises that sound like bombs all over Malta and you might have seen the decorated streets, at least in pictures. Well, that is because of the village Festas. With the feasts, the local communities celebrate their church and their saints. There are a couple of feasts every week during summer and some are well well planned and huge, whereas others are a little smaller and less overwhelming. The neighbors collect money the whole year long for the decoration and fireworks, that are an important part of the celebration.

There will be food trucks and drinks and every festa has a local marching band performing. Here you can find a list of the feasts, make sure to see at least one during your last summer days in Malta.

church lights night
local Festa in Msida

3. Watch an open air movie

The Café Society is a nice and small bar in Valletta (Triq San Gwann), that not only has the best Aperol Spritz around but also organizes Cinemoon, an open air cinema. Currently, they have a line of time themed movies running. The atmosphere in the streets of Valetta paired with a great movie and an awesome cocktail is the best way to spend some of the last summer days. The movies are shown on Thursdays at around 8.30.

 

stairs movie showing Valetta Malta
It is also time to enjoy a nice Maltese Platter in one of the local bars and enjoy the Sundowns.