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36 Shocking Pros and Cons of Moving to Malta

Found this article, although I'd have something to add here and there, in gerneral I can agree  :)

36 Shocking Pros and Cons of Moving to Malta

Think it is very much an article written by someone who has not been here long enough to give what is portrayed as factual advice.
Many statements are not correct and many are just the opinion of the writer but portrayed as fact.

Ray

there are no facts existing, when it comes to personal experience  ;)

most of the negative aspects/facts proclaimed here in this forum I personally cannot confirm, sometimes I even get the impression we are talking about totally different countries.

this article at least tries not to turn a nasty fly into a demon elephant  :lol:

There are many truths but something which I don't agree. Saying there is 3-4 month where you would need central heating is a bit over the top. I would say December, January and February can be cold, but to need central heating I would say only two months. Of course if you live in a half-derelict ground-level maisonette maybe you are freezing 4 months, but you only have to go outside in the sun, which it is 340 days a year out there, Malta is one of the few places you can get a sunstroke in December.

If you are into high cuisine, I suppose it must be expensive, but I would say then that it is expensive everywhere. For the rest, even in very touristic places like Valletta or Marsaxlokk, you can get proper food at reasonable restaurant prices, much better than the average EU country.

And saying that internet, 30 mbps fiber-glass for 30 € a month is expensive, is I think stretching it out too much. Maybe if you live in Sweden or something like this....

And well, bureaucracy maybe slow, but at least it is "real". I mean, you know where the office is, and you can really "interact" with them. Things are not so overly-complicated, as it is a small country, options are more limited and you can get a more personal insight. In countries like Spain, it doesn't work, it is slow, and they will never ever change their opinion about anything, so claiming or speaking is useless, and I fear that this is more or less the same case in other big EU countries.

By the other hand, it is absolutely true that when opening a bank account, it seems you are expected to explain your whole life and all your economic records, regardless of privacy. It is also very true about the stubborness.

Thanks OP for the mention, and others for your comments!

I'm the author of this article so figured I'd ship in.

I just wanted to say in response to a few of you that it's needless to say that what I write is purely my opinion, and depdning on who you are or even where in Malta your are, your experience may be vastly different.

Also when it comes to comparisons, I can of course only compare Malta to the countries that I personally have experience with (i.e. where I've lived), and even though it's a significant variety, they're all EU countries, so saying things like "how can you say Internet in Malta is slow and expensive, if in Brazil we have it so much worse?" doesn't really serve a purpose. (This is just an example, of course)

As for the points raised by MaltaCommando:

Saying there is 3-4 month where you would need central heating is a bit over the top. I would say December, January and February can be cold, but to need central heating I would say only two months.

This has probably got to do mostly with the cold tolerance of a specific individual, it seems. Personally, having spent three winters in Malta I've had to have heating on every single one of the three, from late Dec to early April or so. And no, I don't live in a half-derelict ground-level masionette either - I've lived in two separate apartments, both newly built and fairly "standard".

But again, YMMV, of course. Some buildings are better insulated than others and some people are more cold-tolerant than others. All I can rely on is my personal experience and what I hear from my friends and acquaintances - and as the two seem to mostly match, I can make an educated guess that this is the 'norm', so to speak.

If you are into high cuisine, I suppose it must be expensive, but I would say then that it is expensive everywhere. For the rest, even in very touristic places like Valletta or Marsaxlokk, you can get proper food at reasonable restaurant prices, much better than the average EU country.

Again, I'm merely comparing to countries that:
a) I've personal experience with;
b) Have economies similar to that of Malta.

Needless to say, eating out in places like London or San Francisco is several times more expensive than eating out in Malta, but so is the average household income. The fact is that the price of an average restaurant meal in Malta when viewed as a perentage of the average annual salary is much higher here than it is in most other EU countries. It only takes a few minutes to Google it and land on research.

This isn't an issue to me personally, but I figured it's an important thing to point out to those who enjoy eating out a lot but do depend on a local job and salary.

And saying that internet, 30 mbps fiber-glass for 30 € a month is expensive, is I think stretching it out too much. Maybe if you live in Sweden or something like this....

In fact, the Maltese Internet is both the most expensive AND the slowest in all of EU. This article might be an interesting read:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/vi … ive.589248

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On the other hand, having received tons of feedback about this article and the rest (most of it positive, though), I've indeed been pointed out some (other) bits that were slightly inaccurate or very dependent on one's personal situation, e.g. rental costs that nowadays vary widely depending on the area, etc. - and I'm shortly going to amend the article accordingly, as the goal is to have it share as accurate information as possible. With over 5,000 (!) views in the 5 days that it's been live, it's probably an important source of information for newcomers and it's therefore my responsibility to keep the information as accurate and up to date as possible.

In summery, I'm always keen to hear feedback, and as long as it's adequate and constructive, more than happy to take it into consideration.

Thanks again,
Janar

It's a good article. There are a few things I disagree with but as you say YMMV. Keep doing what you're doing - you've got a great blog! :)

During winter 2014/2015 I used the heaters almost every night from Dec to Apr, last winter only for 3 or 4 weeks  :)
Whenever I perform a speed test, 18-20 mbps is the maximum, before about 12 mbps when I paid for 25 ... and especially on a rainy Sunday afternoon in winter the internet seems to come to a standstill  :(

matm911 :

During winter 2014/2015 I used the heaters almost every night from Dec to Apr, last winter only for 3 or 4 weeks  :)
Whenever I perform a speed test, 18-20 mbps is the maximum, before about 12 mbps when I paid for 25 ... and especially on a rainy Sunday afternoon in winter the internet seems to come to a standstill  :(

That mirrors my experience exactly. :)

1. When we stayed in Malta we needed heating from Dec to the end of March. At nights. I guess it differs year to year though.

2. Internet speed/price ratio is horrible in Malta. Malta has some of the worst (if not the worst) connectivity speeds/prices in all of Europe. I just did a quick speed test and for 9.95/month I get 75 Mbps down, 95 Mbps up. These speeds (and prices - especially on long-term plans) are common across most of Europe. You'd pay at least 7-10x that (every month) for the same quality in Malta.

Even on the tiny island of Menorca we managed to secure a 300 Mbps down 30 Mbps up connection for under 50/month. We had 300/300 down/up for about the same price in a small village (La Orotava) in Tenerife... Same in Croatia, Portugal, Estonia, Lithuania, etc.

Funny but you can't even get a 300 Mbps connection in Malta. At least not at a reasonable price.

Bottom line is don't come to Malta is you stream live content over the Internet and need a reliable connection. I know that 99.9% of people don't so this is only relevant to a very small number of people. :)

I Pay €29 a month and get an average 32Mbps (29 using WiFi) from a quoted 35Mbps.
I stream about 10 - 15GB a day and rarely have any problems even whilst streaming live TV at the same time!
I downloaded 5 films at once last night using  Kodi and they were all completed in less than an hour.
Many expats who compare broadband prices forget that the landline is included here whereas I believe the UK is now around £17 (€20) on top of whatever you pay for.

Ray

I think the title is a bit misleading, as i find nothing shocking about these pros and cons ... Quite a well-balanced article.

Otherwise, i like the fact that you put Senglea as a  picture for pros and St Julian's under cons :D

nilonilonilo :

I think the title is a bit misleading, as i find nothing shocking about these pros and cons ... Quite a well-balanced article.

Otherwise, i like the fact that you put Senglea as a  picture for pros and St Julian's under cons :D

Thanks!

I do admit that the "shocking" part was a bit of a click-bait  :shy

But the bottom picture is actually of Marsalforn, Gozo (a rather nice place - used to live there for a year!) - it was just suiting because of the dark tones, clouds, etc. - so can't take any credit for this, although St Julian's would've definitely suited well for it :)

Oops, my bad, thought it was Balluta Bay ... but yes, it would need a lot more buildings instead of visible hills ....

Well, my experience with internet comes basically from Italy, Spain and Portugal, which it seems they are quite bad in terms of latency and price. At least when I left Spain back in 2012, there was no such offers as 300 mpbs for under 50 € a month! it seems things have changed.

At least with my internet I am fully satisfied, I can download popular games or programs in less than half and hour, and I never have problems streaming even with two computers on, and I've maybe had 1 internet cut of 10 minutes in the last 6 months. I would really need a much faster computer to take advantage of a faster internet (in other words, a laptop of 1500 € or so) if not your own hardware cannot process as fast as your connection.

One point you can add is that in Malta, all technology is incredibly more expensive. Comparing to Spain or UK, you will be paying more or less double for a computer or other similar advanced technology. Also, unlike other countries, there is not huge super shops where you have a vast choice (like Ikea, to name an example) so you will have to drag around trying to find the best shop for choice and price.

MaltaCommando :

One point you can add is that in Malta, all technology is incredibly more expensive. Comparing to Spain or UK, you will be paying more or less double for a computer or other similar advanced technology. Also, unlike other countries, there is not huge super shops where you have a vast choice (like Ikea, to name an example) so you will have to drag around trying to find the best shop for choice and price.

We bought a new iPad Pro 9.7 three months ago, which is listed at £500 in PC world for, €700 in Malta at Intercomp. As the exchange rate at the time was 1.40 that is exactly the same price!
A Dell Core i5,  2.9 Ghz laptop is €660, I would not call that expensive.

Ray

I actually wouldn't know much about the prices of electronics here, as I do 90% of my gadget-shopping online.

Not really missing the megastores either, as at the end of the day there's not a lot of difference between going to a physical shop vs shopping around on Amazon. In fact, I prefer the latter as whilst in a shop you can (sometimes, rarely) try the item out first, shopping online you can take the time to read reviews, which is often far better than a 30-second trial.

And if it's a big purchase then you can obviously be the worst customer of the year and go to a shop to see the item in question, but order it online afterwards :) Not personally a fan of this but I know many who do it all the time.

But then there's of course the fact of often enormous delivery charges, which is a bit annoying but hey ho.

MaltaCommando :

Well, my experience with internet comes basically from Italy, Spain and Portugal, which it seems they are quite bad in terms of latency and price. At least when I left Spain back in 2012, there was no such offers as 300 mpbs for under 50 € a month! it seems things have changed.

At least with my internet I am fully satisfied, I can download popular games or programs in less than half and hour, and I never have problems streaming even with two computers on, and I've maybe had 1 internet cut of 10 minutes in the last 6 months. I would really need a much faster computer to take advantage of a faster internet (in other words, a laptop of 1500 € or so) if not your own hardware cannot process as fast as your connection.

One point you can add is that in Malta, all technology is incredibly more expensive. Comparing to Spain or UK, you will be paying more or less double for a computer or other similar advanced technology. Also, unlike other countries, there is not huge super shops where you have a vast choice (like Ikea, to name an example) so you will have to drag around trying to find the best shop for choice and price.

Yea all kinds of computer hardware is way overpriced in Malta. I find it funny that they advertise 1-2 year old releases as "the latest in bla bla" and charge 50% more than pretty much anywhere else. But to be honest this isn't a huge issue as I believe almost everyone who buys more expensive electronics does so in continental Europe. This applies to laptops, desktop computers, tablets, phones, etc.

It might not be very obvious to people who are not knowledgeable in those areas but what Maltese sellers do is sell you cheap/low grade hardware whilst advertising it as high end stuff. There are huge performance, reliability and other differences - but it's difficult for a untrained person to know that. :(

As for internet speeds - yea Spain improved A LOT over the last few years. They have fiber optics EVERYWHERE in Menorca, small villages in Mallorca, etc. Interestingly some parts of Palma still don't have access to it heh. I must say I'm really impressed with the progress. Same goes for Portugal. I'm not sure about Italy though. All studies seems to indicate that Malta has the worst or some of the worst internet infrastructure in Europe. Again like you say it's not really a problem if you're a casual user.

janark :

I actually wouldn't know much about the prices of electronics here, as I do 90% of my gadget-shopping online.

Not really missing the megastores either, as at the end of the day there's not a lot of difference between going to a physical shop vs shopping around on Amazon. In fact, I prefer the latter as whilst in a shop you can (sometimes, rarely) try the item out first, shopping online you can take the time to read reviews, which is often far better than a 30-second trial.

And if it's a big purchase then you can obviously be the worst customer of the year and go to a shop to see the item in question, but order it online afterwards :) Not personally a fan of this but I know many who do it all the time.

But then there's of course the fact of often enormous delivery charges, which is a bit annoying but hey ho.

Biggest problem with shopping on line for high value, high tech items from Amazon and the like is when they go wrong, the warranty situation becomes a nightmare and can be very expensive as you will probably be responsible for all transport costs and you can't just take it back and speak to someone!

Ray

F0xgl0ve :
janark :

I actually wouldn't know much about the prices of electronics here, as I do 90% of my gadget-shopping online.

Not really missing the megastores either, as at the end of the day there's not a lot of difference between going to a physical shop vs shopping around on Amazon. In fact, I prefer the latter as whilst in a shop you can (sometimes, rarely) try the item out first, shopping online you can take the time to read reviews, which is often far better than a 30-second trial.

And if it's a big purchase then you can obviously be the worst customer of the year and go to a shop to see the item in question, but order it online afterwards :) Not personally a fan of this but I know many who do it all the time.

But then there's of course the fact of often enormous delivery charges, which is a bit annoying but hey ho.

Biggest problem with shopping on line for high value, high tech items from Amazon and the like is when they go wrong, the warranty situation becomes a nightmare and can be very expensive as you will probably be responsible for all transport costs and you can't just take it back and speak to someone!

Ray

That's what I would've thought as well, until something actually happened and I did have to return an item (first time in 15 years of regularly buying electronics online). And I was very positively surprised with Amazon, as not only did they make the return process super easy, but they paid me for my postage (actually even more - got something like £9 postage comp whereas it actually cost me something like €3 to send the parcel to the UK) and everything was sorted quickly.

Contrary to this, when I bought something from a local shop in Gozo a year ago (it was an IT shop but what I bought was an office chair) and it broke down 3 months later, I went back to the shop only to find that it had been shut down in the meantime.

With this in mind, I'd be MUCH more inclined to buy from a large, reputable online store than from local mom and pop establishments.

Always buy all electronics from large, reputable providers. Almost no local store is going to exchange your monitor for free when the main board breaks down after six months of use. At best they might offer to send it to a certified technician/provider but that can take weeks (sometimes months) to sort out.

Large retailers like Amazon will exchange the item for free (postage, etc paid by them) most of the time. Because they can afford it.

I really don't know what to say; it is much better for all the warranty process to buy in a physical shop, but I saw that for example, to buy a new desktop pc, I would have to pay around 400 € more to buy it here in Malta. Of course, it is a bit difficult to convince yourself to pay nearly double, so I bought it on eBay. The result; they sent me the pc with the hard disk rattling disattached, scratching the inside. Had to message them, they sent me a new hard disk and I had to install it myself (just as well I knew how to do it), and had to spend days reinstalling windows and the like. But in the end, I am not satisfied at all, it has great specs, but many games gives me problems, the refrigerating fans make a huge noise and it just doesn't seem to work as fast and well as it should.

But then again I am bit unlucky when buying computers. I bought one at a physical shop without the RAM cards, and after bringing it back they put a lower spec one which I didn't notice until much later. Another laptop I ordered online arrived with a broken screen and I had to go to the physical shop to change it as I had to take a flight the next day and couldn't wait. Maybe I try too much to buy the cheapest one with the best specifications...

I've just seen an offer from Austrian Telecom (AON) regarding their internet packages:
100 MBps ... EUR 59,80 / month
  50 MBps ... EUR 44,80 / month
  30 MBps ... EUR 32,80 / month
  16 MBps ... EUR 26,80 / month

MALTA IS SOOOO CHEAP  :lol:

For electronics I can recommend Conrad.com
Very good prices, good shipping rates and since they use DHL Deutsche Post, the packages always arrived after a few days and in good condition  :top:

MaltaCommando :

I really don't know what to say; it is much better for all the warranty process to buy in a physical shop, but I saw that for example, to buy a new desktop pc, I would have to pay around 400 € more to buy it here in Malta. Of course, it is a bit difficult to convince yourself to pay nearly double, so I bought it on eBay. The result; they sent me the pc with the hard disk rattling disattached, scratching the inside. Had to message them, they sent me a new hard disk and I had to install it myself (just as well I knew how to do it), and had to spend days reinstalling windows and the like. But in the end, I am not satisfied at all, it has great specs, but many games gives me problems, the refrigerating fans make a huge noise and it just doesn't seem to work as fast and well as it should.

But then again I am bit unlucky when buying computers. I bought one at a physical shop without the RAM cards, and after bringing it back they put a lower spec one which I didn't notice until much later. Another laptop I ordered online arrived with a broken screen and I had to go to the physical shop to change it as I had to take a flight the next day and couldn't wait. Maybe I try too much to buy the cheapest one with the best specifications...

Buy "sold and shipped" by Amazon, Oveclockers, ROG and you won't have any problems. Physical shops are not better for warranties in any way. Most will just send you to a authorized provider to get  it fixed which depending on a country can take months.

when it comes to warranty, I found that amazon, Conrad etc. are much better than "physical" shops.
You contact them with the problem, they instruct you to send back the good and you immediately receive either a replacement or you get the money back ... try this in a Maltese shop  :lol:

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