Malta is a great destination for many travelers to the Mediterranean, and Malta International Airport will be your entry and exit point if you choose to fly.
When in Malta, you have to keep your wits about you, this is not Northern Europe. Things can go so many more different ways than you’re used to. If you’ve been to other warm climate regions before, you know what I mean. Things run a little differently in warmer parts of the world. A book called Foreign to Familiar has actually been written about this by the way. It is a very interesting read if you’re from Europe or North America and plan to visit Asia and Africa, or anywhere else with a culture very different from yours!
This post is about tips to help you navigate your trip to and through Malta International Airport though, so I will get right into it. I have written about these in other post before, so if you’ve read “Going to Malta this spring/summer?” you don’t need to read this again.
Now to the tips on Malta International Airport
1. If your budget allows, take a cab to the airport. Buses can be late pretty often in Malta. Actually, cabs too. Pad your trip to the airport with lots of buffer time just in case. Malta is not the place to be like my better half. He is a frequent traveler who is accustomed to systems that run like well oiled machines, and tends to arrive at the airport just as boarding is opening. This system has worked excellently for him for some inexplicable reason. It makes him feel like James Bond, I think. Don’t do this in Malta in peak season. You might be okay in January, but you don’t want to risk it in April, May, June, and onwards through summer.
2. Tip 2 builds on 1 above. The airport can get crazy busy! I am writing this aboard a flight out of Malta, and the size of the crowd at the airport today was unbelievable. It’s a small but busy airport. The line to security was crazy long, the cab I had booked the night before had picked me up almost 15 minutes late! It takes 20 minutes to get to the airport if the roads are good and not busy. Transport in Malta is a recipe for missing your flight, if not careful.
3. If flying business or first class, ask to be directed to the fast track security desk. As mentioned earlier, it’s a small airport and there isn’t a dedicated separate area for fast track customers to go through security separately. When the crowds are large, it’s not obvious where the fast track desk at Malta International Airport is so make sure to ask! I was lucky to be flying business today, so I was able to avoid the work mammoth crowd and long lines but I had to ask one of the staff, who had to ask her supervisor, then I was led to the fast track desk.
4. When taking a cab from Valletta, do not take the white ones outside Valletta gate. They will give you an exorbitant price. Pick up your phone and call for a cab instead, it will likely be better priced.
5. More on cabs. Do not ask the restaurants in Valletta to call you a cab. They will likely call the white ones, which will be even more expensive than walking to Valletta gate to get it yourself. Call the cab yourself. Unless you don’t mind paying some euros extra. Myself, I prefer not to be cheated out of my hard-earned money. I prefer eCabs. I find their rates reasonable.
6. If you need a cab from Malta International Airport, I have found the cab booth at the exit of the airport (after customs) quite reliable. From my past experience, this is the only time I would advise you to take white cabs in Malta. On any other occasion, you’re on your own.
7. When traveling to Malta, read TripAdvisor reviews on everything before you pay for it. Everything! I have heard crazy (but true) stories about a certain well-known Malta to Gozo cruise company that I shall not name. You’ll be very glad you did your homework!