I feel like people either love or hate Malta so I’ve been wanting to visit Malta for a long time.
Is Malta Baby Friendly?
Before Malta, I traveled to various places with a baby, often those considered baby-unfriendly. Malta was my first trip solo with a baby at 4 months and I expected a great trip. Especially after reading that Malta is a great family destination.
The truth is… it was not baby friendly at all! Malta still remains one of the least baby-friendly destinations I’ve ever visited, but it can be done.
Every place I stayed or visited people seemed to think I’m insane about traveling with a baby and often appeared annoyed (and I must say my first son was the calmest baby on earth at this age, he never cried or fussed at all). I never felt welcomed at all.
I’m yet to find ONE restaurant in entire Malta that had a high chair or changing table. In fact, the infamous photo of changing my son in the sink is from Valetta, but in most places I had to put my changing mat on the floor to change him (bathrooms were too small for the stroller). This is obviously just the character of the island but it didn’t make it easy.
For me personally, it wasn’t an issue as my kids don’t need much, but these things can be a big no-no to many families.
I don’t freak out often, but my biggest issue with traveling to Malta with a baby was that in various situations it was pretty unsafe – like the fact that various areas have no sidewalks and I had to walk with my stroller on the road along with various crazy drivers to get to the store.
What to Do in Malta with a Baby
I expected gorgeous beaches on every corner of the island, but instead all we saw were rocky, overcrowded, and cement-like beaches all over Malta and Gozo.
As you probably know Azure Window is no more as this natural limestone arch, featured in several films and every postcard of Malta ever, collapsed into the sea in March of 2017.
The Blue Lagoon in Coming requires a boat tour which with a baby was next to impossible to do, and even if we did it was way too crowded to swim comfortably.
When I visited the famous Paradise Bay in Malta it was so crowded I couldn’t even find a tiny spot to sit, so we had to leave.
Gozo in particular proved to be difficult with a baby, because even in a carrier the majestic spots were mostly rocky and not easily passable.
Valleta had flatter streets and things were happening, but unless you wanted to stick to a few main streets everywhere else was stairs so
The most fun we had was actually in Mdina. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you might know that some very important scenes from the first season were filmed in Malta.
Mdina was stroller friendly, not crowded, easy to get to and people seemed more welcoming than in Valetta or St Julians.
Traveling to Malta with a Baby: Basics
Car Seats in Malta
The laws on child car seats in Malta are less rigid than in some other nations in Europe. Children under the age of 3 cannot travel as front or rear seat passengers unless using a suitable restraint system, so basically – if they’re 3 years and older they can legally use a seatbelt only.
I saw multiple instances of kids climbing around in moving cars so they basically don’t care. Don’t expect any taxi at the airport to have a car seat available even if you order one (speaking from experience). I was forced to take one at some point and not even the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
In reality, nobody really cared that we haven’t brought a car seat to Malta as I wasn’t planning on renting a car. In fact, locals were encouraging me to take a taxi or arranged transport over public buses.
Strollers in Malta
A stroller might be your worst nightmare in Malta, especially in places like Valetta. I mostly ended up carrying my stroller up and down the stairs nonstop and the streets have lots of holes. It was the next level bad if you compare with Italy.
The streets are narrow and hard to navigate with a stroller. This even applies to the pedestrian zone, which is a bit better but still pretty uneven when it comes to the terrain.
Baby Products and Diapers in Malta
I was on a short trip so didn’t need much, but I actually ran out of diapers and visited a big store in St Julians. The store was fully stocked with various items like wipes and diapers of many brands.
There was a wide range of baby food was available along with formula. I spotted at least 5 brands, so you don’t need to worry about that. There are lots of Hipp Organic which are considered the best baby food.
For formula-fed babies, the quality of the water in Malta is generally quite good and I was advised it’s fine to just boil tap water.
Bringing Babies to Restaurants in Malta
Most restaurants weren’t accommodating at all, even though I didn’t need a high chair or special treatment. I just needed to put the stroller somewhere outside.
I asked for a bit of hot water to warm up my formula and the waitress team appeared all confused and started pointing at me to everyone else. Similar situations occurred every single day, so I began to think that this is the weird norm.
I found Maltese being pretty unfriendly towards babies. Nobody ever let us use a seat on a public bus. On the plane, I was seated next to a Maltese man who decided to complain loudly that he doesn’t want to sit next to a baby (and my son was fast asleep the entire flight, didn’t even move!).
Public Transportation with Babies in Malta
Malta has a decent system of public transport. In theory, many buses are fully accessible for buggies and are air-conditioned and there is also a special area allocated for pregnant women and parents holding young children. I’m saying in theory as in reality it’s different.
Buses get so packed in the spring and summer that they won’t even stop at multiple stops because they’re so overpacked. I had bus drivers stopping for me as they felt bad I’m standing at the bus stop for what felt like forever (30+ minutes) and telling me I can get in up front with nothing to hold onto and holding onto the stroller with my baby for dear life.
That said, rent a car. Traveling around Malta by car is the easiest way to experience it all.
Do you have any questions about traveling to Malta with a baby?