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City vs country life: find the right location for you in Malta

Dhalia - city vs countryside

Finding the right place to live in Malta depends on many factors. There are practical considerations such as purchase and rental prices, the cost of living and availability of local amenities. Then there are the emotional criteria, such as the desirability of a place, family ties and where your friends live.

Where people live greatly affects their lifestyle and is one of the major decisions that they make in life. Opinions differ tremendously from person to person: Some prefer and argue that city is the best place to live since it provides so many advantages over rural areas. But others feel that smaller villages or countryside locations are the best places to live the good life. Both settings have their advantages and disadvantages.

So If you are currently making this very decision but are not sure which is the best option for you, it may help to look at the benefits and disadvantages of both.

city vs country

Life and cost of living

For an active social life, you may be better off living somewhere in the Greater Valletta area. The most popular areas, especially with ex pats are Sliema, St Julian’s and Paceville, north-west of Valletta. While these towns are among some of the most expensive for accommodation, they are also the best introduction to life in Malta as there is always plenty going on. The northern towns of Mellieħa, St Paul’s Bay and Buġibba are also very popular with ex pats. Buġibba is a busy hub, while Mellieħa and St Paul’s Bay are quieter towns that are popular with retired people. Property in these towns is cheaper than in the Harbour area. These are some of the busiest towns and cities on the islands and it is virtually impossible to step outside without being seen by other people.

By contrast, if you want privacy and tranquillity the rural areas of southern Malta and the island of Gozo are the preferable options. Gozo has a slower pace of life than its sister Island and is popular with retired people, artists and international celebrities craving an escape from the limelight. Property in these areas also tends to be far more reasonable than those in the busier parts of Malta. In the countryside, privacy is hardly even an issue and traffic just a distant notion. It is true that one then has to travel further afield when the urge for a fun night out arises. However, that’s a small price to pay for lovers of a more rustic lifestyle.


In general, in Malta, we all have access to all the same transportation systems. However, the larger towns and cities are generally served by more bus routes, with more frequency.  As a result, people from rural areas can be more dependent on car usage. However, recent updates in Malta’s Public Transport system have led to an improvement in routes to most areas. Rush hour traffic in Malta can be very stressful and buses are often full or late. So whether using your own transport or opting for the buses, getting to your workplace could be an issue whatever location you settle in.

With modern infrastructure and development on Malta’s roads, however, living in a rural location does not necessarily mean having to put up with bad roads. In both Malta and Gozo, recent years have seen a lot of investment in the road networks. When wanting to escape to the Big Smoke, Gozo is also very well served by a regular ferry service between the two islands.

Dhalia - city vs c

Play and medical services

Obviously, city dwellers have access to many leisure pursuits right on their doorsteps. They have easy access to theatres, cinemas, parks, museums, libraries, bars and restaurants.  Residents of the countryside have to take some form of transport to reach these venues. However, given the size of Malta as a whole, nowhere is really too far to get to. On the flip side, the wide open spaces of rural Malta allow for more outdoor pursuits.   Children have as much space as they want  to play ball, learn to ride a bicycle or simply have some play time outdoors.

Medical services in Malta are excellent and facilities are easily accessible, with a major general hospital, a smaller one in Gozo and two private hospitals, equipped with modern facilities. There are also a number of peripheral health centres that are open day and night. Private medical care is also available and, apart from general practitioner services, there are a number of private clinics, where minor surgeries may be carried out.  Having said this, emergency care can take longer to come by in areas that are off the beaten track.

I personally prefer countryside living. I love being woken up by birdsong rather than by the noise from the traffic. Homes in the countryside are surrounded by nature which has a soothing effect on both the mind and the body. Clean air is without a doubt one of the main advantages of country life over city dwelling. I also find people to be friendlier as communities in the country are much smaller, more connected and open. People are prepared to help without asking for anything in return. In the city people do not generally know their neighbours and personal relationships in the community are rare. People in the cities are always under tremendous pressure and stress and seldom relax completely.

Your decision is really one that should be based on your own priorities in life. Whichever environment you opt for, Dhalia Real Estate Services has an extensive portfolio of town houses, apartments, farm houses and village homes for you to choose from.

If you want to know more about Dhalia’s services or if you want to contact them or visit their website you can view their partner profile here.



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