ATMs are widespread. Credit cards are used in larger hotels and upmarket restaurants, but some smaller hotels and restaurants only accept cash.

Currency

Malta abandoned the Maltese lira and adopted the euro (€) on 1 January 2008. To prevent retailers from rounding up prices, the rate of exchange was fixed at Lm1 to €2.33, which is why you'll still sometimes see euro prices in fractions or multiples of 2.33.

The reverse sides of Maltese coins feature a uniquely Maltese design (a Maltese cross, for example), but are legal tender in all countries in the Eurozone.

ATMs

There are plentiful ATMs at Malta International Airport, Valletta's waterfront and in all the main towns in Malta, where you can withdraw euros using a credit or debit card and PIN.

ATM withdrawals may incur a transaction charge of around 2.75% and an ATM charge of around 1.5% to 2% of the amount withdrawn – check with your bank before departing. You may also need to inform your bank before you travel, to avoid your card being blocked.

Cash

Cash can be changed at hotels, banks, exchange bureaux and some tourist shops. There are also 24-hour exchange machines at banks in the main tourist towns, including Valletta, Sliema and Buġibba, where you can feed in foreign banknotes and get euros back.

You'll need to carry cash because some smaller restaurants and hotels don't accept cards.

Credit Cards

Visa, MasterCard and Amex credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted in larger hotels, restaurants and shops, though smaller places only deal in cash. Travel and car-hire agencies accept cards.

Tipping

Hotels Baggage porters should get about €1 per piece of luggage; car-park attendants around €1.

Restaurants In restaurants where no service charge is included, leave 10% for good service.

Bars Not expected but good to leave loose change if paying by cash.

Taxis Drivers don't expect a tip, but it's nice to round up a fare in order to leave a small tip (up to 10%) if warranted.

Exchange Rates

AustraliaA$1€0.63
CanadaC$1€0.64
Japan¥100€0.75
New ZealandNZ$1€0.59
UK£1€1.15
USUS$1€0.81

For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.