“You want to go to a gay bar in Malta? Pick any one you come across and you’ll be just fine!”
So said our Maltese gay friends when we asked them about the gay scene. But we get their point. When it comes to gay friendliness, Malta is killing it! This tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is frequently named as one of the most gay friendly countries in the world and we can totally see why!
What used to be one of the most religious places in Europe (for example, up until 2013, divorce was illegal in Malta!) the country did a 180-degree turn to pass some of the most LGBTQ progressive laws in the world, quickly becoming THE gay haven in the Mediterranean region.
We visited Malta as part of a trip with Teletext Holidays to discover the gay scene and what makes it so appealing to LGBTQ travellers. We left with a strong thirst to return and see more. The people are open-minded, super friendly (Maltese guys – heLLO!), the queer community is very visible and even though it’s such a small nation of just 400,000 people, it still has a vibrant gay scene to check out.
We’ve put together all our findings in this gay guide to Malta as we explored the country from Valletta to Mdina, Gozo to Camino and Dingli to Xlendi.
Gay Rights in Malta
They are extremely progressive!
…or to quote the United Nation’s Equality and Non-Discrimination team:
“Malta has become the gold standard of LGBTQI reforms – a beacon of human rights for LGBTIQ issues!”
This says a lot for a country where up until 2013, divorce was illegal. This gives you an idea of just how Catholic and religious Malta used to be. It all began in 2013 when the progressive centre-left Labour Party came to power and prioritised gay-friendly policies led by the proactive Minister for Equality, Helena Dalli. They began by passing a full range of anti-discrimination laws, recognised civil unions and also passed adoption laws within their first year in power.