The Ultimate guide to the perfect things to do in Malta

Sitting just south of Sicily, Malta is a tiny Mediterranean Island that is a must on every ones bucket list. Malta is home to many natural and architectural gems, from fishing villages to natural swimming lagoons, there are plenty of things to do in Malta to keep you entertained.

Malta is a stunning wee country made of three main islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino, each island more beautiful than the one before. The Islands of Malta are surrounded by clear blue seas and bright blue skies.

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Things to do in Malta

Explore the beautiful capital of Valletta

Tracy, Tracy’s Travels in Time

One the World Heritage streets in Valletta

The wonderful and very beautiful capital of Malta is not only built around one of the world’s largest natural harbours and a UNESCO World Heritage city but is a also a vibrant and exciting city for visitors to explore.

Valletta was built by the Knights of St John in the 16th century.  The city is filled with beautiful Baroque architecture, churches, palaces, forts, a cathedral and gardens. Get lost amongst its narrow streets and alleyways and browse boutiques and shops before stopping off for much needed refreshments in a street café.

One of our top tips for visitors to Malta and Valletta is to enjoy a meal of typical Maltese food and drink such as Lampuki pie (fish pie) or Stuffat tal-fenek (rabbit stew) washed down by the local beer (Cisk) or soft drink (Kinnie)

A view of Valletta from the water

The main shopping streets in Valletta are Republic Street and Merchant Street where you will find lots of souvenirs, Maltese filigree jewellery and (on Sundays) a market.

Although Valletta is Europe’s smallest capital it is filled with history and charm. Popular attractions in the city include the Baroque cathedral of St Johns (don’t let its plain exterior fool you as the interior will take your breath away), the Grand Master’s Palace, and the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens.

Walk down to the Valletta waterfront for stunning views of the harbour. Note that it gets very hot in Valletta in the summer so visit early in the day or late afternoon. Always carry water and wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes. There are lots of stairs and uneven bumps, cracks and potholes in roads and pavements.

Visit the fishing village of Marsaxlokk

Or, My Path in the World 

Colourful boats floating in the ocean with a fishing village in the back ground

One of the most beautiful places to visit in Malta, Marsaxlokk is a small picturesque fishing village located on the southeastern coast of the island In fact, its name literally means ‘Port of the South-East’. It is also one of the best places to stay in Malta for anyone looking for some peace and quiet, even if you’re traveling during the high season.

The village’s highlight is, without a doubt, its port. Packed with traditional colorful boats called luzzu and kajjik, it is an ideal photo spot that captures one of the most iconic Maltese postcard views. The promenade is also filled with restaurants, so you can grab a delicious lunch of fresh seafood and pasta.

Boats floating in the ocean

Other things to do in Marsaxlokk include admiring the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompeii and wandering through the local markets that take place along the seafront, one on Sundays and another (a more touristy one) during the rest of the week. From the village, for only 5 Euros, you can also take a short boat ride to the mesmerizing natural pool – St. Peter’s Pool.

Marsaxlokk is easily reachable from the capital Valletta by buses 81, 82, or 85, which take between 40-60 minutes to get to the village.

Enjoy sunset at the Watch tower of Golden Bay

 Phil, JOURNICATION Travel Blog

The sunsetting behind the watch tower of Golden Bay in Malta

Travelling to the tranquil Mediterranean island of Malta is definitely worth a recommendation.

If you are doing the Malta round trip with rental car, you are particularly flexible and can easily reach all places on the island.

After a long day of sightseeing on the island, a little relaxation on the beach is just the thing. Especially if you can combine this with a magnificent sunset without having to change your location.

The two bays Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffeiha are perfect for this. The neighboring bays are located in the northwest of the island and are separated only by a cliff. Perched on top of it is the Għajn Tuffieħa Tower (Torri ta’ Għajn Tuffieħa), an old watchtower from the 17th century. This type of watchtower was built by the Order of Malta along the coast to warn of enemy ships. From here you have a great view of both bays and the sunset off Malta.

The cliffs and rocks on the way up are rugged and the paths are not necessarily well maintained. So make sure you only set off from the beaches with suitable footwear.

There is free parking and restaurants at both Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffeiha. Golden Bay (Ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa) is mainly popular with bathers, Ghajn Tuffeiha with surfers.

Explore silent city of Mdina

Cazzy, Dream Big, Travel Far

A couple walking to an old stone building in the silent city in Malta

Malta is an underrated destination in Europe, and planning the perfect itinerary for this beautiful archipelago can be difficult. But without a doubt, no trip to the country can be complete without stopping by the iconic Silent City of Mdina.

It’s the island’s oldest continuously inhabited city whose history goes back to 4,000 years ago when Phoenician settlers found it. This gorgeous city was actually the capital of Malta from antiquity until 1530, and a lot of people believe that it was once home to St. Paul the Apostle.

Today, less than 250 people reside in Mdina, though it does share its borders with the adjacent town or Rabat. It remains a popular tourist attraction and the center of Maltese nobility, but isn’t as officially important as it was before 1530. Hence, the nickname “Silent City”.

When visiting this fortified city, you can see three gates: the majestic Main Gate, the Greeks gate on the side which leads to St. Nicholas Square, and the Third Gate at the back. Just outside of these fortifications is the infamous Domvs Romana, a ruined Roman house featuring antique mosaic decorations.

Inside Mdina, one can easily spend the whole day just roaming around charming streets and architecture. The Banca Giuratale or Municipal Palace is now part of the National Archives of Malta, but used to host the Maltese National Assembly. Meanwhile, the Archbishop Square is home to the Mdina Cathedral and other palaces.

You can drive from popular cities like Valletta and Sliema, or simply take the bus. While there aren’t that many accommodation options in the city, a day trip is often enough to see all that Mdina has to offer.

Don’t forget to drop by Fontanella, a popular cafe with an impeccable reputation for its sumptuous cakes and stunning location. Take a break here as you gaze over the bastions’ edges.

Experience life in Malta at St Julians Paceville

Kerry, Vegg Travel

St Julian's Harbour in Malta lit up at night time

If you’re looking for things to do in Malta, staying close to the seaside area of St Julian’s has probably crossed your mind. St James’ beach isn’t the most attractive, but there are so many options for eating, drinking and just generally enjoying yourself that most Malta Travel Guides will recommend this area for evening entertainment.

To the east of the town, you will find Spinola Bay. There are several restaurants that have great views over the bay so you can enjoy the ambiance of the soft lighting over the water as you enjoy your food. The infamous upside down LOVE monument is also in this area, as well as some quirky metal bikes that make for some fun photos.

A 10 minute walk from here will take you into Paceville, the centre point of Malta Nightlife. This area is also home to the Portomaso Marina. Walk down a few steps and you’re confronted with stunning yachts and boats and could make you easily mistake yourself for being in Monaco. This marina really is beautiful and you’ve also got the option of several restaurants with outdoor seating where you can enjoy the ambiance.  

Walking deeper into Paceville you will find a variety of bars to suit different types of travellers. From the cheap and cheerful bars to the more upmarket and trendy bars with fabulous décor. There are also several shisha bars, gentleman’s clubs and casinos. There are certainly many things to do in St Julian’s, especially if you’re looking for nightlife.

Check out the Popeye Village

Moon Ray, NomadicMun

Houses in the fishing village of popeye

Popeye village, one of the must visits in Malta is located in the north-west part of the island on a cliff at Anchor Bay. In reality it is a fishing village set for the movie ‘Popeye’ from the 1980’s. Now this has been transformed to a theme park with an open air museum and fun activities.

The turquoise water of the bay, beautiful cliff, bright and colorful wooden houses made it a perfect fairytale village. Popeye village is ideal for a day trip, especially with kids. You can stroll along the alley, visit wooden houses, play mini golf , take part in Treasure Hunt and other

funny games, watch movies or even you can act in a movie. There is ‘Santa’s toy town’ kids’ park, a few restaurants, souvenir shops, a seaside resort, and an open water park at the bay.

Opening Hours: (it may vary)

Nov to Mar: 10.30 – 16.30

Apr to Jun, Sep & Oct : 10.30 – 17.30

Jul & Aug : 10.30- 19.00

Entry fee (2021): 11€ (15€ in summer) for adults and 9€ (12€ in summer) for children. Entry fee includes free popcorn, movie shows, 15 min boat trip around Anchor Bay (only in summer), a photo of yourself in the park and a postcard.

Popeye village is about 25 km from Valletta. If you are going by car it takes 45 minutes to reach there.

In case of public transport, take bus no. 42/41/250/49 from Valletta. Get off at Skrajda stop and walk ( ~ 20 min) to Popeye village. The other option is to get-off at Luna bus stop and take bus no 101 to Popeye village.

Take a tour of the Blue Lagoon

Located in between Gozo and Malta you will find Comino which features stunning turquoise water known as the Blue Lagoon.

A visit to the Blue Lagoon is usually very high on travellers list of things to do in Malta.

The Blue Lagoon is the perfect place to snorkel, relax on the beach and swim, however, in the summer it will be buzzing with tourists. The Blue Lagoon is super popular in the high seasons so if you are looking for a relaxing time at the Blue Lagoon try to visit in the off or shoulder seasons.

Most people access the Blue Lagoon by boat from Cirkewwa or from Sliema. There are many boat tours that travel to the Blue Lagoon from both Malta and Gozo. Day trips cost around 25 – 35€ per person, food and drinks are available on the boat but I suggest packing a picnic for the day. You can opt to go for the a whole day or a half a day if you are short on time.

It is worth noting that the boats usually only run during April and October and depend on demand. The price of the boats can indicate how busy the boat will be, the more expensive the less people on the boat.

If you are travelling in the summer and I recommend visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon and if possible avoid going on the weekends.

When visiting make sure you go prepared with water, sunscreen and a towel and make sure you get to your boat early, they won’t wait for you!

Best time to visit Malta

The best time to visit Malta is in late spring or early summer, in Malta, that is April, May or June. The days are quite warm but the nights bring a cool relief and allow for a good sleep. You get the summer feels but with less tourists.

The height of summer brings intense heat and hoards of tourists, whilst the winter brings harsh winds and very cold days.

If you would like to visit in summer, spend most of your time on the islands of Gozo and do day trips to the main island of Malta.

Have you visited Malta before? What are your top things to do in Malta?

Fiona xoxo

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My BEST Travel Resources

Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro

Flights: To find the best flights I always search on Google Flights or Skyscanner. For even cheaper flights, fly mid week and pack in a carry on!

Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.

If you are new to Airbnb you can get an awesome discount using this link

Travel Insurance: After a few hairy moments on my travels, I ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. It may seem like a big cost now, but if the worst happens, it will save you a lot of money and heartache. I personally use World Nomads (and love them!), but I recommend that you do some research to find the insurance company that suits your needs.

Tours: While I prefer to travel independently, I do love doing some tours once I’m in a destination. It is a great way to find out history, hidden gems, taste local food and get a local insight into your destination. I always use Viator to book my tours.

Train Travel: If you are planning on taking the train in Europe, I cannot recommend the Eurail enough! Check out The Ultimate Guide to the Eurail Pass to find out why

Car Hire: Planning an epic road trip across the US or through Europe, or anywhere! Check out Europcar, they are my go to for car hire all over the world!

Luggage Storage: Some times when we are travelling our check in and check out times don’t match with our departure times so we have to put our luggage into storage. Stasher Luggage Storage is the biggest Luggage Storage Network across the UK, France and Germany

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