What to see in Malta – Destination Guide

WHY VISIT Malta

When friends and family learned that my upcoming destination was Malta, I typically received 2 responses; “Where is Malta?” or ” Why Malta?”.

My responses to these questions:

  • Where is Malta?” – “Malta is an island in the Mediterranean sea and next to Italy”. This also always had me show an image of Malta on a map, to prove I was right.
  • Why Malta?” – My response explained how Malta had been on my travel bucket list after hearing amazing stories from a good travel friend, who decided to become an expat in Malta. It was also a destination Covid had cancelled for me as I had booked my visit for May 2020. This meant the preceding months after my cancelled trip had me pinning Malta travel related content on Instagram and Pinterest, only dreaming of when I would visit.

The time finally came, my overdue visit to Malta became a reality and I can personally share my stories and images of why Malta is a holiday destination that should be included on everyone’s bucket list.

Despite Malta’s size, the Malta landscape is like no other. With its mixture of European and Mediterranean vibes, it is no surprise why so many films use Malta as a location. Given its history and that it has been ruled by various countries, you will find many remnants of Italian, British, Greek, etc. in its architecture, traditions and cuisine.

This archipelago is filled with UNESCO sights, vast amount of churches showing how religious this country is, temples older than Stonehenge and beaches galore.

Book your Malta holiday flight and use this Malta tourist information guide below with local insider recommendations and tourist tested options, to help you visit Malta for yourself.

Malta TRip ITINERARY

9 Day Trip

5 days in Malta & 4 days in Gozo

Malta TRAVEL TIPS

Most establishments do accept credit cards. 
Euro is the currency used in Malta.
Outside of restaurants, things tend to close early outside of Valleta which closes a little bit later. Be sure to check times on google maps and make a booking in advance at restaurants, if possible. 
Electrical plug sockets used in Malta are UK plug sockets while appliances are European. This means many accommodations still use converters.

Malta TRAVEL QUESTIONS

QuestionAnswer
How many days in Malta is enough?To thoroughly visit Malta and Gozo, I would recommend a week trip broken down to;
– 3 days in Malta
– 1 day in Comino
– 3 days in Gozo
(Add more days if you want to slow down your visit or if traveling with little ones.)
Is Malta cheap?Malta does not fall in the category of cheap destinations to visit. Malta costs about the same as visiting Italy and Spain. As always, ways to keep costs down can be on the eateries you visit and accommodation you stay in.
Is Malta a good place to visit?Malta is absolutely a good place to visit and it’s no surprise that historically, Malta has had over 11 foreign rulers wanting to call it their own.
What language do they speak in Malta?Maltese is the main language spoken in Malta, with English coming in close second.

the best way to travel IN Malta

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Given recommendations from other visitors and locals, we opted to rent a car using Qeeq, it’s the most convenient way to travel around Malta and Gozo. 

Super easy to book, collect, use and drop off directly from the airport. 

Driving TIPS

Rent a car! – It’s highly recommended to rent a car as there is only a few bus routes in the island and timetables are not accurate, meaning buses arrive before or later and take forever to get you to your destination.

Bonus: You can see a lot more with a car as most places take about 20-30 min from Valletta in Malta and around 10-15 min in Gozo.
Rent a small car – With narrow roads, small parking spots and single lanes, renting a large vehicle is not advisable. 
Drivers are seated on the right side similar to driving in the UK. 
Rent a car that is automatic or be really good at manual for parking and driving on hills.
You can drive across Malta in an hour. 
You shouldn’t have any issue driving with Maltese. 
Public transportation and buses to get you to other cities in the country are available but as mentioned, it will take far longer to get to places and they do get packed, which means they will not pick up passengers if the bus is full. 

BEST Activity TO Book IN Malta

St Julian’s: Full- or Half-Day Boat Rental

A Must Do in Malta!!! Renting a boat for either a 1/2 or full day is a great water activity to add to your vacation. The super attentive and informative Shirley, Jopee and Ryan helped my party feel safe and ready to make the most of our day on the boat, giving us a wonderful experience and memory in Malta.

For boat newbies – I recommend the 1/2 day option to ease you into boat life.

For boat regulars – The full day option is the one for you, as this gives you plenty of time to explore various areas in Malta and make longer stops throughout the day.

TIPS

  • No boating experience is necessary and the boat is super easy to navigate.
  • Activity is weather contingent.
  • Boat can fit up to 5 people.
  • Fuel is not included in boat rental costs.
  • Ice cooler and snorkel gear is available upon request.

top tours & activities offered by GetYourGuide in Malta

What is there to see in Malta

Malta

Stay

  • 8vilhena – Such an amazing stay in Valletta, with the most passionate host any traveler could ask for. Mark was knowledgeable about the history of Malta, offered fantastic restaurant recommendations in Valletta and shared what Maltese food we should try. 8vilhena itself is very comfortable and in a perfect location of Valletta as there is plenty of parking options for those traveling with a car. €77.50 Euro a night for an apartment that sleeps 3. ($77.50 USD) 

Eat 

Visit / Do

  • Rent a boat – Be your own captain and enjoy a full or half day boat rental to explore the open sea.
  • Drive around the country – Explore the stone walls, rolling hills, churches and towns. 
  • Birgu – Historical, medieval and winding streets neighborhood. 
  • Melleiha – Golden Bay beach and Popeye village is here. 
  • Popeye Village – Former set for the musical “Popeye”, now turned theme park. ($20 USD for adults / $15 USD for kids during summer season)
  • Ħaġar Qim – Ancient site.
  • Beaches –
    • St. Peter’s Pool – Personally too touristy and watch out for jelly fish which makes the area difficult to swim in. It’s known for people jumping off the cliffs. 
    • Goulden Bay – Great beach to experience a wave pool IRL aka in real life.
    • Pretty Bay – Local, less touristy and a personal favorite of mine.
  • Dingley Clif – Best place to catch the sunset in Malta but only if you can get past the smell of manure. 
  • Valletta – Barrakka Gardens, Old opera theatre and it’s walled city with narrow streets. 
  • St. Julian’s – The place to go for a night out. 

Gozo

How To Get To Gozo From Malta

Gozo Channel Ferry offers a fast ferry from Malta. It departs from either Malta or Gozo twice every hour. Cost is paid when you return from Gozo. €11 Euro ($10.95 USD) round trip for car and €4.65 Euro ($4.63 USD) round trip for adult.

Don’t have a car? Use Gozo Fast Ferry from Valletta as this is the passenger only ferry.

Stay

  • Serenity BnB – I can’t stop raving about how comfortable and at home I felt while staying here. This accommodation is beautiful, clean, has a lovely pool and in the quaint town of Xagħra. Hosts, Michele and Zoltan are the friendliest and offered some wonderful recommendations of eateries and local insider knowledge to help truly maximize the stay in Gozo. €117 Euro a night for a triple room with breakfast included. ($116 USD) 

Eat 

  • Eat & Live Italy – Excellent hospitality, mouthwatering food and the B E S T meal I had during my visit to Malta!!! I take recommendations from locals seriously, Eat & Live Italy in Gozo was beyond what I expected. The homemade ravioli had us ordering seconds, the N’duja pizza, the house wine, the limoncello, the homemade cannoli’s and Luca and his wife’s cooking made me wish I had more days in Gozo. Do yourself a favor by making Eat & Live Italy, a MUST TRY when visiting this part of Malta. 
  • Ic-cima Restaurant – Delicious food with a great view near the Xlendi tower. Bookings are highly recommended. 
  • Oleander Restaurant – Rich house wine, tasty dishes and located in the main plaza of Ix-Xagħra.
  • Al Sale – Big portions and tasty dishes from fresh fish to Maltese cuisine.

Visit / Do

  • Comino – A day trip visiting the Blue Lagoon and Crystal Lagoon.
    • Use “Bella Comino Ferry” to get to the island. €10 Euro ($10 USD) round trip or €15 Euro ($15 USD) round trip if you take the ferry that visits some of the caves on the island. 
    • For a less crowded and sandy beach, walk 20 min to St. Maria Bay and closer to the coast, for a hidden cave. (It will absolutely be worth it.) 
  • Xagħra – A quintessential Gozontian village near Ggantija Temples and Ramla beach. This is also we’re Serenity BnB is located. 
  • Hondoq ir-Rummien / Hondoq Bay – Coastline with salt pans and caves. Also a good place to kayak to the Blue Lagoon from. 
  • Sanap Cliffs – Best spot to see all three islands. 
  • Xlendi Bay – Town by the sea with cliffs and near Clima restaurant 
  • Ggantija Temples – One of the oldest monuments in the world.
  • Dwejra Inland Sea – Hidden lagoon used for swimming and diving. 
  • Ramla beach/bay – Reddish sand colored beach. 
  • Victoria – Capital city and worth visiting the Citadel while here. Eat & Live Italy restaurant is here. 

What To Eat IN Malta

  • Rabbit – Either in a pasta or a stew.
  • Pastizzi – Savory Cheese or Pea Cakes. This street food item can be found in pastizzerias and at very affordable costs. 
  • Lampuki Pie – Fish pie.
  • Aljotta – Maltese Fish Soup.
  • Ftira Għawdxija – Gozitan Pizza.
  • Timpana – Pasta Bake. This street food item can also be found in pastizzerias and at very affordable costs. 
  • Platt Malti – Maltese Platter with local cheese, olives, spreads and Maltese bread. 

Want to discover where else you can visit in Europe?

See my FREE Travel Guides Section for tips and recommendations for other bordering countries from Malta including Italy. Learn how to get there, where to stay, eat and what to do!

 

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