11 Best Things To Do in Malta in 2024 11 Best Things To Do in Malta in 2024

11 Best Things To Do in Malta in 2024

For a small archipelago, Malta has so much to offer. Whether it’s driving among dramatic landscapes, taking photos of ancient buildings, or snorkeling on the fringes of paradise beaches, there’s a surprise around every corner. Head to the capital of Valletta for the perfect city weekend trip or spend a summer vacation traveling by boat between the islands, seeing spectacular nature and marine life. Enjoy all the things to do in Malta with this complete travel guide.

Malta Things to do

The landscapes of Malta are wild and rugged, so it’s no surprise it’s been used as the setting for famous movies like Gladiator, Game of Thrones, and Troy. It’s also a melting pot of culture (between Italy and Tunisia and a former British Colony). You can see the influences of this in the food and the architecture; you can even find the red English telephone boxes on the streets of Valletta! Here are the best things to do in Malta.

1. Valletta

Valletta is one of the most important historical cities in the world and the first-ever planned city in Europe. The exceptional history means the entire city is a UNESCO world heritage site. Although it’s one of the smallest capital cities in Europe, it still has the wow factor, and it’s great for a weekend city trip.

malta valletta things to do

What to visit in Valletta

As you wander through the city, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful limestone houses with rainbow-colored window boxes. Best of all, the beautiful hillside streets mean there is always a beautiful view, wherever you go. Here are some of the top sights in Valletta:

St John’s Co-Cathedral: Top thing to do in Malta!

St John’s Co-Cathedral might not look like much from the outside, but the inside will stay in your memory forever. It’s probably one of the most luxurious cathedral interiors, with incredible marble, artwork, gold gilding, and ceiling murals. The entrance fee to the cathedral is 15 EUR. You can also visit the cathedral on this guided walking tour of the city.

malta St John’s Co-Cathedral

Upper Gardens & Lower Gardens

Both these parks are beautiful places to relax and watch the world go by on your trip to Valletta, Malta. The Upper Gardens has a particularly great view as it’s situated high up, looking over the Grand Harbour and ‘The Three Cities’: Birgu (also known as Vittoriosa), Senglea, and Cospicua. 

valletta view grand harbor

You can take the historical ‘Barrakka’ lift back down to the Lower Gardens for just 1 EUR.

Tip: At noon every day, a 500-year-old tradition takes place. Military officials fire cannons to commemorate the navy and tell locals the time of day.

Grandmaster’s Palace

The Grandmaster’s Palace was one of the first buildings built in Valletta, so it’s one of the most historical places to visit in Valletta, Malta. The government has always used the palace as an office, whether that was the knights, the British governor, or the president.

valletta malta things to do

As it dates back to 1571, the architecture is spectacular. Wander inside to see the grand courtyard, luxurious furnishings, artwork, frescoes, and armor. It costs 6 EUR to enter and it’s definitely worth a visit!

2. Birgu 

Birgu is the oldest of the three cities across the water from Valletta (also known as Vittoriosa). It was also the capital city at one point before it was moved across to Valletta. One of the best things to do in Malta is to jump on the local boat, cruising around the city’s edges before arriving in Birgu. The traditional Maltese boats are painted in bright primary colors and look very similar to those in Venice

malta birgu

Once you’re in Birgu, enjoy the charming village atmosphere, wander the tiny narrow cobbled streets, find cute wine bars, or enjoy a candlelit dinner on the waterfront.

birgu best place to visit malta

How to get to Birgu

You can take one of the gondola-style water taxis across the water to Birgu for 2 EUR (in 7 minutes). Alternatively, for a more scenic route, choose the slightly longer 30-minute harbor tour.

malta things to do birgu

3. Visit Malta’s beaches

Malta has great beaches for sunbathing, cooling down, and spending the afternoon. The island’s beaches are mostly rocks (some with small pools) and a handful of sand beaches. The most popular beaches are Mellieha Bay and Golden Bay.

The best beaches in Malta:

  • Mellieha Bay
  • Golden Bay
  • Riviera Beach (Għajn Tuffieħa)
  • Fond Għadir – Rocky beach in Sliema
  • St. Peter’s Pool
  • The Blue Lagoon
  • Paradise Bay
  • Ġnejna Bay
  • Armier Bay
  • Ta’ Fra Ben (Qawra Point)
malta best beaches

4. Popeye Village 

The Popeye Village is an unusual location, created specifically as a movie set for the 1980 film ‘Popeye’, starring Robin Williams. Now, it’s been turned into a theme park for families to relax and see the picturesque views out over the water (buy your entry ticket here). Although you have to pay for the park, the viewpoint is free to visit. 

No time to read now?
No worries! Save on Pinterest to read it later.
Save to Pinterest
11 Best Things To Do in Malta in 2024

The quirky style of houses against the cliffs and the Caribbean-looking water is a sight to remember. A must-see on your trip to Malta!

malta things to do popeye village

5. Mdina (One of the best things to do in Malta)

The ancient city of Mdina looks like something straight out of the pages of a historical novel (it’s no surprise why it was used as a movie set on the Game of Thrones!). The dusty walled city sits high on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside, making it the perfect place to watch out for invasions.

malta best places to visit mdina

For this reason, it was originally the capital until it was decided to move it to Birgu. This is when Mdina became virtually uninhabited and known as ‘the silent city’ of Malta.

Now, although there are people living here, silence is still respected, with very few cars allowed inside the city walls. This gives visitors the unique experience of seeing a city that is incredibly peaceful and well-preserved; it feels like stepping back in time!

malta best things to do mdina

Palazzo Falson

Make sure to make a stop at the Palazzo Falson. It’s the second oldest building in the city, a former palace, and a museum open to the public. It’s beautiful from the outside, but inside, you’ll also find historical belongings and beautiful antiques.

malta mdina things to do

6. Rabat, Malta

The name Rabat literally translates as ‘suburb’. It was given this name as it used to be a suburb of Mdina (the old capital city). Now it’s a small village located in the southwest of Malta that sits above the city of Mdina with beautiful views below. Explore Mdina and Rabat on a multi-stop day tour of these historic towns when you’re in a time crunch.

Must-sees in Rabat, Malta

The history of Rabat is fascinating, known in the past for defending against pirate attacks. Visit:

  • The Catacombs: an underground cemetery that is the earliest sign of Christianity in Malta. (5 EUR to enter) 
  • Casa Benard Palace: you can take a tour to see how Maltese nobility once lived. In fact, the same family still live there now! 
  • Howard Gardens: a beautiful public garden that divides Rabat and Mdina. It’s one of the largest gardens in all of Malta.
malta rabat

7. Meridiana Wine Estate

Malta has an amazing climate and many days of sunshine. These conditions and the soil make it a great place to produce wine. The Meridiana Wine Estate is a traditional winery with a farmhouse at the center, surrounded by beautifully neat vineyards. Book a tour to taste delicious wines and learn about how wine is produced in Malta.

8. St. Peter’s Pool

St Peter’s Pool is an iconic spot and a great thing to do on Malta to tick off your bucket list. The natural pool shape has been created by the white rock arch surrounding it, and it’s a beautiful place to spend a day. Climb down the ladders into the refreshing turquoise water to cool off from the hot sun or snorkel and see marine life. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, skip the ladders, and jump straight from the edge into the deep pool below. Bliss!

best beaches malta St. Peter's Pool

9. Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk is a charming traditional fishing village in the southeast of Malta. Most of the fish you’ll see for sale in Malta have been caught by fishermen from this village, so it’s very well known on the island.

It has a rich fishing history which you can really feel from the harbor, with the colorful Luzzu boats bobbing in the background. On the front of the boat, you’ll see the fisherman have painted an ancient Egyptian symbol that protects them while they’re out at sea. Explore this picturesque fishing village and more on a multi-stop tour from Valetta.

If you’re in Malta on a Sunday, visit the famous Marsaxlokk fish market which takes place close to the water. 

malta things to do Marsaxlokk

10. Comino Island (Top thing to do in Malta)

Malta is made up of 3 islands, and the smallest of the islands is Comino, situated between Malta and Gozo. It’s incredibly remote and beautiful, with wild nature and very few people living there. Its name means ‘cumin’, and you’ll see the flowering plant growing all over the island, as well as many other wildflowers and herbs. Go hiking across the rocky and wild landscapes. There are no proper roads, and the secluded feel can make you feel like the only person in the world! 

malta things to do blue lagoon comino

What to visit on Comino

  • Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is one of those bucket list things you have to see while in Malta. It’s intensely blue and feels like total paradise. However, it’s one of the most popular attractions in Malta, so please note that in peak season, it will be very busy! 
  • Crystal Lagoon. The Crystal Lagoon is lesser known than the Blue Lagoon so it’s a bit more peaceful for swimming. It’s also rockier and not quite as intensely blue, but it’s still a beautiful place to visit, and the remoteness of it is very special.
  • Santa Maria Caves. Malta really has it all: Caribbean-style beaches, turquoise lagoons, and even beautiful caves! The Santa Maria Caves are a famous spot for snorkeling; it’s a unique spot where a variety of marine life lives. The journey to get there is interesting, as you have to pass through a cave tunnel from Santa Maria Bay.
blue lagoon malta comino

How to Get to Comino

Some ferries take you between the islands or from Malta mainland to Comino. The most popular boat leaves from the harbor at Marfa Bay. It only takes 10 minutes and is 13 EUR for a return ticket.

The alternative is to join a Blue Lagoon boat tour, which may be a bit more expensive but gives you the benefit of having the boat to jump from instead of looking for a spot on the shore. 

Tours & Tickets 🥾View all
crystal bay comino malta

11. Gozo Island

The second biggest island is Gozo, which sits the farthest north. Although there is still a lot going on in Gozo, it’s a bit more relaxed, quieter, and more natural than the main island of Malta.

Attractions in Gozo, Malta

The island is full of incredible beaches, some of which are the most beautiful on the archipelago. Expect to find mammoth limestone arches, beautiful cliffs, epic snorkeling spots, and a fantastic network of caves. The island was most famous for the Azure Window Arch: an arch created naturally by the elements and the sea. Sadly, it collapsed in 2017, but the rocks in the water have now created a very diverse diving site.

Gozo Cittadella Malta

How to Get to Gozo, Malta

Gozo Channel Ferry is huge and allows the option to bring your car. It takes just 25 minutes, but it leaves from the northern tip of the main island of Malta, which is a bit inconvenient. See the ferry schedule here.

The ticket price for the Gozo Channel Ferry is currently 4.65 EUR for a return ticket. You have to pay for this ticket on your way back from Gozo, meaning there is no payment required at departure from Malta.

gozo channel ferry malta

Gozo Fast Ferry

The fast ferry is a relatively new option. It leaves from Valletta, which is very convenient and only takes 45 minutes. It’s a passenger ferry, so it is not possible to take your car, but it’s perfect for visiting Gozo on a day trip. It’s also just a lovely way to travel, with beautiful views from the deck for the entire journey. The price for a ticket is 10 EUR online and 12 EUR at the counter. See the schedule and book tickets.

Tours & Tickets 🥾View all
gozo fast ferry malta

Where to stay in Malta

There are plenty of great hotels to stay in Malta. However, it depends on the type of trip you’re looking for. For example:

  • Valletta is a great place to stay for a city trip, with a buzzing atmosphere and plenty of bars, restaurants, and culture. Prices are often higher in Valletta. See all hotels in Valletta.
  • Sliema is more affordable, has lots of shopping, and easy access to the Valetta ferry (The ferry takes 15 minutes). Additionally, it has many good rock beaches to relax. See all hotels in Sliema.
  • Saint Julian’s has lots of great restaurants, bars, and clubs. See all hotels in Saint Julian’s.
  • Birgu / L-isla is where you stay to be away from the busy streets. There are handful of new hotels and restaurants (and more opening). The new ferry going from Valetta to Birgu is very convenient, but the experience of taking a local boat can’t be beaten! See all hotels in Birgu.

How many days in Malta

We recommend spending 2-3 days in Malta to see the ancient city of Valletta, Mdina’s historic town, and the cliffs at St. Peter’s Pool. Add another two days to include Gozo island in your itinerary.

How to visit Malta

Malta has an airport with direct international flights arriving from destinations all over the world. (Search for flights here) If you’re traveling by campervan or car it’s an option to take a ferry from Italy or Sicily.

Find flights to Malta ✈️

Getting around Malta

The majority of the island can be reached by using public transport. However, a rental car is useful for being flexible and get anywhere you like. Luckily both options are very affordable so it shouldn’t cost you much to get around Malta.

Rent a car in Malta

Hiring a car means you are free to explore all the sides of the island. Public transport is great, but a car would help you to get to those gems. Renting a car in Malta is fairly cheap too! Beware that driving in Malta is on the left-hand side of the road.

Public transport

There are many ways to get from A to B in Malta. The public transport is very affordable with busses connecting the entire island. The ferry between Sliema and Valletta runs every 30 minutes, takes 15 minutes, and costs 2.80 EUR.

how to get around malta

Best Restaurants in Malta

There are lots of local delicacies to try in Malta, whether it’s the local wine or the ricotta-filled pastries called Pastizzi. Some of our favorite restaurants were:

  • Trattoria Romana Zero Sei (Italian)
  • Aaron’s Kitchen (Maltese)
  • San Paolo Naufrago (pizza)
  • Papannis Restaurant (Italian)
  • Il Pirata Senglea (pizza)
  • JuFu (Asian)
  • Mint (Fresh, homemade, vegan)
  • Il-Kartell Restaurant est 1973 (on Gozo)

How much does Malta cost?

Malta is an affordable holiday destination. Going out for lunch or dinner and local busses and taxis are all relatively cheap. Accommodations on the other hand, are about 150 USD per night on average.

Costs of Traveling in Malta

Travel on a budget in Malta, from $290 − $780 USD weekly per person, mid-range $1030 − $2130 USD, and high-end from $2120 − $3250 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

* Average daily costs
Budget tip!
Traveling to a country with a different currency? Avoid ATM transaction fees and pay in local currency with a Wise Card. Having used it for over 5 years, we've saved loads on fees.
Get a Wise Card

Best Time to Visit Malta

Malta has a fantastic climate all year round. The summers are hot and dry, and the winters, although a bit cooler, are still warm and sunny. It’s a popular European summer destination, so the beaches can become crowded during the summer, especially as many are fairly small. Because of this, it’s a great idea to visit in the shoulder seasons, during the spring or the fall.

23/04/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/malta/things-to-do-malta/
Blog comments (3)

Looking for more travel information? Plan a chat with us for personalised travel advice or get an answer from the Salt in our Hair Travel Community on Facebook.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This article was about:
Last updated: