Malta travel guide: means discovering this archipelago composed of 3 islands (Malta, Comino, and Gozo) located in the middle of the Mediterranean, approximately 400 km south of Sicily. It’s the smallest state in the European Union but by no means the least beautiful. If you have the chance to go, make the most of this article to not miss a thing and let yourself be charmed by the beauty of the place.
Malta travel guide – Must-see places
The Barrakka gardens
The Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, Malta, offer an unparalleled panoramic view of the city’s harbor. To reach them, you have the choice between picturesque stairs and a convenient elevator, both located in Valletta’s city center. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the Three Cities.
In addition to their stunning view, these gardens house historical cannons used to protect the city, as well as a central fountain surrounded by colorful flowers and majestic trees.
The ideal time to visit the gardens is in the late afternoon when the sun begins to set, and the city lights up. You can then admire the harbor, the ships sailing in it, and the rooftops of Valletta in all their splendor.
In summary, the Barrakka Gardens are a must-visit in Malta, combining magnificent views, captivating history, and a relaxing atmosphere. For a relaxing and memorable experience in Malta, be sure not to miss a visit to the Barrakka Gardens.
Explore the three cities of Malta
An authentic and historic place
If you’re looking to explore a more authentic part of Malta, don’t miss a visit to the Three Cities. It’s a set of three historic cities located just across from Valletta, the island’s capital.
To get there, you can take a ferry from Valletta, which will take you directly to the Three Cities. The ferry ride is quick and offers stunning views of Valletta’s harbor.
Once there, you can explore the cobbled streets and narrow alleys of the Three Cities, filled with colorful houses and historic buildings. You can also visit several museums and churches that tell the fascinating history of the region.
Notable places not to miss include Fort St Angelo, which offers breathtaking views of the harbor and the city, and the Cottonera Gardens, a peaceful park with a wide variety of plants and trees.
Discover the Ggantija temples
A must-visit historic site in Gozo
You’ll love this exceptional historic site.
The Ggantija Temples are located on the island of Gozo in Malta and date back to the Neolithic period, between 3600 and 3200 BC. These temples are considered one of the world’s oldest megalithic monuments and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to get there?
To get there, you can take bus number 307 or bus number 322 from the Victoria bus terminal. The journey takes about 20 minutes and will take you to the “Temples Ggantija” stop. There is also free parking nearby if you prefer to go by car.
What I really loved during my visit was the feeling of being transported back in time while exploring these millennia-old temples. I was fascinated by the numerous architectural details of the temples, including sculptures and stone carvings.
Additionally, there’s a small museum on-site that allows you to better understand the history of the temples and the surrounding area.
In summary, a visit to the Ggantija Temples is an unforgettable experience. The monuments themselves are incredibly impressive, and the feeling of discovering the ancient history of this region of Malta is truly unique.
St. John’s co-Cathedral
Discover baroque splendor in Valletta
Located in the fortified city of Valletta, the cathedral is a remarkable Baroque masterpiece with a rich history. To get there, I recommend taking buses 45, 46, or 130 and getting off at the “City Gate” stop. The cathedral is then just a few minutes’ walk away.
Once inside, you’ll be dazzled by the beauty of the cathedral’s interior. The walls are adorned with magnificent decorations and paintings, but the centerpiece is undoubtedly the polychrome marble floor. The cathedral also houses a collection of paintings by the famous Italian artist Caravaggio, with his work “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist” being particularly remarkable.
As a visitor, I felt transported through time while admiring the exquisite details of every element of the cathedral. I also felt deeply inspired by the history and spiritual significance of the place.
In summary, I highly recommend visiting St. John’s Co-Cathedral to all visitors to Malta. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
The medieval city of Mdina
An enchanting getaway in Malta
If you’re seeking a peaceful and charming getaway in Malta, don’t miss visiting the medieval city of Mdina. I recently went there again and fell in love with its medieval atmosphere.
To reach Mdina, you can take bus 51 or 52 from Valletta, which will bring you directly to the city’s main gate. Entry to the city is free!
There’s so much to see in Mdina; I don’t know where to begin. If you’re a history buff, you’ll appreciate the St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Vilhena Palace, and the city’s fortifications. If you’re looking to relax, I recommend strolling through the city’s streets, visiting local craft shops, or enjoying some pistachio ice cream in the main square.
What I particularly loved about Mdina is the sense of calm and serenity, far from the city’s hustle and bustle.
The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum
A must-visit archaeological site in Malta
If you’re in Malta, don’t miss the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum (located in Paola), a fascinating archaeological site dating back to the Bronze Age.
To reach it, you can take bus 81 from Valletta bus terminal or bus 82 from Malta International Airport.
During the visit, you’ll learn about the culture and daily life of Malta’s inhabitants over 5000 years ago. You’ll also admire the sophisticated construction techniques used to create the hypogeum, including tunnels and stairs carved into the rock.
Personally, I loved this visit as it transported me to another era.
The blue grotto
The Blue Grotto, located on the south coast of Malta, is a popular natural attraction. I had the chance to visit it years ago and fell in love with its incredible beauty.
How to get to the Blue Grotto? I took bus number 201 from Valletta, which took me directly to the grotto in about 30 minutes. Upon arrival, I took a small boat to explore the caves and coves.
The Blue Grotto itself was truly impressive, with rock walls towering over 30 meters high and intense blue light reflecting on the water. I was amazed by the natural beauty of this place and how the colors changed as the sun moved.
I also had the opportunity to snorkel in the surrounding waters, where I saw colorful corals and a variety of exotic fish.
Overall, my visit to the Blue Grotto was one of the highlights of my trip to Malta. I highly recommend taking the time to visit this spectacular place and experience its beauty for yourself.
Malta travel guide
If you’re looking for a beautiful beach to spend a sunny day in Malta, Balluta Bay is an excellent choice. This charming bay in the heart of St Julian’s is easily accessible by public transport. You can take buses 13, 14, 16, 45, or 237 from Valletta to reach Balluta Bay.
Here, you can enjoy a well-maintained pebble beach with crystal-clear shallow waters, perfect for swimming. There’s also a picturesque promenade where you can relax and admire the sea view. If you’re looking to have a drink or a meal, there are several bars and restaurants nearby.
Personally, I really enjoyed the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere of Balluta Bay. It’s a great place to spend a leisurely day under the Maltese sun. The surroundings are also very pleasant, with traditional stone buildings and charming narrow streets.
In summary, if you’re seeking a quiet and picturesque place to enjoy the sun in Malta, Balluta Bay is a must-visit destination. Take the time to go there and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere; you won’t regret it.
Malta travel guide – La Valette center
If you’re in Malta, a visit to the historic city of Valletta is a must. I loved exploring the cobbled streets and baroque buildings of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed fortified city. To get there, you can take buses 1, 1A, 2, 3, X3, or X4 from most towns on the island.
There’s so much to see in Valletta! St. John’s Co-Cathedral is an ornate baroque masterpiece with Caravaggio paintings, while the Barrakka Gardens offer panoramic views of the Grand Harbour. Don’t miss the fortifications of Valletta, which provide breathtaking views of the city and the sea.
I also loved strolling through the narrow streets and lively squares of Valletta, stopping to admire fountains and statues. There are also fascinating museums to visit, such as the National Museum of Archaeology and the National War Museum.
Valletta’s squares – Malta
If you’re visiting Malta, you can’t miss Valletta and its beautiful squares. To get there, take bus number 1 or 2 from the Malta Public Transport company, which will take you directly to the city.
Valletta’s squares are perfect for strolling and immersing yourself in the city’s historic atmosphere. Republic Square is one of the most famous, with its marble obelisk and baroque architecture.
St. George’s Square is also a must-visit with its Neptune Fountain and stunning cathedral.
If you enjoy breathtaking panoramas, head to the High Council Square to admire the stunning view of the Grand Harbour.
I personally loved discovering these historic squares and immersing myself in the atmosphere of this captivating city.
Malta travel guide – Restaurants
If you’re looking for restaurants in Malta, you’re in the right place!
I discovered several fantastic places to eat. The first one I recommend is The Harbour Club in Valletta, which offers stunning views of the harbor. To get there, take bus number 133 from Sliema.
I also loved Ta’ Kris in Sliema, which serves traditional Maltese dishes. To get there, take bus number 212 from Valletta.
Finally, if you’re looking for fusion cuisine, I recommend Noni in Valletta. Take bus number 133 or 135 from Sliema to get there. I really enjoyed these restaurants, and I’m sure you will too!
Malta travel guide – The nativity scene
It’s so strange when it’s nearly 30 degrees, and Christmas is just three weeks away; it’s quite bewildering! A life-sized Nativity scene, a little déjà vu like Funchal.
A must-visit archaeological site in Malta
The Tarxien Temples are an indispensable archaeological site for history and culture enthusiasts. I loved my visit to these prehistoric temples dating back to 3000 BC. To reach them, I took bus number 81 or 82 from Valletta. Located in the small town of Tarxien, these temples provide a fascinating glimpse into the life and culture of the Bronze Age.
While exploring the different temples, I could admire stone sculptures, abstract motifs, and alignments of pillars. The on-site guides are highly informative and helped me gain a better understanding of the history of these temples.
What I preferred was how well-preserved the temples are and the incredible details of their architecture. Visiting this site made me feel transported into the past, allowing me to envision the daily life of the island’s ancient inhabitants.
If you have an interest in history and culture, the Tarxien Temples are a must-see in Malta. Take the time to get there by bus and let yourself be amazed by the ancient history of this beautiful Mediterranean island.
Malta travel guide – Dingli cliffs
Practical tips for a memorable experience
If you’re seeking breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, then Dingli Cliffs are a must-visit during your trip to Malta. These majestic limestone cliffs rise over 220 meters above the sea, offering a breathtaking landscape that will leave you speechless.
To get there, you can take buses 56, 201, or 202 from Valletta or Sliema. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes and will drop you off near the cliffs. Once there, you can enjoy panoramic views of the sea, lush fields, and the quaint traditional villages in the vicinity.
The hiking trail along the cliffs allows you to discover the natural beauty of this area. You can also visit the Chapel of Saint Mary Magdalene, situated atop the cliff, offering stunning views of Malta’s coastline.
Personally, I loved my visit to Dingli Cliffs. It was one of the highlights of my trip to Malta. The panoramic view is simply breathtaking, and the landscapes are awe-inspiring.
Malta travel guide – Popeye Village
A charming and authentic experience in Malta
Popeye Village is an absolute must-visit. Located on the northwest coast of the island, this village was constructed in 1979 for the film “Popeye” starring Robin Williams. It offers a charming and picturesque experience with colorful houses and a small fishing harbor.
To get there, you can take buses 12, 13, 16, or 109 from Valletta or Sliema, or bus 222 from Mellieha. Once you arrive, you can explore the village on foot, visit Popeye’s house, the film museum, and enjoy the seaside views. You can also take the opportunity to savor local specialties in the village’s restaurants.
Personally, I was completely enchanted by the authentic and picturesque atmosphere of Popeye Village. The colorful stone houses, fishing boats, and magnificent sea views transported me to an enchanting world.
- €18/adult & €14/child. Free for children under 3 years.
Seasonal opening hours:
- Spring/Fall: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
- Summer: 10 AM to 6 PM
- Winter: 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Blu Beach Club is phenomenal, with divine food and breathtaking views (average cost: €5-€20).
Plan for a minimum of 3-4 hours to fully enjoy the park.
Malta beaches: where to swim?
Malta’s beaches: perfect places for swimming and relaxation.
Gozo’s beaches are, in my opinion, the most beautiful (located 4 km from Malta). They can get crowded, but you’ll easily find a spot (there are 5-6 beaches in Gozo). I’ve been to Malta about fifteen times and done the Gozo cruise over ten times. It’s the must-do activity in Malta if you want an unforgettable experience and stunning views. I highly recommend the number one activity in Malta, the cruise below. You can also enter your availability because this cruise fills up quickly, so book as soon as possible!
Malta Paradise Bay
To get there, you can take bus number 101 from Cirkewwa Bus Terminus. You’ll disembark at the “Paradise Bay” stop, which is just steps away from the beach.
The beach itself is beautiful, with crystal-clear waters and a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea. There are also sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent if you want to relax and soak up the sun. If you prefer a more active activity, you can rent a boat or go scuba diving.
In addition to the beach, there’s an on-site restaurant where you can enjoy delicious local dishes. I personally tried the fresh seafood, and it was incredibly tasty. If you’re looking for a place to spend a relaxing day with family or friends, Paradise Bay is the perfect spot.
To get there, you can take buses 41, 42, 221, or 222, which stop right next to the beach.
Upon arrival, I was struck by the beauty of the bay. The turquoise water is crystal clear, and the surrounding cliffs offer stunning views. There are plenty of sunbeds and loungers available for rent, as well as showers and toilets on-site.
I really appreciated that there were various options for entertainment, such as water sports and food stalls offering delicious local cuisine. I was also impressed by the cleanliness of the beach and its surroundings.
I visited Ramla Bay during my trip to Malta and was enchanted by its natural beauty. To get there, simply take bus number 322 or 306 from the main bus terminus in Malta and get off at the “Ramla” stop in Gozo.
Upon arrival, I was struck by the golden sand of the beach, which is one of Malta’s most beautiful. In addition to the beach, there’s a beautiful green valley where you can stroll and enjoy stunning sea views. I also visited the Calypso Cave, which is located nearby and is worth a visit. All in all, I had an amazing day at Ramla Bay, and I highly recommend this destination to anyone visiting Malta.
Sliema beach in Malta
If you’re looking for an easily accessible beach in Malta, look no further than Sliema Beach. I took bus number 202 to get there, and it dropped me off right next to the beach. I was immediately impressed by the beach’s beauty, with its golden sand and crystal-clear waters.
But there’s much more to see than just the beach. The palm tree-lined streets are perfect for leisurely walks and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of Sliema. I also visited Fort Tigné, located just a few minutes’ walk from the beach. It was incredible to see the history of Malta unfold before my eyes.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time at Sliema Beach. It was easily accessible by public transport, and there was so much to see and do around the beach itself.
The best things to do in Malta
Malta travel guide
The must-do activities in Malta, ranked from the most magnificent to the most fun.🤩
Where to stay in Malta
Visit Malta and finding your hotel
Whether you’re looking for a charming hotel, a comfortable apartment or a luxurious stay, Malta has the perfect accommodation for you. Make the most of your stay in this huge city!
Getting around in Malta
- Malta public transport bus network: Explore Malta on comfortable, air-conditioned buses offering affordable fares, starting at €2 for a one-way trip. Bus routes cover the entire island, making it easy to travel to historic cities like Valletta and Birgu.
- Taxis: Enjoy reasonable rates, averaging around €15 for a 10 km journey.
- Horse-drawn carriage ride: For a unique experience, opt for a horse-drawn carriage ride in Malta. Prices vary depending on the duration, with an average of €50 per hour. A romantic option for exploring the island’s historic streets while ensuring the well-being of the animals.
- Hop-on Hop-off bus: See Malta from a panoramic bus and hop on and off at your leisure to explore tourist attractions. Prices are around €20 for a day.
- Car rental: Explore the island at your own pace with car rental, starting at approximately €20 per day for a compact car.
- Buses: Fare: €1.50 per ticket (winter), €2 (summer). Night bus: €3 (from 23:00 to 05:00).
- The official language of Malta is Maltese, but you can also communicate in English.
- You’ll use euros on the island, so make sure to have some with you.
- Malta is an affordable destination for travelers, with prices significantly lower than major European capitals like Paris, Barcelona, or London. However, beware of some scammers who take advantage of tourists, including unofficial taxi drivers and carriage drivers.
- To enter Malta, a simple ID card is sufficient; you don’t need a passport!
- If you plan to rent a car on-site, note that driving is on the left side of the road, like in London. If you’re accustomed to right-hand driving, it may take some time to get used to it.
- Finally, it’s important to know the best season to visit Malta. In general, the months of April to June and September to November offer the most pleasant temperatures and lower tourist crowds. Summer can be sweltering, while winter tends to be rainy.
I hope these tips will be helpful in planning your trip to Malta.
I’m always attentive to the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in the countries I visit, including Malta. I’m delighted to note that Malta is a very welcoming country for the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2017, the country became the first European country to ban conversion therapy, a significant step in protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
Additionally, Malta has a lively LGBTQ+ nightlife scene, with clubs and bars in cities like Valletta, St. Julian’s, and Paceville. Malta Pride is also a significant annual event that attracts visitors from around the world.
Here are some LGBTQ+ establishments:
- La Klozet club: A gay nightclub in Paceville with a lively atmosphere and a dance floor.
- The Birdcage lounge bar: An LGBTQ+ bar in St. Julian’s with a pleasant outdoor terrace.
- Michelangelo club lounge: A gay bar and nightclub in Valletta, known for its house music and elegant ambiance.
- Tom bar: A gay bar in Sliema with a friendly atmosphere and delicious cocktails.
- So city club: A nightclub in Paceville that regularly hosts events for the LGBTQ+ community.
MTT wishes you the most wonderful stay, and enjoy your time!