Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

Malta International Airport Guide

Best Hotels

Top Things to Do in Malta

Top Things to Do in Valletta

Best Museums

Adventurous Things to Do in Malta

48-Hour Itinerary

Must-Try Food

Best Restaurants

Your Trip to Malta: The Complete Guide

tourism guide malta

Malta, or the Republica of Malta, is an island nation in the central Mediterranean, located between Sicily and North Africa. It includes the main island of Malta (home to the capital city, Valletta), the smaller island of Gozo, and the tiny, barely populated island of Comino. Over the millennia, Malta's strategic position has made it a prized possession of civilizations, kingdoms, and regional powers seeking to control trade in the Mediterranean. As a result, Malta has a fascinating history, with influences of Roman, Arab, Norman, Spanish and British cultures, among others—seen especially in its historic cities.

Malta is also known for the waters that surround it—the Mediterranean Sea around Malta and its associated islands is clear, deep, and very popular with divers and snorkelers. For Europeans, Malta is a quick island getaway for warm weather, beaches, and history.

Planning Your Trip

Here are some basics for planning your trip to Malta.

Best Time to Visit:  Summers in Malta are hot, dry, and crowded, as July to September is peak season. To avoid the crowds but still be relatively sure of warm but not hot weather, the best time to visit is in the late spring to early summer, from April to June. By May, the sea is warm enough for swimming.

Language:  The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. The former is a Semitic language with its roots in the Arab-Sicilian domination of Malta in the Middle Ages. Italian is also widely spoken on the island. Why most Maltese speak the Maltese language among themselves, you'll find that most also speak English, especially in hotels, shops, and restaurants.

Currency:  Malta is part of the European Union and uses the Euro as its currency  . No other currencies are accepted.

Getting Around:  Malta has an efficient public bus system that connects to the airport, cruise port, and most cities, towns, and tourist sites, including on Gozo. If you decide to rent a car, keep in mind that Malta adheres to British driving rules, meaning cars have their steering wheels on the car's righthand side, and driving is on the lefthand side of the road. Taxis are numerous and easy to find. Motor scooter and bicycle rentals are popular ways to get around, and a water taxi service carries passengers across Valletta's Grand Harbour.

Travel Tip:  Malta is small but densely populated and congested. In high season and at morning and evening rush hour, expect to spend some time sitting in traffic.

TripSavvy / Linda Strauta

Things to Do

Visitors to Malta mostly come for three reasons: history, the sea, and a fun, resort-like feel. You might pass a vacation here by visiting historical and archaeological sites one day, and beaches and swimming spots another. If you have the chance to get out on the water in a boat, whether it's a ferry, kayak, or chartered sailboat, don't miss it. In the evenings, the lively alleys of the capital city of Valletta are lined with open-air restaurants and bars.

Here are a few sights and activities not to be missed:

  • Visit historic cities and sites. Valletta, the fortified capital city of Malta, dominates the Grand Harbour. The 16th-century city was built by the Knights of Malta in high Baroque style and has a well-preserved historic center. The fortress city of Mdina was built by the Arabs in the 11th century and served as Malta's capital until the 1500s. The Megalithic Temples of Malta, including Ħaġar Qim and four others, are the oldest free-standing stone structures globally   and a combined UNESCO World Heritage Site. For some perspective: they predate the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, and Ireland's New Grange.
  • Get in the water. The islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino are ringed by dramatic rocky coves with stunningly clear water and a few sandy beaches. Top sandy beaches include Golden Bay Beach and red-hued Ramla Bay on Gozo. For swimming and snorkeling, On tiny Comino, the aptly named Blue Lagoon is famous for its otherworldly turquoise waters. On Malta, St. Peter's Pool has huge rock slabs for sunning in-between jumping into blue-green waters. From the beautiful swimming cove at Għar Lapsi, you can catch a boat to the Blue Grotto, the most famous of the many sea caves carved into the shorelines of Malta and Gozo.
  • Party into the night. Malta is a party destination, attracting young and old revelers to dine out, drink and socialize at top spots all over the island. In Valletta's Old Town, narrow, steep alleyways are lined with bars and restaurants that buzz with activity from early evening. In the combined area of Sliema, St. Julian's, and St. George's Bay, modern luxury hotels, beach resorts, and shopping, dining, and entertainment complexes draw revelers from across Europe and beyond.

For more on things to do in Malta, check our articles on the Most Adventurous Things to Do in Malta and the Top Things to Do in Malta .

What to Eat and Drink

As with Maltese history and culture, Malta's cuisine has been greatly influenced by the many cultures that ruled the islands over thousands of years. Most prevalent is the Italian influence—there are Italian restaurants and pizzerias all over Malta and Gozo. But the cuisine also has elements of French, Greek, Arabic, Spanish and British cooking. Rabbit is among the most popular dishes in the country, prepared any number of ways but most often in a stew, called stuffat tal-fenek . Pastizzi are savory pastries filled with peas or a ricotta mixture. Another only-in-Malta dish is ftira , a flatbread that is either stuffed with savory ingredients or served like a pizza, with cheese, vegetables and often, sausage or other meat. Lampuki pie is a local fish pie baked with potatoes, mint, and capers.

Both red and white wines are developed in Malta. White wines are crisp and dry, and include Chardonnay, Vermentino, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. Syrah and Merlot are two of the most commonly found reds on the island. Cisk is the local craft beer, and you'll find bartenders mixing up a range of international cocktails, including the ubiquitous Aperol Spritz.

Where to Stay

Where you base your stay in Malta depends largely on your interests. Keep in mind that the island is small and can be easily traversed by rental car or bus. Valletta, the capital city, has several important sights, is close to the airport, has a range of accommodation options, and is a good hub for exploring the rest of the country. Sliema, St. Julian's, and St. George's Bay have the largest concentration of luxury hotels, though there are less expensive options here as well. Families and couples come here for the beaches, and the younger crowd hits nearby Paceville for the nightlife. Quiet Mellieħa is favored by those who want to spend the majority of their time at the beach. Gozo is also much quieter and lower-key than the busiest parts of Malta and draws an older crowd looking for total relaxation and lots of time in the sun and sea.

Getting There

Small, easily navigable Malta International Airport (MLA) is the country's only airport. While there are no direct flights between Malta and the U.S., the airport is well-connected to Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. Air Malta, Alitalia, RyanAir, EasyJet, and Wizz Air are among the carriers with the most frequent flights in and out. The airport is about 10 kilometers from downtown Valletta and is connected to Valletta and the rest of the island by bus or taxi.

Gozo is only reachable by ferry or private boat, or charter. Ferries depart about every 30 minutes from the port at Ċirkewwa, on the northern tip of Malta, for the 25-minute ride to Gozo. Vehicle, foot, and bike passengers are welcomed on board.

Culture and Customs 

Malta ranks only behind Romania as the most religious country in Europe. And despite its reputation as a European party destination, its population is devout, with a wide majority identifying as Roman Catholic and attending mass regularly. When entering any church, be sure that your shoulders and chest are covered and that your legs are covered from the knees up—this goes for all genders.

In restaurants, tip about 5-10 percent of the bill. If a service charge has been added, you don't need to tip, though a euro or two extra for good service is always appreciated.

Money-Saving Tips

In terms of vacation costs, Malta falls right about in the middle of the rest of Europe—cheaper than destinations like Paris and Venice, but more expensive than Eastern Europe, for example. Here are a few ways to save money on your vacation to Malta:

  • Buy the Malta Pass. If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing in one day or a few days, the Malta Pass is a good investment. It includes admission to more than 35 top attractions, plus a sightseeing bus to get around on.
  • For meals, go casual. The Maltese snacks of ftira and pastizzi are cheap, handheld meals in themselves. They're sold, along with tasty sandwiches and pizza, just about everywhere, especially near beaches and other destinations where tourists gather.

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The 18 best things to do in Malta and Gozo: culture, cuisine, and outdoor adventures

May 12, 2022 • 6 min read

Two women tourists take photo of pigeons and beautiful skyline view of Capital city of Malta, Valletta, Dome and bell-tower above the walls, blue skies, from the St. Andrew Bastion, Valletta, Malta; Shutterstock ID 608541035; your: Claire Naylor; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online editorial; full: Malta best things to do

From hearing the cannons roar in Valletta to kayaking the coast of Gozo, here are the best things to do in Malta © TheLiftCreativeServices / Shutterstock

Encompassing just 316 sq km (122 sq mi), Malta may be the world’s tenth-smallest country, but it still manages to pack in many diverse things to see and do.

These recommendations – combining world-famous attractions with a few under-the-radar surprises – to experience the best of this compact island nation at the heart of the Mediterranean .

Experience the roar of Valletta's famous cannons

Walking around Valletta , you'll probably hear an almighty bang at noon and 4pm. Make your way to the Saluting Battery to see what all the fuss is about, and combine the pomp of Valletta's ceremonial cannons – traditionally used to fire salutes to visiting naval vessels – and brilliant views across Grand Harbour to Fort St Angelo and the Three Cities.

Explore Malta's Three Cities in an electric buggy

Traveling in an eco-friendly electric buggy from Rolling Geeks, embark on a self-drive discovery of the piazzas, avenues, and sleepy backstreets of the historic Three Cities of Vittoriosa , Senglea, and Cospicua. Pre-programmed directions are handled by the buggies' onboard GPS, so it's impossible to get lost on a leisurely journey taking in museums, churches, and gardens.

Old streets in Valletta, Malta, with two ornate wooden doors juxtaposed with a bright red phone box.

Be challenged by contemporary art in Valletta

Inspired by Valletta's 2018 stint as a European Capital of Culture, several of the city's heritage mansions now showcase contemporary art. Galleries worth visiting for thought-provoking installations and sculptures include Valletta Contemporary and Blitz . Scheduled to open in 2023, Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS ) will encompass around 7000 sq m (75347 sq ft) of galleries and exhibitions in a restored fort in the historic Floriana precinct.

Learn about "Fortress Malta" at the Lascaris War Rooms

Concealed 40m (131ft) below Valletta's Upper Baraka Gardens, the Lascaris War Rooms housed the Allies’ top-secret command HQ during WWII and were a vital part of the island's defense during the 18-month Siege of Malta from 1940 to 1942. Fascinating guided tours explore map rooms and communications centers restored to how they were during the war.

Hike the clifftop trails of southern Gozo

Tackle the Xlendi Walk, meandering for 12km (7.5 miles) from Mġarr Harbour to the rocky bays around Xlendi. En route, there's the improbably narrow cove at Mġarr ix-Xini, coastal watchtowers built by the Knights of St John in the 17th century, and a vertiginous stairway leading to the compact Carolina Cave. Buses from both Mġarr and Xlendi link to Victoria, Gozo 's historic capital.

A view across the harbor to the Esplora Science Centre in Malta with its glass-domed roof

Discover family-friendly science at Esplora

Focus on both education and entertainment with a visit to Esplora , which opened in 2016 as one of Europe's best interactive science centers. More than 200 interactive exhibits explore cosmology, plate tectonics, and Malta's natural history. The playground, well-kept gardens and an expansive rooftop terrace all offer brilliant views of Valletta and the Three Cities’ Fort St Angelo .

Swoon at classic cars

If you're renting a car, a compact Japanese or Korean option is probably best for negotiating Malta's winding and often narrow roads, but that won't stop you from being envious of the stellar array of automotive excellence at the Malta Classic Car Collection . Look for the blue vintage Bugatti sports car out front and you'll know you're in the right place.

Relax in Mdina's il-Foss

First created as part of the walled city's defensive bastion, a 21st-century makeover has transformed Mdina's historic il-Foss ( ditch gardens ) into a very pleasant place for a picnic and leisurely stroll. Overgrown tangles of ivy have been replaced by olive trees and a citrus grove, and the space is also used for occasional festivals and concerts.

Ease into the weekend with alfresco jazz

Make a beeline for Valletta's Bridge Bar , especially on a Friday night, when music fans spill out onto the city's honey-colored stairs and enjoy live jazz. Colorful cushions make it a comfortable impromptu concert, and the relaxed tunes usually kick off around 8:30pm and run through until midnight.

Two kayakers in turquoise water navigate their way under a natural limestone arch, Comino Islands, Malta.

Kayak around Gozo's coastline

Idiosyncratic wind- and sea-eroded coastal formations and hidden sea caves make Gozo an excellent destination for sea kayaking. Gozo Adventures run half- and full-day kayaking trips, kicking off at Hondoq Bay on the island's south coast before crossing the Gozo Channel to Comino . Other kayaking destinations include Gozo's sheltered Inland Sea .

Harness Maltese ingredients at a cookery school

Focusing on how its place in the Mediterranean Sea has impacted Malta's culinary diversity, the Mediterranean Culinary Academy's menu of cookery classes includes experiences crafting ravjul (Maltese ravioli) and teaming Maltese wines with artisan produce including cheese, honey, and preserves. Local and sustainable ingredients are regularly used.

Dive into the amazing Blue Hole

Unfortunately, Gozo's famed Azure Window sea arch crumbled into the sea during a big storm in March 2017, but the surrounding Dwejra Bay coastline is still wildly spectacular. Boat trips exploring the nearby Inland Sea also take in views of the arch underwater in gin-clear Mediterranean waters, while it's also possible to dive in the nearby Blue Hole , a 25m (82ft) deep underwater limestone chimney.

Travel 500,000 years back in time at Għar Dalam Cave and Museum

Translating to "Cave of Darkness,"  Għar Dalam is a 145m-long (475ft) cavern carved into Lower Coralline Limestone, the oldest exposed rock in the Maltese islands. Ancient fossils, some up to 500,000 years old, have been discovered in the cave, representing the bones and teeth of dwarf elephants, hippopotamuses, and prehistoric micro-mammals.

A solo cyclist pedals round a flat yellowish landscape in Gozo's salt pans

Experience living history at Gozo's ancient salt pans

Negotiate quiet coastal roads and unsealed tracks on Gozo's northern coast to the often-windswept site of the Marsalforn salt pans . Cut into the coastal limestone by hand, the salt pans date from Roman times, and are still used to harvest salt between May and September. Rent a mountain bike in nearby Marsalforn, and make the 2km (1.25 miles) journey west to the salt pans.

Meet the locals at Malta National Aquarium

Five different aquatic zones – each representing different aspects of the waters surrounding Malta – make up the country's national aquarium . Specialist exhibitions focus on Valletta's Grand Harbour and Gozo's coastline, and more than 250 species are displayed in 50 tanks. A highlight is a 12m (40ft) walk-through underwater tunnel.

Climb high for Gozo's best views

Gozo's rocky and serrated coastline is one of Europe's best places for climbing. Many of the island's 300-plus sport climbs are focused on the southern coast, especially around the Munxar-Xlendi Valley, and further east at spectacular Mġarr ix-Xini. It's a good place to learn to climb, especially with Gozo Adventures who can also arrange bouldering and abseiling trips.

Make a difference with BirdLife Malta

Check BirdLife Malta's website for opportunities to join one of the organization's regular events promoting the protection of local and migratory avian species. Events could include after-dark experiences learning about the impact of light pollution on Gozo's nesting seabirds, or eco-walks around northern Malta's Park tal-Majjistral .

Tour Gozo on a Segway or e-bike

Hook up with Gozo Segway Tours – either on a Segway or an e-bike – to explore Malta's smaller and less-populous island. Options include an overland journey from the Marsalforn salt pans to the rocky and narrow coastal bay of Wied l-Ghasri , and then on to the immense Basilica of Ta' Pinu near the village Għarb.

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 Steeped in over 7000 years of history, and having played host to the Romans, Phoenicians, the Knights of St John and even Napoleon, all of whom have left their mark, there’s no end of historical attractions awaiting you.

 Malta’s vast array of temples, fortifications and palaces offer a magical connection between past and present that will dazzle even the most skeptical of tourists. 

Of course no trip to Malta is complete without experiencing a bit of local culture, and what better way to do this than by immersing yourself in the magic of one of the many village festas? With mind-blowing religious processions, a vast array of mouthwatering food and drink , and firework displays which are second to none, these unmissable celebrations are the very essence of Maltese culture. 

With a calendar choc-full of cultural events spanning throughout the year, there’s never a bad time to visit Malta. Whether enjoying the magic of Birgu by Candlelight, attending Valletta’s lavish Baroque festival, or relishing the historical delights of the Notte Bianca, Malta’s varied cultural diary offers experiences like no other. If it’s music that you’re into, the variety of internationally renowned musical events such as the BBC Orchestra, SummerDaze and Abode on The Rock will certainly not disappoint.

 We all need a bit of down time, especially with such a hectic schedule, and what better way to chillax than on one of Malta’s stunning beaches. With several blue flag beaches boasting exceptional standards of water quality and amenities, it’s hardly surprising that Malta is a Mecca for sun seekers from all corners of the globe. 

With its fantastically favourable climate boasting a mind-blowing 300 days of sunshine, there’s never a bad time to visit Malta. It’s remarkably mild winters and piercing blue skies make it ideal for long rambles in the lush and verdant countryside, numerous other athletic activities, and mesmerising dives. 

Though there’s more than enough to keep you busy in Malta, no holiday would be complete without a visit to its sister isles, Gozo and Comino. Whilst offering a greener, more tranquil glimpse into Maltese life, there’s still no shortage of historical venues, outdoor activities and gastronomic experiences to be enjoyed.

 Whatever you’re looking for in a holiday, with so much to see and do, a trip to the Maltese Islands is an unmissable experience for any type of traveler.

Things to See & Do in Malta

Whether you’re a history buff, a night owl, an adrenaline junkie, or simply a rambler wishing to be bowled over by natural splendour, the list of things to do in Malta is endless. 

 Whatever you’re looking for in a holiday, with so much to see and do, a trip to the Maltese Islands is an unmissable experience for any type of traveller.

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Things To Do in Malta: 40+ Best Attractions and Activities

If you’re planning to visit the Maltese islands, there are more than enough fun things to do in Malta – from sightseeing to tourist attractions and more adventurous activities.

Here’s a comprehensive list of my best Malta travel tips to help you decide what to do in Malta!

Top 3 Things to Do in Malta

1. head to the stunning blue lagoon.

The stunning Blue Lagoon Malta at Comino island.

Malta’s most must-visit destination is on the tiny island Comino: Blue Lagoon Bay . Just northeast of the Maltese coast, this gem of a lagoon boasts the most sparkling azure-blue water, which will invite anyone into the water.

Head here for a lazy day of tanning, swimming and cocktails – and bring a snorkel set just in case; the marine life is exciting. The easiest way of getting there is by taking a boat trip, or tour . If you can afford it, a private boat tour is by far the best choice.

The best regular boat tour to the Blue Lagoon is one of Sea Adventure Malta , where you’ll head to the lagoon on one of their three boat options:

  • Large catamaran with slides – great for families with kids
  • Same large catamaran but at sunset ( highly recommended – much quieter experience!)
  • Smaller catamaran (“Sea Odyssey”)

More info and booking here.

I recommend taking a boat tour rather than organising everything yourself and taking the ferry, as it will save you hassle and also because it can be hard to find a spot to relax on the tiny beach near the Blue Lagoon.

If you’d rather have more flexibility, I recommend taking the iSeeMalta Coastal route . This hop-on-hop-off ferry works the same way as the buses, which allows you to hop on at different stops and hop off wherever you want.

For just an attractive price, you can get a day pass, with which you can head to the Blue Lagoon and back to your accommodation, wherever that is.

2. Explore the Blue Grotto

Taking a Blue Grotto tour is one of the best things to do in Malta!

The Blue Grotto is one of the most unique things to do in Malta. This is a must-visit, especially on sunny summer days when the Mediterranean seawater sparkles around the impressive rock cave formation in the south of Malta.

You’re taken inside the Blue Grotto with a short boat tour to admire the sunlight bouncing off the sandy sea floor onto the rocks above. Truly magical!

Combine it with a visit to Malta’s traditional fishing village, Marsaxlokk and its big market in this Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk tour to make the most of your day.

3. Tour the famous Grand Harbour

One of the amazing views on most Valletta tours at the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

The absolutely stunning and fortified capital of Malta, Valletta, is a peninsula surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea – and the Grand Harbour . From Marsamxett Harbour in the west to the Three Cities and their harbours on the east side, all the surrounding areas have played a significant role in protecting the capital throughout the centuries.

You can cruise through Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour for just €20 with the iSeeMalta Grand Harbour cruise .

You’ll get the opportunity to imagine the rich history of the area as you visit the natural harbours on both sides of Valletta. This 90-minute hop-on-hop-off tour allows you to get on board wherever you are, as well as make several stops on the way. Flexible and enjoyable!

Buy Malta, Gozo and Valletta 2024 guide books from Malta Uncovered.

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Malta & Gozo guide book Valletta : An Insider’s Guide to Malta’s Capital

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Top 5 Malta Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing Destinations

1. the capital city of valletta.

You can’t visit Malta without visiting its intriguing and gorgeous capital, Valletta. The city holds a centuries-long history and is filled with historical sites. It definitely needs to be on your list of things to do in Malta! Read more about Malta’s capital further down.

Valletta skyline at sunset.

2. St. John’s Co-Cathedral

Within Valletta, you’ll find the iconic Saint John’s Co-Cathedral . The Roman-Catholic co-cathedral dates back to 1577, and its interior is considered to be one of Europe’s finest examples of high Baroque architecture. Learn more about the cathedral in the Valletta section of this article.

The impressive view of the nave from the main entrance at the St. John's Co-Cathedral.

3. The walled city of Mdina

If you are interested in Malta’s history or want to visit its second-most impressive city, the ancient city of Mdina is bound to impress. The fortified city used to be Malta’s capital, and within its walls hides some of the most admirable art and architecture. Learn more about Mdina in the section below.

Mdina: One of the top sightseeing destinations and things to do in Malta.

4. Gozo: Natural beauty

Prefer nature over city life? Then, the smaller Island of Gozo is an absolute must. Malta’s sister island is a natural gem, with bountiful greenery and plenty of beaches to explore.

A lot quieter than the bustling island of Malta, the idyllic island will capture your heart if you love peace and serenity. Further down below, you can find more details about Gozo and how to get there.

The inland sea at Dwejra has a small pebbly beach and makes for a great spot to swim and snorkel.

5. Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Malta is famous for its prehistoric buildings and remains, and one of the most impressive ones is the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. This underground burial site dates back to 4000 BC and was only discovered in 1902. Read on to find out more!

The Central Chamber of the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Visit Malta’s capital city of Valletta and its many museums

Valletta is a true gem of a place and an absolute must-visit. It’s one of my favourite places in Malta, and I always discover something new whenever I go there.

These are a few of the top places to visit and things to do while you’re there.

St. John’s Co-Cathedral

The jewel of Valletta is the St. John’s Co-Cathedral. A modestly designed exterior hides what’s inside: A jaw-dropping display of art, Baroque design, marble floors with large tombstones and several niches and chapels. To boot, its museum displays works by the world-famous late-Renaissance painter Caravaggio.

La Sacra Infermeria

The shallow staircase inside La Sacra Infermeria that takes you down to the main ward.

La Sacra Infermeria’s Great Ward was once Europe’s longest at 155 metres long. The entire Infirmary accommodated a total of 563 beds in 1787.

When visiting La Sacra Infermeria, don’t miss out on the Augmented Reality (AR) experience named ‘Reliving The Sacra Infermeria’. Interact with the history and its protagonists while being transported back in time with this innovative concept – a fun and educational experience for everyone.

There is also the Malta Experience, an audio-visual showing narrating the intriguing 7000-year history of Malta.

In just 45 minutes, you’ll grasp the country’s unique history, which will enrich your entire understanding of the islands, its people, and the places you’ll visit.

Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Upper Barrakka Gardens are a real serene treat in Valletta, hidden away in a corner of the city and offering a break from the bustling capital.

Take a stroll past the fountain and flowers, enjoy the amazing views of the Grand Harbour and grab a coffee while you enjoy some shade. You can also visit the Lascaris War Rooms while you’re here. It doesn’t get better than this!

The Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta.

Grand Master’s Palace

Right in the centre of Valletta, you’ll find the Grand Master’s Palace in all its majesty. The palace was built between the 16th and 18th centuries as the palace of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, who ruled Malta.

Inside the Grand Master’s palace, you’ll find stunning artworks, heritage items, and old Maltese furniture. You can also visit the Palace State Rooms, located inside Grandmaster’s Palace, which is a very impressive attraction to admire as well.

Finish your visit with the Palace Armoury, which houses a huge collection of armour and artillery that belonged to the Knights of the Order of St. John and the Ottomans.

Lascaris War Rooms

Located under the Upper Barrakka Gardens, the Lascaris War Rooms are known as Malta’s best-kept secret.

The underground complex of tunnels and chambers housed the War Headquarters, which was used to coordinate the island’s defence during the Second World War. After that, the Lascaris War Rooms were used by NATO, and today, you can visit them as a museum.

Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck

One of Valletta’s oldest churches is the Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck, dating back all the way to the 1570s.

The story of the apostle St. Paul is described in the New Testament, and it is believed that his shipwreck on the island brought Christianity to Malta. Today, St. Paul is considered Malta’s spiritual father.

National War Museum at Fort St. Elmo

Check out the National War Museum as you explore Fort St. Elmo . With a superb collection of artefacts dating back to prehistoric times, this national museum provides a detailed overview of Malta’s important role in several wars, especially the Second World War.

The front gate at Fort St. Elmo in Valletta.

Casa Rocca Piccola

This unique attraction in the heart of Valletta is an impressive 16th-century palace of a Maltese noble family, and it’s clear from the second you step inside.

Casa Rocca Piccola is still privately owned by a noble Maltese family and lovingly taken care of, and the owners will happily show you around their beloved home.

The dining room at Casa Rocca Piccola.

MUŻA is an art museum located at Auberge d’Italie in Valletta, Malta, displaying works by Maltese and foreign artists representing the major European artistic styles

Formerly known as the National Museum of Fine Arts, it was located at Admiralty House between 1974 and 2016.

Today, it’s the perfect place to visit if you are into art and want to discover some of Malta’s iconic artists and want to learn about Malta’s history through the arts.

Valletta walking tours

Merchants Street, Valletta at sunset.

You can tour Valletta in different ways, either by yourself with my Valletta travel guidebook  (highly recommended, of course!) or with one of these well-reviewed walking tours:

  • Majestic Valletta – Half-day tour – If you only have half a day to see Valletta, fear not – you’ll be able to see the main highlights. This half-day Valletta tour takes you to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, and Grandmaster’s Palace without feeling rushed.
  • Night tour through Valletta, Mosta and Mdina – Valletta at night is a whole different experience, as people sit back and relax after a day of work. But it isn’t the only city that lights up after sundown, as Mdina and the Rotunda in Mosta shine just as bright. This night tour takes you to all three to give you the most magical Malta at night experience.
  • Private Valletta Guided Tour – If you prefer a private guide, this is one of the best options I usually recommend. You’ll be guided around by one of the most knowledgeable tour guides in Malta, who knows Valletta inside out. Apart from being able to book a date of your choice, you can also customise your itinerary, covering a half day (4 hours).
  • Valletta: Street Food and Culture Walking Tour If you want to indulge even more in Maltese culture, check out this tour.  You’ll discover the city’s main landmarks while savouring the island’s tastiest street food.
  • Valletta: The Dark Side Walking Tour – This night tour is slightly different. You’ll explore the most spectral and mysterious side of the city, with several commonly known ghost stories told at specific spots. Having seen centuries of war, occupation, and violence, that’s no surprise!

More info on sightseeing in Valletta here: Top 20 Things to Do and Places of Interest in Valletta

Admire the Natural Beauty of Gozo

If you have a day or two, I absolutely recommend visiting Gozo Island. The more natural and serene sister island to Malta offers peace and quiet and just as much history as the island of Malta itself. It’s definitely one of my favourite things to do in Malta!

How to get there

You can take the main ferry to Gozo from the north of Malta, in Ċirkewwa. Depending on where you are staying, it can take quite a while to get there – around an hour and a half from Valletta by local bus.

However, the ferry trip to take you across to Mġarr Harbour in Gozo just takes 20 minutes, and a return ticket is €4.65. Ferries go to and from Gozo almost 24/7, about twice per hour.

Another faster option (if you are located centrally) is the fast ferry from Valletta, which also arrives at Mġarr Harbour. The ferry is operated by Gozo Highspeed, charging €7.50 for a one-way ticket. The trip from Valletta to Gozo takes just under 45 minutes.

Just be aware that the vessels, although fast, aren’t recommended for people who get seasick easily!

The Gozo ferry departing from Cirkewwa in the North of Malta.

Take a day trip to Gozo

Tuk Tuk Gozo tour: A fun way to discover this beautiful island.

While public transport exists in the form of buses, the network isn’t known for its efficiency, and a rental car is almost always the better alternative if you’re set on discovering Gozo without help.

These are a few of the best options for day trips in Gozo :

  • A fun and exciting way to explore Gozo is on a Tuk Tuk tour . Cruising around in a traditional Tuk Tuk with a driver who knows the very best spots on the island, you’ll be sure you won’t miss a thing while enjoying the sun on the way. Each of these Tuk Tuks can carry up to 6 passengers, so it makes for a great option if you’re travelling with a group or for families with kids. Prices include hotel transfers and lunch! More info here: Gozo Tuk Tuk tours .
  • You can also get Quad bike tours with the same operator. These vehicles are for real adventurers and easily cover rough terrain, seating two people. More info here: Gozo quad biking .
  • Gozo is gorgeous, and if you have the time, I recommend going for at least one full day. This full-day Gozo tour lets you discover the stunning island and includes all the top attractions, and the price includes all transport and entrance costs.
  • This Gozo tour “with a difference” takes you to the lesser-visited spots on the island. Visit the Ġgantija Temples complex (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), hop on a trackless train and enjoy the Marsalforn, Qbajjar and Xwejni bays. You’ll get to see nature and history at once.
  • This is another great Gozo full-day sightseeing tour , taking you to the impressive Ta’ Pinu Basilica and on a train ride to the Cittadella in Victoria. Check out Gozo’s beaches and UNESCO World Heritage Sites at a relaxed pace.

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Wander around Victoria’s old town

Gozo’s capital, Victoria, is a small but lovely town with an authentic atmosphere.

Wander around to explore the little alleys, many churches and cosy squares, and make your way to a local coffee shop for a quick break or Maltese pastizzi (puff pastry).

You’ll also find amazing hand-made and original souvenirs in the stores around town.

Explore the Cittadella

In Victoria lies the majestic and ancient Cittadella, Gozo’s fortified city. This is a must-see, as it dates back to circa 1500 BC and is still home to many interesting sites and museums.

Take a nice walk around the city’s walls to see Gozo’s most amazing views, and check out the Old Prison to get an idea of what the Middle Ages in the capital were like.

Visit Dwejra and its Inland Sea

The inland sea at Dwejra has a small pebbly beach and makes for a great spot to swim and snorkel.

Few spots around Gozo provide as much natural beauty as Dwejra and its surroundings.

From the Inland Sea (a small bathing area surrounded by tall cliffs connected to the open sea) to Fungus Rock (once known for a rare species of fungi) and Dwejra Bay itself, peace and nature are one here.

It’s one of my favourite spots around the Maltese islands.

Fancy a visit to Gozo? Get more ideas here: 25+ Things to Do in Gozo .

Hop-on-hop-off buses and ferries

If you want to see most of Malta and Gozo but are short on time or simply enjoy being driven around with the flexibility to get off anywhere, check out the hop-on-hop-off buses and ferries by iSeeMalta .

The buses and ferries take specific routes, hitting almost all of the islands’ highlights, and you can decide where you want to stop and have a better look around.

Very convenient if you want your transport sorted and know where you want to go.

Go Back in Time at the Silent City of Mdina

Mdina main gate and ditch below.

Valletta is a historical city, but Mdina beats Malta’s current capital in terms of age and should definitely be in your list of things to do in Malta.

The island’s former capital, also known as the Silent City, dates back all the way to the 8th century BC when Phoenician settlers inhabited the town, which was then known as “Maleth”.

But even if you’re not a history geek, Mdina is an incredible city that you can’t miss out on. Sitting on top of one of the tallest hills on the island of Malta, Mdina is a small town surrounded by tall bastions and a large moat (which is nowadays a garden).

Although it’s a popular option among things to do in Malta, it rarely feels busy in its narrow streets and alleys, and there really is nothing like it. It’s as if you’re taking a step back in time – that’s how well-preserved the place is.

Once there, I also highly recommend paying a visit to the town of Rabat, which you can find on the doorstep of Mdina.

Tours of Mdina

Because Mdina has many stories to tell, getting a tour is a good idea. These are a few of the options:

  • Get a 2.5-hour walking tour of the highlights of Mdina and Rabat with an experienced local guide and learn about these towns’ fascinating history.
  • This full-day culture & history tour takes you to Mdina, as well as the Dingli cliffs, Catacombs, San Anton, Botanical Gardens, Presidential Palace, the Rotunda in Mosta and Ta’ Qali.
  • If you’d like to explore both Mdina and the capital, Valletta, after the sun sets (- a completely different experience), check out this popular night tour .

The best things to do and see in Mdina

St. Roque's Chapel painted ceiling in Mdina.

  • Speaking of food: Sample some local sweets paired with Italian coffee at Fontanella Tea Garden or enjoy lunch at Xara Palace  – Trattoria AD 1530 . You can also grab some of the tastiest pastizzi (savoury pastries with ricotta cheese or mashed peas) made in Malta at is-Serkin (just outside of Mdina, on the edge of Rabat – close to the Domus Romana – see below).
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral can be found at the heart of Mdina and is worth a visit. TIP: The small chapel of St. Roque around the corner is a little hidden gem which you can admire from inside during the day.
  • Palazzo Falson is one of the quirkier places to visit in Malta. The former home of a collector of antiquities, this ages-old house is full of old weapons, art and artefacts collected by its most famous resident Olof Frederick Gollcher.
  • The National Museum of Natural History is located in the stunning 18th-century Vilhena Palace, designed in the French Baroque style. From local geology to human evolution and from marine fauna to birds, you’ll discover everything there’s to learn about nature here.
  • The Domus Romana is one of the finest examples of Roman Empire remains found on the island of Malta. This museum, right outside Mdina, is known for its beautiful examples of Roman mosaic floors, forming part of what once was a Roman house.

Experience Malta as a Local at the Three Cities

Small street with steps in the Three Cities.

Walking around, you will take in the century-old architecture and hear the locals share daily gossip from their balconies over a te fit-tazza – a traditional Maltese cup of tea.

You’ll get the most out of the Three Cities by simply wandering around, having a taste of traditional Maltese food in one of the many restaurants, and taking in the views (and sun!) at the Grand Harbour.

Prefer a guided tour? I highly recommend this half-day tour (4 hours) which includes a harbour cruise by boat.

While you’re in the Three Cities, you can opt to visit these museums in Vittoriosa:

Fort St. Angelo

The main entrance to Fort St. Angelo.

When the Knights of the Order of St. John arrived in Malta, it wasn’t Valletta or even Mdina, which was their seat of power. It was Vittoriosa.

At the end of the peninsula of Vittoriosa, you can find the beautifully restored Fort St. Angelo, which was the home of the Knights and which played an important part in their victory during the Great Siege of Malta.

Apart from the impressive building and its fortifications, the museum inside its walls tells the story well.

It’s not just a destination for history buffs, families with kids also enjoy a visit to explore Fort St. Angelo.

Malta Maritime Museum

Surrounded by the sea, it’s no wonder that Malta has a rich naval history.

Covering over 7000 years, the Maritime Museum presents over 20,000 artefacts that represent traces of occupancy, conflict and change throughout the centuries.

Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Malta’s history is long and intriguing, so much even that three sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List , while another seven are on the Tentative List.

1) Valletta

Valletta's magnificent skyline at sunset: A memorable view on popular Malta tours and excursions.

First on the Inscribed list is Malta’s capital, Valletta, which is no surprise because the city is basically a historical open-air museum.

Built in the 16th century by the Knights of Malta, it’s one of the smallest capital cities in Europe, largely surrounded by impressive fortifications.

Despite intense bombing during the Second World War, a large number of centuries-old buildings have survived, and there’s something to admire at almost every corner.

Valletta is a destination in itself, and you can easily spend three days sightseeing there. A number of popular things to do in Malta can be found here, so you won’t get bored here.

2) The Megalithic Temples of Malta

The Ġgantija Temples as seen from above.

Seven of the several Megalithic temples that Malta is known for are recognised by UNESCO, and most are open to the public.

The most important temples were built between approximately 3600 BC and 2500 BC, and are impressive to visit. Although you could list them all on your sightseeing itinerary, my advice is as follows:

  • Visit the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples near the village of Qrendi, in the South of Malta. These temples are some of the best-preserved examples and are located next to each other. They also have an excellent visitors’ centre that provides rich information on the temples as a whole and the people who built them.
  • Alternatively, the ancient ruins of the Tarxien Temples are also a great option and a little more central on the island of Malta. The Tarxien Temples also have a small visitors’ centre, but more importantly, the remains of the temples are worth viewing.
  • Visit the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta if you want to get more detail on the subject and admire some of the unique artefacts found around some of the temples.
  • If you plan to stay in Gozo, the Ġgantija Temples should be on your to-do list.

3) Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Another extremely impressive UNESCO World Heritage site to visit is the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground Neolithic complex in use between 4000 BC and 1500 BC.

Discovered accidentally in 1902, it’s a popular sightseeing destination for history buffs and curious culture-seekers. In fact, I recommend buying tickets in advance from Heritage Malta if you decide to visit the Hypogeum.

Sample fresh seafood at Marsaxlokk

View of Marsaxlokk harbour

An island in the middle of the Mediterranean can’t go without a fishing hotspot, and Malta’s famous fishers’ village is Marsaxlokk , in the south of the island.

With picturesque, colourful luzzu (traditional Maltese fishing boats) all around the harbour and some of the island’s best seafood, you can have an amazing time in this tiny fishing village.

On Sunday mornings, there’s a famous fish market, selling anything from seafood and fresh produce to souvenirs and clothes.

Don’t miss out on the local cuisine, especially if you love fish, and wander around to spot the Marsaxlokk parish church.

Though Marsaxlokk is picturesque, it is also quite small, so the things to see and do are limited. That’s why I recommend taking this combo tour with the Blue Grotto , where you’ll be hitting the South’s highlights in one day.

The Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk make for a great sightseeing combination, so make sure to see both!

Take the family to Popeye Village

Popeye Village is a must if you’re travelling with children, but the view is just as impressive even if you aren’t with the little ones.

The colourful village was built up against the cliffs in Mellieħa in 1980 as a set for the iconic Popeye film starring Robin Williams, so you might recognise it if you’re a bit of a movie buff.

If you’re on a budget or don’t feel like going inside Popeye Village, do go for a swim at the bottom of the cliffs at Anchor Bay.

This picturesque bay and its sparkling water lures down many tourists. It’s a great spot for snorkelling and diving, too, provided the wind direction is favourable.

Popeye Village is a great outing for families with kids.

Visit the Malta National Aquarium

If you love marine life or want to entertain the whole family, visit the Malta National Aquarium.

Discover the Mediterranean species that can be found all around the Maltese islands and plunge into Gozo and Comino’s waters.

But that’s not all – you’ll find history from the time of the Roman Empire, exotic species in the Tropical Oceans zone, and plenty of other interesting animals in the reptiles and amphibians area. Lots to see and learn!

The starfish-shaped building of the Malta National Aquarium in Qawra (at Ta' Fra Ben).

Explore Sea Life in the wild

Scuba diving.

Malta’s underwater life is rich, as you’ll find caves, reefs, and wrecks dotted all around the islands.

Some of Europe’s most impressive dive sites are located in Malta, Gozo and Comino, and with plenty of Mediterranean wildlife, there is always something interesting to see.

Gozo’s Blue Hole is one of the most stunning dive sites around the island, as you descend into a natural swimming pool and find yourself between caves and rock formations.

A good reason to visit Malta is that it is also a great place to discover scuba diving, get your license, or even further develop your skills by doing one of the more advanced courses.

These are a few recommended dive sites to check out:

Um El Faroud

A massive tanker, 115 metres, sunk to a depth of 31-35 metres as an artificial reef in 1995. Today, it is considered one of Malta’s best wrecks, with lots of marine life and plenty to explore. You need to be an advanced diver for this dive site.

Patrol boat P29 & Rozi

This East German minesweeper became a Maltese Patrol Boat in 1997 and sunk a decade later, after which it sits on a sandy bottom at 36 metres deep. Head to the north of Malta, Cirkewwa, to get a good look at the P29 and the Rozi wreck. You need to be an advanced diver for this dive site.

Santa Marija Caves, Comino

You can swim through the Santa Marija caves in Comino, where you’ll see stunning light reflections on the vertical walls and observe abundant marine life. This diving spot is for divers of all levels.

Inland Sea Tunnel, Gozo

Near the famous Blue Hole in Gozo, you’ll find the Inland Sea Tunnel, which is also an amazing dive site. Swim through the 80-metre-long tunnel from the Inland Sea to the open water and admire the light show that the sun and water create.

Marine wildlife

Malta’s cliffs, reefs and wrecks are home to many different Mediterranean marine species.

The ones you’ll likely come across underwater in Malta include groupers, amberjack, various bream, octopi, squid, flying fish, gurnard, stingrays, meagre, bogue, red mullet, parrotfish and the occasional moray eel.

Though there aren’t many big fish around the islands, a lucky diver might see tuna, dolphins and bonitos – but don’t get your hopes up too much.

Snorkelling

The best spots for snorkelling in Malta are those with crystal blue waters and plenty of rock formations and reefs for fish and little sea animals to hide in.

Fomm ir-Riħ Bay

This remote beach is a gem in itself, as not many tourists find their way there, but the underwater life might be even more impressive.

The sea is clean and clear, and there are plenty of fish, water animals and rock formations to spot.

St. Peter’s Pool

St. Peter’s Pool in the south of Malta is a popular natural pool where locals and tourists alike love to enjoy a long summer day. Besides cliff jumping, the area is ideal for snorkelling, as there are rocks, cliffs and beautiful fish species. You can get there either by car, on foot or by taking one of the boat tours from Marsaxlokk.

Blue Lagoon

Comino’s Blue Lagoon is perhaps Malta’s most famous spot for swimming, sunbathing and snorkelling. Remember that you definitely won’t be the only one here, but many would say the crystal-clear waters are worth it.

Check out the caves, beaches and inlets around Comino too, where you’ll find more marine life and fewer people.

Aerial view of Blue Lagoon Bay in Malta.

Head to one of Malta’s Sandy Beaches

Although it’s just a tiny rock in the Mediterranean Sea, there are a few beautiful sandy beaches around Malta to admire.

You can either visit these beaches by public transport or with a rental car or get a completely different experience by enjoying these beaches at sea: This Beaches and Bays Cruise by Sea Adventure Excursions is highly recommended .

You’ll sail to the first two of the beaches below (depending on the weather/sea conditions) on a catamaran, combined with a stop at the Blue Lagoon.

Want to just visit the beaches the old-fashioned way? These are my top recommendations!

Golden Bay Beach

Golden Bay and a Radisson Hotel perched on one of the surrounding cliffs

Golden Bay is Malta’s staple beach and definitely the place to go if you’re seeking a sunny day on a large, clean and comfortable beach.

Although it does get busy in summer, Golden Bay has access to all the amenities you might need – from toilets and kiosks to all the water sports you can imagine – and is easily accessible for anyone, whether you drive yourself or hop on a bus.

Especially on weekends, it’s also a popular beach for barbecues, and there’ll be a lively atmosphere.

Riviera Bay

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay - One of Malta's best beaches

Riviera Bay, also known as Għajn Tuffieħa , is my all-time favourite beach. It is situated right next to Golden Bay Beach, just a 10-minute walk away. It is lesser-known and therefore slightly less busy, but it’s also way smaller, making it quite crowded on summer days.

At this beautiful bay, you’ll find more surfers, stunning nature to explore and hike through, and one restaurant that offers basic meals.

Do keep in mind that you need to descend and ascend stairs to get there, so it’s not the most easily accessible.

St. Peter’s Pool isn’t a sandy beach but a beautiful natural pool near Marsaxlokk, in the south of Malta.

This natural swimming pool is popular for swimming and cliff jumping, but you can also do some amazing snorkelling here.

Head to the natural swimming pool from Marsaxlokk village and spend your day on the rocks while taking in the sun and the sea.

Experience the Festa

Festa celebrations with fireworks in Naxxar, Malta.

Maltese people know how to party, and it shouldn’t surprise you that they have plenty of local and national festa – feasts.

For each saint and event, there is a celebration, and towns typically have their own annual festa, too.

Check out this year’s festa calendar to see when and where there’s a festa around the time you’re visiting because it will definitely make your visit a unique one.

Visit the Mosta Dome

Perhaps Malta’s most impressive church (though the St John’s Co-Cathedral is hard to top) is the Mosta Dome, aka Rotunda . Built in 1860, this enormous rotunda is the third-largest unsupported dome in the world.

It survived a 200kg bomb falling through the dome without exploding during the Second World War, and today, it still proudly stands as one of Malta’s most impressive buildings.

The Mosta Dome or Rotunda is a church and major landmark in the centre of Malta.

Go Underground at St. Paul’s Catacombs

The St. Paul’s Catacombs, located on the outskirts of Mdina in the heart of Rabat, served as a burial ground during the Punic and Roman times.

The Roman-Byzantine catacombs complex consists of interconnected underground cemeteries, with more than 30 hypogea, used up to the 7th and 8th centuries AD. Definitely worth a visit if you’re a history buff!

Let yourself go: Malta Nightlife

Want to sample some of the local nightlife ? There are a few key options to go for.

1)   Paceville

If you’re a party animal, you can’t head to Malta without visiting Paceville. The town is Malta’s party hub, with a concentration of restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. Whatever you’re into, you’ll find it here. Brace yourself for cheap drinks and good times.

2) Join a boat party

Available during the summer months only, you can hop on a large boat for a sunset trip from Sliema with a DJ, drinks, games and a lot of fun. These boat parties in Malta are a really unique experience and a great way to cool down, dance and have a few drinks while taking in the scenes, enjoying the vibes and taking a dip in the sea at one of the stops.

Malta boat party

3)   Open-air clubbing

If you’re visiting Malta during the warmer months, you have to give open-air clubbing a go. The Gianpula complex on the outskirts of Rabat consists of 9 nightclubs, of which 7 are outdoor clubs, as well as rooftop lounges, pool clubs and festival arenas. With 200 parties per year, there is always something going on at Gianpula.

Alternatively, check out Uno , which is located on the edge of the Ta ‘Qali Crafts Village.

4)   Valletta

If you’d rather have a more laid-back night out, Valletta is perfect to spend your evenings. From good restaurants to classy wine bars and cosy pubs, you’ll find that there is always something going on. Check out the famous Bridge Bar for live jazz on Fridays and a drink on the ancient steps, or head to Trabuxu Wine Bar for a glass of local wine in a 400-year-old stone vaulted cellar.

Unwind in Nature

Dingli cliffs.

For some of Malta’s most stunning views, you need to visit the Dingli Cliffs in the south of the island – it’s Malta’s highest point. Spend an afternoon hiking along the beautiful coast and explore Dingli village’s surroundings before settling down to enjoy the sun setting into the sea.

From there, you’ll also be able to spot the small, uninhabited islet of Filfla.

Buskett Gardens

Buskett, also known as the Buskett Gardens, is Malta’s only woodland area, located in a valley in Siġġiewi – just east of Dingli and close to Rabat and Mdina.

The forest was planted by the Knights of St. John as a hunting reserve and is now home to the Verdala Palace – an official residence of the President of Malta.

San Anton Gardens

The San Anton Gardens are some of Malta’s loveliest gardens, with a large variety of gorgeous flowers and plants. Located in the central village of Attard, you’ll discover fountains, little ponds with ducks and turtles, and plenty of different flowers.

The garden and the San Anton Palace it belongs to were built by Grand Master Antoine de Paule, and the palace is currently the residence of the Maltese President.

Sample Maltese food

Whether you are into street food, traditional food or wine, tasting the local food is one of the best things to do in Malta.

Street food

You can’t say you’ve been to Malta if you haven’t sampled some of the islands’ delicious street food.

The country’s national snack is known as pastizzi – a hearty puff pastry traditionally filled with peas or ricotta cheese. Nowadays, you’ll also find different variations, such as chicken and Nutella.

Freshly baked pastizzi: A traditional street food snack in Malta.

You’ll find pastizzi in almost every town and on every street corner, but the best pastizzi in the country can be found in is-Serkin in Rabat, near Mdina.

If you’re up for a bigger meal, a traditional Maltese dish is rabbit stew. Locally known as stuffat tal-fenek (rabbit stew) has been a staple of Malta since the Knights of St. John, so it is both a cultural and a historical staple. Not to be missed!

For lunch, grab a ftira with a can of Cisk (local beer) at a local kiosk. This isn’t just your average sandwich – it is made of mouthwatering Maltese bread, topped with tomato sauce, tuna, fresh tomatoes, onion, capers, goat cheese, and olives.

Maltese wine

While Malta may not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking of wine tasting, the archipelago has a perfect Mediterranean climate, and local wineries know exactly how to make great wine out of indigenous grapes.

Visit the Marsovin Winery or the Meridiana Wine Estate to get a taste of Malta’s very best wines, or order La Valette while eating out.

If you can’t get enough of it, this wine-tasting day trip combines a visit to the historic Three Cities with Senglea, Vittoriosa, and Cospicua in the morning and a professional afternoon wine-tasting.

Decided on what to do in Malta or not quite sure yet?

If you need more inspiration, check out these carefully crafted itinerary guides:

  • Malta itinerary for 7 days/one week
  • 4/5 Days in Malta
  • 3 Days in Malta

Do you still have questions left? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Picture of About the Author: Edward Lansink

Edward is the Founder and Editor of Malta Uncovered and author of two guidebooks on Malta and Valletta.

As a tourist-turned-expat with Maltese roots, he knows the islands inside out and helps thousands of visitors enjoy a memorable trip every year.

Was this article helpful? Share it with your friends!

Just a small note regarding Golden Bay. One cannot use open fire (charcoal) BBQs on that beach; park rangers rightfully monitor the area, and you would risk a fine. Best that the article is updated. 🙂 Nonetheless well done for the article and ideas!

Thanks Chris, you’re right – updated it. Thanks for flagging! 🙂

Amazing blog! I won’t need to check any other travel blog/TripAdvisor – everything you need and more is nicely structured in this guide! Already booked my accommodation based on your tips. One question – are the Jeep safari trips in Gozo nice and relaxed or would it be a little wild? I’m traveling with a toddler and I’m not much into wild driving either 😉 Thanks

Hi Andra, you’re welcome and happy to hear it’s been helpful to you! It’s been a while since I went on one of those safaris but if I recall correctly they’re not the smoothest of rides. To be safe I’d contact whatever company you’re looking to use in advance though.

Very, very helpful guide. Thank you!

Glad it’s proven to be useful to you, Geraldine!

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Full travel guide to Malta

With culture, adventure and a rich history all on the cards, there’s a lot of incredible travel experiences to be had in Malta. Use our full guide to help you plan your perfect Malta break…

How to get around Malta and the islands of Comino and Gozo

tourism guide malta

The best way to get around Malta is by car; due to the size of the island, there are no metro or train systems here. While a reliable bus network connects all the major sites, beaches and towns, a car just allows for more freedom, especially on day trips out to the remote west coast or the peaceful island of Gozo.

For smaller jaunts, capital Valletta has regular ferry services across its harbours, linking cosmopolitan Sliema to the north and the historic Three Cities (Senglea, Cospicua, Birgu) to the south.

To reach the islands, the Ċirkewwa terminal at the northern tip of the mainland has a 24-hour car-ferry service to Gozo; passengers disembark at the tiny port town of Mgarr. Boats and water taxis can also be booked at both ports to take you to the island of Comino. 

tourism guide malta

If you only do three things in Malta…

tourism guide malta

1. Visit the UNESCO sites

Malta has been occupied for thousands of years, and has had almost as many masters. Yet none changed its destiny quite so much as the Knights of St John, a crusading medieval order whose fingerprints are all over the islands.

Malta’s UNESCO-listed capital, Valletta, was fortified by the Knights after fending off the bloodiest of Ottoman sieges in 1565. They raised a city that would be both a stronghold and a statement, filling it with examples of their wealth and devotion. Its walls and regal Grandmaster’s Palace are matched for grandeur only by the Co-Cathedral, whose baroque interior puts even the churches of Rome in the shade. Ambling its cobbles, beneath 17th-century palazzo mansions and their pastel balconies, is like walking a living museum.

To the south of Valletta, you’ll find signs of civilisation built millennia before the Knights set foot here. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a 6,000-year-old subterranean burial chamber so fragile that the amount of daily visitors are strictly limited, so book far in advance. It’s one of a number of UNESCO-listed ancient sites, together with a collection of megalithic temples scattered across the islands. Of these, Ġgantija Temples on Gozo is the grandest, and thought to be the oldest free-standing man-made structure in the world. 

tourism guide malta

2. Explore Gozo and Comino

It might only be a 25-minute ferry ride from the mainland to the islands of Gozo and Comino, but these Maltese outposts are another world entirely.

Gozo is where mainlanders go to escape. It’s quiet, rural and dotted with old farmhouses converted into plush poolside stays. Modern capital Victoria (aka Rabat) wraps an old medieval citadel that is visible across most of the island. But the coast is the real lure here. To the west, trails hug the wild and rugged clifftop, dropping to pristine bays and inlets. To the east, the Mars-like sandstone of Xwejni Bay reveals old salt pans cut into the rock, while the beautiful red sands of Ramla Beach lie to its south. It’s the perfect stop for adventurers.

Comino is as different again. Only one family lives on this tiny island, home to a small trail. Boat tours run here regularly, but the best way to visit is by kayak, paddling from Gozo’s Hondoq Bay and dropping in on the glistening Blue Lagoon before splashing away to hidden sea caves and quieter snorkel spots.

tourism guide malta

3. Go diving

Malta has plenty to endear itself to divers. Its warm waters mean it’s diveable year-round, and an array of small bays and inlets offer a gentle introduction for first-timers, or a useful alternative in times of bad weather. Even kids as young as ten can earn their PADI certification alongside darting wrasse in the fjord-like inlet of Gozo’s Mgarr-ix Xini and other quiet coves.

For the more experienced, there are wrecks galore. Scuttled ships such as the Imperial Eagle (sister to Jaques Cousteau’s Calypso ), off Qawra, are a thrill to explore, its exposed wheel now furred in red sponge. Or dive down to the remains of a Second World War-era Beaufort fighter plane, which ditched on takeoff from Sliema in 1943 and remains in perfect condition.

Malta’s rocky underwater terrain is the other big lure, with the shallow reef off Comino a fantastic opportunity to swim through a series of caverns known as the Santa Maria Caves. And if you head further north to Gozo, divers can emerge into the spectacular underwater Cathedral Cave, which is said to be larger than the dome of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

tourism guide malta

Where to stay in Malta

tourism guide malta

Phoenicia, Valletta

tourism guide malta

Though it lies just outside the gates of the city, the Phoenicia remains a grand dame of the old order. While hotels in the Old Town are often constrained for space, this elegant Art Deco stay makes use of the added room, with excellent fine dining spots and a spa to complement its busy socialite vibe.

tourism guide malta

Embassy Valletta

tourism guide malta

Set on the rather hip Strait Street, a once notorious alley turned stylish nightlife quarter, the new Embassy Valletta Hotel offers a rate dash of modernity amid the Old Town. A rooftop pool, in-house cinema, bookstore and even a sweet shop make it a rather cosmopolitan base for wandering the  cobbles, ramparts and labyrinthine backstreets.

tourism guide malta

Hyatt Regency Malta, St Julian’s Bay

tourism guide malta

North of the townhouses and boutiques of Sliema, the shores of St Julian’s is where the chic crowd segue into the evening with a cocktail or two. The new Hyatt Regency certainly leans into its milieu, with all the trappings of a five-star escape. If you ever get bored of the coastal views from the rooftop pool, there’s a choice of bars and eateries in which to indulge. Plush. 

tourism guide malta

Where to eat in Malta

Valletta’s playful Noni is a Michelin-starred restaurant in the capital which takes rustic Maltese influences and mines them for flavour.

Under Grain 

Also located in the capital, Under Grain is another Michelin starred restaurant which finds ample room for expression in a menu of unfussy Mediterranean staples.

Learn more 

De Mondion 

Over in Mdina, hotel restaurant De Mondion has also earned a star from Michelin for its impressive formal Mediterranean delights which are served up amid the stoic walls of the Silent City. 

How to spend two days in Malta

Start in Valletta. The capital has some 320 historical sites, so you’re never short of options. The Co-Cathedral is the hidden jewel of the Knights of St John: a deceptively plain exterior that gives way to a cold shower of baroque majesty. Every square inch of its vaulted ceiling and carved walls has been smothered in gilded inlays and exquisite murals, while a number of works by the Renaissance artist Caravaggio are on display in its new museum.

Next, make your way to the Grandmaster’s Palace, once home to the leaders of the Knights. Its armoury, art collection and state rooms are impressive, but for a more contextual history of the Knights’ reign, head to Fort St Elmo. This doubles as the National War Museum, and on an island forged by near-constant invasions, it narrates Malta’s story with flair and wit.

For lunch, drop by the Is-Suq Tal-Belt food market before making your way to the battery for the ceremonial canon firing at noon. From there, take the stairs down to the War Rooms (book in advance), the old British army HQ. Guided tours here tell the tale of the dying days of the Second World War, as the Allied forces made their final push across the Med.

Hop in a car and drive (or take the ferry) over to the Three Cities, on the south side of the Grand Harbour. The quiet streets of Senglea and Birgu are a joy to wander as the afternoon cools, or just settle on the harbour with a drink. If time (or booking) allows, drive to the nearby Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum to explore the island’s ancient past.

Finish back in Valletta for dinner. Strolling its cobbles at night is a pleasure. Alleys branch off to outdoor bars where cushions are slung on stone steps and jazz fuses with the warm air. Try one of the city’s newly Michelin-starred restaurants, Noni or Under Grain, where you’ll encounter Mediterranean fare with plenty of imagination, then skip to Strait Street for a bedtime cocktail.

Hire a car and head out early to the beautiful ‘Silent City’ of Mdina and the surrounding town of Rabat. Beneath the latter sprawls a labyrinth of underground chambers, forming a Roman necropolis known as St Paul’s Catacombs. Romans were prohibited from burying their dead in Mdina (then known as Melite), so they dug tunnels and hypogea (tombs) around it, carving them from the solid rock. You can lose yourself down there for hours.

Mdina is another of the Knights’s grand citadels, its sandstone fortifications every bit as majestic as Valletta. At its centre stands St Paul’s Cathedral, rebuilt in the baroque-style in the early 1700s after an earthquake decimated its forebear. An excellent accompanying museum lies cross the square. After a visit, stop by the Fontanella Tea Garden, high on the city ramparts, for a snack and the best views in town.

From here, drive west to the coast, stopping to stretch your legs along the dizzying Dingli Cliffs, before continuing north to catch the ferry to Gozo. After disembarking at Mgarr, zoom winding country roads to the island capital, Victoria (Rabat), for a late lunch in its medieval Cittadella. This is home to the Ta’ Rikardu restaurant, famed for its freshly made gbejniet (cheeselets).

Weigh up your mood post repast: east of here takes you to the red sands of Ramla Beach to relax; to the west is Sannat, where the clifftop trails up to Xlendi make for some of the finest walks and mountain biking in Malta, not to mention swimming in the ‘Inland Sea’.

Finish, as the sun sets, with a trip to the Dingli cliffs to watch the lowering sun dye the sea orange, before making for the old fishing village of Marsalforn, where a handful of excellent seafood restaurants line the pretty harbour.

Feeling inspired? 

For more information and inspiration on travel to Malta, visit the official website. 

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The World Was Here First

Malta Travel Guide: Plan Your Visit to Malta

tourism guide malta

Though one of the smallest countries in Europe by both area and population, the Mediterranean island nation of Malta is one of the most dynamic and interesting places to visit on the continent. Increasing in popularity year on year for international visitors, this Malta travel guide is meant to help you plan the perfect trip to this beautiful country.

Malta has far more to offer visitors than simply an amazing coastline and perennially warm weather. There are historic cities, beautiful landscapes, ancient Neolithic sites, wonderful wineries and far more. Planning a trip to Malta can be a bit overwhelming once you realise how much there is really to do and see in the Maltese archipelago.

If you’re looking to visit this amazing country and aren’t sure where to start, then make sure to browse through this guide in order to plan your perfect trip to this gorgeous southern European nation!

Disclaimer: This guide contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see our  privacy policy.

Table of Contents

Planning a Malta Route

One of the most important things you need to work out when planning your trip to Malta is your route. Though the country is small in size, there is so much to see and do on the archipelago that it is entirely necessary to adequately plan out your time to ensure that you’re able to make the most out of this lovely destination.

Malta is a small but mighty destination and there are a number of different things that you need to know before taking off for this island nation. If you’re looking for the perfect itinerary through Malta or just want to find some tips to help you begin your plans, then check out the articles below to jump-start your Malta trip planning.

Mgarr Port on the island of Gozo

Malta or Gozo? Where To Stay In Malta

Crysyal Lagoon on Comino in Malta

The Perfect 7-Day Malta Itinerary

Ramla Beach in Gozo

10 Tips For Planning a Trip to Malta

Places to Visit in Malta

As mentioned already, Malta may seem small but there are countless amazing things to see and do on the island and its neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino. Because of this, you need to make sure that you have a holistic view of all of the wonderful places to visit in Malta.

From sprawling vineyards to historic walled cities to crystal clear lagoons to ancient temples and burial grounds, Malta is a diverse and dynamic destination that packs so much into such a small area.

So whether you’re looking to spend your days swimming in the deep blue Mediterranean or wandering through the winding lanes of the countless historic cities (or all of the above), you’re going to need to check out some of the guides below to help plan your days.

These city and destination guides will take you by all of the top tourist sites and some more local haunts to ensure that you have the best time in Malta possible!

Victoria (Rabat) on Gozo

Is Gozo Worth Visiting? 10 Reasons To Go

Malta food

A Guide to Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool, Malta

Malta to Gozo Ferry

How To Plan A Gozo Day Trip from Malta

View of Valetta from Sliema Harbour

One Day in Valletta Itinerary: What To Do in Malta’s Capital

Sliema is a popular place to stay in Malta

A Guide to Sliema, Malta: Top Things to Do

Maltese Balconies in Rabat

A Guide To Mdina & Rabat, Malta

Best Time to Visit Malta

Boasting over 300 days of sunshine, it can really be difficult to figure out the best time of year to visit Malta, however, the goal of this guide is to ensure that you’re able to plan the best trip for you!

Malta is located in the Southern Mediterranean sea, just south of the island of Sicily and to the north of Tunisia and Libya in North Africa.

Because of its location, it is one of the warmest places to visit in Europe year-round and a great place if you’re on the hunt for a bit of winter sunshine. However, it is worth noting that it isn’t always beach weather in the wintertime, though it is certainly warmer than the vast majority of mainland Europe.

If you’re thinking of visiting Malta in winter, then expect the average high to be around 16°C (about 60°F). December and January are the rainiest months with an average of 8 days.

So, while it is certainly a welcome change from the dreary cold you can expect in Northern or Central Europe in the winter, it still isn’t going to be a tropical paradise or really fitting for a beach holiday.

Conversely, the summer months are when Malta experiences its peak tourist season without countless visitors descending upon the island. During the months of June-August, expect temperatures to be HOT and don’t assume that you will find air conditioning everywhere, either.

Average high summer temperatures clock in around 30°C (about 86°F), but can get a fair bit hotter some months. This is also when crowds are at their greatest, as are prices for things like accommodation and tours.

If you can get the time off and your schedule allows for it, arguably the best time of year to visit Malta is in the autumn. The months of September and October, in particular, have temperatures that are incredibly pleasant (averaging around 25-28°C or about 77-82°F) and the water is also at its warmest of the year — absolutely perfect for all your swimming activities. Crowds are also noticeably fewer than those of the summer months and prices can be reduced, as well.

If you’re not able to visit Malta in the autumn, spring can also be an excellent option. Both water and air temperatures can be a little bit cooler than in the autumn months, with average highs in April and May ranging from about 20-24°C (68-75°F) and with a lot of sunshine to be enjoyed.

All in all, you can’t really go wrong with visiting Malta any time of year, but if you’re able, the absolute best time to visit Malta is arguably in the autumn months of September-October (November can be really nice, too!).

Cost of Travelling to Malta

Malta is often lauded as quite a budget-friendly destination, especially compared to a number of Western and Northern European destinations, however, it is far from being the most affordable place to visit in Europe.

That is not to discourage budget travellers from visiting, though, as if you are smart about where you spend your money and are aware of the average costs beforehand, Malta doesn’t have to be a budget-busting destination at all.

Accommodation in Malta is likely where you’re going to see the highest prices, but there are lots of ways to save money in this aspect without sacrificing privacy or convenience. For instance, staying in a private room in a local’s home from Airbnb is a great way to not spend too much.

Generally speaking, most activities and entrance fees in Malta are in line with other Southern European destinations and you don’t need to expect too high of prices. There are some archaeological sites, however, that do cost a pretty penny to enter so it can be worth making sure to factor this into your Malta budget.

If you want a detailed breakdown of the prices in Malta, then make sure to browse through the article below.

Read More: Is Malta Expensive? A Guide to Prices in Malta

Mdina, Malta

Maltese Cuisine

One of the best things about travelling full stop is sampling the local cuisine and trying new and delicious dishes, and Malta is no exception. Maltese cuisine is fresh, vibrant and surprisingly diverse, drawing from the countless influences that have impacted the archipelago over the centuries.

You will find some delicious seafood dishes that are both hearty and light simultaneously, including such delicacies like octopus in garlic and lampuki pie. Quite obviously, seafood does reign supreme in the Maltese isles, however, carnivores can find something to love here, as well. Countless dishes featuring rabbit, for instance, are quite common in Malta.

If you’re a fan of local pastry and fast food, then you will be thrilled with pastizzi , a small phyllo pastry that is typically filled with either cheese or mushy peas — the latter clearly being a harken back to the days when Malta was under British rule.

Malta is also home to some great wineries and unique grape varieties. In the past, Maltese wine was looked down upon by both tourists and locals, who would prefer the wines from Italy, however, a number of winemakers in recent years have been reclaiming the viticulture of Malta and have made some truly great vintages that are worth sampling when you visit Malta and Gozo.

If you’d like to know more about Maltese cuisine beyond what is covered in this guide, then make sure to browse through the article below so you know exactly what to eat and drink on your holiday!

Read More: A Traveller’s Guide to Malta Food & Wine

Fresh Pastizzi in Malta

Transportation in Malta

Malta is a small island nation where nothing is located more than about an hour from each other. That being said, however, there are a few considerations that need to be discussed when it comes to getting to and around this country.

Whether you plan to get around Malta by hire car or public bus and plan to arrive by plane or ferry, there are a number of things that you need to know in order for your trip to go as smoothly and hassle-free as possible.

Getting to Malta

As an island nation, you don’t really have a ton of options when it comes to arriving in Malta. In fact, your options are pretty much limited to either flying or taking the ferry from nearby Sicily.

If you choose the former option, which is by far the most common choice, then you will be happy to know that there are countless flights to Malta leaving from all over Europe and carried out by a number of different airlines.

You can snag quite affordable airfares to Malta from a number of European destinations on airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet and Wizzair and even the Maltese national carrier, Air Malta.

You can also arrive in Malta with a number of other regular airline carriers if you’re not fond of flying these budget picks. All in all, however, it is easy and affordable to reach Malta from just about anywhere in Europe.

If you’re coming from North America, it is worth noting that you’re going to have to make a connecting flight from somewhere in continental Europe as there are no direct flights from North American destinations to Malta.

There is only one international airport on Malta and it is located close to the centre of the island. Because of this, it really only takes about twenty minutes or so to drive from the airport to get to any of the major areas you may be staying, including Valletta, Sliema or even Golden Bay on the north of the island. You can easily grab a taxi from the airport to your accommodation and expect it to cost you around €15-20 or, alternatively, there are many buses operating from the airport to most major areas of the island.

If you take the ferry from Sicily to Malta, then you will be dropped off in the beautiful capital of Valletta. Here, it is easy to reach basically anywhere on the island, again, either by taxi or bus.

Getting Around Malta

As mentioned earlier, Malta is quite a small country and everything is located within close proximity of each other, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few considerations that need to be taken into account when it comes to getting around.

For instance, it is entirely possible to get around Malta relying solely on public transport. Malta has an extensive and easy-to-navigate bus system that will take you just about everywhere you may want to go on the island. The one drawback to relying on the bus to get around is that, in some areas, they can be infrequent and only leave once or twice in an hour and you need to make sure that you’re able to remain flexible.

The other convenient and somewhat fun area of public transport that you can take in Malta are the ferries. There are numerous ferries in Malta that can cut lots of time off of road travel and they are even a good idea if you have hired a car as they can be a lot quicker than driving sometimes.

The ferries to go between Sliema and Valletta and from Valletta to the Three Cities, for instance, cut a significant amount of time as they cut across the harbour and allow you to circumvent the longer drive around the peninsulas.

There is also a ferry from Cirkewwa in the north of Malta to Mgarr on the island of Gozo. This is the only way to get to Gozo from Malta and you can either ride it as a foot passenger or, if you have your own vehicle, you can bring your car.

Though it isn’t absolutely necessary, it can be a good option to hire a car while in Malta. This will give you the peace of mind and flexibility to not be reliant on the bus timetable and it will allow you to reach some further-flung areas of the archipelago that are more difficult to reach by public transport.

It’s worth noting that, as Malta is a former British colony, they do drive on the left side of the road. Just something to be aware of before you hire a car if you’re not used to driving on this side.

All in all, getting around Malta is not a difficult task and there are a few options that you can take to make it easiest for you!

Accommodation in Malta

Malta has been a popular tourist destination for many years, however, it has only been in the past few of those years that the attention has shifted from all-inclusive resort tourism to a more holistic type of tourism. Because it is so popular amongst visitors, there are lots of accommodation options available in the country to choose from depending on your needs.

Though it isn’t something we recommend because we always encourage staying in more locally run accommodation and spending your money in small businesses and supporting the local economy, there are a number of resorts, mostly congregated on the north of the island.

If you’re looking for a more local experience or aren’t keen for a resort but still want a bit of luxury, there are plenty of higher-end hotels in Malta in great locations. We, personally, think that basing yourself in Sliema or close to Valletta is probably the best area to stay while on the island of Malta and you will find no shortage of accommodation in these areas.

It’s worth noting that, due to its incredibly small size, hotels and other accommodation options in Valletta tend to be of the higher-end and more expensive sort. If you’re on a budget, it’s best to look outside of Valletta.

If you are a backpacker or are just looking for a convivial atmosphere while saving money, you will find that there are a handful of hostels on the island . Though Malta isn’t necessarily a top European backpacker destination, you do still have some options available to you if this is the type of accommodation that you’re after.

Another great money-saving option is to opt for a private room on Airbnb. If you’re splitting the costs between two people, this can often work out to be just as affordable as a hostel dorm with the added benefits of getting to know some locals and having a bit more privacy.

Private apartment rentals are also prevalent on Malta and Gozo and you can find a wide array of property rentals on the Airbnb platform that are sure to suit your needs.

All in all, you will find absolutely no shortage of accommodation options in Malta and you’re sure to find something that suits your needs and travel style.

Read More : 9 Best Areas to Stay in Malta

The fishing village of Marsaxlokk

Language in Malta

If you are an English speaker then you will have no problem communicating in Malta.

The country has two official languages, Maltese (more on that in just a minute) and English! Signage, announcements and all locals speak English at a native level and communication in English is never an issue.

The other official language is Maltese, which is an entirely different kettle of fish compared to English. A Semitic language, Maltese is more closely related to Arabic and Hebrew than it is to English. An interesting fact about the Maltese language is that it is the only Semitic language that uses the Latin alphabet, which just goes to show how many different influences Malta has seen over the centuries.

All in all, if you can speak English, then you will have absolutely no problem communicating in Malta as this is an official language and locals speak it fluently.

Traditional Pink Balconies in Mdina, Malta

Religion in Malta

Malta is a very Catholic nation with 84% of the population adhering to Catholicism. You will notice this culturally as there are many many churches to visit in Malta, countless saint days that are celebrated (especially in the summer months) and even a number of shrines and such dedicated to Catholic icons throughout the country. Malta also has one of the lowest numbers in Europe of people who identify as agnostic or atheist, at just 4.5%.

And while the vast majority of the Maltese people identify as Catholic, it is worth noting that this is, generally speaking, a cultural identity rather than a particularly religious one.

So, while Malta is an incredibly Catholic nation, it is more of a cultural identifier for most Maltese people rather than a fundamental belief system that the majority of people adhere to. Do expect many shops and businesses to be closed on Sunday, however — people do need a day of rest!

Hopefully, this Malta travel guide has helped you plan the perfect trip to this gorgeous Mediterranean island nation. Malta, Gozo and the small island of Comino have so much to offer visitors that it’s worth digging deeper and exploring as much of it as you can!

Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

Malta Travel Guide

Last Updated: August 23, 2023

a view of the coast in Malta, lined by towering historic buildings near the harbor

While the country has seen a surge in tourism in the last few years (those British retirees were on to something!), it’s still pretty under the radar for most people.

Those folks are missing out. I loved my time in Malta . The tiny island nation boasts friendly people, ancient medieval towns and castles, warm weather, awesome food. and charming (if a bit dated) cities.

Owing to its unique position between Africa and Europe, Malta offers visitors an interesting cultural blend. As you explore, you increasingly notice the Italian, English, and North African elements in the food, language, culture, and architecture.

To top it all off, it’s relatively cheap compared to mainland Europe and the beaches and seafood here are excellent.

This travel guide to Malta can help you save money and plan an epic trip here.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Malta

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Malta

a view of the coast in Malta, lined by towering historic buildings near the harbor

1. Explore Valletta

For Europe’s smallest capital, Valletta packs a big punch: it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 300 monuments. Needless to say, there’s plenty to see here! Walk the fortifications, wander around St. John’s Co-Cathedral, visit the history museum and the National War Museum, admire the plethora of churches, and dine out on the historical waterfront. Don’t miss the catacombs that were turned into a secret military base during World War II and the Cold War. Walking tours of Valletta last 3 hours and cost 18 EUR. One of the best things to do though is to just to stroll the narrow roads and alleys and let yourself get lost.

2. Wander Mdina

Mdina is a fortified city and served as the original capital of the country. Like Valletta, it has a beautiful cathedral to visit and lots of old backstreets and passageways to explore. Be sure to visit the nearby catacombs and ancient Roman houses while you’re here. And don’t miss the Knights of Malta museum if you want a quirky and outdated experience (I don’t think this museum has been updated in decades!). For a super unique experience, there’s also the Dungeons Museum where they have recreated scenes from Malta’s long history (note: some of the scenes depict episodes of torture and crucifixion). Admission is 5 EUR. To learn more about the city, take a walking tour of Mdina . They last two hours and cost 15 EUR.

3. Hike a coastal trail in Gozo

The coastal trails in Gozo offer a few different routes around the island for anyone looking to stretch their legs while enjoying the stunning panoramic views. All of the walks combine getting back to nature with a bit of exploring history as they take you through some amazing flora and fauna as well as charming towns and villages. If you can only do one, hike from Marsalforn to the (sadly now gone) Azure Window. Keep your eyes peeled for all the traditional salt pans in Xwejni that have been used to harvest salt over the centuries.

4. See the Tarxien Temples

Located near Valletta, this complex is made up of 4 megalithic structures. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates back to 3150 BCE. The temples were used for rituals, which may have included animal sacrifices and cremations and some of the walls still have prehistoric artwork on them including bas-relief sculptures and friezes depicting animals and spirals. While mostly ruins and rubble, it’s one of the best ways to learn about the history of the island. Admission is 6 EUR and the Tarxien Temples App has audio guides you can use to navigate your way around. You can also splash out on a private archeology tour if you really want to learn more.

5. Relax on the beach

If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to schedule some time for the beaches. Golden Bay, Mellieha Bay, and Peter’s Pool are all great places to soak up some rays. Paradise Bay and Armier, on the northern tip, have great views of the island of Gozo. If you have time to get there, the beaches in Gozo are great and don’t get quite as busy as the main beaches in Malta. There’s not always much shade so take plenty of sunscreen and water (although most have at least one place you can buy drinks and snacks). Whichever beach you go to, be sure to arrive early so you can beat the crowds.

Other Things to See and Do in Malta

1. attend the carnival.

Malta throws its own version of Carnival every February — and has been doing so for over 500 years! Celebrations are held all around the island during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, with parades, dancing, and costumes. Much of the population heads to Gozo for the weekend, so be sure to plan ahead as public transportation during that time can be a nightmare (more so than usual). Book your accommodation in advance too!

2. Cruise around the island

If you want to get a different view of the island, take a ride around the coast. Tours usually stick to a certain region of the island and the more expensive trips include lunch. They cost from 20-30 EUR, last between 4-8 hours, stop off at a few beaches, and highlight some of the many shipwrecks around the country. Get Your Guide has a great full-day tour that covers all the highlights.

3. Explore the Citadel

This fort was built by the British in Rabat/Victoria (this is the Rabat on the island of Gozo, not to be confused with Rabat on the main island of Malta). Known as the Cittadella or the Castello, it was built in the 16th century, though fortifications that have been found in this spot go back over 2,000 years (the area was settled in the Bronze Age). It’s free to enter and explore, with lots of little shops hidden down the alleys. The fort offers a great view of the city and surrounding area, making it a good place to come at sunset.

4. Go diving

Malta isn’t known as a diving destination, yet the island is surrounded by a plethora of shipwrecks that make for some great diving expeditions. The water in many places is incredibly clear so you have excellent visibility as you explore. Some of the most popular dive sites are the Um El Faroud oil tanker (it was sunk intentionally to act as a reef), the Double Arch cave in Gozo, and the Blue Hole (also in Gozo). You can also dive to see the fallen Azure Window (a famous rock formation that collapsed in 2017). A two-dive package starts around 90-120 EUR per person.

5. Hit the road

Most tourists who visit Malta never stray far from Valletta. If you want to really see the country, rent a car. There are lots of remote places to explore in Malta and a car gives you the freedom to do so. Considering the island is so small, you can just spend the day exploring the aging and decrepit towns that dot the island . You can find car rentals for as little as 20 EUR per day so it’s an affordable choice if you want to get away from the crowds and see the country beyond Valletta.

6. Relax in the Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens

I love these gardens. Located in Valletta, they overlook the harbor and make a great place to watch the comings and goings of people and boats. They were created in 1661 as the private grounds for some of the knights that resided here. They were opened to the public in 1824 and are a relaxing nook of the city. Bring a book or a snack, grab a spot on a bench, and watch the world go by. Don’t miss the Siege Bell Memorial, which was built in 1992 to commemorate the 7,000 people who lost their lives during the Siege of Malta in World War II (the bells chime daily at noon).

7. Explore St. Paul’s Catacombs

Located near Mdina, these underground tunnels were used by the Romans as cemeteries up until the 4th century (and possibly as late as the 7th century). They were built in the 3rd century and are composed of over 30 different areas, 20 of which are open to the public. In the Middle Ages, the catacombs were used for religious worship, though they later just became storage areas until their re-discovery in the 1980s. Admission is 6 EUR.

8. Visit the Hypogeum

This is one of Malta’s most popular historical attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hypogeum was carved over 5,000 years ago and was an ancient temple/burial site in the Neolithic Age (over 7,000 bodies have been found here). It’s really cool and the displays provide lots of detailed descriptions and context. It is so popular during the summertime (and into the autumn) you need to book your tickets up to four weeks in advance. Admission is 35 EUR and includes a guided tour. It’s one of the best-preserved historical sites in the country and worth every penny. It’s just 15 minutes south of Valletta by car.

9. Visit the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is situated between Comino and Cominotto (i.e. between the main island and Gozo) and is the most iconic beach in the country. It can get incredibly busy here on the weekend, so be sure to come early to stake out a good spot. There is a regular ferry service from Malta, however, if you want to visit from Gozo you need to take a private boat. It takes about 45 minutes to drive to the ferry from Valletta. Half-day catamaran trips to the Blue Lagoon cost from 40 EUR.

10. See the Marsaxlokk fish market

This market happens every Sunday morning. It’s a bit touristy and gets quite crowded but it’s the best place to buy fresh fish. You can find lots of other items such as fresh produce, honey, and other local goods here too. There are plenty of restaurants around (though you should expect to pay tourist prices here). Marsaxlokk is on the southern tip of the main island, about 25 minutes away from Valletta by car.

11. Explore Popeye Village

What started out as the film set for the quirky 1980 Popeye musical starring Robin Williams is now a large tourist attraction. You can explore the village, watch a documentary about its creation, and even play mini-golf. When the weather is nice they offer boat rides around the area. Off-peak admission is 14 EUR while peak-season admission is 20 EUR.

12. See the Gozo Salt Pans

Lining the coast of Gozo, these salt pans have been in use for over 350 years. The traditional methods of harvesting salt have been passed down for generations, and even to this day you can find locals engaged in harvesting the crystals. There is salt for sale in shops all around the island (it’s a great souvenir to take home).

13. Visit the Three Cities

Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua trace their origins back to the Middle Ages and have been inhabited more or less since people arrived on the island. The Three Cities were also the original home of the Knights Hospitallers (a Catholic military order known as the Knights of Malta) and feature a lot of wonderful architecture and history. They aren’t as visited as other destinations on the island so it can be a good way to get away from the crowds. They’re just across the water from Valletta. Half-day tours of the Three Cities cost 35 EUR.

Malta Travel Costs

a view of the coast in Malta, lined by towering historic buildings near the harbor

Accommodation – Hostels outside the capital in St. Julian’s and Sliema cost 10-20 EUR per night for an 8-10-bed dorm. In Valletta, they cost around 25 EUR per night. Free Wi-Fi is standard, and a few hostels also offer free breakfast. If you want a private room, you’re better to book a budget hotel or Airbnb as you get more value for your money.

Budget hotels start at 35 EUR per night for a twin or double. In addition to basic amenities like free Wi-Fi, offer free airport shuttles or have pools. Some include free breakfast as well.

Airbnb is available all around the island and you can find entire homes/apartments for as little as 35 EUR (although there are more options in the 60-80 EUR range). Private rooms start at around 25 EUR. Most listings are around Valletta, Sliema and St Julian’s and in the south of Gozo. During the high summer months, expect prices to be about 50-100% higher, especially in July. If you’re visiting in the summer, book early.

Food – Malta has been conquered by many different countries over the centuries so it has a rather unique culinary history. Most of the food has strong Italian influences, though North Africa and Britain also play a culinary role. Rabbit stew ( stuffat tal-fenek ) is considered the national dish. Seafood is also common (it’s an island after all), with lampuki (mahi-mahi) being one of the main staples. Fish pie is a popular dish, as is kapunata , a Maltese version of ratatouille.

For food on the go, you can find pastizzi (a savory filled pastry) everywhere for less than 1 EUR. Fresh bread, cheese, and meats at the grocery store cost just a few euros if you want to make a simple lunch on the fly.

A meal of traditional cuisine at a restaurant or cafe costs around 15 EUR, while a multi-course meal at a mid-range restaurant with a drink and table service costs closer to 35 EUR. Fast food (think McDonald’s) costs around 8.75 EUR for a combo meal (yes, there are McDonald’s here).

Beer costs around 3 EUR (half that if you buy it at a grocery store) while a bottle of water costs 1.20 EUR. A latte/cappuccino is around 2.30 EUR.

If you plan on cooking your own food, expect to spend between 30-50 EUR per week on groceries. This gets you basic staples like pasta, rice, seasonal vegetables, and some meat or seafood.

Two of my favorite restaurants were Rising Sun and Suruchi.

Backpacking Malta Suggested Budgets

On a backpacker budget of 45 EUR per day, you can stay in a hostel dorm, cook all your meals, use public transportation to get around, limit your drinking, and do free or cheap activities like hitting the beach or visiting a museum.

On a mid-range budget of 115 EUR per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb, cook most meals and eat out occasionally at cheap fast food joints, enjoy a few drinks, rent a car to get around, and do more paid activities like boat tours or museum visits.

On a “luxury” budget of 245 EUR per day you can stay in a hotel, drink as much as you’d like, eat out anywhere you want, rent a car to get around, and do more activities like scuba diving and visiting Popeye Village. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you spend more, some days you spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Malta Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Malta is one of the more affordable destinations in Europe but, during the summer months, it gets really expensive. To help you stick to your budget, here are some money-saving tips and tricks for visiting Malta:

  • Visit during the off-season – Malta (or at least Valletta) gets crowded in the summer and prices tend to rise (cruises stop here). If you want to save money and have a less hectic visit, visit during the off-season.
  • Cook your own meals – While restaurants aren’t overly expensive, eating out every day adds up. Try cooking your own meals to save some money. There are plenty of small shops and larger supermarkets (like Lidl) where you can grab basic staples for cheap.
  • Avoid supermarket produce – A lot of produce at the supermarket is imported (and thus more expensive). Search out local vendors who sell their produce at the side of the road or at small stalls in town. It’s cheaper and fresher!
  • Get the Malta Pass – This tourism card provides free entry to Malta’s top 40 attractions, making it worthwhile for anyone who plans on visiting a lot of sites. It also includes a free sightseeing bus (which is worth 20 EUR itself). You can get a 1-, 2-, or 3-day pass for 50 EUR, 80 EUR, or 100 EUR respectively. Buy it online before you go for the best price.
  • Take a free walking tour – There are a few tour companies in Valletta, such as Colour My Travel , who offer free 1.5-hour walking tours. You get to explore the area and learn about the local culture, history, and architecture from a local expert. It’s a great introduction to Malta and definitely worth doing. Just be sure to tip!
  • Skip the taxis – Taxis in Malta are not cheap. Avoid them as much as possible. If you do need to use them, get the eCab app. It ensures you get a reputable and reliable taxi (they are good for short distances while taxis are likely cheaper for longer journeys).
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink (though it tastes a little off). Bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in Malta

While hostels aren’t plentiful, you can find them around Valletta. Here are my recommended places to stay:

  • Inhawi Hostel (St. Julian’s)
  • Two Pillows Boutique Hostel (Sliema)
  • Corner Hostel Sliema (Sliema)

How to Get Around Malta

a view of the coast in Malta, lined by towering historic buildings near the harbor

In addition to the public buses, there are also hop-on/hop-off buses that have different routes around the country. These routes cover all the major sites on both islands (Valletta, St. Julian’s, Popeye Village, the former Azure Window, etc.). A day pass for a single route costs 22 EUR with Hello Malta or 15 EUR with City Sightseeing. I’d skip this and just use the public bus.

Ferry – The ferry to Gozo costs 4.65 EUR and takes 25 minutes. Be sure to arrive in advance as it fills up fast. The ferry from Malta to Italy takes less than 2 hours and costs 50-80 EUR (depending on the time of year) EUR for a one-way ticket to Sicily.

Bike – You can rent bikes for around 12 EUR per day, though I’d be extra careful cycling outside of Valletta. Drivers here are aggressive and the roads are quite narrow.

Taxi – Taxis start at 5 EUR and cost around 2 EUR per kilometer. There are no Uber or Lyft here but you can download the eCab app as an alternative. It’s usually cheaper than taxis for short distances. However, if you’re on a budget, it’s best to just avoid taking them.

Flying – Flights from Malta to and from mainland Europe can be found for as little as 45 EUR if you book early. Ryanair is the most budget-friendly airline that flies to Malta so they are your best choice if you’re on a budget. Flights to and from Morocco and North Africa can be found for as little as 55 EUR per person (again, if you book early and are flexible). There are no domestic flights around Malta.

Car rental – Car rentals cost between 20-25 EUR per day for a small car. Just keep in mind that the cheapest rentals are manual transmissions so you need to be able to drive stick if you want to get around. The drivers here are also very aggressive and tend to see the rules of the road as suggestions rather than laws. Renters need to be at least 21 years old.

For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Malta

The best time to visit Malta is from June to August. The weather is the warmest then, with daily temperatures around 31°C (88°F). Not surprisingly, this is also the busiest time of the year so expect crowds and higher prices.

In August, as in much of Europe, many locals leave for their own summer holidays. A lot of shops and restaurants close, which can crowd the remaining places even more. But the weather is perfect and most tourist attractions stay open.

The shoulder months of April-May and September-October offer a nice compromise of decent weather and fewer crowds. Expect temperatures around 25°C (77°F).

The winter in Malta is chilly, with temperatures dropping to 10-15°C (48-60° F) — sometimes colder. Aside from attractions closing for Christmas, everything is open though some bus schedules change to reflect the lower number of visitors in the country. In short, it’s a perfect time to visit as long as you aren’t looking to hit the beach and don’t mind some windy sweater weather.

How to Stay Safe in Malta

Malta consistently ranks as one of the safest countries in the world. Crime is rare, though it’s always a good idea to keep your wits about you. Petty theft can still occur so always keep your valuables tucked away and be mindful of your things while on crowded public transportation or while swimming at the beach.

When swimming, make sure you only swim in areas where there are other swimmers around. Riptides are common so it’s best to avoid secluded beaches unless you can be sure that it’s safe. Never swim when the sea is rough and never swim alone.

Drivers in Malta are on the aggressive side so take extra precautions when crossing roads, cycling, or renting a car. When taking a taxi, always wear your seatbelt.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

If you’re out hiking in the spring or autumn, be aware that it is hunting season (just for small birds).

If you rent a car, don’t leave any valuables in it overnight. Break-ins are rare but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Scams here are very rare here but you can read about common travel scams to avoid here .

If you experience an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Malta Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Malta Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Malta travel and continue planning your trip:

How to Visit Malta on a Budget

How to Visit Malta on a Budget

Malta: The Country of Half-Neglected Buildings

Malta: The Country of Half-Neglected Buildings

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  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
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Ultimate Malta Travel Guide: Everything you Need to Know to Plan your Trip

girl looking out over Valletta at U collection apartment

Ultimate Malta Travel Guide

Table of Contents

I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve been to Malta 5 times! It’s actually one of the most special places in the world to me because it’s where my husband and I had our first date. From my extensive Malta travel I was able to put together the Ultimate Malta Travel Guide.

When planning your ultimate trip to Malta keep in mind that Malta is not just one island–it’s three! The three islands are Malta, Comino and Gozo . I’ve broken down this guide by island to make your travel planning a breeze.

Where is Malta?

Malta is an archipelago of three islands, Comino, Gozo and Malta. The country is located in Mediterranean sea 421 miles from Italy and east of Tunisia in Africa. Malta is part of the European Union.

Know Before you Go

  • Currency: Euro
  • Official Language: Maltese and English
  • Best time to go: April, May, June
  • Electric: 230 volts at 50 Hertz, G prong (UK)
  • Drive on the left side of the road: British system
  • Tap water is safe to drink although the taste can be a bit off

Make sure to have cash on you as many restaurants, cafes, taxis will be CASH only.

Is Malta safe for travel?

As I mentioned, I’ve been to Malta multiple times and I’ve always felt safe! Malta was one of the first countries I travelled to alone because of it’s reputation as a safe travel destination.

Petty Crime

That being said, I did have my wallet stolen in Malta when I was on a night out in Paceville. By no means did this sway my view of whether or not it is a safe destination. Petty crime can happen anywhere and you should always take the proper preventative measures, even more so in nightlife hub.

Touristy locations like Sliema, St. Julian’s (where Paceville is also located) and capital city Valletta is where I would use extra precaution.

Road safety

Maltese drivers are known for being reckless so you may want to opt out of renting a car. I tend to leave the driving to the experienced  locals when I’m in Malta.

Is Malta expensive to travel?

Malta isn’t the cheapest country in the world to visit, but I certainly wouldn’t call it an expensive travel destination. By American and European standards it’s a pretty affordable destination, especially when you compare it to it’s neighbor, Italy.

I actually remember going out to one of Malta’s premier clubs and being shocked when I got my check. I recall getting two rum and cokes for a total of 5 euros, though that was a few years ago.

I found that out of all locations in Malta, Valletta seemed to be the priciest.

Public transportation is very cheap in Malta. (21 euros for a week bus pass)

In terms of food, you’ll find you can eat out for a reasonable price. There’s enough dining choices to keep the prices competitive and let your palate wander. A meal at a mid range restaurant will cost you about 15 euros, 3 euros or less for a beer or glass of wine. For a New Yorker, this is very cheap !

How to Get there

There a couple ways to travel to Malta. You can fly into Malta International Airport from most destinations in Europe. From the airport you can take the bus to most of the main locations on the island, pick up a hire car or get private transport.

The other way to get to Malta is by ferry from Italy or Siciliy. Catania, Pozzallo or  Salerno are where the ferries disembark.

Purchase your ticket online from Direct Ferries .

What is the best way to travel around?

Traveling malta by public transportation: bus.

I’ve used the buses quite a bit through out my Malta travel and they are pretty well connected. However, in some instances will take much much longer than driving and they aren’t always reliable. A week bus pass costs 21 euros which works on Gozo as well.

Traveling Malta by Taxi/Uber

Taxis are available, but can be on the expensive side. They should have set fares to certain locations between the airport and seaport. The last time I was there Uber did not exist but I do know of a company called eCabs which have their own app.

Renting a car is an option and will make getting around the island much quicker, however, it should depend on where you plan on spending your Malta travel time. Valletta, like some of the other popular locations, is a pedestrian friendly city with limited parking so having a car would be quite unnecessary.

Ferry Boats and Water Taxis

Ferry boats/taxis can get you from Sliema to Valletta or from Malta to Comino. This is the ultimate Malta travel vessel and I would take it whenever possible. There’s nothing like getting a sea view of the island and feeling wind in your hair!

Where to Stay in Malta

You have your choice of chain hotels, boutique or historic properties, Airbnbs or apartments. I’ve stayed in a handful of properties in Malta but my favorites are always the more unique and boutique locations.

Location wise, Sliema is one of my top picks. It has great access to public transportation and Malta tours with a promenade buzzing with people restaurants, cafes and bars. Valetta is a short, few minutes ferry ride across the Sliema Harbour.

If you don’t mind moving around, you could do a couple of nights in various parts of the island.

  • Ta Jolie is cute little B&B conveniently located near the Gozo ferry port.
  • Thirty Seven Hotel is an old farmhouse converted into a modern sanctuary.
  • Kempinski Hotel 
  • Murella Living
  • U Collection Apartments (Valletta) are beautiful modern  apartments, some with a view of the square.
  • Valetta Lucente (Valletta) Is an amazing restored property. The couple who run have put their soul into this place and it definitely shows.
  • Xara Palace Hotel (Mdina)
  • Hugo’s Boutique Hotel (Paceville)
  • The Palace (Sliema)
  • Two Pillows Boutique Hostel (Sliema)

u collection terrace at penthouse

Places to visit in Malta: Discover Gozo

Gozo is the farthest from the airport so if you’re interested in fitting all three islands into your Ultimate Malta itinerary it could be a good idea to start here. You’ll have to take a bus or taxi to the ferry port in Cirkewwa, Malta and once you get to Gozo you can either rent a car, taxi or take the bus around the island. I only spent 2 nights in Gozo and 1 of the days took a sightseeing bus to make the most of my time there.

Salt Pans in Malta

Salt Pans are something I’d never seen up close. It was really quite beautiful and lies right next to the sea (as I’m sure most sea salt pans do)! I met a man called Alfred there who sits just outside his sea salt cave. He told me the cave has been in his family for years and years.   I couldn’t quite tell if all the stories he was saying were completely true but it made me buy salt from him!   A decent size bag of sea salt was only 2 euros so it was a real bargain anyway.

Ultimate Malta Travel Guide

Alfred and I at his sea salt cave in Gozo

The Blue Hole/Azure window in Dwjera

This famous Azure window(featured on Game of Thrones) sat right next to the blue hole before it collapsed on March 8 2017 during severe storms.  However, this area is still worth a visit to this area. The blue hole is said to be an epic diving site. You can also snorkel or simply explore this part of the coast on foot.

Ramla Bay is a red sand beach in Gozo. There are not too many sandy beaches in Malta which makes Ramla Bay busy in the peak of summer.

Tal Mixta Cave + Calypso Cave

Tal Mixta Cave overlooks Ramla bay. It’s more popular cousin, Calypso Cave is starting to collapse and is now closed to the public. I would get here before it becomes very busy!

Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu Basilica

A gorgeous shrine built between 1920 and 1931.

Victoria/Rabat

The capital of Gozo, known for its Medieval Citadel. Explore the Citadel and take in the view from the top.

Wied Il Ghasri

Wied Il Ghasri is an epic place to go on a walk and marvel at the sea sneaking into the middle of massive cliffs. 

Ultimate Guide: Enjoy Comino and the Blue Lagoon

Comino is only 3.5 square kilometres in area. There is only one hotel,  Comino Hotel, and a few farmers that reside on Comino. Besides an amazing place to hike or camp for the night, there are also hidden coves to discover gorgeous blue water. You can spend a whole day here if you wanted and should! Do a hike around Comino island or rent a beach chair by the Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is one of the top reasons people travel to Malta. Through it can get extremely busy, I do recommend it as an incredible place to visit on your trip to Malta.

When visiting the crystal clear lagoon, I suggest taking the earliest ferry you can to maximise your time with the least amount of people. From Gozo you can take the 8am water taxi for 10 euros return — it takes 15 minutes. If you’re coming from Malta, take the ferry from Cirkewwa or you can take a boat tour. There are plenty of options when choosing who to book with  for a full day’s tour.  These tours will also take you to some of the nearby caves and usually they give you snacks and drinks. (tours leave from various locations)

Food and drinks such as salads, burgers, fresh fruit, and cocktails are available to purchase on site.

Check out my guide on how to day trip to the Blue Lagoon for more information.

Umbrella at the Blue Lagoon, what to see in Malta

The Blue Lagoon, Comino

Ultimate Travel Guide: Explore Malta the Main Island

Malta is the biggest of the three islands and home to the smallest national capital in the E.U. by area. Malta has influences of many countries including the British. There is actually a high population of British retirees living here. Who wouldn’t want to retire to a place with 300 sunny days a year?!

Malta Travel Map

Malta Travel Guide : Places to visit in Malta

Upper Barrakka Gardens terrace

Capital City Valletta

Valletta is one of the most historical cities in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980 and the main reason for many visitors Malta travel. In 2018 Valletta was recognised as the European Capital of Culture. It’s a treat to just wander the streets and discover every impressive alley, take in the atmosphere at a local cafe or try a traditional Maltese dish at one of the seasonal restaurants.

Enjoy Merchant Street in Valletta

Merchant Street runs through the city of Valletta and offers a range of shopping and architecture.

Marvel at the gorgeous St. John’s Co-cathedral

Go inside St. Johns Co-catherdral. A beautiful baroque church in the centre of Valletta. Entrance fee is 10 Euros per adult, 7.50 for seniors and students.

Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Upper Barrakka  Gardens overlook the Grand Harbour for some amazing views.  There is a canon fired everyday here at noon and 4pm as a saluting ceremony. This is one of the most beautiful locations on my ultimate Malta travel itinerary.

Fort St. Elmo

Fort St. Elmo is an impressive fort with panoramic views of the harbour. The fort hosts the National War Museum.

Sliema is a great place to base yourself as it’s cheaper than Valetta   with great access to the whole of the island.  There is a big bus terminal as well as a ferry dock. The water taxi which takes you right over to Valletta leaves frequently from Sliema and provides a beautiful view of the capital. One way on the water taxi costs 1.50.

The Seaside Promenade not only has transportation access, but plenty of restaurants and bars. There are rock pools known as the Roman Baths which have easy swimming  access. There are even build in ladder for convenience.

A sleepy fishing village with colourful boats and seafood restaurants lining the harbour. I loved taking pictures here.

St. Peter’s Pool is a beautiful lagoon 1.5 miles from Marzxlokk popular for cliff jumping snorkeling. You can walk to the lagoon from the village or get a taxi to drop you off. From the drop off point the walk is just a few minutes down to the pool. The other option is to get there by one of the traditional beautiful boats from Marzxlokk harbour, sadly this is also the most expensive option!

St. Julian’s

Paceville is the nightlife center of Malta. Touristy, loud and busy. This area isn’t for the faint hearted. Paceville is a short 5 minute drive from Sliema.

girl on edge of St. Peter's Pool, what to see in Malta

St. Peter’s Pool, Marsaxlokk

Saint Agatha’s Tower

A large watch tower in Mellehia said to have amazing sunset views. This is sadly one of the sites I didn’t get to. It is also known as the red tower for it’s lovely color. I cry at the lost potential of the perfect instagram shot here!

Popeye’s Village

Visit the picturesque location of the the film set for the 1980’s musical Popeye. They left everything up and you can now visit it as a amusement park with interactive fun. A nice alternative to your typical pleasure park.

girl in doorway surrounded by flowers

flower lined door in Mdina

Mdina is a beautiful ancient walled city. It’s another pedestrian only area and an incredible place to spend the afternoon. Above is me in Mdina at one of Malta’s Instagram hot spots. This pretty blue door with a vine of pink flowers gets a lot of attention from photographers!

I recommend having lunch at Fontanella Tea Room and soaking up the view. This is where my husband and I actually had out first date so its a bit of nostalgia for me! We wandered around the giant ancient walls and drank Maltese wine, I remember it being such a romantic date.

Dingli Cliffs

The highest point in Malta providing incredible sea side views. A known location for amazing sunsets.

The 3 Cities

The 3 cities of Malta are Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua. You can see them from the Upper Barrakka Gardens across the Grand Harbour. The cities have been gaining popularity in recent years with an emergence of new hospitality businesses.

Wied Iz-Zurrieq and the Blue Grotto

Wied Iz-Zurrieq is a village known for it’s sea caves, the largest and most famous being the Blue Grotto. You can get a great view of the grotto by sea or from view point located before the entrance of the village.

Eating, Drinking and Nightlife in Malta

This ultimate Malta travel guide wouldn’t be complete without telling about the food and drink scene. Malta has an interesting and eclectic cuisine influenced by a variety of cultures. Spain, Italy and Great Britain are just some of the countries that contributed to the flavors. They have a bit of a cafe culture and a passion for seasonal homegrown options.

Traditional Maltese Dishes

Here are some of the local dishes you’ll want to try!

  • Lampuki Pie (fish pie)
  • Stuffat tal-fenek (Rabbit Stew)
  • Bragioli (beef olives)
  • Kapunata (Maltese version of ratatouille)
  • Local Sourdough bread

Restaurants + Cafes

There are plenty of cute places to eat or enjoy a coffee. Cafe culture is definitely a thing in Malta and you’re sure to find somewhere nice to sit and people watch.

  • Medina (Mdina)
  • Rampina (Valletta)
  • Barracuda (St. Julian’s)
  • Ta’ Frenc (Gozo)
  • Cafe Berry (Sliema)
  • Fontanella Tea Room (Mdina)
  • Black Cat Cafe (Gozo)
  • Plough and Anchor Pub (Valletta)
  • Wild Honey (Valletta)
  • Cafe Society (Valletta)
  • Yaad 32 (Valletta)
  • Hole in the Wall (Sliema)
  • The Thirsty Barber (St. Julian’s)
  • Cafe Del Mar (St. Paul’s Bay)
  • Baia Beach Club (Mellieha)

Malta Music Events

  • Malta Music Week
  • Valletta Jazz Festival
  • Lost and Found Festival

Fun Malta Activities

Wine tasting.

Have you ever tasted a Maltese wine? Chances are, unless you’ve been to Malta that answer is no. The Maltese drink almost all of the wine they produce, with little making it out of the county. You’ll really be drinking local in this archipelago!

Here are some of the wineries you can go to for tasting experiences:

  • Tal-Massar Winery
  • Meridiana Wine Estate
  • Marsovin Cellars
  • Mar Casar Winery

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is a main draw contributing to Malta travel.  The variety that you can see beneath the sea includes multiple wrecks and caves.

Horse Riding

There are a handful of places to ride horses in Malta and Gozo. All levels welcome.

tourism guide malta

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Been living in Malta for the last 25 years on and off. Your itinerary of Malta is true and comprehensive and all I can add is that if you go in June July August it can reach 40c we preferd September to December which was a nice balmy 20+ avoid January and February cold and stormy. I agree with you about coffee shop fanatella in mdina our favourite place for coffee and cake ?.

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That’s amazing! Malta is truly a special place. SO cool you like that coffee place too!

Thanks for reading and for your tips 🙂

Best, Lauren

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Things to Do in Malta: Marsaxlokk

Your Quick Malta Travel Guide (What to Do, Where to Stay + Tips!)

As Europe’s smallest island nation, Malta doesn’t traditionally get a lot of tourist attention from visitors outside of Europe–but that is changing, and this quick Malta travel guide will help you discover this unique Meditteranean country.

… and hopefully, convince you that planning a trip to Malta is a great idea!

Though it is regularly overshadowed by heavy hitters like popular Italy, Spain, Greece, and Croatia , there is no doubt that Malta has a charm all its own.

Boasting warm temperatures and sunshine well into autumn, Malta is one of the best fall destinations in Europe –which is why we chose to visit in September!

Regardless of what time of year you visit, though, you’re bound to find something to love about Malta.

Thinking about planning a trip to Malta soon?

This quick Malta travel guide will get your plans started!

Table of Contents

Essential Things to Know About Malta

Fun things to do in malta, where to stay when visiting malta, getting around malta, what to pack for malta, read more about visiting malta + southern europe.

kate storm wearing a pink dress on a side street in valletta malta

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

Before you arrive, make sure you know a few things about Malta !

Malta uses the Euro.

We also found credit cards to be widely accepted, and ATMs were easy to locate.

You may not want to drink the water.

While online sources say that the water is technically safe to drink, we did not like the way it tasted (in fact, we’d say it’s probably to worst tasting water we’ve come across in our travels).

We drank it anyway for the first couple of days, but after several locals emphatically told us not to drink it (they seemed a bit horrified that we were drinking it in the first place) and my stomach started to protest a bit, we switched to bottled.

view of st peters pool included in a malta travel guide

In Malta, you drive on the left.

… And not only on the left, but they also drove in a way that felt quite reckless to us.

Malta has an enormous amount of traffic jams considering its size and watching the cars weave quickly in between lanes and the aggression of the drivers, we were glad we opted not to drive.

If you’re planning to rent a car in Malta , be sure to come prepared for a driving experience that will require all of your concentration!

Things to Do in Malta: Jeep Tour Gozo

English is one of the official languages of Malta.

The other one is Maltese, though no one expects visitors to speak it.

Italian is also widely spoken, especially among the older generation.

Malta is a former British colony.

This is no surprise to Brits, of course, but Americans like us may be taken by surprise–if they haven’t watched The Crown , anyway.

Malta gained independence in 1964 from the United Kingdom in 1964.

The British weren’t Malta’s first colonizers, though: as a small island conveniently located between northern Africa and southern Europe, Malta has been visited by (and ruled over) by just about everyone over the centuries, including the Romans and Byzantines.

view of sea off the island of gozo, a fun stop during a malta travel guide

Malta is the name of both an island and a country.

Malta is both the name of the largest island in the country, as well as the country itself.

Malta the country, though, is actually an archipelago.

Gozo (home to some villages and sites, and once the famous Azure Window), and Comino (home to three people and the famous Blue Lagoon) are the other two islands that make up the country of Malta.

Comino is fairly small and the Blue Lagoon is essentially its only claim to fame, but there are lots of cool things to do on Gozo, starting with visiting the Citadel, admiring the Wied il-Mielah Sea Arch, stopping by the Marsalforn Salt Pans, and of course, relaxing on the gorgeous Ramla Beach.

We visited several of the best places to visit on Comino and Gozo (including the Blue Lagoon!) on this memorable day trip .

Book your cruise around Gozo and Comino today!

small boat in otherwise empty blue lagoon malta

If you’re looking for ideas on what to do in Malta, consider scuba diving , sailing, swimming in the famous Blue Lagoon, visiting the Hagar Qim Temples that date back to 3600 — 3200 BCE, touring the nearby island of Gozo, visiting the beautiful Blue Grotto caves, strolling through the “silent city” of Mdina , and enjoying the beautiful beaches. .. just to start with!

No trip to Malta is complete without spending time in the capital city of Valletta, admiring the views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, a cruise over to the Three Cities for views, and a visit to the colorful Marsaxlokk fishing village!

Even a full week in Malta won’t cover everything there is to do, but it will be sure to give you an excellent taste of the country.

We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Malta here !

front facade of a building in valletta malta

While on Malta, we stayed at Central Suites  in the town of Bugibba near St. Paul’s Bay, which is semi-conveniently located for accessing Gozo and Comino (the island that the Blue Lagoon is next to), but not convenient for much else.

We enjoyed the neighborhood we were in, but wouldn’t stay there again because it is so far out of the way!

If we return to Malta, we will stay in Valletta , which is not only the capital (and home to a central bus station that makes it simple to get everywhere you want to visit in Malta ), but was also our favorite city that we saw in Malta–it was home to lovely sites, lots of restaurant options, and, in our totally biased opinion, it was the prettiest!

Checking into a property like the well-reviewed  Melior Boutique Hotel  or  Hotel Pjazza Merkanti  would be at the top of our list.

aerial view of the three cities, one of the best things to do in malta

… Or, if we felt like a splurge, perhaps the gorgeous  Embassy Valletta Hotel –those views are incredibly tempting!

Sliema is very close to Valletta (there’s a short water taxi that goes between them) and is another option worth considering.

St. Julian’s Bay is near Valletta and Sliema as well and is popular with travelers looking for nightlife.

We would not recommend staying in Marsaxlokk .

kate storm in a navy blue dress in front of the marsaxlokk harbor, one of the best places to visit in malta

T he fishing village is adorable and cute to visit for a day , but it is small and remotely placed from the rest of the island –you’ll eat up way too much time in transportation by staying there!

If you’d like a different, quiet experience in Malta, consider staying on the island of Gozo  or eve n Comino (there are only three full-time residents on Comino, and they run a hotel during the summer!).

Keep in mind that this plan isn’t for people who want to easily access Malta’s most famous attractions, but it can be great for travelers who are looking to step off the beaten path and/or spend lots of time on the water.

Check rates & book your stay in Malta today!

Things to Do in Malta: Valletta

Don’t be fooled by Malta’s small size!

N o matter where you stay in Malta, you’re going to be faced with some significant time on the road to get between major destinations–often more than an hour each way.

Though you can rent a car , if you’re not a confident driver in heavy traffic and/or on the left side of the road, we would recommend using Malta’s incredibly extensive bus system to save money, stress, and fossil fuels!

The bus will get you virtually anywhere you need to go on the island of Malta.

view of marsaxlokk harbor malta

For 21 Euros, you can buy a seven-day unlimited travel pass for Malta’s bus system.

Standalone, one-way tickets are 2 Euros in the summer, 1.50 Euros in the winter, and 3.00 Euros for night journeys and express buses.

You can check bus schedules and keep up with routes on Malta’s free transportation app, the Tallinja App .

We used the app some but actually found Google Maps to be more useful for getting around Malta.

view of Calypso Caves from above, one of the best things to do in malta in september

An EU SIM Card : Having access to Google Maps in real-time was a must when dealing with managing bus schedules across the island.

You can pick these up when you arrive in the country–we used the one we had picked up in Prague .

Things to Do in Malta: Blue Lagoon

Malta may be a small country, but this Mediterranean island nation definitely doesn’t deserve to be overlooked.

Plan a trip to Malta and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views, a chance to learn about some incredible history, and a great excuse for some fun in the sun!

kate storm and jeremy storm on a boat in malta

Ready to plan a trip to Europe… and maybe several other sunny destinations?

If so, be sure to check out these guides, too!

  • 11 Marvelous Things to Do in Malta in September
  • The Perfect 7 Day Puglia Road Trip Itinerary
  • 33 Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • The Perfect 2 Week Spain and Portugal Itinerary (+ Essential Tips!)
  • The Ultimate 3 Days in Santorini Itinerary

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3 photos of malta travel destinations, yellow and white text on a red background reads "malta travel guide"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

29 thoughts on “Your Quick Malta Travel Guide (What to Do, Where to Stay + Tips!)”

Love these tips! I’ve been wanting to visit Malta for quite some time! I had no idea they drive on the left, that’s interesting to note. Looks like a really fun place for a long weekend getaway!

Thanks! Definitely a great getaway, especially if you are craving sunshine as much as we were! 🙂

Malta hasn’t been on our radar, but your photos are lovely! And good to know that English is one of their national languages and that they use the Euro!

Thanks! Malta is definitely in the process of trying to raise its tourism profile–and for good reason, in our opinion!

I’d love to visit Malta, especially as I’m in Sicily quite often. Gozo sounds like my kind of place, just the island life. You were brave to drink the tap water there; I always stick to bottled!

Brave, reckless… tomato, tomato, right? 😉

I had no idea that Malta was technically an archipelago. It’s such a beautiful place and where I’d love to snorkel and scuba dive. I love how rich a history that is in Malta. I’d love to discover it’s hidden stories!

I didn’t either! Truthfully, we knew very little about it at all–made for a memorable trip that way, though!

Malta and the architecture of the buildings there is simply astonishing. I am definitely adding this awesome travel destination to my bucket list! How many days would be enough to see all the highlights there?

The architecture is incredible! I love all the enclosed balconies. I think you could probably see all the highlights in 5-7 days if you move fast… we were there for 5 full days and got through about 70% of them, though we tend to check things off rather slowly these days. The biggest thing is planning out your schedule well to limit transportation time!

I LOVE this post!! I have been seeing Malta all over Instagram and have been interested in going but most of this was new to me. They drive on the left side? English is the official language? It’s an archipelago? So interesting!! This made me want to visit even more, so thanks for sharing! It’s officially on my list.

Thanks, Christie! Hope you get a chance to go. Malta has definitely been popping up more and more on Instagram et al. this year–it’s easy to see why, it is quite photogenic along the coasts!

Bookmarked!!! One of the places I’m dying to visit is Malta. Stunning pictures and I loved it.

Thanks, Jaypee!

I am surprised to know the water of Malta is not good to be consumed by an outsider ! Also, it is good to know English is one of the official languages, that saves a lot of stress in communicating. The 21 Euro seven day unlimited travel pass sounds like a budget way to travel within the country!

We were, too–it didn’t even occur to us not to drink it at first! A couple of locals we talked to were mildly horrified when they heard we were drinking it.

Malta has been making all the right news off late. I love traveling to offbeat places like this one. Despite the small size, there is so much to se/do/eat in Malta. One of my facebook friend lives in Malta. Hope to visit her soon. You shared some really useful tips since not much is known about Malta.

It definitely has been! Malta is still a bit offbeat for now, but I’m not sure how long it will stay that way. Hope you get a chance to go!

What a great guide of Malta! The water fact definitely surprised me, I thought this was only a rule for places like India or countries in Africa. Good to know! Also, the architecture is something to die for. You captured the true essence of this paradise! Thank you for sharing. All best, Mariella

Thanks, Mariella! Hope you get a chance to visit soon! 🙂

Ahh I loved Malta so much! Such an absolutely beautiful country! I want to go back so bad next year if I have time

Hope to get to go back, Dave!! 🙂

Fantastic tips, everything i needed to know before hand, and now 100% convinced that i have to go! Thank you so much!

Thanks, Ericka! Hope you have an amazing trip!

Hi Jeremy and Kate,

I’m glad you chose to visit our gem of a country! Malta has a lot to offer, hospitality is in the genes of most people… and lots to offer in terms of history and attractions. Every where we dig here underground temples and very important discoveries are made :0

Take care and hope to see you soon in Malta.

Thanks a lot, Kate Storm for an amazing presentation of a real jewel !!!

Most certainly, I will be there in coming October.

Your Briefing is quite Decent and Comprehensive !!!!

Thank you, Ateeque!

A reminder to make a booking first for some of the temples. Also the ferry from Gozo and Valetta is limited in the off season January and February. A return ticket is essential. Valletta is definitely the place to stay. 5 unesco sites and one of the best archaeological museums I have seen. I have to say it’s not inexpensive. Meals are pricey accommodation even in the low season. bus trips are plentiful and buying a travel pass is the way to go.

Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

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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.

valletta best things to do 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.

Discover Valetta on a guided walking tour

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.

Tip: The floor is incredibly intricate and delicate so you’re not allowed to wear high heels and you must cover up as a sign of respect.

St John’s Co-Cathedral malta

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. 

See the best accommodations in Valletta

upper barrakka gardens valletta

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.

malta things to do

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 architecture

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!

As alternative: Discover Valletta through this guided walking tour.

Hotels in Valletta 😴

Harbour House

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.

See the best accommodations in Birgu

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

golden bay malta beach

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. 

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.

Join a tour exploring the historic towns of Mdina and Rabat 

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!

We recommend to rent a car in Malta through Sunny Cars with free cancellation and insurance included. Book your rental car here .

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.

Tip: at night the city feels even more ‘silent’, as darkness sets in and the old-fashioned gas lamps turn on.

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.

rabat malta

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.

tourism guide 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!

malta best things to do 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.

Marsaxlokk sunday market

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! 

See this popular tour to Comino Island .

tourism guide malta

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.

Kayak to: the caves and hidden beaches in this popular kayak tour . On top of that you avoid the crowds.

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. 

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.

Explore Gozo and the Comino Islands on this tour

tourism guide 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.

Read more about Gozo Island in Malta

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 .

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.

Hotels in Malta 😴

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.

best time to visit malta blue lagoon

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.

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.

restaurants malta

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

  • Hotels: $80 − $300 USD Check available hotels
  • Hostels: $15 − $75 USD Check available hostels
  • Transport: $4 − $20 USD Book public transport
  • Car Rental: $20 − $70 USD Book a rental car
  • Food: $10 − $35 USD
  • Activities: $10 − $50 USD See tickets & tours
  • Sim: $0 − $3 USD Get an eSIM or SIM here
  • Travel Insurance: $2 − $6 USD Get Travel Insurance

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.

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  • Find Hotels via Booking.com
  • Find a Rental Car via Sunny Cars
  • Find Flights to Malta via Skyscanner
  • Get a Travel Insurance via Heymondo
  • Book Tours & Attractions via GetYourGuide
  • Book a Bus/Train/Transfer via 12Go

Best Things To Do in Gozo, Malta

Renting a car in malta in 2024: all you need to know.

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Romance in Malta the Perfect Mediterranean Backdrop for Jewish Destination Weddings and Honeymoons

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tourism guide malta

Malta and its sister islands, Gozo and Comino, an archipelago in the Mediterranean, boast a year-round sunny and moderate climate and 8,000 years of intriguing history. It is no wonder that “The Bachelor” selected Malta for one of its episodes (E4) from the latest season. With its picturesque backdrops, coastal views, historic architecture, and sites that create a romantic ambiance, Malta is the best destination for stunning wedding settings as well as unforgettable honeymoons. It is also a unique setting for Jewish weddings. The Jews have a historic presence in Malta dating back to the Phoencians. Today, Malta has a small but thriving Jewish community, making Malta a stunning location for Jewish weddings.

Malta, home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is perfect for couples who are looking for unique and memorable venues. Valletta itself, Malta’s Capital built by the proud Knights of St. John, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers plenty of spectacular historic settings. In addition to luxury hotels, baroque palaces with gardens, and converted farmhouses (in Gozo), some of these historical venues are themselves Heritage Malta sites, such as St. Angelo Hall, the Terrace at the Malta Maritime Museum, Egmont Hall at Fort St. Angelo, Castellania Courtyard, and the Garden at the Inquisitor’s Palace. Couples opting for a Monday through Thursday wedding will only have to pay for set-up and catering and are exempt from venue rental fees. Discounts are also available at other Heritage Malta sites if the wedding is held Monday through Thursday.

tourism guide malta

Jewish Wedding with a stunning backdrop at The Phoencia Hotel, Valletta, Malta, Photo Credit: LeahSimha Parienti

Planning a Jewish Destination Wedding in Malta

Recently, a young couple, Yonathan and Leah Simha Parenti, organized their kosher Jewish wedding at the historic Phoenicia Malta Hotel, located at the entrance to Valletta. They explained why they decided on Malta, “We were delighted to do our wedding in Malta, as the island has a very special place in our hearts and has a very long historical Jewish presence as a legacy over the centuries. Being able to connect spiritually and to do our Chuppah at The Phoenicia Malta, which itself is a beautiful location that conveys both harmony, spirituality, and love, was really a gift from God for us. We will remember the day forever.”

Robyn Pratt, The Phoenicia Malta General Manager, noted that logistically, “It is much easier to organize now that there is a local rabbi who can officiate and actually manage all logistics between the Bride and Groom and the hotel to ensure that the relevant procedures had been handled correctly.” Pratt further explained that since the hotel’s pool kitchen was not in use from November through March, they were able to conduct all necessary procedures in the kitchen so that all the food was prepared in accordance with the laws of Kashrut. A team from Israel was flown in as well to oversee the preparations.

Following a wedding held in Malta, couples then have time to explore and discover the diversity of the Maltese Islands. With something for every interest, the possibilities are endless, ranging from the cosmopolitan side of Malta to the lure of Calypso’s Isle, Gozo, and the solitude of Comino.

Local Contacts for Organizing a Jewish Wedding

Rabbi Haim Segal [email protected]

More information on weddings in Malta may be found at: https://www.visitmalta.com/en/weddings-in-malta/, where couples can also find the 4 official Destination Wedding Planners for contacts in Malta.

Malta Marriage Registry to learn more about the documents required to get married in Malta:

About Malta

Malta and its sister islands, Gozo and Comino, an archipelago in the Mediterranean, boast a year-round sunny climate and 8,000 years of intriguing history. It is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Valletta, Malta’s Capital, built by the proud Knights of St. John. Malta has the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, showcasing one of the British Empire’s most formidable defense systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military structures from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. Rich in culture, Malta has a year-round calendar of events and festivals, attractive beaches, yachting, trendy gastronomical scene with 7 Michelin-starred restaurants and a thriving nightlife, there is something for everyone.

For more information on Malta, please visit www.VisitMalta.com .

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Send by e-mail, tourist guide application.

Updated: 11.09.2023

License for a person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of Malta and/or specific area or areas and who possesses a specific relevant qualification and license issued and/or recognized by the Authority.

An application can be filed online by following the link:  https://servizz.gov.mt/en/Pages/Culture-and-Leisure/Leisure/Tourism/WEB151/default.aspx

A temporary guide application form can be downloaded by clicking here . Please refer to the FAQs for more information.

Applicable Laws (Rights and Obligations)

Chapter 409- Travel and Tourism Services Act-  https://legislation.mt/eli/cap/409/eng

Subsidiary Legislation 409.12- Tourist Guides Regulations-  https://legislation.mt/eli/sl/409.12/eng

Documents needed with application

  • Scanned copy of ID Card of Applicant
  • Curriculum Vitae of Applicant
  • Recent Police Conduct of Applicant
  • Passport size photograph
  • Copies of Certificates

The applicable fee is  €25.00  (Application fee).

Method of Payment

Online payment is available via the   Licensing Management System (LMS ) . 

  • Submission of application: 0
  • Applicant will need to submit documents based on the specific application following initial vetting process: The amount of time in this period depends on the applicant and the time taken by the applicant to provide such docs.
  • In such step, once again, the timeline is dependent on the applicant whether the standards are provided or not at the establishment. In the case that standards are not met then the applicant is asked to rectify, and process is paused.
  • Approval: 10 Days

Incomplete Application Forms

In the case of an incomplete application form, the Authority shall, without delay, inform the applicant of the need to supply any additional information or documentation, or of the need to conduct any interviews or inspection. Nonetheless, when the Authority has not determined whether to issue a licence to an applicant, within the periods mentioned above, such applicant shall not be deemed, for all intents and purposes of law, to be licensed.

Means of Redress or Appeal

Any person who feels aggrieved by a decision of the Authority, as provided in article 14(1) of Chapter 409- Travel and Tourism Services Act, may appeal to the Tourism Appeals Board, on payment of the prescribed fee (applicable fees as per Legal Notice 409.05), within fifteen (15) days from the date the decision on which the appeal is entered is communicated to the person concerned. Tourism Appeals Board contacts and information can be found on https://www.tourismappealsboard.com/

Department Responsible :  MTA Licensing Department

Contact Persons:        

General Enquiries - Tel: 22915000 Email:  [email protected]    

Authority:  Malta Tourism Authority

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European Commission Expresses Concerns On Non-EU Citizenship Programs With Visa-Free Schengen Access

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Attard Baldacchino  weblink

The European Union may restrict visa-free travel for citizens of non-member states that offer citizenship to investors, grants visas and residence permits.

In a recent report , the European Commission (EC) has expressed concerns about the security risks posed by investor citizenship schemes operated by visa-free third countries, which could enable nationals of other visa-required third countries to circumvent the EU short-stay visa procedure. To address these concerns, the EC has revised the suspension mechanism for visa-free travel, which allows the temporary reintroduction of visa requirements for third-country nationals in case of migration or security risks. The EC has also monitored the compliance of visa-liberalized countries with the benchmarks for visa-free travel and citizenship policy. These actions could have significant implications for non-EU countries with citizenship-by-investment programs that enjoy visa-free Schengen access and which commercially promote such programs as providing visa-free Schengen access. report specifically includes Vanuatu and the Eastern Caribbean states (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia). That being said, such measures could also apply to other EU-neighbour states that have offered or are still offering some kind of program. that have visa-free Schengen access.

The initial revised suspension mechanism for visa-free travel was adopted by the EU Member States and the European Parliament in June 2018 , following the European Commission's proposal in December 2017. This mechanism strengthens the power of the EU to react to sudden or serious risks to public policy or internal security related to non-EU states with visa-free access.

One of the matters that prompted the current revision of the suspension mechanism relates to concerns about the increasing number of non-EU states that offer investor citizenship or residency programs, which enable individuals to acquire a new nationality or residence status in exchange for certain investment or donation, and proof of a genuine link to such jurisdiction These programs have raised concerns about security, money laundering, tax evasion, and unfair competition, as well as about their compatibility with the values and principles of the EU, such as the rule of law, democracy, and human rights. The EU has repeatedly called on non-EU states to abolish or restrict such programs and has cautioned that they could affect the visa-free travel regime that applies to some non-EU states. The EU has also asked visa-liberalized non-EU states to ensure the integrity and transparency of their citizenship policies and to avoid granting citizenship by investment systematically or without due process.

The monitoring of visa-liberalized non-EU states with citizenship by investment programs is part of the regular reporting by the European Commission on the functioning and implementation of the visa-free regime with third countries. The latest report covers the period from May to November 2021 and assesses the compliance of eight visa-free states from the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, and beyond, with the benchmarks for visa-free travel and citizenship policy. The report praises the progress made by some of the states, such as North Macedonia and Georgia, in addressing the concerns related to security, the fight against organized crime and corruption, and visa policy alignment with the EU. However, the report also highlights the persistent challenges posed by citizenship policies that do not respect the principle of genuine links, that lack transparency and scrutiny, that grant citizenship without actual residence or language skills, or that do not provide for effective naturalization revocation in case of fraud, misinformation, or criminal convictions. The report urges non-EU states with citizenship by investment programs to phase them out or limit their use and encourages the EU to consider the operation of such schemes as a ground for the suspension of visa-free travel, by the revised mechanism.

The scrutiny of Malta's citizenship by investment program by the EU Commission at the European Court of Justice is another example of the EC's concerns about how investor citizenship schemes could undermine the integrity and trust of the EU citizenship and migration policies. The EC opened an infringement procedure against Malta in July 2020, and referred the case to the European Court of Justice in April 2021, alleging that Malta violated EU law by granting citizenship to persons who did not have genuine links with Malta or the EU, and by failing to coordinate its citizenship policy with other EU member states. The EU Commission claims that Malta's citizenship by investment program poses a security risk, as it enables individuals with questionable backgrounds or intentions to acquire EU citizenship and travel freely within the Schengen area, without undergoing the thorough scrutiny and background checks required by the EU rules. The EU Commission calls on Malta to align its citizenship policy with the EU values and standards and to stop granting citizenship by investment until the legal and factual issues are resolved. The Government of Malta has been actively addressing the EC's concerns and Malta's current Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations subject applicants to a 4-tier due diligence process that requires full disclosure of the source of funds and wealth, as well as being required to satisfy a minimum period of residency before any application for citizenship is submitted.

In summary, the EC's actions regarding the revisions of the suspension mechanism for visa-free travel and the monitoring of citizenship policies could have significant implications for non-EU states with investor citizenship schemes. Non-EU states that offer visa-free Schengen access and citizenship by investment should be aware of the risks and requirements of the revised mechanism and the benchmarks and should take measures to address the concerns of the EU and ensure the legitimacy and integrity of their citizenship policies. The EC, in turn, should ensure that its actions are proportionate, fair, and effective in achieving the legitimate objectives of the visa-free regime and the EU citizenship and migration policies while respecting the rights and interests of all parties involved. The EC should also engage in a constructive dialogue with non-EU states on the issues of investor citizenship and citizenship by investment, and work towards a global approach that promotes responsible and ethical citizenship policies.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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