Looking for the best things to do in Malta?!
With an average of 300 days of sunshine annually, Malta is a popular tourist destination in the Mediterranean, ideal for those who love the sun and the sea.
If you love European culture, Malta is a perfect place to explore, filled with stunning locations and rich history.
I have put together this huge guide of 21 Awesome Things To Do On Malta to help you plan your trip and ensure you have the best time when you arrive.
QUICK ANSWERS: THINGS TO DO IN MALTA
Before I dive into all the details about the best tourist spots in Malta, here are some quick answers to the most frequently asked questions from first-time visitors.
WHERE IS MALTA?
Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, consisting of three main islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Malta is about 93 kilometers (57 miles) south of Sicily.
Click here for an interactive map of Malta.
HOW TO GET TO MALTA?
You can fly directly to Malta International Airport (MLA) from major European cities such as London, Paris, and Berlin.
There are also direct flights from the Middle East, such as Dubai or Istanbul, and even from Tunisia, Africa.
If you’re coming from further away, you can take a connecting flight to Malta via Rome, Frankfurt, London, or Istanbul, among other hubs.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
As a first-time visitor, you will love getting around Malta as it’s easy, convenient, and quite cheap.
You can get around Malta by bus, renting a car or a scooter, taking a taxi, or by ferry and exploring the other islands.
Taking the public bus in Malta and Gozo is the cheapest yet very convenient way to get around since they stop as the most popular Malta tourist attractions.
Apart from that, they serve almost all the areas on both islands.
Taking a taxi is more expensive than the bus, but it’s the most comfortable way to get around, especially if you want to visit more remote areas on the island.
You will find white taxis everywhere but keep in mind that calling one from the international airport or the Seaport Terminal is pricier.
For instance, you will pay €37 when going to Armier or Marfa.
RENT A CAR IN MALTA OR A SCOOTER
Renting a car is the best option overall to explore remote parts of Malta and to be independent.
All the road signs are indicated in English, which makes it easy to get around, and you’ll drive on the left.
Expect to pay anywhere between €20 and €100 per day depending on the model, availability, and time of the year.
Moreover, international licenses are accepted, so the whole process of renting a car is hassle-free.
Renting a scooter or a bike is possible and inexpensive but keep in mind that bicycle lanes aren’t that common on major roads.
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TAKE THE FERRY
Taking the ferry is the only way to visit other islands around like Gozo, which only takes 20 minutes and costs only 4.65 Euros.
Alternatively, you can use the traditional Maltese ‘Dghajsa’ boats in Grand Harbour.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MALTA?
The best time to visit Malta is from April to October. The weather is warm and sunny, with an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit).
However, be aware that June, July, and August are pretty busy periods so expect to pay more for hotels and car rentals.
Visiting during the shoulder seasons is a great alternative and you’ll be sure to find a place to stay in Malta to suit your needs.
21 BEST THINGS TO DO IN MALTA
Malta is a great place to work and travel if you’re looking for a combination of European culture and Mediterranean weather.
And with three main islands and places to visit in Malta, I’m sure you’ll never get bored of exploring all of the best Malta attractions!
So, without further ado, these are the 21 best things to do in Malta that you should include in your itinerary.
TAKE A DIP AT ST. PETER’S POOL
Let’s kick off this list with St Peter’s Pool, one of the best things to do in Malta.
Located only 10 minutes from Marsaxlokk, it’s a natural pool that was formed by erosion and an incredible place to take a refreshing dip.
Bear in mind that the only ways to get into the water are by using the ladders or leaping from the edge, but that definitely adds a layer of adventure!
Also, while I personally loved St Peter’s Pool, I wouldn’t recommend coming with young children as there are almost no shaded areas and dangerous cliffs.
If you’re renting a car, you will find two free parking lots nearby making it easily accessible.
All in all, going to St. Peter’s Pool is one of the activities you should definitely include in your Malta itinerary!
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VISIT MARSASCALA & THE SALT PANS
Marsaskala is a traditional fishing village located on the southeast coast of Malta and boasts a stunning bay.
Other than its bay, the village is known for its delicious restaurants and cafes, where you can bring your laptop and work for a couple of hours or more.
After sipping on your morning coffee, be sure to head over to the Zonqor Point Salt Pans, another one of the famous places to visit in Malta.
To get the best photos, you will want to come early morning as the salt pans tend to be in the shade after midday, especially in the wintertime.
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GO SWIMMING AT ST THOMAS BAY
For Malta attractions that are off-the-beaten-path, head over to St Thomas Bay, a beautiful sandy beach on the south coast of Malta in Marsascala.
The water is clean and clear, making it perfect for swimming. There are also plenty of sun loungers and parasols, so you can relax on the beach all day.
What you’ll like the most, especially during the summer, is that you won’t find many tourists since it’s mostly a residential area.
CHECK OUT THE BLUE GROTTO VIEWPOINT
The Blue Grotto is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malta.
The Grotto is made up of 7 stunning caves and is located on the south coast of the island and can be reached by boat from Wied iż-Żurrieq Harbour.
If you’re planning to rent a car for the weekend and drive to the Blue Grotto, drive to Żurrieq, and the signs for the Grotto will be indicated on the way.
Apart from the stunning viewpoint, you also get the opportunity to swim in and outside the caves, and that is an incredible experience, to say the least!
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VISIT MARSAXLOKK FISHING VILLAGE & MARKETS
Marsaxlokk is a traditional and biggest fishing village in Malta, located on the southeast coast of the island.
The village is known for its colorful boats and fresh seafood, and it’s a popular spot for locals to enjoy lunch on Sundays.
Also, I want to highlight that Marsaxlokk is near St Peter’s Pool as I mentioned above, and you can plan to visit both spots on a Sunday before relaxing back at your hotel or at a nearby beach.
TAKE PHOTOS INSIDE TA KALANKA SEA CAVE
Ta Kalanka Sea Cave is a little-known cave in Malta, located in Delimara. It’s a natural treasure and a must-see on your lap around the island.
Apart from seeing the view of the bay from the top of the cave, you can make your way down the steps to go swimming and sunbathe under the cliffs. You can also go inside the cave and take amazing photos.
Safe to say it’s one of the best free activities in Malta and I recommend visiting early morning between 9 am and 12 pm for the best shots.
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SPEND THE DAY IN VALLETTA
Valletta is the capital of Malta, and its fortified city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s located on the eastern coast of the island and is home to many historical landmarks, including St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Grand Master’s Palace.
Here, you will find endless restaurants, cafes, and nightlife venues to enjoy a drink outside. Also, the places to stay in Valletta are among the most unique ones in Malta, so I recommend booking yours here.
BEST THINGS TO SEE IN VALLETTA
Below you will find a list of all the must-see attractions in Valletta, and you may also want to consider booking a Valletta Walking Tour.
Book Now: Valletta City Walking Tour
St John’s Co-Cathedral
St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of the most unique and beautiful churches in Malta, and it should be part of any Malta itinerary.
The interior of the church is impressive, with a stunning trompe l’oeil ceiling, flooring made of religious marble tombstones, and intricately carved altars.
The church also houses a number of important works of art, and, overall, St. John’s Co-Cathedral is a must-see for anyone visiting Malta.
Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens
The Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens are two of the most popular tourist attractions on the island and are within walking distance of each other.
The gardens are located in Valletta, overlooking the harbor and the Three Cities.
Both gardens feature a variety of Mediterranean plants and flowers, as well as a number of sculptures and fountains.
The Upper Garden also has a cafe and an open-air theatre, while the Lower Garden is more tranquil and home to a couple of cafes with views of the Grand Harbor entry and the Seige Bell.
Republic Street and Merchant Street
Republic Street and Merchant Street are two of the most vibrant and bustling streets in Malta.
Nestled in the heart of Valletta, they are lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, providing a wealth of options for both locals and visitors alike.
Republic Street is the principal and major street in Valletta and is home to many of the capital’s most popular attractions, including Casa Rocca Piccola and St. George’s Square.
Merchant Street, the parallel street, on the other hand, is a more subdued street that is nonetheless filled with charm.
Its quaint shops and cafes offer a welcome respite from the more vibrant Republic Steet.
Whether you’re looking for a place to shop, eat, or simply take in the sights, Republic Street and Merchant Street are sure to have something for you.
Moreover, both streets house Baroque palazzos from the times of the Knights so a stroll down each of them doubles up as a walk into history.
Teatru Manoel is the national theatre of Malta and one of the oldest working theatres in Europe. The theatre was built in 1731 and is named after Fra António Manoel de Vilhena.
It’s located in the capital city of Valletta and has a capacity of 623 people. The theatre has a rich history and has hosted some of the world’s most famous performers, including Boris Christoff, Mirella Freni, Sir Donald Wolfit, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Today, the theatre continues to be a popular venue for both local and international productions.
In addition to hosting plays and musicals, the theatre also hosts ballet performances, operas, and classical concerts.
The National Museum of Archaeology
The 2-story National Museum of Archaeology houses an extensive collection of artifacts from the Maltese Islands, dating back to the Neolithic period (5900 to 2500 BC).
The collection includes a wide range of objects, from funerary urns to amphorae to the terracotta sarcophagus and more.
The museum also has a library and study center, which are open to the public. Researchers from all over the world come to the National Museum of Archaeology to study the Maltese Islands’ rich history and culture.
While this isn’t an adventurous Malta tourist attraction, it’s definitely an important part of Maltese history, and a visit is definitely worth it.
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THREE CITIES TOUR
The Three Cities are three fortified towns in Malta – Vittoriosa (also called Birgu), Cospicua, and Senglea, with Vittoriosa being the oldest, which was established before the Middle Ages.
Senglea and Cospicua were founded in the 16th and 17 centuries, and all 3 cities boast endless interesting spots from narrow streets, traditional Maltese townhouses, churches, a yacht marina, and more.
Reaching the Three Cities is pretty straightforward; From Valletta, head over to Upper Barrakka Garden and take the Barrakka Lift to go down.
Not far from here, on the left, you can walk to the departure point and take a 10-minute boat to reach Birgu. Before starting to explore around, make sure to take awesome shots of the views over Valletta!
To visit the 3 Cities, I recommend joining a half-day tour, which takes about 4 hours.
Generally, such a tour costs around $40, and you get to visit all three cities walking around, taking the coach, and even the traditional Maltese “dghajsa” boat.
While you can visit the Three Cities by yourself, going with an expert local guide is the way to go for the best stories and facts about the area!
EXPLORE THE FAMOUS POPEYE VILLAGE
Popeye Village is a charming collection of rustic wooden buildings that were used as the filming location for the 1980 musical film Popeye, starring Robin Williams.
The village is situated in Anchor Bay and it’s one of the more popular activities in Malta where visitors can explore the various buildings made of wood and even go for a swim in the ocean.
While it’s mostly a tourist attraction for kids, I still had a great time, and you can find boat rides, a few stores, ocean trampolines, and restaurants.
SEE THE VIEW FROM DINGLI CLIFFS WINDOW
One of the best places to visit in Malta at any time during the week is the view from the Dingli Cliffs Window where you can marvel at the most dramatic cliffs on the west coast.
You’ll find Dingli Cliffs up north of the Blue Grotto at 250m above sea level, which is the highest point in Malta.
Other than being a stunning place to visit, I also recommend coming for sunset – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
You should know that it’s quite difficult to reach as there’s only a bus per hour and no parking lot, so you will have to park on the roadside and hike for 10 minutes to get here.
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CHECK OUT THE BEAUTIFUL GNEJNA BAY
Gnejna Bay is one of Malta’s hidden gems, nestled in a secluded cove on the island’s northwest coast, and is renowned for its unspoiled beauty and clear turquoise waters.
You can enjoy a refreshing swim or explore the bay’s dramatic cliffs and caves. With its stunning scenery and abundance of wildlife, Gnejna Bay is not to be missed on your list of things to do on Malta.
Lastly, if you’re a family working remotely, then it’s the perfect place to go with children – you can have a BBQ, swim for a couple of hours, or play badminton on the beach.
KAYAK TO QARRABA BAY
Located only 10 minutes away from Gnejna Bay, you can rent a kayak and paddle around the headland to get to Qarraba Bay and enjoy the stunning turquoise water and other-worldly landscape.
Qarraba Bay is a small lagoon that lies at the foot of Qarraba headland’s northern slope, surrounded by steep cliffs and clay slopes. It’s separated from the rest of Gnejna Bay by a little rocky headland.
If you’re not keen to go kayaking and would rather explore on foot, you can go hiking along the easy trail around the headland from Gneja Bay which takes just a few minutes and enjoy the stunning views from the top.
KICK-BACK AT GOLDEN BAY BEACH
Some of the most stunning sites in Mellieha is Golden Bay Beach and you just can’t miss it while ticking off your things to do on Malta.
The sparkling turquoise water and soft golden sand make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean sun.
Other than being a stunning beach, it’s massive and you can spend the day here playing volleyball, swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, and kayaking.
There are public toilets and shower amenities for beachgoers, and if you’re feeling hungry, you can grab a bite to eat at nearby restaurants.
It’s also possible to rent loungers for €5 and umbrellas for €4, so spending the day here during the weekend is a breeze.
DISCOVER PARADISE BAY BEACH
Malta is home to endless beautiful beaches, and while it’s far from being the biggest, Paradise Bay Beach is simply stunning and one of the unmissable places to visit in Malta.
The turquoise water is incredibly clean, and you can work on your tan, go swimming for a few hours, or rent a kayak to paddle around.
There are also public showers that you can use for 1 euro, rent sunbeds with an umbrella for 20 euros, and even buy a beer for as little as 3 euros.
Alternatively, for a proper meal, Paradise Bay Lido is a nice, delicious restaurant you should definitely try out.
All in all, Paradise Bay Beach is one of the top Malta tourist attractions that you can’t miss.
BOOK A TOUR OF BLUE LAGOON & COMINO ISLAND
Another incredible tour you can take is the Blue Lagoon and Comino Island Tour, two of the most popular tourist spots in Malta.
First, you’ll visit the beautiful Blue Lagoon to take a dip in the crystal-clear waters or simply relax on the white-sand beaches. Alternatively, chill on the boat while taking in the landscapes.
Then, it’s off to Comino Island where you can explore the island’s dramatic coastline, marvel at the stunning views, and even go for a swim in the ocean.
Comino is one of the most beautiful and secluded islands in Malta and a great place to visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet as there are no cars or roads on the island.
If you’re not joining a tour, you can get around by foot or by boat, with plenty of caves and beaches to explore.
Book Now: Blue Lagoon and Comino Island Tour
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DAY TRIP TO GOZO ISLAND
Gozo Island is one of the most exciting destinations you can visit on a day trip from Malta.
This small island is packed with things to see and do, from exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on pristine beaches. And best of all, it’s just a short ferry ride away from the Maltese mainland.
One of the highlights of a visit to Gozo is the Ġgantija neolithic temples that date back to around 3600 BC, even before the pyramids of Egypt. These impressive ruins offer a fascinating insight into the island’s rich history and are definitely worth a visit.
In addition, most day trips to Gozo Island will cover the fortified city of The Citadella in Victoria and Ta’ Pinu Basilica, which are must-sees on the island.
Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on Gozo Island. So why not add it to your list of things to do on Malta?!
Book Now: Gozo Island Day Trip From Malta
BE AMAZED AT CORAL LAGOON
For a little adventure away from Valletta, make sure to check out Coral Lagoon, the most northern point on the island and definitely one of the best places to visit in Malta.
Coral Lagoon is easily accessed by car and from the jump-off point, it’s an easy 5-minute walk across the rocky landscape to reach the lagoon.
This natural wonder is home to an incredible variety of marine life, including vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of fish species, and you can go snorkeling both in and outside the cave.
Also, you should note that it’s forbidden to jump in the lagoon, and understandably so for its height.
In plain words, with its idyllic setting and colorful marine life, Coral Lagoon is an unforgettable place that is sure to leave you amazed.
BEACH DAY IN GHADIRA BAY
Being one of the biggest and most popular beaches in Malta, Ghadira Bay is only 5 minutes away from Popeye Village.
The sparkling blue water and soft white sand make it the perfect place to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun.
There are plenty of activities on offer including, swimming, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and even jet skiing.
And when you need a break from the beach, there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby to enjoy a refreshing drink or bite to eat. Some even offer a reasonably-priced and wholesome lunch.
EXPERIENCE THE BUZZ IN ST. JULIAN’S BAY
One of the most popular tourist spots in Malta is St. Julian’s Bay which is renowned for its beautiful scenery, world-class restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
While it’s the typical vacation spot, it’s home to some of Malta’s best restaurants and there are a ton of nightlife options in St. Julian’s Bay, from high-class bars to chill Irish pubs and even nightclubs.
Spending some time at St Julian’s Bay is one of the best things to do in Malta and I highly recommend spending one night here during the weekend.
WANDER AROUND THE HILLTOP CITY OF MDINA
For an extravagant, quiet, and peaceful touch during the day, make sure to visit Mdina, nestled in the heart of Malta Island.
The city is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and narrow streets where you can wander around its historic buildings and enjoy views of the surrounding countryside.
When in Mdina, make sure to visit Palazzo Santa Sofia, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Mdina Cathedral Museum.
There are also a number of cafes making it a great place to grab a bite to eat after exploring the city.
In addition, Mdina is located close to a number of other attractions, such as St Paul’s Catacombs and Dingli Cliffs, so you can combine all these locations on a one-day trip from Valetta.
VISIT ST. PAULS BAY
Looking for a breathtaking place to visit that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated?
Look no further than St. Paul’s Bay, a picturesque town located only 16 kilometers from Valletta, and one of the top Malta tourist attractions.
You can spend the day here during the weekend, come over for a romantic date at night, or simply enjoy the sunset.
On top of numerous cafes and restaurants, you will also find Bird Park Malta, Il-Bajja tax-Xama’ Beach for a quick swim, and even a chocolate factory for delicious treats.
You can get to St. Paul’s Bay by car, and the trip takes around 35 minutes while the journey by bus will take around 1 hour from Valletta.
WHAT TO PACK FOR MALTA
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FINAL THOUGHTS – PLACES TO VISIT IN MALTA
So there you have it, my top picks for things to do in Malta. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, or just looking to relax on the beach, Malta has something for everyone.
Start booking your flights and accommodation as soon as possible so you don’t miss out. Malta is becoming a popular destination for tourists and is growing every year!
If you have any questions at all about Malta, please drop me a line below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
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THANKS FOR READING
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