MALTA.

Malta is a paradisiacal destination for a wonderful city ‘island’ break filled with sunbathing, lazy days spent on white-sand beaches, diving in the turquoise waters of the archipelago and exploring ancient ruins. It’s hard to describe the beauty of Malta with simple words, it just has to be seen. From the mesmerising limestone cliffs, through the mysterious underwater caves available to snorkelers and divers, all the way to 5000-year-old necropolis of Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, it’s a stunning place that will leave you breathless with all the wonders it has to offer. The capital city Valletta offers fascinating museums, excellent restaurants and wild clubs. All this diversity makes Malta a unique tourist destination, and while the island itself is not big at all, it tops many competitors in terms of content and amount of attractions and things to do. The wonderful Blue Lagoon is the icing on the cake, which makes Malta all the more worthy of a visit – if you’ve been looking for a place that resembles paradise, Malta is as close as they get!

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Malta

Best Period to Visit Malta

Accomodation Tips for Malta

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Malta

Getting Around Malta

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Malta

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Malta

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Don’t visit during summer

If you want to save a considerable amount of money before you even depart, make sure you plan your journey to take place between the months of October and May, or early June at most. Malta during that time isn’t as chocked with tourists, the temperatures are mild, and the attractions offer much better prices.

Stay out of Paceville

While you are sure to find an abundance of flashy advertisements and billboards telling you to go to Paceville for the perfect night out, think twice about doing so. The image of Paceville is overdeveloped, and the place is not as great as described, and, moreover, the prices are among the highest on Malta.

Take a trip to Gozo

While the island of Gozo is considerably smaller than Malta, there is still plenty of stuff to do there for free. Make sure to put aside more time than a single day, as there is so much to see that one day will surely not be enough, as there is plenty of gorgeous coastline beaches, which are secluded and free.

Take waterproof clothing with you

When packing before your trip, make sure to pack some waterproof clothes so you won’t have to buy them separately while on Malta. While some guidebooks often claim that it does not rain on Malta, it is quite the contrary actually. If you pack waterproof clothes with you, you are sure to save a bit on getting new ones.

Stay away from white taxis

Malta is not really as big to require using a taxi to get around, but if you absolutely have to use one make sure it is not a white one. White taxis are infamous for their reckless driving, ignoring the speedometer, and charging their passengers more than they are really due.

Stick to hiking trails

Maltese people are known for their questionable sport of bird hunting, which is legal on Malta during certain months. If you come to Malta outside the summer, which is a more money-saving alternative, make sure to stay to well-trodden paths and hiking trails, or you can get charged for trespassing.

Don’t go to the Blue Lagoon

While certainly looking magnificent in photos, the Blue Lagoon isn’t actually as amazing as advertised, especially during the summer. The Lagoon is most often filled with crowds of tourists who fight for a spot in the water, and, moreover, the admission prices are absolutely not worth the experience.

Try geocaching

A good way to get some free entertainment on Malta is to try geocaching, which is becoming a more and more popular activity every year. Since Malta has quite a lot of rocky hills with stone ruins on them, there is plenty of caches hidden in the countryside, so make sure to download an appropriate app and go treasure hunting.

Don’t shop in main tourist towns

While on your stay on Malta, make sure not to do any shopping, especially for souvenirs, in the towns of Sliema and St Julian. These towns are the two most expensive cities of Malta and are packed with overpriced memorabilia. Moreover, stay away from the restaurants there, as they have similar prices.

Stay away from traffic

It's a terrible, terrible idea to try to drive around Malta on your own. Malta has a very serious traffic problem, as the island has too many drivers and not enough space on the roads to fit all of them. Even the public transport gets frequent delays and is often overcrowded, so make sure to avoid it if possible.

Best Period to Visit Malta

Tourism

June to August is prime tourist season on Malta, which means that the crowds are the thickest around that time. The weather is also the warmest, and to be honest, just a bit too warm then. Unless very high temperatures (we’re talking around 31 °C highs) are your thing, consider the shoulder seasons – March to May and September to November, when crowds aren’t a problem and the temperatures are more bearable.

Weather

Malta is extremely hot between June to August, with around 31 °C highs. From September to November, the temperatures fall a bit, but are still more than pleasant, with around 18 °C in December (considered cold). From February, the temperatures start picking up, with March to May offering around 20 °C on average.

Money

Prime season, which lasts from June to August, is the most expensive. Shoulder seasons, which are March to May and September to November, bring some discounts, but nothing spectacular. Winter is when the prices fall a good 20%.

Events

Lost & Found (May)
Earth Garden Festival (May – June)
Notte Bianca (October)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

There are many advantages to renting an apartment on Malta, instead of booking a hotel, for your Malta city break. Larger groups will enjoy the added privacy and the option to cook your own food, while at the same time saving money by splitting the rent. But it’s the unique feeling of living like a local that truly makes it worth it.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

If you are visiting Malta on a budget, then focus on 1- and 2-star hotels. These offer you a place to stay without the ridiculous cost of high-range hotels. Prices for such cheap hotels on Malta start around $10, depending on the location and the facilities.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

Nightly rates for standard hotels on Malta start around $65 but may vary depending on the location, amenities and the exact scope of service. These hotels are perfect for those who value a higher degree of comfort – they usually offer the best value your money.

Luxury hotels in Malta

The most splendorous, lavish and expensive form of accommodation on Malta, luxury hotels, offer the impeccable quality of service, state-of-the-art facilities and the best possible location. Nightly rates start around $200. Those who will settle for nothing but perfection will be delighted with these hotels.

Getting Around Malta

Bicycle

Malta is not generally the most cyclist-friendly place, as it is filled with narrow roads and plenty of traffic. The local drivers tend to ignore cyclist, making riding the main roads dangerous. However, the less used roads of Malta, especially on the island of Gozo, where roads are still quite difficult to traverse, but the traffic is lighter.
While there is no bike-sharing programme on Malta, there are a couple of rentals and every city which offer reasonable prices.

Boat

The most efficient way to traverse Malta is to use the ferry service. The Valletta Ferry Services cruise between the Marsamxett Harbour in Valletta to Sliema and the Three Cities. There are also traditional wooden boats, which are not only cheaper but provide a unique experience.
If you are using your own, or rented, vehicle, there is a car ferry which operates between Cirkewwa and Gozo every 45 minutes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bus

Sadly, the once gorgeous vintage buses of Malta are now out of service since 2011, and have been replaced by regular modern buses, due to disabled access. Most of the buses originate from the bus station in Valletta, and spread to most parts of the island. The buses depart every 10 minutes for the most visited places, but keep in mind that due to heavy traffic in most of Malta, the buses tend to run late, and there are often long delays.

Tickets and Passes

All of the bus tickets can be bought aboard the vehicles, but there are also ticket machines strewn around the bus stops. However, larger amounts of tickets and day passes must be bought from ticket offices. A single ticket costs €2 from July to September and €1.50 from October to June, and is valid for two hours with transfers. You need a different ticket when travelling during the night, which costs €3 during the whole year. A block of twelve tickets can be bought for €15, and one can be used for two people. There is also a seven-day pass, which costs €21 for adults and €15 for children.
The ExplorePlus Card is a good choice if you plan on travelling a lot, as it not only provides unlimited transport on public buses for seven days, but also two free ferry trips, a trip to Comino, and a whole day of sightseeing with CitySightseeing Malta.

Car and Motorcycle

As mentioned before, Malta is horrible to traverse on your own. There are almost constant traffic jams, which makes even a short ride last a couple of hours, especially around Valletta and Sliema. Since the longest distance on Malta is only 27km, other means of transportation should be used instead. If really need to use your own vehicle, keep in mind that there is not much parking space available in most of the cities on Malta, especially during summer, and most of the larger parking lots are quite expensive, but at least fuel is rather cheap.

Karrozzin

A good alternative to using conventional methods of transportation are the karrozzin – traditional carriages drawn by horses, used on Malta since 1856. The carriages are a bit expensive and slow-moving, but provide a unique experience, and the locals who drive them will surely provide you with tips and advice. Make sure to haggle with the driver, as they are often willing to agree on a smaller fee.

Taxi

Taxis are quite infamous on Malta, especially the official, white ones. They are known to drive recklessly and not abide by the regular fare rates. Taxi drivers often exploit the tourists by demanding exorbitant fees which are not determined by the meter, and since Uber is not available on Malta, you will probably be better off not using taxis at all.
There are also two alternatives to the official white taxis on Malta. The first one are the Smart Cabs, which are small electric-powered cars which ride for a flat fare of €5 to €8. The other alternative are the unsigned black taxis, which have a better reputation and are usually cheaper than the official ones.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Malta

Gozo, Comino, Blue Lagoon, and Caves Tour

This tour is great for first-time visitors to Malta, as it packs a lot of sights and attractions to see in just a single day. You will be able to take a cruise to the island of Gozo, where you can traverse the sandy beaches, and afterwards, you can take a free lesson in snorkelling as you swim around in the crystal clear water.

Valletta Small-Group Walking Tour

Taking only small groups of visitors at a time, this tour allows the guide to pay a lot of attention to every single tourist. The tour of Valletta begins with a visit to the Grandmaster’s Palace, and continues on with the St John’s Co-Cathedral and Fort Saint Elmo, along with the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens.

Full-Day Quad Tour of Gozo

This tour will provide you with a comfortable method of transportation as a professional guide shows you around the island of Gozo. You can either drive or ride along on a quad bike, as the local guide provides commentary. Afterwards, you will be eligible to a free three-course dinner with dessert and drinks included.

Game of Thrones Filming Locations on Malta

Malta is well known for being one of the filming locations of the hit TV series, Game of Thrones. This tour will show you along these locations, some of which are not open to the public otherwise. A well-accustomed guide will show you on your way, providing behind-the-scenes info about the actors and the show.

Comino Blue Lagoon Full Day Cruise

Taking a whole day to show you the island of Comino with the Blue Lagoon, starting from Sliema, this tour packs a lot of attractions in a small window of time. You can enjoy snorkelling at the Blue Lagoon, and later on explore its caves and beaches on a small boat with a buffet lunch onboard.

Gozo Full-Day Jeep Tour

This tour only takes a handful of tourists at a time, providing personal experience and giving the local guide the ability to answer every question you might want to ask. You will be taken aboard a jeep, which allows you to see the sights located away from the roads, where regular vehicles would not be able to go.

Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour

Not only does this tour provide you with a range of hop-on-hop-off coaches which run twenty-four hours a day, but you can also opt-in for an additional boat ride or Bellver Castle entry. The double-deckers used in the tour all have audio commentary and stop at strategic places near attractions and monuments.

Explore Malta in a Self-Drive Electric Car

Being a truly unique experience, this tour will allow you to discover the Island of Malta at your own pace, providing you with a small electric car to take you on the journey. The electric car is fitted with a GPS system which will show you the way to all of the attractions located on the island.

Popeye Village Admission Ticket with Transport

With a reduced price for the admission ticket to the theme park of Popeye Village and transport from your place of accommodation, this tour allows you to save some money while providing entertainment. Spend as much time as you want in the theme park, which is one of the country’s main tourist attractions.

Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk Half-Day Trip from Valletta

This half-day tour will take you on a comfortable boat to the Blue Grotto, one of the natural monuments of Malta. After your stay at the Blue Grotto, you will be able to browse the stalls at the local market in Marsaxlokk, where you can find a lot of local produce and handcrafted souvenirs.

Other Things to See and Do

Valletta City Gate

While on your stay on Malta, make sure to visit its capital, Valletta. One of the attractions of the city of Valletta is its famous bastion wall, which was once the main entrance to the city, but is now preserved as a monument, and you can discover the gate and its walls in all of their glory for free.

Upper Barracca Gardens

The public gardens of Valletta city were built by the Knights of Malta and provide a gorgeous view of the city and the nearby landscape. Moreover, the gardens themselves are a sight to see, as they are packed with lush greenery and pathways, making the gardens a great place for an afternoon stroll.

The Saluting Battery

While you are walking through the Upper Barracca Gardens, make sure to come visit the old cannons, which were once used to help ships set their chronometers. If you happen to stop by just before noon, you will be able to listen to some recorded British martial music, along with a march of the military.

Valletta Fortifications

Since Valletta was mainly built by the Knights of Malta after losing to the Ottoman Turks, the city is filled with old fortifications and defensive walls. The city is built in a strategic spot among a rocky peninsula, surrounded by sea, and was intended to be an impenetrable fortress, which can now be explored.

Fortifications Interpretation Centre

To this day the layout of the fortifications of Valletta city is not sure to historians and specialists. Make sure to visit the Fortifications Interpretation Centre, which holds the information regarding the city's walls and defensive structures, along with a National War Museum located not far from it.

Church of St Paul’s Shipwreck

This church is dedicated to St Paul, who according to the bible was shipwrecked on Malta in year 60 AD. The saint is thought to be the first to convert the island to Christianity, and as such is a major figure in the religious life of Malta. This 16th-century church is a monument to him, which is free to visit any time of the year.

Vittoriosa

Often referred to by its original name of Birgu, the Vittoriosa was the first official base of the Knights of Malta. The settlement of Vittoriosa was one of the major coastal villages in 1530, as the warrior monks of the Order of St John came. Nowadays, it's a renowned tourist attraction with a lot of historic sites to visit.

Mdina

Being the first capital of Malta, Mdina was a fortress similar to Valletta. The city’s growth began during the Bronze Age and was a place of interest for Romans on Malta. The city’s importance declined after the arrival of the Knights of Malta during the 16th century, but is still a place worth visiting with a lot of museums.

Dingli Cliffs

Containing the highest peak of Malta, the Dingli Cliffs go straight down for over two hundred and fifty meters into the sea. Not only will you find gorgeous vantage points there, but there is also an attraction known as the Clapham Junction there, which is the largest collection of Malta’s ancient cart ruts.

Fortress Builders

While the fortress of Malta surrounding Valletta was reinforced during the Second World War, the fortifications have been present for centuries before. Originally built by the Knights of St John, Fortress Builders is dedicated to showcasing the military architecture of the city.

Marsaxlokk

Take a walk through the town of Marsaxlokk, known for its traditional local marketplace. The town is filled with colourful fishing boats, which are in use to this day. Make sure to visit the harbour front of the town, as it is filled with lines of small stalls and restaurants serving fresh fish caught by the locals.

Village Festa

The locals of Malta are known far and wide for their love of partying. Every parish of the island has its own festa, which is a celebration of its patron saint. During that time, the streets of the cities are decorated with colourful banners and decorative lights, as families go out to celebrate.

Dwejra Point

Located on the island of Gozo, the Dwejra Point is a great place to go if you want to see the beauty of nature in all of its glory. One of the highlights of the place is the Azure Window, which is a scenic arch formed by natural erosion, provoked by waves crashing on the rocks.

Mosta Dome

Built in 1860, the Mosta Dome is the fourth largest dome in the entire world. The dome was damaged by a bomb dropped during World War Two, but fortunately, the bomb failed to explode, saving the lives of the people who were attending mass at the time. Nowadays, a similar bomb can be seen on display there.

Xlendi Bay

Located on the island of Gozo, the Xlendi Bay is an excellent place to start your journey with snorkelling if you are a beginner. The water of the Xlendi Bay is not as deep as in other places of the island, but there is still a lot to see there, with vibrant marine life swimming around in the crystal clear water.

Mgarr Ix-Xini Cove

With a secluded location on the island of Gozo, the cove of Mgarr ix-Xini is a great place to visit if you are looking for a private, tranquil spot to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. The cove features some great spots for snorkelling too, with or without a guide.

Selmun Bay

While Malta is filled with plenty of gorgeous coastline beaches, most of them are packed with crowds of both tourists and locals, especially during summer, making the experience rather unpleasant. Instead, come down to the Selmun Bay, which is a secluded location, as the way down to the beach is very steep and bumpy.

Mdina Glass Factory

Located in the Ta’ Qali Craft Village, the glass blowing industry of Malta flourishes. While the industry is still relatively new to Malta, the gorgeous glass products have quickly become a cherished commodity among the locals. While buying your own souvenirs sure costs money, you can still gaze at the beautiful glass sculptures.

Sliema’s Promenade

One of the best spots on all of Malta for a jog or an evening walk is the promenade of Sliema, a long stretch of pavement along the coastline. The promenade is a favoured spot by the locals, who often flock to the stone road, and it is filled with small-time ice cream parlors providing cheap gelato.

Fomm ir-Rih

Located on the western coast of Malta, the bay of Fomm ir-Rih translates roughly to "wind's mouth". The rock formation is a unique place to visit, filled with steep cliffs and small beaches resting next to each other, and the difficult path to reach it makes it a secluded spot often skipped by most tourists.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Malta city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Malta are: Grand Hotel Excelsior Valletta, InterContinental Malta, Hilton Malta, Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa and The Palace - AX Hotels. Discover the full list of best hotels in Malta.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Malta?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Malta include The Westin Dragonara Resort, Dolmen Hotel Malta, Radisson Blu Resort Malta St Julian's, The Preluna Hotel, Qawra Palace Hotel, Marina Hotel Corinthia Beach Resort Malta and Paradise Bay Hotel Mellieha. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Malta.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Malta?

    Those trying to visit Malta on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Sliema Marina Hotel, Hotel Valentina St Julians, Plaza Regency Hotels, Luna Holiday Complex, Sunflower Hotel St Pauls Bay, Beach Garden Hotel St Julians and Mellieha Holiday Centre. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Malta.

  • What is the best period to visit Malta for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Malta for a city break are March, April, May and September.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Malta?

    Malta offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Malta include: Gozo, Comino, Blue Lagoon, and Caves Tour, Valletta Small-Group Walking Tour, Full-Day Quad Tour of Gozo, Comino Blue Lagoon Full Day Cruise and City Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour.

  • How much does an Malta city pass cost?

    A city pass in Malta costs around €28.

  • How much does public transport in Malta cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Malta costs around €6.50.

  • What are the best night clubs in Malta?

    The best night clubs in Malta include: Havana 808, Level 22, Hugo’s Shadow Lounge, Sky Club and Numero Uno.

  • What are the best bars in Malta?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Malta are: Plough & Anchor Pub, Simon's Pub, Legligin, City Bar and Bedouin Bar.

  • What are the best places to eat in Malta?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Malta may vary depending on your taste, however, Guzé Bistro, Medina, Rampila and Palazzo Preca are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Malta?

    Top 5 restaurants in Malta include: Taproom, Patrick’s Lounge, Sciacca Grill, Tartarun and La Vecchia Napoli.