Best Things to do in Malta And Beaches in Malta

Last updated on October 18th, 2018 at 11:30 pm

In our Europe trip atfer Marseille we went to Nice in France, we head out to Malta, short flight to get to a lovely archipelago in the Mediterranean that is one of the smallest but densely populated countries in the world. It is 80 km (50 miles) away from Italy while Tunisia in Africa is 284 km (176 miles) on the west. We enjoyed discovering all the places to visit in Malta and making the most out of the things to do in Malta during our short stay in the country. To travel Malta is an underrated experience in Europe and if you know us, then you’d know that we love getting off the beaten path so we just had to visit this place. We will show you all the best things to do in Malta and our favorite beaches in Malta.

As an archipelago, only the biggest islands of Malta, Gozo and Kemmuna (or Comino) are inhabited by people. In ancient times, Malta was prized and protected by many different countries because of its strategic location. Now, what remains from these Roman, Phoenician, Arab, Byzantine, Sicilian, Spanish, French and British influences makes Malta a melting pot of history and culture. In fact, the country’s capital, Valletta, was dubbed a European Capital of Culture in 2018. This year was the perfect time to visit as Malta is on its way to receiving more tourists than ever before.

Come join us as we share with you our experiences traveling Malta. Here’s our full Malta travel guide for anyone who wishes to visit Malta during their trip to Europe.

How to get to Malta

As part of the Schengen Agreement, Malta has no border controls between most countries of the European Union and other European nations like Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Click here to learn more about traveling in the Schengen Zone.

By plane

Malta can be reached on a plane headed to Malta International Airport. If you’re traveling from the UK, Ryanair has affordable flights coming in from Liverpool, Manchester, London and Edinburgh along with other European cities like Budapest, Madrid, Marseille, Milan and Stockholm or even Ibiza island and Nice in France where we were coming from in this trip. A plane ride to Malta from Milan or Marseille lasts around 2 hours while coming from London takes more than 3 hours. There are no direct flights from New York to Malta and the trip can last as long as 12 hours. Check SkyScanner.com to see the best prices for your flight to Malta!

How to get to Malta city center from the airport?

There are buses leaving the airport every 20 minutes to Malta city center and the main tourist destinations. The bus takes 20-30 minutes and it costs €2 during the day and €3 at night. You can purchase the ticket in the office inside the airport or from the bus driver. 

By boat

You can reach Malta from Sicily in 90 minutes through a ferry. There are days when no boats travel to Malta so you should check Vertu Ferries’ website to know the schedule. However, it is actually more advisable to travel on a plane as ferry rates can get as high as €100 during the peak season.

Transportation around Malta

By bus

Traveling around Malta island can be easily done by bus. There are commuter buses outside the city walls of Valletta that go all around Malta. These buses do not follow precise schedules and go through heavy traffic so this may be a slower way of moving around the island. However, fares are really cheap especially compared to other European countries. A two-hour trip on a bus in Malta goes for €2 during the summer and €3 for night services. You can also buy 12 single journey tickets for €15 while weekly tickets go for €21.

Tourists also have the option to ride the hop-on-hop-off bus in Malta. Trips on these open topper buses start at Valletta and makes stops at many points of interest of the island. A free harbor cruise also comes with every ticket and the bus ride can be enjoyed with a multilingual commentary.

By taxi

There are white taxis in Malta that can be used to go around conveniently. Preferring to ignore the meter, drivers usually charge €15 for short trips and €35 or more if you’re going across the island. If you’re coming from the airport, expect to pay €10-30 for a taxi ride. A cheaper and safer option when leaving the airport is to use black taxis by Active Cabs, Easy Private Taxi or Peppin Transport where a ride to Valletta can cost €15-25 depending on the type of vehicle you need.

By car

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Our favorite option is renting a car since there are many things to do in Malta. Renting a car as we did is actually pretty inexpensive in Malta and gives you the flexibility to roam the island in your own time. You can pre-book a car online before you travel Malta or you can rent one at the airport from  Just take not that Malta’s traffic drives on the left side (this may take a while to get used to) and you’re good to go! We rented the car First Rental Car Malta just in case you want to check. Everything was great the service, prices and avalaibility in different points of the city. You have to give back the car with full tank as the same way that you will find. And they will ask for deposit before getting the car! 

Now be ready and careful driving for different side than your country unless you are from United Kindgdom you will find exactly the same!

By boat

If you’re going to Sliema or the Three Cities from Valletta, you can do so on a ferry. Keep in mind that these are commuter lines and are not especially built for tourists so make sure you know the route to your destination. There are also RORO ferries that go to and from Malta and Gozo with ports on Ċirkewwa and Mġarr. The trip takes 30 minutes and costs less than €5. There are also little boats with irregular schedules that go to Comino (Kemmuna).

You can also avail a charter yacht in Malta from small to mid-sized yachts. The Grand Harbour Marina in Valletta is the main site for self-hire yacht chartering companies with boats by The Sunseeker Experience and Yachthelp.

Best time to visit Malta

Malta is a beautiful island destination that’s great to visit in the summer. However, not all the summer months are ideal as temperatures can get pretty high in the island. The best time to visit Malta is from late May to June, as the weather starts getting warm and dry but not as hot as July or August. September and October is also a good time to visit as places are less crowded but the weather is still pretty pleasant and there are several events to attend during this time.

ATMs & Currency in Malta

Before 2008, Malta has been using the Maltese lira as its currency. Now, Malta uses the euro in its monetary transactions like most European nations. The euro is as much powerful a currency as the US dollar since €1 = $1.16 USD, more or less. Click here to check the exact exchange rate between the euro and your currency. Upon reaching Malta, you will find many ATMs in the airport. There are also numerous machines strewn across the island particularly in the main towns of Malta and at Valletta’s waterfront. ATMs in Malta charge around 2.75% per transaction and another 2% of every amount you withdraw. These rates are pretty standard and you can always ask your bank to know exactly how much their taxes are before you travel Malta.

Daily Budget to visit Malta

You might be wondering how much it would cost to eat, sleep and have fun in Malta. Fortunately, Malta travel is relatively cheaper than visiting the more popular countries nearby. As always, how much you spend really depends on how much you are willing to spend. For example, if you want to have an inexpensive yet hearty meal in Malta, be prepared to spend around €10-15. If you’re in the mood for something a bit fancier, €20-30 is sure to do the trick. There are also top restaurants that cost around €50-100 for those who really want to splurge.

When it comes to transportation, you can go on 12 rides on a bus for €15 while renting a car may take around €35 off your budget. Those who want to explore Malta on its waters must be willing to pay up to €400 for a private yacht. Day trips to Gozo or Comino can cost €10 return ticket if you go on your own and little bit more expensive if you are joining a tour.

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Finally, accommodations in Malta also come in very reasonable prices. A dorm bed can be availed at around €15-20 while a spot in a mid-range hotel can be priced anywhere between €50 and €150. For those who want to experience a luxury stay in Malta, top hotels go for €200-700. You know, you can actually have the luxury experience and privacy a hotel offers without paying hundreds of euros for your stay. You can try AirBnB in Malta and find places for €25-30! Click here to get €25 off your first booking with AirBnB.

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Things to do in Malta

Swim in Comino’s Blue Lagoon

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One of the biggest tourist attractions in Malta that people often see on Facebook and Instagram is the Blue Lagoon in Comino. This shallow bay is tucked between two islands and boasts of azure waters, making it a popular snorkeling and diving spot. From Cirkewwa in the northern tip of mainland Malta, a roundtrip ticket on a ferry to Comino (or Kemmuna) costs €10. Another popular option is to go on a day trip from Sliema, Buġibba or Qawra and spend the day at Blue Lagoon for €25-35. The boat day trip comes with a tour of nearby places in Comino.

Travel tip: Make sure to go to Blue Lagoon early as this place gets really crowded, especially during the summer. Get there as early as 9 AM and leave at 11 AM if you want to avoid the beach crowd. You can get umbrellas and pool chairs for €5 and maximum of €10 each.

Visit Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is a cave complex in the southeastern side of the island and is one of the best places to visit in Malta for its crystal clear waters and memorable boat rides. Located within the Qrendi village, the Blue Grotto can be explored through a 25-minute boat trip for €8 where you will see the many caves like the Cat’s Cave, Honeymoon Cave and the Reflection Cave, and a massive main arch. These rock formations have been formed by years and years of waves hitting solid rock and can also be enjoyed from the viewpoint above the waters.

You can visit Blue Grotto from Valletta by riding bus #74 and getting off at Panorama after 40 minutes. This is where you’ll take a boat to the Blue Grotto.

See the sights at the Upper Barrakka Gardens

For those who want to catch great views of Malta’s Grand Harbour, visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens on the upper tier of St. Peter & Paul Bastion. This beautiful public garden has a terrace area with arches built in 1661 and was opened to the public in 1800. Since then, many have marveled at the sights in the highest point of the city walls. Upper Barrakka Gardens itself is a great place to explore with its statues of notable figures like Winston Churchill, a small cafe, and gun salutes at 12 noon and 4 PM. The place is open from Monday to Saturday, 10 AM-4 PM.

Dive to HMS Maori

Those who came to Malta for diving will enjoy a trip to HMS Maori, a World War II wreckage in Valletta. This 115-meter long British destroyer was attacked by German aircraft and sunk at the Grand Harbour, but it was eventually raised to its current position at St. Elmo Bay. This is the shallowest wreck diving spot in Malta and has the main deck and part of the upper structure still intact. There are holes and swim-throughs in HMS Maori and it can be entered and exited from different points for around €40. HMS Maori is a great spot for beginner divers.

Explore Gozo

A great destination for families is Gozo, the sister island of Malta. It is a tranquil and more rural area and is the second-largest in the archipelago. Gozo is fabled to be the Isle of Calypso mentioned in the Odyssey and is loved by tourists for the amazing coastline and uninterrupted panoramic views. This is where you’ll find the famous Ġgantija temples and the Xwejni Salt Pans, and beautiful rock formations like the Azure Window, the Sannap Cliffs and Ta’ Cenc.

We stayed for 2 days going around Gozo and we can recommend you to stay 3-4 days if you have enought time in your trip to Malta. The best way to move around Gozo is renting a car to go around the beaches.

How to get to Gozo?

You can get a boat ride from the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal in Northern Malta. The trip lasts 20 minutes. If you go by car it costs €15 with one passenger and you have to add €5 for extra passenger. The great thing is you are only asked to pay the rate on the way back to mainland.

Where to stay in Gozo?

Our choice was The Duke Boutique Hotel located in Victoria. It’s a great hotel situated just 10-15 minutes from the beaches and the port via car. There are restaurants, bars and malls all around Victoria. The views from our room to the ciutatella were amazing! The breakfast is tasty, the staff are friendly and helpful especially with giving directions and tips on places to visit around Gozo.

Go around Popeye Village

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Popeye Village (© Francesca Turchi – Flickr)

Located in Mellieha is Popeye Village, an iconic film set that has been turned into a tourist attraction. As the name implies, this is where the 1980 live-action musical film Popeye starring the late Robin Williams was shot. As an open-air museum and beachfront resort, visitors get to enjoy the beach, the performances, the food and wine, the comic museum, the water trampolines and many more. The park is well-maintained and is actually even better than what you’d expect.

Take a tour of Casa Rocca Piccola

The famous 16th century palace of the Maltese royal family is called Casa Rocca Piccola and is one of the best places to visit in Malta. Today, it is the home of the de Piro family of Malta’s nobility. The beautiful house opens at 10 AM until 5 PM with 45-minute guided tours for €9. You might even be lucky enough to see the Marquis and his parrot when you visit! Casa Rocca Piccola can be easily visited from the Valletta Bus Terminus and the Grand Master’s Palace.

Visit the Old City of Mdina

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Mdina (© James Cooper – Flickr)

As Malta’s old capital and “silent city”, Mdina is neither boring nor forgotten. This historical site is where St. Paul was said to have lived after being shipwrecked in Malta. Mdina is also called the “noble city” because of all the impressive palaces, convents, monasteries and ancient walls found here. Fun fact: Game of Thrones did some filming in Mdina and fans of the show can go on guided tours to all the spots they used in the TV series. The narrow streets, the beautiful architecture and the horse-drawn carts transport Mdina’s visitors back in time.

Admire the beautiful St. John’s Co-Cathedral

Malta is a predominantly Catholic country, so St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta is a definite must-see. First thing’s first: What is a co-cathedral? Well, a quick Wikipedia search tells us that it is a cathedral that shares the same function (i.e. being the bishop’s seat) with another cathedral. Moving on, St. John’s is also a great site not just for religious reasons but for the extremely beautiful Baroque architecture of the building itself.

Visitors can attend mass during Sundays and feast days or take a tour of the cathedral from Monday to Friday at 9:30 AM-6:30 PM, and from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM on Saturdays.

Visit Palazzo Parisio

Like Casa Rocca Piccola, Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar is a beloved landmark in Malta. The architecture of the palace is a combination of Baroque and Art Nouveau and has gorgeous gardens plus an enchanting orangery. There are also wonderful places to wine and dine here like Caffé Luna, Luna di Sera and the Luna Lounge. The wonderful art and historical items along with excellent service makes a trip to Palazzo Parisio one of the best things to do in Malta. A visit to the gardens costs €5 while a tour of the house and the gardens goes for €15.

Visit the Ggantija temples

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Ggjantija temples (© Malta kalender- Flickr)

Literally “Giants’ Tower” in English, Ggantija is a megalithic temple complex in Gozo. It is said to be from the Neolithic age, a time when wheels and metal tools are unheard of in the area, and is the earliest of its kind in Malta. Ggantija is made up of two temples and an incomplete third one and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Legend tells us that a giantess who had a child with the common people built and used Ggantija as a place of worship. The site is open daily from 9 AM-5 PM with an entrance fee of €9. Ggantija is definitely worth the fee and is among the best places to visit in Malta.

Here’s a tip: You can visit the Ggantija temples for only €6 if you visit much later in the afternoon at around 4 PM.

Set sail for the Three Cities

Malta’s Three Cities is a collective term for Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua. These cities are rich with history as Birgu has existed since the Middle Ages while Senglea and Cospicua were founded in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Three Cities can be viewed from the Upper Barrakka Gardens but are best experienced on a day tour. Here, you can visit the lovely Gardjola Gardens of Senglea, the Maritime Museum in Birgu, the Vittoriosa Yacht Marina at the heart of the Three Cities, and the many forts, palaces, churches and squares in the area. You can take bus #1, #2 and #4 from Valletta to reach the Three Cities, a place best explored on foot.

See the Tarxien temples

Another impressive complex of megalithic temples in Malta is found in Tarxien and has existed since 3150 BC. The site of the Tarxien temples is also a UNESCO World Heritage site visited by many for the three glorious temple structures that are believed to have been used in rituals that possibly involved animal sacrifice and as a cremation cemetery in the Bronze Age. How cool would it be to see something like that, right? History buffs will love to see the “fat lady” statue often found in Malta’s souvenir shops and the informative boards at various parts of the temple that are very interesting and truly helpful. The Tarxien temples can be visited from 9 AM-5 PM everyday at €6 per person.

Visit Mosta Dome

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Mosta dome (© AllardSchager.com – Flickr)

Also known as the Rotunda of Mosta, the Mosta Dome is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. In fact, its given name is actually Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady but has been conveniently called Mosta Dome because of its location. So, what’s so great about this basilica? For one thing, it’s a beautiful church and is the third-largest unsupported dome in Europe. This impressive structure is a site of a World War II miracle, where a bomb crashed into Mosta Dome but did not explode, leaving the 300 worshippers inside alive.

Mosta Dome is open on weekdays from 9:30 AM-5PM, on Saturdays from 9:30 AM-4:30 PM and 12-4 PM on Sundays.

Visit the National Museum of Archaeology

Another interesting place to visit in Valletta is the National Museum of Archaeology which houses prehistoric relics from the early Neolithic Period and the Temple Period. Here, you’ll find an impressive collection of altars excavated from the Tarxien temples along with all sorts of tools, pottery and statues. The Baroque building itself is a beautiful sight to behold and opens daily from 9 AM-6 PM with an admission fee of €5.

See Auberge de Castille

What was originally home to the knights of the Order of Saint John is now being used as the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta. Auberge de Castille sits at the highest point of Valletta and is a magnificent Baroque structure with a central courtyard. Tourists who love architecture will surely appreciate a visit to Auberge de Castille. It is also a great place to just walk around as you go on your way to the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Visit Marsaxlokk

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Marsaxxlok (© Andrey Sulitskiy- Flickr)

There is a quaint fishing village in southeastern Malta called Marsaxlokk (pronounced “marsa-schlock”), a picturesque place where swordfish and tuna are caught then taken to the fish market in Valletta. You can spend a nice afternoon walking around or drinking coffee in one of the cafes in this part of Malta. There is also an open-air market and some unspoilt areas for swimming. It’s the perfect place to visit in the summer where you can just enjoy the sea breeze as you walk along Marsaxlokk’s streets.

Take a tour of Fort St. Elmo – National War Museum

Malta’s National War Museum is hosted by Fort St. Elmo and is one of the most visited places in the country. Here, you’ll get the chance to see items from the Bronze Age and some medieval armor, as well as information on Malta’s role in World War I and II. The George Cross medal given to Malta for its people’s bravery is also found at Fort St. Elmo. The awesome exhibits are set up in chronological order and can be enjoyed for a couple of hours at €10 per person.

Visit Ta’ Qali Crafts Village

If you are interested in seeing beautiful local craftsmanship during your visit to Malta, head on out to Ta’ Qali Crafts Village. It is home to a glass blowing factory, jewellery shops, lace, sculptures, handmade items and anything and everything Maltese that you’d be lucky to take home. Ta’ Qali is located in Attard near Mdina. There are also food and drink shops in the area, as well as the vegetable market called Il-Pitkalija, the National Stadium, Ta’ Qali National Park, and the Malta Aviation Museum.

Ta’ Qali Crafts Village is open on weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM, and on weekends at 9 AM-12 PM. You can take bus #52 from Valletta that’s 20 minutes away from the Ta’ Qali stop. Coming from Rabat on the same bus only takes 5 minutes.

Explore Valleta

The capital of Malta is a nice place to walk around. You can visit St John´s Co-Cathedral, there are nice spots to take pictures around the streets in Malta. You can also enjoy the views from the fortress, try local food, having a drink. There are buses going to city center and later you can move walking around. In the days we visited, the place was very colorful since it was the National Day of Malta. They were celebrating with music, flags and other events. We really enjoyed it!

Explore Għar Dalam Cave and Museum

Literally meaning the “cave of darkness,” Għar Dalam in the seaside town of Birżebbuġa is an important prehistoric site where animal bones, human remains and numerous artifacts have been found in the 19th century. Here, palaeontologists discovered fossil bones of dwarf elephants, deer and other animals as well as the earliest evidence of humans living in Malta. For €5, you can visit the small cave and learn about the fossils unearthed there. This is perfect for people who are truly interested in history. The Għar Dalam Cave and Museum is open daily from 9 AM-5 PM.

Swim in the natural pool of Dwejra Bay

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Dwejra Bay (© Matti Mattila – Flickr)

Located in Gozo island is Dwejra Bay, a site of many natural formations that many people enjoy visiting because of its tranquility. Aside from the natural pool, you’ll also find a cave connected to it. You should get to Dwejra Bay early to swim through the cave and reach the natural pool on the other side and just chill there before all the tourists arrive. Dwejra is a great place for snorkeling and you can even dive to the underwater blue hole found here. This is also where you’ll find the famous Azure Window of Gozo.

Enjoy the Nightlife in Paceville

Looking to party? Then head on out to Paceville, Malta’s party capital. After visiting all the amazing historical and natural sites all over the country, you can enjoy a bit of decadence and modernity in Paceville where bars, dance clubs, discos, casinos and gentlemen’s clubs are found everywhere. It is the perfect spot for the younger generation to meet new people and enjoy the good vibes shared by locals and tourists alike. From stylish bars with leather sofas like Twenty Two to the house and techno club, Shadow, and to Havana, Malta’s hip club with 6 bars and 2 dance floors, Paceville has you covered.

Take a trip to the famous Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum

A famous burial site dating back to prehistoric times is Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground complex in Paola, Malta that has been used for centuries. Visiting the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum is one of the highlights of exploring the country and is one of the best things to do in Malta. According to archaeologists, more than 7,000 people have been buried here. Just imagine how spine-tingling this place is! For €35, you can get a guided tour of the Hypogeum, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Only 10 visitors are allowed every hour to properly conserve the delicate site and the Hypogeum is open to the public for a maximum of 8 hours a day.

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Beaches in Malta

Mellieha Bay

 

Perhaps the most popular beach in Malta is Mellieha Bay, a family-friendly Blue Flag beach known for water activities like banana boating, canoeing, kite surfing, parasailing, water skiing and windsurfing. Also known as Ghadira Bay, this beach is the largest stretch of sand in Malta and is very accessible with public transportation. The beach definitely gets crowded especially on Sundays so make sure to visit as early as you can.

Imġiebaħ Bay

Totally different from Mellieha Bay but with just as much charisma is nearby Imġiebaħ Bay. The beach is not as easy to reach but is well worth the effort for its tranquility and unspoilt beauty. Imġiebaħ Bay is much smaller but it doesn’t get as busy as the larger beaches in Malta and is perfect for adventure seekers who don’t mind the lack of amenities and rawness of the place.

Golden Bay

Another famous beach in Malta is Golden Bay, located in the country’s northern region. Like Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay is popular among families because of its accessibility, wonderful amenities and delightful vibe. The beach has splendid views and is the perfect area to sunbathe. This sandy beach is also a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy barbecuing with fellow visitors.

St. Peter’s Pool

Located near the fishing village Marsaxlokk is St. Peter’s Pool, a natural water formation on Malta’s east coast. Though technically not a beach, you can still spread your beach towel on the rocks around the pool. St. Peter’s Pool is a bay with pale green waters perfect for snorkeling and is also one of the less busy yet unbelievably gorgeous beaches in Malta. This is definitely a place that’s off the beaten path where you can have a fun adventure.

Armier Bay

Armier Bay is located in the northern part of the main island of Malta. The beach is small but the colors of the water are so blue and crystal clear. It is easy to access and a really great place to put your beach mat down and have a swim during the day. The best way to get to Armier Bay is to drive a car to the site. Armier Bay is only a 5-minute drive away from Mellieha Bay.

Ramla Beach

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Before we saw the place with our own eyes, we didn’t know that Ramla Beach was actually a famous red sand beach in Gozo, Malta. Upon realizing this, we decided to spend our sunset there. We also enjoyed a few minutes of swimming until it got dark. It wasn’t busy destination and it’s a beautiful place to go hiking if you have time.

Hondoq Bay

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The gorgeous blue waters of Hondoq Bay make this place very special.  It is only 15 minutes away from Victoria where we stayed via car. As you can see in the picture above, it was quite crowded but still such a beautiful beach in Gozo. 

Għajn Tuffieħa

A wonderful gem among all the Maltese islands is Għajn Tuffieħa, a beach that perfectly combines unspoilt beauty with comfort and convenience. It is a popular beach among tourists and gets real crowded during the peak season but the breathtaking view and the crystal clear water of Għajn Tuffieħa is not to be missed. The beach can be accessed with public transportation but requires going through a hill to reach the shore. This is one of the best places in Malta to catch the sunset.

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Food to try in Malta

Try Malta’s delicacies

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This beautiful island destination has an abundance of seafood from areas like Marsaxlokk. In Malta, you can sample plates of local food like klamari mimlija (stuffed calamari), aljotta (a hearty fish soup), pixxispad mimli (grilled swordfish), Spaghetti biz-zalza tal-Qarnit (spaghetti with octopus sauce) and lampuki pie, a delicacy made from the seasonal lampuka fish (also known as dolphin fish) that are abundant after the summer.

Check out the pizza places in Malta

With heavy Italian influences because of Malta’s proximity to Sicily, pizza is a favorite among locals and tourists in the island. There are numerous pizza places in Malta, with Vecchia Napoli and Vecchia Taranto as two of the most popular joints that offer authentic pizza. La Cucina Del Sole is also a wonderful, scenic place to have a slice. People from Mellieħa love Tosca Restaurant while I Monelli is a Paceville favorite.

Drink Maltese wine

Since the time of the Phoenicians more than 2,000 years ago, wine has been produced in Malta. This rich tradition was strengthened in 1970 as more grape varieties were introduced to the country. Malta has two varieties of indigenous wine you should try: the red wine Gellewza and the white Ghirgentina. Gozo, Qormi and Paola are the best places to try Maltese wine.

Try gbejniet

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Gbejniet (© Colorgrinder – Flickr)

A very humble delicacy made from sheep milk is gbejniet, or Maltese cheese, that can be served dried, peppered or fresh. This traditional dish is something a typical grandmother will prepare and involves the use of rennet, an enzyme naturally found in hoofed animals, which helps turn milk into solid curds.

Have a plate of fenkata

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Fenkata (© Francesca Turchi – Flickr)

Rabbit (or fenek) is a very popular ingredient in traditional and authentic Maltese cuisine, and fenkata refers to the meal that typically serves two dishes: spaghetti with rabbit sauce and stewed or fried rabbit meat. There are specialist fenkata restaurants that you can try where they perfectly marinade the rabbit with wine and bay leaves. Traditionally, fenkata is a feast that expresses joy and offers the warmest welcome to friends and relatives.

Enjoy Malta’s pastizzi

A dish that you can find everywhere in Malta is pastizzi, the country’s small savoury pastries. Pastizzi is filled with delicious ricotta cheese or mushy, curried peas and is similar to a calzone, empanada or a hot pocket. While fenek may be the national dish of Malta, pastizzi is definitely the crowd favorite. Pastizzi is a mouthful of delicious yet simple ingredients that warm both the stomach and the heart.

Drink Cisk beer

Cisk is a popular, award-winning lager beer in Malta. Cisk Lager was launched in Malta in 1928 and is one of the most well-balanced beers out there. Cisk Lager has a 4.2% alcohol content and now has many variations like Cisk Extra Strong, Blue Label, Lacto and Cisk Chill Range. Cisk is so famous in Malta that you can even order a 33cl can in McDonald’s!

Eat Maltese sausages

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Maltese sausages (© Matthew Cauchi – Flickr)

Sausage that can be eaten raw, dried or roasted is one of Malta’s most prized delicacies. Maltese sausage is made from spicy minced pork, garlic, parsley and coriander seed wrapped in a hog casing. It is a very delicious delicacy that can be eaten at a restaurant’s platter of local cuisine.

Festivals in Malta

Notte Bianca

A celebration of Malta’s culture and arts, Notte Bianca in September or October is a lovely event where Malta’s historic sites and museums host fabulous exhibitions and performances while the streets and squares, along with cafes and restaurants, are filled with open-air activities. The best part of Notte Bianca is that all events are free of charge! Take advantage of this time to get to know Malta and fall in love with the island’s culture.

Qormi Wine Festival

Wine lovers and those who want to drink for less will certainly love visiting Malta in August or September as the Qormi Wine Festival commences. The celebration welcomes more than 10,000 tourists annually as the festival gives of a truly Maltese vibe. Here, you can witness a contest for amateur vintners (or wine makers), performances by local artists and other exciting food and wine events.

Għanafest

Things to do in Malta, Places to visit in Malta, Festivals in Malta, Għanafest
Għanafest (© maltaculture – Flickr)

Celebrated in Floriana is a unique music festival that honors Maltese folk songs (or għana) and welcomes other folk artists from the Mediterranean nations. During the Għanafest (or the Malta Mediterranean Folk Music Festival) you’ll get to hear and learn about traditional instruments, attend workshops and some programs for children, eat traditional food and have many more authentic Maltese experiences. The event is held in June at the Argotti Botanical Gardens.

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So, what do you think about Malta so far? It’s a fantastic country, right? Well, we sure loved our stay here and highly encourage you to visit Malta, an underrated destination in the Mediterranean! If you’re interested in learning more about our Euro trip, check out what we did in our trip in Greece visiting SantoriniMykonos, MarseilleSeville, Lisbon and Nice!

Happy travels!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. He believes in travel without money. Recently, he finished a bicycle trip, 9500 km, from Madrid to North Cape.

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