Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the top things to do in malta for every price range {under €5}

{winter-spring 2012}

catch a historical art exhibition: until April 29th, 2012 at the National Museum of Archaeology. Don't miss this rare opportunity to view over 100 nineteenth-century Spanish damascene metalworks from the Khalili Collection. Free admission to Heritage Malta members, €5 for adults and €3.50 for students and seniors.

catch a contemporary art exhibition: until March 20th, 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts you can view works by Maltese artist John Martin Borg (they're gorgeous) in the Contemporary Hall. Open Monday to Sunday 9am to 4:30pm, and free admission!

travel back in time at the domus romana: march 19th, 2012. free admission as part of Heritage Malta Open Days.

see a miniature elephant: at the ghar dalam museum. free admission and tours on March 19th, 2012 as part of Heritage Malta Open Days.

get covered in confetti in the streets of Valletta: at the Feast of St. Paul on February 10th 2012. If you only make it to one festa all year long, this is it.

let off some steam at carnival: from February 17th-21st in Malta & Gozo. Let our pictures from last year's carnival (including Nadur, Gozo's, sponatneous carnival) convince you.

pop into a (quirky) agricultural festival: like Gharghur’s Milk Festival (March 25th, 2012) or Kirkop’s Ricotta Festival (May 20th, 2012) and sample some of Malta’s excellent local diary. Free admission.

watch the Malta Freedom Day Regatta in the Grand Harbour: March 31st, 2012. This annual event commemorates the day the British forces and navy left Malta on March 31st, 1979. An important piece of Maltese history, a gorgeous display of colour in the harbour, and a fast paced sporting event!

participate in Malta's Easter traditions: we missed these last year (we were in Greece and London for the Royal Wedding) but Malta's Easter traditions are undoubtedly some of the most fascinating cultural practices on the island. Be sure to drop into the cathedral in Mdina for some particularly beautiful decorations, or drop by a local village to see the Passion of Christ commemorated by a procession of religious statues. April 5th-8th, 2012. Read more here.

travel back in time at Mdina’s Medieval festival: we love a good excuse to visit Mdina, and last year this festival was just that. But it’s actually much more fun that it sounds. Last year we watched two knights in armour have a spontaneous sword fight, right in the middle of a street! April 14th-15th, 2012. Free admission.

celebrate strawberry season: at Mgarr’s Festa Frawli! Live dancing and singing, games, horse rides, and every strawberry concoction you can imagine (our favourites last year were strawberry ravioli, waffles and sorbet). April 15th, 2012. Free admission. Check out our photos from last year’s festival here and a video of the festivities here

i made this with our haul from last year's festa frawli

watch the sky light up: at Malta's International Fireworks festival (free admission). If you read our blog you know we are fireworks fans, and we are so excited to be on the island this year for this spectacular festival from April 29th-30th. Picture this: Malta's beautiful Grand Harbour walled cities lit up and giant, gorgeous fireworks exploding overhead. Pure magic. Watch a video of the 2010 festival here (turn down your computer's speakers first). We hear the best view is from Barriera Wharf on the Valletta waterfront inside the Grand Harbour. We'll keep you updated when the official programme is released.

{year long}

visit a church: even if religion isn't your thing you'll regret not seeing one of malta's baroque beauties. The mosta dome particularly impresses.

explore vittoriosa: also known as birgu, it's rich medieval history and quiet, charming streets are intriguing. Walk to the sea front for a glimpse of big yachts and a good look at the city's fortifications.

ghajn tuffieha beach

go to the beach: an umbrella rental is €3 + a small bottle of water is only €1 at ghajn tuffieha. Don't forget to bring sunscreen. Other sandy beaches in malta include Golden Bay, Ghadira (Mellieha), Gneja, Pretty bay, and Paradise bay. Rocky beaches include Mistra bay, Fomm ir-rih, and the seaside areas stretching from Ta' xbiex to Buggiba.

visit san anton gardens: jess' favourite gardens in malta, full of secret corners with turtles, peacocks, lizards and ducklings. Bring along a backgammon set, a chess board, or a book for a lazy afternoon.

san anton gardens

visit buskett gardens: a surprisingly lush woodland in the middle of malta. Perfect for picnics.

explore a village: hop a bus or brave the winding roads to drive or walk around a village you've never been to before. Don't forget to visit the local pastizzeria.

swim at st peter's pool: bus to Marsaxlokk + hike to this gorgeous swimming hole.

a luzzu fishing boat at the marsaxlokk market
stroll the marsaxlokk market on sunday mornings: grab fresh fish or produce straight from the hands that caught and grew them.

relax in valletta: eat gelato in st george's square and watch the changing of the guard and the musical fountains. We never get tired of this fascinating city.

explore dingli cliffs: to capture the gorgeous views don't forget your camera.

fomm ir-rih beach and cliffs

visit fomm ir-rih: you need a car for this one, but it is totally worth getting lost to find it. Disregard the "privet property" signs along the way.

take the ferry to valletta: itching to get out on the water? A few euros gets you from sliema to valletta in a couple of minutes.

take yourself on a fortified city tour: stroll the tops of the fortified walls of valletta for great views and lots of photo opportunities. Don't miss the little public parks you'll find along the way.

crowds beginning to fill up the floriana granaries at the isle of mtv 2011
see the Isle of MTV concert: every summer in malta this free concert draws tens of thousands with musical acts such as Snoop Dogg, Kid Rock, LMFAO, Far East Movement, Kelis, Lady Gaga, and more. See our pictures from last year's concert here.

take a hike: we loved the winding hiking path which starts at the fire station in st paul's bay, crosses mistra bay, and ends in il-bajja tal-imgiebah with views of fort campbell and ghajn hadid tower along the way. bring water  nd good hiking shoes - the path is long and tricky in places.

go to the carnival: normally held in february or march (this year it is held february 17th-21st 2012, see above for details), the maltese carnival is a sight to behold. with crazy costumes and fluorescent floats, it's a week long party you don't want to miss. check out the family friendly version in valletta and the wilder spontaneous carnival in nadur, gozo. 

valletta carnival, march 2011

visit the ta qali national park: pack a picnic or a good book and take a wander through the well kept gardens of ta qali. no dogs allowed, so best leave fido at home. 

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