what to do in malta



visit a church: even if religion isn't your thing you'll regret not seeing one of Malta's Baroque beauties. The Mosta dome and St. John's Co-Cathedral particularly impress. Read our post about St. John's here.

st john's co-cathedral, valletta, malta
st. john's co-cathedral, valletta, malta

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. Check out our photos of Birgu here, and our posts about Birgu's Inquisitor's PalaceMaritime Museum, and one of it's seaside cafes.

inquisitors palace birgu malta
the inquisitor's palace, birgu, malta

go to the beach: an umbrella rental is €3 + a small bottle of water is only €1 at Ghajn Tuffieha. Beach snacks are €2-€10. 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. Get inspired by our Maltese beach photos.

ghajn tuffieha (also known as riveria) beach
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.

visit Buskett Gardens: a surprisingly lush woodland in the middle of Malta. Perfect for picnics, as seen here.

san anton gardens
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: take a bus to Marsaxlokk + hike to this gorgeous swimming hole. Read our post about it here.

stroll the Marsaxlokk market on Sunday mornings: These photos will convince you to get up early and grab fresh fish or produce straight from the hands that caught and grew them. 

explore Dingli Cliffs: don't forget your camera!

dingli cliffs in august
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 (like we did).

fomm ir-rih
take the ferry or water taxi to Valletta: itching to get out on the water? A few euros gets you from Sliema to Valletta in a couple of minutes (prices range from €1.50-€3, depending on time of year and where you catch the boat).

visit Bird Park Malta: newly opened in 2012, Bird Park Malta offers an amazing opportunity to come in direct contact with and learn about 200 species of birds and animals. Read about our amazing experience here.

bird park malta
bird park malta

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.

see the Isle of MTV concert: every summer in malta this free concert draws tens of thousands. See our pictures from the 2011 concert here.

isle of mtv 2011
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 and good hiking shoes - the path is long and tricky in places.

go to the fair: every summer an Italian circus sets up on Manoel Island (Gzira). Expect to find thrill rides, flashing lights, pumping club music, and cotton candy. Open til late. See our photos of the May 2011 Fair and July 2012 fair (and be wary of that Fun House!)

fair manoel island malta circus
the tricky (embarrassing!) fun house at the summer fair on manoel island, gzira

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. 

walk along the Victoria Lines: easy access to this line of fortifications is found at the park in Mosta. Gorgeous views over the north of the island. 

the view from the victoria lines in mosta in march

attend a village festa: buy a beer and some deep fried snacks and watch the band clubs, the fireworks and the general merrymaking unfold. yes, merrymaking. a 2012 festa/feast calendar can be found here.

msida festa, july 2011

breakfast in Valletta: we love tea and lemon crepes at Garden 222 on Republic Street.

take a hike around Ghajn Tuffieha beach: best to avoid in the winter, after the rain, as the hills around this beautiful bay become slick with wet clay.

ghajn tuffieha beach hike malta
hiking at ghajn tuffieha bay beach

visit a lido: day passes available for under €10. Get all the water without the sand. Feel glamourous in big sunglasses on a deck chair by the sea. Fruity drinks optional.

visit Gozo: bus or car + take the ferry to gorgeous Gozo. A stone's throw from Malta but a lovely change of pace.

gorgeous gozo, march 2012

go sea kayaking: for around €15 paddle around one of Malta's beaches or bays. (Get the whole bay to yourself if you go in the shoulder season.)

kayaking in Paradise Bay

snorkel with the fishes: basic snorkel kits at Golden Bay beach cost €12. We think the best snorkelling spots are at Golden Bay on the far left side of the beach (near the rocks), along the shores in Sliema and St. Julian's, at St. Peter's Pool, and Honoq ir-Rummien (Gozo). 

explore Wied Babu: this lovely valley near Zurrieq is a great place to go hiking and rock climbing. Follow the ladder up and over the barrier wall, where you'll find a path that leads down to the valley floor. Especially nice in the Spring when the valley is in bloom.

hiking at wied babu, february 2012

experience Paceville: drinks and transport in, €20 will easily buy you a good time in Malta's wild bar district. Remember to go with a group and stay safe.

go to Comino: take a private tour boat to Comino, Malta's desert island (around €10 per person). Perhaps the most picture perfect place to see in Malta (check out our evidence). 

comino in april
go windsurfing: approximately €15/hour (at Għadira beach). Lifevest recommended!

rent a sailboat: approximately €15-20/hour for a 2-3 person sailboat (at Għadira beach). With all the wind on this little island you'll have no problem filling those sails.

go to an open air club: drinks, cover charges and transport in, €50 should do the trick for a night at one of Malta's open air clubs like Numero Uno or Gianpula (you might consider turning down your computer speakers before visiting these sites). Check schedules for internationallly known DJ performances.

Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta (included in your Heritage Malta membership)

become a member of Heritage Malta - €35 for an individual membership or €70 for a family membership provides free access to all museums and sites operated by Heritage Malta for the year (with the exception of the Hypogeum). Well worth it.

take a cruise: board a boat for a round-the-island cruise and see every inch of Malta's coastline. Most cruises also stop at Comino for several hours and lunch + refreshments are included. Approximately €40.

take a bus tour: a great way to see and learn more about this little island, with many companies offering convenient once or twice hourly services on several routes throughout the island. Approximately €15 for a 24 hour pass.

take a flight lesson in Malta: we recommend the Island Microlight Club Malta.

view from the island microlight club malta's flight lesson over valletta and the grand harbour

tour a vinyard or cellar at a local winery such as DelicataMarsovinCamilleriMeridiana or Montekristo. Some require a minimum number of guests so booking ahead is strongly recommended.

sponsor an animal at the SPCA: for €52 (or  €1/week) your sponsorship helps the SPCA provide food and shelter to a dog or cat that is unable to be homed. As a sponsor you will receive gifts and updates from the SPCA. For more information visit the SPCA Malta website.

visit a beer festival: Farsons Brewery (maker of local beer Cisk) puts on an annual beer festival at Ta Qali National park. See our photos from the 2011 festival here.

farsons beer festival 2011 ta qali malta
farsons beer festival 2011, ta qali national park

join a lido for the summer: starting at approximately €75 per couple or €50 euro per person.

visit the Splash 'n Fun Water Park: day passes start at €20 per person (read our blog post about it here).

splash n fun waterpark malta
splash n fun water park malta

take a flight tour of Malta: €90 for a roundtrip flight to gozo or €95 for a scenic flight tour of the islands. 

rent a boat or jet ski through a watersport company: if you're in the mood for speed, prices range but €100 should buy you at least a couple of hours on a rented power boat for a minimum of 2 passengers. Jet skis are approximately €40-50 per quarter or half hour.

attend a local wine festival: held annually every summer by local wineries Delicata and Marsovin. See our photo's from the 2011 Delicata Wine Festival in Upper Barrakka Gardens (Valletta), from the 2012 Delicata Wine Festival, and from the 2012 Marsovin Wine Festival in Hastings Gardens (Valletta).

delicata wine festival 2011 malta
2011 Delicata Wine Festival, Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta

book a spa package at an upscale hotel. The Fortina Spa hotel is popular amongst tourists and locals.

rent a luxury car to zip around the island in. Make it a convertible in the summer and benefit from nature's air conditioning.

splurge on a fantastic meal: the top restaurants in Malta include De Mondion at the lovely Xara Palace in Mdina (if it's good enough for Brad and Angelina, it's good enough for you!), The Gazebo at the Hilton Malta in St. Julian's, and The Luna Collection at Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar. Book ahead.

charter a motorboat, sailboat or yacht: from approximately €800-€10,000 charter your very own boat + crew for a day. Pack the boat with all your friends and split the costs or impress your other half with the most luxurious date ever.

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