what to see in malta



See the Silent City: Hop a bus to Mdina, Malta's silent city. With its (mostly) pedestrianized streets and high rock walls, you'll feel like you've been transported back to medieval times. Situated in the center of the island, enjoy the panoramic views of the entire country from this ancient walled city. Don't miss the Mdina Cathedral and Museum and join locals for tea at Fontanella cafe.

magisterial palace, mdina, malta
the magisterial palace, mdina
Explore the Carmelite Priory in Mdina: a lesser-known tourist site, the priory and its 17th century Baroque church are a delight for the eyes. The amazing ceiling paintings in this church make it well worth a look. Go on a Saturday at noon and catch a live classical music performance in the priory's refectory. Read about our recent visit here.

carmelite priory dome ceiling, mdina, malta
carmelite proiry, mdina
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.

valletta skyline, march 2012
See Malta's bluest waters: Comino's Blue Lagoon. €10 return boat trip.

blue lagoon comino malta
comino's turquoise waters
Wander over to Birgu: and visit the Maritime Museum and Inquisitor's Palace. (Read our blog posts about them both here and here). A combined ticket for both museums costs you just €7, and takes you back in time to the Inquisition, the time of the Knights, and British Malta. Fascinating.

maritime museum, birgu
See a play or orchestra performance: tickets starting from €10 for orchestra and theatre performances at Teatru Manoel in Valletta. it's worth every euro to see this intimate baroque buildling alone.

See how the Maltese survived catastrophic bombing during WWII at Malta's WWII Shelters in Mellieha. A disorienting and touching experience. Admission €2.

malta WWII shelters mellieha
malta's WWII shelters in mellieha
Take tea or lunch in Mdina at Fontanella: we especially like their picalilly sandwiches and cakes + the amazing view from this little restaurant perched on top of the fortification walls of the ancient capital of Malta.

view from mdina
view from the walls of mdina across malta
See the Hal Salfieni hypogeum : book tickets weeks in advance as they tend to sell out quickly. Nothing quite prepares you for this gem of Malta's history. I promise you won't find anything like this hypogrum anywhere else on earth. Not to be missed.

the hypogeum in february

Take a private champagne tour of Casa Rocca Piccola in Valletta: we haven't knocked this one off of our to-do list yet, but this privately owned 16th century palazzo looks divine. Starting at 7 pm on fridays (€25 per person), the tour is guided by Marquis de Piro, descendant of the original de Piro owners of the palazzo. Regular admission is €7/adults and €3.50/students. And come on, champagne!

Visit Palazzo Parisio and have lunch or tea for two in the courtyard at Caffe Luna. Wear something posh (big sunglasses are almost mandatory) and feel glamorous for an afternoon, dahling.

ball room, palazzo parisio malta
the ball room of palazzo parisio, malta

Explore the jewel box that is St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta. The interior of this church shimmers in deep blues, reds, and (most of all) gold. Admission to the church and museum is €6-€4.50 and includes a visit to see Caravaggio's famous Beheading of St. John and St. Jerome.

st johns co-cathedral valletta malta gold walls
st. john's co-cathedral, valletta, sparkles with gold
See the fort on Comino: Malta's deserted island. The Din L-Art Helwa National Trust opens the Santa Marija tower to the public Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am to 3:00pm (or whenever the flag is flying!)

santa marija tower, comino, malta
santa marija tower, comino
Inspect the curious graffiti at St. Peter's Pool (who knew there were so many R&B fans in Malta?)

st. peter's pool malta
st. peter's pool, malta

See and be seen by the birds at Bird Park Malta. An unforgettable, intimate experience.

bird park malta
bird park malta


Watch the Malta Freedom Day Regatta in the Grand Harbour: March 31st every year. 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!

Malta International Fireworks Festival, April 2012
Watch the sky light up at Malta's International Fireworks festival every April (free admission). See our photos from the 2012 festival here.

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