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18 Best Things To Do In Malta

Updated April 2020, The 18 Best Things to do in Malta was originally written in February 2019

Narrow and ancient winding streets give way to idyllic Mediterranean waters, in fact, some of the clearest in Europe and the world– Welcome to Malta. Malta is the 10th smallest country in the world, and the 5th most densely populated.

With a rich history stretching back 5,900 years, azure seas, some of the world’s oldest buildings, and clear blue skies this little archipelago between Sicily and North Africa packs in a lot for its small size.

Three islands actually make up the nation of Malta– Malta, Comino & Gozo, all reachable by ferries that connect the islands. Each of the three islands has its own character and offers a plethora of activities and historical sites.


Planning a trip to Malta? Check out my 4 Day Malta Itinerary 


1. Take A Dip In Crystal Clear Blue Lagoon

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Blue Lagoon

This tiny lagoon on the island of Comino is renowned for having some of the clearest waters the world over. Grab a ferry or take a day cruise over from Malta Island and soak up the sun.


Book this €28 Comino & Blue Lagoon Day Cruise, including hotel pick-up!


2. Roam The Three Cities

These three ancient cities sit across the Valletta Harbor from the capital city. The cities consist of Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua, the latter’s history dating back to the Middle Ages. Check out the Cottonera Lines, Fort St Angelo, and Fort St Michael.

3. Let Your Inner Child Free At Popeye Village

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Popeye Village

Built as a movie set for the 1980’s live-action version of Popeye The Sailor. You can roam the adorable buildings, or opt to admire them from a viewpoint afar.


Book a tour of Popeye Village here!


4. Explore The Silent City Of Mdina

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St Paul’s Cathedral, Mdina

This fortified city sits silently in the middle of Malta, having been the capital until the Middle Ages. Visit old churches and catacombs. Don’t miss out on nearby Rabat, a short stroll away.


Check out this Mdina, Rabat, Dingli & Mosta day tour from Valletta


5. See St John’s Co-Cathedral

Don’t miss the ornate interior of this Roman Catholic cathedral situated in the heart of Valletta.


Start shopping deals on Malta accommodations!


6. Take In The Views From Dwerja’s Natural Pool

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Dwerja Natural Pool

Sadly the Azure Window that once stood in front of the pool collapsed in the dark of night in early 2017, but the visit to Dwerja to enjoy the still beautiful natural pool is worth the journey on a trip to Gozo Island.


Check out this full day Gozo tour from Malta including Dwerja Natural Pool


7. Chow Down On Maltese Cuisine

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Pastizzi

Maltese food can be hard to come by in restaurants around the island, but those who persevere will be greatly rewarded with delicious treats from all over the island. The easiest to find is the fried-pastry pastizzi. Many walk-up shops can be found around Valletta, St Julien’s, and other cities on the islands serving up these tasty snacks.

Traditional Maltese dishes to try include Tal Fenek (Rabbit strew), Kawlata (vegetable soup), Ftira Ghawdxoja (flatbread stuffed with Gbejniet {a local cheese} and potatoes), and Lampuki Pie (a pie of local fish and vegetables). Great places to head to try out traditional Maltese cuisine are Nenu The Artisan Baker and Ta’ Kris.

8. Check Out Fort St Elmo

The epicenter of the 1565 Siege of Malta, this ancient fort looks out over Valletta’s dazzling harbor.


Looking for an alternative to Malta? Try Italy’s Lampedusa Island


9. Explore The Ancient Ggantija Temples

These massive temples predate the Pyramids of Giza. Prepare to be amazed by these larger-than-life temples that translate out to ‘gigantic’.

10. Catch Sunset & A Fish Dinner At Marsaxlokk

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Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk is a sleepy fishing village situated on the southeastern shore of Malta. The village is known for its colorful fishing boats and tasty seafood restaurants.


Check out this half-day tour of Blue Grotto & Marsaxlokk from Valletta


11. Watch Sunset Over Dingli Cliffs

One of the best places to scope out a great sunset on Malta’s south shore from these cliffs hanging high above the crashing sea below.

12. See Malta’s Largest Temple Complex At Tarxien

This temple complex dating back to 3300-2400 BC is the largest temple complex on the island and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Take a half-day tour of the Tarxien Temples from Valletta


13. Admire The Architecture Of Valletta

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The colorful architecture of Valletta

Valletta is home to elaborate Baroque buildings. One feature unique to Malta and that can be seen all over Valletta is the Maltese Balcony.

Jutting out from the sides of buildings you’ll see colorful boxes with windows, these are Maltese Balconies. Maltese Balconies date back to ancient times and were essentially a ‘peep-hole’ to see what was going on outside without those walking by outside seeing them.


Check out this Valletta walking tour


Search Valletta hotels here & Julien’s accommodations here


14. Visit The Inland Sea

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The Inland Sea

Visiting Dwerja is a win-win when traipsing about Gozo. A few steps away from the natural pool sits the calm Inland Sea. The Inland Sea is linked to the mighty Mediterranean through a narrow rock arch.


Check out this full day Gozo tour from Malta including the Inland Sea


15. Camp Out On Quiet Comino

There’s more to Comino than just the Blue Lagoon! While all the sites on the tiny island can easily be seen in a couple of hours, a great way to experience the peaceful island is to camp just off of Santa Maria Bay. Don’t worry if you’re not that adventurous, there’s a hotel on Comino too.

16. Hike Beach To Beach At Ghajn Tuffieha

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Ghajn Tuffieha Bay

My favorite thing I did in Malta was hop on a bus to Ghajn Tuffieha and go for a hike along the gorgeous south-facing coastline here. Start at the ever-popular Golden Beach and trek over to the beautiful Ghajn Tuffieha Beach.

From here either relax and call it a day or continue your tramp to the top of the craggy hill separating Ghajn Tuffieha Beach from the unnamed beach on the other side. For those really fit, continue onto the secluded Gnejna Bay Beach

17. Xewkija

This small town was the very first village on Gozo. Don’t miss the massive Xewkija Rotunda smack in the middle of town— you can’t miss it.


Want a zero-hassle day? Book this full-day Gozo tour from Malta including Xewkija


18. Take A Boat Inside The Famous Blue Grotto

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The Blue Grotto

One of Malta’s coolest natural features is the beautiful Blue Grotto on the island’s southeast corner. Take in aerial views from a lookout above the grotto before hopping on a small boat to explore its interior along with other sea caves along the coast in Zurrieq.


Check out this half day tour of Blue Grotto & Marsaxlokk from Valletta


Where To Stay In Malta

Of course, you can essentially stay anywhere in Malta, but the most common options with the most variety will be Valletta, St Julien’s and Sliema.

Staying in Valletta will make transport a breeze but prices tend to be a bit higher.


Search Valletta hotels Booking.com & Hotels.com


St Julien’s has the most in way of cheap backpacker hangouts and buzzing nightlife (especially the Paceville area). I opted to stay at Egali Hostel (Booking.com | Agoda.com) with clean rooms, a friendly and helpful staff, and plenty of restaurants and bars right outside the door. St Julien’s is a good choice for those relying on bus transport, but many longer-distance trips will require a stop in Valletta to change buses.


Book St Julien’s accommodations Booking.com & Hotels.com


Sliema, located between St Julien’s and Valletta is another great option for lodging and is well connected on the public bus system. Sliema and St Julien’s are about a 15 minute walk from one another.


Shop Sliema hotels on Booking.com & Hotels.com


Have Questions About Any Of These 18 Things To Do In Malta?

Ask in the comments section below.

Need Travel Insurance for Malta?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

Need More Information on Malta?

Check out my Malta Travel Guide & 4 Day Itinerary. I also recommend getting a copy of Bradt’s Malta & Gozo guidebook to help you plan your visit.

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