Getting into the country: Visa requirements in Malta
Since Malta is part of the European Union if you’re from the EU, or the UK then you won’t currently need a visa to enter Malta.
If you’re from the US, then it’s good news too: Malta is a party to the Schengen Agreement which means U.S. citizens may enter Malta for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes. free. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date.
Our Malta Itinerary
I believe the perfect way to plan your trip is to split your time between Malta and Gozo. The first few days will be based in Malta, before we head on over to beautiful Gozo.
DAY 1: Valletta
Start your Malta itinerary with a day exploring the beautiful capital city of Valletta. Valletta is jam-packed with awesome things to see and do and you’ll need a full day of exploring to see it all. I’m going to list my top 5 favourites below that you simply cannot miss out on.
- The Malta Experience - A perfect way to learn about the incredible history of the island
- Lascaris war rooms - Visit the bunkers where the Allied forces planned the invasion of Italy!
- Upper Barrakka Gardens - A wonderful place to relax and enjoy the views
- St Georges Square - In the heart of the city, there's always a lot going on around here
- Republic Street - Great for shopping, eating and drinking!
In the evening go and check out the Tritons Fountain as it’s all lit up, then dine at the Valletta waterfront for a romantic dinner.
DAY 2: Malta
Day two of this Malta itinerary is going to be about exploring some of the other top sites in Malta. Now, there is a lot to see in Malta, so you will need to choose wisely, but thankfully I’ve done a whole guide on the best things to do in Malta that you can check for inspiration. However, if you're a bit more strapped for time, I’ve rounded up 5 things I think you should do ...
- Explore the silent City of Mdina
- Visit Popeye Village (visit an hour & half before closing for reduced ticket prices)
- Check out the unique St Paul's Catacombs
- Visit the Unique Tarxien Temples
- Check out the Blue Grotto Viewpoint
You should be able to fit this all into one day. Start with Mdina, and end with Popeye Village! You can use a car to get around or the Hop on Hop off bus services covers all these Malta attractions I’ve mentioned (but I will discuss the best ways to get around Malta below!)
DAY 3: Blue Lagoon & Comino Island
Today is the day you take a trip to the beautiful Blue Lagoon on Comino Island. You’ll also get to visit some pretty epic caves and other lagoons such as Crystal Lagoon. When it comes to choosing a boat company to go with, there is probably too much choice, but we HIGHLY recommend the company we went with: Sea Adventure. You can book your tour online (which is actually 5 euros cheaper than booking in person….we made that mistake!)
These tours typically last from around 11 am to 4-5 o'clock which is plenty of time to enjoy snorkelling, swimming, sunbathing and perhaps a little bit of drinking in the Maltese sunshine.
DAY 4 & 5: Gozo
Your final days are going to be spent on the beautiful island of Gozo! Bradley and I actually went to Gozo with the intention of seeing everything in one day ... we failed. We stayed overnight and finished our sightseeing the next day. Gozo may be small, but it’s absolutely PACKED with amazing things to see and do.
The island also has a lot of charm, and you’ll naturally want to spend the evening there and enjoy a beautiful sunset.
You can get to Gozo via the ferry which runs very frequently (every 20 minutes or so) and you can go as a foot passenger, or if you’ve rented a car in Malta, you can bring your car over.
If you decide you want to rent a car on Gozo, there are quite a few car rental companies near the ferry terminal who can sort you out with a car, or you can use the Hop on Hop off bus (bus I think this limits you as you won’t be able to access some of the best sights on Gozo!)
We’ve got a full guide on the best things to do in Gozo, but again, in the interests of this Malta itinerary, I’m going to list you 5 things that you CANNOT miss when you visit Gozo.
- Explore the amazing Ancient Citadella
- Visit the epic The Ta Pinu Basilica
- Check out the Marsalforn Salt Pans
- Visit the remains of the Azure Window, via boat ride
- Visit Tal Mixta Cave for the best views of Ramla Bay
Where should I base myself for this Malta itinerary?
This 5 day Gozo and Malta itinerary certainly has you moving around a lot, but presuming you’ve got hand luggage with you, you could move with it.
You could spend your first two nights in Valletta or Sliema (right next to Valletta) which puts you in a perfect position for Malta sightseeing and renting a car (if you don’t opt for car rental pickup at the airport).
Then on your third night, you could stay near St Paul's Bay as that’s where your boat tour takes off from, and it’s got a beautiful promenade with lots of great restaurants.
Finally, spend your final night on Gozo island!
If you don’t want to move around, then I suggest you base yourself in Sliema and do day trips from there. You can just pay for an extra night on the island of Gozo, or still leave and spend your last night on Gozo!
We always recommend you check Booking.Com for the best choice and deals on accommodation in Malta and on Gozo.
So there you go, that’s my suggestion for a 5 day Malta itinerary which includes a visit to the beautiful islands of Comino & Gozo.
Of course if you’ve got extra time and can stretch to a week, then you can spend more time exploring the other amazing sights that Malta has to offer.
I don’t feel like you’ll be able to get all you can out of a visit to this country if you stay for less than 5 days. But if you’ve only got 3 or 4 days, make sure you still visit Gozo, because it’s so amazing! You’ll find you will need to return as you’ll be surprised at just how much there is to see in Malta.
Getting around Malta
You’ll be pleased to hear that getting around Malta is pretty easy. Since it’s a small country you’ll not have to spend a lot of time or effort getting around all the best spots. You’ve got a couple of main options which I’ll take you through below.
- Bus: The public transport network in Malta & Gozo is very well established and routes run everywhere, to all the tourist spots, so if you’re sticking to the listed tourist attractions in Malta, then you’ll have no issues. Only problem is that sometimes the buses are a little slow (they have multiple stops), but if you’re not in a rush, then it’s not a problem. Buses are cheap too: 1.50 for a journey in the winter and 2.00 in the summer. There is also the Tallinja Card: Explore 7 days” card which gives you unlimited bus travel in Gozo & Malta for 21 Euro.
- Hire a car: This is the BEST option for getting around Malta in my opinion. Car rental is cheap and it’s the easiest way to take control of your itinerary and discover new places. Plus the roads are pretty easy to drive which you get out of the towns. Tip, rent a smaller car. Use Rental Cars to search for the best car deals in Malta & Gozo. PS, if you do rent a car, then these suggestions also make a great malta road trip itinerary.
- Hop on/hop off: The hop on hop off buses in Malta have like 4 different routes that take you all over the island, so if you want to do a lot of sightseeing in one day, then this is a great option. There is also a service in Gozo too. Book your Malta Hop on Hop Off bus and your Gozo Bus right here.
- Taxis/ridesharing apps: Finally, apps like Bolt & Cool can take you from A to B, but naturally this will be a little pricer.
What was our budget for Malta?
As far as European countries go, I would say Malta is mid-range. Accommodation can be a little pricey, but if you book at the right time, you can get some brilliant deals! Food tends to be pretty mid-range and you can dine out for around $20 per person including a main course and wine.
Things will be cheaper if you eat locally and stick to pizza/pasta dishes, but alcohol in Malta tends to be very cheap compared to other countries. Wine is made locally too, and doesn’t taste half bad!
Car rental and public transport are both very reasonable.
I would suggest a budget of $70-80 a day (including accommodation & car rental) for a comfortable time in Malta. A lot of the natural sights on offer are free, and honestly, the paid sites are at a very reasonable price too.
There we have it! Our perfect 5 day Malta Itinerary. I’m going to leave you with a couple of other tips which should help you plan your itinerary…
- Malta charges a lot of money for water when dining out (more than wine, soft drinks and beer- go figure) so bring a reusable bottle with you that you can refill.
- You might consider the Malta Pass which is great value if you intend on doing all the sights included.
- Don’t rely on Google Maps for bus times. There were quite a few times we went by Google and the bus had left 5 minutes early, or it didn’t come at all. Simply turn up and hope for the best!
- Most attractions and shops take cards, but if you do need to use an ATM, then opt for HSBC or BOV (Bank of Valletta) as they don’t charge for cash withdrawals. As always we suggest Monzo or Revolut for the best exchange rates on the market.
- If you are the type of individual who has a Unesco world heritage sight bucket list, then you’ll love Malta as there is lots to tick off!
- Malta mainly uses Euro, but in some of the “expat” areas such as St Paul's Bay & Bugibba, they can take pound sterling too.
Overall I think 5 days in Malta & Gozo is the perfect amount to see all the best sights and to get a real feel for the country. Therefore I think Malta is a perfect city break destination. Lots of people visit Malta purely for the sunshine and beaches, (which are great), but don’t miss out on all the amazing sights, culture and other beauty that Malta has to offer. I feel like people don’t see enough of this country when they visit.
Basically, if you’ve been to Malta and you come back with the opinion of “there wasn’t a lot to do”, then you’ve done it COMPLETELY wrong! But if you follow this 5 day Malta itinerary, then you’ll see that there is lots to see and do.
If you’ve got any more questions or comments, then simply pop them below and we’ll get back to you.