Malta is a small but beautiful country nestled in between Africa and Italy.
It’s a country bursting with history, beauty and amazing things to see and do.
In fact, it's since become one of our favourite backpacking destinations!
Bradley and I spent 1 month in Malta, so we definitely had the chance to truly explore all the amazing things this country has to offer.
So if you’re wondering “Is Malta worth visiting?” then let us convince you as we offer you a guide on the best things to do in Malta!
Getting to Malta is pretty easy and transport links are very easy! Based on our experiences, here’s how you can get to Malta from some of the most popular locations.
If you’re living in the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, then you can usually get direct flights to Malta with Ryanair, Easyjet, Lufthansa, or Malta Air. Check Skyscanner for the best prices.
You can also get a ferry/boat to Malta from Italy if you wish to drive there yourself.
If heading to Malta from the USA, Australia, or anywhere else, chances are you’ll need to get a flight to a larger European country, then get a connecting flight to Malta. Again you can check Skyscanner for the best prices.
When it comes to getting around Malta, you’ve got a variety of different options. I’ll explain them briefly here, but for full details, check out my complete guide on getting around Malta.
Since we were staying in Malta for a month to live and work, we opted for Airbnb as the monthly discounts offered typically work out as a great deal! We got a 1 bedroom penthouse apartment with a jacuzzi for £600 for the month, and if you decide to use Airbnb you can use our sign up code to get money off!
But, if you’re just staying for a couple of days, then I suggest you stay in one of the many great hotels on offer in Malta. I’ve done my research and here are my top recommendations for hotels in Malta.
Okay, now we’ve come to the great part, the best things to do in Malta! All these different activities have been undertaken by Brad and I, apart from 1, but we had planned on doing it, so I’ve left it in any way to maybe inspire you….
Well let’s start with one of my favourite things to do in Malta and one of the best Malta attractions. Before we visited Malta, I had heard the set of Popeye was here. I had seen this movie when I was younger and my dad always did a great Popeye impression, but I couldn’t remember it fully.
So, before we visited, Bradley and I watched the Disney movie and when we visited the set, it was AWESOME. The set is actually set in the beautiful Anchor Bay, so it’s a stunning place to visit regardless of whether you’ve seen the movie or not. But Popeye is iconic and so is this tourist attraction in Malta.
We had SO much fun, walking around, eating popcorn, taking travel photos, playing mini golf, watching the actors and admiring the views. Since we visited in the winter season, there were actually less activities on, so I think it would be even more fun in the summer, but busier!
In the winter months (up until March), it’s open until 4.30pm and entrance costs 11 euro up until 3 o'clock. Your entrance includes:
TIP!: After 3 o'clock they reduce the ticket price to 7.50 euro. We visited at 3 o’Clock and we had loads of time to see everything before it closed at 4.30. So if you’re on a budget, then save a couple of euros by visiting in the late afternoon. Crowds will be lower too.
AND no, Popeye Village is not just for kids, it’s actually for adults too!
St Paul's Bay is actually the area in which Brad and I lived for 1 month in Malta, so it felt only fair that we should include it on this list of places to visit in Malta. It’s actually very beautiful and a wonderful place to catch a dinner, enjoy sunset and walk along the promenade for miles! There are lots of souvenir shops in this area too, and some great ice cream so a good place to relax and buy some presents.
There is also the Malta National Aquarium here and you can book your tickets to visit right here.
Mdina was a pleasant surprise to us. We knew it would be beautiful, but it’s even more beautiful than I imagined. Countless small streets, cobbled roads, cute coffee shops and a whole lot of history. This was one of my favourite places in Malta, and you could spend a couple of hours walking around this small old capital of Malta, and seeing the museums and other sights on offer. Popular things to do in Mdina include:
You can get to Mdina via bus or one of the taxi apps such as “Cool” or “Bolt”. OR you can take a Mdina 2 hour walking tour here that will cover all the best sights.
The Blue Grotto is one of the most popular places to visit in Malta, and it’s actually another location that the Popeye Movie was filmed (you’ll totally recognise it if you’ve seen the movie). You can easily access the viewpoint via either local bus or via your own transport.
It’s a beautiful view point and is best visited before 1pm when the sun will reflect on the blue water perfectly. When in season, you can do boat trips to and through the Blue Grotto too, but we didn’t do this when we visited.
The viewpoint can be accessed 24/7.
The Dingli Cliffs are the highest point in Malta, which doesn’t have many high points on the island. But these cliffs offer a fantastic view and look quite dramatic. Just be careful with the wind here as it’s quite strong and you could easily fall over the edge! The cliffs go on for a while, so just pull your car in wherever you like and you’ll have a great viewpoint.
You can visit via public transport, just get the bus to the closest stop next to the cliffs then walk the rest.
This is one of the cutest villages in all of Malta. Marsaxlokk is packed with most of Malta’s fishing boats in lots of different colours, so it’s very picturesque. Not only that, it’s also lined with lots of awesome restaurants offering outdoor seating with nice views. Of course since it’s a fishing village, then you’re going to get some amazing fish here. So if you eat seafood, you’ll love it!
On Sundays a fish market is held here alongside another big market, and locals and tourists alike flock to get some great bargains! We visited during the week and there were a few local market stalls selling unique handicrafts, foods and souvenirs.
If you don’t know, a catacomb is an underground burial site and the St Paul's Catacombs is the largest collection in Malta. It is truly fascinating and you walk underground around these catacombs, some of which still have bones in them. Some of the spaces are quite small, but there are larger areas and 26 to choose from, so you’ll be able to visit some of them, even if you don’t like small spaces, like me!
Tickets are 6 Euro which is great value. This is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Malta. There are a variety of other Catacombs in the area, but this one offers the most, so would be the worthwhile choice in my opinion.
The Mosta Dome was a pleasant surprise for us. I wasn’t expecting too much, but it turned out to be a magnificent church both inside and out. This church is extravagant and very beautiful. You can pay an entrance fee into the dome itself and have a look around for 2 euro, then pay an additional fee to go upstairs to the dome viewpoint which is quite cool.
Inside the church they also have an original bomb that was thrown into the church but miraculously never went off!
Your best option is to pay 5 euro which gives you entrance to 3 sights. The two mentioned above and the 3rd one which I will mention next.
Right outside and underneath (Technically) there is an original WW2 Bunker. Your entrance is included in the 5 euro price, or you can pay 2 euro to see this sight individually.
You’re going underground, so if you don’t like small spaces, then you might not be a fan of this place. It’s very interesting and there is lots of information about Malta’s time in WW2 and different items depicting the time there. Very interesting!
One of the unique things to do in Malta, and important! The war is a very important part of Malta's history, especially since it was the most bombed country in Europe.
This is a brilliant place to take a dip in the summer months in Malta, but when we visited, it wasn’t quite warm enough. But it was a lovely place to have a picnic lunch! You can park your car up for 3 euro at the closest car park but the road in and out is a little dodgy (most roads in Malta can be), so just drive slowly.
Entrance into St Peter's Pool is free and I did read online there is a free car park, but I ever found it myself.
Before visiting Malta, I didn’t realise it had quite so many temples and World Heritage Sites! But it does, which is pretty cool. One set that we visited was the Tarxien Temples, which were very interesting. These temples were actually uncovered by farmers, and little did they know they had uncovered an amazing complex where the history has been lost.
As you walk around there is information suggesting what the remains are for and what rooms could have been used etc, but there is no solid evidence. It’s a very interesting set of temples that I didn’t expect to find in Malta!
Entrance is 6 euro.
There are also other temples in the area which all date to around 3000 BC and 2500 BC, but we didn’t visit them all, but I’ll list a few of the others that you can visit:
This tour actually takes you to quite a few of the best temple locations in Malta and includes pickup and drop off, so a great way to see the temples if you don’t have your own car rental.
This was one of the coolest things to do in Malta, and another unique attraction that I wasn’t expecting. I love caves, and Bradley and I have seen some pretty cool caves in our time. Now it’s not as exciting as caves in say, Vietnam, but for its purpose and story it’s cool. There is a large and I mean large collection of bones that are OLD, there are remains of elephants, hippos and other animals that you would never imagine in Malta, it’s crazy and fascinating at the same time.
Entrance is only 3 euro so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Despite being surrounded by water, Malta actually has very few “sand beaches' '. Well, Golden Bay is one of the most beautiful and most popular sand beaches in Malta! It’s got restaurants, bars, epic sunset views and it’s a great place to swim in the water, or partake in other water related sports and generally have a great time relaxing in the beautiful Malta sunshine.
St Julian's (otherwise known as Paceville), is the party area of Malta and the place to experience Malta nightlife. It’s the place where you will find lots of bars, restaurants, a Hard Rock Cafe, clubs, strip clubs and more. You can do a pub crawl here if that’s your thing! Either way, there is a range of really cool bars, some slightly more upmarket and some that will give you 30 shots for 19 euro. Brad and I went for a few drinks when we watched the “Six Nations Rugby” and if you’re looking for a somewhat classy place to drink and dine, then I recommend Hugos Bar & Lounge as a hip and happening spot!
Sliema is another popular area in Malta and it’s a great place to locate yourself if you want to dine by the water. There is a large strip of different restaurants that offer you epic views of the oceans whilst tasting local delights and sipping delicious wine! A perfect romantic date location in Malta.
Malta has a few local delicacies that are produced only on the island. One of those is Pastizzi. These are like little pastry dishes and they’re typically filled with either meat, peas or ricotta. Brad and I had quite a few of the ricotta ones and we loved them. They’re usually around 50 cents so a perfectly cheap snack and suitable for vegetarians.
Another famous Maltese dish is their Rabbit Stew, which we didn’t try, since we’re vegetarian! The Maltese also produce their own wine, and they make fantastic red wine (I hate red wine, but loved theirs….seriously good!).
Gozo is the second largest Island in the Maltese Archipelago, and it’s the most beautiful. Gozo is BURSTING with stunning sights. Beautiful cliffs, wonderful walks, great swimming opportunities, and so much more, Gozo has it all. We’ve done a complete guide on the best things to do in Gozo, so you can get all your inspiration there. But I suggest you spend more than one day on the island if you truly want to see it all and delve into the charm. Gozo may be small, but it’s mighty and jam-packed with awesome attractions.
Before visiting the Blue Lagoon in Comino, I remember seeing the pictures of just how blue it was online and thinking, well, it’s clearly been enhanced, but I can tell you, it’s BLUE as blue can be. It’s absolutely stunning and if it wasn’t winter the water wasn’t freezing, I would have been in the water all day.
Brad and I took a Blue Lagoon cruise with Sea Adventure cruises and it was awesome. We sailed to the beautiful lagoon, got amazing water, they even had slides to slide into the water (Brad was brave and did this once!) and the cruise even had a glass bottom so you could see a shipwreck and lots of jellyfish! (The jellyfish prevented us from swimming much! :()
We even got to check out different caves which was pretty cool. On a typical boat ride you can also walk around Comino and visit the other nearby lagoon including “Crystal Lagoon” which tends to be less crowded than the Blue Lagoon, especially in the summertime.
But yes, even though this place gets super busy in the summer months, it’s still an amazing place to visit for the sheer beauty of the blue!
Malta actually produces some pretty awesome wine, as does Gozo and the main maker of wine in Malta can be visited for tours and tastings! We didn’t do this tour, although I wish we had, but it was a last minute decision and you need to call them in advance. This is the company here, Meridiana Vineyard, so just drop them a message to organise a tastings and tour of a winery on a beautiful summer day.
Rabat is the area located just outside the Mdina, so you can easily combine a day trip of both here. It’s home to some beautiful buildings and one of those is the St Paul's Church! It was closed when we visited, but it still looks pretty epic from the outside. There are also lots of adorable restaurants and cafes surrounding the church, so it’s worth stopping for lunch and a glass of wine in the sunshine.
Another popular place to visit in Rabat is the last standing Roman Temple known as “Domvs Romana”. You can pay to go in and learn about them in the museum, or you can look at the remains from the outside at the side of the road, like Brad and I did!
Malta is bursting with beautiful “bays” to check out, and another nice walk is along the coast from Bugibba, across to St Paul's Bay, ending at Xemxija Bay. There is actually the Xemxija Hill Heritage Walk there too which can be as long or short as you want it to be, but you’ll discover temple ruins and other historic sights. It’s a great spot to bring a packed lunch, take a walk and enjoy the views. Another beautiful bay that’s popular to visit is Għadira Bay, it’s got a white sand beach (one of the few of it’s kind in Malta) so it gets super popular in the summer months!
Valletta is one of my favourite capital cities in the entire world! Brad and I aren’t typically a fan of capital cities as they tend to be overcrowded, stuffy and way too busy. Not Valletta, this walled city is bursting with history, culture, beauty and it’s not too busy.
We could spend hours wandering through this beautiful city. It's super picturesque, not overpriced and there is so much to see and do. It’s literally bursting with history!
We’ve got a whole guide on the most epic things to do in Valletta that you can check out here.
Across the water from the capital of Malta, Valletta, there are “three cities” which are basically like 3 traditional fort towns. They served a very strategic position in the wars that Malta has faced throughout its history and they’re very unique. You can learn all about them in the Malta Experience, and you can see the viewpoint of them at St Elmo Fort. You can also take boat tours to/around them for a small fee and learn more about the history.
Malta is a divers and snorkel dream! The whole island has great places to discover unique Coral reefs. This is especially the case in the nearby islands of Comino and Gozo. You can take snorkelling trips through an organised tour, or you can head to the coastline with your own snorkel and see what fish you discover.
The sea water is quite cold in the winter season, but you can still snorkel if you wear a wetsuit. The water in the blue lagoon is warmer, so it’s still possible to snorkel if you can handle some cold!
Before I went to Malta, I had a few people tell me “there’s not much to do or see there”, and my god they are wrong. Malta is seriously bursting with things to see and discover, you just have to rent a car and find them. Rather than sticking to the typical tourist things like sitting at the beach, or visiting the Blue Lagoon (although still do that ;) ), you should also discover the real Malta.
I suggest you simply rent a car and drive in any given direction. It’s such a small island, that you’ll eventually get back to where you need to be, but on the way you’ll actually discover more random temples and sights that sometimes aren’t even marked on Google!
When we started driving around Malta we kept seeing signs for more temple ruins, more churches and more historic monuments that we had never heard about from anyone! By creating your own adventure and itinerary, you’ll discover the true beauty of Malta and it’s fascinating history!
I wrote a whole guide on the perfect 5 day Malta Itinerary, which includes beautiful Gozo & Comino as well!
Here are some of the most popular tours:
Because of its location Malta is actually a brilliant country to visit all year around. Bradley and I visited in their winter which saw temperature highs of 22 degrees C. This was perfect for us! We only had around 3 bad days of weather (cloudy) in 4 weeks and it feels like even temperatures of 17/18 feel a lot warmer here, than say if it was the same temperature in England!
Of course if you visit in winter too, everything will generally be cheaper and the crowds will be less.
But, the most popular time to visit Malta is definitely the summer. It can reach the mid 30s so it gets super warm and it’s no wonder people flock to this beautiful Mediterranean island.
When most people visit Malta, it tends to be for a beach style holiday and they typically visit for around 1 week. But if you’re visiting Malta and you actually want to SEE Malta and Gozo, then you’ll need a minimum of 5 nights, and 2 of those days will be in Gozo.
You can check out our Malta itinerary for detailed inspiration, but I suggest a week in Malta to really appreciate the sights and enjoy the sunshine.
I would describe Malta as a fairly low to mid-range country in Europe. You can get great value hotels (especially in the lower season), tours are very reasonable and food is decent too. Alcohol is also pretty darn cheap in Malta!
You could survive in Malta on around 40-50 euros a day, quite comfortably, perhaps a little more if you’re dining out a lot and doing a lot of tours!
If you are visiting the incredible island of Malta, then you’re going to need to take time to see beautiful Gozo too.
It’s bursting with awesome things to see and do, so it’s worth spending a few days on Gozo before you leave Malta.
For help planning the rest of your trip, here are some other guides that we put together …