Malta is all about their history, sea, great food, Maltese culture, stunning architecture, and much more. The archipelago is all about cute towns and villages and is next to Sicily and Africa.
Malta consists of three smaller islands in complete form: Malta, Comino, and Gozo. This is one of the most preferred holiday destinations in the Sea of the Mediterranean. This is home to many UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The Maltese Islands are very picturesque. This is a paradise for travelers, history buffs, foodies, and adventure junkies. Below is a list of 15 things to do in Malta.
There is so much historic architecture. You can find ruins of the Second World War and wonders of the Knights of St. John. They also have great scuba dive sites on the continent, swimming, watersports, and the infamous Blue Hole.
1. The Unknown History of Malta
Malta has a great and long, fascinating history. Malta’s history goes back to almost 5900 BC. Malta Island was first inhabited by farmers until it was uninhabitable.
Then, it was later re-inhabited by a civilization in 3850 BC. They built the unique Megalithic temples, which still stand to this date. This civilization later deteriorated by 2350 BC. It was later taken by the Bronze Age warriors.
The prehistory of Malta ended in 700 BC as Phoenicians took over. They later ruled Malta until 218 BC, which eventually went to the Roman Republic. The island was acquired by East Romans, aka Byzantine, in the 6th AD.
They were then thrown out by Aghlabids after a siege in 870. Malta was very populated by Arabs in the 11th century. Then, it was captured in 1901 by Sicily’s Norman County, and Christianization happened.
Later, in 1503, it was given to the Order of St. John, who ruled Sicily. They ruled for more than 2-3 centuries, which helped art, architecture, and culture in Malta’s history. The Order was later expelled by the French invaders in 1798.
The French rule ended after within a few months after the Maltese rebelled and expelled them in 1800 with British and Portuguese help. It was then protected by the British. It was then attacked by other powers during World War II.
In 1964, it was proclaimed an independent realm and became a republic in 1974.
2. How to Reach Malta?
Getting to This island is easy as it has a big and busy airport. They do have direct flights to Malta from all parts of Europe. You can get flights with Easy Jet, Lufthansa, and more.
But if you are coming from Australia, the USA, or anywhere, you need to take a flight to any major European country and then take a connecting flight to Maltese Island.
You can also have a ferry ride or boat ride from Sicily or Italy to the Maltese coast. You can even take your campervan and car along with it on the ferry.
3. How to Get around the Island?
The whole of the island is connected via public transport. It is very affordable and easily accessible. The buses here are known as hop-on-off buses. Most of the main attractions are connected by these buses.
Another way to go around also includes renting a car from a car rental as it is very flexible and can go anywhere you wish. Make sure to drive on the left-hand side of the road, as it is the rule here. There are also taxi apps and ridesharing to save up.
Other options include a taxi, ferry, and water cab to go island hopping across Malta. The boat trips between the capital city, Valletta, and Sliema take 15 minutes every 30 minutes.
4. Which is the Best Season to visit Malta?
This is one popular summer holiday destination. The weather here is just perfect all across the year. The summers are hot, dry, and sweaty; winters are a little cold with a little warmth. It can be crowded during the summer.
During winter, it is usually cheaper and less crowded. You get to see all the places with less noise and people. During summer, the beaches here are the star attractions, and they can sometimes be crowded and sweaty.
But most visitors prefer to visit Malta during the spring or the fall. Below is a list of things to do in Malta.
5. Explore the Top 15 Things to do in Malta
The entire island has so many activities to do that it can’t be completed on one trip. There is so much history and beauty to enjoy for all. No matter what your taste is. Below are the top 15 things to do in Malta.
5.1. Explore the Capital City, Valletta
The Capital city is on a peninsula on the eastern island. It is also a historic fortified city. Maltese has UNESCO World Heritage status. Valletta also has been the base of Knights of Saint. John. It is one of the common things to do in Malta.
This city is irreplaceable. The city is all about ancient history, cafes, restaurants, stunning architecture, and gorgeous alleys. Also, explore Fort Saint. Elmo. Angle, and much more. Make a day trip to explore the whole city. You can rent cars from the car rental here.
Some of the great places to visit include the Grand Harbour, Barrakka Gardens, St. John Cathedral, Casa Rocca Piccola, Lascaris war rooms, national theatre Teatru Manoel, and so much more. You can also do various water sports here.
5.1.1. St. John’s Co-Cathedral
This church is the heart of the city. It was made by the Knights of John’s in 1577. It is decorated with ornate baroque art and frescoes. You can also find marble floors in St. John’s Cathedral, with more than 400 monuments to honor the knights.
The cathedral is also one of the prettiest churches on the continent. The frescoes here tell the key scenes in the Bible. The Baroque designs display a mix of marble, paint, and gold.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral is also home to 2 paintings of Caravaggio. You can find guided visits and audio guides.
5.1.2. Grand Harbour
This famous port is called the Port of Valletta. It is in the city of Valletta and faces the three cities of Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa. This is also one of the most significant sites in Malta.
The famous Grand Harbour has existed since prehistoric times. It has been a base site of the Knights of Saint. John. Many battles have been fought here.
You can get short boat tours from Grand Harbour to the three Maltese cities or Sliema from the waterfront, also known as Pinto Wharf, which has been preserved and loved by tourists and locals alike.
Many warehouses at Grand Harbour have been turned into tourist complexes for visitors to spend some time in. It includes Shops, cafes, restaurants, and much more. There are many nightclubs in Valletta where you can have a great night.
5.1.3. Various Museums
There are several museums on this small island. Each of the museums is different from the others and has something new. These museums include the National Archaeology Museum, Maritime Museum, National War Museum, Museum of Natural History, and MUZA.
The National Archaeology Museum is all about historical artifacts from the Bronze Age to Phoenician times across the country. There are many statues, Maltese furniture, altar stones, jewelry, and works of art. Visit these; they are some of the most loved things in Malta.
The National Nature History Museum covers local geology, human evolution, marine fauna, and flora. It is situated in the 18th-century Parisian Baroque Vilhena Palace.
Muza is the artwork museum in Valletta that displays the works of many foreign and Maltese artists. It was called the museum of Arts. This is perfect for a person who loves art and wants to know more about history through art.
5.1.4. Barrakka Gardens and Lascaris war rooms
The Barrakka Gardens are close to Valletta and are one of the scenic gardens. It has the best view of the island. Upper Barrakka Gardens oversees the three cities of Malta and the Grand Harbour.
Stroll around the Barrakka gardens and then take a detour to the well-hidden Second World War bunks. These bunkers are almost 45 meters below the ground and are known as Lascaris War Rooms.
These World War rooms included the chambers used as a strategic headquarters where the defense team made plans to save Malta during the war. It is one of the unique things in Malta.
5.2. Spend some time at Blue Lagoon
This natural beauty is one of the most iconic places in Malta. This Maltese blue lagoon is on western Comino Island. It is hidden by the limestone cliffs and the islets of Cominotto. The water in Blue Lagoon is so blue that even blue doesn’t cover it.
The sandy bottom of Blue Lagoon makes it one of the best places to swim and go snorkeling with great marine life. The caves just add a zest to the lagoon.
You can also go on a boat ride in the blue lagoon and stay at the only hotel on the tiny island, the Comino Hotel. It is also one of the great things to do in Malta.
5.3. Horse Riding by the Golden Bay
The soft sandy beaches and high towering cliffs make up the north of Malta. It is known as Golden Bay. The best way to enjoy the beauty here is to go on horse riding. There are other options for day trips.
These rides have been happening for almost 30 years. It is also one of the best places to see the sunset. There are also trekking and hiking happening every day. You can also go to Golden Bay beach.
You can see the views of Gozo from afar. Horse riding is for all, and it is one pretty sight in Malta. Seeing the sunset here is one of the preferred things to do in Malta.
5.4. Visit the Old capital, Mdina.
The old city, Mdina, has a great history. It is often referred to as the Silent City. It was the capital from the Middle Ages to 1565. The architecture here includes styles of Medieval Baroque designs. All sights are within the walking distance.
There is calmness in the atmosphere of this silent city. The town has only about 300 residents, and the rest are tourists. This is the area where the first season of Game of Thrones was shot. For the GoT buffs, it is the ideal getaway place.
The whole silent city is in a fort, and you can stroll around the streets. You get to try the great cuisines from the cafes and restaurants. You can also get to visit the Museum and Theater of Knights of Malta in Mdina. Touring here is also one of the things to do in Malta.
5.5. Visit the Iconic Malta National Aquarium
This Maltese Island has great marine fauna. There is also a national aquarium that can be entertaining and informative at the same time. It is in Qawra town, on the Northwestern side.
The National Aquarium is home to 175 or so different species of marine life. There are certain types of species found all around Malta. There are also some exotic species, such as amphibians and reptiles. It can be one of the most magical things to do in Malta. Families with kids often preferred to visit the Malta National Aquarium.
5.6. See the old set of Popeye Village
This was once the set of the infamous Musical ‘Popeye’ of 1980. It is one of the most unique tourist sites on the islands of Malta. The Popeye village is also called Sweet Haven Village. It is in Anchor Bay, a short distance from Mellieha.
You are greeted by Popeye himself and his friends in the Popeye village. Boat rides, sunbathing, and wines for adults are also available. There are water trampolines and even a mini-golf course. It is one of the best things to do in Malta.
The Popeye village has a certain time for tourists to visit during summer. There are also certain entry fees for adults and children, respectively. You also get to see animation shows and movies.
5.7. Visit the great Blue Grotto
It is one such beautiful natural cave on the island. Blue Grotto is near Qrendi, on the south coast. It is also known as Taht il-Hnejja. The cave here has a limestone arch with turquoise water.
While the cave at Blue Grotto is free to see from the viewpoint, the best site to see the caves is to get on a traditional luzzu boat. They depart from Wied Zurrieq and go all the way to Blue Grotto and the other 6 sea caves.
Blue Grotto is one popular tourist attraction in Malta. It is almost an hour away from Valletta. This is also one of the places where you can go hiking, scuba dive, and go swimming in the waters. Visiting here is one of the most loved things to do in Malta.
5.8. Explore the Gozo Island
This island is called the sister of Malta. It is the 2nd biggest Maltese island. The highlight of this place is the rugged coast, sandy beaches, and inland sea. The cultural activities here are also very well-known.
The island also has a slow and laid-back attitude. It has a more natural feel to it. As no bridge connects both islands, you must take a ferry from Malta. The island has many tourist sites. Plan a day trip.
Some of the main attractions include the Citadella in Vittoria, which was made in Roman times, Xwejni Bay salt pans where sea salt is processed, Ramla Bay with rusty sand on North Gozo Island, and much more. There are a lot of Diving sites.
They also have the deep blue hole and Fungus rock, an inland sea. Visiting this island is one of the greatest things to do in Malta.
The fortified city also has the infamous Gozo Cathedral for the Virgin Mary, the courts, and the Bishop’s palace. Gozo Island has the best brewery. Make sure to try the Maltese wine and traditional Maltese dish, Pastizzi, here and buy souvenirs for all.
5.9. Go to Nightclubs in St. Julian
The village of St. Julian’s is the center of Malta’s Nightlife. It is just 15 minutes from Valletta. There are many nightclubs and bars. The center of the town, Paceville, is the core of the fun. Most of the places here are open till the early time of the day.
This is also the place you need to go to have the ultimate party experience in the island of Malta’s nightlife. You can also get the best Maltese food along with Maltese wine here in restaurants and cafes.
St Julian’s also has many entertainment places like a bowling alley, shopping malls, the largest cinema in Malta, and many hotels. The village also has a man-made small beach at St. George’s Bay.
There is also a great site for a family with kids to stay near St. Julian’s, known as St. Paul’s Bay. It has many cafes, clubs, restaurants, and many shopping malls. Having a night out is one of the things to do in Malta.
5.10. Spend a day at Crystal Lagoon
This is on the third island, Comino Island. While it is famous for the Blue Lagoon, there is another clear and secluded lagoon known as Crystal Lagoon. Due to the mass tourism here, the blue lake or lagoon is getting polluted.
There is another lagoon, like a blue lagoon, that is just breathtaking. The Crystal Lake, or lagoon, is on the southern coast of Comino Island. As it is secluded, there are hardly any visitors there. The waters here are also blue.
There is everything you need for a day there. Some stalls and restaurants have great food and boats that take you to the waters with slow breezes and more. The rocks here are just amazing and very picturesque.
It is also a place where you can go kayaking, snorkeling, and much more. For the people who prefer to be on the shores, you can sit or lay by the shores to bask in the Mediterranean sun. It is one of the best things to do in Malta.
5.11. Visit the St. Peter’s Pool
This rocky natural pool is on the eastern coast of Maltese island. It is just above IL-Kalanka. St. Peter’s Pool is great for cliff climbing, swimming, and relaxing near the clear water. It is also one of the things to do in Malta.
Even though the jump height is just 4 feet, this gorgeous pool is quite deep and has a ladder bolted to it that helps to go in and out. Make sure to be careful to pack everything you need as there aren’t many facilities here.
The turquoise waters in the St. Peter’s Pool are perfect for water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling, and more. After visiting the pool, you can visit the fish market in a nearby fishing village to try out seafood.
5.12. Visit the San Anton Gardens
The gardens are one beautiful park on the Maltese island. San Anton Gardens has a huge collection of flowers and plants. It has been open for all since 1882.
It was built to be associated with the San Anton palace of Grandmaster Antoine de Paule. This palace is the home of today’s President of Malta.
The gardens have orchards with aromatic citric fruits. There are fountains and sculptures in the garden that complement the beauty and grandiosity of the place. Many trees in the garden are more than 300 years old.
It also has a great aviary and petting zoo. It is the perfect place to sit and have a moment of peace and calmness. Visiting the gardens is one of the things to do in Malta.
5.13. See the Ancient Megalithic Temples
Malta has a plethora of Ancient historical relics. One of the most known ones is the oldest UNESCO World site, the 5,500-year-old megalithic temples. These are older than the ancient pyramids.
These places with UNESCO Heritage Site status were houses of worship and are considered true wonders in archaeology and architecture. Seven temples in Malta are open to the public.
Some of the famous ones are the Mnajdra and Hagar Qim temples in the Qrendi village, The Tarxien temples, the Ggantija temples in Gozo, and many more. Most of these places have fascinated historians and archaeologists for many centuries.
Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temples are the ones in the Qrendi village. These also have UNESCO Heritage Site status. It is also made with limestone and is the second oldest stone found in Malta. It was once an important region for rituals.
The Tarxien temple is in the central part of Malta. It goes back to 3150 BCE. This megalithic temple is also a UNESCO Heritage site. It is also made of limestone. The middle temple is the most unique of the temples in Malta.
Do visit the museum nearby to learn more about the history of the temples. This is also one of the things to do in Malta.
5.14. See the ancient St. Paul’s Catacombs
The renowned Catacombs are on the outskirts of Mdina in Rabat. It was once a burial site in Roman times. This labyrinth of St. Paul’s Catacombs has a group of underground cemeteries with 30 or so hypogea from the 7th and 8th AD.
St. Paul Catacombs are different from the ones found in Rome. They also have a visitor’s center, Christian, pagan, and Jewish tombs, and audio guides to help you get through it.
It is worth visiting as it teaches more about the Roman times and their influence on Maltese island. It is one of the things to do in Malta.
5.15. Visit the Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum.
This is one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Malta. It is on the southern seaside of Malta. The cave and museum are made of big underground tunnels. Strangely enough, Ghar Dalam cave is not that popular among tourists.
These tunnels have the fossils of extinct animals. These animals are from ice ages. It includes the bone remains of hippos, bears, wolves, dwarf elephants, giant mice, and more. You can also find ancient utensils from the first settlers of Malta.
It was found that life in Malta goes back almost 7,400 years, but people still lived in caves till 1911. The cave is almost 145 m deep, but the guests are only allowed till the first 50 m.
Just next to the caves is a small museum with many artifacts. Make sure to visit the museum to see these by yourself. It is one of the things to do in Malta.
6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.1. How many days in Malta is Enough?
4 or 5 days is enough to see all the major attractions in Malta and have the complete Malta experience.
Q.2. Is Malta cheap to visit?
Ans- While Malta is quite expensive compared to south European countries, it is quite cheap and affordable compared to other European regions.
Q.3. How many UNESCO Heritage Sites are there in Malta?
Ans- Malta has three places with UNESCO heritage site status. These are Valletta city, Megalithic temple, and Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum.
Q.4. Is the Island of Malta Worth Visiting?
Ans- Malta is a great place to visit. It is best for family, romantic getaways, friends, and even for solo traveling.
Q.5. What Month is best to visit Malta?
Ans- The perfect time to visit Maltese Island is during spring or fall, as the weather is temperate and has a Mediterranean feel.
Malta is one such best place to visit in the Mediterranean region. There are many more things to do in Malta besides those mentioned above. There are other places to see, like the Blue Hole, Blue Lagoon, fishing village, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Make sure to try out the Maltese wine and food while visiting Malta. It is also the best place to try out sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, and much more.