Musing on the Mediterranean? Craving culture? Seeking sun? Then Malta is for you! The country’s capital, Valletta, was recently named the European Capital of Culture, and for a good reason. It exudes character and history, plus has a postcard-perfect harbor on the sparkling Med. Here are some tips for visiting Malta that you need to know before joining the Europeans who already gravitate for sun-filled weekend getaways.
Know Before You Go
- Most people on the island speak Maltese and English.
- The unit of currency is the Euro.
- Traffic is on the left.
- Seafood reigns supreme here, and the Lampuki fish pie is a staple of the Maltese diet.
- Most beaches are rocky, but Mellieha is the island’s largest sandy beach in the north.
- Malta is a largely Roman Catholic island, with a church in every village and city.
How Many Days To Spend In Malta
Photo: [Vladimir Zhoga/Shutterstock] Cobblestone street in Birgu City
So how many days should you plan for your visit to Malta? The short answer is: at least three and, if you can swing it, up to a week.
Where To Stay
- For a quieter visit, stay in the south of the island near Marsaskala or Marsaxlokk.
- If you love history, stay in Valletta.
- If you like shopping and nightlife, stay around Sliema and St. Julian’s in the center of Malta.
- If you’re a nature lover, stay in the north of the island near Bugibba, Qawra, St. Pauls, and Mellieha.
- Consider Gozo, a greener, lusher, smaller island than Malta, if you’d like a quieter experience. Accommodations include old farmhouses, cottages, and secluded hotels.
Things To Do When Visiting Malta
Photo: [Tobik / Shutterstock] Maltese Pastizzi
During a three-day itinerary, take a day to visit Gozo and its Ġgantija Temples, Calypso’s Cave, Ramla Bay, Citadel in the capital of Victoria, and the Blue Hole. Spend your second day exploring Valletta and surrounding towns. Pop into the National Museum of Archaeology, stroll through the Upper Barrakka Gardens near Castille Place, and tour the Grandmaster’s Palace.
On your third day, you might visit The Three Cities, the name of three communities: Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua. All three are older than Valletta and significant in the island’s history. If you have more than three days, include Sliema, the fishing village of Marsaxlokk and the highlights of Southern Malta, the islands of Mdina and Rabat, and one or two boat tours.
Means Of Transportation In Malta
Photo: [Valar / Shutterstock] Mellieha Parish Church
Many visitors to Malta rely on public transportation as opposed to renting a car. The roads throughout the island are quite narrow and congested, particularly around Valletta and other resort areas.
The bus service is reliable and inexpensive and there are a number of transport cards that can be used to save money and combine travel options, including public bus, hop-on hop-off buses and the Valletta ferry. If you like the idea of sightseeing at your own pace, use the hop-on hop-off buses, which stop at the top sights of North and South Malta.
Photo: [Jaroslav Moravcik/ Shutterstock] Blue Lagoon in Comino Island
Don’t forget a boat trip. There are myriad tour options from which to choose, the highest recommended of which are the sail to Comino and the Blue Lagoon and the cruise around Valletta Harbour.
Ready to get to know Malta? Let’s chat.