Between Sicily and the North African coast, the tiny Mediterranean nation of Malta is one of best beach destinations in Europe. It has a laidback tropical vibe with picture perfect beaches and amazing diving. And would you believe that Malta also has the highest density of historic sights on the planet! Whether you want to lounge at the beach, explore the depths of the Mediterranean, or wander around a 5000-year-old necropolis, you can do it here.
What to Expect in Malta
Language: Maltese people are linguistic pros! Most natives speak Maltese, and nearly 90% speak English, while another 50% also speak Italian.
Credit Cards + Cash: Carry a mix of cash and cards. Most big retailers and restaurants accept cards, although not always American Express. You’ll also still want cash on hand for small purchases.
Climate: With a Mediterranean climate, it’s never too cold in Malta. In the winter, you’ll find temps between 50 to 60, while summer days range from the low 70s to 90.
High Season: June to August gets crazy in Malta. Hotels are booked solid and the beaches can get really crowed. Things also get busy again briefly from Christmas to New Years. Plan ahead if you’re coming for high season!
Holidays: You could write a book on the number of celebrations and holidays they have here! During the summer you’ll find festivals for art, jazz, beer, and wine along with the annual Isle of MTV event.
There are also big village celebrations which take place all over the islands. The calendar is packed with events all year-long so do some research before you arrive.
Getting Around Malta
Taxis: The islands are small so taxis are affordable and the most common means of getting around. Watch for an official white taxi car and make sure they turn on the meter.
Public Transport: Public transport is reliable and goes to most tourist destinations. If you think you’ll use it regularly, you can grab a 12-trip card for 15 euros.
Ferry: To get from Malta to the other two islands, Comino and Gozo, you’ll need to go by ferry. During most of the year, the ferries leave at least once per hour and it takes less than 30 minutes.
You’ll leave for either island from the Cirkewwa port. You’ll have a few options but generally you can expect to pay 10 euro or less for round-trip travel.
Walk: Both Malta and Gozo Island have Coastal Walks. These are paths you can take to walk around the entire island. The routes and terrain vary, but if you are up for it, this is a great way to see lots of different views!
Every inch of the InterContinental Malta is effortlessly chic. They’ve got a private beach area on George’s Bay and it’s a quick trip to the entertainment and clubbing district.
Price Range: $$$
Travel back in time with this cool Victorian-style hotel in Sliema. It’s an especially good pick if you’re looking for nightlife since it’s just a five-minute drive from the center of it all, St Julian’s.
Location: St. Julian’s
Price Range: $$
Experience luxury and class at The Palace right in the center of the city! There is a large selection of rooms, facilities, cuisine and activities.
Accommodation: Contemporary, 5-Star
Price Range: $$
This family-run boutique hotel has a unique flair and is right in the middle of the best bars, restaurants, shopping, and sightseeing.
Location: St. Julian’s
Accommodation: Boutique Hotel
Price Range: $$
The Harbour Club
This Valletta restaurant is all about fresh and local food. They’ve also got outdoor seating with a nice view of Valetta.
This family owned spot in Marsaxlokk has friendly service and literally the BEST pasta I’ve ever had in my life.
For good cheap eats in Valetta, look no further! There sandwiches are the perfect Maltese lunch.
For an amazing view of the bay from Il-Mellieħa, come here and get an ultra seafood platter with some amazing local wine.
Using locally sourced, fresh ingredients, Ta’Kris serves up some of the best traditional Maltese food on the island.
One of the first cities to have been named a UNESCO Heritage Site, the small capital city of Malta has an incredibly high concentration of historic sites. It’s perfect for just wandering around and taking in the city.
Grand Harbour Cruise
The best way to see Malta is by water, of course! Check out the Three Cities Tour to get a look at the best of Malta.
In Marsaxlokk, you’ll find a sidewalk café, a cool market, and good photo ops. Come on Sundays to check out the fish market.
Wander through Birgu
The old fortified city at the south of the Grand Harbour is ripe for exploration. Follow the winding alleyways to hidden treasures.
Visit the Blue Lagoon
You’ll want to plan lots of time on the water in Malta. The Blue Lagoon is a must-see and Comino Island’s coastline deserves a full day of exploring by sea.
Sadly the azure window is gone, but I’ve heard you can scuba dive to see it now. There are also lots of good spots to dive in Gozo, which is just a short ferry ride away.
While it’s a bit pricey to visit and it’s geared more towards families, I recommend going out there to get one of Malta’s best photo viewpoints.
This spot survived a bombing and still looks stunning. Take a trip to Rotunda Square in Mosta and bring your camera.
St Agatha’s Tower
Also known as Red Tower or Mellieħa Tower, these 17th century towers have an interesting history and you can get a great view if you climb to the top.
St Paul’s Bay
A quiet fishing village on the northern coast, there are a lot of Maltese people living in the old town of St. Paul’s Bay so it’s a good spot to visit to see what local life is like.
Hit the Beach
Malta is famous for its turquoise blue Mediterranean water. Beaches like St. Peter’s Pool, Mellieħa Bay, Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa are musts!