Things to do in Malta

Things to do in  Malta

Film star of the Southern Med

Familiar and yet utterly unique, Malta is a microcosm of Mediterranean influences. A millennia of different occupying cultures—Arab, Sicilian, and British, to name a few—has left the islands of Malta with a cultural and culinary mosaic. Despite its diminutive size, the country gifts travelers with a surprising variety of activities; the best things to do in Malta can take you from the medieval streets of Valletta, across the water to the beaches and cliffs of Gozo, or out to countryside megalithic ruins, such as the temple complex of Ħaġar Qim.

Top 15 attractions in Malta

Hagar Qim

A megalithic temple complex on the island of Malta’s southern coast, Hagar Qim is one of the earliest freestanding stone buildings on Earth. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes six other Maltese megalithic temples, the complex dates back to the 4th millennium BC, and is among the best-preserved of those landmarks.More

Popeye Village Malta (Sweethaven Village)

Originally designed in 1980 as the movie set for the Robert Altman film Popeye, starring Robin Williams, Popeye Village (also known as Sweethaven Village) has been preserved as a Popeye theme park. The popular family attraction not only lets visitors explore the purpose-built set, but hosts a range of fun and interactive activities for all ages.More

Three Cities

This grouping of three historic cities—Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua—look out to Valletta across the Grand Harbour. Originally enclosed by a line of fortification constructed by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century, the dockside neighborhoods were the knights’ base from 1530 until the Valletta’s founding in 1570. Today, the cities provide a scenic backdrop to the Grand Harbour.More

Blue Grotto

The most famous of Malta's cave complexes, the Blue Grotto is a series of nine sea caves whose rocky sides glow green, purple, and orange according to their mineral content. Surrounding the caves are some of the clearest, brightest cobalt-blue waters imaginable. The natural wonder got its name from British soldiers stationed in Malta in the 1950s who thought the caves were reminiscent of the Blue Grotto off the Italian island of Capri.More

Rotunda of Xewkija

A distinct landmark on the Maltese island of Gozo, the Rotunda of Xewkija was modeled after Venice’s Santa Maria della Salute and built around a too-small 17th-century church. Paid for and constructed by local parishioners, the church dedicated to St. John the Baptist was consecrated in 1978, 26 years after the the first stone was laid.More

Ggantija Temples

Built between 3,600 and 3,200 BC, this pair of Neolithic temples are among the oldest religious structures still standing on Earth. Not much is known about their history, though the presence of animal bones, water holes, and stone hearths have led archeologists to believe that the temples may have been used for rituals or feasts.More

Mosta Dome

Malta is famous for the lavish scale of its many churches (there are 25 in Valletta alone, but few live up to the grandeur of the neo-classical Mosta Dome. Its self-supporting dome measures 121 ft (37 m in diameter and is 220 ft (67 m high, with every inch of the interior covered in gilt, frescoes, and marble flooring.More

Upper Barrakka Gardens

Perched on eastern Valletta’s harbor walls, Upper Barrakka Gardens is one of the city’s top attractions. Created in 1661, the shaded gardens center on a fountain, statues, and colonnaded terraces that command views over Malta’s Grand Harbour.More

Ta’ Qali Crafts Village

Situated on an abandoned WW2 airfield, Ta’ Qali Crafts Village occupies a series of seemingly ramshackle Nissan huts that offer some of the best selection of authentic Maltese crafts found on Malta. It’s the place to find delicate filigree silverware, handmade lace, hand-blown glass, leather, linen and cheery painted ceramics, all created by local artisans.More

St. John's Co-Cathedral (Kon-Katidral ta' San Gwann)

Behind the misleadingly plain baroque facade of St. John's Co-Cathedral (Kon-Katidral ta' San Gwann) hides one of Europe's most spectacular churches, built by the Knights of St. John following their defeat of the Ottoman Turks in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. Today, this important religious site is one of Malta’s most visited attractions.More

Malta National Aquarium

The Malta National Aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in Malta. Designed and built in the shape of a starfish, the aquarium features 26 display tanks, many of which showcase Mediterranean fish found in the waters around the island country. All of the tanks are designed to imitate a natural underwater environment, but also feature historical artifact replicas famous to Malta, such as a Roman shipwreck or wreckage of wartime planes.The aquarium houses nearly 200 various species of fish, many of which are featured in the main tank. Travelers can wander the main tank's walk-through tunnel to experience the feeling of being underwater while also getting close-up views of many Indian Ocean species, including the black tip shark. Visitors can also check out the interactive touch pool and view a short film about the aquarium's offerings.More

Valletta Waterfront (Pinto Wharf)

Stretching along Grand Harbour, below the fortified city and opposite the Three Cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua, the beautifully restored Valletta Waterfront (Pinto Wharf) is the grand frontage of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Right next to the cruise port, it’s the gateway to Valletta and the rest of Malta.More

Grandmaster's Palace

The Knights of St. John became the toast of a grateful Europe after their triumph in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, in which they repelled Ottoman invaders. Valletta’s magnificent Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta reflects the knights’ heroic standing and the wealth lavished upon them. Construction began in 1571 on the palace to house the supreme head of the Knights of St. John.More

Birgu (Vittoriosa)

Across the Grand Harbour from the capital of Valletta, Birgu (Vittoriosa) is, alongside neighboring Senglea and Cospicua, one of Malta’s Three Cities: inhabited since Phoenician times, and considered the foundation of Maltese history. Birgu is celebrated for its waterfront views and for its top landmark, the 16th-century Fort St. Angelo.More

San Anton Gardens

San Anton Gardens are among the most beautiful of the few public parks in Malta. They surround an ornate palazzo built by Grand Master of the Knights of St John, Antoine de Paule, as his summer residence in 1636 – it’s now the official residence of the Maltese President. The gardens were bequeathed to the public in 1882.More
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All about Malta

When to visit

If you want to swim and hit the beach on your vacation, visit between late May and early October, when the weather is at its hottest (but do be prepared for scorching temperatures in July and August). If you’d rather avoid the crowds and don’t plan to spend time at the beach, the shoulder seasons of March–April and November–October are good options, offering cooler weather and fewer crowds than what you’ll encounter in summer.

Getting around

Malta is compact, and it’s easy to get around the country while relying on public transportation alone. There’s also a regular ferry service between Malta and Gozo, and it’s not too hard to get a boat to Comino from either the main island of Malta or from Gozo. If you want to visit multiple stops in one day, taking a group boat tour generally offers the best balance of affordability and convenience.

Traveler tips

Take in sunset views as you snack on Maltese treats and sip on cocktails at the Cave Bar in Mellieha. Part cave and part outdoor terrace, this swanky restaurant sometimes brings in musicians for live performances. The menu here is extensive, with pasta, burgers, kids’ items, and Maltese mainstays. If you’ve got a strong stomach and a sweet tooth, try one of the boozy milkshakes.

Local Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
CET (UTC +1)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is Malta famous for?

The island nation of Malta is famous for being a sunny Mediterranean getaway that offers beaches in various forms, crystal clear waters for swimming and diving, fortified cities and towns trapped in time, and ancient neolithic ruins.

What is the most beautiful part of Malta?

Malta is blessed with plenty of beautiful and scenic places, but it’s easy to argue that the country’s coast is its most beautiful feature, especially around the islands of Comino and Gozo, with their respective crystal clear lagoons and towering cliffs.

What should I see in Malta?

Despite its small size, there’s so much to see in Malta. Highlights include the historic capital of Valletta and ancient site of Hagar Qim on the island of Malta, the crystal clear waters off the island of Comino, and the lofty cliffs along the south coast of Gozo.

How can I have fun in Malta?

Having fun and finding fun activities to do is never going to be a problem in Malta, no matter your interests. Opportunities for swimming and diving are always in great supply, while foodies and visitors looking for nightlife will find options to strike any mood.

How many days in Malta is enough?

Five days in Malta is enough time for you to get a feel for the small island nation, see the capital of Valletta, and do day trips out to areas including Comino, Gozo, and Mdina. That said, you’ll easily find even more things to do if you stay longer.

Where should I stay in Malta?

Travelers have a lot of options for places to stay in Malta, and you never have to travel too far to reach most places when sightseeing. However, it’s best to stay close to Valletta as the area is convenient for tours, restaurants, bars, and public transportation.

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