Malta itinerary – how to spend a week in Malta and best places to go in Malta

It’s a shame that we’ve never written a post about our home country Malta, or given our readers some insight into planning out a good Malta itinerary! After having spent most of our respective 42 and 39 years on the islands, it’s high time that we show you how to spend a week in Malta, whilst letting you know all about the best places to go in Malta.

Malta’s popularity as a tourist destination has increased in recent years, thanks to its easy connections, a warm climate and very accessible attractions. Many tourists spend a few days to a week in Malta or even longer, and although the island is small and compact, attractions are many, so planning out a Malta itinerary might sound a little confusing at first.

Malta's Blue waters
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A little bit about Malta

The Republic of Malta is actually an archipelago made up of three main islands – Malta, Gozo (Ghawdex) and Comino (Kemmuna). It lies pretty much in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, between Sicily (Italy) and Libya, a strategic position which has ensured that it was repeatedly conquered over the years, resulting in a very mixed (and sometimes quirky) heritage and culture. 

The largest island Malta, is only 27 x 14.5 km long, making it the tenth smallest country in the world, although it is extremely densely populated. Our capital, Valletta, is one of the smallest in Europe.

Related: Beaches in Tropea, Calabria

Castille Square in Valletta - Malta Itinerary

Malta’s history is rich, having been inhabited since about 5900BC and having been conquered by important powers over the years, all of which have shaped the island and left an impact, right up to the country’s independence in 1964.

In fact, Malta is home to some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world which you should definitely include in your Malta itinerary (more on that later). We like to point out that they are older than the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge!

Best time to go to Malta

Summer is tourist peak season in Malta with August seeing the country in full swing. Many accommodation options are booked out throughout the months of July and August, public transport to popular destinations is very often full and the areas of Sliema and St. Julian’s, popular with tourists, are in full party mode. Oh, and it can get really, really hot!

We think that the months of May/June and October are great alternatives to July and August, and hence, the best time to go to Malta. These months are usually quieter, the beaches are less full and it’s easier to get around. The weather is slightly cooler during these months too so we think that it easier to spend a week in Malta during this period!

Related: A Calabria Itinerary

We feel that winter is not the best time to go to Malta. Although the temperature rarely falls below 10˚C (that’s about 50 ˚F), our buildings are not equipped with central heating, and that, coupled with some very high humidity, can make the climate a little uncomfortable.

Having said that, Malta gets lots of sunshine in the winter months, and with lots of places to go in Malta, even in the wintertime, it is really easy to spend a week in Malta, any time of the year!

Dahlet Qorrot in Gozo

How long should you stay in Malta

Spending a week in Malta is probably just about right, since this will give you enough time to visit the best places to go in Malta without making your Malta itinerary overly complicated. This will also give you enough time to hop on to Malta’s sister island Gozo for a day or two, an activity which should definitely be on your Malta itinerary.

You can easily plan your Malta itinerary so that you are based on one part of the island during your time here, whilst seeing all the best places to go in Malta using transport by day, and enjoying the night life, dining options and warm evenings (if you go to Malta in the summer) at your base later in the day.

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The Maltese balcony is a traditional feature for maltese dwellings

Best places to go in Malta in one week

We’ll be listing all the best places to go in Malta in one week in our Malta itinerary with details, but let us give you a brief idea first of what you can see if you’re spending a week in Malta.

Ancient Prehistoric Temples

Welcome to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra (both in Qrendi, Malta) and Ggantija (in Xaghra, Gozo), structures which are older than the pyramids of Giza, and some of the best places to go in Malta if you’re here for a week. The three temples are the most visited (but not the only) of the collective Megalithic Temples of Malta, and are some of the oldest religious sites in the world. Be sure to put them on your Malta itinerary!

Another ancient site to put on your list of best places to go in Malta is the Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum (in Paola, Malta), an underground complex, believed to have been a necropolis, from which, the remains of over 7,000 separate individuals have been recovered. You should definitely visit the Hypogeum if you are spending a week in Malta!

Hagar Qim Neolithic temple is amongst the top things to do in Malta

Medieval towns and cities

The 16th century fortified city of Valletta (Malta’s capital) and the much older fortified city of Mdina, (Malta’s former capital) surely deserve an important place on your Malta itinerary. Valletta is Malta’s commercial hub, but it is also home to some beautiful architecture with very unique character.

Valletta is tiny compared to other European capital cities and its roads have been built in a grid-line fashion, a military consideration at the time. It retains a strategic position over Malta’s Grand Harbour and is home to some very picturesque views. There are several points of interest in Valletta, which we will expand on below.

Mdina is even tinier than Valletta and you can literally walk round it in around 20 minutes. It is almost car-free since only the few residents are allowed to drive their cars into the city. This has led to Mdina being known as the ‘silent city’. Although it is popular with tourists by day, it is often eerily deserted at night, and, with its cobbled streets and warm lights, makes for a very romantic spot!

Mdina by Night - top places to visit in Malta

The three adjacent fortified cities of Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea (Isla) and Bormla (Cospicua) should also make it on your list of places to go in Malta. Located across the Grand Harbour from Valletta, all three cities are packed with character. Like Valletta, they were built by the Knights of St. John, who built massive bastions and fortified walls to protect the island.

Birgu is perhaps the most popular of the three, having seen a bit of a revival in recent years with wine bars, boutique hotels and restaurants, and also the Birgu Waterfront project which includes a walkway, bars and restaurants adjacent to Birgu’s own yacht marina. Senglea and Bormla are also home to narrow, winding street, churches and a rather peaceful vibe, coupled with atmospheric charm.

The narrow streets of Birgu
Michelle taking pictures from the Gardjola
The grand Harbour of Malta

Rural towns and fishing villages

Malta and Gozo are both home to several characteristic rural villages, which are typically Mediterranean, and usually home to some remarkably old farmhouses and buildings. You will not have time to visit many of them if you’re spending just a week in Malta, but you should definitely put Marsaxlokk on your Malta itinerary.

Located in the southeast of the island, Marsaxlokk is probably Malta’s most typical fishing village. Colourful traditional boats known as ‘Luzzu’ (singular) line the pretty harbour, whilst the waterfront is packed with fish restaurants, many of which are owned and managed by families of the fishermen themselves. Marsaxlokk is particularly popular and busy on Sunday morning when the fish market is in full swing!

A Luzzu at Marsaxlokk one of your stops on your Malta itinerary

The Beaches in Malta

Many tourists like to visit the islands in summer, when the beaches in Malta are usually packed. If you’re planning your Malta itinerary, we really advise you to try coming over in June or October, when the beaches in Malta are more accessible (in June they also tend to be a lot cleaner).

Considering the length of the coast, not many of the beaches in Malta are sandy, although it is possible to swim from various parts of the coast. One of the more popular sandy beaches in Malta, and our personal favourite, is Riviera (Ghajn Tuffieha) beach, next to the larger Golden Bay (ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa), located on the west coast of Malta.

Golden Bay - Ghajn Tuffieha

Gnejna Bay, Paradise Bay and Mellieha Bay are other popular sandy beaches in Malta, whilst the rocky beaches of, Sliema, Bahar ic-Caghaq, Qawra Point and Bugibba coast on the east of the island,  and St. Peter’s Pool, Kalanka, and St. Thomas Bay in the south, are amongst the most popular with locals and foreigners alike.

Related: Exploring the Mergui Archipelago

Despite being a little more challenging to get to, the more secluded bays such as Imgiebah Bay and Fomm ir-Rih, tend to be a lot quieter, although don’t expect to be the only person there, especially during peak season! The great thing about Malta’s size is that it is perfectly possible to spend a day hopping from bay to bay, whilst getting a glimpse of the different beaches in Malta.

Imgiebah Beach

Gozo is home to the lovely Ramla l-Hamra with its red-colored sand, the sandy San Blas Bay, Marsalforn Bay, Xlendi Bay, Dahlet Qorrot, Hondoq ir-Rummien and Mgarr ix-Xini, all of which we think are worth visiting when spending a week in Malta and Gozo.

Comino on the other hand is famous for its very popular Blue Lagoon which can be a little nightmarish at weekends, especially if you don’t like being around too many people. If you take a day trip to Comino, try going on a weekday when it’s a little less busy. The waters at Blue Lagoon, which are probably some of the most beautiful and scenic on all the Maltese islands, are often used to promote Malta.

Related: Backpacking in Laos

Maltese Nightlife

Although Malta is mostly known for its climate, history and the beaches in Malta, the nightlife tends to be very lively especially during the summer months. We typically go out very often, almost every day in summer and luckily there’s no lack of places to go in Malta at night.

From clubs and bars and restaurants offering every type of cuisine, and impromptu evening picnics on the beaches, Malta offers some very diverse night time activities, although the focus is mostly on the clubbing scene.

The area of Paceville in St. Julian’s is the clubbing and nightlife hotspot, although open air clubs may be found in other areas of Malta too, especially in the weekend.

Bars and restaurants may be found all around the island, ranging from local village clubs to restaurants offering fine dining international cuisine.

Related: The Best Koh Phayam Beaches

How to get around in Malta

Th easiest and best way to get around Malta is by hiring your own vehicle so that you are at liberty to go where you want, when you want. There are plenty of places from where to hire a car but do be aware that we drive on the left side of the road.

One other aspect to consider when driving in Malta is the insane traffic on the island. If you can’t stand the thought of driving on crowded streets and making an effort to look for parking places, don’t even consider it.

Related: Exploring the Beaches in Dawei

Enjoying the Maltese Ftira at the beach

The bus system in Malta has improved but it still leaves quite a bit to be desired. We always found buses to be punctual whenever we needed to use them, but we do so very infrequently. On the other hand, regular users of public buses tend to complain about lack of punctuality. The Malta Public Transport website includes a helpful journey planner to assist with choosing the best routes. Google Maps can also assist in that, and is fairly accurate.

Taxis is Malta are ubiquitous, though a little pricey, with several companies servicing the roads. Bar driving your own vehicle, they are the easiest transport option to use in Malta. Cab hauling apps are now plentiful, and could save you the hassle of negotiating the ride’s price beforehand.

Ferries make the journey between Cirkewwa, Malta and Mgarr, Gozo very regularly. As mentioned below, the crossing takes about 25 minutes and the schedule can be found here. The ticket price is €4.65 for foot passengers and €15.70 for car and driver. The ticket is bought on the way back to Malta from Gozo, so you literally do not need to buy a ticket on your way to Gozo.Furthermore, a ferry service operates the route to Comino from Cirkewwa, Malta and from Mgarr, Gozo. Check out the schedule of some of the operators here and here. Additionally, ferries also run from Sliema to Valletta and back, as well as from Valletta to the Three Cities. Check out ferries and prices here.

One other pretty good way of exploring the Maltese islands is via bus tour offered by Citysightseeing Malta. The buses include stops at some of the best places to go in Malta and in Gozo, and we feel that tickets are reasonably priced. You can get your tickets online at GetYourGuide.

Mgarr harbour in Gozo, Malta itinerary

Malta Itinerary – how to spend a week in Malta

Here’s what we think should be on your itinerary when you spend a week in Malta. You might decide to take a more leisurely approach to your trip, or you might want to spread out the best places to go to in Malta over a longer time period, but we feel that this Malta itinerary works pretty well!

Day 1 – Explore Valletta and the Three Cities

Your first port of call and the first destination to include on your Malta itinerary, is without doubt, the capital city, Valletta. Unlike other capital cities, Valletta is a fortified, super compact, small city, yet it is packed with history and places to visit.

If you manage to get to Valletta early enough, you will have enough time to walk around its long narrow roads, take in the superb harbour views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, and perhaps grab breakfast at one of Valletta’s many cafes.

Find it on a map! – Upper Barrakka Gardens
Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta a stop on your Malta itinerary

Whilst you’re in Valletta, be sure to prioritize a visit Fort St. Elmo (and the Malta War Museum) and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, both of which are among some of the best places to go in Malta.

Fort St. Elmo commands great views over the Grand Harbour, however the Malta War Museum housed within it is just a great and attraction and gives a detailed insight into Malta’s military history. Entrance is normally €12, but entrance is free temporarily at the time of writing,

St. John’s Co-Cathedral and its rich baroque interior was built for the Knights of St. John in the 16th century.  The interior of Cathedral itself is particularly impressive, and is also noteworthy for being home to one of Caravaggio’s greatest works, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Entrance to the cathedral costs €15.

Valletta is Malta's Capital city and one of the best things to do in Malta

There are many other places to explore in Valletta, so if you are not tight with time, you can spend a full day slowly appreciating the city’s beautiful architecture and picturesque roads. Valletta is also home to a various other museums which are worth a visit if you intend spending more time in the capital city. These include the National Museum of Archeology, the Palace Armory and the National Museum of Fine Arts, amongst others.

If you are including a visit to the Three Cities on the same day, we suggest that you have lunch at one of the many restaurants in Valletta, either within the city itself or at the waterfront, and head further south to the Three Cities.

You can get to Valletta from almost anywhere in Malta. Buses run to the capital city from every village and town on the island. If you are staying on the tourist areas of Sliema and St. Julian’s you can also catch the inexpensive and quick ferry that runs between the areas approximately every half hour.

Book a tour to Valletta here.

Malta Luzzu

There are buses running from Valletta to each of the three cities Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea (Isla) and Bormla (Cospicua), however again, we suggest that you take the very inexpensive ferry which will stop you at Bormla.

You can spend the afternoon strolling along the three fortified cities, enjoying the atmospheric vibe in the narrow streets, whilst also appreciating the views of Valletta itself from across the harbour.

Whilst you’re there be sure to visit the heavily bastioned Fort St. Angelo in Birgu, which will show you a little more of how Malta came to be through the ages. Entrance fee – €8. The Birgu waterfront makes for a pleasant walk by the yacht marina, whilst the view from the Gardjola Gardens in Senglea is pretty spectacular!

Views of Valletta from Isla

Other noteworthy attractions in the Three Cities include the Inquisitor’s Palace and the Malta Maritime Museum in Birgu, as well as St. Lawrence’s Church, also in Birgu. We truly believe that the best way of exploring the Three Cities though is by wandering along the little streets and wide waterfronts!

Book a tour to the Three Cities here.

Find it on a map! – Fort St.Angelo
Fort St. Angelo at the Grand Harbour - Malta itinerary

Day 2 – Explore Mdina and Rabat

One of the best places to go in Malta is without doubt the little medieval citadel of Mdina. Malta’s former capital ‘city’, is even smaller than Valletta, yet incredibly atmospheric and should be at the top of your list of best places to go in Malta.

Related: Diving in Komodo, Indonesia

Find it on a map! – Mdina
Mdina Gate, entrance to the silent city

There are not many attractions in Mdina itself, but you can feel and observe the history as you walk through the labyrinthine roads. Our favourite time to go to Mdina is at night when the city falls silent, the lights are low and the shadows are large, all of which tend to give a mysterious vibe to fortified area.

Mdina's Cathedral on your Malta Itinerary

Attractions in Mdina include the St. Paul’s Cathedral with its marble gravestones and richly decorated interior (entrance fee – €10 including entrance to the adjacent cathedral museum), and the facades of many noble houses (called palaces) lining Mdina’s narrow roads which are still inhabited today by descendants of the noble families.

One such house, Palazzo Falson, or the Norman House as it is often called, nowadays houses some valuable and unique collections in chambers around a central courtyard. Entrance fee – €10.

Entrance to Palazzo Falzon in Mdina

The larger neighboring town of Rabat was actually Mdina’s suburb and is located right next to it. There are many historical attractions around Rabat, among which are the ancient St Paul’s Catacombs. Rabat was once part of a large cemetery, so many regular houses in Rabat are built over such burial tombs. If you’re a fan of the underground, be sure to put St. Pauls’ Catacombs on your Malta itinerary whist you’re in Rabat! Entrance fee – €6 (closed on Mondays and Tuesday).

Find it on a map! – St. Paul’s Catacombs
St Paul's Catacombs in Rabat a stop on your one week malta itinerary

Another notable historical attraction in Rabat is the Domus Romana or the Roman Villa, with its beautiful well-preserved mosaic remains and historical information about the Roman Empire in Malta.

A combined ticket for the Domus Romana, St Paul’s catacombs and the Natural History museum (in Mdina) is available.

Whilst you’re in Rabat, be sure to stop at Is- Serkin (Crystal Palace) for the best pastizzi on the island! The little local bar can be found right across the road from the Roman Villa, making it a popular haunt with locals and tourists alike who come to savour some of the best and freshest pastizzi around!

You can get to Mdina and Rabat by taking a public bus from Valletta, as well as other popular areas in Malta such as Sliema and St. Julian’s.

Book a tour to Mdina and Rabat here.

The Silent city of Mdina

Day 3 – Visit Mnajdra and Hagar Qim and the Hypogeum

The attractions on day three of our Malta itinerary will take you back to Neolithic times for a look at the ancient temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, part of the Megalithic Temples of Malta, as well as the subterranean Hypogeum. Another Megalithic temple of significant importance in Malta is Ggantija in Gozo (more on that later).

The ancient structures are definitely some of the best places to go in Malta, especially if you are fascinated by historical and mysterious structures! The temples are older than Stonehenge in the UK, or the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, and are of great historical significance.

Hagar Qim Entrance

A great time to visit is before sunset during the seasonal solstices and equinoxes, if you are lucky enough to be in Malta at that time of year, especially during the solstices when some of the structures of the temples are perfectly aligned with the first rays of light, demonstrating a very probable relationship with seasonal observations even in the Neolithic era. Heritage Malta organizes tours to the temples during the solstices and equinoxes for around €25.

On other days of the year, entrance fee to the temples is €10.

Find it on a map! – Mnajdra and Hagar Qim
The setting of Mnajdra temple, an obligatory stop on your Malta itinerary

Hagar Qim and Mnajdra are located in Qrendi on the west coast of Malta. Unless you’re driving, the best way of getting there is by taking a taxi, however you can also get there on the public bus form various localities on the island.

Another archeological site to put on your list is the Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum located in Paola, a village which is around 10km from Qrendi. The Hypogeum is an underground complex, believed to have been a necropolis, from which, the remains of over 7,000 separate individuals have been recovered.

Entry to the Hypogeum is strictly limited, and thus pre-booking (months in advance) is recommended. You can purchase your ticket online by following this link.

There is no direct bus route between attractions, so switching buses may be necessary unless you opt for a more comfortable taxi ride.

Day 4 – Relax in Gozo for a couple of days

Many tourists to Malta claim that the island of Gozo is one of the best places to go in Malta, and it is one of our favourite places too, even if we’re a little biased since Nikki is half-Gozitan.

The island of Gozo is smaller, quieter, a little cleaner and much more laid-back than Malta. And there are several things to do in Gozo to keep you busy. Some tourists who are looking for a relaxing vibe, spend all their time in Gozo, but we would not suggest this to a first-time visitor to the Maltese Islands, since you would miss visiting many of the other best places to go in Malta. We feel that including two days in Gozo on your Malta itinerary as part of a week in Malta, is a nice compromise though!

Find it on a map! – Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal
Church of the Madonna of Lourdes in Ghajnsielem overlooking Mgarr Harbour in Gozo

Getting to Gozo is pretty easy. A frequent ferry service runs between Cirkewwa Harbour, Malta to Mgarr Harbour, Gozo. The crossing takes about 25 minutes and the schedule can be found here. The ticket price is €4.65 for foot passengers and €15.70 for car and driver. The ticket is bought on the way back to Malta from Gozo, so you literally do not need to buy a ticket on your way to Gozo.

You can catch the bus to Cirkewwa ferry terminal from a number of tourist hot spots in Malta such as Sliema and Bugibba, among others.

There are plenty of things to do in Gozo to keep you occupied whilst you’re there. Unless you’ve had your fill of ancient temples, we would really recommend a visit to Ggantija Temples in Xaghra. Local legend has it that the temples were constructed by a gigantic race, hence the name which means ‘Place of Giants’.

Like the megalithic temples in Malta, Ggantija temples are some of the oldest in the world and are best visited on week days to avoid crowds. A great addition to your Malta itinerary! Entrance fee – €8. Buses from different parts of Gozo run to Xaghra regularly.

Another of Gozo’s attractions to put on your Malta itinerary is the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary in Gharb, notable for being a “Miracle Church” where prayers have been answered and miracles performed. To this effect, a quirky ex-voto display can be visited at the sides of the church, but be aware that the exhibits are known to have induced some anxiety to sensitive visitors. Even if you’re not religious, the peace and tranquility of the church’s rural location make it a place worth visiting.

Find it on a map! – Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary
Ta' Pinu Sanctuary in Gozo - Best Places to visit in Malta

Entrance is free. Be aware that visitors should be conservatively dressed – shorts and bare shoulders are not allowed. Ta’ Pinu can be reached by public transport bus taking a bus from Victoria.

The Citadel (or ic-Cittadella in Maltese) in Gozo’s capital of Victoria is a delightful, little fortified ‘city’ with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside from the top. The castle served as a refuge for the population in times of sieges and attacks and is visible from many places around Gozo! Take some time to visit the very informative visitor’s centre housed inside former water reservoirs, before making your way up.

Citadella is located right in the centre of Victoria Gozo’s capital, so it can be reached by bus from all over the small island.

Find it on a map! – Cittadella
Cittadella clock tower in Gozo

The Inland Sea and the Blue Hole in Dwejra on the Gozo’s west coast are worth a short visit, although the area was more popular for the Azure Window, which has sadly collapsed in recent years. The Blue Hole is a popular dive site, whilst the Inland Sea is a large pool surrounded by large cliffs with a pebbly beach and some boat houses. A very pleasant area to swim in! Dwejra is also our preferred sunset spot, should you be up for a good Instagram shot!

Dwejra is easy to get to by public transport and is serviced by buses from Victoria.

Ghar Qawqla in Marsalforn Gozo

We suggest having lunch and/ or dinner by the sea in villages of Xlendi or Marsalforn, both popular with tourists in the summer months.

Whilst you’re in Marsalforn, take a walk to nearby Qbajjar, to see the picturesque saltpans used to collect salt, a tradition which has been passed down from one Gozitan generation to the other.

Book a day tour around Gozo here.

Find it on a map! – Marsalforn

Day 5 – Gozo

On your second day in Gozo, we would advise you to spend some time on Gozo’s pretty beaches. We suggest Ramla l-Hamra, San Blas Bay and Hondoq ir-Rummien, in no particular order. Many of Gozo’s beaches are serviced by public transport.

If you’re driving your own vehicle be sure to pass by Tal-Mixta Cave for a breath-taking view of Ramla l-Hamra. Whilst it may be a little tricky to find, it is clearly marked on Google Maps. Do exercise caution while trying to access it, as the passageway is located amidst privately owned land.

Related: Travel to Raja Ampat on a Budget!

Find it on a map! – Ramla l-Hamra
Mixta Cave view

Day 6 –Marsaxlokk fishing village and the rocky beaches of the south

Marsaxlokk is easily one of the best places to go in Malta and should be included in any Malta itinerary, especially if you want to observe some of Malta’s traditional fishing heritage

The very picturesque bay of Marsaxlokk is normally full of colourful, traditional fishing boats which are still used today by the fishermen of Marsaxlokk. There isn’t much to do in the village besides walk the promenade, enjoy the scenery (and perhaps and ice-cream) and savour the fresh fish in one of the many seafront restaurants, but this really makes for a very pleasant half-day. A popular open-air market with little stalls is set up every Sunday morning.

Various bus routes will take you to through Marsaxlokk.

Find it on a map! – Marsaxlokk
Marsaxlokk fishing village and traditional house colours - best things to do in Malta

We suggest that you spend the rest of the day exploring the rocky beaches of the southern coast, our favourites being St. Peter’s Pool, Kalanka Bay and Xrobb l-Ghagin. They are not easily accessible by public transport, but tour operators in Marsaxlokk village itself will happily sell you a boat tour around some of the bays.

Alternatively check out these tours round the south of Malta.

Find it on a map! – St. Peter’s Pool
St. Peter's Pool

Day 7 – Beach hopping

We suggest relaxing on some of the sandy beaches of Malta on your last day on the island. You spend the full day on one of our favourite beaches such as Riviera (also called Ghajn Tuffieha) or Paradise Bay, or just spend your time hopping from one beach to another if you have your own transport.

Find it on a map! – Riviera Beach
Riviera Beach

Where to stay in Malta

When you’re looking at where to stay in Malta, we suggest that you consider your transport options first. If you’re not driving your own vehicle, we suggest that you stay in the more touristic areas such as Sliema or neighboring St. Julian’s, both of which are home to a wide range of hotels and resorts catering to most budgets.

Here, various dining and entertainment options can be found and buses to other parts of the island pass frequently. Additionally, ferries to Valletta run quite regularly.

Where to stay in Sliema

We suggest the following based on positive reviews on booking.com:

Sliema La Loggia Deluxe Suites, AX The Palace, Two Pillows Boutique Hostel  and Cozy Rooms Hotel.

Traditional door knockers of Malta
Door Knockers in Malta are an attraction in themselves

Where to stay in St. Julian’s

We suggest the following based on positive reviews on booking.com:

Hilton Malta, 123 Main Street Boutique Hotel and The Stonehouse.

If you’re looking for dorm-type of accommodation, Inhawi Boutique Hostel is a good option.

You may also consider hotels in the just as touristy Bugibba and Qawra, especially if you’re here in summer. Mellieha normally works well too, although it tends to be a little far from other places of interest in the south of Malta.

Image by DorianPro

Where to stay in Bugibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay area

We suggest the following based on positive reviews on booking.com:

AX Seashells resort, LA 88 Boutique and Park Lane Boutique Aparthotel.

Where to stay in Mellieha

We suggest the following based on positive reviews on booking.com:

Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa, and LABRANDA Riviera Hotel & Spa.

Close by Mellieha (but not walking distance) is the lovely Radisson Blu Resort and Spa, Malta Golden Sands overlooking Golden Sands beach.

If you’re driving a car, we suggest you stay at a smaller B&B in a more quiet part of the island (unless you are specifically looking for bustling vibe).  Several guesthouses have cropped up all around the island, and whilst they may not be super practical for those without their own transport, they do a great job of providing a tranquil base.

We suggest the following based on positive reviews on booking.com:

The 3Cities Auberge in Cospicua (one of the Three Cities), CARO Boutique Guest House in San Gwann, and South Wind Guesthouse in Marsaxlokk.

View of Ghadira Bay from Mellieha, Malta

What to eat in Malta

When visitors ask our advice about what to eat in Malta, we’re usually a little bit confused about how to respond, because it is very possible to find a range of different cuisines being served up all around the island, ranging from the mediocre to the excellent.

Being a Mediterranean destination, fresh fish is a common item on the menu and highly recommended.

If you want to try a traditional Maltese rabbit dish (fenek) in a local environment, be sure to visit one of the several ‘rabbit restaurants’ in the smaller villages such as United Bar and Restaurant in Mgarr. Such outlets also serve up stewed horse (laham taz-ziemel) and quail (summien) dishes, besides stewed or fried rabbit. Be sure to start off your meal with an appetizer of snails (Bebbux bl-Aljoli) and to finish it off with the very sweet Helwa tat-Tork (similar to middle eastern halva).

Stuffat tal-Fenek (Rabbit Stew) - A typical Maltese dish to try amongst the best things to do in Malta
Bebbux mimli (snails) a typical maltese dish - Malta itinerary

For other traditional local dishes, visit restaurants such as Nenu the Artisan Baker in Valletta, Gululu in St. Julian’s or Dar il-Bniet in Dingli, all of which offer a wide range of traditional local dishes.

Whilst you’re in Malta, you HAVE to try our traditional pastizzi (flaky pastry pasties) filled with either ricotta or mashed peas, and qassatat (short crust pastry pasties filled with either ricotta or spinach). Our favourite pastizzi outlet is Crystal Palace (is-Serkin) in Rabat, but the snack is widely available elsewhere.

Find it on a map! – Serkin (Crystal Palace)
The most delicious maltese snack, pastizzi

If you go on a short trip to Gozo, be sure to try the traditional Gozitan ‘ftira’ there. We do get it in Malta too, but we believe that the original Gozitan version is better.  Our favourite places are Mekren and Maxokk bakeries, both in Nadur. Do keep in mind that both offer only a take-away option.

Find it on a map! – Mekren Bakery
Gozo's Ftira

Although the term ftira is used to describe a pizza-like dish in Gozo, it is actually a type of traditional Maltese flatbread which can be stuffed with tomatoes, capers, olives, basil, olive oil and a bunch of other summer ingredients for a perfect summer sandwich best eaten on the beach!

Our favourite Maltese dessert is without doubt the little date-filled fried pastries called Imqaret which are often served with ice-cream at many restaurants.

Cittadella clock tower in Gozo

Tours in Malta

Although traveling around Malta using a hired vehicle, using public transport or using taxis is not hard at all, tours to all the best places to go in Malta are widely available too.

Check out tours around Malta on Viator or GetYourGuide.

Fishing Villages in Malta

Other Places to go in Malta

We haven’t included the following destinations in our Malta itinerary since we think that its already pretty packed, but here are some other popular places to go in Malta.

Popeye village, Mellieha

The picturesque colorful film set has been retained as a tourist attraction, however you can take a photo of the set without needing to get into the premises (yay Instagram), from the cliffside right opposite. We strongly suggest to stay on the road when doing so, and not expose yourself on the cliff’s edge, since the cliff is slippery, unstable, and falls are not unheard of.

Find it on a map! – Popeye Village
Popeye's Village viepoint - Malta Itinerary

Blue Lagoon, Comino

We did not include the Blue Lagoon on Comino on our Malta itinerary at all, even though it is easily one of the most popular spots on the Maltese islands. We feel that visiting the Blue Lagoon in summer is a little bit of an ordeal since it gets sooo crowded, so we only suggest going there if you’re here in late spring or early autumn.

Ferries to Comino run from both Malta and Gozo as explained in the transport section above. You may also consider visiting on a day trip cruise, with our favorite being Hornblower which departs from Bugibba.

Find it on a map! – Blue Lagoon

Blue Grotto, Qrendi

These caves are located on the southern part of Malta, directly opposite the small island of Filfla. They are so-called because of the brilliant blue waters and can easily be visited via boat trip departing from the little alcove of Wied iz-Zurrieq. This is a popular spot as it is easily accessible following your visit to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. The area is also popular with divers and snorkelers.

Find it on a map! – Blue Grotto

Coral Lagoon, Mellieha

The rocky ‘hole’ on the Mellieha cliffside (L-Ahrax tal-Mellieha) is a popular spot for swimmers to jump from. It is not easy to reach since it is not serviced by public transport, but you can go there by car or by boat. Word of warning though, the current can get really strong at times, so be sure to follow locals’ advice about whether the conditions are ok to jump in.

Rotunda, Mosta

The official name of large circular church is The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, and is popular for its massive dome which is one of the largest in the world, as well as for the fact that it is the site of where a miracle supposedly took place when a bomb went through the ceiling during World War 2 and failed to explode during evening mass.

Find it on a map! – Rotunda, Mosta
Image by JanneG

We hope that our Malta itinerary and tips about Malta help you to fully plan out a week in Malta!

Read more about Malta!

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Our #Malta #itinerary showing you how to spend a #week in Malta & the best places to go in Malta, including the #top #attractions on the #islands. #islandlife #travelbuddy #travelawesome #malteseislands #guidebook #greatescape
Our #Malta #itinerary showing you how to spend a #week in Malta & the best places to go in Malta, including the #top #attractions on the #islands. #islandlife #travelbuddy #travelawesome #malteseislands #guidebook #greatescape

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