If you are searching for the best things to do in Malta, look no further. After spending 10 days in Malta, I have gathered a list and it’s up to you to choose the most exciting things to do in Malta. Oh and let’s not forget about Gozo.
For a small island like Malta, it has a lot to offer and has something for everyone – couples, solo travelers, families, and even seniors. On top of that, English is the official language in Malta, making your time in Malta much easier.
Valletta is the capital of Malta and the heart of the island, so we will include many things to do in Valletta as well. Did you know that Valletta is one of the smallest European capitals? Apart from Valetta, we will cover local food, historical places, the best beaches, cultural events, picturesque places, and more! Keep on reading!
Where to stay in Malta and how to travel around Malta?
Before we get to the best things to do in Malta, let’s talk about some practical information.
If you are planning to do most of the things in this article, I highly advise you to stay in Valletta and somewhere close to the bus station.
Unlike other islands of Europe, Malta has great public transport that takes you all around the island and is a budget-friendly option. It’s not something you often heard from me, but public transport is the best way to travel around Malta.
In Valetta, you will find the main bus stations and you can reach almost anyplace in Malta from here. That’s the main reason why I suggest you stay in Valetta and nearby City Gate.
If you don’t feel like taking the bus, you can sometimes use the boat or taxi application called Bolt. The longest ride from Valletta to Popeye Village was less than 20 euros.
What is the best time to visit Malta?
Malta is a Mediterranean Island, so it means it’s an attractive destination all year round.
However, you have to keep in mind that in winter there are many storms that can make your visit difficult. Instead, in summer, there is a big amount of tourists visiting this place.
I personally think late spring and early fall is the best time to visit Malta. The weather is already great, even for the beach, and yet there are not million people around. If you don’t mind crowds, long lines, and planning in advance, summer is the best time to visit Malta for you.
Now, let’s get to the fun part and 15 epic things to do and see in Malta & Gozo.
Strolling the old town of Valletta and enjoying the views from Barrakka Gardens
First, I want you to get familiar with the tiny streets of Valletta, wander around and discover Barrakka Gardens. You will notice that it is very easy to move around and you will discover many postcard views on your way. Also, most of the streets of Malta are car-free, so the best way to move around Valletta? On your feet.
There are two Barrakka Gardens: Upper Barrakka Gardens and Lower Barrakka Gardens. And there is a lift between these gardens. Look up Barrakka Lift to find it.
Both of these gardens are public, free, and offer wonderful views on Three Cities that we will cover later. And I can guarantee that they both deserve a visit. The gardens are open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
If you ask me, it’s the most romantic place in Valletta.
Meet Caravaggio in the St. John’s Co-Cathedral
St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of the main attractions of Malta and I can understand why. I have seen so many churches in my life, but it left me very impressed. Certainly one of the highlights of Malta.
Now let’s talk about practical information and things you need to know before visiting St. John’s Co-Cathedral.
The entrance fee is €15.00 for adults, €7.50 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12. It might seem like a lot considering that it’s a church, but trust me, it is worth it. It’s a church, art gallery, and museum in one building.
The Co-Cathedral is open from 09:30 hrs to 14:30 hrs (last entry 14.00 hrs). The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time, and the Cathedral is closed on Sundays and public holidays. We were there 10 minutes before opening time and that’s what I suggest you do.
Apart from its rich Baroque art and relics, the Co-Cathedral also holds impressive Baroque frescos, ornate marble floors, three-dimensional statues, carved stone walls, and breath-taking vaulted ceilings decorated by the well-known Italian Baroque artist, Mattia Preti.
In the new Caravaggio Wing, you can watch ‘Meet Caravaggio’. Whilst in Malta, Caravaggio painted ‘The Beheading of St John the Baptist’ and ‘St Jerome Writing’, both of which are preserved at St John’s Co-Cathedral.
I suggest you plan at least 1.5 hours for this visit. And don’t forget to the balcony to see the cathedral from the top.
Travel back in time and visit Mdina & try the best local rabbit in entire Malta
Mdina is a medieval town and another popular attraction in Malta. The place is tiny, so in a couple of hours you will be done, but it is still worth a visit.
It has a timeless atmosphere, especially if you ignore a few cars in the alleys. Mdina is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture – pay attention!
In the middle of Mdina, you will find St Paul’s Cathedral – Baroque style church from the 17th century. For 10 euros you can visit the Cathedral and museum nearby. If you don’t want to do that, make sure you stop by at Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady. It’s free and beautiful to see!
Apart from a few places, you don’t need to pack your itinerary for Mdina. Simply wander around and discover charming corners of this medieval town.
Something that you can’t miss: Coogi’s Restaurant & Tea Garden. Beautiful setting, affordable prices, and the best local rabbit in entire Malta. Everything else from the menu was delicious as well.
Get cartoon vibes in Popeye Village
Popeye Village is a huge thing in Malta, yet there are people that still miss it. If you check the reviews on Google, it is one of the best things to do in Malta with kids, but I will have to disagree and say that adults should visit as well.
Popeye Village has grown from its days as a Film Set of the 1980 Musical Production ‘Popeye’ into one of the major tourist attractions on the Maltese Islands filled with a number of colorful fun activities for everyone.
There is an entrance fee and many different events, so I suggest you visit their website before planning your trip to Popeye Village. But don’t forget to go to the other side of the bay to find the most beautiful view of Popeye Village.
It is one of the few places that don’t have a direct bus from Valletta, so we decided to use Bolt services. It was slightly less than 20 euros for the ride from Valletta to Popeye Village.
Take a ferry from Valletta to explore the Three Cities
Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua, known as the Three Cities of Malta, are pieces of living history kept alive by hundreds of years of preservation, and the occasional miracle. The fortified cities sit like a trio of villages in the heart of Malta’s historic center, directly across the Grand Harbour from Valletta.
Look up Valletta – 3 Cities Ferry on Google Maps and head to the ferry. It’s only 1.50 euros one way, but make sure the times. The last ferry in winter is around 7 pm.
I personally loved this area of Malta, because it felt very local. It’s not as picturesque as Valletta, but you become part of the crowd once you get there. While walking around you will find many beautiful churches and wonderful views of Valletta.
Birgu old town and St. Lawrence’s Church are my personal highlights.
Eat fresh catch of the day straight from the sea
Well, there is another highlight of Three Cities that I want to share with you and that’s AcquaBlu. I love to try local food when traveling and in 10 days in Malta I tried many places. But this one is on the top of my list!
Keep in mind, AcquaBlu is a place that is specialized in seafood, so don’t come here to eat meat. In fact, they usually serve you catch of the day and have multiple options – it’s for 2 or 3 people, but that’s where you discover the flavors of Malta. Highly recommend going with that option. The chef is there and offers multiple ways to cook it, so it’s up to you to choose your preference.
It’s a perfect way to end your day in Three CIties and have dinner in one of the best restaurants in Malta.
Take a vintage bus from Valletta to Saint Julian’s bay and enjoy the panorama from your window
In the past, public bus drivers used to be freelancers and had their own bus & route. Nowadays, there is a company that offers public transport, but you still have access to these vintage buses. They were recently rebuilt and now offer hop-on and off services around iconic places of Malta.
There are currently 12 buses and they all start from Valletta. The price per ride is 2.50 euros. Click here to find the timetables and routes.
I personally suggest you combine this ride with Saint Julian’s bay because the views from your window will be incredible. It also takes you around the promenade of Valletta before you head to your destination.
Spinola Bay is my personal favorite of this area and you will find a wonderful Greek restaurant right next to it. Come here for famous Greek cuisine and enjoy your meal next to the water at Manakis Greek Taverna. Another great restaurant nearby is Peppino’s – perfect for seafood!
Dive in the blue lagoon and drink a cocktail from a pineapple
Blue Lagoon is one of the things that you can’t miss while visiting Malta. It is located nearby Comino Island, so you will need a boat to get there, but there are a lot of boats from many places on the main island.
You can often combine it with other stops or simply come to the Blue Lagoon and spend here the entire day. If you are visiting during the beach season, I highly suggest you stay here for 3-4 hours, grab a pineapple with a drink inside, and simply swim in electric blue water. If you come during winter, I advise you to combine it with other places like Gozo and spend around an hour here.
There are many boat tours available on GetYourGuide and you just have to find the most suitable one for your needs. Just make sure Blue Lagoon is included because it’s one of the best things to do in Malta.
Take a picturesque photo of Valletta from Manoel fortress
One of my favorite things to do in Malta was visiting the Manoel fortress. The fortress is closed, but you can still access the Manoel Island for some unique views over Valletta. In fact, I think it is one of the best viewpoints in Malta.
Even though it’s an island, you can still get here by car, because it’s connected to a little bridge. So either take the public transport or use the taxi. Taxi is a better option here because it brings you to the entrance of the Manoel fortress.
I don’t have much to say about this place. Simply look at the photos and decide if you like the view – I bet you do! Because it is one of the best photo spots in Malta.
Enjoy Maltese sunset while sipping a drink in St. Lucia’s or San Gwann Street in Valletta
When you walk around Valletta, you will notice cute tiny streets with steep stairs and restaurants & bars. If you ask me, it’s a perfect sunset spot.
St. Lucia’s Street has 2 restaurants: Taste and San Paolo Naufrago. I personally can’t suggest these, but before dinner time, you can still come here to get a drink. And then there is another street nearby – San Gwann – where you can find Cafe Society. It’s a perfect place for cocktails all night long.
Just enjoying a sunset with a cocktail in your hand? One of the best things to do in Malta!
Forget about your diet and try some Maltese ftira
Ftira is a ring-shaped Maltese bread, usually eaten with fillings such as sardines, tuna, potato, fresh tomato, onion, capers and olives. Or just ham and cheese. It’s one of the few local things, so locals are particularly proud of it.
The first time we decided to have Ftira for breakfast and that was a mistake if you ask me. It is simply a huge portion and sometimes it even comes with fries and salad. It’s certainly food for lunch!
I tried it in multiple places around Malta and I highly suggest trying local ftira in Museum Cafe in Valletta. But you will find it all over Malta. Just don’t forget that it is heavy food, so don’t overdose!
Take a day trip or more to Gozo and discover its jewels
Gozo is yet another island of Malta and trust me, you don’t want to miss it. It is one of the best things to see in Malta. Just like the Blue Lagoon, you can reach it by boat from most of the places on Malta. You can combine it with Blue Lagoon and other caves around. Or take a regular ferry from the main island of Malta – Cirkewwa or Valletta.
We made a day trip (and it wasn’t even an entire day!) to Gozo, but I have a bit of regret about that. I really wish we could spend a couple of days there and enjoy it in peace.
You will arrive at Mgarr and from there you should go directly to Victoria – the capital of Gozo Island. It has beautiful gardens, multiple stunning churches, a very charming old town, and endless restaurants & bars. I can suggest Ta’ Rikardu Restaurant near Gran Castello Historic House.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu is another gem that you simply have to visit. I personally loved Salins de Marsalforn the most – salt pans with a unique view behind them. If you are looking for beach time, make sure you visit Ramla Bay… and don’t miss Tal-Mixta Cave while you are there.
Discover the most picturesque villages of Marsaxlokk and Marsascala
Marsaxlokk and Marsascala are two very cute and traditional fishing villages in South-Eastern Malta. You can combine these two places and visit them in a day. You can manage even in a half-day if you are like me and like to wake up early.
Even though both of these places are located on the sea, it is not possible to swim there. The bay is occupied with colorful boats and that’s what makes these places so charming.
On Sundays, many Maltese visit the Marsaxlokk fish market to buy fresh seafood from the morning’s catch. If you want to blend in with locals, come join them! Don’t miss Santwarju tal-Madonna ta’ Pompei – a beautiful church located in the heart of Marsaxlokk. La Nostra Padrona is one of the best-rated restaurants in the area and offers delicious seafood.
Marsascala is a similar place. Start your journey from Marsascala Bay Playground and enjoy the walk on the promenade.
Feel the spirituality in the round church of Mosta
Mosta Rotunda is located 30 minutes away from Valletta and can be combined with a Mdina visit. You won’t find this church on many guides, because it is often left behind, but it shouldn’t. If you love hidden gems, come see it with your own eyes and discover this unique place of Malta.
Did you know that a 500kg German aerial bomb pierced through the ceiling and smashed a hole into the floor below during a Mass? And no one got hurt? People still call it a miracle of God.
There is an entrance fee but the price varies from 2-5 euros and depends on what do you want to see inside the church. I suggest you visit the balcony and see it from the top – truly spectacular. Once you are up there, you can see Mdina as well.
Take a fancy breakfast in Valletta in Caffè Cordina
Caffè Cordina claims to be serving happiness since 1837 and this is the thing that made me curious about this place. Found it by accident while wandering around the streets of Valletta. The beautiful retro design and old-school waiters caught my attention.
Here you will find endless cake choices, many salty snacks, breakfast options, some traditional dishes, and even pastries to bring back home. But I think part of the magic here is sitting down in this retro building, appreciating the beautiful details, and enjoying wonderful service & food. Start your day like a royal, because why not?
Look at my mom enjoying her morning cappuccino at Caffè Cordina!
This is the end of 15 epic things to do in Malta & Gozo. I’m sure that after reading this article, you know what are some of the things that you don’t want to miss in Malta and have all the necessary information to do them. Now you can simply enjoy your vacation! If you are looking for photo inspiration and the best photo spots in Malta, check this article.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.