Whether you’re a history buff, a sun-seeker, or a foodie, Malta has something to offer! I had such a great trip that I have already booked a second visit. For such a small island there is plenty to do and see, so I’m going to walk you through my top picks!

Valletta

Valletta is the countries capital city and was an absolute highlight for me. The city itself is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and as you walk the cobbled streets it is not hard to see why. The city is home to 320 monuments, making it one of the most concentrated historical areas in the world! It feels like every corner reveals a piece of history. From the impressive Grandmasters Palace from St Johns Co-Cathedral, there are plenty of historical landmarks to marvel at.

Barraka Gardens

For a breathtaking panorama of the city and the Grand Harbour, head to the Upper Barrakka Gardens. It’s a green oasis in the heart of the city, offering not just spectacular views but also a serene escape from the hustle and bustle below. Grab a spot on one of the benches, soak in the beauty, and feel the Mediterranean breeze against your skin. Bonus points if you catch the noon cannon firing – a tradition that adds an extra touch of drama to the scene!

Stroll the Streets

One of the best ways to absorb the city’s charm is by wandering through its narrow streets. Each street unveils hidden gems, from quaint cafes to artisan boutiques and there are plenty of vibrant bars to grab a cocktail or two! The limestone buildings create a picturesque backdrop, and I’m sure you’ll find yourself captivated by this charming city!

Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk is a beautifully charming fishing village on the south-east of the island. What really adds to the villages charm is traditional Luzzu boats bobbing in the harbor. These brightly painted boats are also adorned with the iconic “Eye of Horus,” which is an old tradition believes to protect the boats from evil.

If you happen to visit the village on a Sunday, you will catch the weekly fish market (pun intended 👀). The air is filled with the aroma of freshly caught seafood, and the lively market atmosphere is infectious. From prawns to octopus, the stalls showcase the day’s haul, and local vendors offer a vast array of fresh seafood. It’s a seafood lover’s paradise!

Indulge your taste buds with an al fresco feast at one of the many waterfront restaurants. From grilled fish to mouthwatering pizzas, the local cuisine is a celebration of fresh, flavourful ingredients. As you sip on a glass of chilled Maltese wine, you’ll be treated to not only a culinary delight but also stunning views of the Mediterranean.

Mdina

Mdina, also known as ‘The Silent City’ is an enchanting fortified medieval town located on a large hill in the Centre of Malta. As you approach Mdina, you’re greeted by its majestic gate – a grand entrance that sets the tone for the historical splendor that awaits within. There were even some scenes of Game of Thrones filmed here, and the city was depicted as King’s Landing!

St. Paul’s Cathedral stands at the heart of Mdina. The cathedral’s Baroque interior is a feast for the eyes, adorned with intricate frescoes, marble sculptures, and a stunning gilded ceiling.

You can also climb to the top of Mdina’s fortified walls, and you’ll be rewarded with some incredible panoramic views that stretch across the Maltese landscape.

Popeye Village

Popeye Village, is a film set village that was built in Anchor Bay on the northwest coast of Malta. It was constructed for the production of the 1980 musical film “Popeye,” which starred Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl. The village was designed to resemble the fictional village of Sweethaven as depicted in E.C. Segar’s Popeye comic strips.

After the film’s production was completed, the set was left standing, and it has since been transformed into a popular tourist attraction. Popeye Village now serves as an amusement park and open-air museum. Visitors can explore the various buildings, participate in activities, and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

The village is super cool and definitively worth a look but the activities there are very much for children, so if you aren’t travelling with kids, just take a look from the viewpoint above instead of paying to enter!

Additional tips:

  • Transport – Use a ride share app such as such a Ryde or Bolt. A drive across the entire island takes around an hour and sharing a ride can significantly reduce your travel costs, and is far less waiting around than the bus. The bus is also a good option is you’re able to work around the schedules.
  • Best time to visit -The peak tourist season in Malta is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm and dry. If you prefer fewer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) or autumn (September to October).
  • Language Maltese and English are the official languages, and English is widely spoken throughout the country.
  • Currency The currency used in Malta is the Euro (EUR). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially in smaller towns and markets.

Where to Stay

As you can travel the island in around an hour, where you stay isn’t too important as you can travel around pretty easily. I stayed at the Pergola Hotel and Spa (Pergola Hotel and Spa – Mellieha, Malta) which was a great budget option, and it’s currently available for just £20 a night! It features a cave bar, an indoor pool and outdoor pool and a spa. We made a lot of use of the spa whilst we were there are had an amazing massage and coffee scrub! We also had some delicious cocktails at the cave bar. I would definitely recommend this hotel if you’re looking for a great budget option! Check out some pictures below.

Overall, Malta offers a diverse and enriching experience for every traveler. The fusion of past and present, coupled with the island’s unique character, creates an atmosphere that is welcoming and vibrant. I’d absolutely recommend it, and with plenty of budget options, it won’t break the bank! Plus, you’ll get plenty of sunshine…what’s not to like!? 🌞

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5 Comments

  1. In recent years, Malta has become higher and higher on my bucket list. I can’t wait to visit Valleta. Thank you for sharing your insight and thoughts.

  2. Malta is gorgeous! I’ve been twice now and have so much left to see and do. The food is incredible. Great post. Saving it for our next trip.

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