Best Things to Do in Malta: 12 Cool Places to Visit

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Malta
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Are you dreaming of a Mediterranean getaway this year? Here are some of the most captivating, scenic, and unique things to do in Malta. These sights, events, and attractions are guaranteed to make for a truly memorable vacation experience.

Known for its rich history and stunning landscapes, Malta is a gem in the heart of the Mediterranean. But what truly sets this island nation apart is its blend of cultures and the sheer variety of experiences it offers as far as the best things to do for those visiting this vacation paradise. From thrill-seekers to history buffs, there are countless activities for every type of traveler.

From the ancient city of Mdina to the vibrant streets of Valletta, from the stunning Blue Lagoon in Comino to the breathtaking Dingli Cliffs, there is no shortage of things to do and places to visit in Malta. There truly is something for everyone. That, of course, makes it all the more important for you to know which places are best suited for your particular interests. To help, I’ve compiled a list of some of my personal favorite Maltese attractions. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Malta.

The top places to visit in Malta right now
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Best Places to Visit in Malta: Unforgettable Mediterranean Adventures

Hopefully, you will find the list below useful in deciding which things to do in Malta are your highest priorities. As noted above, there’s something for everyone in this wonderful vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Malta places to visit.

Are you looking for some exciting adventures? Or would you prefer a calm, peaceful and secluded getaway? Whatever you’re planning, Malta can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Malta that you should know about.

1. The Silent City of Mdina

One of the best places to go in Malta is the enchanting city of Mdina. Known as the “Silent City,” Mdina is a testament to Malta’s rich history. As you walk through its narrow, winding streets, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. The city’s mix of medieval and baroque architecture is truly a sight to behold, making it one of the top Malta attractions.

Mdina was once the capital of Malta, and its well-preserved walls tell tales of the past. The city offers breathtaking panoramic views of the island, especially from the bastions. One of the unique things to do in Malta is to visit Mdina at night. The city takes on a magical quality when the sun goes down, with lanterns lighting the streets and the silence only broken by the occasional clip-clop of a horse-drawn carriage.

Inside the city, you can explore the Mdina Cathedral and the Mdina Dungeons. You can also visit Palazzo Falson, a historic house museum with an extensive collection of antiques. For those interested in film and television, Mdina has been a filming location for numerous productions, including the popular series “Game of Thrones.”

In conclusion, Mdina is an experience. It’s a journey back in time, a peaceful retreat, and a feast for the eyes. It’s one of those places in Malta to visit that you simply can’t miss.

Exploring Mdina is one of the best things to do in Malta
Discover Mdina, the “Silent City,” where medieval and baroque charm intertwines amidst narrow streets.

2. The Vibrant Capital: Valletta

If you’re wondering where to go in Malta, look no further than the vibrant capital city, Valletta. As one of the coolest activities in Malta, exploring Valletta is like stepping into a living museum. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is brimming with historical sites, charming cafes, and stunning views of the Grand Harbour.

Valletta is a city that’s rich in history, and it shows in its architecture. The city is home to some of the most well-preserved 16th-century buildings in the world, many of which were built by the Knights of St. John. The St. John’s Co-Cathedral, with its stunning Baroque interior and Caravaggio masterpieces, is a must-visit.

But there’s more to Valletta than just history. The city is also a hub of modern Maltese culture. You’ll find bustling markets, contemporary art galleries, and a thriving nightlife scene. The city’s waterfront is particularly lively, with a range of dining options that offer stunning views of the harbour.

For those who love to shop, Valletta offers a unique shopping experience. From high-end boutiques to local craft markets, there’s something for everyone. And let’s not forget about the food. Valletta is a great place to sample traditional Maltese cuisine, with plenty of restaurants and street food vendors offering local delicacies.

In short, Valletta is a cool destination in Malta that offers a mix of history, culture, and modern amenities. It’s a city that has something for everyone, making a visit to this one of the best things to do in Malta.

Valletta is a perfect fusion of history, culture, and modernity, offering an all-encompassing experience.
Valletta is a perfect fusion of history, culture, and modernity, offering an all-encompassing experience.

3. The Three Cities: Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua

When considering where to visit in Malta, the Three Cities – Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua – should be high on your list. These fortified cities across the Grand Harbour from Valletta are some of the oldest towns in Malta, offering a slice of authentic life and history away from the main tourist trails.

Birgu, also known as Vittoriosa, is the oldest of the Three Cities and was the home of the Knights of St. John before Valletta was built. Walking through its narrow streets, you’ll find the Inquisitor’s Palace, the Malta Maritime Museum, and the Fort St. Angelo, which offers stunning views of Valletta and the Grand Harbour.

Senglea, or L-Isla, is the smallest of the Three Cities. It’s known for its beautiful waterfront and the Gardjola Gardens, which offer panoramic views of the Grand Harbour. The city’s symbol is a watchtower, or “gardjola,” which you can find at the tip of the peninsula.

Cospicua, or Bormla, is the largest of the Three Cities and is known for its dockyards. The city has undergone significant restoration in recent years, and you can explore its history at the Cospicua Heritage Trail.

Visiting the Three Cities is one of the coolest Malta things to do. It’s a chance to step back in time and experience the authentic Maltese lifestyle. You’ll find that the Three Cities are full of charm and character.

Explore Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua, offering a unique historical escape from the typical tourist routes.
Explore Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua, offering a unique historical escape from the typical tourist routes.

4. The Island of Gozo

If you’re looking for unique places in Malta, then a trip to the island of Gozo should be on your itinerary. Known for its idyllic countryside, stunning beaches, and ancient temples, Gozo offers a tranquil escape from the busier main island.

One of the best places to go in Malta for nature lovers, Gozo is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. The island’s rugged coastline is dotted with quiet bays and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The most famous of these is the Blue Hole near Dwejra, a popular spot for divers.

Gozo is also rich in history, with numerous historical sites scattered across the island. The Ggantija Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are among the oldest free-standing structures in the world. The island’s capital, Victoria, is home to the Citadel, a fortified city with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Gozo offers a variety of Malta things to do. It’s a place where you can truly unwind and enjoy the slower pace of island life.

Discover the serene charm of Gozo, offering a tranquil escape from the main island's hustle.
Discover the serene charm of Gozo, offering a tranquil escape from the main island’s hustle.

5. The Blue Lagoon and Comino Island

When thinking about what to do in Malta, a visit to the Blue Lagoon on Comino Island is a must. This tiny island, located between Malta and Gozo, is home to one of the most beautiful natural features in the country. The Blue Lagoon, with its crystal-clear turquoise waters and white sandy seabed, is a slice of paradise.

One of the coolest things to do in Malta, a trip to the Blue Lagoon offers the perfect opportunity for swimming, snorkeling, and simply relaxing on the beach. The lagoon’s shallow waters are ideal for families with children, while the surrounding cliffs and caves provide plenty of exploration opportunities for the more adventurous.

Comino Island itself is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary, offering a peaceful escape from the busier tourist spots. Apart from the Blue Lagoon, the island is also home to St. Mary’s Tower, a 17th-century watchtower that offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

The Blue Lagoon and Comino Island offer some of the best places in Malta to visit. It’s a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories of your Malta trip.

Discover Blue Lagoon, where crystal-clear turquoise waters and a sandy seabed offer paradisiacal beauty.
Discover Blue Lagoon, where crystal-clear turquoise waters and a sandy seabed offer paradisiacal beauty.

6. The Historic Town of Rabat

For those seeking unique places in Malta, the historic town of Rabat stands out. Nestled next to Mdina, Rabat offers a fascinating journey through Malta’s rich history. It’s a town where the echoes of the past blend seamlessly with the vibrancy of the present.

Rabat, one of the best places in Malta to visit, is a treasure trove of historical sites. The St. Paul’s Church and Grotto, believed to be the refuge of St. Paul after his shipwreck on Malta, is a revered pilgrimage site. The St. Paul’s Catacombs, an intricate network of underground Roman cemeteries, provide a captivating glimpse into ancient times.

Beyond its historical allure, Rabat is a vibrant hub of local culture. Traditional bakeries offering delectable Maltese pastries, artisan workshops, and bustling local markets are sprinkled throughout the town. Pjazza San Pawl, the town’s main square, is the perfect spot to unwind and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.

Rabat invites you to delve into its historical sites, indulge in local delicacies, and soak up its unique ambiance. Offering a variety of Malta things to do, Rabat is a destination that transports you back in time while keeping you anchored with modern comforts.

Exploring Rabat is one of the best things to do in Malta.
Rabat beckons with its historical sites, local flavors, and good ambiance, offering a blend of timeless allure and modern comfort.

7. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

For those seeking unique things to do in Malta, a visit to the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a must. This underground Neolithic cemetery is a marvel of ancient architecture and one of the most impressive prehistoric structures in the world.

The Hypogeum, located in Paola, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important Malta attractions. It’s a complex of interconnecting rock-cut chambers spread over three levels, providing a fascinating insight into the burial practices and rituals of Malta’s ancient inhabitants.

The site was discovered in 1902 during construction work and has since provided archaeologists with a wealth of information about the island’s prehistoric past. The most famous find is the “Sleeping Lady,” a small clay figure thought to represent a goddess.

Visiting the Hypogeum is a unique experience. As you descend into the underground chambers, you’ll be struck by the sheer scale and complexity of the structure. The site is also known for its excellent acoustics, with certain chambers producing a strong resonance when certain tones are sung or played.

In conclusion, the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a journey into Malta’s ancient past. It’s one of the coolest Malta things to do and a must-see for anyone interested in history and archaeology.

Visit Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, an ancient underground Neolithic cemetery and architectural marvel.
Visit Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, an ancient underground Neolithic cemetery and architectural marvel.

8. The Prehistoric Tarxien Temples

Looking for unique places to visit in Malta? The prehistoric Tarxien Temples should be high on your list. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest and best-preserved prehistoric cult site in Malta, offering a unique glimpse into the island’s distant past.

The Tarxien Temples consist of four megalithic structures, each one a marvel of ancient architecture and design. Excavated in 1914, the site covers an area of 5,400 square meters and displays the artistic achievements of Malta’s mysterious prehistoric culture during the “Temple Period” (Late Neolithic Period) between 3,600 BCE and 2,500 BCE.

As you explore the site, you’ll come across intricate stone carvings, altars, and reliefs of animals and spirals. The most impressive of these is the “Fat Lady” statue, thought to represent a goddess of fertility.

A visit to the Tarxien Temples is like stepping back in time. It’s a chance to marvel at the ingenuity of our ancestors and gain a deeper understanding of Malta’s rich history. For history buffs and curious travelers alike, visiting the Tarxien Temples is one of the most fun things to do in Malta that you won’t soon forget.

Explore the Tarxien Temples to step into the past and marvel at ancestral ingenuity.
Explore the Tarxien Temples to step into the past and marvel at ancestral ingenuity.

9. The Mesmerizing Blue Grotto

If you’re compiling a list of Malta places to visit, the Blue Grotto should definitely make the cut. This natural wonder, located on the southern coast of the island, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malta, and for good reason.

The Blue Grotto is a series of seven caves known for their crystal-clear waters and stunning natural beauty. The largest of these, known as the Blue Grotto itself, has a massive arch that stands at about 30 meters high. Inside, the sunlight reflects off the white sandy seabed, illuminating the cave with a beautiful blue light.

Visitors can take a boat trip to explore the caves, which is one of the coolest activities in Malta. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the sunlight brings out the vibrant colors of the caves.

The surrounding area is also worth exploring, with its scenic walking trails and panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a great place for photography, bird watching, and simply enjoying the beauty of nature.

In short, a stop at the Blue Grotto is one of the coolest things to do on any Malta itinerary. It’s a place of natural beauty that will leave you in awe of the island’s stunning landscapes.

The Blue Grotto is a cluster of seven stunning caves with clear waters and remarkable beauty.
The Blue Grotto is a cluster of seven stunning caves with clear waters and remarkable beauty.

10. The Breathtaking Dingli Cliffs

For awe-inspiring natural beauty, the Dingli Cliffs are a must-see Malta attraction. Situated on the western coast of Malta, these towering cliffs are the island’s highest point, reaching approximately 250 meters above sea level.

From the edge of the Dingli Cliffs, you can drink in panoramic views of the open sea and the tiny, uninhabited islet of Filfla. The cliffs provide an ideal setting for leisurely walks, where the stunning natural beauty of the island unfolds with every step.

One of the unique places in Malta, the Dingli Cliffs, are especially enchanting at sunset. The sight of the sun sinking into the Mediterranean Sea paints the sky with hues of orange and pink, creating a truly spectacular scene and offering excellent photo opportunities.

Adding to the area’s charm is the small chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, nestled near the cliffs. This quaint chapel is worth a visit, enhancing the serene and peaceful ambiance of the surroundings.

The Dingli Cliffs are more than just a sightseeing spot; they’re a testament to Malta’s natural beauty. Offering a tranquil escape from the bustling tourist areas, they’re a must-visit for nature lovers and those seeking the best views in Malta. It’s easy to see why this is one of the best things to do in Malta!

Dingli Cliffs' serene natural beauty and panoramic views offer an essential escape for nature lovers and sightseers alike.
Dingli Cliffs’ serene natural beauty and panoramic views offer an essential escape for nature lovers and sightseers alike.

11. The Golden Bay Beach

When it comes to Malta places to visit, Golden Bay Beach is a top contender. This well-maintained beach, located in the northwest of Malta, is one of the island’s most beautiful coastal spots.

Golden Bay Beach is known for its wide shoreline with soft golden sands. The clean, calm waters make it a safe and popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. It’s a perfect place for families, couples, and solo travelers looking for a relaxing day by the sea.

For the more adventurous, Golden Bay Beach offers a range of water sports, including jet-skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. And if you’re a nature lover, the surrounding area is great for hiking, with trails leading to some stunning viewpoints.

As the day winds down, there’s nothing quite like watching the sunset over the sea from the beach. The beachside restaurants and bars offer a great selection of food and drinks, making it a perfect spot to end the day.

In essence, Golden Bay Beach is more than just a beach; it’s a place where you can relax, have fun, and create lasting memories. Is this one of the coolest things to do in Malta? You bet!

Golden Bay Beach: A tranquil expanse of golden sands and calm waters.
Golden Bay Beach: A tranquil expanse of golden sands and calm waters.

12. The Historic Ħaġar Qim Temples

For those interested in Malta’s things to do that offer a journey into the past, the Ħaġar Qim Temples are a must-visit. These prehistoric temples, located near the village of Qrendi, are one of the most important archaeological sites in Malta.

The Ħaġar Qim Temples date back to the Ggantija phase (3600-3200 BC) and are a testament to the architectural prowess of Malta’s ancient inhabitants. The complex consists of a central building and two additional structures, all built with large limestone slabs.

As you explore the site, you’ll come across various artifacts and carvings, including the famous “fat lady” statues, which are believed to represent a goddess of fertility. The site also offers stunning views of the sea and the islet of Filfla.

The Ħaġar Qim Temples are a window into Malta’s ancient past. They offer a unique opportunity to learn about the island’s history and the people who lived here thousands of years ago. For history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike, the Ħaġar Qim Temples are among the coolest things to do in Malta.

Visiting Ħaġar Qim Temples is one of the best things to do in Malta
Visit Ħaġar Qim Temples to delve into Malta’s ancient history, a must for history enthusiasts and curious travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Malta

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Malta? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Malta:

What is the best time to visit Malta?

The best time to visit Malta is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) when the weather is warm but not too hot, and the tourist crowds are smaller.

How many days do I need in Malta?

A week is usually enough to explore the main attractions of Malta, Gozo, and Comino. However, if you want to explore the islands at a more leisurely pace, consider staying for 10 days to 2 weeks.

What is Malta best known for?

Malta is best known for its rich history, unique culture, and stunning natural landscapes. Here’s what Malta is known for in greater detail:

  1. Historical Sites: Malta is home to numerous historical and archaeological sites. This includes ancient temples, such as the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra, which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
  2. Knights of Malta: The island nation has a significant connection to the Knights of St. John, who ruled there for centuries. Their influence is evident in the architecture and fortifications, particularly in Valletta, the capital city.
  3. Strategic Location: Malta’s location in the Mediterranean Sea has made it a key strategic point throughout history. This has led to its occupation by various powers including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and British.
  4. Valletta: Malta’s capital city, Valletta, is known for its well-preserved 16th-century architecture. This includes St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a masterpiece of Baroque art and architecture.
  5. Fortresses and Military Architecture: The islands have an extensive network of fortifications, reflecting its military importance throughout history. The Grand Harbour area is particularly famous.
  6. Beautiful Beaches and Blue Waters: Malta is known for its crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and famous diving sites. This includes the Blue Grotto and the Azure Window (which unfortunately collapsed in 2017).
  7. Language and Culture: Maltese is the national language, a unique blend of Arabic, Italian, French, and English influences. The islands have a rich cultural heritage with influences from various Mediterranean civilizations.
  8. Cuisine: Maltese cuisine reflects the diverse cultural influences on the islands. Some of my favorite specialties are pastizzi (savory pastries) and rabbit stew.
  9. Film Location: Malta’s diverse landscapes and historical sites have made it a popular filming location for movies and TV shows. This includes “Game of Thrones” and “Gladiator.”

Do I need a car in Malta?

While public transportation in Malta is reliable, renting a car can give you more flexibility to explore the islands at your own pace. However, keep in mind that driving is on the left side of the road in Malta.

Sunrise at the Grand Harbour of Malta.
Sunrise at the Grand Harbour of Malta.

What currency is used in Malta?

Malta is part of the Eurozone, so the currency used is the Euro (€).

What language is spoken in Malta?

The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. Most locals are bilingual, so English-speaking visitors will have no problem communicating.

Why you should go to Malta?

Malta is a destination that appeals to a wide variety of travelers for several reasons. Here’s why you might consider a visit to this beautiful archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea:

  1. Rich History and Culture: Malta offers a tapestry of historical periods, from Neolithic temples to medieval towns and WWII sites.
  2. Stunning Landscapes: Whether you love diving into crystal clear waters or hiking along rugged coastlines, Malta’s natural beauty is breathtaking. You’ll find caves, cliffs, beaches, and beautiful harbors.
  3. Unique Language and Heritage: The Maltese language is one-of-a-kind, reflecting the island’s unique blend of cultural influences. You can experience Maltese traditions in local festivals, cuisine, and arts.
  4. World Heritage Sites: Malta is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the city of Valletta, and ancient Megalithic Temples.
  5. Water Sports and Activities: If you’re a water enthusiast, Malta is a paradise for diving, snorkeling, sailing, and swimming. The clear blue waters offer fantastic visibility, revealing rich marine life and underwater caves.
  6. Vibrant Nightlife and Entertainment: For those looking for lively entertainment, Malta has a thriving nightlife scene, especially in areas like St. Julian’s.
  7. Delicious Cuisine: Maltese food is a treat for the palate, blending Mediterranean flavors with a unique local twist. Try traditional dishes like rabbit stew, pastizzi, or ftira.
  8. Year-Round Sunshine: Malta enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. It’s a great destination any time of the year, with plenty of sunshine.
  9. Quality Accommodations: Whether you’re looking for luxury resorts, quaint boutique hotels, or budget-friendly hostels, Malta offers a wide range of accommodations to suit all preferences and budgets.

Whether you’re interested in history, adventure, relaxation, or culinary delights, Malta has something to offer. Its blend of traditional charm and modern comfort, along with its multifaceted attractions, make it a must-visit destination for many travelers.

What are typical activities in Malta?

Typical activities in Malta range from exploring the island’s rich historical sites, such as the ancient cities of Mdina and Valletta, to enjoying its stunning natural beauty, with activities like swimming in the Blue Lagoon or hiking the Dingli Cliffs. Malta offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to all types of travelers.

Is Malta worth visiting?

Absolutely, Malta is well worth a visit! With its rich blend of history, culture, stunning landscapes, and warm Mediterranean climate, it offers a unique travel experience that leaves every visitor with unforgettable memories.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Malta

From its rich history and culture to its stunning landscapes and beaches, Malta offers a wealth of experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you’re exploring the ancient cities of Mdina and Valletta, relaxing on the beaches of Gozo and Comino, or delving into the island’s prehistoric past at the Ħaġar Qim Temples, there’s no shortage of things to do in Malta. Each place you visit, each experience you have, will leave you with unforgettable memories of this beautiful Mediterranean gem. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure in Malta – a destination that truly has it all.

The top things to do in Malta for all types of travelers
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