About 50 miles south of Italy, this little island in the Mediterranean is an exciting tourist destination. There are lots of unique things to do in Malta. With its warm climate, numerous recreational areas and some of the world’s oldest historic monuments, this little island attracts a lot of tourists every year.
Among one of the oldest most populated small islands, Malta has been settled on around 5900 BC. Located in the center of the Mediterranean, it was a great port and power location for trade and naval military parties. Boasting a rich, mixed culture of Christianity and Islam, Arabic and European and African, it’s a place of wonderful people and awesome architecture. Add the sheer natural beauty of the place and it becomes the perfect tourist magnet.
- List of top 10 things to do in Malta
- Sail through the Azure Window
- Take a kayak into the Blue Grotto Caves
- Walkthrough the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
- Snorkel in the Blue Lagoon
- Experience prehistory at Hagar Qim
- Relax and sunbathe on red sands of the Ramla Beach
- Visit the historic Fort St. Angelo
- Pay a visit to the huge Mosta Rotunda
- Wander around the alleys of Valletta
- Spend half a day at the Malta National Aquarium
- Common FAQs about Malta Visit
- BookOnBoard’s Guide to Malta
List of top 10 things to do in Malta
- Azure Window
- Blue Grotto
- Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
- Blue Lagoon
- Hagar Qim
- Ramla Beach
- Fort St. Angelo
- Mosta Rotunda
- Valletta Waterfront
- Malta Aquarium
Plenty more remain to include in this list, but we figured, few people have time to visit everything. So we stopped with a reasonable number of the ten best places to visit in Malta. Let’s look at these places in detail now.
Sail through the Azure Window
The Maltese are proud of their spectacular coastline. And rightly so! The island has many beaches and cliffs on the shore. The cliffs are particularly awesome! The Azure Window is a natural limestone arch on the eastern coast of Gozo. It is a famous landmark site. Indeed, it was used in many shootings, including the very first episode of Game of Thrones.
Also known as the Dwejra Window, this huge natural formation is 92 feet tall. The natural arch is located close to the Fungus Rock and the Inland Sea on Gozo. The rock formation consists of a giant natural pillar rising from the sea, and a horizontal slab connecting it to the cliff. This was a result of the natural erosion of a protruding cliff face. The arch and the surrounding area are beautiful! This wedding of sea and rock is rare to see in the world, making it a truly unique place to visit in Malta.
Take a kayak into the Blue Grotto Caves
We have talked about the Blue Grotto in Italy. This place got its name from that one, it is very similar. In fact, it’s even better. The Blue Grotto Caves and Arch system consists of multiple sea caves and a huge natural arch. The superb beauty of this area is famous, being featured in multiple films and television. The beautiful light show in the caves and the walls are a must-see in Malta.
You can reach the Blue Grotto by sea only. Obviously! There are boat trips to visit the sea caves and the arch. The water is quite rough in this area, so you need to get an experienced local sailor. You can also kayak into the caves – larger vessels won’t fit in many of them. Going here early in the morning is most useful since the angled rays of light refract through the water and create a mesmerizing and colorful light show inside the caves. At that time, the water is calmer as well.
Walkthrough the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
Malta is world-famous for its ancient architecture. This site, in particular, is exceptionally notorious. Deemed a UNESCO world heritage site, it is a neolithic subterranean complex, dating back to 3300 BC. The word ‘hypogeum’ literally means ‘underground’ and the word preceding it in the name indicates the era in history when this was built. This huge complex is a mass tomb; a necropolis, a city of the dead. Bearing testimony to a civilization long gone, this is one of the most important tourist spots in Malta.
Discovered in 1902, this prehistoric burial site is among the oldest heritage sites open for public visits, being open for more than a hundred years now. Interconnecting rock chambers spread over three distinct levels, housing the dead and their belongings. Intricate red ochre wall paintings and beautifully carved architectural and artistic features will hint at many long-forgotten stories. The interior has inspired many video game designers. The entry to the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is rigidly controlled, allowing only 10 visitors per hour among eight per day.
Snorkel in the Blue Lagoon
One of the most spectacular natural sights in Malta is the Blue Lagoon in Comino Island. This shallow bay between two islands has exceptionally clear azure water that is great for swimming, snorkeling or diving. It makes this spot the most photographed areas in Malta. It also makes it the most popular tourist spots in Malta, attracting hordes of sun-loving tourists in summer. While Comino has other great beaches to visit and relax on as well, this is the most crowded.
The cheapest way to go to the Blue Lagoon is to get on the ferry from the mainland Malta. The 20 minutes voyage is very enjoyable and will cost you only around ten euros. Note that the last ferry is at five in the evening. Other than that, you may choose to get on a boat trip to the Blue Lagoon, of which there are plenty. These tours often include food and drinks, and visits to the other tourist attractions on Comino or nearby. Try booking a catamaran ride with your family!
Experience prehistory at Hagar Qim
A complex of old, very old temples and gathering spots sprawl over a large area on a hilltop on the tiny island of Filfla. After dating it as one of the oldest religious sites in the world, UNESCO recognized Hagar Qim as a world heritage site. The megalithic structures here date back to the Ggantija phase in ancient Maltese history. The temples and decorations were carved from globigerina limestone, making them vulnerable to weather. For this reason, the authorities completed a protective dome over the whole temple complex.
The site consists of a large, central building, and remains of two or possibly more building remains. The monumental facade of the central building, the large forecourt area, and the wall decoration follow the patterns often seen in Maltese prehistory. The external wall shows some of the largest megaliths used in Malta weighing as much as 20 tonnes. Many C-shaped rooms, called apses make up the bulk of the building. Many intricately carved reliefs adorn the temples, making this one of the greatest tourist attractions in Malta.
Relax and sunbathe on red sands of the Ramla Beach
The rich and fertile valley in Gozo gives way to a beautiful, wide beach. A village overlooking the beach offers excellent photo opportunities here. The particular golden-red sand here gives Ramla beach its unique look, differing it from other beaches in Malta. Indeed, its real name in Maltese means the Red Sand Beach. A Natura 2020 site, this beach is quite popular with both tourists and locals, making it one of the prime tourist destinations in Malta.
Beautiful waters, clean, unspoiled sands, raw nature all around – all of these make Ramla one of the most interesting beaches in Malta. It is quite safe to swim or dive here, making it very popular for families. Some pebbly areas offer a different kind of fun. The areas around the beach are quite interesting as well. There are plenty of Roman ruins buried under the sand here and there, that you can go exploring. On the western side of the beach, the famous Calypso Cave looms over the area. All of that makes Ramla worth a day trip. There are no hotels here, though.
Visit the historic Fort St. Angelo
One of the most famous historic places in Malta within recorded history is Fort St. Angelo. It is a medieval fort, built as a castle. Accordingly, it was the bulwark of defense in the Order of Saint John from 1530 to 1570. It was a fact that in those earlier days, whoever managed to garrison this fort was the de facto ruler of all Malta. Consequently, many sieges and battles took place in and around the castle. And you can see the marks on it. The fort was used by the British navy as a stone frigate, bearing the name HMS St. Angelo. It was also extensively damaged in World War 2, but much of it is restored now.
The fort is a part of the Knights’ Fortifications around it, in the Grand Harbour of Malta. Today, Fort St Angelo offers spectacular panoramic views of the Grand Harbour and its surrounding fortified towns. Through traditional and innovative immersive displays, visitors can experience the colorful history and various architectural styles of this fort, together with staggering examples of artillery. This location was also used for shooting in Game of Thrones, season six.
Pay a visit to the huge Mosta Rotunda
Looking very much like the Pantheon in Rome, the Mosta Rotunda is a roman catholic church in Malta. Built-in 1860, the neoclassical design is worth a sight. At that time, it had the largest unsupported dome in structure. It is officially known as the Basilica of Assumption of Our Lady, and is the minor basilica in Malta, after Ta’ Pinu. This beautiful historical structure had a close shave with utter destruction when a german bomber carpeted Mosta. One 200kg bomb pierced the roof and fell on the church floor, but, by the Lady’s miraculous grace as locals say it, failed to explode.
The massive rotunda of the church is the third-largest in the world, making it one of the top religious attractions in Malta. The insides are beautifully decorated, attracting other tourists as well. Every year on the 15th of August, a grand celebration and village feast is held here to rejoice the Festa of Mosta, St. Mary. The somber procession during the Good Friday is also worth a visit. You should visit here in the morning between 9 to 11:45 only. This giant church is visible from most parts of the island, making it iconic to the area.
Wander around the alleys of Valletta
As Mediterranean old cities go, Valletta is one of the most spectacular. The capital of Malta weaves an intricate tapestry with rich multicultural colors and flavors, with historic spots, palaces, churches, fountains and other structures dotted around. There are a lot of things to do in Valletta.
As locals call it, Valletta is a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen. It is the commercial and administrative heart of the capital country and your starting point of a Malta holiday. Rivaling the likes of even Milan or Lyon, Valletta is a World Heritage City, with a dense concentration of artistic and historic areas.
Just like any historic small city, the best way to explore Valletta is on foot. You won’t even have to walk too much since Valletta is one of the smallest capitals in the world. But, that makes it one of the densest as well. Start with the beautiful gardens, like the Upper & Lower Barrakka Gardens and Hastings Gardens. The Saluting Batteries and other important spots are easily accessible from the former. Don’t miss the museums and the Cathedral. When hungry, go down to the waterfronts for sumptuous Maltese cuisine.
Spend half a day at the Malta National Aquarium
One of the world’s most famous aquariums is located in Malta. The Mediterranean seas are packed full of wonderful marine life, and there is no better aquarium showcasing them than this one. Visiting this place is one of the most fun things to do in Malta. If you are not good for diving deep and meet the creatures head-on, this aquarium would be great as an alternative.
The most popular attraction here has to be the Shark Tunnel, where you walk through a plexiglass underwater tunnel while the terrible beauties circle overhead. The Main Tank of the aquarium holds plenty of colorful fish and critters, large and small, that one can find in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Other tanks are themed to the main underwater attractions of Malta like underwater ruins and shipwrecks, making the most exciting to kids and teenagers.
Common FAQs about Malta Visit
1. Which are some low-cost flights to Malta?
- New York
- Singapore Airlines – from $667
- Turkish Airlines – from $1122
- Air Siberia – from $1279
- Alitalia – from $1695
- Iberian – from $1696
- Ryanair – from $47
- Air Malta – from $94
- EasyJet – from $104
- British Airways – from $116
- KLM – from $149
- Turkish Airlines – from $496
- KLM – from $545
- Emirates – from $613
- Swiss air – from $695
- Air France – $706
- Cathay Pacific – from $584
- British Airways – from $622
- Lufthansa – from $640
- Malaysia Air – from $685
- ANA – from $707
- Qatar Airways – from 401
- Emirates – from $436
- Etihad – from $491
- Aeroflot – from $611
- Eurowings – from $693
Please note that the above fares indicate one person flying one-way in economy class on 1st July only.
2. Where are the cheapest places to stay in Malta?
Some of the most affordable hotels in Malta are:
- Paradise Gardens – from $40
- Hostel 94 – from $45
- Villa Vittoria Guesthouse – from $46
- NSTS Campus Residence – from $49
- Ta Noa Art BnB – from $53
- Nocturne Family House – from $54
- Hostel Malti – from $55
- Sliema Marina Hotel – from $56
- PV Hostel – from $57
- Katalina House – from $58
- Ta Rosalba BnB – from $59
- Lotus Guest House – from $60
3. What are some good Malta Holiday Packages?
- Three Cities and Wine Tasting
- Mdina, Mosta Dome, Crafts Village & Valletta
- Valletta Guided Tour
- Second World War in Malta
- Prehistoric Temples Tour
- Blue Grotto & Fishing Village Tour
4. Which are the most famous places to eat in Malta?
Malta is famous for its blended culinary culture. The central Mediterranean location with long British occupation gives you plenty of choices in the kitchen. From traditional British colonial dishes to Italian delicacies and fresh fish prepared in truly local methods, you are going to have a great dining experience in Malta. Some of the best eateries in Malta are:
- Tal-Ingliz Restaurant (Mgarr) – Traditional local cuisine. Entirely non-veg.
- hiM Mozzarella Store (Gzira) – Italian deli with delicious buffalo mozzarella.
- Mint Cafe (Sliema) – Wholesome light vegetarian food, local and international recipes.
- Vinum Wine Bar at Fontanella (Mdina) – Mix of local and Mediterranean dishes, and local white wine.
- Pastizzi Shops (Rabat) – Small, flaky, stuffed pastries great for breakfast or snack. Available in many stuffing choices.
BookOnBoard’s Guide to Malta
We know that with so many attractions, figuring out a definitive guide to Malta would be hard. But here it is finally! In this guide, you can find much useful information about this wonderful island nation. For example, Best Places to visit in Malta, Cheapest places to stay in Malta, Most popular places to eat in Malta, Fun things to do in Malta, Affordable hotels in Malta, Low-cost flights to Malta, Malta Holiday Packages, and much more!
We hope our Malta Travel Guide was useful to you. Please let us know how we can improve! We love to hear from our readers. You can share your thoughts and suggestions using the contact form below. Do enjoy our guides to other historic places. Till then, happy travels!