3-Day Local's Guide: Malta Sightseeing, Relaxation, Food and Wine

Malta

3 days

Skyline of Valletta
Popeye village in Mellieha
Luzzu boats in the harbor of Marsaxlokk
Basilica of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu in Gozo
The Azure Window

About Malta

Experience the enchanting allure of Malta, a Mediterranean gem boasting a rich history, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant culture. Explore the UNESCO-listed capital, Valletta, with its grand baroque architecture, and delve into the ancient Hypogeum temple. Discover the breathtaking Blue Grotto, the sandy beaches of Mellieha Bay, and the medieval charm of Mdina. Enjoy Maltese cuisine, a delightful blend of Sicilian and Middle Eastern flavors. Visit the sister islands of Gozo and Comino for a tranquil escape, offering pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Malta's warm climate, friendly locals, and diverse attractions make it a perfect year-round destination. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, Malta promises an unforgettable journey.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Vibrant Capital, Valletta

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the vibrant capital city, Valletta. Explore the city's rich history and stunning architecture, including the magnificent St. John's Co-Cathedral and the Grand Master's Palace.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Maltese lunch in one of the local restaurants in Valletta. Try the popular 'pastizzi', a flaky pastry filled with ricotta or peas.

Afternoon

After lunch, take a leisurely stroll through the Upper Barrakka Gardens, offering panoramic views of the Grand Harbour. Then, visit the National Museum of Archaeology.

Dinner

Have dinner in a cozy restaurant in the city, tasting local dishes such as 'fenkata' (rabbit stew) or 'bragioli' (beef olives).

Evening

End your day with a relaxing walk along the Valletta Waterfront, enjoying the beautiful night views of the harbour.

Morning

Start your second day in the ancient city of Mdina. Walk through its narrow streets, visit the Mdina Cathedral and enjoy the stunning views from the city walls.

Lunch

Have lunch in a local restaurant in Mdina, trying traditional Maltese dishes like 'timpana' (baked pasta) or 'kapunata' (Maltese ratatouille).

Afternoon

After lunch, visit the Domus Romana, a Roman-era house with beautiful mosaics. Then, head to the nearby town of Rabat and explore the St. Paul's Catacombs.

Dinner

Enjoy a relaxing dinner in a local restaurant in Rabat, tasting Maltese wines and local dishes.

Evening

End your day with a stroll through the charming streets of Rabat, soaking up the local atmosphere.

Morning

Spend your last day in the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Visit the local market, explore the colorful waterfront and take a boat tour around the bay.

Lunch

Have lunch in a seafront restaurant in Marsaxlokk, enjoying fresh seafood and local wines.

Afternoon

After lunch, head to the nearby St. Peter's Pool for a relaxing swim or sunbathing. Then, visit the Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum.

Dinner

Enjoy your last dinner in Malta in a local restaurant in Marsaxlokk, tasting traditional Maltese dishes and wines.

Evening

End your trip with a relaxing walk along the Marsaxlokk waterfront, enjoying the beautiful sunset over the sea.

Attractions in Itinerary (10)

St. John's Co-Cathedral

1
St. John's Co-Cathedral

A gem of Baroque art and architecture, this cathedral was built as the conventual church for the Knights of St. John.

Attractions
Monuments
Religious Sites
Architecture
Grand Master's Palace

2
Grand Master's Palace

The Grand Master's Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in Malta. It served as the residence of the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John. Today, it houses the Office of the President of Malta and the House of Representatives, as well as being a heritage site open to the public.

Attractions
Monuments
Museums
Architecture
Upper Barrakka Gardens

3
Upper Barrakka Gardens

Offers a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour and the old towns of Senglea and Vittoriosa.

Parks
Gardens
Attractions
National Museum of Archaeology

4
National Museum of Archaeology

The National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta houses a spectacular range of artifacts dating back to Malta's Neolithic period up to the Phoenician Period. It's a must-visit for history and archaeology enthusiasts.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Mdina Cathedral

5
Mdina Cathedral

Dedicated to St. Paul, this cathedral is an architectural masterpiece. It was built in the late 17th century in the Baroque style.

Religious Sites
Architecture
Attractions
Domus Romana

6
Domus Romana

Domus Romana, located in Rabat, is a museum dedicated to the Roman period in Malta. It is particularly known for its well-preserved Roman mosaics.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
St. Paul's Catacombs

7
St. Paul's Catacombs

St. Paul's Catacombs are a fascinating network of underground Roman cemeteries located in Rabat, Malta. They were used up to the 4th century AD.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Monuments
St. Peter's Pool

8
St. Peter's Pool

St. Peter's Pool is a stunning natural swimming pool located near Marsaxlokk. It's a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and cliff jumping.

Beaches
Landmarks
Nature
Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum

9
Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum

Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum is a prehistoric site in Birżebbuġa. The cave contains the earliest evidence of human presence in Malta, and the museum displays a remarkable collection of fossils and artifacts found in the cave.

Museums
Attractions
Nature
Marsaxlokk Market

10
Marsaxlokk Market

The Marsaxlokk Market is a large market selling a wide variety of goods, with a focus on fresh fish and local produce. It's a great place to experience the local culture and cuisine.

Shopping
Food and Drink
Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Pastizzi

Pastizzi

A traditional Maltese pastry filled with ricotta or mushy peas. It's a popular snack in Malta and can be found in local bakeries.

Imqaret

Imqaret

A traditional Maltese dessert made from dates and pastry. This sweet treat is often enjoyed with a cup of coffee.

Rabbit Stew

Rabbit Stew

Known as 'Stuffat tal-Fenek' in Maltese, this is a traditional dish made from rabbit slow-cooked in wine and garlic. It's a must-try for meat lovers visiting Malta.

Ġbejna

Ġbejna

A traditional Maltese cheese made from sheep or goat's milk. It can be served fresh, dried, or peppered, and is often used in salads and pasta dishes.

Hobz biz-zejt

A traditional Maltese snack made from sourdough bread, ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and local herbs. It's a simple yet delicious dish that showcases the fresh produce of Malta.

Bigilla

Bigilla

A traditional Maltese dip made from mashed beans, garlic, and parsley. It's often served with bread as a starter or snack.

Timpana

Timpana

A traditional Maltese pasta pie filled with macaroni, minced meat, and cheese. It's a hearty dish that's perfect for those who love Italian cuisine.

Kinnie

Kinnie

A traditional Maltese soft drink made from bitter oranges and aromatic herbs. It's a refreshing alternative to the usual soft drinks and is widely available in Malta.

Aljotta

Aljotta

A traditional Maltese fish soup made with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. It's a light and flavorful dish that's perfect for seafood lovers.

Kannoli

Kannoli

A traditional Maltese dessert made from fried pastry filled with ricotta. It's a sweet treat that's perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

Maltese Sausage

Maltese Sausage

A traditional Maltese sausage made from pork, sea salt, and Maltese spices. It's a flavorful meat that's often used in local dishes.

Cisk Lager

Cisk Lager

A popular Maltese beer that's light and refreshing. It's a must-try for beer lovers visiting Malta.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Malta is during the spring months from April to June. During this time, the weather is warm but not too hot, making it perfect for sightseeing and exploring the island's attractions. The sea temperature is also pleasant for swimming. Moreover, this period is less crowded compared to the peak summer months, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of Malta in relative peace.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

February 10

Sat

Feast of Saint Paul's Shipwreck

March 19

Tue

Feast of Saint Joseph

March 29

Fri

Good Friday

March 31

Sun

Freedom Day

May 1

Wed

Labour Day/May Day

June 7

Fri

Sette Giugno

June 29

Sat

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

August 15

Thu

The Feast of Mary's Assumption

September 8

Sun

The Feast of Our Lady of Victories

September 21

Sat

Independence Day

December 8

Sun

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 13

Fri

Republic Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Malta has an extensive network of public buses that cover the entire island. They are a cost-effective way of getting around and offer routes to most major attractions and destinations. Buses usually run from early morning until late evening.

Renting a car in Malta can give you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. Malta drives on the left-hand side of the road, and the road network is generally good. However, be aware that traffic can be heavy, especially in Valletta, and parking can be challenging in some areas.

Taxis are readily available throughout Malta and can be hailed on the street, booked in advance, or picked up from taxi stands. They offer a convenient, though more expensive, way of getting around. Always ensure the taxi is licensed and agree on a fare before starting your journey.

Ridesharing services such as Bolt and eCabs operate in Malta. They can be a convenient and cost-effective way of getting around, especially if you're traveling in a group. You'll need to download the relevant app and have access to the internet to book a ride.

Ferries operate between the islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino, and also within the Grand Harbour in Valletta. They offer a scenic and relaxing way to travel, especially if you're not in a hurry.

Cycling can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Malta. There are several places where you can rent bicycles, and some areas have dedicated cycle paths. However, be aware that Malta's hilly terrain and busy roads can make cycling challenging in some areas.

Many of Malta's attractions are located close together, especially in areas like Valletta and Mdina, making walking a viable option. However, be prepared for hilly terrain and remember that the heat can be intense, especially in the summer months.

Hop-on hop-off tourist buses operate in Malta, offering routes that cover major attractions. These buses can be a convenient way to see the sights, especially if you're short on time or prefer not to navigate public transport.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency€ EUR

Time zoneUTC+1

Driving sideLeft

Emergency phone112

Drinking waterYes, but some opt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type G

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Malta as a first time visitor

1

Malta is a member of the European Union, so the currency used is the Euro.

2

English and Maltese are the official languages of Malta, with English being widely spoken.

3

Malta has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Average summer temperatures are around 86°F (30°C) and winter temperatures are around 59°F (15°C).

4

Malta is very safe for tourists, but like anywhere, it's important to take care of your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.

5

Public transportation in Malta is reliable and affordable. The main mode of transport is the bus, which covers most of the island.

6

Tipping is customary in Malta. It's usual to leave around 10% of the bill in restaurants.

7

Malta operates on Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

8

The electrical supply in Malta is 230 volts and the sockets are the three-pin, British type.

9

Malta is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, so modest dress is recommended when visiting religious sites.

10

Malta has a high standard of healthcare and there are several hospitals and clinics throughout the island.

11

Tap water in Malta is safe to drink, but it has a high mineral content that some visitors may not like. Bottled water is widely available.

12

Malta is a popular destination for scuba diving, with clear waters and a variety of marine life.

13

Maltese cuisine is a blend of Italian, Arabic and British influences. Be sure to try some local dishes like rabbit stew and pastizzi.

14

Most shops in Malta open from Monday to Saturday, typically from 9am to 1pm and then again from 4pm to 7pm.

15

Malta is a small island and it's possible to get from one side to the other in less than an hour by car.

16

Malta has a vibrant nightlife, particularly in areas like St. Julian's and Paceville.

17

Malta has strict laws against littering and you can be fined for dropping litter in public places.

18

Malta is a great destination for history buffs, with a rich history dating back thousands of years.

19

Malta has a high UV index, so be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen, particularly between April and September.

20

Malta is not part of the Schengen area, so you may need a visa to visit depending on your nationality.

Basic Maltese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

Bongu

Bon-goo

Greeting someone

Goodbye

Sahha

Sa-ha

Leaving or saying goodbye

Please

Jekk joghgbok

Yek yo-ghbok

Making a request

Thank you

Grazzi

Gra-tsi

Expressing gratitude

Yes

Iva

Ee-va

Agreeing or confirming

No

Le

Leh

Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me

Skuzani

Sku-zani

Getting attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Jien desolat

Yen desolat

Apologizing

Do you speak English?

Titkellem bl-Ingliz?

Tit-kellem bil-Ingliz

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

Ma nifhimx

Ma nif-himsh

Not understanding something

Where is the bathroom?

Fejn hija il-kamra tal-banju?

Feyn hi-ya il-kamra tal-ban-yu

Asking for the bathroom

How much does this cost?

Kemm dan jiswa?

Kemm dan yis-wa

Asking for the price

I need a doctor

Ghandi bzonn tabib

Ghandi bzonn ta-bib

In case of medical emergency

Can you help me?

Tista' tghini?

Tis-ta' tghi-ni

Asking for help

I am lost

Intlift

In-tlift

When you are lost

Can I use my credit card?

Nista' nuza l-karta tieghi tal-kreditu?

Nis-ta' nu-za il-karta tie-ghi tal-kreditu

Asking to use credit card

Where can I find a taxi?

Fejn nista' nsib taxi?

Feyn nis-ta' nsib taxi

Looking for a taxi

What time is it?

X'hin hu?

Shin hu

Asking for the time

Can I have the menu, please?

Nista' nara l-menu, jekk joghgbok?

Nis-ta' nara il-menu, yek yo-ghbok

Asking for the menu in a restaurant

Water, please

Ilma, jekk joghgbok

Il-ma, yek yo-ghbok

Asking for water

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • T-shirts

  • Shorts

  • Lightweight pants

  • Swimsuit

  • Beach cover-up

  • Pajamas

  • Light jacket or sweater

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sandals

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Sunscreen

  • After-sun lotion

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Travel-size laundry detergent

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash in local currency

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and car rental reservations

  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Power adapter or converter

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Books or e-books

  • Travel guide for Malta

  • First-aid kit

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Tissues

  • Wet wipes

Weather Conditions

Malta, a beautiful archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its warm, sunny climate. However, the weather can vary throughout the year, so it's important to plan your trip accordingly. The summer months from June to August are the hottest, with temperatures often reaching up to 86°F (30°C). If you're planning to visit during this time, be sure to pack lightweight clothing, sunblock, and a hat to protect yourself from the intense sun. It's also a great time to enjoy Malta's beautiful beaches, but remember to stay hydrated and seek shade during the hottest part of the day. The winter months, from December to February, are much cooler, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 59°F (10°C to 15°C). While this is still relatively mild compared to many other European destinations, you'll want to bring a jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings. Rain is more common during this time, so packing an umbrella or raincoat would be wise. Spring and autumn offer a balance between the hot summer and cooler winter. Temperatures during these seasons typically range from 59°F to 77°F (15°C to 25°C). These are great times to visit if you want to avoid the summer crowds and still enjoy warm, pleasant weather. Regardless of when you visit, keep in mind that Malta is generally sunny, boasting an average of 300 sunny days per year. So, don't forget your sunglasses and sunblock. Also, the UV index can be high, particularly in the summer, so take necessary precautions to protect your skin. Lastly, Malta can be quite windy at times, especially in the cooler months. If you're planning on taking a ferry to Gozo or Comino, check the weather forecast and sea conditions beforehand. Enjoy your trip to Malta and make the most of its beautiful weather!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

15° / 9°

January is the coldest month in Malta, but it's still relatively mild compared to other European countries. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer tourists.

February

15° / 9°

February is still quite cool, with occasional rain. It's a good time to visit historical sites and museums without the crowds.

March

17° / 10°

March sees the start of spring, with slightly warmer temperatures and more sunshine. It's a good time for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

April

20° / 12°

April is a pleasant month with more sunshine and less rain. It's a great time to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the countryside.

May

25° / 15°

May is the start of the summer season, with warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. It's a perfect time for beach activities and water sports.

June

29° / 19°

June is a hot month, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The sea temperature is also warm, making it ideal for snorkeling and diving.

July

32° / 22°

July is the hottest month in Malta, with high temperatures and lots of sunshine. It's a great time for beach activities, but remember to stay hydrated and use sun protection.

August

32° / 22°

August is also very hot, with high temperatures and lots of sunshine. It's a great time for beach activities, but remember to stay hydrated and use sun protection.

September

30° / 20°

September is still quite hot, but with less crowds. It's a great time to enjoy the beach and explore the islands.

October

25° / 17°

October sees the start of autumn, with slightly cooler temperatures and less crowds. It's a good time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

November

21° / 13°

November is a mild month, with cooler temperatures and occasional rain. It's a good time to visit historical sites and museums.

December

16° / 10°

December is a cool month, with occasional rain. It's a good time to enjoy Christmas festivities and explore the islands without the crowds.

Did you know?

Did you know that Malta is one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries?

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