16 Amazing Things to Do in Malta For Your Visit

Steve Cummings


Malta has something for everyone, even the most frugal of travelers: archeological sites, history, culture, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches and sea, a glorious climate, and some of the tastiest food you will likely ever eat. Even for such a small country, though, trying to plan things to do in Malta may make you feel overwhelmed.

That is where our guide comes in handy. In the following list, you will find great things to do while on your holidays in Malta.

1. Valletta

Valleta harbour Malta.‎
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A trip to Valletta, the capital city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Malta. When you visit Valletta, you experience a modern, lively, 21st-century town that echoes its 16th-century citadel past. Malta was first built by St John's Knights when they battled with and almost lost the country to Ottoman Turks in 1565. The capital is just one square kilometer, making it ideal for foot exploration.

An excellent way to manage Valletta in a day is to start right at the Upper Barrakka Gardens and take in some stunning views of the city's Grand Harbor and then visit the Grandmaster Palace, the futuristic-looking parliament building, the Knights auberges, many steps, and the central square with its breathtaking fountain.

2. Malta National Aquarium

If you are interested in sea life and learning more about what lies beneath the deep blue crystalline waters of the country, one of the top things to do in Malta is visit the Malta National Aquarium. There, you will find a wide array of reptiles and amphibians and a Roman shipwreck that has been recreated.

3. St. John's Co-Cathedral

 St. John's Co-Cathedral
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When looking for some of the best things to do, Malta has a variety of fantastic tourist attractions and places of historical note. However, viewing St. John's Co-Cathedral, you may be forgiven for thinking it was a plain building that deserved little time or attention. But exterior looks can be deceiving, and if you decide to explore this majestic building, you will be rewarded with some of the most extraordinary examples of baroque décor – an impressive spectacle of colored marble, paint, and gold.

It is the church of the group known as the Knights of St. John, who were the rulers of Malta between 1530 and 1798. The Grand Masters of this order are buried inside the crypt. You will find two breathtaking pieces by Caravaggio, including one that is his most extensive and the only one with his signature on it.

4. Relax at the Beach

Although we've looked at the aquarium, which is excellent for young ones to visit, the beaches are among the best things to do with kids in Malta. You are in a country with some of the most sparkling azure-hued waters that are warm enough for comfortable dipping between June and November and the benefit of around 300 days of sunshine a year. Golden Bay is broad with beautifully yellow sand, while Sliema has a long stretch of beach and a rocky shoreline. There is something for all beach lovers.

5. Maltese Wine Tasting

Whether you are on a romantic break for two or want something to do away from the children, tasting Maltese wine should be high on your list of priorities for things to do in Malta for couples. Maltese wine is difficult to find anywhere other than in the country, and while you may enjoy drinking it in a bar, it can be a fun experience to see how it's made. 

Meridiana is one winery that makes some of the country's best offerings, and you can tour the vineyard close to Mdina every weekday at 2 pm. The tour is followed by some wine tasting with cold meat and cheeses. Another choice is the smaller artisan winery known as Tal-Massar in Gozo. It includes a time around their vines before a wine-tasting session involving four offerings and authentic Gozitan food.

6. Explore the Catacombs

St Paul's Catacombs in Rabat
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If you are looking for things to do in Malta for young adults with an adventurous spirit, it may be worth venturing underground to explore a maze of catacombs from the Roman-Byzantine era. This range of catacombs varies from the most opulent sarcophagi to more unadorned carved window graves and oblong essential holes in walls. 

If you have ever ventured into the catacombs in Rome, you will notice a difference with the Maltese site, as there are round stone tables used for funerary meals. It is best to start at St Paul's Catacombs in Rabat; you will find a helpful visitors' center, audio tour guide, and lots to see and do, including Christian, Jewish, and pagan tombs to marvel at. Remember to bring flashlights, though, as it gets very dark and is dimly lit.

7. Enjoy Maltese Cuisine

Maltese Cuisine
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Whether heading to Valletta or one of the other famous towns or cities, one of the best things to do in Malta is to try lots of the country's cuisine. A stunning mixture of Northern African and Italian cuisine, Maltese food is delicious. There is a lot of variety. One of the best street foods is the pastizzi, a pasty made of peas or cheese in various forms. There is also the Imqaret, a tasty fennel seed and date pastry, and Gbejna, goat and sheep milk cheese. We've already mentioned the wine, but if you are having a pizza, maybe some delicious seafood, or rabbit stew, you should try Cisk, the local beer.

8. Experience Gozo by Segway

Are you looking for something different? There are many fun things to do in Malta. But if you plan to visit the city of Gozo, consider the city's brilliant Segway tours. 

When you join one of these tours, the local guide will help you learn how to use the Segway if this is your first time doing so and will then take you to some of the less popular but equally breathtaking spots around the island. The tour usually takes in the highest and most dramatic views from the town's peak, a visit to the leading pilgrimage site in Gozo, and a general tour around everything else.

9. Discover the Secret Hidden Second World War HQ for the Allied Forces

In the capital, Valletta, one of the unique things to do in Malta is discover the secret and hidden HQ for the Allied forces during WWII beneath Valletta. In what was known as the Lascaris War Rooms, President Eisenhower led the troops that invaded Sicily. 

RAF fighters were controlled from this location, signals were intercepted, and radar readings were deciphered. Interestingly, this control center was only really officially closed down in 1977. The original communications equipment and map rooms are now displayed along the tunnels.

10. Walk Through the Oldest Stone Architecture in the World

Neolithic Temples
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There are some more costly things to do in Malta. One such activity is a trip to the Neolithic Temples, considered the world's oldest stone architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site. They predate Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids in Egypt and are buildings with incredible doorways. 

These spacious and curvy rooms were decorated with ochre paint and plaster at one point and featured statues and stone furniture. The best preserved of these stone pieces of history are Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, but you should also consider visiting Ggantija and Tarxien.

11. Relax, Swim, and Snorkel in the Blue Lagoon

One of the most popular and top things to see in Malta, whether traveling solo, as a couple or with the whole family, is the pristine and crystalline waters of the Blue Lagoon. The Lagoon is especially popular around summertime. 

You need to be aware that it can be hectic and overcrowded and that there is little in the way of shaded areas on the land around the water. Therefore, if you are visiting, consider booking a boat that will stay at the Lagoon so you have somewhere to hide from the sun and crowds if necessary.

12. Mosta Dome

Mosta Dome
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Malta is a very religious country and has more than 360 churches. One of the most impressive, recognizable, and visible of these is Mosta. The building has a large vaulted roof that is surprisingly still standing. During a raid on April 9th, 1942, a Luftwaffe bomb managed to pierce the top while over 300 people were awaiting mass. However, the bomb didn't explode. They even have a replica of that same bomb on display.

Mosta dome is the world's 3rd largest unsupported dome, and coming to this church to see it up close and explore the interior is one of the best things to do in Malta for free.

13. Explore Fort St. Angelo

Fort St. Angelo
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Due to its luxury, there is a commonly held misconception that this country is a costly place to visit. But if you look around enough, you will find many cheap things to do in Malta. For a history lesson and the chance to marvel at a relic of an older age, you should go to the Grand Harbor's banks in Birgu and take in the breathtaking sight of Fort St. Angelo. 

This robust limestone structure is the oldest fortress in the country and has played a significant part in more than 1000 years of Maltese history. During medieval times, St. Angelo was the first base for Maltese knights. It even survived what was known as the Great Siege. At one point, it was used as a prison with such esteemed inmates as Caravaggio, and then it served as HQ for the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean for over 150 years.

14. Take a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour of Malta

When time is of the essence, and you want to cover as much of the country as possible, one of the best things to do in Malta is a hop-on-hop-off tour in an open-top bus. Two unique tours are available, the South and the North, offering many different things to see and do. 

You can choose how long you want to spend at each spot by selecting a one or two-day ticket. This is a great way to experience parts of Malta you may not otherwise have the chance to, such as Ghar Dalam, the Café of Darkness, Blue Grotto, and Marsaxlokk.

15. Climb to the Top of the Red Tower

Red Tower
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If you venture to the country's northern side, you will find one of the best things to see in Malta. It was used as an essential and strategic viewpoint as part of the island's defenses. Nowadays, you can climb to the top of the red tower and look over Gozo and Comino. 

Then, if you are still looking for something to do, just a few kilometers away is L-Ahrax, a small chapel built onto the steep cliffs and facing out towards Comino.

16. Game of Thrones Locations

If you are a fan of the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones, the Robin Williams film Popeye, or television and film in general, there are many intriguing things to do in Malta. On a day-long trip around Malta, you can explore all of the Game of Thrones filming locations, such as Flea Bottom's streets, Red Keep, and Kings Landing. 

The tours are run by local actors who share stories about filming the show. On these tours, you will usually be taken to Popeye Village, an amusement park that was the on-location set for the 1980 film Popeye.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are going for a solid two weeks or just a quick weekend break, a trip to Malta will always be rewarding. This tiny little island paradise has many things to see and do. History fans, archeology enthusiasts, sun worshippers, and people who love to travel will enjoy the country, regardless of whether you try all of the great things to do in Malta listed above or just a few. 

Although we have tried to include as many great things to see and do in Malta in our guide, we know we may have missed some great attractions, sites, and locations. If you think we have, let us know in the comments section.

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