What to Expect in Malta
Language: Maltese people are linguistic pros! Most natives speak Maltese, and nearly 90% speak English, while another 50% also speak Italian.
Currency: Malta, along with 19 other European countries, use the euro so there’s no need to convert if you’re traveling the continent.
Credit Cards: Carry a mix of cash and cards. Most big retailers and restaurants accept cards, although not always American Express. You’ll also still want cash on hand for small purchases.
Climate: With a Mediterranean climate, it’s never too cold in Malta. In the winter, you’ll find temps between 50 to 60, while summer days range from the low 70s to 90.
High Season: June to August gets crazy in Malta. Hotels are booked solid and the beaches can get really crowed. Things also get busy again briefly from Christmas to New Years. Plan ahead if you’re coming for high season!
Holidays: You could write a book on the number of celebrations and holidays they have here! During the summer you’ll find festivals for art, jazz, beer, and wine along with the annual Isle of MTV event. Another big thing are the village celebrations which take place all over the islands. Their calendar is packed with events so do some checking around before you arrive.
The Three Islands:
There are three different main islands that make up the country. There’s the main island of Malta, and the nearby Gozo
and Comino Islands
Getting Around Malta
Island hopping and getting around between the attractions is cheap and easy in Malta. Here are a few ways to go about it.
Taxis: The islands are small so taxis are affordable and the most common means of getting around. Watch for an official white taxi car and make sure they turn on the meter.
Buses: Public transport is reliable and goes to most tourist destinations. If you think you’ll use it regularly, you can grab a 12-trip card for 15 euros.
: To get from Malta to the other two islands, Comino and Gozo, you’ll need to go by ferry. During most of the year, the ferries leave at least once per hour and it takes less than 30 minutes.
You’ll leave for either island from the Cirkewwa port. You’ll have a few options but generally you can expect to pay 10 euro or less for round-trip travel.
Where to Stay in Malta
There are a lot of great places in Malta to stay and it’s all about deciding what type of adventure you’re in the mood for.
Valetta is one of the most popular areas when it comes to history and culture. If you’re looking for nightlife and beaches though, this isn’t the best pick.
Sliema is a popular region for luxury-goers. It’s got a charming look and is full of hotels, restaurants, and rocky beaches. The lidos with pools around here are good for swimming.
Mellieħa is a beautiful part of the island that is close to the beaches. It’s very quiet so it’s good if you’re look for a chill escape.
Luxury Hotel Options
: Every inch of the InterContinental is effortlessly chic. They’ve got a private beach area on George’s Bay and it’s a quick trip to the entertainment and clubbing district.
Mid-Range Hotel Options
: Travel back in time with this cool Victorian-style hotel in Sliema. It’s an especially good pick if you’re looking for nightlife since it’s just a five-minute drive from the center of it all, St Julian’s.
: This family-run spot has a unique flair and is right in the middle of the best bars, restaurants, shopping, and sightseeing.
De Vilhena Boutique Hotel
: Located in the middle of Valletta, the De Vilhena Boutique Hotel has a prime location with a good atmosphere.
Where to Eat in Malta
There are SO many amazing restaurants that it’s really hard to narrow it down to the best of the best. There are lots of luxe seafood and steak restaurants, but go for Italian or Maltese cuisine when you can.
: This family owned spot in Marsaxlokk has friendly service and literally the BEST pasta I’ve ever had in my life.
The Harbour Club
: This Valletta restaurant is all about fresh and local food. They’ve also got outdoor seating with a nice view of Valetta).
: For good cheap eats in Valetta, look no further! There sandwiches are the perfect Maltese lunch.
: For an amazing view of the bay from Il-Mellieħa, come here and get an ultra seafood platter with some amazing local wine.
What to Do
Explore Valetta: One of first cities to have been named a UNESCO Heritage Site, the small capital city of Malta has an incredibly high concentrated historic sites. It’s perfect for just wandering around and taking in the city.
Grand Harbour Cruise
: The best way to see Malta is by water, of course! Check out the Three Cities tour to get a good look at the best of Malta.
Mosta Church: This spot survived a bombing and still looks stunning. Take a trip to Rotunda Square in Mosta and bring your camera.
Fisherman’s Village: In Marsaxlokk, you’ll find sidewalk café, a cool market, and good photo ops. Come on Sundays to check out the fish market.
Wander through Birgu: The old fortified city at the south of the Grand Harbour is ripe for exploration. Follow the winding alleyways to hidden treasures.
Cruise around Comino: You’ll want to plan lots of time on the water in Malta. The Blue Lagoon
is a must-see and the rest of Comino is well worth spending a day exploring.
Scuba Diving: Sadly the azure window is gone, but I’ve heard you can scuba dive to see it now. There are also lots of good spots in Gozo too, which is just a short ferry ride away.
Beaches: Malta is famous for its turquoise blue Mediterranean water. Beaches like St. Peter’s Pool, Mellieħa Bay, Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa are musts!
Popeye’s Village: While it’s a bit pricey to visit and it’s more geared toward families, I’d recommend recommend come out here to get one of Malta’s best photo viewpoints.
St Agatha’s Tower: Also known as Red Tower or Mellieħa Tower, these 17th century towers have an interesting history and you can get a great view if you climb to the top.
St Paul’s Bay: A quiet fishing village on the northern coast, there are a lot of Maltese people living in the old town of St. Paul’s Bay so it’s a good spot to visit to see what local life is like.