What to do when in Malta when you have a couple of days to spend there? Well, if you're into citytrips, Malta is the perfect getaway for you!
First, I'll start with a bit more information about Malta as a country: Malta is a very small country: apparently it had 525.285 inhabitants in 2020, with just over an area of 316 km2. From North to South it's like a 35 km drive...
Malta has 3 islands. The internet learned me that it should be the 10th smallest country in the world. Driving there isn't easy for European tourists, since they drive on the "wrong" side of the car AND road (Like in the UK). Lol, an awkward moment the first time I wanted to enter the taxi and ended up stepping into to the car the driver's place...
People in Malta speak both Maltese and English. All the road signs and informations at museums are in both languages. Reading Maltese is very hard since they have their own alphabet. Some signs are only marked in Maltese.. Luckily, the people there are super friendly so finding your way through the country should not be too difficult.
A bit more info about our hotel: Our hotel was in Sliema (Called: The Waterfront). This is a great hotel with spa and the cook downstairs makes dinners vegan for you if you ask for it, sweet right?
The location was great there too because you can see Valletta but you are not in the crowded busy city itself there. You can go back and forth by ferry for only a few euros. You can also book a taxi service. You can order these to get anywhere through the island. It was always 15 euros per ride around the island, make sure to book in advance and search for your personal company because Maltese taxis at the sightseeing locations are over 25 euros. I tried the bus but it doesn't drive always according to the route of maps and this was pretty stressfull. It also took us a ride for 1.5 hours… with 3 buses… while it was always 20 minutes by taxi.
You can also just rent a car, if driving at the wrong side of the car and road is no problem to you. Distances are very short there. So it might not be such a problem.
A bit info about this blog: All the exact locations are linked below. If you click on the link, you'll be directed to the official website of the place and you'll be able to find out all the info about locations and ticket prices yourself.
Day 1: We started with a day in Valletta, on tuesday. Valletta is the typical Maltese city with the very instaworthy cute buildings. It's a pretty small city because Malta itself is pretty small, but it's good for a day. You can combine the city with some of the 3 cities as well.
Make sure to be at noon at the place where they fire the noon gun called: the Saluting Battery. It's pretty impressing that they've been shooting a bomb every day for the past 200 years!
We started our journey in Malta by taking the Boat to Valletta and there we did a small hike through the city center.
We first visited the Casa Rocca Piccola, this is a small, but very cosy palace. To me it was a hidden gem!
The Cathedrals of Valletta are also a must: Saint Johns co catheral & St Pauls cathedral are very interesting to visit.
From the gardens above the city, we took the elevator directly down to the boats to go to the other cities. It was 2 euros for the lift and 2 euros for the boat trips. We went to the fort St. Angelo. It took us about an hour to visit. There you have the best views over the entire city of Valletta. Taking a bout there is also fun, because these boats are very great for photography!
On wednesday we went to the historical temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. First you stop by the Hagar Quim temple and a little further on is Mnajdra a second temple. These both locations are not too big but very impressive to visit. It will take you about 2 hours I think to visit both...
You can buy a “history” combi ticket with a discount there, you can use this one for over several days. It may be interesting to go for this ticket, to save time and money.
I myself, I really like to visit archaeological sites, knowing that these temples are 5600 to 5200 years old, I thought that was very cool! You have a lot of beautiful excavations over the entire country of Malta, but these 2 are the most beautiful, together with Tarxien Temple. The The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is also beautiful but there are only guided tours and they cost 50 euros.. .
After the temples, we walked further down, on the walk to the sea for some beautiful "hidden beaches" and flower meadows to have some green views as well. Malta can look pretty hectic and has a lot of buildings, so unwindin in nature can do good. Afterwards we walked to the famous Blue Grotto, which is not far away from the temples. You can book a boat there, but that didn't seem too interesting for us. I think the view is more beautiful from above, at the viewpoint at the top of the road so that's why we didn't go for the boat tour.
Thursday: Rabat and Mdina, this day was not so great in terms of weather so these cities were quite a nice daytrip for slightly bad weather. In Rabat you can visit the tombs. These catacombs are called "St. Paul's Catacombs" and there are a lot of them. I really thought it was a must to visit them. It took us a couple of hours to visit and with rainy weather, it was actually good to be inside. When visiting them I found it beautiful to see different religions coming together at the same place. The village of Rabat itself is small but nice and cozy, it is much quieter than Valletta but it also has a couple of cute houses with the typical Maltese architecture. Here we also discovered an ancient Roman house with one of the most still in tact mosaic in the world. I also found it interesting to visit this place.
Then just across the street is the city of Mdina with the iconic entrance gate. This gate has been used for several films and tv shows.
The natural history museum was also incluided in the history combi ticket so we visited this place as well. It's right behind the gate. It's not super big but nice as a small stop with bad weather. In Mdina a must see is the museum that belongs to the cathedral and the church itself. Interesting fact, this and the Valletta museum are both autism friendly places. You need to watch the signs, there is an 'auti safe room' where my heart melted for a while. You all know my love and passion for inclusion so finding out that Malta is doing it's best to make their country inclusive as well, warms my heart. At bit further down the city center in Mdina, there are some other beautiful churches, houses and squares to discover. At the end of the main road, you can enjoy a nice view over the city, the nature and the sea. Malta is a super small country so there are a lot of viewpoints there where you can enjoy views over the entire country!
On friday we explored theTarxien Temples and after that we took the bus to Marsaxlokk, a cute fishermen village.
The Tarxien temples are as mentioned before also very lovely to visit. Some of the artifacts from these excavations are actually copies. The originals are kept safely in the Valletta Archaeological Museum, so that's definitely worth a stop too. We did that on saturday...
Afterwards we drove to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, this place is cozy but very small. We didn't stay here long because there's not much to see and do there. After taking some instaworthy shots of the sea with the cute boats, we left the town to go to "St. Peters pool". This was not a long hike, only a couple of kms long. The hike itself was lovely, we walked through nature and meadows to go to the St. Peters pool. This is a corner of the sea where the rocs are steep and yellow-ish and the sea is fluorescently blue. At this "pool" you will also find salt flats and millions of fossils. To find the fossils, you need to go to the left, right behind the "pool".
We needed to go home on saturday evening so before we flew home we visited the last couple of places that we missed. In Valletta we went to see the 12 o'clock fires or better “bomb”, this is quite spectacular. After that, we went to the archaeological museum of Valletta. Here you can find some old artifacs from the excavations like the famous "venus" statue.
If I had had good weather on Saturday and my mom woudn't get sea sick so easily, I would have taken a boat trip to the blue lagoon instead! I think that it would be gorgeous there but yeah, I don't really know since we didn't take this trip. Maybe next time, right?