15 Best Things to do In Malta - Sights, Tours and Day Trips

Located just south of Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea, lies the beautiful Island of Malta. The largest island in the Maltese archipelago, you’ll find no shortage of sites to explore in a country steeped in history. Malta is full of incredible ancient architecture and has some of the oldest buildings ever created. Some are even older the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza.

Known for its endless sunshine, the country benefits from a warm Mediterranean climate all year round. It’s an island surrounded by natural beauty. Rock-cut salt pools dot the rugged coastline and clear turquoise waters lap its hidden beaches. 

From adventure to the arts, there’s no shortage of things to do in Malta with even its capital city, Valletta, being named the European Capital of Culture 2018.

Related article: Living in Malta as a Digital Nomad: What’s it Like?

The 15 Best Things to do in Malta

1 – Explore Malta’s Prehistoric Temples

Malta’s Megalithic Temples are some of the oldest temples in history. These amazing structures were built around 3150 BC, making them even older than Stonehenge. Taking a guided tour around these UNESCO World Heritage Sites is one of the best ways you can discover this ancient history up close.

Not much is known about the people who built these unique and intricate places. At the temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, you’ll find hidden rooms, stories of cult practices and phallic monoliths, only adding to the shroud of mystery that surrounds the sites.

These magnificent and mysterious buildings are a testament to Malta’s long and fascinating history and are certainly one of the best Malta attractions.

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2 – Sightseeing on an Open Top Bus

What better way to take in all the sights that Malta has to offer than by sitting in the sunshine, admiring the view at your own pace.

Double-decker bus companies run several routes throughout the island, offering you a chance to stop at all its most famous landmarks. Visit areas such as the Ta Qali Crafts Village, San Anton Presidential Gardens, the fishing town of Marsaxlokk, and Valletta city centre.

The bus tours operate with a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ ticket system, giving you the freedom to plan your own itinerary and explore all the magnificent landmarks for as long or as little as you like.

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3 – Visit Mdina, Malta’s ‘Silent City’

Known as The Noble City, Mdina’s quiet streets are lined with baroque palaces and medieval architecture. The city was formerly Malta’s capital and once home to the island’s noble elite, many of whom were descendants of the Norman and Spanish families that ruled Mdina from the 12th century onwards.

The walled city sits 200 metres high, on top of a fortified hill offering panoramic views across the island. Mdina is known as the silent city due to its no-car rule, and just 300 residents call it home. This means you’re free to wander its narrow streets and alleyways uninterrupted. Audio tours through Mdina are one of the best things to do in Malta.

Tune into fascinating stories and historical accounts as you visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vilhena Palace, and the Greek’s Gate.

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4 – Sample Malta’s finest Wines

When it comes to wine, the Mediterranean has a long and rich history. The region’s warm climate and local varieties produce a number of unique wines you just won’t find elsewhere.

At the Marsovin Wine Cellars, you’ll get the chance to tour their 400-year-old wine vaults. From pressing to fermentation, you’ll learn about the historical production methods used to transform locally grown grapes into wine.

And, after building up a thirst, you’ll get the chance to raise a glass and sip your way through an expertly guided wine sampling.

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5 – Experience Malta’s Vibrant Nightlife

When it comes to nightlife, Malta has a lot to offer. From Salsa clubs to buzzing bars, it contains some of the most spirited parties found in the Mediterranean.

When night descends, revellers flock to the town of Paceville for its live music, bars, and pulsing nightclubs. By joining one of the city’s famous pub crawls, you get to sample to some of the best entertainment that Malta has to offer surrounded by fellow fun seeking party-goers.

Head to a rooftop bar to marvel at the city illuminated in the evening light, hear bands play raucous live music, try your luck at the casino, or just dance the night away.

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6 – Visit the Church of St. Mary in Mosta

Malta is home to more than 360 churches, a pretty incredible feat when you consider that the island covers only 122 square miles. One of its most iconic, however, is the Church of St Mary (Mosta Rotunda).

It’s home to the famous Mosta Dome, the third largest unsupported dome in the world and a truly breathtaking sight. The church itself is brightly designed with beautiful paintings adorning its walls and marble floor throughout.

It’s also got a fascinating historical past and is the scene of what many believe was divine intervention. During the Second World War, two bombs fell onto the church whilst its 250 strong congregation was attending evening mass.

Miraculously, neither bomb exploded and not a single person was harmed. A replica of one of the bombs still takes pride of place in the church as a constant reminder.

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7 – Party Like a Pirate and Swim in the Blue Lagoon

Malta’s past is deeply rooted in maritime history. Known for its harbour and strategic location, the island is also famous for its pirate legends.

Board a party boat at Valletta and sail across the Mediterranean sea to Malta’s smallest island, Comino, a popular hangout for the daring corsairs who’d raid the boats sailing between Malta and Gozo.

You’ll arrive at Comino as the sun sets, before sailing round to the Blue Lagoon for nightfall. Here the boat drops anchor and the volume turns up.

Take a moonlight swim and dance the night away, whilst enjoying an open bar stocked with spirits and cocktails. The party continues all the way through till midnight, when the boat returns to Sliema.

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8 – Walk along the Dingli Cliffs

The Dingli Cliffs are the highest point on the Maltese Islands, providing stunning scenic views that stretch along the coast of the island. It’s a quiet area with well-marked walking trails that lead down the shoreline.

Along the way, you’ll find the lonely little 17th-century Chapel of St Mary Magdalene and after continuing onwards, the uninhabited islet of Ta’Żuta. The walk provides spectacular views of the mediterranean sea.

Marvel at the incredible natural rock formations as you travel across the cliffs towering 220 meters above the steely blue ocean.

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9 – Take a Trip to Marsaxlokk Village

Marsaxlokk is a charming little fishing village situated in the southern part of Malta. It’s a place brimming with vibrancy and colour, truly a photographer’s dream.

Once you arrive, you’ll find a gorgeous harbour tightly packed with colourful Luzzu boats and a promenade full of restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood dishes. Every Sunday, Marsaxlokk is also host to a popular market where you can pick up locally made produce. 

You’ll find clothes, souvenirs, gadgets and toys for sale here. You can even buy fresh fish and get it cooked for you right there and then at one of the local restaurants.

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10 – Visit Comino and Swim in the Blue Lagoon

The stunning aquamarine waters of the Blue Lagoon make this destination an ideal attraction for those interested in swimming, snorkelling or diving. The long, narrow bay is shallow, making it perfect for families or those that want to take a relaxing break from Malta’s hot sun.

Make sure you pay a visit to Comino’s Crystal Lagoon. Surrounded by steep cliffs and only accessible by boat, this secluded inlet is a snorkellers paradise and provides a more private experience than the famous Blue Lagoon.

A catamaran tour is one of the best things to do in Malta, as it gives you the opportunity to visit Comino’s Blue and Crystal Lagoons as well as a few hours of sightseeing in Gozo.

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11 – Spend Some Time at The Palazzo Parisio

Palazzo Parisio is a palace built in the 18th century, a goldmine of magnificent artefacts situated in the picturesque town of Naxxar. On your visit to this mansion, you’ll discover Malta’s historic sense of nobility.

Whether you’re admiring its grand ballroom, marvelling at the detailed family chapel or wandering its fabulous walled gardens and orangery, this is a place just asking to be explored.

Palazzo Parisio is also renowned for its fabulous cuisine, featuring two of Malta’s top restaurants and a delightful lounge bar. Caffé Luna, the Luna Lounge and Luna di Sera all offer mouthwatering cuisine and stylish atmosphere.

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12 – Take a Trip to the Neighbouring Island of Gozo

Thousands of years ago, ancient civilisations would travel for weeks in search of Gozo. Once ruled by the Romans, Phoenicians, Sicilians, French and the British, the island is overflowing with historical sites and ancient ruins.

Famed as Calypso’s isle from Homer’s Odyssey, Gozo is smaller and greener than Malta and provides visitors with a slower pace of exploration.

Related article: Read our Malta Vs Gozo comparison!

Visit the Neolithic Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, wander through the narrow, winding streets of The Citadel, marvel at the dramatic terrain of Dwejra and explore the scenic fishing village of Xlendi whilst taking a paddle in its clear, shallow waters. Gozo is located just 20 minutes away by boat and makes for the perfect day trip and one of the more popular things to do in Malta. 

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13 – Cruise the Cities in a Traditional Maltese Boat

See some of Malta’s most famous cities from a whole new perspective as you cruise its waterways in a traditional Maltese Latini boat. Spend two days taking in the sights and learning about popular Malta attractions.

An expert guide will help to unfold the history of Valletta and the Three Cities which date all the way back to 1565. Along the way, you’ll visit historical forts, battlements and the ten creeks from the sea, finally witnessing Malta’s past come to life as you reach the Grand Harbour.

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14 – Take a Medieval Walking Tour

Take a guided walking tour to explore Malta’s rich capital of Valletta. Stroll through its beautifully preserved medieval buildings and marvel at the stunning panoramas from the Barracca Gardens that overlook the Grand Harbour.

Walk through the city’s narrow streets, which have changed little in the last 1,000 years, and visit the Cathedral Museum to find out about the famed knights of the past that roamed its halls.

The gorgeous architecture and remarkable views make this tour one of the best things to do in Malta.

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15 – Explore the Island on a Segway

Fun is guaranteed as you glide along on your Segway, taking in all the stunning views Malta has to offer. This guided tour visits the charming village of Dingli before ramping up the excitement and taking you off-road.

You’ll soon find yourself cruising along one of Malta’s most spectacular landscapes, the Dingli Cliffs. Riding along the coast 200 meters above the sea has to be one of the best things to do in Malta.

You’ll also visit ancient burial sites and see the remnants of centuries-old civilizations as the tour takes you to view the Magdalena Chapel and the Great Cave.

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So, as you can see there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do in Malta. What are you going to choose?

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