And a restaurant to go with each one!
Are you thinking of taking a trip to Malta and want to know the islands’ top ten sights? These are Malta’s top ten attractions that you don’t want to miss while visiting the islands. Malta is an ideal place to visit because it has something for everyone. You can do a cultural city escape, party your face off with friends or relax on a beach kind of holiday. However, since Malta is such a small country, you can come for just one activity or easily do it all in one trip!
It’s difficult to list only ten things to see and do in Malta, as each little village has it’s own charm and every cave is worthy of exploration. But this is a list of things that I believe you shouldn’t leave Malta without doing, or seeing. They are ranked in order of importance, so if you don’t have enough time for all of them, make sure you cross off the top few on the list.
1. Blue Lagoon, Comino
This is the place postcards are made of. A crystal clear swimming area on a small island, only accessible by boat. A must see, even if you never leave the boat, but getting to spend a few hours in the sea and the sun here are paradise.
Where to eat: There isn’t much in the way for restaurants. It is mostly food trucks and take away, but there is a stall that serves cocktails in a pineapple, and will refill it for half the price! A perfect addition to your instagram selfie.
2. St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral
This is the main church in Valletta, but deserves a spot on the list independently of the city since it is a sight in itself. It gives a great account of Malta’s history and architecture all in one building. The church gets quite busy though, so make it the start to your day in Valletta and you won’t be disappointed.
Where to eat: The Museum Cafe that has been around for hundreds of years and serves all the typical Maltese snacks. Pop in here before or after the church for a ftira or pastizzi.
Of course you have to visit the capital city of Malta, not only for it’s beauty but for the history. It has baroque masterpieces at every corner and a ton of local charm with cafes, shops and bars tucked in all sorts of nooks and crannies. See the Barraka Gardens for amazing views across the harbours, and the harbour tour is a great way to see Valletta from the sea.
Where to eat: There are plenty of good restaurants in Valletta, but if it is the weekend, check out the Bridge Bar for some live jazz overlooking the water. Get there early as it gets quite busy.
4. Gnejna to Golden Bay Hike
This is my favourite spot on the island, and also happens to be the best place to watch the sunset.. There are three bays connected through walking paths along the coast that offer amazing views and all different kinds of Maltese terrain. It takes about an hour to walk from one side to the other, but has a beach bar in each bay to break it up.
Where to eat: Siringita is my favourite spot for food and drink along these beaches. It usually has live music at night too!
The old medieval capital is more noteworthy than it’s appearance on Game of Thrones. This hilltop walled city is a glimpse of history, has great views and is unlike anywhere else on the island. Definitely go for an hour or walking tour and stop for lunch, or a cake at one of the many cafes.
Where to eat: Coogies has a great selection of fresh Maltese cuisine, the view overlooking the island as well as great service, which can be a rarity!
6. Sliema Promenade
It is worth seeing modern day Malta, in it’s most popular neighborhood, Sliema. Many people stay her and venture out for the day to sight see, but it also has it’s own charm and local spots. There is a beautiful promenade along the coast that is nice to walk in the evening. It is lined with beaches and restaurants, and will be full of dog walkers and runners, giving you a glimpse of how Maltese people live.
Where to eat: Get a taste of the italian influence with this traditional Napoli style pizzeria, Sciantusi. You won’t be disappointed!
7. Old Temples
There are three world heritage sites in Malta, all older than the pyramids. Whichever one you choose to visit, just go to acknowledge that Maltese history has been key to human history. See a megalithic temple from the stone age and wonder how it was all possible. The best preserved site in on Gozo, but the ones on Malta are also worth a visit.
8. Citadella, Gozo
This is the hilltop town in Gozo’s capital. From the top, you can see the whole island, and walking along the old medieval streets is a charm. Reminiscent of Mdina, but set among Gozo’s hilly countryside is a lovely contrast and you can pair it with a whole day Gozo jeep tour!
Where to eat: There is a cute square just behind the main street in Victoria, The Grapes Wine Bar is delicious and as the name suggests, has a good selection of local wines.
9. Marsaxlokk & St. Peter’s Pool
I am sneaking a swimming hole into this one, because it is nearby and a shame not to get in these turquoise waters as much as possible. Marsaxlokk is a small fishing village in the South of Malta. It is known for it’s picturesque boats and traditional seafood restaurants. Sunday is the most popular day for the fish market but it’s worth a visit a visit any day of the week. After meandering the shops and getting lunch, hire a boat for a fiver to take you to a beautiful swimming hole of St. Peter’s Pool around the bend.
Where to eat: La Nostra Padrona was recommended to me by Maltese friends and it didn’t disappoint. Great lunch specials with all the fresh catches of the day, and overlooking the colourful harbour.
10. Xlendi Bay, Gozo
This is one of the prettiest bays in Malta, a long inlet framed by cliffs that have walking paths up and down and around. The best part is that it is west facing and offers fantastic dinner with a sunset view restaurants. Come for lunch or dinner and go for a hike, or just swim in the beautiful sea.
Where to eat: Il Terrazzo is up the hill from the bay. It offers a less touristy restaurant with fresh Maltese cuisine and great service that keeps the sunset the longest.
There are plenty more sights to see in Malta, whether it’s caves, hikes, infinity pools, architecture or city scapes. This list should give you a good start though and a good sense of what Malta has to offer.