Things to do in Malta: The 10 must-see visits

Title what to do in Malta on a sea background
About

Malta is full of breathtaking visits and unique places to discover. Whether you come to visit Malta for 2 days, a week, or a month, whether you are a history buff, looking for a change of scenery, or simply a fan of lounging, visiting Malta will offer you wonderful surprises. Discover the things to do in Malta, the must-see visits, and places of the archipelago to include in your travel diary.

Planning a trip to Malta

#1 Valletta (the capital of Malta)

View of Valletta from the sea

Valletta, the capital of Malta, is an open-air museum. The fortified city with its imposing walls has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Every alley is steeped in history and full of treasures to discover. Among the must-sees of Valletta: St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Grand Master’s Palace with its armory, and the Upper Barrakka Gardens with their famous daily “Saluting Battery”.

St. John’s Co-Cathedral alone is worth discovering Valletta. Despite its austere facade, the interior of the co-cathedral is simply breathtaking. Undoubtedly the must-see visit during a stay in Malta. This unique place houses, among other things, the work “THE BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST” which overlooks the oratory, the greatest achievement of the artist Caravaggio. It is also possible to discover 407 marble funerary pieces in memory of the Knights of the Order of Malta, including 21 sepulchral monuments and 384 richly decorated tombstones.

#2 The Blue Lagoon of Comino

View of the Blue Lagoon of Malta from the sky

The Blue Lagoon of Comino, more commonly known as the Blue Lagoon, is undeniably one of the must-see stops for any traveler wishing to visit Malta and discover the archipelago.

The Blue Lagoon is a sea inlet located between the islands of Comino and Cominotto. A shallow lagoon with crystal clear waters and a sandy bottom, giving it a Caribbean feel in the heart of the Mediterranean. The Blue Lagoon is bordered by two small white sand beaches, among the most beautiful beaches in Malta, due to its exceptional setting, but be aware that spots are rare.

The Blue Lagoon and its nearby coves are among Malta’s most popular attractions, attracting many tourists and divers. It is a must-see place to discover during a stay in the Maltese archipelago. For the more adventurous, it is possible to tour the island of Comino (about a two-hour walk). You can then discover the Crystal Lagoon (much less touristy), the Saint Mary’s Tower, the Santa Marija Battery, and an abandoned hospital dating back to the Napoleonic era. A picturesque hike that will guarantee you an exotic experience.

#3 Mdina (L-Imdina)

View of Mdina from the sky

The former capital of Malta, Mdina (L-Imdina), is a beautiful fortified city nestled in the heart of the island. Home to only 250 inhabitants, it is the smallest municipality in Malta. A city that seems to have remained frozen in time since the Renaissance, earning it the nickname “The Silent City”.

Visiting Mdina is a journey back in time, a unique experience to include in your travel diary to Malta. During your exploration of Mdina, do not miss the visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral and take the time to linger at the very popular Fontanella Tea Garden located along the ramparts. The perfect place to enjoy a sweet treat during a relaxing moment while admiring the magnificent view of the Maltese countryside.

#4 Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto arch in Malta

The Blue Grotto is a sea cave located south of Żurrieq. Stretching 43 meters in length and 40 meters in depth, this cave is among the most beautiful natural sites in Malta. A geological curiosity that can only be visited by boat.

Despite its “very great” popularity as a tourist attraction in Malta, the visit to the Blue Grotto is undeniably worth the trip. The aquatic cave is surrounded by translucent water ranging from blue to turquoise green, allowing you to see the seabed, which is located several tens of meters deep. The visit aboard a small traditional boat (Luzzu) also provides a fun and exotic experience.

#5 Popeye Village

Popeye Village view from the sky

The Popeye Village (or Sweethaven Village) is a theme park located on the outskirts of Mellieha. It was originally built for the filming of the musical comedy Popeye in 1980, and since then, the film’s village has been preserved and transformed into a theme park.

The park offers the opportunity to discover the original film set while providing numerous attractions and activities, such as inflatable water structures, mini-golf, shows, and more. It is a fun and very popular visit that will delight both children and adults who have retained their inner child.

#6 The Coastal Path of Mellieha

View of the red tower St. Agatha's Tower in Malta

Often overlooked in travel guides on Malta and by vacationers, the coastal path of Mellieha is nonetheless an experience not to be missed for all nature lovers.

The route starts at Mistra Bay and ends at the iconic St. Agatha’s Tower, also known as the “red tower”. The path offers an approximately 8 km hike through rugged coastal paths, in a preserved landscape, sometimes lunar, far from the excessive urbanization of the island. Along the way, you will face St. Paul’s Island, discover the small secluded beach of Imġiebaħ Beach, or the popular Għadira Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Malta.

This activity, aside from the main tourist attractions, will cost you nothing but requires some physical effort. Hiking and nature enthusiasts will be delighted.

#7 The Temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra

Ħaġar Qim Temple in Malta

The islands of Malta and Gozo are famous for their archaeological sites dating from the Neolithic period. Numerous megalithic sites dot the archipelago, sites that rival the famous Stonehenge.

Among the iconic sites, if you had to choose just one, opt for the visit to the temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra. Located near the town of Qrendi and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this site is the most important, comprising the ruins of four temples erected between 3500 and 2000 BC. A visit that will enchant archaeology enthusiasts.

#8 Saint Peter’s Pool

St. Peter's Pool natural swimming pool

St. Peter’s Pool is a unique cove shaped like a bowl, overhung by a natural rocky promontory about 2 to 3 meters high. An ideal spot for diving enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.

The site is located in Delimara (Marsaxlokk), not far from the famous fishing village. Access to Saint Peter’s Pool cove is difficult by car; you need to walk 500 meters on a steep road, but it’s worth the effort. It is a very popular spot in Malta, thus very crowded in high season, but still worth a visit. About a hundred meters towards the “Remarkable Stones,” a small cove offers a bit more tranquility for swimming away from the crowd.

It is important to note that the site is not suitable for people with reduced mobility. Also, be sure to bring water shoes to protect your feet, and choose to visit on a calm day, as the cove is exposed to waves during windy weather.

#9 The Three Cities

Senglea fortification in the Three Cities

The Three Cities comprise the three towns facing Valletta: Cospicua (Bormla), Senglea (L-Isla), and Vittoriosa (Il-Birgu). These three cities were the scene of the great siege of Malta in 1565, thus holding great symbolic importance.

They were built as a small fortress during the time of the Order of Malta and the great naval battles. The walls and fortifications bear the memory of the great siege that took place on the Grand Harbour. The Three Cities offer a fascinating glimpse into the history of Malta and beautiful views from the top of the ramparts.

To visit the three sites, the best way is to cross the Grand Harbour from Valletta by boat, and then explore the streets of the three iconic towns. Vittoriosa is undoubtedly the most interesting of the three. It houses many buildings that bear the mark of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, such as Fort St. Angelo and the Inquisitor’s Palace.

#10 Marsaxlokk

Luzzu boat in Marsaxlokk harbor

Marsaxlokk is a small town located in the south of Malta, renowned for its famous fishing port of the same name, a port both picturesque and traditional. Here you can discover the traditional Maltese boats called “Luzzu,” finely decorated with bright colors and the eye of Osiris, a symbol of protection for sailors.

This characterful port, which still bears traces of its Phoenician heritage, comes to life every Sunday during the famous Marsaxlokk fish market. A must-visit if you want to discover the authenticity of Malta. Take the opportunity to sit at one of the port’s restaurants and taste some of the delicious Maltese seafood specialties.