Things to do in Malta: The 10 unmissable visits


Malta is full of treasures to discover and breathtaking sights to see. Whether you’re visiting Malta for 2 days, a week, or a month, whether you’re a history buff, looking for adventure, or just a beach lover, visiting Malta holds beautiful surprises. Discover the must-visit attractions and places of the archipelago to add to your travel itinerary.

Travelers' favorite Malta excursion

#1 The Blue Lagoon of Comino

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

The Lagoon, officially known as the Fliegu Strait, separates the island of Comino from the rock of Kemmunnette (Cominoto). It is famous for its translucent waters that give it a Caribbean-like feel. The Blue Lagoon is bordered by two small white sandy beaches, among the most beautiful beaches in Malta, due to its exceptional setting, but beware, spots are limited.

For the more adventurous, it is possible to go around the island (allow about two hours of walking). You will then discover the Crystal Lagoon (much less touristy), the Sainte-Marie 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.

Blue Lagoon of Malta

#2 Valletta (the Capital of Malta)

Exploring Valletta is a must-visit if you’re heading to the Maltese archipelago. The capital of Malta, former European Capital of Culture in 2018, is a unique place, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and full of historical treasures.

Visiting Valletta is like exploring an open-air museum, as history has left its mark on every building. Strolling along the ramparts, getting lost in its narrow streets, or uncovering the mysteries of the auberges, whatever your traveler’s desires, the visit to Valletta never fails to impress. When passing through the fortified city, don’t forget to visit Valletta’s 3 must-sees.

The Co-Cathedral of Saint John

The Co-Cathedral of Saint John, built by the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, is a stunning cathedral steeped in history.

The Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Upper Barrakka Gardens, overlooking the “Three Cities,” offer breathtaking views and delve into the history of the Great Siege of 1565.

The Grand Master’s Palace

The Grand Master’s Palace and its armory (Grand Master Palace), where you can admire a collection of over 7,000 military pieces (armor, swords, cannons, etc.) dating back to the time of the Knights of the Order.

saluting battery with cannons of Valletta

#3 Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is a geological curiosity and one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. Located in is-Zurrieq, the site is somewhat a victim of its success with a daily influx of visitors, but it is a must-visit on a first trip to Malta.

Embark on a small traditional boat, then sail along the limestone cliffs to discover a 43-meter long maritime cave and its turquoise water. This unique site with its translucent water allows you to see the seabed located several tens of meters deep.

Arch of Blue Grotto in Malta

#4 Mdina (L-Imdina)

Visiting Malta is imperative to include a visit to Mdina. Mdina is the ancient capital of Malta, now nicknamed the silent city, a fortified town with only 300 resident inhabitants where time seems to stand still.

Mdina is an invitation to slowness, so take the time to immerse yourself in the streets of the ancient city. Take the opportunity to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral and if you’re feeling peckish, go taste one of the best desserts on the island at Fontanella Tea Garden with its panoramic view of the island’s interior.

Near Mdina, you can also extend your stop by visiting the neighboring town of Rabat, which houses, among other things, the catacombs of St. Paul and St. Agatha.

View of the ramparts of Mdina

#5 The Three Cities

The Three Cities comprise the Maltese towns of Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa, facing Valletta. Three cities that will introduce you to a more authentic Malta.

They were built as a small fortress during the time of the Order of Malta and the great maritime battles. The walls and fortifications bear the memory of the great siege that took place on the Grand Harbour. The Three Cities also offer stunning viewpoints; picturesque landscapes await you at sunset.

View of the ramparts of the Three Cities of Malta

#6 The Hagar Qim Temples

Did you know that Malta is famous for its megalithic temples? This is often an aspect overlooked by travelers discovering Malta for the first time. Malta has several sites dating back thousands of years that rival the famous sites of Carnac or even Stonehenge.

The most famous site in Malta is that of Ħaġar Qim, a neolithic temple listed as a World Heritage Site dating back to 3600 BC. Like many megalithic sites, the origin of the temple remains uncertain and is therefore subject to numerous hypotheses. Exploring the temples is a fascinating step in many aspects to include in your visit to the Maltese archipelago.

Ruins of Hagar Qim temples in Malta

#7 Saint Peter’s Pool

Saint Peter’s Pool is a classic favorite among travelers on vacation in Malta. A natural promontory formed by rocks, where you can dive into crystal clear waters.

The site is located in Delimara (Marsaxlokk), not far from the famous fishing village. You have to walk 500 meters on a steep road, but it’s well worth the effort. The site is sometimes overrun by hordes of tourists during the summer. About a hundred meters towards the “Remarkable Stones,” a small cove offers a bit more tranquility for swimming away from the crowd.

Dog in the middle of the water at St Peter’s Pool

#8 The Salt Pans of Marsalforn

The salt pans of Marsalforn are a curiosity rooted in the local tradition of the inhabitants of Gozo. They are located on the north coast of Gozo, on the site of Qbajjar Bay, salt pans carved into the rock over 350 years ago.

Take the opportunity to also visit “Qbajjar Bay,” located in the extension of the salt pans. A place conducive to swimming and snorkeling activities.

Woman with a red sweater on the Salt Pans of Marsalforn

#9 Wied il-Mielaħ Window

For a long time, Malta proudly displayed the famous Azure Window as one of the island’s symbols. The Azure Window was featured in many films, including the hit series Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, the natural arch collapsed in 2017, following a violent storm and the consequences of natural erosion. The original site now has no real interest.

Fortunately, there is another natural backdrop still standing: the Wied il-Mielaħ Window. An arch located in Gharb, a geological curiosity to discover during a hike and offering a breathtaking view.

Wied il-Mielaħ Window Arch

#10 Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs

The final stop to include in your travel itinerary in Malta for a successful stay: the Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs. They are located on the southern part of the island of Gozo.

The view from the top of the cliffs is dizzying and the perfect setting for nature trekking enthusiasts. Plan for half a day to enjoy the surroundings.

Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs aerial view

Things to do in Malta? Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the must-visit places in Valletta?

Valletta is full of interesting places to visit. The co-cathedral of St. John, the Grand Master’s Palace, and the Archaeology Museum are among the most popular attractions in Valletta.

How can I visit the Blue Lagoon?

Visiting Malta necessarily involves a visit to the Blue Lagoon. To reach the Blue Lagoon of Comino, the simplest and most economical way is to take a shuttle from Comino Ferries located below the Cirkewwa ferry terminal.

What are the recommended visits for a weekend in Malta?

During a weekend in Malta or a short stay, you’ll need to select your visits. For short stays, there are two must-see visits: a visit to Valletta and discovering the Blue Lagoon (Comino).

Is it possible to visit Malta in winter?

Visiting Malta in winter is entirely feasible. The Mediterranean climate of the island is mild even during the coldest months, from December to February. The main tourist and cultural sites also remain open or accessible. Winter is a quieter period on the island, allowing for cultural visits, but reducing swimming activities.

Can you visit Malta with children?

While some activities, such as historical visits, may seem long for young children, there are nevertheless many activities suitable for both young and old. The Blue Grotto and the Blue Lagoon are very popular with children, while Popeye Village and its tourist park area are also popular with the youngest.