Malta Sightseeing and Holiday Tips: Need to know
History and Geography
The country of Malta has been declared independent in 1964. In the past, the Maltese were repeatedly conquered and ruled by other nations. The Malta archipelago, along with Malta itself, includes Gozo and Comino and other very small islands.
Currency in Malta and Gozo
Since 2008, people in Malta are paying in Euro. Credit card is commonly accepted and ATMs are easy to find.
Malta Sightseeing and Holiday Tips: How to get around
Public transport in Malta and Gozo
Take the bus! The bus system in Malta and Gozo is very well developed and you´ll get to every to almost every destinations on the archipelago by bus.
Malta public transport offers travellers even 7-day tickets and other offers at reasonable prices. If you don't want to rent a car, the bus is certainly the best choice on the islands.
Car ferry between Malta and Gozo
Hop the islands! Every 45 minutes a large car ferry brings cars and passengers from Malta to Gozo and reverse.
The trip is to be paid on the return journey from Gozo to Malta, although we have already heard that this should change. That means, if you are on Malta, just enter the ship and pay, when you return a few days later. The crossing takes about 25 minutes. On board the ferry there are some shops selling food, magazines, toys, food & drink.
Driving a car in Malta and Gozo
People are driving on the left on Malta and Gozo. Driving is very easy and comfortable since distances on Gozo are very short. Even on Malta, you will get from one point to the other in very limited time. So you can confidently schedule several sights for a day.
Airport and car rental in Malta
Luqa airport is quite small and manageable. The stands of the rental car companies are located within the reception building. Once ready with the paperwork, you pick up your car at the parking of the airport.
Parking space on the roads are very limited – especially in Valetta – and marked by colour.
Yellow: The zone is only for quick loading and unloading
Blue: Local residents
White: Everyone is allowed to park here (very rare)
Near Valletta´s main bus station, there is the large car park called MCP Floriana, where you will find a spot for sure for 10 € per 24 hours.
Passenger ferry between Valletta and Sliema
If you want to visit Sliema or the other quarters on the opposite side of the bay next to Valletta, we have another Malta holiday tip for you. Do not take the bus, but the passenger ferry to Sliema. You will have a free sightseeing tour through the natural harbour of Valletta. The boat goes every 30 minutes from one city to another. They sell return tickets and one way. The journey from Sliema to Valletta takes about 10 minutes. There are no official ticket offices, just pay when boarding.
Malta Sightseeing and Holiday Tips: Culinary Malta
The dishes of a typical Maltese restaurant are closely related to Italian dishes. Fantastic pasta, fresh seafood and wonderful meat.
What is typically Maltese and is found on every menu is rabbit.
Every culture that has ever been to Malta has left its culinary footprints on the islands. You really find every kind of restaurant here. Here are our favourite restaurants on the islands of Malta:
♦ Margos: Extraordinary and delicious pizza with great ingredients
♦ Cafe Cordina: Beautifully located on one of Valletta's main squares and one of our Malta sightseeing and holiday tips, especially for Aperol Spritz lovers like me (Kathrin) with happy Hour from 17:00 to 20:00 pm
♦ Is-Suq tal-Belt: The food market in Valetta comes around with a abundance of excellent restaurants with great dishes
♦ Amorino: Serves delicious ice cream in the shape of a flower blossom
♦ Venchi Chocolate & Ice Cream: The best ice cream in Malta
♦ L-Iskoll: The best Mediterranean food we ate on this trip and thus the number 1 of our Malta Sightseeing and Holiday Tips
♦ Ottavo Senso: Very tasty pizzas
Malta Sightseeing and Holiday Tips: Culture and Shopping
Valletta is the European capital of Culture of 2018. The capital of Malta catches its visitors with ancient history and impressive buildings. Buildings on St. Pauls Street were as aristocrats' residences in former times. They are quite narrow but highly built. Many of the houses today serve as boutique hotels and impress with their fantastic courtyards.
Look here for amazing hotels in Malta.
If the residents of Malta ´ s love one thing, then it is fireworks and cannon shots. Even during day, they send amazing fireworks into the sky, but especially in the evenings, it is really amazing to watch the colourful fireworks.
Shops and restaurants
On Sundays most shops, cafes and bistros are closed. Only the busy pedestrian street of Valetta has its own rules.
Malta Sightseeing and Holiday Tips: Sightseeing
Here we introduce you to the famous sights of the islands. But we have put together our own highlights, because the well-known are unbelievable crowded in the summer months. So these are the crowded highlights and here you get to our Malta´s real sightseeing highlights.
The streets of Valletta are truly awesome in our opinion. Just stroll around and enjoy Aperol Spritz or delicious ice cream. Feel the life.
We recommend to visit “The Malta Experience” at the beginning of you journey. Every hour from 11:00 p.m. this movie introduces the visitor in Malta´s amazing history and is crucial to understand the culture and way of life, the Maltese live.
For a great view of the sensational natural harbour of Valletta and a first orientation, enter the upper Barakka gardens.
St. Peters Pool
St. Peter´s Pool is a rocky cove with crystal clear water. It was quite crowded and so we didn't spend too much time there. Overall nice, but you don't necessarily have to have seen. A little uphill there is a bar that sells cold drinks. Because of the danger of the cliffs breaking down, a reclining area is already closed. A larger car park is right at the end of the road. Don´t be irritated, if the other people are already parking a few hundred meters before the road ends.
Mdina‘s old city centre was formerly the capital of Malta. Overall certainly worth a visit, but still relatively small and not much to see. The outer part of the city does not have much to offer. Catacombs of St. Pauls are an option, But we didn´t visit it.
On the harbour promenade, you can buy tickets for Hop-on Hop-off buses, Gozo and Comino boat tours and harbour cruises. Mass tourism.
Until middle 2017, a huge rock arch loomed into the sea at this point, but it collapsed during a heavy storm. There is nothing to see any more, unless you dive at this spot.
This is a beach located in the back land of the coast, connected to the open sea by a natural tunnel in the cliffs. The Inland Sea is completely full of boats and not nice to watch anymore. This natural phenomenon is totally spoilt by the diving schools and boats everywhere. It looks like a harbour and not like a natural wonder.
The salt pans are small tubs carved into the soft cliffs of the coast. These are filled with salt water and exposed to wind and sun. After the water has evaporated from the basins, only salt remains.
Here you can find some cool rock formations. The beach is not very nice.
The place and its bay are really picturesque, but fully built. There are some pretty nice restaurants in the first row. A large free car park is also available. On the right side of the bay, there is a small path leading to the cliffs, which ends in a small cave with a great view over the bay.
The Blue Lagoon is the most crowded place we have seen on our whole journey. Of course, the lagoon would also be the most beautiful place in the archipelago, if there were not thousands of tourists. If you want to visit the lagoon, book an early morning private transfer to avoid the tour boats bringing thousands of tourists over there.