Best things to do in Malta and Gozo

Overlooking Popeye village Malta

Malta is comprised of two main islands, Malta and Gozo and a third tiny island called Comino. It is surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches & coves in Europe. No wonder why it continues to be the hub location for so many blockbuster movies, like Gladiator and Troy.   

Not to mention the treasure trove of history, spectacular natural sites, leisure activities and all the trendy cocktail bars and delicious restaurants to indulge in too. What is there not to love about these beautiful islands of Malta?

Take a boat ride - Top Things to do in malta

It is definitely a destination that has everything to offer everyone, for friends, family even couples who are wanting a summer, or even a winter holiday. With the airport only 10kms away from Valletta the capital of Malta and Gozo, it is definitely very accessible even for a weekend break. 

Top Things to do in Malta and Gozo

Here are some top things to do in Malta and Gozo which are definitely not to be missed. From adventures and activities to visiting cultural and historic sites. 

⇒ Do you require a visa for Malta and Gozo before you go? You can check and see if there are any requirement.  

Explore the Mdina – The Silent City of Malta

If you want to feel like you have stepped back in time and you are a Games of Thrones fan, then you cannot miss heading to Mdina, Malta’s Medieval captial. Where you can see some of the filming locations from the hit tv series, like the entrance gates where ‘Lord Snow’, Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel rode into King’s Landing 

Cars are not allowed past the monumental gate into the former Maltese capital, making its streets car-less and given it the name of  ‘Silent City of Malta’. 

 the enterance Mdina Malta Horse Ride - fun things to do in malta

Take a horse drawn carriage ride

Take a horse drawn carriage ride around the former Maltese capital Mdina, before exploring by foot along the cobblestone streets of the fortified city lined with well-preserved medieval buildings and palaces. While stopping at the prime spot for Thrones fans, like the courtyard outside Littlefinger’s brothel (pictured below), where Ned Stark feels the pointy end of Jaime Lannister’s sword.

Purchase your ticket for a Mdina Old City 2-Hour Walking Tour

Have a drink at Fontanella Tea Gardens before or after you explore Mdina and take in the views across Malta’s beautiful landscape.

Where to take Instagrammable picture
  • The front of St. Paul’s Cathedral (or also known as the Mdina Cathedral) is a popular spot for Instagrammers and photographers.  

Littlefinger’s brothel - Fun things to do in Malta & Gozo

Visit the famous Popeye Village Malta

Malta is definitely one giant movie set & you really do feel like you stepped right into one. They have filmed everything here from Gladiator, scenes from Games of Thorens to the recent Murder on the Orient Express. One of the most popular film spots and also one of the most popular things to do in Malta is to visit the colourful Popeye Village (Also known as Sweethaven Village).

Paragliding Top things to do in Ölüdeniz Turkey Melbtravel  Read More –  Top things to do in Oludeniz Dalaman Turkey

It was purposely built as a film set of the 1980 Musical feature film ‘Popeye’ starring Robin Williams. It was originally abandoned and later converted into a small amusement park hosting several shows and rides.

Where to take Instagrammable picture
  • The best spot where most of the instagrammable pictures are taken is from the cliff above next to the main road.
  • Please do not go over the road barriers to take your pictures, they are there for your safety.
Tip
  • If you are only planning on taking pictures from the cliff above, then best to do this on the way to catch the ferry to Gozo.

popeye village malta - best things to do in malta

Take a Rolling Geeks Tour in Malta

One of the best (also my favourite) ways to discover the three cities Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua is by electric car through Rolling Geeks. The Self-drive electric car is fitted out with a two way navigation system and is fairly easy to use, as the routes are already programmed in. All you need to do is choose the route and you are on your way to a fun drive through the cities

Even though you are completely independent the Rolling Geeks are never too far away. Each vehicle is tracked from the office and they can assist where necessary through the two way communication. Don’t worry if it rains because the 2 front seats are completely covered and the 2 back seats are partially covered, so no excuse not to go. 

You can never have to many guidebooks

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I had so much fun zooming around streets that I felt like I was only on there for  30 mins but I was actually on there for an hour and half. I was definitely disappointed when it was over and I was looking for more. 

Additional Information about Rolling Geeks Malta

  • A valid driver’s license must be presented at time of pick-up.
  • The minimum driver’s age must be 21 years old.
  • Child seats are available upon request at Euro3 per seat, per tour.
Tip 
  • You can share your Rolling Geek experience instantly with the “selfies” feature in the car.

cool things to do in malta

Do a Segway Tour along the Dingli Cliffs Malta

If you are looking for something quirky and fun to do in Malta, then how about doing a Segway tour along the Dingli cliffs and through some of the villages? While taking in the splendid landscape and views of the Mediterranean sea from the highest point of the Maltese Islands.

Do not worry though as you go along the road and not near the cliff edge, so you don’t have to panic about being to close. Also, the villages are inland and the tour guide will make sure you are able to control the Segway before you go on your journey. 

Segway Malta - fun things to do in malta

How about doing a 3-Hour Guided Segway Adventure Tour at Dingli Cliffs

If you are looking for traditional Maltese food near Dingli Cliffs, then have lunch or dinner at Diar Il Bniet near the Dingli Cliffs

Tip
  • There is a small chapel perched on the cliff top which can be visited and is also next to the small car park.

Where to take in the views from Citadella Gozo

Wander through and take in the amazing views of the town of Victoria and Gozo island from the Cittadella, an ancient fortified city. It is situated on top of a hill and is considered to be one of Gozo’s major landmarks and is visible from all over the island. Built at a perfect strategic vantage point the Citadel has been at the centre of activity on the island since possibly around 1500 BC.

Visit the Citadella Gozo - things to do on gozo

Today though the newly restored area it is a major tourist attraction and only a few families live within the walls. Explore the streets, the cathedral, visitors’ centre and the Heritage Malta museums before going up onto the wall and taking in the 360 views.

The walled streets hold the heat so take plenty of water and go really early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as this place can get very busy.

If you are looking for fresh local food especially seafood and great service then Ta’Philip Restaurant is your place.

Where to take Instagrammable picture
  • The magnificent baroque Cathedral of Gozo in the square is a great spot for instagrammable pictures, especially when the sun is reflecting off the stone.
Tip
  • I also understand that there is a small fee for the Cathedral if you want to go inside.

 things to do in gozo

Explore the Historical Valletta by foot

Valletta is located in the South Eastern region of Malta and has seen a great deal of interesting history dating back as far as the 16th century. And even though many portions of the city were left in ruins during WWII, there are still more than 300 historic monuments and remarkable historic buildings standing.

This is one of the reasons Valletta was inscribed in 1980 as a UNESCO World Heritage site and why there are so many things to do in the captial.

things to do in valletta malta

If you are staying in the captial or visiting for a day, one of the things to do in Valletta Malta is to explore the historical city by foot. You can either take a tour or do a self-guided tour taking in such site as Upper Barrakka Gardens, St George’s Square or even Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th century palace.

If you looking for somewhere to eat and drink in Valletta that services great fresh local food then Rubino Restaurant is your place. Not only is it a favourite with the locals it is some really cool history linked it.  

Tip
  • Check out the ‘Malta Experience’ an audio-visual show screened in Mediterranean Conference Centre. The show walks through the 7000 years of history and turbulent past of the wonderful island country.

 things to see in malta

Visit Casa Rocca Piccola

Another thing to do while in Valletta Malta is visit Casa Rocca Piccola especially if you like palaces, as this is the only privately owned palace open to the public in the city. Built over 400 years ago for a Knight of Malta, it is now the ancestral home of a Maltese Noble family. It is an absolutely beautiful family house with a lot of history and collections of various interesting objects. It was so interesting to see how the Maltese nobility lived in Valletta. 

Tips
  • I only had time to visit the house but I understand that the underground bomb shelter and wine cellar are definitely worth a visit.

Visit the Magnificent St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valetta

You can find several magnificent churches spread across the islands in Malta, like Rotunda of Mosta, The Rotunda of Xewkijathe or The Naxxar parish church just to name a few. Each Cathedral is grand in its own right and has a story connected to it.  

If there is only one cathedral that you do visit while in Malta then you can not go past St John’s CoCathedral, situated in the old town of Valetta. It was built as the conventual church for the Knights of St John and is one of the more splendid cathedrals you will find especially in Europe.I have to admit, I was definitely in awe when I walked in and saw the roof. 

The interior is gilded in gold and the floor is covered with the tombs of many of the distinguished knights of the order. One of the main attractions inside the cathedral and is placed in a separate area is The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio.

Please Note
  • Like all cathedrals, this place is very satiated and your shoulders must be covered and no stilettos allowed before entering. 

Visit Upper Barrakka Garden Valletta

If you are looking for impressive panoramic views across the harbour of Malta, then take a visit to the Upper Barrak Gardens. They are a public garden in Valletta, Malta, along with the Lower Barrakka Gardens nearby.

Built in 1661 by the Italian knight Flaminio Balbiano as part of the bastions that guarded the grand harbour but was transformed into a beautiful garden during the 19th century. The bastion’s lower tier contains the Saluting Battery.

The gardens are free to explore and are an easy walk from the centre of the old town in Valletta. 

Where to take Instagrammable picture

The view through the arches looking out over the Grand Harbor is one of the best scene views you will get from Malta. You can also get a panoramic view of the harbour and the Three Cities.

Tip
  • There is a nice little cafe under the trees, which is a great little stop for a drink. 

Take a Boat ride and Swim in Comino Blue Lagoon

Comino or formerly known as Ephaestia is the smallest of the Maltese islands measuring just 3.5 square kilometres in area. The island is surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and is home to some of the most gorgeous swimming spots in the world.

There are two popular main attractions on the island, one being Comino Fort and the other being the Blue Lagoon. If you have a gopro, this is the place to bring it. You’re going to want to get underwater photography at most of the spots here both in the water and on the beaches.

The Blue Lagoon is a natural swimming pool nestled amidst the surrounding rocky cliffs. The shimmering crystal clear waters of the pool and the tranquillity makes for a great day out for relaxing, swimming or trying your hand at other activities like snorkelling and scuba diving.

Book your Blue Lagoon Boat Tour through GetYourGuide and not worry about the hassle when you get there.

Where to take Instagrammable picture
  • Apparently, it is a thing to go to the Blue Lagoon, buy a drink, and pose with it above the crystal water. I did not do it myself but I have seen, as I was to busy swimming but I have seen other people’s pictures doing it. 
Tip
  • Comino Island is situated between Malta and Gozo, so it is possible to take a boat tour from either place to explore or go swimming.

best things to do in malta

Where to stay in Malta

Accommodation in Valletta – The Saint John Boutique Hotel

I stayed at the Boutique hotel The Saint John with Jet2holidays for a few nights for the first part of my trip, while in the medieval capital Valletta. This gorgeous place is a mix between old and modern architecture and interior design and is centrally located in the heart of Valletta, directly across from the University of Malta.

The hotel had everything that I needed especially for a city break and would not have a problem staying here again. It was in walking distance to most tourist attractions, pub and restaurants, it had strong FREE WiFi especially in my room and good friendly service. Not to mention, I had a huge room with a comfy king sized bed and a nice hot shower.  

The Saint John Hotel Malta -Where to stay valletta malta

There are lots of pubs and restaurants near the hotel but if you are looking for a good recommendation, then check out Noni Restaurant.

Not only is The Saint John Boutique Hotel a charming hotel, but it’s also in the most prime location possible in Valletta for tourists. Read reviews on Trip Advisor

Accommodation in Sliema – The Palace Hotel

I also stayed at the only 5 star luxury hotel in Sliema, The Palace Hotel with Jet2holidays, located only 300m from the seafront promenade, bars and restaurants. This is the type of place I could easily stay in for a whole week. The hotel had not 1 but 3 Swimming Pools with 1 of them being adults only. 

If food and drink is your thing then you will be glad to the know the resort has 2 bars (including the pool bar) and 2 restaurants. 

Playing around in the pool - top things to do in Malta

I had a huge corner room with a huge king size bed with a private balcony to take in the views over the Mediterranean Sea. The luxury room had strong FREE WiFi, lots of power outlets (always a bonus when travelling), flatscreen TV and powerful air conditioning. Even though it was all inclusive the room also had coffee and tea facilities. 

Whether you are on a romantic getaway with your partner or holidaying with family, The Palace Hotel, Sliema is the perfect spot for that summer holiday.

The palace - Where to stay in Malta

The Palace Hotel, Sliema is the perfect spot all year round, especially for a weekend break with your partner or friends. 

The Palace Hotel is ranked No 2 in Sliema. It is definitely a place I would stay again and I loved the pools and the buffet breakfast (You can have prosecco) in the morning. Read reviews on Trip Advisor

Where to take Instagrammable picture
  • If you are an Instagrammer the best time to get photos in the pool is very early in the morning before all the guest set up for the day.
Tip

If you are looking for a restaurant with views overlooking Valletta and not to far away from the hotel, then you should check out Chop House Restaurant.

How to get to Malta and Gozo

Malta and Gozo main airport

The closest international airport is Malta International Airport and London Stansted flights with Jet2 are just over 3hrs. Valletta city centre is only 10 kms away from the airport, making it one of the quickest and most accessible cities to get to in Europe. 

Jet2  flights to Malta currently services 9 airports routes from the UK and various other areas in Europe to mainland Malta. From Malta airport, it is easily accessible to reach all 8 areas that are currently serviced by Jet2. 

Transfers to Valletta or Gozo

The best way to get to Valletta or Gozo is via transfer, whether shared or private.  If you are taking a Jet2 package, they will give you a choice of options, however, all will depend on how much you want to spend. 



Hire a car to get around Malta and Gozo

Alternatively, why don’t you hire a car to see Malta and Gozo top attractions, especially if there is a group of you or if you have a family? There are numerous companies in and around Dalaman Airport where you can hire a car. If, you are worried about getting lost it should not be a problem, as most car hire places do Sav Nav hire too.

Top Tips for visiting Malta and Gozo

  • Go Snorkelling and Scuba diving at one of the many sites in both Malta and Gozo. Like Comino’s Blue Lagoon, Paradise Bay and Golden Sands Bay in Malta are some of the top spots. 
  • Visit the Catacombs of Rabat which is in the neighbouring city of Mdina. The extensive underground complex of catacombs houses a variety of tombs in hundreds dating from the 3rd and 4th century. 
  • If you love door pictures, apparently one of the best places to get the perfect Maltese door is in Sliema
  • More than several scenes of the Game of Thrones has been filmed in both Malta and Gozo. How about taking one of the many tours that will take you to these locations. 

 what to do in malta - things to do in gozo

Where to eat and drink in Malta & Gozo

There are lots of great restaurants and pubs in and around Malta and Gozo and Comino that are good spots for some Mouth-watering Maltese food and cocktails.  Here are a few recommendations for both pubs and Restaurants:

Restaurants in Malta 

  • Diar Il Bniet a traditional Maltese restaurant that is loved by the locals. near the Dingli Cliffs 
  • Rubino Restaurant services great fresh local food and had some really cool history behind it. Based in the captial Valletta
  • Noni Restaurant a traditional restaurant and had one of my favourite meals truffles and mushrooms pasta. Based near my hotel in Valletta old town.
  • Chop House Restaurant is located in Sliema with views across the old town Valletta which is pretty amazing to see.

Restaurants in Gozo

  • Ta’Philip Restaurant is located in on the island of Gozo and had some of the best customs of service I have experienced. 

Bars & Cafes

  • Fontanella Tea Gardens, Mdina Malta Reviews on Trip Advisor

Bowl of prawns Malta - Where to eat in Malta

Other places to visit in Europe

If you are interested in discovering more of Europe, feel free to read my following articles. All are great options for groups of friends or family.

Paragliding Top things to do in Ölüdeniz Turkey Melbtravel  Top Things to do in Oludeniz – Oludeniz, Turkey
Edam Netherlands traditional houses on the canal Europe  A village Preserved in Time – Edam – Netherlands
Scaliger Castle Italy on the waters edge  48hrs in Lake Garda Brescia and Lake Garda, Italy
Hotel Château de Candie Chambery France  Best things to do – Chambery, France

⇒ Do you require a visa for Malta and Gozo before you go? You can check and see if there are any requirement.  

Watching the sunset - Things to do in valletta malta

Thank you for reading this article ‘Best things to do in Malta and Gozo’. I hope it helped you to decide what to do in Malta and Gozo during your stay. It is such a great place to visit, full of history and amazing movie locations. 

Remember that you need to get some good Walking Shoes to get around these beautiful islands of Malta and Gozo.

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Malta & Gozo   

Have you been to Malta or Gozo before? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other places to see?

Here are some amazing bus activities that you can book in advance before you head to Malta and Gozo.

Disclaimer: Even though I was sponsored by Malta and Jet2Holidays All views are my own and based on my own experience.

“This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you if you click on one of the product links, we may earn a commission.”  For further details, you can view our Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions or contact me directly.

 

 

20 Comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to go to Malta and this makes me want to get there faster. The Palace Hotel in Sliema looks so lux and I would love to take a dip in that pool, with its views over the city and the Mediterranean.

  2. Wow great post and amazing photography! I was a lot younger when I visited Malta with family and I don’t think I appreciated it as much as it deserves! We definitely need to go back again to explore this beautiful place! The rolling geeks tour looks amazing and a great way to see things differently! Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you very much in regards to the photos. I also went to Malta years ago but I am have always wanted to go back and explore more. I am so glad that I got the chance as I appreciated even more.

  3. Malta is such a beautiful destination. I’d absolutely love to visit one day. The Blue Lagoon in Comino would be a fantastic experience but I also love the idea of touring with Rolling Geeks. It’s too bad they can only fit four as we have three kiddos. Hopefully they have larger cars by the time we visit. The Palace Hotel is stunning! Love that they have an infinity pool!

  4. My boyfriend went to Malta this summer without me, now I wish I went with him. He stayed on Gozo island, and said it was a lot more quiet there. Might have to force him to go back with me 🙂
    Nice to know it is a UNESCO site, now I really want to go! Trying to visit as many as I can. The Blue lagoon really lives up to it’s name, the water is amazing! Love the little Rollings Geeks cars, what a great idea to use to see the island. Malta is definitely a top rated place for filming, just great to go to recognise places.

    Thank you for the great read!

    1. What he went without you? Now that is definitely a crime 🙂 Gozo is quieter but there are fewer things to do there, however, it is still a great place to even stay for a couple of nights. Btw I loved the Rolling Geeks

  5. I really want to visit Malta! I especially would like to tour the Casa Rocca Piccola. It’s so interesting to see how people lived back then and the collections and objects in the house really tell you a lot.
    How interesting that there is also a bomb shelter and wine cellar. I’ve never been inside a bomb shelter, so that would be so intriguing for me.

  6. Not going to lie Malta was never on my bucket list but you may have just convinced me cause swimming in the Blue Lagoon between Malta & Gozo around Comino Island looks amazeballs! Plus that St. John’s Cathedral looks off the hook. I mean the art on the ceiling is going to give me a bad neck pain for sure. Also, secretly I really want to explore the Movie Set for Popeye’s Village…loved that movie growing up!

    1. Would you believe that St John’s is covered in real gold? I went to Malta years ago not sure what to expect and it definitely delivered. I never realised that there was so much to do there and see. It is great also for a long weekend too.

  7. When I think of Malta, I only think of the World War II Malta Conference. Thanks for enlightening me to the idea of Malta being so much more. Your photography is stunning and very enticing. Somehow I’ll have to squeeze it into my travel plans! How is the electric car for tall people? I’m 6’6″ (200 cm) tall.

    1. What your 6’6, you tower over me, I am only 5’2 🙂 I reckon you could go on the back seat and tangle your feet -;) This is the second time that I have been to Malta and I appricated its beauty and history so much more. It definitely worth a visit and I have to admit you do feel like you are one giant (get that :-)) film set.

  8. Your stunning shots of Malta and Gozo sold me to go for this place. I would love to explore historic Valletta by walking tours. Thanks for sharing all tips and details about this beautiful place.

  9. I would love to see the blue lagoon! I have heard mixed reviews of Malta, lots of negative ones but your guide is making me rethink my opinion! Wonderful photos <3

    1. I have been to Malta twice and to be honest I have not seen anything bad there. I do think it might have its bad bits but so do most places. It really is a beautiful place and one I will return too. Thank you for the photos.

  10. Ok, so I’ve been fascinated with Malta ever since Buzzfeed did their feature on the area – but not even Buzzfeed talked about just how stunning this area truly is! The Blue Lagoon was absolutely stunning and I loved how it was surrounding rocky cliffs. What a wonderful trip complete with a 5-star resort! Thanks for sharing.

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