Things to do in Malta + Valletta and Gozo

Malta consists of 3 islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino.  Things to do in Malta Include;

  • Valletta
  • Sliema
  • St Julian’s and Paceville
  • Mosta
  • Mdina and Rabat
  • Blue Grotto
  • Popeye Village
  • Naxxar
  • Gozo Island and Comino

I based myself in Valletta Hotels – Saint John and took day trips to see the things to do in Malta.  However, Saint Julian’s hotels as well as Sliema hotels are also in popular areas.

Valletta

Things to do in Malta - Valletta Gate

Valletta is a must visit in Malta as it’s the capital city.  It is the smallest capital city in the EU.  My favorite site to visit in Valletta is the Saint John’s Co-Cathedral.  As a matter of fact, the interior reminded me of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.  If you go at 9 am there won’t be many other tourists.  You may be lucky to see the guards at the city gates of Valletta.  If you don’t see them at the city gates you’re guaranteed to see them outside the Grandmaster’s Palace.  Furthermore, read a detailed description about things to do in Valletta on my travel blog.

Sliema

Things to do in Malta - Sliema Bay viewed from Valletta

Sliema is a popular place to stay in Malta.  It’s located across the bay from Valletta.  The promenade is lined with bars, restaurants, shops and hotels.  In addition, you can easily take the ferry to and from Valletta from Sliema.  The cost is less than €2 and it takes about 10 minutes.  On the boat over to Valletta you get some good city views of the Maltese capital.  There are many tour companies based on the promenade selling day trips to the three cities, Gozo and Comino.  What is useful about these tours is that they take you by boat.  You can see how densely populated Malta is so a boat trip takes the traffic out of the equation on a visit to Gozo.

St Julians / Paceville

Things to do in Malta - St Julians church

St Julian’s is the home of Paceville.  Paceville is the nightlife capital of Malta.  You’ll find endless bars and clubs in this area.  I recommend you stay in Saint Julian’s as close to Paceville as possible if you are visiting Malta for the nightlife.  There is a high concentration of hotels and restaurants in Paceville.

Mosta

Things to do in Malta - Rotunda of Mosta - The Mosta Dome

Mosta is a town in the central Malta.  The main reason to visit Mosta is to see the Mosta Dome which is also known as the Rotunda.  An interesting fact is that it’s is 3rd largest unsupported dome structure in the world.  Where is the largest unsupported dome in the world?  It is in fact, St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.  Most local buses will pass through Mosta as it’s located in central Malta.  Finally, Mosta is a stop on the Hop on Hop off north bus tour, in fact the bus stops here for viewing purposes.


Mdina

Mdina Malta - City Gates

Mdina is a walled town which used to be the capital of Malta.  It’s famous for Mdina Gate as well as St Paul’s cathedral.  Additionally, Mdina has narrow streets and mix of Baroque and Medieval architecture.  For this reason, it’s a very picturesque town and a must see Malta.  You can make some unique street photography in Mdina, especially at night when the streets are empty.  Another good photo spot is from the fortification where there are aerials view over Malta.  Mdina is small with only 300 residents but it’s also connected to the larger town of Rabat.  You can plan your journey to Mdina with Rabat as they are adjacent to each other.

Rabat

Parish Church of St Paul & Grotto Of St Paul, Rabat Malta

You’ve probably heard of Rabat before as there is also a Rabat, Morocco.  The Rabat of Malta is much smaller but has some interesting sites of its own.  Things to do in Rabat Malta include the beautiful Parish Church of St Paul.  What makes this church special are the catacombs of St Paul beneath it.  Opposite the facade of the church are the catacombs of St Agatha’s which are huge catacombs with over 500 graves.  There are also a few pedestrianized streets in Rabat Malta which are perfect for taking your Maltese Instagram street shots.  Finally, if you are interested in movie locations, Munich was filmed in Rabat.

Blue Grotto

Things to do in Malta - Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is one of the top things to do in Malta.  In fact, you’ve probably seen pictures of these beautiful blue waters before.  The Blue Grotto is a series of sea caves on the south west coast.  It’s best to visit them in the morning when the sun is shining towards them.  As a result, you’ll see the full variation of color.  To get to the Blue Grotto it’s best to go by local bus or take a Blue Grotto tour.  If you’re visiting independently,  you can easily arrange a boat to the sea caves.  Finally, scenes from the Brad Pitt movie, Troy were filmed at the Blue Grotto.


Popeye Village

If you are traveling to Malta with kids then Popeye Village is a must visit.  It was the movie set of the 1980 Popeye movie starring Robin Williams.  Nowadays, the original set remains and there are lots of activities for kids.  Activities such as boat rides, swimming, trampolines in the water.  It’s also quite an Instagrammable village with all the Popeye colors and lagoon.

Naxxar

Things to do in Malta - Naxxar Church

Naxxar is famous for its Parish church.  If you’re passing through the northern city you should visit, at least to view the church.  To be honest, if you’re not passing through then it’s not worth the detour.  There is not much difference between this church and the churches you’ll see in Rabat, Mdina and St Julian’s.

Gozo Island and Comino

Things to do in Malta - Wied il-Ghasri canyon - Gozo Island

In my opinion, no trip to Malta is complete without visiting Gozo Island.  Not to mention, Comino Island in between them  Of course Comino Island is home to the Blue Lagoon of Malta.  I recommend you visit the Blue Lagoon as part of a boat trip.  However, there is a lot to see in Gozo therefore you should consider staying overnight in Victoria.  Read my in depth article of things to do in Gozo which includes UNESCO sites as well as Instagram worthy locations.

How to get to Gozo from Malta + Travel Independently in Malta

Bus and ferry from Malta to Gozo

To get to Gozo from Malta you first need to take a bus to Cirkewwa.  From Cirkewwa the ferry to Gozo is a free service (you pay around €5 for the return).  It takes about 15 minutes to reach Gozo and you’ll see Comino and the Blue Lagoon to your right.  You’ll see people selling tickets to Comino from outside the ferry terminal in both Malta and Gozo.  If you wish to travel independently to Comino, go with these guys!  As a result you can stay after the day trips have gone home.

Things to do in Valletta and things to do in Gozo.

2019-01-01T11:06:07+00:00October 11th, 2017|Malta, Western Europe|9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tony October 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    There is so much history in Malta and it looks such a built up country. I think I would take the boat to Comino and Gozo Islands! I must watch the movie Munich again so I can see the Maltese Rabat!

  2. Lisa October 11, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Malta is high on the list as there’s so much to see and it’s so small too! I’m in Morocco right now so funny you should mention Rabat! I’d love to see the Blue Grotto, plenty of good photo ops there I’m sure!

  3. Yukti October 12, 2017 at 3:17 am - Reply

    There is so much history, culture and nature in Malta. You have perfectly advised where to go, what to do and where to stay in your post. Paceville nights must be beautiful as it is lively and have many bars/restaurants. Blue Grotto tour is also unique as I have never seen sea caves like this type. I would love to take Boat tour to Gozo and other islands.

  4. Heraa Farooq October 12, 2017 at 6:23 am - Reply

    I had no idea there was so much to do in Malta. This guide will definitely help me plan my visit to Malta. I would love to visit Popeye village and Blue Grotto. Even though you suggested it for kids but I would still love to visit in the memory of Robin Williams.

  5. Sonja October 12, 2017 at 8:01 am - Reply

    I love your night photos! Malta has been somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and somehow it keeps getting passed over. This makes me want to plan it in for next year! I can’t believe the colour of the water in the blue grotto, it just doesn’t look real!

  6. Kate Storm October 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Great practical advice! We were just in Malta ourselves, and we had such a hard time deciding where to stay on the island. There’s surprisingly little information out there! We ended up staying in Bugibba, but will probably stay in Valletta if we visit again.

  7. Abigail Sinsona October 13, 2017 at 1:08 am - Reply

    As I’ve said in your other post about Malta, Valletta is in my bucket list. But it excites me to see that there are plenty more to see and do in Malta. Mdina sounds so interesting too – I would totally visit that aside from Valletta!

  8. Swati Jain October 13, 2017 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Malta has been on my list and I hope to visit it super soon. Didn’t know there is so much to do. Hey by the way loved the captures

  9. Alouise October 14, 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Malta looks like a fantastic country to visit. It’s great that the ferry from Sliema to Valletta is so affordable and quick. I’d love to visit Malta, but the blue lagoon would be my top pick.

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