If you’ve never heard of Malta, that’s probably because it’s a quiet, tucked away country off the coast of Italy. Tourists that want a real taste of history and culture will visit top Malta attractions for a kind laid back vibe. And, the great part about this little section of the world is that not many people know about it, yet.
Here is a place where you can find an uninhabited island (Comino & Filfla) and clear blue, turquoise waters. Here is a place with rich design and a flair for the old world. Malta is full of top attractions that you don’t want to miss.
If you’re interested in learning more about Malta, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re discussing top Malta attractions, in no particular order. You should see everything if you can, but these are some popular favorites.
Top Malta Attractions Check List
When you visit Malta, you must see as much as possible because you don’t want to miss a thing. The sheer beauty is difficult to ascertain, let alone visiting places that predate Stonehenge. It’s a lot to soak in so it’s important to have a checklist in order so you can catch everything.
1. St. Julian’s and Paceville
St. Julian’s and Paceville is less than 10 kilometers from Valletta, which is the capital of Malta. Here is where life happens after 10 pm. Many tourists note that this is the busiest place on the island and the location where most of them flock to.
You’ll find a host of different bars and restaurants to get a taste of the culture, nightlife, and late-night cuisine.
This ‘Silent City’ is one of the top Malta attractions as it has otherwise been named as the old capital of Malta. There are only approximately three hundred residents on the island and limited cars. You’ll find it to be an extremely peaceful atmosphere that is relatively quiet and quaint.
Mdina dates back to 60 AD. You will feel transported back in time as you wander the cobblestone streets and feel the positive vibes that fill the air.
Valetta is located on the East side of the island in a coastal area. This was originally built as a fortress city in the 1500’s. It’s a small city but it’s important to remember that the entire island is small at only 14.5 kilometers total.
There is some nightlife in Valletta, some really good restaurants and little quaint bars and wine bars tugged away in the many narrow streets.
You’ll find rich and ancient architecture in Valletta and plenty of shops selling various items.
4. Gozo Island
Gozo is considered the sister island to Malta and one of the best Malta attractions because there are plenty of things to do.
Rent a bicycle and tour the island for a day, or take a walk through a vineyard. There are also churches and small villages to see.
5. Comino Island
Comino island does have a few inhabitants (only one family), but there are no cars on the island. It’s only four square kilometers so you can spend your time exploring.
This island is perhaps most popular for the ‘Blue Lagoon’. It’s a large natural swimming area with aquamarine waters. Don’t be surprised to see the daytrippers out here by mid-morning until late afternoon.
6. Popeye’s Village
If you didn’t see the 1980 musical “Popeye” starring Robin Williams, you may not have missed much. But here, you’ll find the remnants of the movie set turned theme park for adults and kids alike.
You’ll get to meet Popeye himself upon entrance to the park and play on the water trampolines or indoor jump around to your heart’s delight. You can also find boat rides and plenty of room for sunbathing or try a glass of wine and relax.
Don’t forget to visit the traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk, pronounced Marsa-schlock. You’ll find colorful boats all throughout the bay and several fish restaurants lining the shore. Make the trip on Sunday to indulge in your own selection of fresh fish to bring back to your quarters and cook yourself.
Marsaxlokk gets busy on Sunday, so get there early and enjoy the activities.
8. Mnajdra and Hagar Qim
Malta is also home to prehistoric temples built between 3600 BC and 2500 BC, known as Mnajdra and Hagar Qim. These ancient sites are designed with multiple rooms, stone furniture and more. It’s best to book a tour in advance as space is limited for reasons of preservation.
9. Grand Harbour Boat Tour
One of the best Malta attractions is the Grand Harbour Boat Tour. The Grand Harbour represents much deep-rooted history for the island. It was here that Knights of St. John held off invading Ottoman Turks and held the island in their own power for over 200 years.
You can see quite a view from the Upper Barracca Gardens, but you should also take a boat tour. The small boats were once used to ferry sailors from ship to shore and now you can experience this thrill.
10. St. John’s Co-Cathedral
St. John’s Co-Cathedral is thought to be one of the most important Baroque buildings in all of Europe. Once home to the Malta island Knights of St. John, it was built sometime in the 1570s. You’ll find that the exterior is quite plain, but once you step inside there are wondrous sights to discover.
Final Thoughts on Malta Top Attractions
Malta is a gorgeous place to visit and you mustn’t miss these top attractions. Make sure you also try local cuisine. The Pastizzi is a Maltese favorite.
You can go wine tasting in Malta, too. Of course, European wine is exquisite and you shouldn’t pass up this opportunity to indulge in tradition. The Chardonnay is often the most popular.
And touring Malta wouldn’t be complete without a guided tour or two to help you navigate the history there. There are many sights to see beyond those listed here. These small islands are rich in culture and you can’t see it all at once.