Top Things to Do in Malta • The Blonde Abroad
Malta may not be on your radar, but the Mediterranean nation is one of the best beach destinations in Europe.
There are so many things to do in Malta from exploring historical sites to diving in some of the world’s best wonders: Malta is the perfect destination for those wanting to relax or for those wanting to have an adventure.
Whether you’re exclusively staying in Malta or you’re adding it as a pitstop while in the area (Malta makes a great addition if you’re already traveling around the Mediterranean). I’ll go over some of my favorite things to do in Malta, but for even more inspiration, check out my ultimate Malta Travel Guide.
Here are the top things to do in Malta!
One of the best things to do in Malta is to visit the small and picture-worthy fisherman village of Marsaxlokk. This little village offers amazing seafood restaurants, peaceful walks around the harbor, and beautiful historical sites.
Take a morning, or the afternoon to wander and admire the colorful boats bobbing in the azure waters and the rustic fishermen’s houses. I loved strolling through the narrow streets, chatting with the friendly locals, and sampling some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever tasted.
If you visit, make sure to check out Marsaxlokk church, Forst St. Lucian, and Marsaxlokk markets.
Visit the Old Village of Msida
The village, located in the central region of Malta, is steeped in history and boasts a unique mix of modern and traditional elements. I was particularly drawn to the colorful facades of the buildings, the ornate balconies, and the intricately designed doors and windows.
As I wandered through the narrow streets, I could feel the rich history of the village seeping through every nook and cranny. The Old Village of Msida is truly a hidden gem in Malta and a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic and culturally rich experience.
The small harbor town is also home to St. Joseph’s Church. It’s an ideal place to visit in July, during the feast of St. Joseph.
The capital of Malta, Valetta, is a beautiful city to visit while vacationing in Malta. From exploring the historic landmarks to indulging in the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this charming city.
I recommend starting with a stroll through the winding streets of the city’s old town, admiring the grand architecture and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Next, take a tour of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, one of the most impressive churches in Europe, with its ornate Baroque interior and stunning artwork. For a taste of Malta’s culinary scene, head to the open-air market, where you can sample local delicacies and fresh produce.
Be sure to visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens, where you can take in breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities. And no visitor wants to miss the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; other notable sites are St. John’s Co-Cathedral and Grand Master’s Palace.
Grand Harbour Cruise
When looking for things to do in Malta, make sure to check out the city from the sea. There are many different cruises around the Grand Harbor of Malta.
Many of the Grand Harbor Cruises come with tour guides that will explain the sights and history. This is a great way to get a new perspective of the city.
If you opt for one of these cruises, you’ll see a stunning view of Malta’s historic forts, bastions, and charming towns of Senglea, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa…which are truly impressive and rich with history.
As the sun sets over the horizon, the Grand Harbour comes alive with a magical glow, making for a truly breathtaking experience. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or solo, the Grand Harbour Cruise is a must-do activity in Malta that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Wander Through Birgu
Birgu is sometimes called the Three Cities, since it was three towns built close to one another. It is best known for withstanding the attacks of the Ottoman invaders during the 1565 Great Siege.
Birgu is sometimes also referred to as Vittoriosa. You’ll be in awe of the blend of old and new, with modern boutiques and cafes nestled alongside historic landmarks and buildings.
The most important sites to visit in Birgu are the Malta Maritime Museum, the Inquisitor’s Palace, and the Vittoriosa Parish Museum.
One of the must-visit attractions in Birgu is the Fort St. Angelo, a stunning fortress that dates back to the 13th century. You can take a tour of the fortress, explore its underground tunnels, and learn about the many battles that were fought here throughout history.
Visit the Blue Lagoon
Are you a fan of crystal-clear waters and pristine white sandy beaches? Because I sure am!
The Blue Lagoon is located on the island of Comino and offers some of the most beautiful views of Malta’s crystal blue waters. It is a great place to take Instagram-worthy photos and go for a little swim.
The lagoon is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding caves and coves. While the Blue Lagoon can get quite crowded during peak season, it’s still worth a visit for its sheer natural beauty.
I recommend bringing plenty of sunscreen, water, and snacks, as there aren’t many facilities on the beach itself.
If you’re an adventure seeker and looking for a unique way to explore the Mediterranean Sea, scuba diving in Malta is an absolute must.
The island’s clear blue waters are home to a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, octopuses, and even shipwrecks making it perfect for both beginners and experienced divers.
One of the best places to go scuba diving in Malta is the Cirkewwa Reef, a popular dive site that’s teeming with marine life and underwater caves. The wreck of the Um el Faroud, a former oil tanker, is also a popular destination for experienced divers. You’ll also want to check out the Santa Maija caves.
There are plenty of diving centers in Malta that offer courses for both beginners and experienced divers, so no matter your skill level, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
You don’t want to miss Popeye’s Village when looking for the best things to do in Malta.
This unique-looking town looks like it popped out of a movie set, and for good reason since it was built for the Popeye movie! This village has been around since the 1980s and offers visitors a blast from the past.
Also known as Sweethaven Village, while you’re in this charming village…or set, one of the must-do activities is the boat ride, which takes you on a leisurely tour of the beautiful coastline and the village itself.
You can also visit the film set, explore the various houses and buildings, and learn about the history of the movie and the village. For the younger visitors, there’s a fun park with a variety of activities, including face painting, puppet shows, and interactive games.
And of course, no visit to Popeye’s Village is complete without trying the famous Popeye’s spinach pie, a delicious local delicacy.
Commonly known as the Rotunda of Mosta, this is one piece of architecture that you do not want to miss. It’s a stunning example of Baroque architecture and was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.
The most magnificent thing about the architect is that it is the third-largest unsupported dome in the world.
It’s said that during World War II, a bomb was dropped on the church during a service, but miraculously, it failed to explode and no one was hurt. Today, a replica of the bomb can be seen in the church’s museum, a testament to the church’s enduring strength and resilience.
St. Agatha’s Tower
St. Agatha’s Tower, or sometimes referred to as the Red Tower is located in the historic town of Mellieha. When looking for things to do in Malta, St. Agatha’s Tower is a must.
The tower was built in the 17th century by the Knights of St. John as part of the island’s coastal defense system, and today it’s a popular destination for history buffs and those interested in Malta’s military past.
Inside the tower, you can explore the various rooms and galleries, learn about the tower’s history, and even see some of the original cannons and weaponry.
However, the highlight of any visit to St. Agatha’s Tower is undoubtedly the breathtaking views from the top, which make for the perfect photo opportunity. The tower offers some of the best views of the Mediterranean Sea, Gozo, and Comino.
Hit the Beach
Malta offers some of the best beaches in the world. The three islands of Malta all offer their own unique beaches.
- Golden Bay – This crescent-shaped beach is popular with tourists and locals alike, thanks to its golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like windsurfing and jet skiing.
- Ghajn Tuffieha Bay – Located next to Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay is a more secluded beach that’s popular with hikers and nature lovers. It’s surrounded by rocky cliffs and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The beach is a bit rocky, but the water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
- St. Peter’s Pool – This natural pool is located on the southeastern coast of Malta and is popular with locals. It’s surrounded by rugged cliffs and offers some of the best snorkeling on the island, thanks to the crystal-clear water and abundance of marine life.
- Mellieha Bay – This long, sandy beach is popular with families, thanks to its shallow waters and kid-friendly activities like beach volleyball and pedal boats. It’s also home to some of the best beach bars and restaurants on the island.
- Blue Lagoon – Located on the small island of Comino, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most iconic and picturesque beaches in Malta. It’s known for its turquoise water and white sand, and is popular with snorkelers and divers who come to explore the underwater caves and reefs. However, it can get crowded during peak season, so it’s best to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Hiking across Malta may seem like a huge feat but can be done in about thirty minutes. In Ghadira Natural Reserve the island narrows to about a third of a mile, which means that hiking across Malta is not only doable but easy.
Another more strenuous hike, but one that offers many historical sites is the Girgenti Walk. If you are looking for the highest point in Malta with the best views, head over to the shores of Dingli Cliffs.
Or…stroll through the streets and get your steps in that way. 😉
St Paul’s Bay
St. Paul’s Bay is one of the largest seaside towns in Malta. St. Paul’s has many unique boutique hotels, many cute cafes, and some of the best restaurants on the island making it ideal for a relaxing getaway.
One of my favorite things to do in St. Paul’s Bay is to simply wander along the waterfront promenade, taking in the beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea and the colorful fishing boats bobbing in the harbor.
The town is also home to several lovely beaches, including the popular Bugibba Beach and the quieter St. Paul’s Island Beach.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can take a boat tour to explore the nearby islands of Comino and Gozo, or even try your hand at scuba diving to discover the underwater world of the Mediterranean.
For a taste of Malta’s rich history and culture, be sure to visit the nearby town of Mdina, known as the “silent city” for its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful medieval architecture. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, St. Paul’s Bay is the perfect destination for a Mediterranean escape.
St. Paul’s Bay also has great nightlife — think cocktails with a Mediterranean view. Don’t mind if I do!
Have you been to Malta before or are you in the process of planning a trip? Let me know in the comments below!