Planning a trip to Malta and don’t know where to start? We’re here to cover all the questions you have before your first visit! From where to stay in Malta, itinerary and routes, travel tips, and much more. So are you ready to stroll through the historic streets of Valletta and swim in the famous Blue Lagoon? Here’s our Malta travel guide in 10 easy steps!
Malta Travel Inspiration
- Blue Lagoon Malta: 10 Things to Know Before Your Boat Epic Island Adventure
- Visiting the Ancient Silent City in Malta: Fun Mdina Travel Guide
- 25 Wild & Fun Facts About Malta to Know Before You Go
Planning a Trip to Malta Travel Guide
Airport: MLA – Malta International Airport
Language: Maltese & English
Eat: Rabbit, Local Bakery Treats, Italian, and Arabic food
Drink: Kinnie, Cisk Beer, and Local Wine
1. Length of Your Trip to Malta
The first step when planning a trip to Malta is figuring out exactly how long you have. Do you live in Europe and are jetting to Malta for a long weekend? How about travelers from afar for an extended holiday?
For a small country, there is so much to do in Malta. If it’s your first visit to the island hopefully you can stay for one week or more. Any Malta travel planning starts with knowing how many days you have to explore the islands.
2. Time of Year for Malta Travel
The time of year you visit may be decided already depending on your work or travel situation. However, if you’re flexible with dates for your trip to Malta there are some things to consider.
Spring: This is often considered the best time to visit Malta. The crowds are small, the weather is perfect, and nature is in full bloom.
Summer: Expect more tourists, and with that higher prices. Also, it can get very hot this time of year. It’s best to book ahead as much as possible if visiting Malta in summer.
Fall: After the summer heat the weather starts to cool down. The climate is still dry, but there are fewer crowds and a slower pace to the country.
Winter: Winter in Malta is led by colder weather and some rain showers. Yet, it can be a welcome break from hot summers with fewer tourists.
3. Budget For a Trip to Malta
If you have unlimited money to spend then skip right ahead! Nonetheless, most travelers do have some kind of budget to stick to.
We found Malta to be comparable in price to other nearby European countries like Italy. The good thing is that it can cater to many different travel styles and budgets. Take a look below for some sample prices in our Malta travel guide.
Common Malta Travel Expenses
Cisk Beer: €1.50-3
Morning Coffee: €1-2
Boat Trip to the Blue Lagoon: €20-40
Seafood Dinner for Two: €40-60
Bottle of Local Wine: €10+
Bus Ticket: €2-3
Margarita Pizza: €6-8
Daily Car Rental: €25-35
Ice Cream: €1
Bakery Treat: €2
4. How To Get Around Malta
How do you plan to get around the island? Well, that all depends on what type of vacation you want to have! Here we break down the most popular options for Malta travel. Keep in mind it’s ok to mix and match them to best fit your trip to Malta.
Malta Rental Car
Obviously, if you’re only spending a few days in the heart of Valletta there’s no need to rent a car. Yet, if your idea of a vacation is exploring every corner of the island then you’ll want a set of wheels.
The best place to rent a car from is the international airport when you arrive. We actually stayed in Sliema and toured Valletta, the Three Cities, and St. Julian before returning to the airport to get a car. Just keep in mind the roads are tight and the driving is a bit crazy in Malta!
More Malta Transportation Options
Bus: The buses in Malta are efficient and better than many places in Europe. Still, we were so glad we decided to rent a car in the middle of the summer! The bus is definitely doable if you’re traveling to many places around Malta. Just keep in mind it limits your flexibility overall getting around.
Taxi: We recommend taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel if you’re staying close by. After that, it can get quite expensive though! The traffic is also heavy around Sliema and St. Julian so try and walk where you can in this area.
Ferry: Ferry services run all over Malta and can even take you to Gozo! One route we used all the time was from Sliema to Valletta which runs every 15 minutes in peak season. It only cost €2 and was a fun way to get back and forth.
5. Visiting Gozo Island
By now you know how many days you have for your trip to Malta, the time of year, a basic budget, and how you want to travel around the island. Still, before setting your Malta itinerary it’s time to think about Gozo!
In our opinion, no trip to Malta is complete without a visit to the island of Gozo. Also, travelers often don’t realize how easy it is to get to. We went to Gozo on a day trip and honestly wish we would’ve stayed overnight. Life moves at a slower pace here, and it’s a chance to see the more traditional side of Malta. I guess there’s always next time!
Valletta Fast Ferry: From the Valletta Fast Ferry Port you can reach Gozo in only 45 minutes. This is a passenger-only ferry and the boat runs throughout the day.
Gozo Car/Passenger Ferry: There is also the original ferry in the north of the island that leaves from Mgarr. We would only recommend using this ferry if you are traveling by rental car to Gozo. It’s inexpensive and a quick journey. You can see all the latest ferry prices on the Gozo Channel website.
6. Setting Your Malta Itinerary
How many days you have will determine the best itinerary for your trip. Below we cover the most popular areas and things to do in Malta!
Valletta: The capital city filled with churches and architecture from the Knights of St. John. Spend at least one full afternoon exploring inside the ancient walls of this UNESCO center.
The Three Cities: Across the bay from Valletta are the three old cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua. One of our favorite things from our trip to Malta was the traditional boat tour from Valletta around the Three Cities. So amazing!
Sliema: Just North of Valletta is the coastal town of Sliema. This is a great location to base yourself and see the rest of Malta from. There are plenty of great bars, restaurants, and swimming spots including natural rock pools.
St. Julians: Next to Sliema is the self-proclaimed party capital of Malta. Here you’ll find beaches, nightclubs, hostels, and a younger crowd eager to have fun.
Marsaxlokk: A small fishing village in the south. Plan your visit around the Sunday Fish Market, and don’t forget to take a dip in St. Peter’s Pool!
Mdina: Also known as the Silent City, the former capital of Malta has over 4,000 years of history. Stroll through the castle walls, and then explore the outside area of Rabat.
St. Paul’s Bay: Up north is the gorgeous beach town of St. Paul’s Bay. From here you’ll be close to some of the only sandy beaches in Malta.
Gozo Island: Save some time to visit Gozo! Spend a couple of days and see a different side of Malta.
Blue Lagoon: Take a boat trip to swim at the famous Blue Lagoon and Comino Island. You won’t regret it!
7. Book Your Flight
Ready to make it official? It’s time to book your flight and lock in your trip to Malta! Malta International Airport has direct flights arriving from all over Europe daily. When we visited Malta we flew in from Athens which only took two hours. Upon leaving we had booked a flight to Milan Italy which was equally as fast.
Malta’s location in Europe makes it extremely accessible and affordable. We haven’t flown with the official Air Malta company, but we’ve heard good things about it. If you’re traveling from outside of Europe tickets can vary so it’s best to stay flexible with your dates. This way you can get a great deal when planning a trip to Malta!
Malta Travel Guide Tip: When arriving at the airport in Malta there is a list of pre-set taxi prices or you can catch the local bus.
8. Picking the Perfect Malta Accommodation
Finding the right accommodation for your travel style and budget is extremely important when travel planning. Malta offers everything from five-star luxury hotels to chic hostels and stunning bed and breakfasts. There is truly something to fit every type of traveler here!
Check out our post below for a full breakdown of what to expect and hotels for every budget!
9. Island Activities
Depending on what time of year your Malta travel takes place, you may want to book activities ahead. This is especially important for private tours of Valletta, Gozo, and boat trips to the Blue Lagoon and Comino.
When traveling in peak season also plan for dining experiences. We were shocked that we couldn’t get a table on the night of at some of the best pizza places! Just something to consider after reading our Malta travel guide.
- Valletta: Street Food and Culture Walking Tour
- Gozo: Full-Day Jeep Tour with Lunch and Powerboat Ride
- Welcome to Valletta: Private Tour with a Local
- St Paul’s Bay: Blue Lagoon, Beaches & Bays Trip by Catamaran
10. Pack Your Bags and Go on Your Trip to Malta!
Planning a trip to Malta has paid off… It’s time to pack your bags and jet off to this incredible country! What exactly you pack depends on the time of year you’ll be visiting the islands. Typically though you’ll want to bring loose beachwear and plenty of sunscreen. Remember you’re traveling to the heart of the Mediterranean!
Have any questions about planning a trip to Malta or want to share your own tips for our Malta travel guide? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
This experience in Malta was made possible in part by the Malta Tourism Board. As always, any opinions and recommendations remain our own.
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Malta Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to rent vehicles on our travels. Even though Malta is small, you will want a car to get to all the best towns and beaches.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. Book a trip to the Blue Lagoon on a Catamaran, go on a full-day quad bike tour of Gozo, or join a 3-Hour Walking Tour of Valletta.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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