A week to 10 days in Malta was more than enough. I love Italy and Malta was very similar to Italy in ways, especially the food. There are loads of things to see and do in Malta and you definitely won’t be bored!
We stayed in Sliema, a town that is just outside St. Julien’s and Valetta. Sliema was a bit quieter, which was nice. We stayed on the waterfront, where we could access a sea-water swimming pool club. It was around €10 a day which was very reasonable.
Accommodation is Sliema was very expensive for what you got. I think we pretty much paid for the location but be prepared to pay a little bit extra here. Whatever star rating your hotel has online, I would take one star off, unless it’s 5 star. We stayed in the Sliema Chalet hotel and besides the location, it wasn’t great. I have listed some alternative suggestions below for you!
In Sliema, you can walk along the waterfront and stop at bars and restaurants along the way. Most of them have outdoor seating areas, so you can chill out and watch the sunset while you’re having dinner or a few drinks. We had two very nice meals in Little Argentina, the steak was so nice. Although it’s on the main street, there are no views from here. It’s a small restaurant but the food was delicious and worth checking out if you’re sick of pizza and pasta!
There is so much to see in Valetta and the taxis weren’t necessarily cheap, so we decided to get on the hop-on, hop-off bus tour for the day which worked out cheaper and we just went to the stops we wanted. We explored Valetta and Mdina and I would recommend both.
Valetta is the capital city which is made up of narrow streets, and hills that bring you down to the waterfront. It was so nice to walk around the narrow streets and under the arches and look at all of the architecture that has been there for years. You almost feel like you’re living in the past. There are so many amazing restaurants here but it can be hard to get bookings, especially if there are more than two people. Look up the top restaurants on tripadvisor and contact them in advance. We found that the restaurants on the narrow streets were better than those on the waterfront.
We also decided to stop in Mdina while we were on the hop-on, hop-off bus tour. It is the old capital of Malta and can be known as the silent city. This is an old walled city with a lot of history. There are a lot of churches to visit and museums to explore and there are beautiful gardens too. In some places here, you can go on the rooftops and look over the city and countryside. The streets are narrow and the buildings are so well preserved, it’s amazing to think that they have been around for so long.
By far my highlights of this trip, were the day trips to the islands of Gozo and Comino. You have to visit these places! Boat trips/day trips can easily be organized to suit you from your hotel or the many tour offices in the towns. Here are some of tripadvisor’s recommendations.
We went on a boat trip for 4 hours and we got to see the islands from afar and swim in the crystal blue water. For some of the trip, we stopped at the Blue Lagoon on Comino Island and it was amazing. You can snorkel there and the water is so clear. So relaxing! So many boats will be pulled up there and it’s a great spot to stop for a while.
We spent some time on Gozo Island too. While we were in Malta, we did some diving and this brought us to Gozo. (More on the diving in a bit!) In Gozo you can see the Blue Hole, which has crystal clear waters. It is a really popular spot for snorkelling and diving and was next to the Azure Window. The Azure Window collapsed not so long after we were there, but you can still see the remains of this under the water. We did a few different dives here too and the visibility was so good. If you’re a diver, make sure to make time for at least one dive.
Gozo is a must see too for any Game of Throne Fans. Malta has a lot of GOT filming locations. I must admit, that I am one of those people that has never watched GOT but for those of you that are fans, here’s a list of GOT locations in Malta that you can visit. One of our taxi drivers gave us a little private tour on our way from Sliema to Valetta one evening and told us all about the filming there! Ask the locals, they know more than most.
We went diving with a company called Dive Wise, who are located in St. Juliens. I would recommended them to anyone that is interested in learning how to dive or just wants to fun dive. I actually ended up doing my advanced certification and my nitrox training with them while I was there. They are so helpful and even picked us up and dropped us back to Sliema on the days we dived, which is a nice little extra. There are a lot of wrecks in Malta and because the visibility is so good, you can see so many different types of fish there. I did a wreck dive at night too…eeek! You won’t regret diving here.
If nightlife is what you’re looking for, head to St. Julien’s. There are lots of pubs and clubs here. Taxis there from Sliema are reasonable so if you want to be in a more relaxed place by day, then you can head in there at night.
One trip I would have loved to do, but because we were diving we didn’t have time, was a day trip to Sicily. You can go on an organized tour and explore the small island. I will get to visit there at some stage hopefully. If you have time and it’s within budget, it is meant to be beautiful there.
Here are a list of alternative hotels that looked nice when we were there. As always, make sure to check the recent reviews just in case anything has changed since then!
- Make sure to organize a day trip to Comino or Gozo
- The hop on hop off bus tour is a great way to get around the city cheaply
- North of the Island, in areas like St. Paul’s Bay, have a more tourist area, like a strip in Spain
Top Tip Traveller 🙂