Malta is an archipelago of three islands located between Sicily and Africa, famous for its beaches bathed in crystal clear waters, enchanting towns and its rich history, ranging from megalithic temples to the Knights of Malta.
Malta is a destination that attracts more and more tourists every year, a destination suitable for any traveler; for those who want a cultural holiday, for those who prefer relaxation and for young people looking for fun.
In this definitive guide we see all the tips for a trip to Malta, you will find all the information you need to organize your holiday on the island of Malta.
Travel Tips Malta
How to reach Malta
Getting to Malta is very simple. The international airport is perfectly connected with the rest of Europe. The route is covered by the Air Malta company and by the main carriers that depart from the largest airports.
Flight prices vary according to the seasons, but thanks to low cost airlines such as Ryanair you can often find very affordable offers.
There are ferry connections that depart from Catania and other ports in Southern Sicily and take about 4 hours.
Alternatively there is the catamaran that leaves from Pozzallo and arrives in Valletta in about 1 hour and a half.
Connections with the airport
Malta International Airport is located in Luqa, 8 km from Valletta.
You have several options to reach your destination from Luqa Airport: taxis, buses, shuttles or by renting a car.
Getting around by public transport from the airport is easy, as it is one of the main hubs of the bus network. There are several lines that allow you to reach the main destinations.
If you can't take the buses, due to the timetables, there is the Terravision company that connects the airport with the main tourist destinations on the island.
Taxis are available 24 hours a day and are paid directly to the airport booking office, where you will find all the fares, for example a ride to Sliema costs € 24, while to Valletta € 20.
Alternatively, you can book the shuttle service online. Shuttles take longer than taxis but are cheaper.
Finally, you can rent a car directly at the airport, where the offices of the main rental companies are located.
How to get around Malta
Malta is quite small and turns around easily.
A good way to explore the island is by bus, which serve the main tourist destinations. The central hub of Malta's bus network is Valletta. It is certainly the cheapest and the best solution if you have time available. The cost of the ticket is € 1,50 and is valid for 2 hours, or you can buy the 12-trip booklet at a cost of € 15. Unfortunately, the service is not the most efficient, buses do not always depart at the indicated time, some routes run every hour and sometimes they skip the rides.
If, on the other hand, you don't have time but a budget, there are taxi, especially comfortable if you are traveling in a group.
Car rental it is more convenient because it allows you to reach any destination independently. However, bear in mind that driving is on the left, and the main cities are quite busy. Alternatively, if you are a couple, you can opt for the cheaper scooter rental.
Then there are the double-decker tourist buses, discovered, which allow you to admire the panorama through a tour of the island.
When to go to Malta
Choosing the best time to visit Malta is very simple, you just need to know what is the reason that will lead you to discover this beautiful island:
- If you are looking for fun, the best time to go to Malta is July and August;
- If you are looking mainly sea and relaxation, from June to October is a good time, especially in June and September, when there is not yet the chaos of the high season;
- If, on the other hand, you want to visit Malta to discover its history and culture, any time of the year is good. For example, from November to February (except Christmas) is considered low season, the temperatures do not allow for sea life but are excellent for discovering the main attractions of the island.
It must be said that Malta has the mild and warm climate typical of the Mediterranean, characterized by long and dry summers and short and wet winters. The island is quite windy, which can be pleasant especially in hot summers.
How much to stay in Malta
Malta is quite a small island, but the archipelago offers a lot in terms of history and culture, as well as several beaches to relax and enjoy its crystal clear waters.
To truly see everything, including the islands of Gozo and Comino, consider at least 2 weeks, so as to give the right space to cultural visits, without giving up the sea.
Considering the ease with which you can reach the island and the frequent offers of low cost airlines, Malta can also be an interesting destination for a weekend. In 2 or 3 days you can savor the charm of the island and visit some of the must-see attractions, such as Valletta and the Megalithic Temples.
Where to sleep in Malta
At any time of the year, the best place to sleep in Malta is Sliema (pronounced Slima), well connected with the capital Valletta and the rest of the island. I also talked about it extensively Article on where to stay in Malta, where you can find more information on the various areas of the island.
To reach the Maltese capital, I recommend the transfer with the comfortable Ferry, it leaves every 30 minutes and takes you to Valletta in 5 minutes, at a cost of € 2,80 round trip, or 1,50 the single way.
During the day you can move easily to any area of Malta and in the evening you can stroll along the promenade full of restaurants, clubs and pubs. The atmosphere in Sliema is quiet and relaxing, there is no lack of nightlife, but not as hectic as that of St. Julian's.
We stayed at l'hotel Sliema Marina, excellently located close to the bus stop and a few meters from the boarding point for the ferry to Valletta.
We had booked a standard room, but they upgraded us to a room overlooking the Sliema seafront and with a beautiful view over Valletta.
What to do and see in Malta
Planning a travel itinerary in Malta and choosing what to do and see obviously depends on the period in which you will reach the island. If you visit Malta in winter and autumn you will have to exclude the sea and will focus mainly on the historical sites and the beautiful towns.
Absolutely not to be missed is a visit to Valletta and its historic center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital of Malta, also known as the “fortress city”, is easily navigated in one day. The best thing is to get lost in its streets to discover its beauties, such as St. John's Cathedral, the Grand Master's Palace and the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
Among the things to visit in Malta there are certainly the megalithic temples, ancient structures built between 5000 BC and 700 BC.
Among the best known in Malta there are Mnajdra e Hagar Qim, located in the southwest of the island. The entrance fee for both temples is € 10,00 per person and also includes a 4d movie and a view of the museum. I also recommend taking the audio guide at a cost of only € 1.
You can reach the Temples by bus 74 which leaves every hour from Valletta and takes about 30 minutes.
The Hypogeum is located in Paola, 5 km from Valletta, and is an underground complex on three levels, it is considered one of the most important prehistoric times in the world, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dating back to 3600 BC
Do not miss the historic center of Mdina, also known as the "silent city". The ancient capital of Malta is a charming fortified village, where you can walk through the alleys lined with ancient palaces and churches. Mdina can be reached from Valletta by bus.
With a walk of about 10 minutes from Mdina you reach Rabat, an important religious center, as well as a historical and archaeological testimony of the island of Malta.
Visiting Malta in the Summer
In addition to the must-see attractions that we have just seen, during the summer, one more reason to visit the archipelago of Malta are its beaches. Along with Malta's stunning beaches, a visit to the nearby islands of Gozo and Comino is a must.
It must be said that Malta's main sandy beaches are located in the North, the most famous being Ghadira Bay, G? Ajn Tuffie? A and Golden Bay.
Costs of Living in Malta
Do you want to know how much a holiday in Malta costs? The cost of living in Malta is in line with the Italian one or slightly lower. As a guideline to stay, eat and have fun you will spend. So we can say that a trip to Malta is for all budgets, there are several hotels with excellent value for money and there is no shortage of hostels for a low budget holiday.
A typical Mediterranean cuisine, which as we have seen with Lia (the vegan of the house) is not ideal if you follow a vegan diet. One of their typical dishes is based on rabbit, and obviously, being an island, there is no shortage of fish. For a quick snack, there are the typical pastizzi, cheap puff pastry bundles stuffed with ricotta and peas.
Absolutely to try the Maltese wines, we tasted an excellent red from Mdina, a really nice surprise.
The official languages are Maltese and English.
Traveling to Malta? Start with The Right Guide
Tips and practical information to plan a trip to Malta and to choose the perfect itinerary.
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