Malta is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Despite this, it has been an attractive holiday destination due to its excellent and warm weather, abundance of places for sunbathing, and, above all, tourist attractions, monuments and other interesting places to see.
Malta, despite its small size, offers a really high density of monuments and attractions for tourists, both historical, religious (over 300 churches!), but also natural and typically holiday and vacation resorts.
They are all scattered throughout all three islands of this country: Malta, Gozo and tiny Comino.
Let’s start with a strong beat – the promotional video that has captivated us:
Malta is certainly a perfect place for lovers of antiquity and architecture, fans of diving and beautiful views. Also families with young children should be here, despite the fact that Malta is not famous for its overwhelming sandy beaches.
However, both fans of lazy recreation and active leisure should be satisfied.
Tourist attractions or visiting Malta: Sights and interesting places
It is impossible to list all the tourist attractions, if only for the reason that there are just over 300 historic buildings in the capital – Valletta!
Therefore, we will limit ourselves to listing these important monuments and interesting places that are worth seeing, most visited and recommended by tourists spending their holidays on this island.
Cities and towns worth visiting in Malta
Valletta – we start from the most obvious place in Malta, i.e. the capital. At the beginning it should be mentioned that the whole city was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its unique climate and interesting buildings.
It is the world capital with the largest number of monuments in such a small area.
Valletta is a port city with sandstone buildings, defensive walls and narrow streets. It is worth seeing the co-cathedral of St. John the Baptist, a valuable sixteenth-century monument of this island (in the past it was the church of the Order of St. John). From the outside, it does not look too impressive, only the interiors of the cathedral are impressive, with splendor and rich Baroque decorations reigning. On the ceiling, we can admire paintings depicting scenes from the life of John the Baptist, while the floor is decorated with colorful marble tombstones of order knights. However, what probably attracts the most is the altar painting depicting the beheading of St. John, painted by Caravaggio.
The second must-visit point in Valletta is the Grand Master’s Palace. It is the largest building on the whole island, once the seat of the Order of the Knights of Malta (currently the president resides here). Tourists have access to several rooms, including representative rooms – the Great Council room and the room of the Ambassador, as well as the Armory, with an interesting collection of religious equipment.
In addition, in Valletta it is worth seeing the Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens, which offers a panoramic view of Grand Harbor, Three Cities and Fort St. Angelo. We will also find museums here, including The National War Museum, the National Museum of Archeology (exhibits dating back to 5,000 years) and the Toy Museum (especially recommended for families with children). It is also worth visiting the official website of the city.
Plan your tour of Valletta using the map below, where you can find and mark all interesting places.
What else is worth seeing while spending your holidays in Malta?
Mdina – is a fortified city located on a hill and the former capital of Malta. Often called a quiet city, due to the fact that it is prohibited to drive a car in it.
This restriction does not apply to residents of Mdina, but there aren’t many of them.
You can walk through the narrow streets, among the sandstone buildings, in the Norman-Baroque style. See the defensive walls or the baroque cathedral of St. Paul or take the main street next to which there are famous palaces with a long history. It is worth coming here even for the views extending to the entire island.
This is how the monuments of Mdina look from a bird’s eye view:
Mdina is also one of the locations where the cult TV series Game of Thrones was shot (the city was the set of Kings Landing).
Below the current map of the city with its tourist attractions:
Heading further along with our guide we will come across:
Rabat – is a city located next to Mdina. You can admire the ruins of the Roman House, discovered during archaeological excavations, with fairly well-preserved mosaics, statues, columns and everyday objects.
Another interesting monument is also the catacombs of St. Paul and the second – Saint Agatha. It is a series of underground corridors where residents of various denominations (not only Christians) were once buried. St. Paul’s Catacombs are a maze of underground passages, where you will also find the grotto of St. Paul, who supposedly lived there temporarily.
In turn, the catacombs of St. Agatha are distinguished by wall paintings from Roman and medieval times.
Marsaxlokk – is a small picturesque fishing village that is very popular among tourists. Mainly because of the picturesque landscapes, charming colorful Maltese boats (luzzu) mooring in the port and Sunday fish market.
Many people also recommend meals at nearby restaurants and pubs specializing in fish and seafood dishes.
Ranking of monuments in Malta or what to see and visit
Rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Mosta – a church in Mosta, which has an amazing history. During World War II, a huge bomb fell on its huge dome (the third largest in Europe), fell in but did not explode, which is considered a real miracle.
In turn the second (smaller) supposedly bounced off this dome. In memory of the event inside the church you can admire a replica of that bomb.
Hypogeum in Paola – is a kind of underground three-level building, which was a place of religious worship 5,000 years ago. There are numerous chambers and rooms to which stairs and corridors lead. Probably part of this building served as a tomb to bury the dead.
The whole complex has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. No more than 80 people can enter it per day.
Megalithic temple complex – prehistoric remains scattered in Malta in the form of temples. It is not clear what their purpose was. The age of these buildings built of large rock blocks is estimated at about 5,000 years. The most famous archaeological sites with megalithic temple complexes are Mnajdra, Hagar Qim and Ġgantija on the island of Gozo mentioned at the beginning.
Malta’s natural and tourist attractions
Dingli Cliffs – are one of the highest in Southern Europe. The cliffs near the village of Dingli reach over 250 meters. Tall, vertical rocks generally stretch across the entire southwest coast of the island of Malta.
See for yourself how amazing the Dingli cliffs are:
This is also where the highest peak of this country is located, i.e. Ta Dmejrek (253 m a.s.l.). You can walk along the cliffs or sit on one of the benches and contemplate the moment or look into the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene.
See where they are and how to get to the Dingli cliffs:
Blue Grotto – more or less in the same place as the cliffs of Dingli, the Blue Grotto is located, another showcase of Malta.
Blue Grotto is available only from the sea side, as you can see in the video below:
Blue Grotto is part of an entire cave system (six in total), to which smaller and larger tourist boats flow. The name of this cave comes from the color of the water, which reflects light from the sandy bottom.
Salt pans on the island of Gozo are located right on the waterfront in the northern part of the island. Salt has been produced in Gonzo for centuries. The landscape of the square salt pans is unique and very photogenic. You can also see the whole process of obtaining salt from the sea.
There are plenty of beaches in Malta. After all, it is here that the sun shines 300 days a year. For lovers of sunbathing it’s a paradise.
These largest and above all sandy beaches are located in the northern part of the island. The two largest of them are Mellieha Bay (Ghadira Bay) and Golden Bay, which offer full tourist facilities:
1. sunbeds and water equipment rentals
2. bars and restaurants.
You can go diving, windsurfing, riding pedal boats, motorboating or kayaking. However, if you are looking for more peace then the better choice will be Ghajn Tuffieha beach.
It is harder to reach, because to get here you have to overcome 200 stairs, but the seclusion and views will pay off this effort. However, remember that you can’t count on beach infrastructure.
Another slightly more distinctive beach is Ramla Bay on Gozo. Mainly because of the orange shade of sand. Another attraction of Ramla Bay may also be hidden caves (e.g. Calypso’s Cave) in the rocky slopes surrounding it.
If you do not like crowds, it is worth choosing small Paradise Bay on Gozo or Armier Bay in Malta, with a view of Comino and Gozo.
Blue Lagoon – is another iconic attraction of Malta, this time located on the tiny island of Comino. This is exactly the strait between Comino and Cominotto, tempting with blue water and a sandy bottom. It is here where hordes of tourists thirsting for the sun, beautiful views and above all swimming come. An ideal place for diving and blissful rest.
Now for families with children.
Attractions for children on the island of Malta
Popeye Village – the place is a remnant of the film shot here based on the popular comic from 1980 with Robin Williams.
The Maltese authorities decided to take over a wooden village built especially for the needs of the scenery and create a considerable tourist attraction. Colorful huts, a small port, shop, church and cemetery create an amazing fairy-tale atmosphere. Special cruises and shows are organized on site, and characters associated with Popeye stroll around the village.
Malta National Aquarium located in Qawra consists of 26 tanks, allowing you to admire the underwater world. There are many species of exotic fish and other sea creatures waiting for tourists, as well as a glass tunnel with rays and sharks, floating just above their heads.
See for yourself what attractions await you there:
Mediterraneo Marine Park – is an amusement park, of which the dolphinarium is part. Daily shows of dolphins, sea lions and parrots are held here. In addition, there are other animals in the park – mainly representatives of the reptile and amphibian species.
Aquapark Splash & Fun Water Park – is a water park with lots of slides, pools and artificial waves as well as animations for children.
BOV Adventure Park – is such a large, specific playground with special installations. A paradise for children and teens, because the attractions are adapted to different ages.
In addition, in Malta there are also mini zoos, bird parks and many playgrounds for children. You can find all the interesting facts on the official website of Malta, which will guide you through other interesting facts and information.
Map of Malta
At the end we present the entire and current map of Malta, on which you will locate all the interesting places, monuments and tourist attractions mentioned by us:
Vacation reviews on Malta
If you were lucky enough to spend a successful vacation in Malta, you certainly have an opinion on them. That is why we cordially invite you to present your opinions about the island, its interesting places, nooks, attractions, monuments and beaches. Opinions are an important element in the process of making holiday decisions.