If you’ve been to the beautiful island of Malta in the Mediterranean, then you’ll know how incredible it is. And for me, it was my first time to Malta and the second time for Max.
So, Malta has a long and interesting history dating back to around 5200 BC. And, the first inhabitants were said to be farmers. Then, over time in the 3000’s BC, the megalithic temples of Malta were in construction.
Then, around 800 BC, the Phoenicians were colonizing Malta. And from that time on, many other groups saw how valuable Malta was… especially from a strategic location perspective.
So as a result, Malta underwent a barrage of attacks… with tragedy striking it from all angles. And, if it wasn’t for the Knights of St John, we wonder what Malta would be like today.
And, after passing through thousands of years, Malta became a republic in 1974. Then, in 2004 it becomes part of the European Union.
Having done some research about Malta, their resilience back in the day was amazing. And, after going to see The Malta Experience and learning more… it makes me appreciate the Maltese people and where they are today.
So, a visit to Malta is rewarding and will give you many fond memories. Yet, with so many things to see and do it can get confusing. Thus, in this blog post I’ll outline top 10 things to see in Malta.
So, let’s get started…
The Blue Grotto
Now, a MUST see in Malta is the gorgeous Blue Grotto. And, having been there, photos do not do it justice.
So, the Blue Grotto named by a British soldier, who thought it looked like the Grotta Azzurra, in Capri. Now, we haven’t been to the one in Capri, yet apparently it is similar.
And, while we were at the Blue Grotto in Malta, there were plenty of tourists. But, we were patient… until we had some moments to take some incredible photos and videos. It is such an amazing natural wonder to see.
Plus, even standing there hearing the waves crash against the rocks… evokes a calming and beautiful feeling. For me, it was one of the most stunning sights we saw in Malta.
There are so many churches in Malta, in fact over 300 of them! Now that’s an incredibly large amount of churches for such a small island, right?
So, the difficulty was trying to decide which ones to visit. Yet, one church we highly recommend on your visit to Malta is, Mosta Dome.
So, it may be out of the way for most tourists… yet you’ll see the amazing beauty of this church, if you make the trek there. We chose to take the public buses out there, which definitely was a longer trip than if we were traveling by car.
Yet, one of the main features of this church is the huge dome… which has a height of about 61 meters, and a diameter of almost 40 meters! Plus, it’s the third largest unsupported dome in the WORLD.
While the Romanesque exterior of Mosta Dome looks amazing… the inside is just as spectacular…
TIP: When visiting the many churches of Malta, you will need to cover up your knees and shoulders. Like some of the churches, at Mosta Dome they can give you a shawl to cover up.
But, if re-using cloth that someone else has used doesn’t tickle your fancy… make sure wear appropriate clothes or bring your own item of clothing to cover up.
Megalithic Temples Of Malta
So, a visit to Malta must include seeing one of the megalithic temples on the island. And, the oldest ones date back to 3600 BC, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
And, once you go see them you’ll understand why. So, Max and I saw several of the megalithic temples in Malta. Yet, one that comes to mind is the Mnajdra Temple in the town of Qrendi.
So, while it is covered by a dome… we could walk around and through the temple to get up close. And, we got the temptation to jump over the barriers. But be warned, there are security cameras around!
The sheer size of the limestone blocks will make you marvel at these magnificent structures.
To find out more about the Megalithic Temples in Malta, check out our blog post HERE.
So, when we arrived in Malta, one of the first few places we saw was, Mdina… also known as The Silent City. And, thanks to Mdina it made us truly love what Malta has to offer.
So, Mdina is said to date back to around 4,000 years, making it such an ancient city!
This medieval walled city sits high on top of a hill, and can be seen from afar. And, with its fortifications, narrow winding streets, incredible architecture… it boasts so much charm and beauty.
Plus, in there are about 250 people who live in this cute city of Mdina. So, Max and I thought it would be beautiful to live here if we could. Yet, as we saw the huge amount of tourists, we thought maybe not!
Even so, Mdina is a must see when you visit Malta.
To see The Three Cities properly, we’d suggest that you’d need a few days. Yet, not everyone has that luxury, especially since there’s so much to see and do in Malta.
So, if your time is restrictive… then the place we’d put higher on your list to see is Birgu, otherwise known as Vittoriosa. And, this is the oldest town of The Three Cities.
For us, we found that there was more to see and do. Plus, it was more lively than Cospicua and Senglea.
Then, as we were walking the back streets of Birgu, we saw how beautiful it is…
So, in 1530 when the Knights of St John arrived in Malta, Birgu was to become the capital city. Yet, before 1530, it has been found that there may have been a Roman Temple here in the 13th century.
Then, as they were constructing fortifications to protect the Grand Harbour and surrounds… Fort St Angelo came to fruition.
Then, after the Maltese declared Victory in the Great Siege of 1565… Birgu was then re-named Vittoriosa.
So, speaking of fortifications, while you’re in Birgu check out this fort…
Fortifications In Malta
Now, like the megalithic temples of Malta, there are many forts that you can visit too.
Yet, one that stood out for us on the island of Malta was, Fort St Angelo.
So, when we were there, we were fortunate enough to see it for free. And, that was thanks to the Open Day that Heritage Malta held.
Normally it the entrance fee would be 10 Euros for an adult.
So, with these Open Days that happen throughout the year… many popular sights are open to the public for free. You can check out the Heritage Malta website for more information HERE.
While Fort St Angelo isn’t the biggest on Malta, it sure is still huge. So, you could easily spend a couple of hours here if you wanted to see it in detail.
Within the grounds of the Fort it includes… the bastions, the Nativity of Our Lady Chapel and even local dancing!
And, just about every corner we went to, we had the most beautiful views…
If you’re looking for a bustling sea-side town, with easy access to the sights of Malta and Valletta… then consider staying in Sliema.
So, we stayed here a couple of times during our trip to Malta. And, the hotels we were staying in included Hotel 1926 and Sliema Marina Hotel. Check out our reviews to see if they’d be suitable Sliema accommodation for you.
So, in Sliema there are plenty of the public buses to get around the island. And, we liked the promenade along the foreshore for morning and evening walks.
Plus, the views from Sliema were gorgeous.
And, if you want somewhere to shop until you drop on Malta… then Sliema is the place. It has name brands like Zara, and many boutique shops in the surrounding streets.
Plus, they have a large 15,000 square meter undercover shopping mall called, The Point. And here, there are more name brand stores including… Guess, Adidas, Marks & Spencer, Mango, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Lower Barrakka Gardens
If you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax with garden surrounds and amazing views… then head on over to Lower Barrakka Gardens.
So, most people would visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens, which is in the hustle and bustle of Valletta. And yes, there is much more to see directly around those gardens.
Yet, we enjoyed the Lower Barrakka Gardens as it was quiet in comparison. So, getting away from the throngs of tourists was a welcome break.
And here, there are lovely gardens, a roman building and fountain in the picturesque surrounds.
Plus, we could sit down on a park bench… and still get amazing views of the Grand Harbour, Valletta and The Three Cities from here too.
Swim In The Crystal Clear Blue Waters
When you go to Malta you’ll love how beautiful the water looks. And, when you go in for a swim it is a welcome relief from the hot Summer weather. Plus, what makes it even better is the stunning scenery you can see all around.
So, it’s difficult to narrow down where to go if you want a swim. Thus, here are a few places that you may like to check out when you’re in Malta…
The Grand Harbour, Valletta
When Max and I were in Valletta, we were staying at an Airbnb accommodation in St Nicholas Street. And, when we went for a wander near the Malta Experience, we were checking out what was around.
Then, we saw this rocky area, which had hardly anyone there. And of course, we had to have a swim in the beautiful waters of the magnificent Grand Harbour.
Balluta Bay, St Julian’s
So, St Julian’s is known for its nightlife and younger crowd frequenting the nightclubs. Yet, during the day there are some areas in St Julian’s to sunbake and swim.
And, one of these areas is in Balluta Bay. So, as you can see it does look small and gets busy in the height of Summer. Yet, it’s a shallow area with lots of amenities close by.
Tigne Point, Sliema
If you really want to get away from it all and enjoy jumping off rocky cliffs into the water… an area we found was in Tigne Point, Sliema. So, we found this area as we were navigating our way to see Tigne Fort…
So, with so many things to see in Malta, I left this one to last. Because when you’re out and about you’ll have to eat and drink, right? And, with so many places to go, it’s difficult to narrow down the choices.
Yet, we had a recommendation to go to a wine bar called, Legligin. Yet, this ain’t just a wine bar. And, if you’re a foodie this is a must place to try.
The difference with Legligin in comparison to many other restaurants in Valletta is this… they offer a tasting menu. Yet, with this degustation menu it feels like the plates of food are never ending!
Now, we’ve had many tasting menus over our time… and we both agree that we’ve never felt so stuffed as we did having been to Legligin!
Plus, we liked how the wine bar restaurant was in an intimate cave environment. And, their selection of wines is excellent.
Here are a couple of photos from our indulgent feast…
So, to find out more about our tasting menu feast at Legligin, check out our blog post HERE.
So, while I could go on and on about the things to see in Malta… this blog post would be incredibly long. Thus, having these 10 places should give you a taste of things you can do.
From seeing megalithic temples, through to getting lost in narrow alleyways… to indulging in plenty of food and drinks… You’re sure to have a wonderful time in Malta.
And in fact, we’re hoping to go back to Malta soon. So, make sure you keep checking in on our blogs, as we’ll definitely be going to places we haven’t been before!
So, where have you been in Malta, and what would you recommend to see?
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