My visit to Malta was brief but beautiful. These were my favorites places in the city.
Why Are These the Top 5?
Based on my experience in Malta, these were the best places to visit to get a good sense of what Malta has to offer. They cover sight-seeing, architecture, rural landscapes, city walks, markets, and views of the beautiful coastline. Malta has a bounty of beautiful places to visit, from architectural marvels to the natural landscape. Since I had a short visit there, I am going to mention the top places to visit based on my experience and my friend's recommendation of where I should visit next time.
1. Mdina Castle
Mdina Castle should be on everyone's must-visit list while in Malta. The architecture pops with colorful reds and bright blues, and the castle is surrounded by lush countryside. In addition, there's a great restaurant nestled within the castle grounds, so you can indulge in some food while looking out at the sunset.
The history, beautiful architecture, and stunning location of the surrounding area has made this one of my top picks for places to visit. Not to mention there's no entrance fee, so it's an inexpensive indulgence for budget travelers.
2. The Blue Grotto
The lush countryside surrounds you. When you arrive, crystalline blue waters are laid out before you. In the center is a cavern's gaping mouth curled in an eternal "O." Even though it's a little out of the way, the Blue Grotto is definitely worth a visit. If you have time, there are even hiking trails so you can get up close and personal with the Blue Grotto. You might even see some people climbing down the open-mouthed cavern solo.
3. Marsaxlokk Fish Market
This is a great place to go soak up the market and get an amazing view of the colorful boats bobbing along the beautiful waterways. Not to mention this place has history. I would recommend this as an excellent place to go shopping and a great place to sight-see.
If you want an iconic Malta experience, this is should be on your to-do list. The bright blues and electric yellows of the boats will dot the waterway and catch your eye. Meanwhile, the bustle of the crowd and enticement of the shops will keep you busy for a couple of hours.
4. Upper Barrakka Garden and Valleta Fountain
These are two great landmarks in the center of everything. This made my top 5 because of its popularity and centralized location. It's a great, easy-to-visit landmark. Not to mention there are plenty of shops and restaurants in that same area, so it's a great opportunity to walk around the surrounding city.
5. The Valleta Waterway
The first thing I saw in Malta that stunned me silent was the waterway in Valleta. The waterway is lined with restaurants right off the water, and it's easy to see why. The waterways are picture perfect. Photographs truly don't do them justice. I highly recommend going to one of the restaurants off the water somewhere with outdoor seating so you can take in the view. I personally recommend Capo Crudo for the delicious food and the unobstructed view of the water.
This is my must-see destination for the next time I visit Malta. This place has picture-perfect beaches that I can't wait to see. However, due to my shortened stay, I didn't get to see Gozo and its beautiful crystalline beaches just a short ferry away from Valleta's gorgeous coast.
My 5 Favorite Places to Visit in Malta
Getting to Malta and Transportation in Malta
Malta is fairly simple to get to. From Italy, it's just a short flight of about an hour. I went through Ryanair and it was only about $60 USD round-trip. Although, if you are planning to use this airline, be prepared to travel very light or to pay extra for baggage. By very light I mean you get 1 small carry on, like a laptop bag, and that's about it.
Once you're there, I highly recommend getting the unlimited transportation pass. I personally chose the Explore Plus card, which costs about 39€ or about $44 USD. The nice thing about this pass is you can use it towards the tour bus or a ferry to Valleta or the Blue Lagoon. If you only want to take the bus (which can also take you to Valleta and the Blue Lagoon), then you may just want the Explore pass, which is 21€ or about $23 USD. All of the above transportation passes mentioned can be purchased at the airport upon arrival.
Where to Stay?
I would highly recommend staying in Valleta since the area is both safe and beautiful. I typically stay in hostels when I solo travel. The hostel I stayed at while in Malta was Granny's Inn Hostel. The hosts were nice and I was able to have a good chat with some of the other people staying there. It definitely wasn't as much of a social hub as some of the other hostels I stay at, but it was clean, inexpensive, and in a great location. I would highly recommend staying there if you're okay with staying at a hostel.
© 2019 Julia Rose
Julia Rose (author) from Japan on May 21, 2019:
I was there for only about 2 days. I would recommend at least 5 days if you want to get a more complete view of the area.
Liz Westwood from UK on May 21, 2019:
This is a very useful and interesting article. Malta is on our list. How long were you there? How long would you recommend we should stay to make the most of our trip?
Lance on May 21, 2019:
Malta looks absolutely stunning. I would love to see the Blue Grotto. And the Mdina Castle would be on my list - especially since it's free. Our family would love strolling along the Valleta waterway.
Julia Rose (author) from Japan on May 20, 2019:
It was a picturesque place to visit. It looks like it came right off a postcard without any filters. I only got to visit for a short time, but my friend was an excellent guide and I hope to go back and visit again soon.
Margie on May 20, 2019:
Malta seems like a beautiful island. The Blue Grotto, fish market, and the castle are all things I would enjoy visiting.