Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.14 €

GBP | EUR

Gasoline £0.47 | 0.53 €

One-way ticket £1.18 | 1.34 €

Beer £2.36 | 2.68 €

Main Course £9.82 | 11.17 €

About Malta

Petite Malta is a small country with a big heart. Made up of three separate islands, this Mediterranean nation has a beautiful old capital, a serious downtown party scene and golden sandy beaches.

They say good things come in small packages and pint sized Malta is a perfect example. This dinky island nation, home to just under half a million people, has a bit of everything – from UNESCO listed fortresses and clubbing strips, to sandy shorelines and waterfront restaurants.

The nation is made up of three islands; the main island is Malta and to the north of the mainland lies smaller Gozo and (even smaller) Comino – here you’ll find traditional farmhouses, plus the gorgeous Blue Lagoon cove. Valletta is the nation’s capital – a quirky, traditional old town with streets that offer glimpses down to the Mediterranean, imposing St. John’s Cathedral (home to a Caravaggio painting) and dozens of barrel filled bars and romantic restaurants.

If you want to explore the whole island, then hop on a bus or rent a car; top picks include the hilltop fortress of Mdina (Game of Thrones was filmed here), the tiny fishing village of Marsaxlokk to the south (dotted with multi-coloured fishing boats) or the dance-until-dawn party strip of Paceville (be warned, the pint-sized offerings here contain actual booze).

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

Early September is ideal with plenty of sunshine, warm sea temperatures and several traditional festivals.

Malta has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters. The hottest month is July, with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, the coolest is January at 13 degrees Celsius; the wettest month is November. Summers can get particularly hot; take adequate sun protection.

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Travioor top tips

Budget Lunch
Ancient Site
City Ferry

Insider Info

  • For a budget lunch do like the Maltese do and buy several little pastizzi (ricotta filled pastries) from a bakery or snack kiosk.

  • Try and snag tickets for the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni, a prehistoric subterranean burial site. Visitors are limited, but early booking may help.

  • Travel by boat – the water taxis and ferries to Valletta and the Three Cities are fun and reasonably priced.

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Food and drink

Main Course £9.82 | 11.17 €

3-Course Meal £39.28 | 44.68 €

Cappuccino £3.25 | 3.70 €

Beer £2.36 | 2.68 €

The Scene

Maltese food has several influences including Sicilian, Mediterranean and Arabic. Stewed rabbit (fenek stuffat) is considered the national dish and variations such as roasted or with pasta, can be found at many restaurants. As you’d expect from an island nation, seafood is found in abundance – shellfish is a particular favourite. Other options include zalzett (coriander flavoured Maltese sausage) and for a snack, pastizzi (ricotta filled pastries). If you’re on Gozo, make sure you try the local sheep milk cheese and arrange a wine tour, as several of the country’s vineyards are located here.

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History

Malta’s Story

Archaeologists date the first human settlers on Malta at around 5200 BC when the tribes living on the island would have been Stone Age hunters. Today, it is possible to visit the (slightly later) megalithic Ġgantija temples on Gozo. Dated at around 3500 BC, these structures are among the oldest of their kind in the world.

Because of Malta’s strategic mid-Mediterranean location, for centuries it was used for key trading and a convenient stop off point for travellers, settlers and empires. Over the years, these groups have included the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Moors, the Normans, the Knights of St. John (a Roman Catholic Military group), the French and the British. Malta was granted independence from Britain in 1964 and since then has been an independent country and republic.

Language

Merhba | Hello
Grazzi | Thank you

Maltese

Malta has two official languages, Maltese and English. Everyone speaks both, although locals may appreciate it if you give Maltese a try. And why not? It's a very interesting language, with both Italian and Arabic elements. The following phrases may be useful:

  • Please: Jekk Joghgbok
  • Excuse me: Jiddispjacini
  • Do you speak English?: Titkellem bl-Ingliz?

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Need to know

+356 Dialling Code
112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • The island’s public transport is provided entirely by the bus network – multi journey tickets are available.
  • Avoid the roads in and out of Valletta and Sliema during rush hour which can get very congested.
  • Watch out for jellyfish. Most are harmless but a sting can be painful.
  • Taxi fares from the airport to Valletta and vice versa are a set standard price (€20 when we researched). Check official rates and don’t be convinced to pay more.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Malta here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Valletta

Wandering through UNESCO listed Valletta; home to St. John’s Cathedral, the peaceful Barrakka gardens and an iconic waterfront.

2. Nightlife

Weekend all-nighters in Paceville – this party-centric strip is full of pubs, shisha bars, dance clubs and everything in between.

3. Beaches

Head north to Mellieha for sandy beaches and a chilled-out vibe.

4. Blue Lagoon

Get the ferry to the tiny sister island of Gozo via Comino - home to the impossibly turquoise Blue Lagoon and several dive sites.

5. Mdina

Magical Mdina, the one-time fortress capital of Malta.


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