Maltas international airport is serviced by budget airlines such as Ryanair with cheap flights departing from European destinations including the close by Catania and Palermo, Italy. When following The Gap Map itinerary, take into consideration your time in the Schengen Zone. If you’re wanting to add Malta to your itinerary as a side trip this will increase your number of days in the Schengen Zone. For more information on Schengen Countries go to the Schengen Information blog post.
Official Language: Maltese and English
Dominant Religion: Catholic
Transport: Predominantly busses. Purchase the 15 Euro bus pass at the transport counter at the airport for 12 trips anywhere on the island. The card can be scanned multiple times allowing groups of people to use the same card.
Malta became a republic in 1974 but before that had a long history with a number of different powers who took ownership over the island including the Romans and the British among others which has significantly influenced the islands culture. The prominent Italian cuisine and language is present all over the island and the widely spoken English language as well as British customs are immediately visible.
Valetta is the Capital city of Malta. It’s small enough to visit in just a couple of hours but a whole day can be spent enjoying the harbour views, churches, strolling the old streets and visiting souvenir shops and cafès.
Spinola Bay is a beautiful spot in the evenings to walk the foreshore and relax where the fishing boats are left floating in the cove. A number of restaurants and bars line the shore here including Gululu’s for traditional Maltese food.
Saint Julians is Maltas centre once the sun sets over the island. Nightlife here is pumping with a never ending selection of bars, clubs and eateries including a shopping mall and even a multi screen cinema. For those staying in Saint Julians, a swim in Saint Georges Bay is the perfect thing to cure that hangover. Umbrellas and chairs are available for hire.
Sliema is one of the more affluent areas of Malta with a water front promenade lined with more sophisticated bars and restaurants. A popular spot for locals on their morning jog and for swimmers diving off the rocky shore line.
Rabats Mdina is a small historic town in the centre of Malta which was once the islands capital. Surrounded by an ancient wall its possible to get lost in the city and explore the entire area in just a few hours. Stroll down to Rabat centre and visit the San Pawl church and its catacombs.
Marsaxlokk fish markets draws tourists to the South of the island. They are held on a Sunday and is one of the few places where you can see and experience a traditional Maltese village that isn’t as touristy as the rest of the island. The perfect place to witness every day life as locals proudly sell the days best catch. Near by you can also find Saint Peters Pool. A rocky area that has formed a deep blue swimming pool where visitors plunge into the water, jumping from the cliffs edge. A local and his dog are famous in this area since they posted a video on Youtube of their daily swim. Tourists love watching the man dive into the water as his dog follows faithfully after him.
Mellieha and Golden Bay are some of Malta’s nicest sandy beaches. On the North of the island it is close to other attractions such as Popeyes Village and the Cirkewwa port to visit the other islands. When looking to stay in this area, accommodation can be found in Bugibba or Saint Pauls Bay.
Take the ferry from Cirkewwa to the smaller islands of Gozo and the Blue Lagoon of Comino or sign up for one of the many smaller boat cruises that take tours to the small islands. A tour costs between 15 and 20 Euro with the opportunity to relax on the boat as it docks at the Blue Lagoon and a few hours to visit Gozo. The capital of Gozo is the town of Victoria and the lovely centre is worth a visit.
Hostel Med located in busy St Julians is the perfect place to stay if you’re after an area with a young vibe and plenty of nightlife and entertainment in Malta. Located in a quiet back street, at Hostel Med you are guaranteed a good nights sleep away from the pumping music of the main road and still just a three minute walk to the beach. Hostel Med offers air conditioned rooms, free wifi, outdoor terrace, BBQ, communal kitchen, lockers and comfortable living room area with large TV.
Visit the website for more information and bookings.
143, The Willows, Swieqi Road, Swieqi SWQ 3413
+356 7902 2295 / +356 9905 8970
Corner Hostel can be found in the beautiful neighbourhood of Sliema in an original Maltese town house. The hostel is clean and communal areas such as a large, open kitchen, living room, and wifi. There are options for all female, all male or mixed dorms, some with sunny balconies. Ensuite bathrooms and linen are included as well as large lockers for belongings and ceiling fans. Dorm beds start at 18 Euros a night.
Visit the website for further information and bookings.
6, St. Margaret Street, Sliema, Malta.
+356 2780 2780
Glamping Malta offers and alternative to the traditional hostel experience. A camp site dedicated to experiencing the natural, more peaceful side of Malta. Go camping without hauling around the equipment. At Glamping Malta, everything is already set up for you. Tents and all of the equipment is provided. Located on the North side of the island, close to the beautiful Mellieha.
For more information and booking visit the website.
Ta’ Nenu is a traditional Valletta bakery converted into a family pizzeria. Their speciality is ftira, a traditional Maltese bread. Look down as you walk in over a glass floor and see the original baking ovens beneath your feet that are around a hundred years old.
143 St Dominic’s Street, Valletta
Piadina Cafè in Valletta is located on a smaller lane with little outdoor stools but is a predominantly take food place. Italian style foccacia, sandwiches, wraps and salads from 4-5 Euro.
24, Triq Santa Lucija, Valletta, VLT1186
Pastizzerias are the place for Maltese pasti a pies. Crunchy pastry stuffed with ricotta or mushy peas is the specialty of Malta and are sold for around 30 cents a piece all over the island.
Kuya Asian Pub in Saint Julians is a hole in the wall, underground ‘pub’ with only about six tables. Asian fusion may not be what you would expect to eat in Malta but this unique little restaurant is dishing up unbelievable food. The menu changes regularly but prices are low considering the portion size and quality of the food. Think dumplings, curries and noodles from all of your favourite asian cuisines. Starters from 5 Euro and mains from 10 Euro.
Ross street, Saint Julians.
Happy Days Bar in Spinola Bay just a short walk from Saint Julians has a relaxed vibe with an un beatable view and affordable drinks with snacks. They often host live bands and events so check the website for information.
Xatt is-Sajjieda, Spinola Bay, Saint Julians, Malta
Hugos Burgers in Saint Julians is a popular fast food joint making quality burgers to satisfy your hangover cravings. Burgers cost 5.95 Euro. See the menu on their website.
St George’s Road, Paceville, Malta.
EEET Well in Saint Julians often has queues of people waiting to get their vitamin hit. Need a cleanse after partying all night in Paceville? Here you can get fresh smoothies, salads and wraps for a refreshing lunch time meal.
Kebab Ji in Sliema is making the best Lebanese kebabs in town. A favourite among Sliema locals and tourists alike, located on the main road of Sliema opposite the water front. Order your kebab for takeaway and cross the road for lunch with a view on one of the public benches. The chicken sheesh doner packed with salad and garlic sauce along with the falafel plate smothered in house made hummus are two of the house favourites.
132 A, Tower Road, Sliema, Malta.
MINT Cafè in Sliema is run by New Zealanders who moved to Malta 8 years ago. Now they’re famous for their great coffee, fresh juices, sandwiches, snacks and home made cakes. Definitely worth stopping off here for a casual cafè style lunch while in Sliema.
30/39 Luzio Junction, Stella Maris Street, Sliema, SLM 1741, Malta
Surf Side Bar & Grill in Sliema is unbeatable for its location. The huge menu offers something for everyone with a variety of pizzas, pasta, burgers, BBQ items and salads. The huge three level complex sits right on Sliema promenade with outdoor terraces offering ocean views. Check their Facebook page for various events, live music DJ’s and deals such as Wednesday night two for one meals. The Tennessee Ribs are a must try!
Tower Road, Sliema, Malta
L’Aragosta is a beautiful restaurant on the island of Gozo located on the small bay of Marsalforn. A set menu for 30 Euro a head offers your choice of pasta, a second course with either an enormous seafood platter or mixed grill and dessert to finish. The menu even includes an aperitivo cocktail to start and unlimited wine and water. It doesn’t get better than this as far as value and the sunset over the ocean is just the icing on the cake.
Marina Street, Marsalforn
Saint Julians Paceville area is undoubtedly the centre of Maltas nightlife with a number of bars and nightclubs operating every night of the week.
For big name DJ’s and events check out UNO, the super club located in the centre of Malta which can be reached by public busses or taxi- but be warned, it can take up to a one hour drive each way.
Airport busses run from all over the island offering service to Maltas international departure terminal.