Malta – A small cluster of islands sitting between the coast of Sicily and the North Africa, Malta is a quiet spot in the sun and a perfect get away for a short break. Malta was named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 places to visit in 2018. It has become a popular holiday destination with millions of tourists flocking every year. Lets find out how to spend 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

3 DAYS IN MALTA: Itinerary and things to do.
View of Valletta

How to Plan 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

First question that might come to your mind. How many days to spend in Malta? A great destination for a long weekend or a shirt break. You can easily spend a week in Malta but 3 days in Malta is enough to see most the Island nation. Sunny, chilled out and a beautiful place to relax with blue skies and the cobalt Mediterranean sea.

What is Malta Famous for?

Apart from the stunning architecture and UNESCO World Heritage sites Malta is a famous diving destination. Malta is also a popular location for films and TV shoots due to it’s stunning landscapes, architecture and beautiful weather.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

How to get to Malta

As Malta becomes a popular tourist destination from most parts of Europe and America it is well connected and flying to Malta is easy. A direct flight from UK to Malta takes just under three hours. We enjoyed our flight to Malta with Malta’s national carrier, Air Malta – short flight from the U.K and you land on this archipelago of three islands.

How far is the airport in Malta? Malta has one international airport, and is 45 minutes by car or taxi from the main island.

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Things to know about Malta

Malta is made up of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a population of over 500,000. Malta being the largest island, has the majority of the population and is also the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. The second largest is Gozo, known for its beaches and finally Comino, the smallest island.

The capital of Malta is Valletta, a very small city covering less than a square kilometre and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

7000 year’s worth of history under its belt, good weather and beaches, Malta is an excellent place for a lazy holiday, or a cultural City break.

Is it expensive to visit Malta?

Malta is not as expensive as some of the other more popular destinations in Europe like Paris and London but when you compare it with cities in Bulgaria and Spain it is slightly more expensive.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Valletta – The capital of Malta.

Malta is having a worldwide moment. Despite the loss of one of it’s most popular tourist attractions, the Azure Window, which crumbled into the sea amidst the storms in 2017, Malta is gaining popularity year on year.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The colourful doors of Valletta.
3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

Best time to visit Malta

Malta has typical Mediterranean climate with pleasant weather throughout the year. Summers are generally hot, with temperatures peaking to 30 degrees in July. April to October is the best time to visit Malta especially if you’re visiting for the beaches. Winters are mild, with an average temperature of around 15 degrees. Not the best time to enjoy the water and beaches.

Where to Stay in Malta – 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

Some of the popular places to stay in Malta are Valletta, Sliema and St. Julian’s for their access to other points in Malta  and ease of various transport modes.

  • St Julian’s  – Central, Good Nightlife , Luxury hotels.
  • Sliema – Good for shopping.
  • St Paul’s Bay, a family friendly area.
  • Mellieha – Best for beaches.
  • Valletta Rabat and Mdina – Historic towns with beautiful baroque architecture.
  • Gozo and Comino IslandQuiet chilled out.

We stayed in St Julian’s the heart of Malta. Good place to spend evenings as loads of restaurants and bars are in this area.

Our Hotel – The Corinthia St George’s Bay  was perfect. Located a stone throw away from the city centre yet peaceful and family friendly. The hotel has both an indoor and outdoor pool and is a few minutes walk to a family friendly beach. in Malta, The Corinthia is one of the best value for money hotel in Malta.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The Corinthia St George’s Bay 

If you ask me this is a great hotel to stay in Malta, both from a point of location and amenities.

For best deals visit The Corinthia St Georges Bay , Malta. 

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Transport in Malta.

Malta offers a range of transport to travel around. Affordable and convenient options such as the bus service which operates on both Malta and Gozo. You can choose from a selection of passes ( some include ferry services) depending on the number of days you plan to stay here. Traffic in Malta can be quite bad during rush hour being one of the most densely populated nations in the world.

Taxi’s are easily available and quite affordable in Malta.

Maltese Bus - 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Go back in time and take a ride on the famous Maltese bus.

Ferry Services in Malta

Gozo Channel operate a ferry service between Malta and Gozo. A ferry service between Malta and Comino is operated by the Comino Ferries Co-Op.

 

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3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malta. Located off the coast of Comino, this extremely photogenic Lagoon attracts millions of visitors from across the Globe. It is on route between Malta and Gozo, sailing boats from both islands make stops at the lagoon’s turquoise waters here.

Top Tips – Best time to visit the Blue Lagoon in Malta. Avoid the crowds by going either early morning or late afternoon. On of the most Instagram friendly places in Malta.

Blue Lagoon - 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Blue Lagoon – 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

The Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is a series of sea caves on the southern coast of the Island. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural sights attracting scuba diving enthusiasts from across the Globe. The best time to visit the Grotto is during the morning – up until about 1pm – this is when the waters are at their most brilliant blue. The bright blue colour is a result of the sunlight shining through the caves at specific angles that illuminate the phosphorescent marine life under the water.

Blue Grotto - 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The Blue Grotto – 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The brilliant blue water of the Grotto.

Silent City of Mdina

The Silent City of Mdina is a perfectly preserved walled city found on a hilltop secluded, peaceful and full of history.  Mdina is a pedestrian town with very few cars thus earned the nickname of “The Silent City”. Up until the mid-16th century, Mdina was Malta’s capital, and home to some of the most wealthy merchants in the Mediterranean. The beautiful architecture reflects the wealth and heritage of this small town. The Capital was subsequently moved to Birgu and finally to Valletta. i

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The walled city of Mdina
3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The Church in the Silent City

Mdina has remained largely unchanged since its heyday, so there are some fascinating historic houses and palaces to explore.

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The Heritage city of Valletta

The fortified city of Valletta is the most concentrated historic area in the world and a UNESCO World Hertiage site. Described as an open air museum with stunning architecture,fountains and coats of arms high up on parapets. Valletta was selected by the European Commission as the 2018 European Capital of Culture.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Valletta -3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

The streets of Valletta are very distinctive with it’s baroque sandstone houses with colourful balconies. You get a great view of the city and its harbour from the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

There are several museums around Valletta with collections dating back to 5000 BC. You really don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy Malta’s glorious past. If you are travelling with kids like I do, you can see a brilliant overview of the islands’ history in Valetta’s 5D cinema. 

Churches of Malta

There are more than 300 beautiful churches dotted around this island. The 2 most impressive churches are the Rotunda of Mosta, inspired by Rome’s Pantheon and Valletta’s St John’s Cathedral.

St John’s Cathedral

One of the most striking buildings in Valletta and recognised as one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Europe. The cathedral dates back to 1570 and was founded by the Knights of St John. The cathedral’s impressive art collection includes famous works by Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens.This is where the exiled Caraveggio’s masterpiece “The Beheading of Saint John” is displayed. The church is also unique for its tombstone covered floor, where 400 knights and officers of the Order of Saint John were buried.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Caraveggio’s masterpiece “The Beheading of Saint John”
3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
St John’s Cathedral

Some of the other places to visit whilst in Valletta include the Casa Rocca Piccola, an ornate house dating back to the late 16th century, and the Valletta Waterfront.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Valletta from the waterfront.
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What to eat in Malta.

Being close to Sicily, there’s a Italian influence to Maltese cuisine. You will find pasta, pizza and other Italian classics in many of Malta’s restaurants.

The National dish of Malta is Stuffat Tal-Fenek, a rabbit stew. If you are a vegetarian then your option to get a real taste of Maltese cuisine is a Pastizzi. The small pastries are traditionally filled with ricotta cheese or mushy peas.

If you enjoy craft beer, do not miss Wild Honey. A cozy, craft beer bar serving a selection of both local and international beers.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Pastizzi – A Maltese favourite.

Visit Cafe Cordina .

Caffe Cordina has a long and prestigious history and a must visit when in Malta. The cafe was founded in 1837 by the Cordina family as a small outlet to specialise in the baking and preparation of traditional Maltese sweet and delicacies. You can visit the flagship store located in an old palazzo in the bustling streets of Valletta. Caffe Cordina occupies a special place in the hearts of local and foreign visitors alike. Still made in the traditional way and maintaining the standards set my the master. If you cant visit the flagship store the delicacies are are available for takeaway at selected outlets throughout Malta and Gozo.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Caffe Cordina – Valletta

Enjoy the fresh seafood.

Surrounded by water you would not expect anything less than the finest seafood and Malta does not disappoint. Favourite’s include lampuki (also known as dolphin fish or mahi mahi), which is often served in a pie.

The best place for Sea Food in Malta is the village of Masaxlokk. Located on the main island’s south-east coast, the picturesque village hosts the country’s biggest fish market every Sunday.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Fresh Seafood in Malta

Shake a leg in Paceville

Malta’s entertainment district, just outside the resort town of St Julian’s. Paceville is famous for clubs/bars and restaurants. During the summer months, much of the nightlife action shifts to open-air clubs, which are found in towns around the main island.

Movies filmed in Malta and sets you can visit.

Did you know Malta has been the backdrop for many famous blockbusters. Some very famous movies have been shot on the island which include The Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code and The Spy Who Loved Me. The Game of Thrones shot much of it’s first season in Mdina. The Sweethaven village set from Popeye was left intact after filming finished and has now been turned into one of Malta’s most popular family attractions. Popeye Village park offers some picturesque views, as well as theme park-style live entertainment. A great place to visit with the kids.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Popeye Village – Malta

The Grand Harbour Boat Tour

The best way to experience the Grand Harbour is by boat. Sit back and relax, or if you are like me, take photos while the tour takes you around Malta’s majestic natural harbour. The spectacular Grand Harbour is one of the highlights of your trip to Malta. There are several elevated points in Valletta where you can get spectacular views over the harbour, but there’s nothing like experiencing the harbour, on a boat.

Ride a dgħajsa (pronounced Dice-ah) the traditional Maltese taxi-boat. This is pretty much the Maltese equivalent of the gondolas of Venice’s, but only much cheaper to experience. These little wooden boats give you a more authentic tour of Malta’s historical past.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The dgħajsa – traditional Maltese taxi-boat

Sunset over Dingli Cliffs

The Maltese islands are popular for their beautiful cliffs, made of layer upon layer of sedimentary rock. The Dingli Cliffs located on the western coast of Malta are the most impressive. You can visit the cliff during the day but if you really want a spectacular view, the best time to visit the Dingli Cliff is during sunset.

There is so much more to see and do in Malta. Whether it is a long weekend trip or a couple of days, Malta will not disappoint you. I could go on and on but these are my top tips for this Great Island.

My Top Tips for 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.

  • Swim in Comino’s Blue Lagoon.
  • Get mesmerised by the panoramic views at Upper Barrakka Garden.
  • Walk the streets of the Silent City of Mdina.
  • Visotthe Popeye Village and taste a film set.
  • Step inside St. John’s Cathedral and feel the bliss.
  • Wander the Streets of Valletta and get lost in time.
  • Dine at a traditional Maltese eatery and taste the rabbit stew.
  • Eat some fresh fish in Marsaxlok.
  • Eat lots of Pastizzi the local favourite.
  • Enjoy a refreshing sip of  Ċisk the local Beer.
  • Boogy the night at Paceville.

Found Malta interesting? You might like our Quick Guide to the Island nation – Cyprus.

3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Historic Valletta
 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Blue Gotto
 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
Mdina
 3 DAYS IN MALTA : Itinerary and things to do.
The blue waters of Camino

54 COMMENTS

  1. Im obsessed with popeye island lately! Id only just heard of it a few months ago but it looks so sweet. Id love the movie sets!

  2. Malta and its island sound like the place to be on this years vacation…or at any year! The blue lagoon must very crowded on high season but its understandable because its gorgeous! The Maltenese cuisine must be delcious aswell, especially their tradional Pastizzi. My daughter would love the Popeye-village…how cute! We were sure of going to Italy this summer but now I am not so sure anymore…Malta is not bad at all!

  3. Malta and its island sound like the place to be on this years vacation…or at any year! The blue lagoon must very crowded on high season but its understandable because its gorgeous! The Maltenese cuisine must be delcious aswell, especially their tradional Pastizzi. My daughter would love the Popeye-village…how cute! We were sure of going to Italy this summer but now I am not so sure anymore…Malta is not bad at all!

  4. This is a lovely itinerary to Malta. We spend most summers in Sicily, so it’s a ferry ride from Malta, but I’ve still not been! You’re right about the Blue Grotto; it’s stunning. Really hope to visit one day soon; who knows maybe this year±

  5. I went to Malta years ago but I have wanted to always go back and spend longer there. Popeye Island is definitely one of the places on my list, I saw it but I never had a chance to go there. The hotel you stayed at the Corinthia pool looks and sounds so inviting, I would struggle to move from that pool one of the days.

  6. I love the Mediterranean Sea, but how have I never been to Malta? The Blue Lagoon and the Blue Grotto are stunning! The old world architecture and the churches, I could get lost exploring church to church. Definitely checking out Malta now.

  7. Absolutely loved all of your pictures, I’m halfway to packing my bags and setting off to Malta. The Silent city of Mdina will be my first stop, I have read and heard so much of this place. The lagoon and all the beaches look blissful, so does the Corinthea Hotel. Thanks for sharing all the details on places to visit in Malta.

  8. We went to Malta for a few days a few years ago (mainly because we found a last minute super cheap flight) but didn’t explore an awful lot of it apart from the city. We didn’t get to either the Blue Lagoon or the Blue Grotto which both look fantastic! You’ve definitely inspired me to go back and see a little bit more of it. We also found the buses fantastic and really useful though.

  9. You have got some great clicks. The Blue lagoon and blue grotto look so gorgeous. I did read about Malta when I learned that it is one of ten listed by LP. Your post gives a helpful sneak peek. I would love to visit it for its history and architecture. Valentta has to be on my list. Also do the bus ride from Malta to Gozo. The bus looks super cute.

  10. Malta is on my high list as I loved Spain a lot. I find a quick resemblance with Spain. I will also try to stay at St. Julian’s as you said it is perfect location for staying. I love those cobbledstone narrow streets and therefore I would love to wander around. Also taking ferries through Gozo channel must be fun with beautiful views.

  11. I too love visiting small countries. they give you a sense of fulfilment even after few days spent there. Frankly I had no clue Malta had so much to offer. Would love to check out the harbour and Valetta too!

  12. What a fun trip! I keep seeing Malta on blogs so I guess it really is one of the top destinations this year. Love the lagoon, looks so beautiful and not very crowded from your photo. And the seafood is enough reason to visit!

  13. I really don’t know much about Malta and I found this post quite fascinating. It seems such a beautiful place both from a cultural as well as a natural beauty perspective. I would love to see the Blue Lagoon/Blue Grotto and the Dingli Cliffs. The water shots you have taken here look so beautiful.

  14. What an awesome post! I really would love to visit Malta and Gozo one day. I have seen so many photos of the Blue Lagoon in Comino and of Ramla Bay in Gozo. And I’d definitely be up for fresh seafood on a daily basis! And I didn’t know that so many movies were filmed there. Real fun fact!

  15. Malta is one of those exotic places that grace the covers of glossy travel magazines. It indeed looks like a slice of paradise. There are so many things that would draw us to Malta apart from its beaches and immense natural beauty. The bus looks fascinating and the Blue Grotto look so inviting. Hope to get there!

  16. Never paid attention to Malta as a preferred destination until I stumbled upon this post. Am so glad I did and now, it has made it’s way to our bucket list! Malta looks so colorful and never seen anything like the Blue Grotto before. This is a good reference guide for a visit to Malta and planning when to go, where to stay and what all to see! Would definitely want to see the beaches too and hence, plan a trip at an appropriate season!

  17. Malta looks so beautiful! I really hope to visit Valletta one day, and see the same places you visited on your trip. I’ve read many good things about Gozo and the Blue Grotto too, so will definitely be adding this to the list.

  18. OMG Malta is such a beautiful place to visit and i love the way you described everything in this blog. Thanks for saving our time by providing us this itinerary

  19. This is pretty cool… were were there in May and visited some of the same places but not all. It’s such a wonderful country. Although young and small, Malta is doing so well economically due to its political stability and strategic priorities. We stayed in St Julians but may be better to pick a small village with more peace and quiet.

  20. Malta seems like a really popular Mediterranean tourist destination and the The Corinthia St George’s Bay  hotel seems like a lovely place to relax and enjoy the best amenities

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