A Guide to 72 Hours in Malta
A GUIDE TO SPENDING 72 HOURS IN MALTA
Malta is the 6th country I have travelled to solo. Here is a guide to help you plan a trip to Malta. I spend 72 hours in Malta early this year and highly recommend a visit. It’s a very beautiful country, and can be visited on a budget!
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Firstly, I booked this trip by playing Skyscanner Roulette. Which is done by inputting the dates you wish to travel into Skyscanner and putting ‘everywhere’ into the destination field. Then you can see where the cheapest places to fly to on those dates are. And choose somewhere you haven’t travelled to before. Find a link to Skyscanner below to try it for yourself!
I chose to spend 72 hours in Malta, as it is a small island. And after researching, I found I could see most of what I wanted to see during 3 days. Also, I was just looking for a little break, so it seemed perfect.
Malta International Airport is the only airport in Malta and serves the whole of the Maltese Islands. Flights from London are cheap, I paid around £20 for a one way ticket. This airport is easily accessible from anywhere in Europe, with flight routes throughout the continent.
The flight I took arrived late at night, which I don’t like doing. However, it was the only option for the dates I wanted to travel. Therefore, I booked a transfer from the airport to my hostel. I booked this through Expedia and it cost just £5 return! This was the cheapest option of travel, as buses weren’t running that late at night and taxis cost around €17. But, it was super easy to find the office of the shuttle company in the airport, and arrived at my hostel within 15 mins of getting into the shuttle. So, I highly recommend this mode of transport.
Where To Stay
Firstly, this trip didn’t get off to the best start.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at the hostel I had booked, it wasn’t what I expected. I had booked a 6 bed mixed dorm room. Usually, I book female-only dorms, but I have also stayed in mixed dorms, without any issue in the past. However, this time there was just myself and one much older male in the dorm. Also, I had only seen two other people staying in the hostel, again both male. No staff were working after 11pm, which I didn’t know when I booked this hostel, and it made me feel uneasy.
Therefore, I trusted my instincts and moved hostels the next morning. Unfortunately it was too late for me to move that night. Just to add as well, the first hostel told me because it was off season the hostel was quiet, but the hostel I moved to was busy, so clearly I just chose a bad one.
Remember, it’s really important to trust your instincts as a solo female traveller, never do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Subsequently, I stayed at the Inhawi Boutique Hostel. This is located in St Julians Bay. I highly recommend this hostel, the dorms were great and very clean, there were really good common areas which were great to hang out in as well. I felt completely comfortable staying here, and there were loads of other people staying which was great.
What To Do In 72 Hours in Malta
Anyway, after I had sorted out where I was staying. It was time to explore…
Firstly, I caught the bus from St Julians Bay into Valletta, the Capital of Malta. The buses are pretty easy to figure out. Google Maps can tell you what buses to get and they cost €1.50 for a single ticket. This single ticket lasts TWO HOURS, therefore if you need to get two buses to your destination, the ticket will be valid for both buses. This makes the bus excellent value for money.
However, the only issue is that the buses turn up when they want. Therefore you may have to wait a while for the bus, and it may be crowded when it turns up. Also, all the buses have a LOT of stops, so you might be on the bus for a while as well. If renting a car is an option for you, this is probably the best way to travel around Malta. As I felt like I had spent a long time on buses after a couple of days.
The city of Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a great starting point for exploring Malta. The Triton Fountain and Valletta City Gate are the first things you will see when arriving to Valletta. I wandered the streets of Valletta and went inside St. Johns Co-Cathedral, which is one of the most impressive cathedrals that I have ever seen. You can enter the cathedral for €10, which includes an audio guide, full of info about this beautiful cathedral.
St. Johns Co-Cathedral
I then found the Queen Victoria Statue in Republic Square and stopped off for a pint of local lager in front of the Grandmaster’s Palace, in Cafe Cordina. This was a great place to stop, there were street musicians playing and the sun was shining.
I then walked down a side street to see the views over the harbour of Sliema. Also, you can see the St. Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral and dome of Our Lady of Mount Carmel here.
Also, I stopped off for lunch at Cafe Caravaggio. This restaurant is located opposite St. Johns Co-Cathedral. I had a Maltese sausage, goats cheese and black olive pizza. It was amazing!
Upper Barrakka Gardens
Finally, my last stop of the day was to the Upper Barrakka Gardens. There are stunning views over the Grand Harbour and the gardens are free to enter. You can take the lift down to the harbour from here, which is also free. However, it costs €1 if you want to come back up in the lift. Also, at noon everyday you can watch the cannons fire over the harbour. You cannot miss these beautiful gardens.
During my second day in Malta, I decided to visit one of the best persevered ancient walled cities in Europe. Also, it was used as a filming location in Game of Thrones. If you are interested in visiting Game of Thrones filming locations, click the link below! To get to the city, I had to get two buses. This city is Known as the Silent City, and was previously Malta’s Capital City.
Here I wandered through the beautiful narrow streets of the city, took in the views from the panorama view point. And ate an incredible meal of pan fried pasta and goats cheese fondue at Bacchus Restaurant.
I then took the bus to the blue grotto, which is in the South of the Island. Unfortunately, the boat trips weren’t running as it was very windy. However, it is still a beautiful place to view from above. Again, hiring a car would make it way easier to get between these two places.
To get to Popeye’s Village I got on a bus to ghadira bay and then walked to Popeye’s Village. You can get a bus from here, and it’s only one stop but the bus only runs once an hour, and it was a sunny day and a 20 minute walk so I walked it.
Popeye’s Village is the original film set from the 1980 film starring Robin Williams. I loved exploring this place, I really like that it has been kept the same, and the level of detail in the set is incredible. I recommend walking to the view point and seeing the view of the whole village from the cliff top. In the winter it costs €11 to enter, this includes a free photo, popcorn and postcard. You can enter many of the buildings, and there are little shows to watch from the animation team.
Moreover, this attraction is in such a beautiful location with the most incredible crystal clear blue waters! I loved this place so much I stopped off in the restaurant, to enjoy a gourmet burger overlooking the water, as the views were just so amazing.
Next, I walked back to the bay, and went for a walk. This beach would be amazing in the summer! Lastly, I went to Sliema to view Valletta from this side of the Harbour.
Subsequently, that was all I had time for. I definitely recommend staying in St Julians Bay, there are lots of bar and restaurant options here, and transport links around the island.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to explore the sister islands of Gozo and Comino, or the city of Rabat. I will come back to Malta again and explore this island some more. Hopefully with a car to save myself some time!
Above all, I loved my time on this island, and highly recommend a visit here its a beautiful country, with so much to see. The food is Italian inspired and was delicious. It is also a great budget-friendly place to visit.
Have you been to Malta? Did you love is as well? Let me know in the comments sections! I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to spending 72 hours in Malta.
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