THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VISITING MALTA
This is my ultimate guide to travelling Malta. Famous for its historic towns, beaches, architecture and beautiful views. You can also find my travel guides and blog posts on places in Malta here. This guide contains bucket list experiences, travel tips, costs, advice for solo travellers and budget travellers. I hope you enjoy it!
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Malta is a small archipelago located in Southern Europe surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is made up of 7 islands, but only 3 of these are inhabited. The Maltese islands which are inhabited are; Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta is found 80km south of Italy and 333km north of Libya. It is the 10th smallest country in the world, and has been inhabited since approximately 5900 BC. Valletta is the capital city of Malta, and was jointly awarded the 2018 European Capital of Culture, along with the Dutch city of Leeuwarden.
Malta Blog Posts
Tips for Visiting Malta
Best Time to Visit
The best months for weather in Malta are the summer months of June, July and August. However these are also the busiest months for tourism, which result in attractions and beaches being overcrowded. The weather is the coldest and rainiest during November, December and January. So I would not recommend travelling to Malta during this period. February-June and September and October are the best times to visit Malta. The weather is still warm and sunny, but prices are lower. And there will be fewer amounts of tourists, making attractions easier to visit. I travelled to Malta in March and the weather was good. It was warm but a little breezy when in coastal areas so I’d recommend taking a jacket. There were also not that many tourists.
Malta’s currency is the Euro (EUR). Euro notes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100 and €200. 100 cents make up 1 EUR, coin denominations are; 1 cent, 2 cent, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 & €2
In Malta plug sockets are type G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Make sure you buy a universal travel adapter before your trip so you can use the plugs. You may need a converter for hair dryers and straighteners.
Best Way to Travel Around
The best way to travel around Malta is by car. It allows you flexibility and isn’t too expensive to do, at around 40 EUR per day. However, public buses go everywhere in Malta. Although, sometimes you may have to get two buses to reach certain destinations. Just ensure you allow plenty of time for your journey. Buses in Malta often bypass stops, so make sure you put your hand out to hail the bus to stop. They are also quite infrequent, there is a bus schedule but they barely ever turn up on time. Buses also fill up very fast, probably due to their infrequency, so you may have to stand up. Tickets are 1.50 EUR in winter and 2 EUR in summer (mid June-mid October).
Where to Stay
I highly recommend the Inhawi Boutique Hostel in St. Julians. It won the award for the best hostel in Malta in 2019! I paid around 9 EUR per night to stay in a 6 bed female dorm room. This hostel has free WiFi, a great common area with places you can work and hang out in. There are also computers you can use. There is a big communal kitchen to use, and you get breakfast included as part of your stay. The hostel can help you arrange car hire, bike hire and airport taxis. There is a 24 hour reception and even an outdoor pool open in the summer! You can find their website here.
Most hostels can be found in Sliema and St Julians. St Julians is a seaside town, known for its beaches, promenade, restaurants and nightclubs. It is located around 6km from the airport, and around a 40 minute bus journey from Valletta. Sliema is another seaside town, known for its shopping, restaurants and cafes. You can get the Valletta ferry from Sliema, this provides amazing views of Valletta from the water.
Must See Things in Malta
Major Cities: Valletta, Mdina, Sliema, St Julians, Birgu, Mellieha, Bugibba, Qawra, Marsaxlokk and Rabat.
Airport: Malta International Airport (MLA)
Major Attractions: Island of Gozo, Island of Comino, Blue Lagoon, Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim Temples, Popeye Village, Ġgantija & Fort Saint Angelo.
Here Are Some Top Bucket List Picks
1Visiting Popeye Village.
2Tour St. Johns Co-Cathedral.
3Visit the Blue Grotto.
4Explore the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
5Discover Valletta, European Capital of Culture 2018.
Malta Travel Resources
Skyscanner– This is the ultimate tool for searching for flights. This search engine also searches budget airlines allowing you to find the cheapest available flights.
Expedia– I used Expedia to book my airport transfers, this was the cheapest price I found. Therefore I recommend looking on this site for prices of airport transfers if you need one.
Booking.com– My number 1 go to when booking accomodation. They regularly provide the cheapest prices and a range of benefits such as paying when you check-in (no deposit) and free cancellation. There are even more benefits if you are a Booking Genius, such as; money off, free welcome drinks, late check-out and early check-in.
Hostelword– The best place to search and book hostels. You can see ratings from other travellers and they have handy lists of their facilities. They have a huge amount of hostel listings on their site, across 178 countries.
Viator– Viator is a great site to find day tips and tickets for things to do in the city your are visiting. It’s easy to book trips through and find reviews from other travellers.
GetyourGuide– Another great resource for booking day trips and experiences through. Most tours offer free cancellation (with 24-hours notice) and 24/7 customer service.
Costs of Travelling Malta
|Accommodation||Food and Drink||Transport|
|Bed in Hostel Dorm 8-15 EUR per night||Groceries from the Supermarket for one week 30-50 EUR||Bus Journey 1.50 EUR (2 EUR in summer)|
|Budget Hotel Room starts from 40 EUR per night||Main Meal at a Restaurant 10-15 EUR||Pre Booked Transfer from airport to St Julians 5 EUR Return|
Tips for Solo Female Travellers
Staying safe as a solo female traveller is of the utmost importance. Overall, Malta is a very safe country to travel around. You can check out crime rates and stats for every country here.
General safety precautions should be taken wherever you are travelling to. These include not walking home alone late at night. Also, don’t drink too much alcohol, you are at your most vulnerable when drunk and anything can happen. Even if you’ve made friends you never know what will happen and can only rely on yourself to ensure you get home safely.
Be cautious and keep an eye on your possessions at all times. Don’t carry too much cash on you, and if possible try to keep money on different parts of you body. For example you could have some cash in a hidden money belt. This avoids having all your cash in your wallet and flashing all your money every time you open it. Carry multiple debit/credit cards if possible, if anything happens you then have back up cards to use. Again don’t keep these all in the same place so that if your wallet is lost or stolen you still have cards to use. You could also use a theft-proof bag to keep your belongings safe and avoid having valuables on show. I also recommend carrying either a photo or a photocopy of your passport with you just in case anything happens to it.
Trust your instincts. Always trust your gut, if something doesn’t seem right or you don’t feel comfortable with a situation remove yourself from it. An example of this is when I was in Malta, I didn’t feel comfortable in the hostel I was staying in. I trusted my gut and moved hostels and this allowed me to sleep peacefully and enjoy my trip.
Stay in hostels, this will allow you to meet fellow travellers with ease. There are also usually kitchen facilities, so you can cook your own food and avoid eating in restaurants alone if this makes you feel uncomfortable. You can book female only dorm rooms as well if this makes you more comfortable. Use the lockers available at hostels to store your valuables in, to keep them safe.
My flight landed in Malta late at night, which I hate doing, but sometimes it is the only option. Therefore I booked an airport transfer, as public transport would not be running at that time and I didn’t want to take a taxi. I booked a transfer on Expedia, this cost me 5 EUR return. Also, when I arrived it turned out to be a driver and car just for me, not the shuttle bus I had booked. So I arrived at my accommodation a lot quicker than I was expecting, which was a bonus. On the way back to the airport it was a shuttle bus and we stopped at other hotels to pick up passengers.
Tips for Budget Travellers
Malta is a great destination for budget travellers, I was on a pretty tight budget during this trip and it was very easy to keep to. I think even if you weren’t watching your spending too closely you still wouldn’t spend that much.
Couchsurfing is a great resource for travellers, allowing you to stay at a host’s home for free. This is good to delve deeper into the culture of a country, finding out how locals live, and they’ll have the best travel tips for you. Hostels can be found throughout Malta and are a great way of saving money. Prices vary between 8-15 EUR depending on the time of year and how many people are in the dorm room. But hostels are usually the cheapest accommodation available, and a great way to meet people.
Things to Do
Some of Malta’s best things to do are completely free. Such as visiting the Upper Barrakka Gardens, wandering the streets of Mdina or hitting the beaches. There are also free walking tours available in Valletta. You could also get the Malta Pass, which offers free entry to 35 attractions across the country. You can buy a 1 day (25 EUR), 2 day (40 EUR) or 3 day (50 EUR) pass. The pass also includes a ticket on the sightseeing bus!
Food and Drink
Cooking your own food is also a way to save money whilst travelling. Staying in hostels with kitchen facilities and buying food from the supermarket to cook, is a great way of saving money. I cooked a few meals in the hostel during my stay to save money and brought snacks from the supermarket to carry around in case I got hungry to avoid spending more money.
Eating out can be inexpensive in Malta, however it will soon add up if you eat out a lot. If you want to eat out, I’d recommend looking around for deals. Many restaurants have lunchtime deals, making this the best time to eat out cheap. You could also buy Pastizzi, which is a savoury pastry mostly filled with ricotta or mushy peas. These can usually be found for less than a euro.
Limit the amount of alcohol you buy in bars and restaurants. This is often the number one cause of breaking your budget. You go out and drink and before you know it you’ve spent way more than you meant to. Drink in hostel bars where possible, or buy alcohol from supermarkets. Also, make local choices when buying alcohol. Imported beers and branded spirits can be costly.
Getting the bus is the best way to get around Malta if you are on a budget. Tickets cost 1.50-2 EUR depending on the time of year you visit. These tickets last for 2 hours. Therefore if you are getting multiple buses to your destination, you can use the same ticket! You can also get the ferry from Sliema to Valletta for 1.50 EUR for a single ticket.
Tips for Travelling Malta
- Visit between February and June or September and October.
- Buy the Malta Pass to save money on Attractions.
- Use the Hop-on- Hop-Off Bus as a way to see the island and get around, see the different routes offered here.
- Eat cheap, local street foods such as Pastizzi, you can get these as cheap as 30c.
- Your single bus ticket lasts for 2 hours, so don’t throw it away, as if you are getting 2 buses you can use the ticket again!
- Or if you are spending a week in Malta you could get the Explore Card for 21 EUR, this allows unlimited bus travel in Malta and Gozo.
- Book accommodation that includes breakfast to save money.
- Buy groceries and cook your own food.
More Malta Blog Posts
For more help planning your trip to Malta see my other blog posts:
I hope you have enjoyed this Malta travel guide and it inspires you to plan a trip to Malta.
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