12 Great Tourist Attractions in Malta


With the credit crunch still being felt in our wallets, trips to exotic locations might be beyond most people’s budgets. Thankfully, there are some exotic locations right on Europe’s doorstep. With its Mediterranean climate, Malta can be the perfect place for a quiet holiday exploring ancient ruins, majestic churches, and the many beaches dotted around the country.

You are welcome to admire the surrounding beauty: it is no coincidence that the Maltese landscapes were chosen as the scenery for the filming of the cult Game of Thrones. Whatever you enjoy doing, be sure you visit these amazing tourist attractions in Malta.

1. St. John’s Co-Cathedral

See this building from the outside, and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s simply yet another church, as you will no doubt see while you go around Malta. Take a step inside, however, and be awed by the gold plating on every surface, the elaborate designs in stone, and the world-class paintings by renowned artists.

Said to be one of the richest churches in the world, this legacy from the time of the Sovereign Order of the Knights of St. John has withstood the plunder of Napolean and Luftwaffe air raids during the Second World War to remain a must-see for every person visiting the Maltese Islands.

The whole building is like one huge museum. The design of the cathedral was done by the best masters, mostly Italian. The décor is very quirky and intricate, with lots of small details. You can look at it for a very long time. Moreover, the level of safety is simply rare.

Address: St John’s Co-Cathedral, St John Street, Valletta

2. Hypogeum

Hewn out of the living rock over 5000 years ago, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is astounding evidence of ancient man’s prowess. Spread over an area of about 500m², it consists of three levels built over different periods, with varying styles of craftsmanship evident.

It is a must-see attraction in Malta, but watch out, since renovation works in the ’90s, only 80 people a day are allowed in. Make sure to book tickets online from Heritage Malta, the governmental body taking care of Malta’s ancient wonders.

Scientists still argue about the purpose of this Malta destination. Some consider it a temple, and others think it a necropolis. Archaeologists have discovered thousands of graves and artifacts that testify to the female fertility cult. The most important find is a statuette of a sleeping woman, reminiscent of Paleolithic Venuses. This suggested that during the Neolithic period, matriarchy reigned in central Europe.

How to get there?

The address of this Malta sightseeing is Triq Ic Cimiterju Rahal Grid PLA, Rahal Grid 1116. You can get there by buses No. 82, 84, 85, and 88 from Valletta or by car on route № 6.

3. Mdina

The ancient walled city of Mdina has the oldest fortifications on the island. Built during Phoenician times (c. 300 B.C.), it remained the capital city until the 16th century. It was built on the very top of a hill, and a powerful fortress was erected around it to protect it from enemies.

With its narrow, winding roads, it brings to mind other medinas (literally meaning ‘walled city’) around the Arab world. On these curving streets, you may find cafes, museums, ancient dungeons, and of course, beautiful churches.

Today, the city has actually become a museum. The narrow streets are always full of tourists who walk between old houses and magnificent cathedrals, the most striking of which is the Sicilian-Norman Cathedral of St. Paul, decorated with engravings by Albrecht Dürer.

How to there?

Buses run to Mdina from Valletta № 84, 80, 81 and from Sliema No. 65. You can also take a taxi or rent a car. Travel time is just over 30 minutes.

4. Mosta Rotunda

Situated on a major north-south artery, you will definitely see this imposing church as you travel around the island. Boasting the third-largest unsupported dome in Europe, this fascinating Malta landmark stands as a testament to the locals’ religious devotion.

Built in the mid-19th century over a previous, smaller church, this one of the greatest places in Malta was planned to cater to the village’s growing population. It was constructed using stone from a nearby quarry and with a local labor force consisting mainly of farmers willing to sacrifice their time and strength for the cause.

Mosta Rotunda is the largest and most famous church in Malta and has one of the largest unsupported domes in the world. In the church, you can climb under the dome and go out to the open terrace, which offers panoramic views, as well as visit the museum’s underground shelter from the Second World War.

Visit in the first two weeks of August, before the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady on the 15th, to see it at its resplendent best.

How to get there?

The address of this tourist attraction of Malta is Rotunda Square, Mosta, Malta. You can get to the church by public buses around Malta, including Valletta, Sliema, and Mellieha.

5. Fishing market of Marsaxlokk

Famous around the island for its vast array of seafood, the market in the traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk, in the South-East of the island, will surely dazzle you. Take a walk along the front and examine the wares before going into one of the nearby restaurants serving exquisite sea fare.

The market offers a vast selection of seafood. Buyers are provided bass, perch, silver bream, red mullet, tuna, swordfish, octopus, squid, as well as the famous lampuki or dorado, which is most common during the summer until late autumn. Despite the name, this Malta place to visit also has stalls selling local arts and crafts, souvenirs, soft drinks, fruits, vegetables, and sausages.

How to get there?

The village of Marsaxlokk is located 40 minutes from Valletta. You need to go by bus № 81 or 85. The bus stops right at Marsaxlokk Square.

6. Ghar Dalam Cave

Photo credit: pinterest.com

The amazing cave of Ghar Dalam is located between the cities of Birzebbuja and Marsaxlokk on the southeast coast of the island of Malta. This one of the most remarkable Malta places to visit attracts scientists and archaeologists from all over the world. It is not surprising. It was discovered at the end of the 19th century.

The cave consists of several layers, among which were found the bones of the remains of unique animals that lived during the last glaciation. For example, a pygmy hippopotamus, a pygmy elephant, a pygmy deer, and the bones of people who lived in Malta around 7500 years ago were there. In addition to the remains, samples of art and images of animals were found in the cave.

How to get there?

The address of this one of the greatest Malta tourist attractions is Triq Ghar Dalam, Birzebbuga. You can take buses № 82, 85, and 210 from Birzebbuga and Marsaxlokk to get there, which stop next to the Dalam bus stop.

7. Church of Our Lady of Victory

Photo credit: pinterest.com

The Church of Our Lady of Victory in Valletta is the first completed building in the future capital of the state. This Malta sightseeing was erected as a sign of the victory of the Knights of the Order of St. John and the Maltese over the Ottoman invaders in September 1565. The church is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin.

The interior design of this one of the fascinating Malta tourist attractions is very unusual and combines the baroque traditions of different countries. Inside the church is one long room with an altar: walls, floors, and ceilings are decorated with baroque styles from other countries. You can see carved wooden elements, columns, cornices, and garlands of curious shapes.

The paintings above the altar depict Saint Anthony of Egypt and Saint Anthony of Padua. Eye-catching and unique paintings, paintings of interior surfaces, created in the 16th century by famous masters: most paintings were restored from 2000 to 2016.

How to get there?

Our Lady Of Victories Chapel, South St, Valletta. You can get here by buses number 122, 123, 130 and 133

8. Church of St. Catherine of Italy

Photo credit: pinterest.com

The Church of St. Catherine of Italy is a very beautiful little church right in the old part of town. Despite its modest size, the building has a long history.

This church was built in 1576 for the Knights of St. John, originally from Italy. Italian-speaking priests served here. Originally, it was very small. But the order grew, the number of Italian knights increased – and the building increased. Today, the Church of St. Catherine of Italy is also the center of the Italian community in Malta.

Like all other churches in Malta, the Church of St. Catherine is decorated magnificently and luxuriously. The Italian community spared no expense in decorating their church. The main entrance is decorated in an exquisite version of the Baroque style. Behind it rises a small dome. The main room has an octagonal altar decorated in gray and white. The walls are decorated with stucco and architectural details, such as cornices and columns.

How to get there?

The address of this one of the most exciting places to visit in Malta is St. Catherine of Italy, Victory, Valletta. The best way to get there is on foot.

9. Botanical Garden of St. Anthony

Photo credit: pinterest.com

The Botanical Garden of St. Anthony is a kind of oasis in Malta, where you can find exotic flowers, trees, and shrubs. Initially, only high-ranking officials could visit this park. However, nowadays, this Malta place to visit is one of the favorite vacation spots not only for tourists but also for the indigenous population of Malta.

Everything in the garden is thought out to the smallest detail: the paths are lined with patterned tiles, graceful statues and sculptures are installed near artificial ponds and fountains, and beautiful swans swim in the ponds. The variety of crops is impressive. For example, unusual flowers, palm trees, shrubs, and other exotic plants exist. Many of them have been here for over three hundred years.

There is also one exciting tradition. Malta often hosts international summits. Every year, presidents of different countries visit the botanical garden and plant trees as a symbol of friendship and peace. In addition, the state government decided to distribute the annual crops to vacationers as souvenirs and gifts.

How to get there?

You can get to the park using public transport in Malta. Buses № 54 and 106 will take you to the Palazzo stop, not far from the botanical garden.

10. Casa Rossa Piccola

Photo credit: pinterest.com

Casa Rossa Piccola is one of the last non-rebuilt palaces in Malta. This private palace, belonging to the family of the Marquis de Piro, was built in 1580, and since then, its design has not changed.

Currently, one of the oldest families on the island, the De Piro, lives in the mansion. He conducts tours in English himself. This tourist attraction in Malta has 50 halls, of which only one is considered a museum. The rest of the richly decorated rooms are inhabited by the household of the marquis. The exhibits in this unusual museum are interior items, such as decor, furniture, dishes, costumes, paintings, and family portraits.

Under the mansion, there is a bomb shelter consisting of three rooms. In one of them, the Museum “Bomb Shelter of the Second World War” was opened, which became an interesting and informative addition to excursion walks around the house itself. An excursion to such a bomb shelter is included in the price of an entrance ticket to the palace.

How to get there?

Getting to Casa Rossa Piccola in Malta is very simple. It is located at Republic Street, 74. You are welcome to take bus № 133.

11. Mgarr

Photo credit: pinterest.com

Another Malta destination worth a visit is Mgarr. This place to see is a settlement in the northwestern part of the island of Malta, surrounded by vineyards and farms. Therefore, most of the locals are engaged in agriculture.

Tourists are also attracted by prehistoric sites. A whole scattering of archaeological monuments has been preserved on its territory. Many prehistoric tombs and cave dwellings have been found on the outskirts of Mgarr. And the plateau and rocks around are cut by ancient and rather deep cart ruts.

The UNESCO World Heritage Listed ruins of the megalithic temples of Ta’ Hajrat and Sorba are real tourist traps in Malta. Megalithic Ta’ Hajrat is one of the oldest sanctuaries on the planet. And the Temples of Skorba are famous megalithic temples, next to which the ruins of prehistoric settlements dating back to 3400 BC have been discovered.

How to get there?

The most common ways to get to this one of the most remarkable Malta destinations is by car or buses № 44, 101, and 238.

12. Spinola Bay

Photo credit: pinterest.com

This Malta sightseeing is the pearl of the central part of Malta, one of the most beautiful corners of the island. Spinola Bay is also famous as an excellent place for mooring yachts, so you can come here just to admire them. And the sea view here is incredible.

The charm of Spinola Bay lies in the fact that it harmoniously combines new and old, and along the bay, there is a walking promenade (quay), along which dense buildings are so typical for small Maltese cities.

The main attraction of this part of the city, where there are practically no buildings, is a lot of ducks, which not only locals but also tourists love to contemplate. The best time to peacefully enjoy the beautiful views of this magnificent bay is at sunset.

How to get there?

The most common way to get to this Malta tourist destination from Valletta is by buses № 13, 13A, 14, 16, and TD13.

What is Malta famous for?

The country is famous for its thalassotherapy centers and spa centers with a large selection of medical and cosmetic procedures. In addition, Malta’s climate is considered one of the most comfortable in the world: the temperature is above zero all year round.

Where is the prettiest part of Malta?

Valletta is the prettiest part of Malta. Its streets are full of baroque architecture, with a traditional and warm atmosphere, where you can feel the local culture and become part of it through museums, gardens, ports, theaters, cathedrals, churches, monuments, and the works of the famous Italian painter Caravaggio.

Why do tourists go to Malta?

Malta is a very popular destination for eco-tourism. Holidays in Malta will be very diverse, eventful, and safe because this state boasts the lowest crime rate among all E.U. countries. Malta combines all the conditions for a perfect holiday, both beach and educational.

How many days in Malta is enough?

If you plan to travel to Malta in winter, spring or autumn, this will take at least 3-4 days. But if you travel here in the summer, add a couple more days to enjoy the golden beaches and activities.

What is the best month to visit Malta?

It is easy to determine when it is best to relax imposingly and lazily in Malta. The best month to visit Malta is June. In June, you can enjoy good weather and pleasant water temperatures without the inconvenience of overheating or the influx of tourists.