Malta has attracted adventurers for centuries, and modern visitors have many opportunities to create perfect memories in this enchanted place. Whether tourists want to enjoy relaxing by the sea, experiencing delicious Mediterranean dishes, or discovering a romantic piece of the past, the top-rated tourist attractions in Malta certainly offer something for everyone.
Surrounded by the clear azure waters, and featuring breathtaking ancient sites, charming cities, and beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean Sea, to the south of Sicily, blessed with a unique mix of cultures, the Maltese Islands (Malta, Gozo, and Comino) are packed with fascinating treasures to keep you busy on holiday.
Malta’s weather is mild in spring and autumn. However, during the hot summer months, villages come to life with religious festivals and outdoor concerts. Plan your visit to these enchanting islands with our list of the 10 top-rated tourist attractions in Malta.
10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Malta:
1- Valletta (Malta’s charming capital)
Valletta is the capital of Malta thanks to the famous defeat of the Ottoman Turks during the Great Siege of 1565. Built on a peninsula in the eastern part of the country, with a population of around 6000, the entire town is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It sits on top of Mount Sceberras and has wonderful examples of baroque architecture dating back to the 16th century.
The most famous of these is St. John’s Co-Cathedral and other auberges’ and bastions all built by the Knights of St. John. Valletta is the largest harbor city in Malta and from The Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens, you’ll get incredible views of the Grand Harbour. If you’ve got the opportunity, don’t miss the Maltese Carnival, which happens in February and lasts three days, it is phenomenal.
2- The three cities (Historical interest)
Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua, known as the Three Cities of Malta, are pieces of living history kept alive by hundreds of years of preservation, and the occasional miracle.
The fortified cities sit like a trio of villages in the heart of Malta’s historic centre, directly across the Grand Harbour from Valletta. Vittoriosa and Senglea take over two parallel peninsulas facing the capital, while the third, Cospicua, is located to their south. Visually striking and historically significant, they’re the ideal places to delve deep into Maltese culture.
The local communities here celebrate holy days and “festas” as nowhere else on the Islands. The most spectacular events are the Easter processions when statues of the “Risen Christ” are carried at a run through crowded streets.
3- Marsaxlokk (Fish market)
This picturesque fishing village is one of the most charming places in the whole country, and it’s just a 30-minute bus ride from Valletta. Taking the bus is perhaps the best way to get there, particularly since it’s notoriously difficult to park in Marsaxlokk, especially near the waterfront.
The village is very walkable, and with its colorful daily marketplace, strolling is the best way to experience it.
The sight of the brightly painted traditional “luzzu” fishing boats in the bay and the tranquil surroundings make this a very pleasant place to have lunch at one of the quayside restaurants.
4- Mdina (The Medieval Hilltop Town)
Known as the “Silent City”, the former capital of Malta, Mdina, is an ancient walled city inhabited and possibly first fortified by the Phoenicians around 700 BC.
Mdina offers an escape to a fairy-tale city. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this enchanting medieval hilltop town is steeped in history. Tourists must pass through the dramatic Main Gate to enter the city, giving the impression of walking back in time. Within the city’s immense, ancient ramparts is a delightful world of car-free streets and beautiful, old sandstone buildings.
Though it is small, there is plenty to do and visit there: the Carmelite Church and Priory, the Natural History Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Magisterial Palace, the Palazzo Falzon, and the famous Fontanella Tea Garden where you can enjoy a yummy slice of chocolate cake whilst sitting and sipping a cup of tea on the bastions and enjoying the breathtaking views.
5- Ghar Lapsi (Blue Grotto & Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temples)
Ghar Lapsi beach is a small, unique, hidden bay with a view over the tiny, barren islet ofFilfla. Ghar Lapsi and its rocky shoreline form a natural swimming pool with crystal clear and fantastic azure blue/green waters perfect for snorkeling.
Ghar Lapsi Cave leads out into the deep open sea and is an excellent dive with fantastic visibility that allows for great underwater photography. Since Ghar Lapsi is a very beautiful and natural protected area, it is very popular with locals who come here for a short swim and dive into the deep waters from the surrounding rocks.
Around 1 km away from Ghar Lapsi, you will find the popular Blue Grotto, A collection of naturally formed caves and a 30m (94ft) arch.
The site attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year suggesting it’s a place worth visiting. Experienced sailors transport visitors to caves where the waters leading in reflect various shades of cyan and emerald green. It’s definitely a photo opportunity not to be missed. Trips take place all year round, weather permitting.
The standing stones known as Hagar Qim and Mnajdra are the best-preserved and staggering of all the prehistoric sites in Malta. Sitting right at the top of the sea cliff, the atmosphere here is awe-inspiring. Hagar Qim is the first temple and has been restored so that you have a better sense of what it originally looked like.
6- Gozo (And its stunning Citadel)
The Island of Gozo is the Maltese Islands’ most picturesque destination. With its quiet towns and charming beaches, this little island is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing vacation for several days or even a one-day stay. Visitors enjoy the island’s countryside, which offers a delightful retreat from the modern world.
On the island of Gozo and within the city of Victoria rests a stunning example of ancient architecture, the Citadella, which is sometimes called the “Crown of Gozo”. It was the inhabitants’ main fortification for centuries. It was first fortified in around 1500 BC and continued development by the Phoenicians until, by Roman times, it had become a complex Acropolis. The existing structures invite explorers of all ages to wander through ramparts, storerooms, and tunnels. Don’t miss the city view from The Citadel as the sun goes down.
7- Blue Lagoon in Comino
Found on the tiny island of Comino which sits between the main islands of Malta and Gozo, the Blue Lagoon is your restful getaway.
With an almost tropical quality, the Blue Lagoon is a mesmerizing scene of crystal-clear turquoise waters lapping over a white-sand seabed. This expansive lagoon gives the impression of being a giant swimming pool because the water is temperate, there are no waves, and the shallow end is safe enough for children.
Wonderful for swimming, splashing around, or floating on inflatable tubes, the core of the lagoon is roped off to boats. The lagoon is equivalent in length to several Olympic-size swimming pools. You can swim over to the islet of Cominotto and when you’re finished rent an umbrella and a deck chair for a nice long nap in the sun.
8- Golden Bay
Golden Bay in the north-western of Malta is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, with its sandy shores shielded by a hilly coastline and crags. Golden Bay Beach can be easily reached by car or bus; the bus stop is just a 5-minute trek from the beach.
Unlike other Maltese beaches, Golden Bay Beach is far from the road traffic, making it a restful escape from the sea. The beach has a very large coastline with smooth golden sands. The waters are clean and calm enough to swim, with a large area covered for safety. One of the best ways to enjoy this beach is at sunset when it truly lives up to its name.
9- The Victoria Lines (The trekking route)
Are you a Hiking fan? Then, you’ll definitely need to visit the epic Victoria Lines Malta hiking route, which stretches from coast to coast, across the north of the main island. The Maltese Victoria Lines were built by the British and finished in the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (1897), hence their name.
You can start at any point along the route but transport-wise it’s best to start from the west end of the trail and walk back towards the busier side of the island. The closest bus stop to the Victoria Lines starting point in the west is Lellux – which is served only by the 109 bus. Coming from the direction of Valletta, you’ll need to change to the 109 bus route near Rabat.
If you complete the walk from start to finish, you would have basically crossed Malta from East to West. That’s how tiny our island is! The walking route along the Lines is one of the most stunning and peaceful walking paths on the islands of Malta and Gozo.
For more details on the military history and building of Malta’s Victory Lines click on the links below.
- The Victoria Lines (Military Architecture)
- Victoria Lines Fortifications (UNESCO)
- The Great Wall of Malta (Malta Inside Out)
- The Victoria Lines (The Times of Malta Newspaper)
10- Mellieħa (Beach, Church, Popeye village)
In the scenic countryside of Northwest Malta, Mellieha is a family-friendly seaside destination. The Mellieha Beach has the largest stretch of sandy shore on the Maltese Islands with a one-and-a-half kilometer shoreline of fine white sand. Mellieħa Bay (also known as Għadira Bay) is the longest and most popular sandy beach in the Maltese Islands. Its calm waters with no undercurrents are safe for children to wade or swim in.
At the highest point in the village, the Parish Church of Our Lady of Victory (Parish Square) is a lovely 19th-century Baroque building. The church contains the Shipwreck of Saint Paul painting by renowned artist Giuseppe Cali and a statue of The Virgin Mary that is venerated during the annual Mellieha Village Festa. This nine-day festival begins on August 30th and features snack kiosks, traditional Maltese desserts, marching bands, and fireworks.
For families traveling with kids, the Popeye Village in Mellieha offers an entertaining place to spend the day.
From its time as a film set for the 1980 Musical Production “Popeye”, Popeye Village has become one of the top tourist attractions of Malta.
You will be welcomed by Popeye and his renowned friends, who will amuse you with their various shows during the day. Guests can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime shooting experience with the animation team, where they become film stars for a day.
The village celebrates holidays, such as Carnival, Easter, and Halloween, with festive decorations and amusing activities.
With so many tourist attractions in Malta, it was kind of hard to narrow down the list to only the top 10, which means that you will always find various options for you to enjoy during your holiday in Malta.
Whether you’re a sea-lover, big history fan, heavy shopper, festival seeker, or cuisine explorer, you will be utterly amazed and impressed with your holiday in Malta.
You can also check out the Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Malta this Summer!
If you’re planning to make the best use of this summer, by taking an English course or doing a professional internship in your field of expertise, contact us as we know exactly what help to offer you.