10 magical things to do in Malta

10 Must-See Places to Visit in Malta

Malta is a dot on the map under the Italian “boot. From the outside it seems that the size of the island – a couple of soccer fields. In fact, it turns out that it is a “pebble” in the Mediterranean Sea 27 km long and 15 km wide. Well, that is still very, very small.

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If you’re going to Malta, the main thing – do not believe those who write “enough and a couple of days! Guys, not enough, I say as someone who has lived there for several months. Ideally, you should go to the island for at least a week – an excellent holiday among almost half a million locals (yes, the density there is insane) and probably the same number of tourists you provided. Lots of people, not much room, but this seems to be the first place on my personal travel map where the crowds of tourists didn’t piss me off, because I just didn’t find them.

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1. Valletta It’s best to go to the capital of Malta in the morning so that by dinner time, stroking your stomach after eating baked fish or rabbit at a local street restaurant, you realize you’ve looked around. Literally. It takes a couple of hours to walk through the city – from the city gate to the edge of the sea. And in a straight line (along the main street of the Republic) the walk will take no more than an hour at all. I recommend taking a guidebook (or arming yourself with a smartphone) and wandering around the parallel streets. Valletta only has 6000 inhabitants, but there are many beautiful churches and cathedrals, the Barracca Gardens (not far from the main gate) which offer stunning views of the neighbouring towns, and, of course, the military fort of St. Elmo. And then there are the great streets, the famous Maltese balconies on every house and the atmosphere of total tranquility – the Maltese never rush anywhere.

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2. St Julians If you’re an active tourist, then you should definitely book a room or rent an apartment in St Julians (or neighboring Sliema). St Julian’s is not only home to one of the loveliest bays and a wonderful promenade overlooking the sea, with restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets: it is also the hub of Maltese entertainment, from discotheques to casinos. One of them, Dragonara Palace, can be found in the Portomaso Tower. Against the background of old sandstone houses, this skyscraper looks very strange, but it is a good guide to where to go to get to the center of the party. There is also the Hilton Hotel complex, a bowling alley, movie theater, shopping mall, Hard Rock Cafe, and the beach (rarely not a stone one). By the way, Portomaso also has one of the most famous restaurants in Malta – Thai “Blue Elephant”, and on the 22nd floor there is a club with the same name.

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3. Paceville You say “Paceville” to someone and get a meaningful smile in return. In fact, Paceville is a narrow street leading from the city to the beach. In fact – the most popular piece of the island among young people. All the bars, nightclubs – here, all the most active parties and dance till morning – here, most dating – here. In summer, Paceville lights up every night – there are no laws of weekdays and weekends. If you see crowds of dressed-up people walking or sitting in a restaurant in the evening, you know they’re all going to Paceville. And, by the way, alcohol is cheap in Malta, at least compared to Russian prices. And almost every club gives out flyers at the entrance for free drinks, especially girls.

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4. Marsashlock If the night – time Paceville and St. Julians, Sunday morning is definitely time to visit the village of Marsashlock (11 km from Valletta) – the fishing center of the island. There’s a very beautiful bay – one of the largest on the island – and a bunch of famous Maltese blue-red-yellow boats with “Osiris eyes” – painted eyes of the Egyptian god of the afterlife, which, according to legend, protect sailors from danger. It’s easy to find souvenirs at the local bazaar, and the fish market opens on Sundays. You can buy something or gawk at the vendors and then dine at one of the many fish restaurants overlooking the bay.

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5. Mdina Every Maltese will tell you that Mdina is a must-visit. Again – it’s a very small town. And again – you have enough day to walk around it all the way around. Mdina is the former capital of the island with a modern population (attention!) of 400 people and only one hotel. To live here is boring, but to arm yourself with a map and walk through them all is fascinating. Monasteries, churches, museums, squares, palaces and complexes – everything here breathes with antiquity.

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6. Golden Bay Swimming in Malta is possible almost everywhere. Every hotel on the coast has its own beach, a bunch of public and just as wild in different parts of the island. The water is clean even in crowded places, the Mediterranean Sea is quite calm. The problem will arise only for those who like sandy vacation spots. 99% of Maltese beaches are stone cliffs, going into the water. Therefore, almost all places for swimming are equipped with special steps with handrails. St. Julian’s has a public beach in the bay between the hotels with fine pebbles, but swimming in standing water next to the roadway is not too exciting. For a sandy beach, you have to go to the northwest of the island – to the beaches of Mellieha Bay, Paradise Bay, Jnane and Golden Bay. I recommend the latter.

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7. Blue Grotto If you want adventure and don’t mind big waves, you must see the Blue Grotto complex. This is a chain of grottos with really sparkling blue water. You will be taken for a ride on one of the boats with great pleasure. And after you can swim in the bay. But do not do this if you are not good on the water or who necessarily need to feel the bottom with your feet. You will not be able to do it here. For the rest – the pleasure is guaranteed. And by the way, this is where the movie “Troy” with Brad Pitt was filmed, as someone will tell you.

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8. Gozo Malta is actually not one island. It is three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Gozo is incomparably smaller than Malta itself, but no less interesting. From Malta it is easily accessible by ferry from the port in the north. Gozo has its own capital – Victoria, a few cities, a bunch of attractions. It’s funny that the Maltese say that the people of Gozo are quite different, more conservative. Half of them have never left their native island (despite the fact that it is really small), and the other half are wealthy Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians who made a fortune on the mainland and moved here in retirement. Jacques-Yves Cousteau considered the bays around this island some of the best places for diving. There are beautiful reefs, caves, and holes in the rocks.

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9. Comino If Gozo is small, Comino is tiny. Its difference from Malta and Gozo is that the island is uninhabited. Well, that is, it is built one small hotel for lovers of total privacy, but in general – it’s just a piece of rock with sparse vegetation, towering over the sea. However, during the season, Comino is swarming with tourists every day. The fact is that here are the famous beaches with white sand and azure water. The most popular is the Blue Lagoon – located right at the pier. Comino can be reached both from Malta and Gozo.

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10. Fish rabbit sweets (about the food) About the food I have already mentioned in passing. The largest concentration of restaurants of all cuisines of the world – in St. Julians and Sliema, especially Italian – pizza and pasta here at every turn. And by the way, this is also where the excellent English pub The Blackbull Pab is located. Mdina is also famous for the best pastry shop on the island, the Fontanella. The sweets here are really excellent, you can’t miss them. As for the traditional cuisine, it is not pronounced in Malta, but there are a few things. First of all, do not eat salmon, salmon or trout steaks all the time. For the sake of interest, order lampuku, a local white fish with vegetables on the grill. It’s easy to find in Marsaszlokk and elsewhere. But the Maltese specialty, rabbit stew with vegetables and garlic, can be found in every other restaurant.

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PS To be honest, when you realize that all the towns in Malta are full of ancient beauty, beautiful views and great places, and besides, to get around each of them takes a couple of hours, you start to burn up like a madman, wanting to explore them all as much as possible. There are two ways to do this: rent a car or a very convenient network of Maltese buses. Especially since they have no difference between intracity and intercity travel, and standing in one city, you can easily see the houses not far away the other. So a vacation in Malta can be a drag…

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