Malta for 5 days: What to do and see during your holiday in Malta
Day 1: Valletta & Sliema, Party in St. Julian’s
You can start your first day of your holiday in Malta by visiting Valletta, Malta’s capital city. Although Valletta is one of the smallest capital cities in the World - covering merely 0.8km2 - it contains around 320 monuments, making it one of the densest historic and cultural areas in the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Taking a bus to Valletta is usually the most convenient option – there is a bus going to Valletta from all the main towns in Malta, all of which stop just in front of Valletta’s main gate. Valletta can be fully explored on foot, so make sure to take comfortable shoes and a good camera! In Valletta you can spend as much time as you want – depending on your interests. There are museums, churches, gardens and many other beautiful buildings that were built by the Knights of St. John several centuries ago. Visit the Malta Experience for an excellent overview of Malta's historical highlights as well as the greatest monuments like St. John Co-Cathedral and the Upper Barrakka Gardens, offering beautiful views of the Grand Harbour.
Republic Street, which is the main street of Valletta is lined with different kinds of shops ranging from the latest fashion to traditional Maltese souvenirs. If you want to have lunch in Valletta, try exploring the side streets, where the prices are less exorbitant and the restaurants are less busy.
Spend a relaxing afternoon in cosmpolitan Sliema
You can either go to Sliema by bus; otherwise you can take a ferry by going down to Marsamxett harbour by walking down to St. Mark’s street.
Sliema offers a number of restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, and most of all a beautiful coastal promenade that stretches for a couple of kilometres along Tigne, the upper part of Sliema, St. Julian’s and Paceville. We suggest a walk along this promenade and enjoy the open sea views of the Mediterranean Sea. Apart from numerous restaurants and entertainment facilities, St. Julian’s and neighbouring Paceville provide you with a lot of places where you can have a quiet cocktail or a wild dancing night!
Day 2: Mosta, Mdina, Rabat
For the second day of your Malta holiday, we suggest visiting the West side of the island. You can start the day by visiting the central town of Mosta, which hosts the beautiful church that has the third largest dome in the World! There are also a couple of nice cafes and shops where you can buy some gifts to take home with you.
From Mosta you can take the bus to Rabat and walk a short distance to the entrance of the main gate of Mdina, the Silent city. There are virtually no cars in Mdina so you explore this cute small city in a relaxed way. This medieval town is dominated by Norman and Baroque architecture, including a beautiful Cathedral in the centre of the town. Take a walk along the streets of this beautiful town and walk all the way to the bastions, where you’ll have spectacular views of the rest of Malta.
Once you have explored Mdina you can go around the town of Rabat and visit the Roman Villa and the Catacombs. There is also the parish Church of St. Paul and St. Paul’s grotto which are worth a visit; here you can see the cave where St. Paul used to do his apostolic work in the year 60 AD. In Rabat there are a couple of really nice restaurants and wine bars to help you finish up your day in style.
Day 3: Gozo
Although Gozo is Malta’s sister island, it has a completely different landscape and way of life. So we suggest that you spend a whole day to visit this island and enjoy the calmer atmosphere together with the beautiful scenery of countryside and Mediterranean Sea.
To go to Gozo, you need to get a ferry from Cirkewwa in the very north of the island (bus number 41 from Valletta, 221 from Bugibba and 222 from Sliema/St. Julian’s). The ferry-crossing takes around 20 minutes and there are several ferries going there every day. The return trip for passengers is €4.65, but you can also take up your car for more flexibility.
You can start your day by visiting the capital city, Rabat, also known as Victoria. Go up the hill to the Cittadella and apart from seeing many historical sites, you’ll be able to enjoy a 360° view around the whole of Gozo.
Perhaps the most important site to visit in Gozo is the Azure window, which attracts thousands of tourists annually. The views here are really spectacular so make sure not to leave your camera behind!
In the afternoon you can visit Calypso Cave with spectacular views of Ramla Bay - one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Maltese Islands. If you have time, we suggest going down to this beach and have a refreshing swim in the clear waters.
Day 4: Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim & Dingli cliffs
For the fourth day of your holiday in Malta, we suggest a visit to the Blue Grotto and Hagar Qim megalithic temples on the West side of Malta. Although the two sites are only 14 km away from Valletta, going by bus might take you a long time as there is no direct route. So in this case, taking a taxi is more ideal. Blue Grotto is a beautiful natural cave and arch that attract many people for swimming, diving and boat cruising in the cave to enjoy the blue colour of the waters.
On the other hand, Hagar Qim & Mnajdra temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site that date back to pre-historic times – from around 3600-2500BC. In Hagar Qim you can understand how our ancestors lived in the early communities. One can find large stones weighing around 20 tons here, making you wonder how hard these people worked to build a temple that reflected their loyalty to the gods. Mnajdra is located very close by, so a combined visit of the two temples is ideal.
From here you can take a bus to the majestic Dingli cliffs, which constitute the highest point of the Maltese Islands at 253 metres. Have a walk along the cliffs and enjoy the spectacular views over the open seas. This site is at its best during sunset, so make sure not to leave your camera behind.
Day 5: Beautiful beaches along the north-west
For the last day of your holiday we suggest a relaxing day along the north-western coast of Malta, you can start by visiting Gnejna, one of Malta’s most spectacular sandy beaches with interesting clay slopes. If the weather is good, swimming and sunbathing in this bay can be a lovely way to spend your day.
You can take a bus to the next bay, or even walk the short distance if it’s not too hot. Ghajn Tuffieha is also a lovely beach, which is not frequented so often because of the long set of steps leading to it. A short walking distance away there’s Golden bay, which is a popular sandy beach frequented by many tourists and locals alike.
If you had enough with swimming and sunbathing, you can also go horse riding in the area around Golden bay. The scenarios that you’ll see during sunset are absolutely wonderful, so bring your camera along! There are a couple of good snack bars in the area, so you can end your day with a lovely dinner on the beach.
In the afternoon you might want to go to the east side of Malta to discover the three cities – Isla, Bormla and Birgu (or in their Latin names Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa). Vittoriosa is probably the most popular of the three, it has many historical sites and a beautiful waterfront for you to discover!