What to see and do in Malta?December 20, 2017 • By Kelly Glynn
What to See and Do?
- The Malta Experience – Overview of Malta’s history about a 20 minute video
- Fort St. Elmo / Malta at War Museum – History of the Knights of St. John and the Ottoman Empire – Interesting WWII exhibits. Malta was sandwiched between Italian and German forces by land and sea during WWII
- St. John’s Co-Cathedral – Famous Caravaggio painting of St. John the Baptist. Elaborate interior and decoration, served as main church for over 200 years to the order of the Knights of St. John (of Jerusalem). Knights were nobleman from the most important families from all over Europe. Their mission was to protect the Catholic Faith and Europe from the Ottoman Turks
- Grand Harbour – Cruise ship docking point, great views, tourist shops and restaurants
- Grand Master’s Palace –Houses the Parliament, the Armory and the offices of the President. Visit the Palace State Rooms and don’t miss the tapestries
- Mosta Dome – Third largest unsupported church dome in Europe. Site where a WWII bomb was dropped during a mass and miraculously did not explode
- Three Cities – Vittoriosa (Birgu), Senglea (L-Isla) and Cospicua (Bormla) – Old villages mostly flattened during WWII. Narrow streets. St. Angelo Fort. Fun bars and restaurants at night and great views of the Grand Harbour
- Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum – BOOK IN ADVANCE OF YOUR TRIP only 80 visitors allowed daily. Columns like Roman structures, very advanced, calendar system for summer solstice, winter solstice, an elaborate system for burying dead. Three levels of formations. Used as shelters, playgrounds. Construction very artistic
- Ta’Qali Crafts Village – (near Mdina) glass, silver, woodworking and plenty of local crafts to purchase
- Mdina – Silent City, Arabic architecture, Medieval city served as capital until 1530 when Valletta was constructed. At the far end of the main gate, take in the most beautiful views of Malta’s countryside
- St. Paul’s Cathedral in the Mdina – 17th Century Baroque Church in heart of Old City
- St. Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat
- Rabat – Cute narrow roads, cafes, restaurants, wine bars, decorative colorful doors, plants outside homes
- Dingli Cliffs – Enjoy views of the Mediterranean and crushing shoreline
- Marsaxlokk – Fishing Village that served as first fort for centuries. Great restaurants and boat tours
- San Anton Gardens – Welcoming gardens, site of Game of Thrones filming, Presidential Palace, beautiful flowers and fountains
- Ħaġar Qim – Excavated in 1839, the temple remains suggest advanced construction 3600 – 3200 BC and nearby Mnajdra Temples
- Annual Malta International Organ Festival in November/December
- For festivals when you are visiting, check out Visit Malta
- Marsovin Winery – Founded in 1919. Try the Primus Red Wine
- Popeye Village – Located at Anchor Bay near Mellieha. The movie with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall was filmed here.
- Game of Thrones Tour
Where to Eat and Stay?
Italian influenced and Mediterranean diet. Seafood, Pasta, Fried Calamari, Rabbit Stew, Fish Soup, Capers, Garlic
La Sfoglia Restaurant – Family run specializes in seafood. Fun outdoor spot
Taproom Brasserie and Bar – Casual food and a variety of pasta dishes – nice side street location
Trabuxu Wine and Cheese Bar – A favorite spot – romantic, casual good wine
67 Kapitali Artisan Café and Craft Beer Bar – Hot spot, burgers, beer what could be wrong?
Grand Hotel Excelsior – Ideal location, beautiful pool and amenities. Hotel a bit dated for 5 stars.
Hotel Phoenicia Malta – Recently renovated. Located in front of old city walls. Leading Hotels of the World
To Stay and Eat
A.D. 1530 Trattoria, Xara Palace Hotel – Old world class and charm, great location
St. Julians/Paceville/Sliema/St. George
La Dolce Vita – Sinola Bay, St. Julians – High end: Oysters, bread, meat, seafood, great ambiance and views overlooking bay
Barracuda – Restored 18th century villa, located just over the water edge and overlooking the spectacular view of Balluta and Spinola Bay. Make sure to get a table on the outside porch or near the windows
InterContinental – A little bit off the crowded tourist stretch
Le Meridien– Sits on the bay steps from the tourist action