Malta: highlights, tips and things to do

When you think of Malta, you probably think of beautiful beaches, a crystal clear ocean and delicious seafood. The country consists of several islands, such as Gozo and Comino. The spoken language is Maltese and English. Because Malta was once an English colony, you will find many British influences in the country, such as the characteristic, photogenic, red telephone booths. I visited Malta at the end of November together with Boyan @boyanoo and discovered that there is also a lot of fun stuff to do after summer. These are my favorite highlights, tips, restaurants and things to do for your visit to Malta!

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Malta Highlights en Tips The Three Cities | Malta highlights and things to do

Flying to Malta

Air Malta will fly you comfortably to Valletta. We were upgraded to business class and enjoyed Sky Priority, delicious food on board and we could use the luxurious Air Malta lounge at the airport on our way back home. Pretty nice when your flight is early in the morning and you can’t handle rushed people in your ‘aura’ yet!

Malta Highlights en Tips The Three Cities | Malta highlights and tips 

Valletta
We stay at the beautiful Hotel Rosselli. This 5-star hotel is comfortable and perfectly located. It has a great roof terrace and a restaurant with a Michelin star: Under Grain. Executive chef Victor Borg treated us to an insanely good dinner! Each course was a work of art, with surprising, creative flavors. Loved it!

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Dinner at restaurant Under Grain | Malta restaurants 

There is so much to do in and around Valletta. What a fantastic city this is! I absolutely fell in love with the little streets and great restaurants everywhere. The entire old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Go have a pastry at Caffe Cordina and visit The Upper Barrakka Gardens for a beautiful view. If you are lucky, you can see and hear (!) how a cannon is fired here. This happens 2 times a day. The MUZA Museum is highly recommended, it has an extensive collection with works from the early Renaissance to contemporary art. A day trip to The Three Cities is not to be missed. Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are the heart of Malta’s historic centre. Grab a coffee at DATE, get lost in the beautiful little streets, have some food at Terrone and sail back to Valletta in an authentic, Maltese Dgħajsa boat.

Malta Highlights en Tips The first 2 photos:The Three Cities and the last photo: Valletta | Malta highlights en tips

Visit the impressive St. John’s Co-Cathedral. This overwhelmingly beautiful 16th-century cathedral is home to Caravaggio’s famous work “The Beheading of John the Baptist.” Cirque du Soleil was playing the show “Fieri” in the city at the time we were in Valletta. What a special evening! If you visit Valletta in the Christmas season, Fairyland is a must. Buy a delicious mulled wine at one of the cosy stalls, jump on the Ferris wheel and collect unique souvenirs for in your suitcase.

Malta Highlights en Tips

My favorite restaurants in Valletta

Under Grain: restaurant with a Michelin star.
Nenu The Artisan Baker: authentic Maltese dishes. Delicious!
Trattoria Romana Zero Sei: famous for its carbonara pasta. Try the carbonara with fresh truffle!
AKI: extraordinary Japanese dishes. Try the beautifully presented ceviche. The sushi is also fantastic.

Malta Highlights en Tips Valletta | Malta things to do

Other recommendations that I unfortunately didn’t get to try out myself: ION, Noni, Beati Paoli, Taste, Taproom, Aaron’s Kitchen, Briju, The Harbour Club and Gugar Hangout & Bar (very small place that looked super cute).

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Cocktails and wine in Valletta

Bridge Bar: fantastic charcuterie boards and great wine at a super romantic location.
Babel Bistro: cozy jazz bar.
Café Society
Vino’s Cafe Bar
Yard 32 Gin & Tapas Bar
Ginscal agave bar
DOPO
Alchemy Cocktail Bar
The Little Red Door

The Upper Barrakka Gardens | Malta highlights and tips 

Coffee in Valletta
Coffee Circus Lisboa
Manouche Craft Bakery

Mdina
Mdina is the former capital of Malta and is located in the center of the island. Ancient signs of habitation have been found indicating that Mdina was already inhabited around 4000 BC. It is a beautiful, old city, which you can walk through in about an hour. A number of scenes from Game of Thrones were shot here! There are a lot of nice cafes and restaurants that are worth a visit.

Have lunch or dinner at Root 81! What an insanely good restaurant! My mouth is still watering when I think back to our lunch. This restaurant deserves a Michelin star as far as I’m concerned. Highly recommended! At Fontanella Tea Garden you can order the best homemade cakes. Two other restaurants that looked good, but unfortunately we had no time to visit are: Don Mesquita and Coogi’s. At Is-Serkin – Crystal Palace Bar you can try the best authentic Maltese pastizzi’s! These are savory pastries made of puff pastry, often filled with ricotta or curry peas. Typical Maltese street food!

Malta Highlights en TipsMalta Highlights en TipsRestaurant Root 81 | Mdina – Rabat

Malta: other sights and highlights

Take a scenic walk overlooking St.Paul’s Island.
Book a wine tasting. Malta produces a lot of wine. We went to Markus Divinus and enjoyed delicious appetizers and good wine.
Visit the iconic Blue Grotto.
Sail to the beautiful islands of Gozo and Comino.
The colorful Popeye Village is located in the north of Malta. This seaside village was the setting for the 1980 film Popeye.

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Malta Highlights en Tips

Malta Highlights en TipsSt. John’s Co-Cathedral  MUZA museum | Malta highlights and tips 

On my next visit I hope to visit Gozo and Comino! What a fantastic country Malta is. The people are so incredibly friendly. Several times we talked to friendly locals on the street who were interested in where we were from. Without wanting anything from us, just a friendly chat. The cities are incredibly beautiful and we tried so much delicious food! Add the beautiful beaches and nature and you can understand why I wish to return soon…

Malta Highlights en Tips

Hike to see St. Paul’s Island | The first photo is by Daniel Balzan.

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All the photos that I am in were taken by Boyan Ortse. You can find his beautiful photos and videos on his Instagram account: @boyanoo.

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