Discover Malta & Gozo: Complete Travel Itinerary and Practical Travel Tips

Malta is a year long destination offering tourists the opportunity to explore its serene coast line and amazing culture combined with best in class places to visit.

We really enjoyed our one week stay in Malta and below we list our practical trips, useful information, suggestions and recommendations for what to do in Malta.

Planning a Trip to Malta

Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world with a very high population density. Malta’s lived density has increased to just under 1,800 people per square kilometer, leapfrogging Andorra into second place but still some way behind Monaco’s figure of over 18,000.

The island has changed hands throughout the centuries and at times it has been mostly uninhabited as well. This can be seen in the many cultural traits the population adopted from past rulers.

You will notice also that the vast majority of the population speaks English as a second language and most signage is bilingual in English as well. Therefore, in terms of orientation we don’t foresee any issue for most travellers.

When considering a trip to Malta, rest assured, the island offers a vast array of things to do and when you combine it with its very well connected bus network, you are definitely spoiled.

If you are wondering How many days in Malta should you allocate?, we would suggest about 1 week would be good. This is what we did and even had a few days of remote working.

All in all, both Malta and its neighboring island of Gozo can be seen in 5-6 days. Below we list some of the things to consider before arriving in Malta.

1. Malta Travel Requirements

When planning a trip to Malta, it’s essential to ensure you have all the necessary travel requirements sorted out. Here’s a detailed look at what you need to consider, whether you’re an EU citizen or coming from outside the EU.

For EU Citizens

As Malta is part of the European Union and the Schengen Area, travel requirements for EU citizens are relatively straightforward:

  • Passport or ID Card: EU citizens can enter Malta with a valid passport or national ID card. There’s no need for a visa for short stays.
  • Health Insurance: While the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid in Malta and provides access to necessary medical care, it’s still wise to have additional travel insurance for more comprehensive coverage, including emergency repatriation.

For Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU citizens have slightly different requirements:

  • Visa Requirements: Visitors from many countries, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, and Japan, can enter Malta without a visa for short stays (up to 90 days within a 180-day period). However, nationals from some countries will need to apply for a Schengen visa in advance. It’s crucial to check the specific requirements based on your nationality.
  • Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date from Malta.
  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance is recommended to cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen incidents. Some visa applicants might need to show proof of insurance covering at least €30,000 in medical expenses.
  • Proof of Funds and Accommodation: You might be asked to show proof of sufficient funds for your stay and confirmation of accommodation bookings.

For further information you can check the Maltese Visa Information page here.

By ensuring you have all your travel documents in order and understanding the entry requirements, you can focus on enjoying your trip to Malta without any unnecessary stress. Safe travels!

2. Travel To and Around Malta

Travelling to Malta and navigating the islands is straightforward and convenient, thanks to well-established transport links and services. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your journey to and within Malta.

Travel to Malta

  • Flights:
    • Malta International Airport (MLA): This is the main gateway to the country, located in Luqa, approximately 10 kilometres from Valletta. It’s well connected with major European cities and some destinations in the Middle East and North Africa.
    • Major Airlines: Air Malta, Ryanair, and EasyJet offer frequent flights. Additionally, other international carriers such as Lufthansa, British Airways, and Emirates provide seasonal and year-round services.
    • Direct Flights: You can find direct flights from major cities like London, Berlin, Rome, and Paris. Depending on your departure point, flight times can range from 2 to 4 hours.
  • Ferries:
    • From Sicily: Regular ferry services connect Malta with Sicily, typically departing from Pozzallo or Catania. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hours, making it a scenic and enjoyable option.
    • Ferry Operators: Virtu Ferries is a major operator offering comfortable and efficient services.

Travel Around Malta

  • Public Transport:
    • Buses: Malta Public Transport operates an extensive network of buses covering almost the entire island, including Gozo. Buses are reliable and cost-effective, with Valletta serving as the central hub.
      • Tickets and Passes: Single journey tickets can be purchased on board. For tourists, the Explore Card offers unlimited travel for 7 days, and the Tallinja Card provides pay-as-you-go convenience.
    • Routes and Schedules: Buses run frequently, especially in tourist areas. Check the Malta Public Transport website or app for detailed routes and schedules.
  • Taxis and Ride-Sharing:
    • Taxis: White taxis can be found at taxi stands across Malta and can be hailed on the street. They operate on a meter, but it’s wise to agree on a fare beforehand for longer journeys.
    • Ride-Sharing: Apps like Bolt and eCabs offer convenient ride-sharing services. These can be more affordable and provide upfront pricing. We noticed that Bolt is far more spread out than Uber, so we chose to use that.
  • Car Rentals:
    • Driving in Malta: If you prefer the flexibility of driving, car rentals are readily available at the airport and in major towns. Remember that Malta drives on the left-hand side, and roads can be narrow and winding, particularly in rural areas.
    • Parking: Parking can be challenging in busy areas like Valletta and Sliema. From what we noticed, streets are very narrow and traffic can be quite hectic. Look for designated parking zones and consider using park-and-ride facilities.
  • Ferries Between Islands:
    • Gozo Ferry: The ferry between Malta and Gozo operates frequently from Ċirkewwa to Mġarr Harbour. The crossing takes about 25 minutes, and the service runs year-round, including cars and passengers.
    • Comino Ferry: For a day trip to Comino and the Blue Lagoon, several operators offer ferry services from various points, including Sliema and Ċirkewwa.

Practical Tips

  • Timeliness: Maltese public transport is generally punctual, but it’s good practice to check schedules in advance and allow some flexibility in your itinerary.
  • Apps and Tools: Use apps like Google Maps for real-time navigation and the Tallinja app for bus information and ticket purchases.
  • Local Advice: Don’t hesitate to ask locals for directions or recommendations on the best transport options. Maltese people are known for their hospitality and willingness to help.

Navigating Malta and Gozo is convenient and offers plenty of options to suit different travel styles.

3. Where to Stay in Malta

Whilst many of you might consider Valletta as a first stop for your accommodation (as we did), we would suggest you look at other places as well. Whilst the capital is amazing and has great vibes, prices are equally great.

Bear in mind, that you can cross the whole island of Malta in about 1 hour by bus, so sometimes, looking for a good value for money accommodation isn’t wrong if all you are doing is adding a 10 minutes extra journey time to your destination.

Below is an image covering the options available for travellers:, 2024


  • Overview: As the capital city, Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage site brimming with history, culture, and stunning architecture. Staying here puts you in the heart of the action.
  • Accommodation Options:
  • Highlights: Close proximity to major attractions like St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Upper Barrakka Gardens, and the Grandmaster’s Palace. Excellent dining options and vibrant nightlife.

Sliema, Gzira, St. Julian’s & Paceville

  • Overview: These neighbouring towns are known for their bustling atmosphere, shopping centres, and vibrant nightlife. They offer a mix of modernity and scenic coastal views.
  • Accommodation Options:
  • Highlights: Ideal for those looking for a lively atmosphere with plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs. Sliema’s waterfront promenade and St. Julian’s Paceville area are must-visits.

Mdina and Rabat

  • Overview: Mdina, also known as the Silent City, is a beautifully preserved medieval town with Rabat located just outside its walls. These areas are perfect for history enthusiasts.
  • Accommodation Options:
  • Highlights: Staying within Mdina’s ancient walls offers a unique, tranquil experience. Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Mdina Dungeons, and enjoy the quaint, narrow streets.


  • Overview: Known for its beautiful beaches and family-friendly atmosphere, Mellieħa is an excellent choice for those seeking a relaxing seaside stay.
  • Accommodation Options:
  • Highlights: Close to some of Malta’s best beaches, including Mellieħa Bay and Golden Bay. Visit the historic Mellieħa Parish Church and the nearby Popeye Village.


  • Overview: This traditional fishing village is famous for its colourful boats and Sunday fish market. It’s a great spot for a peaceful stay with a local feel.
  • Accommodation Options:
    • Luxury: Limited luxury options, but charming boutique hotels like Duncan Guesthouse.
    • Mid-Range: Guesthouses and small hotels, such as Harbour Lodge.
    • Budget: Affordable bed and breakfasts and self-catering apartments.
  • Highlights: Experience the authentic Maltese fishing culture, dine on fresh seafood, and visit nearby attractions like St. Peter’s Pool and Marsaxlokk Parish Church.


  • Overview: Gozo, Malta’s sister island, offers a more rural and laid-back atmosphere. It’s perfect for nature lovers and those seeking a slower pace.
  • Accommodation Options:
  • Highlights: Explore the Citadel in Victoria, the Ġgantija Temples, and the picturesque beaches like Ramla Bay. Enjoy hiking, diving, and the island’s natural beauty.

Practical Tips for Choosing Accommodation

  • Book in Advance: Malta is a popular destination, especially during peak seasons. Booking early ensures you get the best options and rates.
  • Consider Your Itinerary: Choose your base depending on the activities and sites you plan to visit. For instance, if you’re interested in nightlife, staying in St. Julian’s might be ideal, while history buffs might prefer Valletta or Mdina.
  • Transport Links: Ensure your accommodation has good transport links, especially if you plan to use public transport to get around.
  • Amenities: Look for amenities that suit your needs, such as Wi-Fi, breakfast options, and accessibility features. Most hotels also feature pools which tend to be a plus on hot days.

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4. Best Time to Visit Malta

Malta’s Mediterranean climate makes it an attractive year-round destination, but each season offers different experiences. Here’s a concise guide to help you decide when to visit.

Spring (March to May)

  • Weather: Mild and pleasant, 15°C to 24°C (59°F to 75°F).
  • Activities: Ideal for hiking, sightseeing, and exploring gardens.
  • Events: Malta International Fireworks Festival, Valletta Green Festival.
  • Crowds/Costs: Moderate tourist numbers, reasonable prices.

Summer (June to August)

  • Weather: Hot and dry, 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F).
  • Activities: Perfect for beaches and water sports.
  • Events: Isle of MTV concert, Malta Jazz Festival, village festas.
  • Crowds/Costs: Peak season, crowded and expensive. Book in advance.

Autumn (September to November)

  • Weather: Warm and comfortable, 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F).
  • Activities: Similar to spring; great for outdoor activities and harvest festivals.
  • Events: Birgufest, Malta Book Festival.
  • Crowds/Costs: Less crowded, lower prices.

Winter (December to February)

  • Weather: Mild, 10°C to 18°C (50°F to 64°F), with some rain.
  • Activities: Explore cultural sites, enjoy local cuisine, and winter festivals.
  • Events: Christmas markets, Valletta New Year’s Eve, Malta Carnival.
  • Crowds/Costs: Quietest and cheapest time to visit.


  • Shoulder Seasons: Spring and autumn offer a balance of good weather, fewer crowds, and reasonable prices. This is what we did and travelled for our birthdays in April. The temperatures were pleasant to the point where you could even swim in the hotel’s pool.
  • Packing: Pack layers for changing weather. In winter, bring a light jacket and rain gear.
  • Booking: For peak summer, book accommodation and attractions in advance.

5 Day Malta Travel Itinerary

Based on our experience we think a 5 day travel itinerary for Malta is more than possible. Below we suggest what such an itinerary could look like based on the things we did whilst there:

Day 1: Valletta

Valletta is easily accessible from anywhere on the island. You will notice that the city is easy to cover at a leisurely pace.

  • Morning: Visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral and Upper Barrakka Gardens.
  • Afternoon: Explore the Grandmaster’s Palace and National Museum of Archaeology.
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner in one of Valletta’s charming restaurants.

Day 2: Mosta, Mdina, Dingli Cliffs, Blue Grotto & The Three Cities

For this day we suggest you get yourself acquainted with the Talinja app and the bus routes available. All of these are possible within 1 day but we suggest you start early. We left from Sliema at 8am and managed to see everything.

  • Mosta: Visit the Mosta Dome.
  • Mdina: Walk through the Silent City and visit St. Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Dingli Cliffs: Enjoy the stunning coastal views.
  • Blue Grotto: Take a boat trip to see the caves.
    • TIP: Whilst here there is no need to pre-book anything, make sure you have cash on you as they don’t accept cards.
  • The Three Cities: Explore Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua.

Day 3: Gozo & Victoria

  • Ferry to Gozo: There are 2 ferries going to Mgarr Harbour in Gozo:
    1. First leaves from Valletta Harbor and is the Fast Ferry. You can learn more here.
    2. The other ferry service leaves from the north part of the island from Ċirkewwa, however, you will have to make your way there. You can learn more about this service here.
  • Victoria: Visit the Citadel and Gozo Cathedral.
  • Rest of Gozo: We absolutely recommend you visit Ġgantija Temples and Ramla Bay. We found that they are more impressive than Stonehenge and far predate it.

Day 4: Marsaxlokk, Għar Dalam Cave, Tarxien & Ħaġar Qim Temples

Again, for this day of travel you will need to start early and potentially look to jump on the bus at 8am. You will find that from Tarxien and Ħaġar Qim temples buses are once an hour, hence any unplanned stops can take a toll on your timings.

Having said this, we also managed to see the Blue Grotto (once again) but from above, which is in itself a glorious experience, seeing the waves crashing into the hard Maltese rock.

  • Marsaxlokk: Visit the Sunday fish market and see the iconic fishermen’s boats.
  • Għar Dalam Cave: Explore this prehistoric site.
  • Tarxien Temples: Discover the ancient ruins.
  • Ħaġar Qim Temples: Visit this impressive archaeological site.

Day 5: Comino Island and the Blue Lagoon

For a memorable day trip to Comino Island and the Blue Lagoon, start your adventure with an early morning ferry or boat tour from Malta or Gozo to beat the crowds and enjoy crystal-clear waters and stunning views.

You can spend the day swimming, snorkeling, or relaxing on the beach. Explore the island’s scenic trails and enjoy a picnic with breathtaking coastal vistas before returning by sunset.

We booked this Comino, Blue Lagoon & Caves Boat Cruise but due to the weather, we had to cancel it. We were really looking forward to the Blue Lagoon trip but I suppose that’s a reason to come back again in the future.

Practical Tips

1. Mobile Data in Malta

Staying connected while travelling in Malta is essential for navigation, staying in touch, and sharing your experiences. Here’s a detailed guide to help you with mobile data options in Malta, whether you prefer using your home provider’s roaming services or getting a local SIM card.

Using Your Home Provider’s Roaming Services

  • EU Residents: If you’re an EU citizen, you can benefit from the “Roam Like at Home” regulations, which means you can use your mobile plan’s data, call, and text allowances in Malta without incurring extra charges. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your provider for any specific terms or fair usage policies.
  • Non-EU Residents: For travellers from outside the EU, international roaming charges can be high. Contact your mobile provider to check for any travel packages or international plans that can reduce costs. Alternatively, using a local SIM card or an international SIM might be more economical.

We always recommend eSim providers such as Airalo or Nomad as they offer a convenient way to get connected without loosing much time looking for a SIM card.

2. Booking Attractions in Malta

When considering booking attractions, we found that Klook or GetYourGuide are a far better choice than other providers. We found that GYG has more options but many of them are inclusive of tours, not necessarily just the attraction itself.

Otherwise there are plenty of organized tours via local travel agencies that specialize in Malta. The benefit of them is that they take care of everything and you just enjoy the trip.

3. Useful Apps Whilst in Malta

Some useful apps for your Malta trip would be:

  • Klook – Find discounted attraction tickets, tours with unique experiences, and more! Join local day tours to visit spectacular sights and go on delicious food trips
  • GetYourGuide – The platform sells tours and excursions, activities including cooking classes, and tickets to tourist attractions. It offers more than 60,000 products worldwide in 150 countries, 22 languages, and 40 currencies.
  • Wanderlog – A great app that helps you organize your trips. This is particularly useful if you are planning a group trip and want to be able to collaborate.
  • Talinja App – This app offers a range of features to make your journeys easier and more convenient.

4. Budgeting

If you are wondering “How much does a trip to Malta cost?” then this is the right section for you.

If you are looking to cover most of the itinerary we showcased above, then we would say your 2024 Malta travel budget should be around £1,500 for a couple.

This is our recommendation for 2 people on a 2 meals a day basis including entry tickets, flights and accommodation.

Final Thoughts

Malta and Gozo offer a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that few other destinations can match. We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and practical tips to ensure your trip is unforgettable.

Enjoy your adventure, and make the most of every experience this incredible archipelago has to offer. Safe travels!

Ready to book? Below are some recommendations to get your trip started:

  • Accommodation – would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as or Agoda to get the best rates. We also use TripAdvisor to read reviews.

  • Transport – consider for car renting or if you rely on public transport, you can use Omio for trains, coaches, ferries, airport transfers and even flights.

  • Activities – a great option is GetYourGuide, Klook or Viator for tours, excursions, experiences and tickets to many tourist attractions.

  • Travel money – we have Starling Bank accounts (UK residents only) with 0% fees on FX and a good Mastercard exchange rate. Revolut is another good option.

  • Internet abroad – with Airalo or Nomad you can access a wide range of eSIMs (digital SIM cards) available for different countries and regions.

  • Luggage storage – if you need to store your bags whilst exploring the destination, you can use Radical Storage to find your closest luggage storage and enjoy your journey until the very end.

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