Visiting Malta, the sunny gem of the Mediterranean Sea is a perfect idea for the European vacation. In this post, I give you some hints about how to spend a week in Malta and make it a great experience.
This 7 days in Malta itinerary is the exact trip that I had when I first visited this lovely country. I added here some more tips and alternative places that you could visit. My trip had a place in winter (which is also a perfect time to visit Malta) but this itinerary will be fine for summer travelers as well.
First, I give you some tips about how to prepare for your Malta trip. And after that, we jump directly to the day-by-day on a week Malta itinerary.
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. That means that if you click on them or make any purchase via them, I receive a small commission. But don’t worry, this will not cost you anything and in a few cases, you can even receive a special discount! And I will still be able to chase my dreams. So thank you!
Prepare for your week in Malta:
#1 How to get around in Malta?
Malta is an incredibly tiny island. It’s long for 27,3 kilometers and wide for 14,5 kilometers only. It’s also covered by the network of routes. So here are two best ways to get around in Malta:
By car: The easiest way to travel in Malta is to rent a car. You can pick up your car at the airport, of course, but also in many other places spread around the island. Booking the car online and ahead of time is always a good idea. Just remember that Malta has left-hand traffic.
By bus: Malta Public Transport is pretty well organized. With the local buses, you can reach almost any must-see place on the island. Also, the transportation company offers a great deal for people spending a week in Malta. You can purchase Tallinja Explore Card which allows you to unlimited bus travels for the whole week for 21€ only.
#2 The currency in Malta
Malta is a part of the European Union and it adopted the Euro currency. In many places, you can pay with a credit card. But it’s also a good idea to have some cash with you to make purchases in small shops, bakeries, or street stands.
Personally, for international travel, I use the Revolut multicurrency card. It allows me to operate many different currencies with one single physical card and a phone app simple in use. It’s super convenient and it works in most of the popular travel destinations in the world. Click here to read my detailed review of Revolut cards.
#3 Where to stay in Malta
In fact, Malta is so small and easy to move around, that you can stay in wherever you want. Only check if there’s a well-connected bus stop there.
Many people decide to stay around Valletta and the surrounding cities. It’s a great idea because it’s the best-communicated region. I have a separate post about the most lovely places to stay in Valletta [click here] that can give you a nice overview of the possibilities. But below I’m giving you some other ideas:
- 115 The Strand Hotel and Suites – the hotel located in Sliema, just next to the shore, with a beautiful view of the bay and Manoel island. It offers modern, simple rooms and has breakfast included in a price.
- Hugo’s Boutique Hotel – this hotel is highly dedicated to couples and people who want to enjoy the highest level of the relaxation. The hotel is adult-only and offers incredibly glamorous rooms. Some of them are even equipped with a private jacuzzi bath.
- Dolmen Hotel Malta – this place is perfect for people who look for all the possible attractions in one hotel. It offers elegant rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a gym, SPA & wellness areas, and even a private beach.
Psst. If you want to make your holiday in Malta exceptional, you should download my Malta Bucket List below. With this printable checklist, you’ll get a bunch of ideas for the memorable experiences to have in Malta!
Download the printable
Malta Bucket List
and improve your trip to Malta!
A week in Malta: 7 days Malta itinerary
Now let’s jump into our exciting adventure. If you’re gonna spend 1 week in Malta, you can inspire yourself by this itinerary.
I made this trip in January 2018. So as you can see, Malta even in winter is a great travel destination. I’ve been spending most of the nights (except the first one) in a hotel in Bugibba and I was moving around the island by public transport.
Well, now you know everything. Let’s have a look at this 7 days Malta itinerary.
Day #0: Arrival
Together with my partner, we came to Malta directly from Poland, with an evening flight. From the airport, we took a shared private transport. Together, we paid 20€ for this transfer.
We spent that first night in a small hotel in Sliema – Europa Hotel [check it out on Booking.com]. It was located closer to the airport than our destination hotel in Bugibba. So it was perfect for this first night.
Day #1: First wandering in Valletta
The first morning was gorgeous. After leaving a hotel, we had a delicious breakfast in a restaurant on the promenade. The weather in Malta can be wonderful even in January. The daily temperature in this month is about 13°C, so enough for sightseeing.
After breakfast, we found a small kiosk, where we purchased our Tallinja Explore Cards. Once we get it, we could take a bus to the capital of the island – Valletta.
Valletta is one of the smallest European capitals. But it stole my heart from the first glance. The narrow streets and ancient buildings made of yellow stone create the unique atmosphere of this city.
We started the sightseeing by visiting one of the most popular places in the city – the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Originally, the gardens were built for the relaxation purposes of medieval knights. Here I need to mention that Malta for centuries was governed by the Saint John’s Order. Most of its history and architectural gems in Valletta comes from the Medieval times when this city became the home for the Maltese knights.
Today, the Upper Barrakka Gardens are a public place open for everyone. Both residents and tourists love to spend time there and observe the amazing view of the Grand Harbor which is the main Maltese passenger port.
This place is a great tourist attraction because of the traditional event taking place here each day. At noon and at 4 PM, members of Malta Heritage Society, make a cannon salute, which is an interesting military tradition of the city.
After enjoying the salute, we simply gave ourselves some time to freely wander in the city and visit all of its corners, which I also recommend you to do.
After spending the whole afternoon in Valletta, we took the evening bus to our next destination. It was Bugibba, a city located in the North of the island when we had a booked hotel. For the rest of the trip, we stayed in Porto Azurro Aparthotel [click here to check it out on Booking.com]. This place offers nice rooms, and some great facilities, like indoor and outdoor swimming pools, plus it’s located just next to the bus station. It has a great bay view, and the prices are really affordable in the winter! So it’s a great place for cheap holidays in Malta.
Day #2: Free walking tour, Geocaching in the city, and Golden Bay
On the second day of our one week in Malta adventure, we started with a free walking tour. Free walking tours are a great way to get to know the main highlights of the visited city. I try to do them everywhere I go. Definitely take a walking tour like this at the beginning of your trip, because the guide can give you a lot of information about what to see, where to eat, and how to avoid travel scams.
We had a free walking tour with Colour My Travel. The guide was knowledgable and told us a lot of super interesting stories about the Maltese knights, their battles, relations, and intrigues. It was a great way to feel the original spirit of Valletta.
Here I found some paid yet interesting guided tours. They are perfect if you would like to dive even deeper in the mysterious secrets of Valletta:
- Valletta: The Dark Side Walking Tour
- Valletta and 3 Cities Private 4-Hour Shore Excursion
- Valletta: World War II Malta Full-Day Walking Tour
After the walking tour, we continued to wander in the city. We visited the Lower Barrakka Gardens, with an impressive Siege Bell Memorial. Then we took a walk from the outside of the wall of the Fort St. Elmo.
We didn’t visit the Fort itself but it’s a great place to see for the military history maniacs. Although, we were more interested in Geocaching. Valletta has some great caches hidden and one of the best of them was on the seaside of the military walls. Definitelly worth trying to catch up!
At the end of this fantastic day, we decided to head up to the Golden Beach. They say sunsets in Malta, above the Mediterreanean Sea, are one of the most stunning in the world. We wanted to check it out on our own.
The Golden Beach (malt. Ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa) is perfect for sunbaths. Since most of Malta’s coasts are rocky and high, this place is ideal for the typical vacation activities. Wide, the sandy beach looks gorgeous.
And the sunsets are fabulous, indeed.
On the Golden Beach, you won’t be bored. Besides chilling on the sand or in water, you can have a delicious meal or coffee in a local beach bar, or even take a lovely horse ride by the shore.
Day #3: Mdina, Rabat and Dingli Cliffs
Day no. 3 was one of the most exciting for me. We took a morning bus to the ancient capital of the island – Mdina.
Mdina is located on a hill in the island’s center. From the city walls, you can observe the majestic view of the fields covering the surrounding terrain.
The city itself is rather small with only around 300 people living inside its walls. But visiting it is of the most fascinating things to do in Malta. It definitely should be on your bucket list for one week in Malta itinerary.
Mdina is often called The City of Silence. This popular expression mostly refers to the impression that some particular sounds are missing in this city. And you can feel it just after crossing the main gate. And I mean here the modern sounds of cars.
Car transportation, besides some special occasions, is forbidden in the city. That’s why, even besides the crowds of tourists in the summer months, you get an impression of traveling in time. With no cars around, wandering through the narrow streets has a magical charm.
Mdina is definitely a great place to take a guided tour. You can either book a walking tour with a guide by clicking here or, if you prefer a cheaper and more flexible version, you can take a self-guided audio guide tour.
After a walk among the Mdina walls, I recommend you to visit Rabat as well. This younger city is located just a few steps from the ancient capital. In Rabat, you can enjoy a fascinating feeling of wandering through the British neighborhoods under the Mediterranean sun.
Besides observing the everyday life of Rabat’s residents, one of the most interesting things to do there is to visit St Paul’s Catacombs. This heritage site is the earliest and largest evidence of Christianity on the island. Exploring this place is a great experience for fans of archeology and antropology.
The last place we visited on that day, was the enormous natural site. Dingli Cliffs, located on the Southwestern shore of the island, is a place where you can observe the powerful force of nature. Especially in the winter months.
The highest point of the cliffs raises up to 253 meters above sea level. So you can imagine how impressive is the view. While I was there, the windy weather didn’t let me to come too close to the cliff’s edge. But the exeprience was great anyway.
Day #4: Blue Grotto and countryside walk
The next day was a little bit more relaxing and “light” in adventures between the more engaging days. That day we decided to see the Blue Grotto.
Blue Grotto is an enormuous natural site. In fact, it’s a system of 6 grottoes which are accessible only by boat. Unfortunately, because of the winter windy weather, the boat excrusions were suspended during our visit to the island. So we needed to make do with watching the most impressive grotto from the shore viewpoint. But even that was a fasctinating thing to do.
After contemplaiting the beauty of this natural wonder, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon wandering among the Maltese fields. A walk like this is an unpopular, yet joyful way of spending time on the Malta holidays.
We were walking through the hills covered by cactus and vegetable fields. Meddling with peaceful countryside like this a nice relief from the hours spent on buses.
Day #5: A trip to Gozo
After the calm day spent on chilling, we were ready to take a trip to one of Malta’s islands. Next to Comino, Gozo is another little sister of Malta. And you should definitely visit it because it’s well known for a few great activities.
But first, to even get to Gozo, you need to take a ferry. Ferries from Ċirkewwa in Malta to Mġarr in Gozo go on a daily basis, sometimes even twice an hour (you can find a schedule here). The excrusion takes 25 minutes and the standard fee for tourists is ~4,65€ for adults.
Years ago, the most famous attraction of this island was the Azure Window. Unfortunately, it collapsed in 2017. But even today, there are still many interesting things to do in Gozo. On that day, we decided to visit two of its off-beaten-path gems: Wied Il-Għasri and Wied Il-Mielaħ.
First, we reached the city of Żebbuġ by bus. It’s easy to do with the Tallinja Explore Card. From there, we took a 20-minute walk down to the Wied Il-Għasri.
Wied Il-Għasri is a deep valley in which the sea spreads into the land for a distance of 250 meters. This show makes an especially fascinating impression during the windy days, when sea waves run through the rocky gorge to collapse on a small, stony beach.
After chilling in this place (and grabbing one nice Geocache), we continued the walk to our next stop. It took us around 30 minutes to reach Wied Il-Mielaħ.
I think we can call this natural site a smaller sister of Azure Window. The stone shelf is set on a thick rock. The waves rolling below give a terrific impression to the whole experience.
From there, we took a walk to the city of Għasri, where we cought the bus back to the ferry terminal. Soon, I’ll be publishing the detailed post about how to reach those two natural sites, so remember to subscribe to my email list by downloading the Malta Bucket List, so you won’t miss it!
Download the printable
Malta Bucket List
and improve your trip to Malta!
Also, if walking the kilometers is not your favorite form of activity, you can always book a guided tour to the best places in Gozo:
- Gozo Full-Day Jeep Tour with Lunch and Powerboat Ride
- Gozo 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
- Gozo: 2.5-Hour Segway Exploration Tour
- Gozo: Jeep Safari & Comino/ Blue Lagoon Cruise
Day #6: Contemplating Caravaggio and dinner in Marsaxlokk
After the trekking made on the previous day, we decided to spend the last full day in the country with the cultural attractions of Malta.
First, we headed back to Valletta, to enter the St. John’s Co-Cathedral. It’s one of the most important Catholic temples in the city, but that wasn’t our only reason to visit it.
Mariusz, my partner, is a huge art freak. And Malta is well known as the country where the only painting signed personally by Caravaggio is placed.
Caravaggio spent some of the last years of his life on the island. For a while, he was even the main painter of the St. John’s Order. During this period, he created the masterpiece called The Beheading of St John the Baptist. And this painting, we can contemplate the Cathedral today.
After the sublime moments spent on watching the painting of the master, we took a bus to the last must-visit place during our one week Malta itinerary. This place was Marsaxlokk – the most famous fishing village of the island.
You can find pictures from Marsaxlokk on most of the Maltese postcards. The small port is always filled with colorful fishing boats. All of them, in accordance with tradition, are painted in bright colors. This joyful landscape is a perfect background for numerous restaurants serving fish and seafood on the port boulevard. This place is a perfect stop for the last dinner in Malta.
After the delicious meal, there is no better idea than taking a long walk in the neighbourhood. You can discover some local cultural peculiarities. And if you’ll be lucky, you can even meet people training with their horses before the traditional Maltese chariot races.
Psst. A great idea to visit Marsaxlokk is to book a guided tour to its Sunday market in one package with a visit to the Blue Grotto by clicking here.
Day 7: Last hours in Valletta and departure
We spent the last morning in Valletta, peacefully wandering among the ancient buildings, and enjoying the atmosphere of the city to the fullest.
You must know that we’re true chocolate lovers, so we won’t be ourselves without finding a place serving the hot chocolate in Malta. So we did so!
The Chocolate District, located near Upper Barrakka Gardens, offers a great choice of hot chocolates. It was a perfect ending of a perfect one week in Malta!
A week in Malta itinerary summary
Well, here we are. We’ve just come through the whole one week in Malta itinerary. Here’s a quick summary for you:
- Wandering in Valletta
- Free walking tour in Valletta
- Fort St. Elmo
- Golden Bay
- Dingli Cliffs
- Blue Grotto
- A trip to Gozo
- St. John’s Co-Cathedral and Caravaggio
- The last walk in Valletta
Spending a week in Malta is a perfect idea at any time of the year. Although, one week is not enough to see ALL of the things the island has to offer. But even these 7 days in Malta will be a great adventure, so if you’re planning to do this trip, you’ll have a great time for sure!
Looking for some more stunning European destinations? Check out these:
- Northern Italy: a one-week itinerary from Bologna, through Venice to Lake Garda
- 5 Magical Tuscany Photography Spots Worth Visiting for Fabulous Photos
- Transylvania Road Trip: ultimate 4 days Romania itinerary
- 17 Fascinating and Unique Things to Do in Wrocław, Poland
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Dominika is a founder of Sunday In Wonderland and she recently switched her life to be local independent. She aims to travel the world and admire all of its wonders. She is much focused on sustainable life, self-development and making this world a better place.