Malta is a destination that, for many years, has only attracted pensioners or those looking for an all-inclusive resort holiday. But the tides are changing and these days, more and more independent travellers are wanting to visit and explore the archipelago. This is great news because there is so much to see in Malta beyond the safe walls of a hotel! Beyond the affordable prices and great weather, there are a number of things to put on your seven-day Malta itinerary in order to experience the country to its full potential!
Malta Itinerary: Seven Days
It’s true, Malta is small, but don’t let this fool you into thinking that there isn’t much to see or do. The truth of it is actually quite the contrary, which is why I wouldn’t recommend spending less than one week if you genuinely want to get the most out of your Malta itinerary. Spending a full seven days in Malta will allow you to explore its lovely cities and visit the myriad historical sites while also giving you enough time to relax in the Mediterranean sunshine and experience the stunning coastline with its crystal clear waters. Here is what to see in Malta in seven days:
Day One: Sliema
Malta’s largest city of Sliema is the perfect place to base yourself on the island. A stone’s throw away from the historical capital of Valletta, Sliema is also incredibly well connected in terms of public transport with most buses passing through the city. But while it seems like more and more people are basing themselves here, fewer people are really taking the time to get to know it. That is why I recommend spending the first day of your seven-day Malta itinerary in Sliema.
There are a number of things to do in Sliema and it’s a great place to get your bearings and really start enjoying your Malta holiday. Begin by having breakfast and a coffee at the trendy Mint cafe. Take a couple of hours to have a leisurely stroll along Sliema’s seafront promenade, maybe taking the time to swim in the harbour. As the sun begins to set, take advantage of a happy hour deal and enjoy a drink at a seaside cafe. End your day with a great local meal at Ta’Kris, one of the best restaurants in Sliema.
Where to Stay in Sliema
Sliema is a great place to base yourself if you’re spending one week in Malta. As the largest city in this island nation, there are a number of great accommodation options to choose from that will suit any budget. These are our top picks:
Two Pillows Hostel — If you’re travelling solo or on a budget, then you can’t go wrong with this boutique hostel. The first hostel in Malta, this place offers clean and comfortable rooms (both dorm and private), a great location in Sliema, and a friendly and helpful staff. Click here to see their latest prices
Mr Todd Hotel — This small hotel located is located in the heart of Sliema and only a stone’s throw from the swimming areas that line the promenade. They have a number of clean and comfortable rooms on offer, 24-hour check-in, and a free breakfast included in the room rate. Click here to see their latest prices
Airbnb — If you’re looking for a different sort of accommodation or want to befriend some locals while in Malta, then Airbnb can be a great option. There are a number of properties available in Sliema, from private rooms to entire apartments/houses. For example, this private room in a traditional Maltese house is one of the highest-rated options available. If you’re new to Airbnb, you can click here to get up to $40 off your first stay!
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Sliema!
Day Two: Valletta and the Three Cities
On the second day of your one week in Malta itinerary, it’s time to explore the lovely Maltese capital of Valletta. Tapped as the European Capital of Culture for 2018, this diminutive city is very much on the up and up as tourism goes. I’d recommend trying to get an early ferry (they leave every thirty minutes from the Sliema terminal) to beat the crowds and the heat that can accumulate later in the day.
Walk along the city walls to the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens and enjoy the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Three Cities and take the time to visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral and marvel at its impressive facades and collection of paintings by Caravaggio. Pop in for lunch at Submarine, where you can get a fresh, made-to-order sandwich for a good price before catching the ferry to the Three Cities.
Spend your afternoon exploring the three small adjacent cities of Cospicua (Bormla), Vittoriosa (Birgu), and Senglea (L’Isla). Honestly, the best thing to do in all of the Three Cities is to get lost in their beautiful winding alleyways and enjoy the lovely Maltese architecture.
Catch the ferry back to Valletta in the evening and enjoy a nice cocktail at Cafe Society before enjoying a delicious meal on the rooftop terrace at Rampila.
Where to Stay in Valletta
Valletta is very small and therefore doesn’t have a lot on offer when it comes to accommodation. A far better solution would be to base yourself in Sliema and visit Valletta from there, it’s easily accessible within a few minutes by ferry or bus. However, if you have your heart set on staying in this diminutive capital, here is where we recommend:
Domus Zamittello Hotel — This hotel, located in the heart of Valletta and within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Upper Barrakka Garden, is a fantastic place to rest your head in the Maltese capital. They have a number of spacious and comfortable rooms available, a free breakfast included, and a helpful staff to ensure you have a great visit. Click here to see their latest prices
The Saint John — This hotel is the perfect place to stay in you have a higher budget and are looking for a bit of luxury on your trip to Malta. Excellently located in Valletta, they have a number of wonderful, air-conditioned rooms on offer, fantastic facilities, and 24-hour reception. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Valletta!
Day Three: Marsaxlokk and South Malta
On the third day of your seven days in Malta, it’s time to venture further out on the island and explore the fishing village of Marsaxlokk and the highlights of Southern Malta. Start your day the way the Maltese do — with a swim in the harbour! After you’ve had a shower and a pastizzi for breakfast, catch the bus and head to Marsaxlokk! While it may not look far on the map, the bus can take close to an hour if you factor in traffic.
This small fishing village has a great street market that can be fun to browse, but it also has some of the best seafood on the island. There are many seafood restaurants where you can sample the daily catch, but we would wholeheartedly recommend eating at the hole-in-the-wall cafe The Rising Sun. This restaurant has no pretentions, only great food, affordable prices, and incredibly friendly owners.
After you’ve sufficiently filled yourself up on delicious fish, head to the nearby St. Peter’s Pool. It is a bit of a hike to reach it, but the views are lovely and it can be a good way to work off all of that food! If it’s too hot you’re not up for a hike, many taxis will take you there for about €10. This is an awesome place for cliff jumping if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, but keep in mind that it can get quite busy at weekends so you might not find the perfect spot to bask in the sun if you don’t get there early.
This is also a great day to book a tour of the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum, as it’s en route to this area. Just keep in mind that they only allow a finite number of people in per day so it’s necessary to book months in advance.
Day Four: Gozo
After spending three days on Malta, it’s time for a change of scene. Which is why the fourth day of this seven-day Malta itinerary sees you heading to the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago — Gozo! While Gozo has oft been only considered as a day trip, there are quite a few things to do on the island and it offers a refreshing change of pace from the busy island of Malta.
To get to Gozo, hop on the bus to Cirkewwa and catch the ferry to the island. They leave roughly every 45 minutes and the journey only takes about half an hour. Gozo is quite small, so it doesn’t matter too much where you might want to stay, but I would suggest basing yourself in its capital of Victoria. Located in the centre of the island, it has the best bus connections to everywhere else you might want to go.
Spend your first day in Gozo exploring Victoria and its wonderful walled Citadella. After you’ve admired the views and maybe visited a couple beautiful churches, it’s time to get to know a little bit more about Gozo’s up-and-coming wine scene. There are a couple of vineyards to choose from, but I would especially recommend going for a tour and tasting at Tal Massar Winery. For such a small vineyard, the wines they produce are truly exquisite.
End your day back in Victoria with a wonderful dinner at the wonderful Maldonado Bistro, where their delicious meals and great atmosphere are impossible to disappoint.
Where to Stay in Gozo
While Gozo is only now just gaining popularity as an overnight stay for tourists, it has long been a popular weekend escape for locals of Malta. Therefore, there are a number of great accommodation choices. Here’s where we recommend:
Santa Martha Hostel — A great option for budget and solo travellers, this small hostel is excellently located in the Gozitan resort town of Marsalforn. They have a friendly staff, clean facilities, and a few different rooms on offer. Click here to see their latest prices
The Duke Boutique Hotel — Located in Victoria, the biggest city on Gozo, this boutique hotel is an excellent place to base yourself on the island. They have a range of rooms available (all with air conditioning) and a free breakfast is available in the nightly rate. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Gozo!
Day Five: Gozo
On your second day in Gozo, it’s time to get out on the water! There are many options available to do this and it just depends on your own personal preferences! If you just want to spend a lazy day at the beach, I would recommend spending a few hours on the beautiful golden sands at Ramla Bay.
If you want to see as much of the archipelago as possible during your Malta itinerary, however, it is well worth going on a sailing trip. We spent a wonderful day sailing between all three islands, stopping at countless swimming and snorkelling spots along the way. If a full day sailing trip isn’t quite your cup-of-tea, Gozo is also quite well-served for quick boat rides to the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino. If you intend to go here, however, it is worth noting that it gets very busy later in the day so it’s best to get there early.
After spending the day basking in the warm Mediterranean waters, end your second day in Gozo with a dinner at La Stanza, another of countless fantastic restaurants on the island.
Day Six: Mdina and Rabat
On day six of this seven-day Malta itinerary, it’s time to head back to the island of Malta and explore the beautiful medieval walled city of Mdina and it’s adjacent town of Rabat!
Catch the ferry back from Gozo and spend your afternoon discovering the wonderful city of Rabat. The town is small and walkable, but the back alleys and architecture are lovely. It is also well worth taking the time to explore the catacombs of St. Paul’s Cathedral — they are just as bizarre and eerie as they sound!
Spend your evening in gorgeous Mdina. Pop in for a glass of wine and a sharing platter from Vinum Wine Bar while watching the sunset from their roof terrace. After the sun has set, take some time to wander around Mdina. After the day-trippers leave, the city retains a peaceful elegance and it will be clear why it is nicknamed “The Silent City.”
Where to Stay in Rabat/Mdina
Because Mdina and Rabat are largely viewed as day trips, there aren’t a ton of accommodation options in these two cities. However, if you’re struggling to find the best option, you can check out our top recommendations:
Quaint Hotel Rabat — Located in the centre of Rabat and only a five-minute walk from the walled city of Mdina, this small hotel is a great place to stay. They have a few clean and comfortable rooms available and a free breakfast included. Click here to see their latest prices
Point de Vue — If you want to stay in the charming walled city of Mdina, you can go wrong with this hotel. Ideal for those with a higher budget looking for a bit of luxury, this hotel has a number of clean, spacious, and air-conditioned rooms available, a full hotel bar, and an excellent free breakfast each morning. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Rabat!
Day Seven: North Malta
As your seven days in Malta draw to a close, spend the final day leisurely exploring the north of the island. While this is where the majority of Malta’s resorts lie, it is also where the most beautiful sandy beaches are. So why not spend your last day on Malta lazily soaking up the rays on Golden Bay beach?
If you want to do something a bit more active to let your seven days in Malta go out with a bang, then go for a long walk along the stunning Dingli cliffs! And if you’re dying to get back out on the water still, it can be well worth taking a boat trip to explore the beautiful Blue Grotto and stare in awe at Malta’s amazing geology.
End your day back in Mdina with a casual dinner at one of the many great restaurants and maybe a gelato from the delicious Fior Di Latte.
Malta is an incredible destination with a number of things to do. While seven days is a great amount of time to spend on this wonderful archipelago, one could easily spend more and not get bored. Take your time to get to know this island nation and I assure you that you will not be disappointed.
When visiting Malta, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a travel insurance policy so you’re covered for any unfortunate events! We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
Are you planning to visit Malta? What’s on your Malta itinerary? Let us know in the comments!