The Perfect 7-Day Malta Itinerary

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by Maggie Turansky


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Though the island nation is incredibly small in size, planning out the perfect Malta itinerary can be a bit of a difficult task when considering all of the amazing things to do in this beautiful Mediterranean country.

While Malta may seem small (it is!), that doesn’t mean that it lacks amazing things to do and see and travellers could easily fill over two weeks on the Maltese archipelago and not get bored. If you don’t have an endless amount of time to devote to your trip, however, you can do and see quite a bit in just one week.

If you’re wondering where to go in Malta in one week, make sure to follow this itinerary in order to have the best trip to Malta possible!

How Many Days in Malta?

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 and it is why many potential visitors wonder how many days to spend in Malta.

While you can cover a lot of ground in a short stretch of time, I wouldn’t recommend spending less than one week if you genuinely want to get the most out of your Malta trip.

Spending a full 7 days in Malta will allow you to explore its lovely cities and visit the myriad historical and UNESCO World Heritage Sites while also giving you enough time to relax in the Mediterranean sunshine and experience the stunning coastline with its crystal clear waters.

Mdina, Malta
The Silent City of Mdina

Getting To & Around Malta

As a Mediterranean island nation, the most likely (and straightforward) way to get to Malta is by plane. The Malta airport is located about 20 minutes from the capital of Malta, Valletta, and they serve a number of airlines across countless destinations both in Europe and internationally. It is possible to book a private airport transfer here.

You can also reach Malta by ferry from nearby Sicily with regular routes from cities like Catania or Palermo.

Once in the country, it’s easy enough to get around Malta using the extensive bus and ferry system, however, it may be tricky to organise if you happen to be staying on Gozo or outside of Sliema or Valletta on the main island of Malta where there are fewer connections. There are lots of areas to stay in Malta where it may be more practical to have your own vehicle.

If you want a lot of flexibility and ease of getting around, then consider renting a car. There are lots of car hire options in Malta and it’s a great way to see the country! You can browse car hire options here.

For those who do not want to bother with getting around independently, you can easily get to many places in Malta via organised day tours such as to Gozo. This, however, will end up being the most expensive option out there.

7 Days in Malta Itinerary

Day 1 – 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 Malta, 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 one of the trendy cafes that the city boasts. 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

Mr Todd Hotel – This small hotel 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.

Quisisana Apartments – If you’re looking for a different sort of accommodation, then these centrally located apartments can be a great choice. Centrally located in Sliema, they have a range of flats on offer that are all fully furnished with everything you may need.

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.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Sliema!

Sliema, Malta
Sliema is a popular place to stay in Malta

Day 2 – Valletta and the Three Cities

On the second day of your one week in Malta trip, it’s time to explore the lovely Maltese capital city of Valletta. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this diminutive city is very much on the up and up as tourism goes and is one of the places to visit in Malta that you cannot miss.

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, the Grand Harbour 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 traditional 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.

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.

Explore Valletta by foot
Valletta’s steep and narrow streets

Where to Stay in Valletta

Domus Zamittello Hotel – Located in the middle of lovely Valletta, this hotel is the perfect base for exploring this compact city. Situated within easy reach of the top sites and the ferries, there are several great rooms and breakfast available daily.

The Saint John – This hotel is excellent for those after a luxury stay in Valletta. Boasting countless opulent rooms to choose from, it’s perfectly located for exploring the town and the island and has a number of plush amenities for guests to enjoy.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Valletta!

View of Valetta from Sliema Harbour
View of Valetta from Sliema Harbour

Day 3 – Marsaxlokk and Southern 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 (pronounced Mar-SASH-lock) 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 and a famous fish market that runs on Sundays (try to get there early if you’re visiting on that day!) that can be fun to browse, but it also has some of the best seafood on the island.

The fishing village of Marsaxlokk
The beautiful fishing village of Marsaxlokk is one of many places that can easily be explored independently

Next, 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 €10-15.

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 UNESCO-listed 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.

St. Peters Pool
Beautiful St. Peters Pool

Day 4 – Gozo

After spending three days on Malta, it’s time for a change of scene. This is why the fourth day sees you heading to the second-largest island in the Maltese archipelago — Gozo!

While Gozo is often considered 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. You can also drive – it is a car ferry.

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.

Victoria (Rabat) on Gozo
Victoria, the unofficial capital of Gozo

Spend your first day in Gozo exploring Victoria (Rabat) and its wonderful walled Citadella. After you’ve admired the views and maybe visited a couple of 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

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 included in the nightly rate.

Private Rental – Gozo has a range of fantastic private rentals such as this historic farmhouse with a pool and this beautiful sea view apartment.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Gozo!

Mgarr Port on the island of Gozo
Mgarr Port on the island of Gozo

Day 5 – Gozo

On your second day on 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 boat tour. We spent a wonderful day sailing between all three islands, stopping at countless swimming and snorkelling spots along the way.

No trip is complete without spending time on the islands of Gozo and Comino and this is one of the best things to do in Malta, so of course it is included in this itinerary.

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.

Alternatively, you can spend this day exploring more of what the island of Gozo has to offer. Head to Xwenji Salt Pans to see how natural Gozitan sea salt is made or enjoy some of the beautiful beaches on the island while basking on the golden sands of Ramla or the quiet beach at Xlendi.

You could also take in some of the oldest Neolithic structures standing today (they’re older than the Pyramids of Giza!) at the Ġgantija Temple.

Visiting the Crystal Lagoon on Comino is a must for your Malta itinerary
The beautiful Crystal Lagoon on the island of Comino

Day 6 – Mdina and Rabat

On day six of this itinerary for 7 days, it’s time to head back to the main island of Malta and explore the beautiful medieval walled city of Mdina and its 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, which actually served as a filming location for the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Pop in for a glass of wine and a sharing platter from Fontanella 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

Adelphi Boutique Hotel – 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.

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.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Rabat!

Maltese Balconies in Rabat
Traditional Balconies in Rabat, Malta

Day 7 – Northern Malta

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.

Are you planning to visit Malta? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Comments

  1. Hi Maggie,
    Thank you for giving out such a detailed description of your experience.
    I am planning a 7 day trip to Malta from the Netherlands .
    I had a couple of questions and would appreciate it if you could answer and help me out.
    1. Do you suggest starting the trip from Valletta or ending it there ?
    2. Would you suggest staying at just Valletta and cover the entire island by renting a car or would you suggest we can spend 3 night In Valletta and 2 In Gozo ?

    Reply
    • Hi Gayathri, the itinerary written above is a great outline on how I would suggest spending 7 days in Malta 🙂

      Reply
  2. Thank you so much for your informative article. We are visiting Malta this week and will be using your suggestions. Luckily, we have a hotel booked in Sliema. Also, we now know that we need to take some warm clothes with us!
    Maggie

    Reply
  3. Hi Maggie
    Many thanks for your tips and experience. I’ ve read from other blogs, there are a lot of transportation issues with buses, and despite short distances, you can waist a hell of a lot of time for only a few km. Is it the case at the end of March? I’m currently planning a 11 days in Malta, from 28th of March, 2021. Many thanks for your advise. Rgds. Mike

    Reply
    • Hi Mike, thanks for your comment! It’s true that in the busier months, buses can get full in Malta quite quickly and the drivers won’t stop to pick up other passengers. I’m not sure if this will be as big of a problem in March (my gut says no), but it is definitely something to be aware of. Regardless, we’ve really had only pleasant experiences with the Maltese bus system.

      Reply
  4. Hi Maggie
    Thanks for interesting tips – very useful. We plan a holiday in Malta from Australia. What time of year would you recommend ?

    Reply
    • Hi Chris, thanks for your comment! Personally, I think that mid-late September is the best time to visit Malta — the majority of the tourist crowds have dissipated, the weather is perfect and the water is at its warmest of the year. However, there really isn’t a bad time to visit Malta 🙂 Hope you have a great trip!

      Reply
  5. Hi Maggie,
    Thank you for your article.
    I’m thinking about 1 week in Malta in the second half of February. We want to see as much as possible. Do you think this term is suitable because of the weather?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Divan, I think 1 week in Malta in February sounds like a great idea! The weather will be warmer than anywhere else in Europe, however, the water will still probably be too cold for swimming, so be aware of that! Hope you have a great time 🙂

      Reply
  6. Dear Maggie,
    I really liked this page and your description. Thank you fo rmaking such a nice page. I live in Zurich. Because of some last min changes, I am now planning to visit Malta from 24th dec to 2nd Jan. I have few questions :
    a. Do you recommend to stay at different places? I thought to have the hotel at one place, and then, then go around.
    b. Is it worth staying 1 night at Gozo. ?
    c. Is Malta closed during christmas time , 24th, 25th , 26th dec?
    d. Any new year party venue suggestions?

    Best Regards,
    Abhishek

    Reply
    • Hi Abhishek, to answer your questions:
      a. I recommend finding 1 or 2 places to stay throughout your time there. Malta is small so it’s easy enough to get around from just one base.
      b. I think that Gozo is worth a night, however, you can see a lot of it if you only want to visit for a day trip, as well.
      c,d. I’ve never been to Malta over Christmas and NYE so I can’t speak on these issues, unfortunately.
      Hope you have a great trip!

      Reply
  7. I’m planning to stay 10-14 days to get a good look at the Knights Templar architecture, the other medieval historically significant forts. A sail around the island and to Gozo seems like a very nice way to get a sailors view as in ancient days. I’ve been reading about the history class of Malta and now reading about a travelers experience I’m eager to go. Late March because I think it will be very nice. Thank you for the vivid descriptions.

    Reply
  8. Thanks Maggie for this very informative article. We have planned a seven day trip to Malta and would be following most of your itinerary. How are charges for public transport? Or renting a car would be a better option? We are also planning to skip three cities near Valletta and have more time at north Malta. How does this sound?

    Reply
    • Hey Vivek, glad you found the itinerary useful! Public transport in Malta is frequent and affordable and you can use it to get most anywhere you need to go on both Malta and Gozo. We relied solely on the bus network while there and never felt as if we needed to hire a car. As for the Three Cities, they are beautiful and worth a visit, however, if you’re more interested in spending time by the beaches in the north of Malta, go ahead and do that! Hope you have a great trip!

      Reply
        • Hey Angus, depending on how long you are planning on staying in Malta, I would generally recommend limiting your stay to one or two towns on the island and a couple of nights on Gozo. Malta is small and it’s easy to get around. The easiest place to base yourself on Malta would be in Sliema, which is close to all the transport links. You can get to most places on the main island within an hour on public transport. Hope this answers your question!

          Reply
  9. Thank you so much for this Maggie; we’re off to Malta for a week at the end of June so I’ll be following this itinerary closely!

    Reply
    • So glad I could help! Hope you have a great trip 🙂 We absolutely loved Malta and can’t wait to go back!

      Reply
      • Hello Maggies, I wish you see this question before end of the day, if I am going to follow the exact above travel itinray , how many hotels do I have to book ? can I book the whole 7 days in Sliema and move around between these cities, or do I have to book in Gozo starting from day 4 till end of the trip, please help as I can’t visualise it properly

        Reply
        • Generally, I would recommend to book 3 different hotels for this trip. 1 in the Sliema/Valletta area, 1 on Gozo and 1 in the Mdina/Rabat area

          Reply

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